An individual who has suffered a traumatic brain injury can suffer from a number of effects that include lowered mental functioning, cognitive impairment, forgetfulness, and difficulty in concentration. There may also be physiological effects because of the effect of the medications that the person is required to take. All of these combined may have an adverse impact on the person’s sexuality. Consequently, there may be a negative impact on the person’s relationship with his or her spouse.
This is borne out by statistics that indicate that the divorce rate for persons with brain injury is approximately 78%. Those are staggering rates, and indicate to brain injury lawyers that persons who have suffered a brain injury are at a much higher risk of not just negative physical and mental effects from the injury, but also the emotional stress of a divorce.
This heightened risk of divorce definitely has something to do with the many sexual problems that a person with traumatic brain injury may suffer. Just some of those sexual problems include inability to achieve or maintain an ejection, insufficient lubrication in the case of women, inability to orgasm or ejaculate, and disinterest in sex. A person may find it uncomfortable to perform certain movements or take certain positions during intercourse, or may find himself losing interest or becoming distracted during the act. These kinds of problems can definitely impact the sexual relationship that the patient has with the spouse.
Unfortunately, these issues are brushed under the carpet when it comes to a brain injury patient’s rehabilitation. There definitely needs to be more focus on how individuals can work on social issues like self-esteem and anxiety that have an impact on sexual function as well. Experts recommend a holistic approach to rehabilitation for these patients.
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