APA: Low Sex Drive is Not a Mental Illness!

A panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is in the process of revising the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a guide to mental illnesses widely used by therapists and psychiatrists. One of the new disorders planned for inclusion in the guide is Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in Women. The DSM V would guide professionals to assign this diagnosis when female patients report an absent or reduced interest in sex and erotic fantasies tied to distress. Recently, pharmaceutical companies have begun to promote testosterone medications to treat this "disorder."

Though low sex drive often coincides with mental illnesses such as depression or follows traumatic events such as rape, it does not require its own separate diagnosis. Many women, including many asexuals, naturally have a lower-than-average sex drive and are satisfied with that aspect of their individuality. They should not have to worry about receiving treatment for it when seeking mental health for an unrelated distress issue.

Labeling low sex drive as a disorder will invite discrimination and overmedication for many women. Please sign this petition to keep "Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in Women" out of the DSM V.
We, the undersigned, are concerned with your plans to include "Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in Women" as a mental illness in the new edition of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As pharmaceutical companies have begun to promote testosterone medications to treat this condition, and mental health professionals often consult the DSM when treating patients, we are concerned that this added entry will lead to overmedication and stigma.

Though low sex drive often coincides with mental illnesses such as depression or follows traumatic events such as rape, it does not require its own separate diagnosis. Many women, including asexuals, naturally have a lower sex drive than the general population and are satisfied with that aspect of their individuality. They should not have to worry about receiving treatment for it when seeking mental health for an unrelated distress issue.

Please reconsider your plans to include this new disorder in the DSM V. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our petition.
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