Molannen, 39, suffered from persistent genital arousal disorder. Women who have this condition experience continuous physical sexual arousal. However, they do not feel arousal psychologically. Many must masturbate to get a few minutes of relief from the unwanted arousal. Doctors believe that this condition may be caused by a nerve malfunction.
Molannen has struggled with the disorder for 16 years and kept her silence. She was unable to work, but the condition affected her job performance.
In 2007, she saw a woman on 20/20 talk about the condition. She sought help from medical professionals. Many of them have never heard of the disorder.
She told the Times that the condition was so debilitating that she had tried to commit suicide three times in the past year.
She had been denied disability benefits because she could not prove her disability. The tests that could prove are expensive. Molannen created a Craglist ad seeking help from medical professional to give her a free MRI. The Times found the ad and contacted her. She agreed to tell her story in July.
She then went before a judge in August for the second time. The judge rejected her disability claim which she gave to the Times.
She thanked the Times for sharing her story which she wrote in an email on Nov 28.
“Thank YOU for taking an interest in doing a story for me! I am flattered that you cared so much to want to help. I just hope this will educate people that this is serious and really exists, and that other women who are suffering in silence will now have the courage to talk to a doctor about it. If men have suffered with the shame of impotence or even priapism, now it’s time for women to get help as well. Thank you for your patience with me and for devoting so much time to this. I’m sure your editor is very proud of your work and I’m excited to see my own story online.”
The Times tried to contact Molannen over the weekend to see how she was doing. They did not receive a response.
Instead, her boyfriend sent the Times an email telling them that she had committed suicide.
The Times did receive several offers to help Molannen from both legal and medical professionals. But by then it was too late.