Sunday 20 June 2021
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We all know in Africa there are 2 things we can’t mention to our elders: Sex and mental illnesses. Now imagine having to go your family and you tell them you have a mental illness that involves sex.  MEM!

If you even had to mention sexomnia, your family will probably just call a pastor to do an exorcism and then it will be sorted. I’ve mentioned it before and I will continually say this we Africans are steadily get more educated, but are really naive when it comes to illnesses of the mind.

Most of us has either experienced incidents of sleepwalking, either with a family member or yourself. Now sleepwalking is when your body is moving but your conscious and mind is still sleeping. With sexsomnia is pretty much the same phenomenon; just way more explicit.

Sexsomnia is a neurological condition that causes one to have sex in their sleep, whilst being totally oblivious to your activities at that point. This form of parasomnia occurs mostly in men but women are not exempted from this condition. Arousal parasomnia occurs when the brain gets caught in the transition between a deep, non-REM sleep-state and a waking state.

So it’s a condition that concerns more of the brain than it would the mind, but emotions and tiredness of the mind play a good role in it as well.

Episodes of this parasomnia include moaning, masturbation, fondling with yours or the person closest to you at that moments sexual organs, and even full on intercourse with whomever is lying next to you.

The scariest part is that the person experiencing sexsomnia is usually in an amnesiac state at that point and when they wake up they have no recollection of it whatsoever.

Most sexual partners usually don’t mind this as it usually just comes off as a spontaneous“midnight snack”, but honestly I really don’t know what people call these spontaneous sexual acts in the middle of the night, but I believe I’ve made the point clear.

There is a downside to the condition that can be of catastrophic consequences that could ruin relationships and lives.

Many people under this parasomnia have suffered injury to their sexual organs  as they could unknowingly damage their parts because of a more violent than others nature of sexual acts, some masturbate way more vigorously causing damage and scaring them. There’s a psychological damage to the sufferer themselves as it can be very embarrassing too.

So obviously with anything sexual involved there is a huge concern when it comes to this, because with sex consent needs to be given. There have been cases where an unaware sexsomniac would engage with sexual activities with the persons close to them and the person might not be their sexual partner. There have been cases where rape has been reported due to this.

Imagine you wake up one morning and the person you love, the person you respected, the person you saw as nothing but a brother or a sister treats you strangely, they don’t want to interact with you, they see you as a monster and you have no idea why. Imagine waking up to your family trying to beat you down and lock you up for something you didn’t do, but did. Imagine being in a situation where you literally can’t defend yourself because you do not know how you ended up in that situation. Imagine breaking the trust of someone you have known forever, being a father that groped his daughter or son, losing a friend  that you have known for all your life and there is nothing you can do about it.

While the cause of sexsomnia is still unknown, and the episodes are considered random, it is believed that people are triggered when there’s a disruption in the brain as it moves between deep sleep cycles. It’s also thought sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, or sleeping pills like Ambien increase someone’s likelihood of experiencing sexsomnia. Treatments can include medication to improve sleep, counselling, or avoiding triggers like alcohol and sleeping pills.

Disclaimer: I, nor my publisher do not communicate this from a professional point of view.  And would encourage professional consultation.

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