A woman who suffered from a debilitating condition where she had constant, uncontrollable physical urges has committed suicide after years of battling her affliction.
Gretchen Molannen, 39, was found dead in her home in Spring Hill, Florida over the weekend from an apparent suicide.
She had suffered from persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) for more than a decade and a half. The condition means the afflicted are physically but not psychologically aroused and can often only find relief after masturbating for hours upon end.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that it is unclear how or when the 39-year-old woman died, but that the Hernando County Sheriff’s office responded to a suicide call on Saturday night.
The newspaper had done 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.
Though she had aspirations of working as a translator, her condition meant that she had to take odd jobs, because she had to deal with the physical demands of PGAD.
She could only find relief after hours of masturbation.
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 four times a year, the Times said, because it caused Ms Molannen hours of agony afterward. She agreed to it in a bid for physical intimacy.
Ms Molannen had 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 had 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.