A woman who was recently profiled by the Tampa Bay Times, concerning her persistent sexual genital arousal disorder, thirty-nine-year-old Gretchen Molannen, was "found dead after taking her own life Saturday", according to Fox News. This was not the first suicide attempt by Molannen, who struggled with this disorder for the past sixteen years. Some doctors believe this condition, which causes women to be physically but not psychologically aroused, is due to malfunctioning nerves.
The affliction, which caused her to be continuously aroused, was debilitating to the extent that Molannen was unable to hold a steady job over the past decade.
Molannen suffered for ten years before she realized that she was a victim of the disorder after watching a piece on 20/20 about another woman who had the condition. She sought help from medical professionals but, given the condition is so rare, many had not even heard of it. Since Molannen, who had been living with her parents, both now dead, had no income she could not afford the test and treatments that have been known to work for others, and was turned down for disability benefits.
When interviewed by the Times, Molannen stated, "I know that God wants more out of my life than having me test out suicide methods, constantly crying and abusing myself."
The article ran Friday on Tampabay.com, less than forty eight hours before Molannen's body was discovered by sheriff's deputies at her Spring Hill, Florida home. "She was last seen alive Thursday at 11:30 p.m." Authorities were not forthcoming with the details concerning how she died, or the time of death. When the Times tried to check on Molannen over the weekend, they did not receive a response.
This story makes one wonder how many other rare afflictions go undiagnosed and are misunderstood by society. The nature of a disorder like this would be especially difficult to cope with given the stigma of sexual disorders. Many would be uncomfortable admitting they had this condition to even their closest friends.