Dementia and Sexual Disinhibition
On a newgroup, someone asked:
I'm a student nurse from N E England, and I'm interested in finding out
about other nurses experience of managing sexual disinhibition in patients
suffering with an organic brain disorder (specifically dementia/alzheimers
etc). I am currently doing an essay about an incident in which a patient
would often expose himself and masturbate in communal areas, causing
distress to other patients and families etc. The consultant suggested a
'behavioural' approach to treatment, (rather than using medication),
involving re-directing the patient to his room (with the help of magazines)
to 'relieve himself' in private. Fortunately this plan of action was
dismissed due to the legal/ethical/moral implications, and because the
patients family objected (not surprisingly).
How do people feel about this?
Misreading the original post, someone remarked amongst others...
> I believe your consultant is *way* off the mark. I have seen sexual acting-out behaviors in people who have mental retardation, and they are almost always related to anxiety or boredom.
To which, I wrote:
Any sexual "acting out" has to be related to anxiety or boredom? Maybe it`s
related to a lack of a shag? Funny thing about people in long stay care
institutions is that they are supposed to be non-sexual.
There is a huge difference between a paraphilia and organic brain
disinhibition. From what is described, I doubt this is a paraphilia.
Whilst masturbating in communal areas is not exactly the polite thing to
do - having a patient who masturbates shouldn`t exactly cause one to invoke a deep or inner reason or meaning for such an activity. Nor should we take a professional stance that just because we as health care providers are aware that one of our charges likes to masturbate, that we *should* do something about it, or that there is a policy/rule-book somewhere for it.
The bloke masturbates - most blokes do masturbate, believe it or not, a lot
of women do to.
Now, whilst discussing masturbation in polite company will often tend to
induce a blush or two, a wank is just a wank. I`m amazed that anyone even
thought to discuss it with the family. I`ve certainly never discussed my
own masturbatory preferences with my family or anyone elses family for that
Ethical/legal considerations for giving a guy a jazz mag? Oh come on - get
the guy a few copies of loaded and FHM magazine, that`ll do it. (Oh, one of
the biggest problems about being in a total institution of any kind is to
find the privacy to perform the natural and private functions of living. I`ve often wondered if those guys on Big Brother must wonder just where they could go to do what comes naturally without it being broadcast live to the masses. A tad embarrassing doncha think?)
Best to be careful to not let something like this become the entire focus of
the man`s care and day to day living needs. I mean he`s been doing it all
his life, it`s just the context that`s changes recently for him.