Florida woman with sexual arousal disorder commits suicide

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, December 6, 2012 14:48 EDT
google plus icon
Gretchen Molannen, a Florida woman who suffered from persistent genital arousal disorder for 16 years before committing suicide on December 1, 2012. Photo: Screenshot via The Tampa Bay Times.
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

A Florida woman who told her story of shame and struggle to a reporter last week committed suicide a day after her video was published.

In the haunting footage, 39-year-old Gretchen Molannen explained that for 16 years she’s been unable to control her level of sexual arousal, leading to extreme anxiety and, she said, persistent masturbation just to achieve a few short moments of relief.

Speaking to The Tampa Bay Times last week, Molannen explained that she’d been contemplating suicide after being repeatedly denied federal disability benefits. She had no health insurance, and claims her condition was so extreme that she couldn’t hope to work or lead any sort of normal life.

She committed suicide on December 1, one day after her heart wrenching story appeared in the Times.

Speaking to WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, Jeannie Allen, the founder of a support group for women with Molannen’s disorder, said that all of the members were in shock at the sudden loss. “Everybody’s just devastated and can’t believe this has happened,” she said.

The group is taking donations to have Molanne’s body buried in her parents’ cemetery plot in Michigan. They’re also petitioning the Social Security Administration to officially recognize Persistent Genital Arousal Syndrome as a legitimate cause of disability.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

This video is from WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg, broadcast Wednesday, December 6, 2012.

This video is from The Tampa Bay Times, published November 30, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.