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Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS) is the name that was previously used for Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. The condition results in spontaneous, persistent genital arousal that cannot be controlled. It is not connected to sexual desires. It may also included genital engorgement and orgasm.
The condition was first documented by a doctor in 2001. It is considered to be unique to women. The male counterpart is known as priapism. While priapism is listed in the DSM-IV, PSAS (or PGAD) is not.
The condition is sometimes mistakenly linked to hypersexuality or thought to be enjoyable when in actuality PSAS can interfere with the patient's ability to work, drive, and function in public.
The name was changed to Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder in 2007 to remove the incorrect sexual connotation that the old name carried. This change also made the condition more easily recognizable as a registered medical condition.
In addition to the difficulties the disorder brings to one's life, sufferers of PSAS often struggle with the added obstacle of having their condition misunderstood or unaccepted by others. Because the condition involves sensations often associated with pleasure, sufferers may find upon disclosing their condition that they are greeted with "I wish I had that!" Additionally, stigma surrounding sex can make it difficult for PSAS sufferers to seek out treatment at all.
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