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Understanding the new "Female" Viagra
If you've heard about the new "female" Viagra pill, Addyi, (flibanserin) which is touted to increase sexual desire in women and which was recently approved by the FDA, check out Stephen Colbert's comical riff on it. http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert/video/28E94A49-F1A3-4418-3C7D-E3881F710234/female-viagra-is-coming/
--Apart from the humor there, there are several things to keep in mind.
1) Male and female arousal systems are different. Viagra for men was for a mechanical problem ( poor vascular pressure in the penis) while Flibanserin for women is for hypoactive sexual desire disorder , a libido issue which is pretty rare. Libido is also affected by depressive disorders but It is not clear how Flibanserin will be used if a depressive disorder is present. Any way, it is important to understand that Addyi is not a parallel medicine to Viagra.
2) The pill explicitly states that it will not help for lack of desire which is based on problems in the relationship which ... are about 85-90% of the reason women don't want to have sex.
3) The pill isn't magic and isn't really that effective . It was twice as effective as a placebo but ... the frequency reported in the trials was only about 2x per month.
4) Finally, it is also important to know that, for those who use Flibanserin, alcohol is a no no.
-- Just to keep one's expectations realistic, Addyi may become an important weapon in the arsenal to help women with sexual disorders but... it is unlikely that it will have the impact that Viagra has had for men. The best way to improve your desire for sex is still to work on your relationship.
Rev. Michael Heath LMHC / Fellow, AAPC 9 21 2015
Talking about end of life issues and facing our fears of dying
California is about to become the 6th state in the union to adopt right-to-die legislation and allow doctors to prescribe lethal medications for mentally competent, terminally ill patients.
While this measure is politically controversial, it exposes a much larger and more embarrassing fact about American culture: we are afraid to even talk about issues involved with both the mysteries and practicalities of death and dying. Just to raise the topic can send some folks into a frenzy. For example, not long ago conversations between doctors and patients about end of life decisions which were authorized in the legislation connected to health care reform were slandered and referred to by some as "death panels" which were part of a government conspiracy.
As a therapist and a minister, I understand that having a fear of death is normal and is neither a psychological disorder nor a spiritual sickness. Nonetheless, what many folks don't realize is that by learning to talk about it, that they can reduce their fears and be freed from the emotional strain of having to avoid the subject. Even more importantly, rather than just letting things happen, people who are able to discuss end of life issues are able to make rational decisions, take control of the process and influence key factors which impact the end of life for themselves and their family members.
Even though medical technology has extended out life spans, it has not conquered the aging process. And although the progress which has cured many diseases and alleviated much suffering, it has also created news challenges for our modern culture for which we are not prepared. Our parents rarely had to wonder about end of life issues the way we do. They didn't have to deal with health care proxies or advanced medical directives. While it may take a little getting used to, with a little help, anyone can become more comfortable with discussing end of life options.
If you or a family member is troubled by this issue, know that there is help. Don’t hesitate to contact a therapist or clergy person ; they will be glad to assist you and help you to ease your mind.
Rev. Michael Heath 9 12 2015