24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Basic Information
Introduction to Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersSigns and Symptoms of Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersDiagnostic Descriptions of Trauma and Stressor-Related DisordersWhat Causes the Symptoms of Trauma-Related Disorders? Treatment of Trauma, PTSD, Abuse and Other Stressor-Related Disorders Conclusion, Resources and ReferencesDealing with the Effects of Trauma - A Self-Help Guide
More InformationLatest NewsQuestions and Answers
Multiple Sex Abuse as a ChildFeel Like Something's WrongSelf Hate Is This a Flashback?Does My Boyfriend Have a Personality Disorder?I Am Wondering What Could be Wrong With Me?Past Following me For the WorseAm I Depressed?Depressed, Anxious and Dead Inside...Please Help!BrokenMy Husbands Roller Coaster of Proper Hygiene: Is it Depression?I Can't function Normally Anymore, Can More Diagnoses issues Risk Survival?PTSD vs. DIDAbused As A Child and Now It's Ruining My LifeJust Want to DieAnxietyHearing Things?Please Help Me!Boyfriend Why Am I Thinking Like This?PTSD Post Brain Surgery Mental ProblemsPTSDHelpDissociation eventsHow do you turn your back on your 19 year old daughter?What is going on?Please help. WhyHow do I help my husband with anger issues since he has been back from Iraq.I have PTSD and I feel nothingTolerating emotionPTSD since childhood, with no memory of trauma?I get paralysed and cant do anythingRepressed MemoryMy Husband\'s confusion and inability to make correct lifestyle decisionsDeath of both parentsHealthy sexuality not instinctual for me after abusive situationsWhat would this bevisions of what could have beenabout depersonalizationAmnesiaMy friend needs help that I can\'t give,can you help me?Relationship Between Dissociation, DID and PTSDBi-polar with PTSDIs there a difference between abuse and trauma?Fear Of Remembering ThingsLiving With PTSDEmotional OrphanPTSD Getting WorseWill I Have To Deal With PTSD For The Rest Of My Life?Is It Really Panic? And How Do We Get HelpI Don't Recall Any TraumaPTSD and Night TerrorsI Can't Tell a LieAbuse and Trauma
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Addictions: Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Dissociative Disorders

Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Healthy sexuality not instinctual for me after abusive situations

I feel like something is really plain \"wrong\" with me sexually. My first sexual encounter was when I was 14. I had never kissed a boy or knew much about sex - several boys at my school sexually assaulted me and one of them attempted to rape me. Afterwards, I felt confused about what had happened and virtually unprotected by my mother since she was in denial of the seriousness of what had happened. I never saw these boys punished in any way, and was left feeling like less of a victim and more of the problem. I didn\'t understand that what had happened was bad and not normal since no one made this clear, and I ended up befriending the very people who abused me, desperately seeking their approval and acceptance in my confusion. I continued this unhealthy pattern by allowing the boys who pursued me most aggressively to date me, which usually meant not the best of guys. My boyfriends over the years treated me as an object wherein I felt like my core acceptance and only way of receiving love was through providing sex. I never once enjoyed any of this. I felt like this was the only type of sexuality that existed, for it was all that I had ever known. When I saw romantic encounters in movies, I just fell in love with how wonderful it seemed, but didn\'t believe it to be real. I couldn\'t ever understand how any girl could possibly enjoy sex. To me, it has felt painful and like an invasion. In the past, I have chosen to just \'check out\' and feel almost like a robot, doing whatever I think the guy wants and will the encounter over the fastest. Now I am in a healthy and loving relationship and have been married for one year (I am 26 now). I am now realizing how much this pattern has damaged me and I feel extreme difficulty in understanding healthy sex. Despite my attraction and deep love for my husband, I have difficulty with arousal and difficulty not reverting back to old habits of \'acting\' during sex. I want more than anything to know what I am missing out on that everyone else seems to enjoy so much. I want so very much to be able to express my love for my husband in this way. I am left feeling like something is inherently wrong with me and that I just don\'t \"get it.\" I get frustrated and feel like I don\'t know what to do. When he asks me what I \"want\" in a sexual way, I don\'t have the first clue. I don\'t feel like I want anything in that way. All I \"want\" to feel safe and loved. How can I translate these feelings into sexual desire? It is hard for me to understand what sexual desire even IS. The whole subject confuses me so deeply and is causing me such pain. I wish I could go back in time and know how to protect myself, but I didn\'t know how, and no one else stepped in to protect me when I needed it. Now I understand how those guys were bad and abusive, and how my husband is anything BUT that, but I don\'t know how to change my instinctual reactions that make my body tense up and not feel able to enjoy sex. Help!



  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.