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Sex and Mental Health- Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted May 10 2010 5:45am
This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series Mental Health Awareness

Content Warning:  This post contains mature subject matter. This topic may not be suitable for everyone. The topic of sex is discussed. However, it is discussed in a tasteful manner.  It is your decision and sole responsibility if you choose to read past this warning.

I have to admit this is a difficult, and embarrassing topic for me to talk about.  I am just not comfortable discussing sex with anyone but my husband.  However, since I am committed to doing my part in raising awareness about mental health issues, and how to maintain good mental health, I felt that this was an important topic to discuss.

I am just like most adult women in the world, I enjoy sex and I enjoy how it makes me feel.  It makes me feel relaxed and less stressed. It also helps strengthen my relationship with my husband.

Sex is more than just a moment of pleasure.  Many experts agree that sex has several health benefits, including helping to maintain good mental health.

  • Sex is a great stress reliever. Studies have shown that sex can lower our blood pressure and is a big stress reducer.  Frequent (meaning once or twice a week) intercourse between partners who live together, can lower diastolic blood pressure.
  • Sex improves immunity. Good physical health, means we have a better chance at having good mental health.  Frequent  sexual intercourse can affect our physical health by improving our immune system.  It has been linked with increasing our levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which can protect us from catching colds, other viruses and infections.
  • Think thin. Sex is a great way to burn calories.  It can burn between 75 to 150 per half an hour.
  • Sex improves cardiovascular health. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining good cholesterol levels and watching your sodium intake are all good for the heart, but so is sex.  It raises our heart rate and increases blood flow.  Frequent sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack by half.
  • Sex improves intimacy. Having sex and orgasms increases the levels of a hormone called oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love hormone”.  It lets us feel the urge to nurture and to bond.
  • Sex reduces pain. As the levels of oxytocin increases in our bodies so does endorphins.  As the endorphins increase our pain is reduced.  A headache is no longer a valid excuse to not have sex.  It also reduces arthritis pain and PMS symptoms.
  • Sex boosts self esteem. It seems that many people have sex because it makes them feel good about themselves.  If you are in a committed and loving relationship, sex can raise your self esteem.
  • Sex helps you sleep better. Getting enough sleep does wonders in maintaining good mental health and physical health.  The hormone oxytocin that is released during orgasm also helps you sleep.

I would like to thank Dr. Joy Davidson for her advice and encouraging words about my discussing this topic.  She can be found at The Joy Spot

Series Navigation «Pets and Mental Health – Mental Health Awareness Stigma and Mental Illness – Mental Health Awareness»
Posted by Melissa Mashburn at 8:45 am

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