In society today, one’s sexuality can have far-reaching consequences. Sexuality may influence our choices in the work we do, where we live, how we worship, and other intimate areas of life. Sexuality is often associated with one’s identity and what it means to be an individual. With all of the meaning that is carried with sexuality, there is the potential for an individual to question their own feelings. It is far from the case that all people simply know their sexuality or can identify with a particular group. Although many people do not express any confusion or concern regarding their sexuality, this is not the case for a great number of individuals who find that their questions regarding their sexuality are not so easily answered.
Sexuality is not defined by one behaviour or one feeling, or even by one experience. It is a highly complex human response that can be influenced by a variety of factors in its expression. What does seem to be clear that sexual preference is not a choice. One cannot control or determine who they are attracted to – whatever their sexuality. While many people have clear preferences, it is largely outside their ability to change that attraction, or lack thereof. Read More »
Sexual abuse is one of the most difficult experiences an individual may ever face. It is also incredibly common. While damage inflicted on the body may heal, sexual abuse leaves emotional scars that can be just as troubling as physical ones, and in some cases they can be even worse. Although the immediate pain and trauma subside, the truth is that there can be long-term consequences for the victims of sexual abuse. That being said, the process of healing might be centered on the body, not in the mind.
Victims of abuse often respond with a physical reaction known as the “fight or flight” response. The body learns to release adrenaline in situations that recreate the feelings of terror and pain, and as a result, this can become a pattern that the victim experiences again and again. Read More »
Constant social interaction and intense media conditioning can intensify the effects of social pressures on a person. An increase in societal expectations, or what are perceived to be so, can be overwhelming for some people and lead to anxiety, stress and withdrawal. One’s sense of self worth should not be based on conforming to social norms. For instance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to remain a virgin after 20, without succumbing to social pressures. However, if one has issues such as low self confidence, which are affecting their life and stopping them from achieving fully, it is important to address these issues. A therapist or counsellor can help to overcome feelings of low self worth and to live life to the fullest.
The Madonna Whore Complex is a psychoanalytical term, coined by Sigmund Freud to describe a male psychological dichotomy in the perception of women – either as saint or sinner. The complex was termed as such by Sigmund Freud, but this dichotomy seems to have existed since time immemorial. Some men experience the inability to view a woman as a whole, but can only view her through the perception of either saint or sinner. The cultural portrayal of men and women as adhering to fixed gender roles also does not help in overcoming this flawed perception of women. Needless to say, this can take a serious toll on personal relationships and many of those who are impacted seek the help of a counsellor to deal with the problem.
According to the Madonna Whore Complex, men either view a woman as a sexually restrained and well behaved ‘Madonna’, or as a sexually free ‘whore’ who must be punished by the man. Read More »
In the more holistic model of health care that is prescribed to nowadays, psychological and emotional well-being are acknowledged as being integral to patient care and management. As such, HIV counselling and psychotherapy are considered to be core elements in the treatment and care of people suffering from HIV. Counselling and therapy are often the best and the only true way to discuss sensitive questions and feelings openly and without judgement, for both the patients as well as those affected by the patient’s illness.Read More »
A recent study indicated that gay, lesbian and bisexual’s who decided that they should come out showed an increase in happiness and an improvement of their overall mental health. Of course, it goes without saying that there are many factors behind this, just as there are many levels of ‘outness’. Below, we go over the decision making process involved in coming out, and what may happen when you decide to do so.
For many people, coming out is a hard decision to make. They will be concerned as to how family and friends will react, and if coming out at a later stage of life, how their career may be affected. These are all legitimate concerns, and go in some way to explain part of the study. It is clear that if a lot of anxiety and stress has been building regarding whether to come out or not, there will be a certain degree of relief when it finally happens!
There are many differing ideas as to whether pornography has an affect on mental health or not, with various studies showing conflicting results. Part of the problem involved in analysing the question, is in the very definition of pornography itself, and which media it is presented on, such as magazines, television, DVD or the internet. In addition, there are then exposure levels, age groups and social categories to be taken into account, which all go further to complicate the situation.
Pornography itself can also be categorised, with the words light and hardcore often used to describe things as varied as semi-naked still photo shots through to films involving multiple partners and much more. Online, it can then take the form of free or ‘pay-per-view’ pornography.