How Depression Affects You and Sex

Depression can affect all parts of a person's life. It’s challenging, and can even be the reason why lives are ruined. However, one area in which depression can have a major impact is sex. Not many people know this, and it's something that has to be carefully managed. If depression is allowed to damage a sexual relationship, it can make depression even more damaging. 


There are certain events in a woman's life that can lead to them experiencing symptoms of depression. After childbirth, for example, a woman is more vulnerable to depression. What used to be called the ‘baby blues’ is more likely now to be called postpartum depression. In addition to this problem, a woman may feel less worthy or valued as a partner. This can lead to a deepening depression and a direct impact on the sexlife she has with her partner.

With depression, it’s important to remember that a person’s sex drive is very much driven by the brain. It sends messages to organs via neurotransmitters, and that’s why there could be a problem with sex. The neurotransmitters in a person's brain just aren’t firing up quickly enough to allow for blood to flow to organs and send that message that you are meant to be aroused. Depression scuppers the whole process to a great degree, hence so many people with depression claiming they have a lower sex drive.

Antidepressants are the medication that is now commonly prescribed for people who suffer from depression. However, they can have a direct and alarming impact on how you enjoy sex. Antidepressants have been shown to impair the patient’s ability to initiate a sexual act. 

In men the end result of having antidepressants in your body can mean that you find it hard to gain and maintain an erection. And if the problem is serious enough, this can also lead to an inability to ejaculate. This is obviously a major problem that can affect partners as well as the patient.

So what next?

If you have depression and you are taking antidepressants,and if you experience symptoms of sexual health problems, your first port of call is your doctor. They will be able to try and identify the exact cause of the sexual health issues, and therefore prescribe treatment. 

Once the doctor knows that you have issues with sexual health, and your own mental health is a factor, they could do a number of things to try and solve the problem. They might well look at the antidepressants you are using and identify the problem as being with them. Or they may try to look at different therapies around depression that should help you reduce the symptoms.

Looking deeper into the issue, some doctors may prescribe a sexual function medication, such as Viagra. They may also suggest a frank and open discussion between you and your partner so that the problem can be talked about and understood.

In some cases, doctors advise that those who suffer from depression and use antidepressants only take the medication after sex.

If there are issues such as these in your life, the best advice is to seek the help of a doctor.