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It goes back to the age old question of "Which came first?" The chicken or the egg? Those who struggle with depression and anxiety usually aren’t in the mood for sex. However, studies show that sex can be a most powerful antidepressant. Human nature is hardwired for connecting to others.
That brings us to an oddity in the world of medicine; depressed people have a lower sex drive, yet the antidepressants are known to reduce your sex drive even more - Could a suppressed sex drive actually increase depression by reducing the opportunity to connect with love-making? Then you have those who struggle with the extreme of manic-depression, now referred to as Bipolar Disorder. People who are diagnosed as being Bipolar can’t take antidepressants, at least not without another mood stabilizer. One of the symptoms of the manic phase of Bipolar Disorder is sexual promiscuity. That begs the question as to whether it is the disorder that makes them want to have more sex, or are they depressed and giving into their pleasures to increase their dopamine as a way to achieve balance (Unsuccessfully)?
Too Much Dopamine?
Everyone knows that low serotonin leads to depression and anxiety. Dopamine, on the other hand, is the pleasure transmitter - It's released when we accomplish a goal or engage in sexual connection. We become more energetic as our dopamine increases. However, sometimes people can get so much energy they lose touch with reality and become psychotic, as in cases of extreme Schizophrenia (Too much dopamine).
Given the link between the two neurotransmitters, if a person becomes sexually promiscuous when they are depressed, than maybe the underlying issue to their depression is loneliness. As we discussed earlier, people are hardwired for relationships with some being more intimate than others, so depression may be caused by a lack of connection with others.
Connecting With Others
But how do you connect with another human being when you are already at the stage where you struggle with depression and can’t perform adequately? For starters you will want to take note that sex is more than just a physical act. If all you have is a physical act, then it’s safe to say you are in lust and not love. Sex is so much more than just pleasure, it forms the foundation for a powerful emotional bond between two people that includes all forms of love-making and taking care of each other. This is why the Bible calls your life partner a help your husband or wife through both sickness and health. This is also why finding a partner for life should not be taken lightly, because you can’t just go around sleeping with anybody and everybody. Doing so makes for some serious emotional issues which can damage you for life.
It’s also safe to say that if you have a serious spiritual, emotional, and physical connection to another person, then your sex life (all aspects of it) will take care of itself. One married man said he was given a penny jar when he first got married. The man and his bride put a penny into it every time they had sexual intercourse during the first year. They took a penny out every year thereafter.
Do you get the picture? Newlyweds have less sex after the first year, perhaps because they have established a sustained emotional bond through the release of oxytocin during their first year of rabbit sex - Bond. Bond. Bond. Bond. This is what keeps married couples together. This may also explain why so many couples don’t last too long, because they were driven by lust and never developed a strong emotional connection - Their sexual passion was not linked with an intention to love and care for the other. Intention may impact whether the sexual act results in just the release of dopamine or also the release of oxytocin (the bonding hormone).
Build The Bond To Support Sexual Love
Have you ever heard another saying that “love conquers all”? The times when you feel the most depressed and anti-social may be the same time you need to be more involved in social interaction - How about them apples? You never know who you might meet, or even where you might meet them - Perhaps the times when you are depressed are the best times to connect. Take the time to get to know them and let love develop. The largest sex organ in the human body is not the male or female genitalia, it is the human brain. Therefore, to get the most out of sex with your partner should be creative in sharing your growing love for each other, which integrates all aspects of the brain - Thoughts, intentions, emotions, memories, etc. Not just a simple penis-vagina interaction that is exclusively focused upon pleasurable sensations. Link those pleasurable sensations with a mental image of why this person is meaningful to you and the reasons that you want to connect with this person in such a personal and meaningful way. Talk about your sexual fantasies and perhaps even do some role playing ; )
Sex can be therapeutic. This would mean it can have medicinal qualities. Some of those qualities are improved heart health, blood pressure, self-esteem, etc. In the 21st century where people are looking to nature to find cures for illnesses, sometimes the best thing you can do when you feel stressed out is to get some with the person you love. If you don’t have a partner then get out and meet someone - Build a loving connection. In fact, the simple act of connecting with people in general can be the best mood stabilizer.
Sexually Stimulating Foods
Speaking of natural health, there are a list of superfoods that you can eat which can be natural aphrodisiacs. The list isn’t exhaustive and includes avocados, chocolate (sexual chocolate), nuts (for your nuts if you’re a man), and strawberries which are connected to the goddess of love in Greek mythology. Her name was Venus. Oh and don’t forget chill peppers if you can handle spicy food. These are hot in more ways than one.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of having a loving sexual partner is knowing that they will always be there whether you are up or down and love you for who you are, no matter what. Sometimes that’s the best antidepressant one can take as prescribed on a daily basis.