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Stigma, Body Image Concerns May Affect Sexuality in People With Focal Dystonia

Overall, 45% of the patients with cervical dystonia met the criteria for sexual dysfunction. In the blepharospasm group, the rate was 39%. Only 24% of the control group had sexual dysfunction. Depressed participants tended to have poorer function, but length and severity of disease did not seem to affect sexuality.

Among the cervical dystonia group, almost a quarter said their sex lives were worse because of the dystonia.

The authors explained that focal dystonia patients “often suffer from stigmatization, embarrassment, and social phobia. Self-perceived stigma can be a major source of disability and might deteriorate factors such as self-confidence and body image, crucial for sexual well-being.”

They added that other factors influence sexual function as well, including relationships with partners. However, they did not know to what extent such factors affected the study findings.

They recommended more research on mood disorders and how to address them in dystonia patients.

The study was published in October 2018 in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.

Resources

Mayo Clinic

“Dystonia”

(August 10, 2018)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dystonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20350480

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment

Marek, M., et al.

“Sexual dysfunction in cervical dystonia and blepharospasm”

(Full-text. Published: October 26, 2018)

https://www.dovepress.com/sexual-dysfunction-in-cervical-dystonia-and-blepharospasm-peer-reviewed-article-NDT

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