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Antidepressants and Sex

Hey Shay!
There’s a girl who I like, and who likes me (what can I say, the hard part is already over) and we would be sexual, except she takes an antidepressant which has eliminated her sexual response. While I know ultimately her switching medicines is the solution, I wanted to know does this generally numb the body, or is there a way with the proper care and attention that I could pleasure her here. Anyway, keep up the good work, and thank you in advance.

The thing is, a lot of drugs used for treating depression are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) [Low levels of the neurochemical serotonin in the brain is associated with depression; SSRI's will prevent the body from reabsorbing this chemical so quickly, which means that there's more of it hanging around to cheer you up.] Unfortunately increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain can also decrease the levels of dopamine and testosterone (the brain’s sexual pleasure and sexual desire chemicals).  This means that someone taking an SSRI drug for depression (or anxiety) may not only want sex less, but also enjoy sexual stimulation less.

In women especially, the mental part of sex plays a big role in sexual pleasure and enjoyment, so taking something that dulls your experience can really kill things in the bedroom. However, if she needs the antidepressants, well… she needs them, so a good option could be looking into having her psychiatrist prescribe something else that will still keep her mentally healthy but will allow for her to be sexually healthy as well (therapy can also play a key role in this area).

If she’s new to this particular medication, you could try waiting a little while; some people taking SSRI’s will find that their sexual desire does come back once their body has had some time to adjust to the drug.

She could also consider doing something called a “drug holiday”, where she stops taking her medication for a couple of days once in a while – but she would have to check with her doctor before trying something like this as it could be dangerous depending on the drug/dosage she’s on.

In the meantime, you can do other things to be physically close, and work towards more sexual fun: massages are a great way to be physically close and explore each-others’ bodies; also, showering and bathing together is another way to spend fun naked time together without putting to much sexual pressure on the situation (though if you end up getting a hand-job, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it? ^_~).

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8 comments to Antidepressants and Sex

  • Infinity_Zero

    Yeah I have read it

  • Infinity_Zero


  • Matt

    Definitely have her check with the doctor before doing anything, but while I was on antidepressants the drug holiday worked most of the time for me. Also, she could try switching or additionally taking Wellbutrin, that tends to counteract the sexual side effects of the drug. It can also make you kind of speedy though, I couldn’t take it as I wasn’t able to sleep on it.

  • Futanarikko

    It’s not like I’m against any medication but….I think depression can be treated with just the power of will.

    A friend of mine had to face the death of her father at a young age, and she didn’t even drink more alcohol to release her pain.

    Of course, we don’t know what’s the medical condition of the poster’s partner and Shay did a good job don’t going against the medical treatment (Just another reason she’s our Shay!).

    My point is, maybe if she stops taking medication and enjoy an active sexual life, that could improve her mood a lot.

    What could be more pleasurable than sex?


  • Matt

    “It’s not like I’m against any medication but….I think depression can be treated with just the power of will.”

    I don’t believe that medication is the only treatment for depression, or should ever be the only treatment someone gets, but having experienced clinical depression, there is no willpower strong enough to overcome what I experienced. In my case it just wasn’t going to happen, I could never feel anything other than depressed or distracted, no matter what was going on.

  • Mad

    Futanarikko: You’re just ignorant. You could as just well say most people don’t need safety bells, don’t need condoms etc. Do you really think that she has such a simplistic depression as given in your example? Depressions can and mostly are completely unreasonable from an outsider’s point of view. You seem to confuse “depression” with “not being happy or lucky”. Just look at the large number of famous, successful people who had everything most people can at best dream of and still committed suicide.

    Last but not least, being in love with someone can send your feelings on a rollercoast ride, especially the first months and also increase your fear of loss. So she probably won’t need anti-depressant DURING sex but how will she feel two hours later?

  • Shay

    Thanks for piping up Matt and Mad.
    I know you meant well Futan, but there’s a difference between feeling sad about something and being clinically depressed – also everyone is a little different and can be affected differently by what happens to them in life. When suffering from depression, some people just need some therapy, some people need therapy plus medication, and some people have chemical imbalances that can only be helped with medication.

  • Futanarikko

    Yeah, sorry. I didnt mean to sound that stupid or careless.

    That’s the reason I said “Of course, we don’t know what’s the medical condition of the poster’s partner”.

    Because there are depressions and depressions. If she’s well treated there’s no other way to go, really.

    I was just saying in case she was not THAT depressed.

    Ok, I can’t win them all :P

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