Sexual Causes of Tension-At the present time there is a tendency to lay great emphasis on sex, and the tensions of both young and old are often ascribed to some disharmony in their sex life without due consideration of other factors. This line of approach is particularly common with the amateur psychologist. In evaluating the situation it is well for us to realize that sexual conflicts are in fact a very important cause of anxiety, but that conflicts in other areas are also important, and that anxiety often results from a summation of stresses arising from various problems.
There is another factor which makes it difficult to assess the significance of sexual troubles as a cause of anxiety. People have a tendency to give socially acceptable explanations for things. A man is working hard at his office; there are many difficult problems, and he has to work late at night. He will readily tell you this is the cause of his anxiety, and in a way it is true enough; but he does not readily discuss the tension he feels as a result of his being involved with his secretary. The patient often gives these false explanations quite knowingly for the simple reason that he is too ashamed to admit the real cause to the doctor. In other cases, the patient is too ashamed to admit the true cause even to himself. In these circumstances he believes that he is speaking the truth when he gives the socially acceptable reason as the cause of his trouble.