Intercourse is meant to be a pleasurable and intimate experience. But it might become an unpleasant act if you are suffering from performance anxiety. When you are mentally occupied by questions such as "Do I look too fat?" or "Did I do that right?", sex stops being a gratifying experience.
Incessant anxiety over your ability or appearance can result in sex becoming nerve-wracking and stressful for you. It might even have you avoiding sex altogether. This psychological condition is termed as sexual performance anxiety.
Sex isn't only a physical reaction, there are emotions tied to it as well. If you are too stressed out and your mind is preoccupied, your body reflects your inner turmoil and you cannot get aroused.
Causes: The causes of sexual performance anxiety include:
Symptoms: Your mental state has a deep impact on your physical state. The effect of stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine can hinder your sexual performance. Symptoms of sexual performance anxiety include:
Sexual performance anxiety is a vicious, inescapable cycle. Increased anxiety hampers you from having sex, making you think you won't be able to perform well, which causes even more anxiety.
Treatment: Consult a doctor you will be comfortable with discussing your problems. Sexual performance can be either treated by medication (if you have an underlying medical condition such as erectile dysfunction) or through therapy.
Talking to a therapist or counsellor about your problems can help you in several ways. You can learn to become more comfortable with yourself and your body. You can also understand your problems better, which can eliminate your anxiety.
Paranoia is a state characterized by a chronic sense of anxiety and mistrust. Some forms of paranoia affect only one particular aspect of a person’s life, whereas, other might be generalized and may interfere with decision-making and relationships. It is due to deep-rooted insecurity, or feelings of doubt about the partner’s commitment and faithfulness in the relationship.
Individuals with paranoia are generally found to be mistrusting others, feel on the verge of harm, very much reluctant to confide in others, bearing grudges, or even find demeaning or threatening subtext in even the most innocent comments or events. They are socially isolated, have difficulty in forgiving, argumentative and possess a defensive attitude in response to imagined criticism.
Even though Paranoia in a relationship is very common and can happen to anyone, it doesn’t mean that one should put up with it. It is essential to understand the reasons for its manifestation because a relationship cannot withstand the negativity that comes with these feelings and will often come to an end, causing much pain to the individuals involved.
One of the major reasons for being paranoid is the inability to let go off a past relationship. Thus, having a bad experience, such as being deceived or taken advantage of, could lead to the paranoid thought of history repeating itself. It causes the individual to be alert at all times and unable to relax, as certain similar incidents may trigger again reminding of the past event and its consequences, especially when you are thinking about them. It is also important to note that at times anxiety and paranoia get suppressed when you have gone through a breakup, but they can rear back in the head when you have patched up or started afresh.
At times past experiences shape us in a way that we believe the world is a bad place and therefore good things don’t last. It is a type of a self-fulfilling prophecy where you feel everything is going good, but at the same time, you are on the alert of negative things that are bound to happen. This perception can itself arouse suspicion with the partner’s whereabouts, mistrust and even jealousy by comparing yourself with your spouse’s friends.
We are aware that depression and anxiety have a toll on our minds as well as emotional functioning, such that it affects our reasoning and judgments on what is real and what is perceived. At this time, we are more likely to rush up with paranoid thoughts and feelings, where our imagination runs wild and creates creative, vivid imaginations, which cause the envisioned scenarios to feel real. Often such thoughts are related to events and relationship in a person’s life, thereby increasing isolation and difficulty with getting help.
Having a history of schizophrenia, delusional disorder, early childhood trauma, also result in paranoid thoughts and feelings such that the individual behaves in a hostile or stubborn manner, excessively uses sarcasm, elicits hostile responses from others. These reactions tend to confirm their manifested suspicions and result in the same consequences to which they were afraid would occur.
Various other reasons such as looking for perfection, fear of loss, assuming what the other is thinking or seeking of constant reassurance of their well being, being possessive about the partner, easily jealous, being overprotective, or even having repressed, denied and projected feelings also result in paranoid thoughts and feelings, that can have a drastic impact on the relationship.
When a person is unable to deal with such negative and paranoid thoughts then there is a need to approach professional psychologist or counsellor. A psychologist will help a person to understand the reason behind it and also how to overcome such thoughts. In extreme cases, a person may require medication and for that person need to go to a psychiatrist too.
5 Reasons to Get Rid of Everyday Anxiety
Anxiety is a disorder where the body is in a state of alertness as a result of a stressful situation. It is an inbuilt mechanism, which can result from stress, threat or pressure. Being constantly anxious impairs work performance and creates havoc in relationships. The blood supply to the brain increases during anxiety, thereby quickening heart rate and tensing the muscles of the body to facilitate a state of high alertness. High anxiety levels can give rise to a number of health issues, reason why you should try to minimize your anxiety levels.
Here are 5 reasons to get rid of anxiety:
1. High blood pressure - Spikes in blood pressure occur during periods of anxiety. These temporary spikes can result in damage to heart health and blood vessels in the body. Anxiety may also cause a person to smoke or consume alcohol, which affects blood pressure.
2. Stomach problems - Anxiety is known to cause problems in digestion as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and an upset stomach are reported to occur. It may cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and constipation.
3. Weight gain - Binge eating during periods of anxiety can cause weight gain in affected people. A study reported that stressed out women processed fat and sugar in a different manner than usual, thereby leading to an increase in weight. Weight gain can give rise to other complications like diabetes and high blood pressure.
4. Disorders of the respiratory system - People with respiratory diseases face complications due to anxiety. Breathing problems such as hyperventilation can cause further complications.
5. Depression - Anxiety can cause a person to develop depression, which can be life-threatening. Thus, preventing anxiety can help in preventing depression as well.