One of my biggest frustrations as a mental health professional is that certain ideas and terms, promoted in pop psychology circles and then spread throughout media, get established in the culture as legitimate without widely-accepted scientific knowledge and research. Here’s a perfect example: “codependency” was a popular “diagnosis” in the mental health field several years ago. Many people entered therapy with the presenting problem “I’m codependent”. Treatment programs popped up all over the country, many of them very expensive, claiming they “treat codependency.” Codependent Personality Disorder was even proposed as a diagnosis in the DSM-III, the publication of mental health disorders, in 1987 but thankfully failed to be included due to a lack of scientific evidence.
As the two sayings go, everything old is new again and those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
A common issue I see is low or absent sex drive in women who report previously having a high(er) sex drive. These women usually, but not always, have been with the same partner for years. Their emotional reactions to the phenomena run the gamut. Some of these women are distressed by its decline/disappearance while some women are ambivalent while even others are relieved. Remember, sex is never one-size-fits-all and if I’ve taught you anything, dear reader, it’s that there’s always good reasons why she feels the way she does.