Monday, 9 April 2018



One subject that very rarely seems to be covered when discussing depression is sex lives. Which is an enormous shame because most people's sex lives embody a large proportion of time. And also because, sadly, sex is still perceived as being a shameful subject, a taboo subject. Not to be discussed in public. Or even privately, sometimes. But it should be discussed. Because among depression symptoms, a lack of interest in sex is common, for obvious reasons. The other problem is a side effect of some antidepressants, which applies to someone I know, who's very kindly given permission for me to post details if it helps others.

Now I'll say the word that so many people whisper or giggle over: 'Orgasm.' *Shock, horror*! I shall now tell you about my friend's experience. Block your ears/cover your eyes if you're the slightest bit embarrassed about this. Alternatively read this because, if you're depressed, or taking medication, this may apply to you.

In the early years of her depression her medication helped enormously, and she had no trouble achieving pleasure. Something that's nice, and badly needed when you suffer from depression. Then, when she was prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for anxiety some years ago, this helped enormously. But, one of the side effects of the medication was problems with her sex life. Arousal down south didn't happen. Via research online - and thank goodness facts are available (but you do have to be careful what you take as gospel, because not all information is official) - she discovered that drug holidays cause the effect of the drug to ease off enough to achieve pleasure. She had one-day drug holidays and this worked. Of course, having the full support of partners, if you have one, makes a heck of a difference, because of course, this effects them too.

Then she was prescribed a Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine combination. After a period of around three years she felt so much better. And she could still achieve pleasure. Then, a few months ago, despite her drug holidays, she couldn't achieve it. Very frustrating, literally. She visited the doctor. This is known, as she suspected, as Anorgasmia, a sexual dysfunction. When she explained that she had achieved pleasure previously despite being on her medications, the doctor agreed that the problem was clearly not connected with the medication, but was 'all in her head', literally. Psychological. A bloody nuisance, because obviously she wasn't going to tweak her medication, because a) This had nothing to do with the medication because she'd been able to achieve pleasure even while on medication, using a day's drug holiday, and b) She feels so much better. So, in her case, it's pure psychology, and she's now trying to work her way through it, with support from her partner. Never give up, never surrender. Much research reveals that the chemical instrumental in producing sexual pleasure is Oxytocin, and the production of Oxytocin happens through closeness with your partner. Lots of cuddles and love.

One shouldn't just accept one's lot about this. Something must and should be done. There is so much information online (you do have to be wary of those unofficial reports by Tom, Dick and Harriet on this subject. Look at official medical sites), and much advice and information. Even sexual therapy is suggested. And why not, if it improves a part of your life that makes you feel so good?

So, if you're reading this and having problems in that department, please don't try to ignore it, because something could possibly be done about it.

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