Discussion Questions for Sexuality and Mental Health
- What do you think of Patricia Deegan’s statement quoted in the show that “Those of us who have been diagnosed with major mental illness do not cease to be human beings by virtue of that diagnosis. Like all people we experience the need for love, companionship, solitude and intimacy.”
- A main message of the show is: Because sexuality is an important part of the human experience, and therefore of a person’s well-being, people who are mentally ill should be able to have satisfying sex lives, just like any one else. How do you feel about this message?
- What do you think about some of the unique challenges that people with mental illness face with respect to sexuality: medications that have “sexual side effects,” and doctors and psychiatrists who are not comfortable talking about sex. Do you have any experience that supports or refutes these problems?
- Do you think that psychiatric hospitals, group homes and other places where mental patients live should have policies with regard to sexuality of their residents?
- Why do you think it is important that staff and family need to be trained about sexuality?
- One of Patricia Deegan’s conclusions is that the consumer community needs to incorporate sexual expression and intimacy goals into its movement agenda. What do you think about this?
For resources see: Resources Mentioned in the Show
These questions are to provide family and peer discussion and education. The information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or psychological condition. If you think someone is too fragile to be part of the discussion, please have them consult their mental health care provider for individual advice regarding the situation.