Reviewed by Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Sex is something that most will agree is one of the best things in life. Having a satisfying sexual connection with someone can enrich your life in various ways, but not everyone has such an easy time. Those who are struggling with depression issues will often deal with problems that make it tough to maintain a normal sex life. This can mean having issues with your sex drive, but it can also have other impacts on your sex life. When you just want to have a healthy and happy sex life, it can be frustrating to feel like depression is holding you back.
Keep reading to learn more about how sex and depression might be related. When it comes to depression and sex, you’re going to be able to get things under control when you have more information. Depression does have an impact on your sex life, but there are also things that you can do to make it better. After you’ve read the information below, you’ll have an easier time figuring out what you should do.
Depression and Sex in Men
When you look at depression in men, you will find that it can change the male sex drive a lot. Typical depression symptoms involve losing interest in activities that you once loved. This rings true when it comes to your sex life, but your desire for sex doesn’t necessarily disappear into thin air. Some men note feeling like they wish they could enjoy sex or pursue sex, but it’s like they’re being held back by depression. It’s more common for men to deal with substantial sex drive issues than many people realize.
Sometimes depression has even caused men to develop erectile dysfunction issues. Erectile dysfunction is often caused by things such as confidence issues, anxieties, and even self-esteem problems. All of these things can tie directly into depression since depression can cause people to feel different than usual. When you’re depressed, you will notice issues with your self-confidence, and feeling anxious is not all that unusual either. Your erectile dysfunction issues could cause you to try to avoid sex because you don’t want to embarrass yourself or disappoint your lover.
Even certain antidepressant medications can cause men to have sexual issues. There are certain side effects of antidepressant medications that can cause problems with your sex life. Your lack of a healthy sexual appetite could be chalked up to the medications that you’re taking in some instances. Knowing this, it can be very troubling to think that a depression diagnosis can take away one of the most joyful things in your life. This situation doesn’t have to stay like this, though, because you can work with doctors to try to figure your medications out so that you will be able to still have sex like normal.
Depression and Sex in Women
Depression in women is often related to hormonal shifts, but it can also be caused for clinical reasons. The causes of depression in women can be just as varied as those in men, but what you might not know is that it can have a significant impact on a woman’s sex life. When a woman deals with depression issues, it can cause her to feel way less confident and capable than usual. This might make a woman feel as if she can’t have sex or if as if she isn’t worthy to have sex.
When a woman feels depressed, she might even go out of her way to avoid sexual situations. It can sometimes become a frustrating paradox where you will miss sex and still be too afraid or depressed to try for it. There can also be various physical factors that will play a role in causing depression. As women age, they can wind up having physical changes that will make sex less enjoyable or practical. This could means changes to the vaginal walls that will cause sex to become painful or problems with natural lubrication.
Often, women will be too embarrassed to talk about these biological issues that make sex tougher. This can be another factor that makes them want to avoid sex, and it can wind up causing depression over time. When you examine the topic of sex and depression deep enough, you’ll see that the two are very much related. Depression can make it tougher to have a regular sex life, but sexual issues can also cause someone to become depressed. The two are very much correlated, and you should seek help with sexual problems if they’re bringing you down.
Lack of Sex and Depression
It’s also true that not having sex very often can have an impact on your mental health. If you’re used to having sex regularly with your partner, then having that routine suddenly stop can change your mood quite a bit. You might become depressed if you’re not able to connect with your partner sexually for prolonged periods of time. There are plenty of people who abstain from sex and don’t deal with depression issues, but it is still a factor that can cause you to become depressed. When your sex life feels like it has taken a turn for the worse, this could cause you to slip into depression or make your normal depression feel worse.
The worst part about this is that it could wind up creating a negative cycle in your life. As mentioned earlier, feeling depressed and taking certain anti-depressant medications can have an impact on your sex drive. Your depression could be the reason that you aren’t able to connect with your partner sexually in the same way that you did in the past. The lack of sex in your life could be worsening of perpetuating those feelings of depression, too. If you let things go on like this, then there is a good chance that you will continue to have more depression issues that won’t be easy to deal with.
This all probably sounds really bad, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to break the cycle of depression and get your sex life back to normal. It might take some time, and you’ll likely need to work with your doctor, but you can adjust your medications. Your doctor might be able to find medications that have less of an impact on your sex drive while also helping you to solve other physical complications preventing you from enjoying regular sex. It can be taxing to have to face issues like this, but you don’t have to accept that your sex life will remain stagnant forever.
Treating Depression and Sex Drive Issues
When it comes to treating depression, it’s important to try to get to the bottom of what you’re going through. If you’re unsure about whether you have depression, then you should take the time to take this depression test. It’s a convenient way to figure out if you’re going through depression or not. After you have taken the test, you can make an appointment with your doctor to get a true diagnosis. You should never diagnose yourself with depression since that is something that has to be done by a professional with years of experience.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with depression, it’s going to be best to talk about your options with your doctor. There are many treatment options available to you, and some of them might be better than others depending on your situation. Most people will wind up taking some type of antidepressant medication so that they can feel better about things. If you’re worried about the potential sexual side effects mentioned earlier, then you’ll want to work with your doctor to find a good one that suits your needs. This can take time, and you might even have to try a few medications to see which ones cause side effects and which ones don’t.
Erectile dysfunction issues can be treated as well, and some of these problems might be side effects of certain medications. There are also various medications that you can take that are specifically meant for erectile dysfunction. If part of your depression has been caused by erectile issues, then it’ll be good to go over your options with your physician. You might need both erectile dysfunction treatments and antidepressants to get things where you need them to be.
Over time, most people are able to dial in their medications so that they can alleviate depression symptoms without having to deal with significant side effects. It can be annoying to have to go through the process of trial and error, but this is pretty standard with modern depression treatments. There are other types of treatment for depression that can help you out, too. Some people have a really good time when they go to therapy because they’re able to work through issues that are causing them to become depressed.
A therapist can help you to go over what is wrong in your life, and you can learn how to cope with depression better. Some therapists are also great at helping people to overcome fears and anxieties that are related to sex as well. If you’re going through a tough time because of depression and sex drive issues, then it’s going to be very helpful to have a skilled therapist on your side. You can work on getting better at your own pace, and you’ll feel like you’re able to reclaim control of your sex life once you get to a certain point.