ISD AND THE MIND
"IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE," Janet sighs, reaching for a tissue. Others, crumpled, scrunched, and shredded, are piled on the table beside her chair. This session, the first without her husband, has been the most difficult. "I love Tim," she continues. "I love to be with him. Even now, when I see him walk through the door after work, I feel like I'll burst from loving him so much. I want to rush over and throw my arms around him, but I can't. I do feel safe with him. I know that he loves me and would never hurt me. Never. So why am I afraid to show him any affection? Why do I panic when I even think about having sex with him?"
"I don't understand it, I really don't," Wendy groans. With too much nervous energy to sit still, Wendy is, as usual, on her feet, moving around the office, looking at pictures she has seen before, lifting objects and examining them, doing anything that will distract her from the turmoil churning inside her. "I used to think Bill was the sexiest guy I'd ever met. Now I don't even like kissing him. I used to be into sex. Now that interest is completely gone. You say it has to do with Mark's death, but I've accepted that, I'm over the worst of it, and I want to get on with my life. I really do. I want to get married, have more kids, be normal again. But this problem, this ISD thing, is still getting in the way. I just don't understand it."
"It's a mystery to me," Larry shrugs, folding his arms across his barrel chest. "After I had my heart attack, my sex drive hit the highway, and even though everyone keeps telling me it should be back by now, it isn't. I wish it was. I wish I knew where it went, because if I did, I'd be able to do something about it."
Janet, Wendy, and Larry suffer from ISD and they are baffled by their lack of interest in sex. If you or your partner are also plagued by ISD, it may not make sense to you either. Time and time again, you try to find a "logical" explanation for what is happening—or rather, not happening— only to come up empty-handed. And unfortunately, when you don't know what put out the fire in the first place, you can't figure out how to reignite it.
Sexual desire disdrders are so difficult to explain because their cause is often confusing, if it can be understood at all. Frequently the cause is outside our conscious awareness and out of our control. Yet it's felt very directly as a lack of interest in sex.
Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction