A woman who suffered from a horrible condition where she had constant, uncontrollable physical urges has committed suicide after years of battling her affliction.
39 year old Gretchen Molannen, seen below wearing the gas mask, was found dead in her home in Spring Hill, Florida from an apparent suicide.
She suffered from persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) for more than a decade and a half.
Persistent genital arousal disorder is a fairly recent phenomenon, first described in medical literature in 2001.
Sufferers describe symptoms as only physical arousal. Women who have the disorder say that they experience symptoms that are intense and incredibly uncomfortable.
Some women may temporarily lessen the symptoms by masturbating for hours and reaching orgasm. Treatment ranges from psychotherapy to various medications.
The Tampa Bay Times did a profile on Ms. Molannen only a week before, speaking to her about her debilitating disorder. “I had such a different life before this thing took over,” she said in November. Ms. Molannen explained that she began feeling the sensation when she was 23, describing that it was like a switch she couldn’t turn off.
One of the only forms of relief came from masturbating for hours on end, something that Ms. Molannen, a Lutheran, found as a point of shame. She had a boyfriend, who emailed the Times after her original story was published, saying the article “won’t help her now” because she had killed herself.
They had sex around 4 times a year, the Times said, because it caused Ms. Molannen hours of agony afterward. Ms. Molannen told the Tampa Bay Times that because of her condition, she was unable to hold down any full-time employment. She tried to file for disability twice, and was twice denied.
Because of this, the boyfriend paid her taxes so she could keep her parents’ house. Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times only a week ago, Ms. Molannen said that without medication, she once had 50 uncontrolled orgasms in a row.
“It made me think I was going to die,” she told the newspaper. According to the Journal of Sex and Marriage Therapy, any number of events or medications can trigger the disorder, including going off antidepressants, starting menopause, and even a bad fall.
It is unclear how many women suffer from the disease, but experts estimate it to be in the thousands.
Our hearts go out to her and her family. Here she is in her own words.