It has long made me angry that the only noise about sexual dysfunction is for those people who take antidepressants. Because, you know, depression is normal. Those people who take antipsychotics, well, who cares about their sex lives they really aren’t normal. The fact is sex can be an enriching part of everyone’s life and the denial that those who are psychiatrically labeled should have sex, or that the issue is not serious is offensive and once again shows the systematic dehumanization of those with psychiatric labels.
The voices of disabled persons, including those with mental illness, are often left out of discussions about disabled sexuality, even in conversations with their own doctors about the sexual side-effects of their medications. The voices of family members and caregivers are often given precedence when it comes to making decisions.
If a medication that is deemed necessary for treatment does cause sexual side-effects, the wishes of the patient may be overridden. Indeed, patients can be legally compelled to take medications on the basis of the judgments of others. Failure to comply with an antipsychotic medication regimen can result in a psychiatric hold, involuntary commitment, and institutionalisation.
This is part of a much larger issue that disabled persons face, which is the consistent denial of autonomy. A disabled person is often presumed to be incapable of making decisions about his or her own life, body and activities. In the case of sexuality, a deeply personal matter, disabled persons are routinely denied autonomy, in part because of the commonly held belief that they do not have sex or that they should not have sex. (read the rest)