During intimate moments, those with a TBI may sometimes act differently. These behaviors can often be addressed over time. It takes patience, feedback, and a consistent approach. Discuss with the healthcare provider the concerns you may have.
What might you see?
- Hypersexuality (thinking or talking about or wanting frequent sexual activity, for example, masturbation, possible use of pornography)
- Hyposexuality (lack of interest in sex)
- Emotionally uncomfortable with intimacy
- Trying to kiss or touch others
- Making suggestive or flirtatious comments to or about others
- Disrobing or engaging in masturbation in front of others
How can you help?
- Develop a "stop and think" signal to let the service member or veteran know that they are doing or saying something inappropriate.
- Use redirection (in other words, try to change the topic or focus of interest to something else).
- Talk to the service member or veteran about acceptable and unacceptable ways to act in public and in private.
- Tell the service member or veteran that having sexual feelings is normal. Inappropriate sexual behavior should be immediately addressed.
- Emotional changes and physical symptoms can affect desire for intimacy and sex. The service member or veteran can discuss their concerns with a provider or counselor.