What Is Hypersexuality After Brain Injury?


What is hypersexuality after brain injury?


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[Glenn Parkinson] Following brain injury, sometimes people exhibit hypersexuality, which is an increase in sexual behavior that can be related to a variety of different things. It can be related to disinhibitions—or the loss of that filter that we were talking about, or it can be related to an increase in their libido—an increase in their sex drive. I'm not sure that we have really good clinical information on what the relationship between the organic injury and the increase in hypersexuality is, but it is something that we observe, and it is really important to address very aggressively and directly for someone. Depending upon the severity of their injury, you would do interventions in different sorts of ways. A lot of the social skills retraining that we focus on and redirecting, and kind of taking a moment and stepping back and thinking about someone's behavior, whether it's an inappropriate comment they made or touching someone inappropriately, it's really important, particularly with sexuality, to be very aggressive about intervening on those things because they have a huge impact on someone's social relationships, and also sometimes there are legal ramifications if someone behaves inappropriately in a way that they don't have a sense of understanding that it's inappropriate. That is something that is specific to brain injury.
Posted on BrainLine May 13, 2013.

About the author: Glenn Parkinson

Glenn Parkinson, MSW, MA works as the psychotherapist on the Traumatic Brain Injury service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She works with active duty and retired military personnel and their families specializing in combat-related injuries.

Glenn Parkinson

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