Putting the lid on id

Publish Date: 13/05/2013

This week – 13th-19th May – is Mental Health Awareness Week. We all have mental health, and as with our physical health, it’s extremely important that we look after it. Paul Davis shares his experiences with us…

“When I was invited to write something for mental health awareness week I thought I'd touch on something I haven't thought about for a while.  Sex.  There, I've said it.  To be honest I'm going to be saying it quite a lot.  I suppose I should begin by saying that I've had a bit of a strange relationship with sex over the last few years.  As someone who suffers with anxiety and depression, loss of sexual appetite is quite common; but its not that I've lost my libido, it's more that I've been actively ignoring it.

Like most people, my sexual interests have gone a little bit beyond doing it with the lights on.  Let's be honest, we've all been a little naughty behind closed doors.  Freud called this part of human nature the “id”

“It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality... it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs.”  To put it in Recon terms...  “I don't bite.  Unless asked.”

But what does this have to do with mental health?  Well, I'll tell you.  Last year I had quite a bit of counselling for my anxiety and depression.  Anyone who has gone through therapy will know that it's just like someone holding up a mirror and allowing you to see your true self.  Sometimes you see parts of your personality that you really don't like.  Thankfully the process doesn't just identify the nastier side of your nature, it helps you to manage it.  But, for me, there has been a small price to pay.

Getting to know the devil within has made me all the more reluctant to let it out, which is unfortunate.  For many, sex can be a liberating exploration of the essential self.  A process of “digging in the dirt” to see what lies underneath.  For me and others in my situation, awareness is the first step back into those rubber waders.  As I make my tentative first steps through the various coloured jock straps I realise that safe sex isn't just about putting a condom on it's about being safe mentally as well as physically.”

To find out more about mental health and wellbeing services offered by The LGF, click here lgbt.foundation/Get-support/Mental-Health/, call our Helpline on 0845 3 30 30 30, or email helpline@lgf.org.uk