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Suffering from chronic depression can affect all areas of your life.Even sex. Especially sex. People with chronic depression can feel a lack of sexual interest, take a longer time than usual to orgasm, and find sex not enjoyable anymore. But, sex can help your depression. It can be a mood booster and it's obviously an important ingredient to your relationship. Depression is the top cause of disability in the U.S. for people aged 15-44, and the sexual problems associated with depression are felt equally between both men and women. However, there is hope. Yes - It's possible to have a great sex life and treat your chronic depression at the same time.
Because we are all unique, there are many different ways to deal with depression, and not every method is for everyone. However, by trying different strategies you may find the right approach for you. With depression, you can be stuck in painful moments and focused on your pain. However, with the right medications you may be able to free yourself from your pain and learn to begin enjoying your body's natural feelings of arousal and anticipation.
Many experts recommend that you never stop your depression treatment because you feel that your sex life and your relationship may suffer. Many antidepressants can affect sex drive, but remember to work with your doctor and don't discontinue your antidepressant medication suddenly and without expert guidance. It's possible that some side effects can be related to the prescribed dosage, so perhaps a lower dosage can treat your depression and allow your sex drive to return - Experiment. Obviously, do not adjust your dosage yourself, and always work with your doctor. For some people it can take several months to enjoy sex again after using anti-depressants.
Meanwhile, there are also natural remedies that don't affect your interest in sex such as St. John's wort. St. John’s wort is an herbal remedy, which has also been studied as a treatment for mild to moderate depression. A recent study showed that it helped patients’ depression without curbing sex drive, but many experts say antidepressant drugs are the best way to manage chronic depression. St. John's wort can have dangerous drug interactions with some antidepressants, so do not take St. John's wort or any other herbal remedy unless you have spoken with your doctor.You should also be aware that unlike prescription drugs, the FDA doesn't require safety and efficacy tests of herbal products and supplements, so take that into consideration as well.
Medications may not be enough. Generally, talking helps. Working with your partner can be instrumental in breaking the pattern of feeling about yourself in a certain way for a long time. Talking can not only spark new and fun ways to experience sex, but, it can also strengthen a strained relationship.
Most importantly, do not always look too the media or society to see how sex should be enjoyed or how often you have it. The right answer lies between you and your partner. What we need to remember is that most of our decisions, beliefs, and values, are based upon a combination of what we know for a fact, our assumptions, and our experiences. Furthermore, don't forget that according to scientists, both men and women have the same level of sex drive on average, but one of us are alike in when we want to have sex or how often. Some want more sex and some want less. It is television, movies, magazines, and society in general, that presents us with a false definition of who we are supposed to be and when we should have sex.
Chronic depression can interfere with your sex drive, and your partner needs to remember that you may feel physically unattractive and sexually undesirable when you are feeling depressed. Perhaps you feel vulnerable and fragile and feel that you can’t handle intimacy when your partner is ready to connect and everything just seems too difficult. Sometimes you may simply want to be left alone and not touched. The solution is finding balance, and that's not an easy task. However, the correct medications, correct dosage, and honest dialog with your partner can help tremendously.
Speak openly with your doctor and your partner about any sexual issues you are experiencing, and remember to be gentle with yourself. Start outside the bedroom and move into the connection slowly. Just a little bit of preparation can produce great results. There is no rush. Start slow and then see where things lead. It may take a while. Be patient with yourself and let things progress naturally. Remember that romance, physical connection, and even playfulness, are very important to a relationship, and incorporating these behaviors into your sex-life may lead to a stronger sexual relationship as well!
- Jeff Stein
Chronic depression will affect your sex life, not might, maybe or perhaps. However, that fact does not have to be debilitating or create further depression. One or both partners of a couple could suffer from chronic depression, and it is the top disability of both men and women during the most sexually active years of their lives. However, it should never be the case that chronic depression is allowed to completely destroy the sex life of couples when one or both are sufferers.
Sexual intimacy is the most important aspect of bond building in relationships, and it's the defining characteristic that distinguishes the love of a couple from the love of a friend. Howevver one cannot define sexual intimacy as sexual intercourse alone, and it must me all inclusive of intimate behaviors. Hugging or embracing, hand-holding, patting, putting an arm around your partner, sitting or lying close to your partner, generally being in close proximity, and certainly kissing and intimately touching any and all parts of the body with approval would fall under the definition of sexual intimacy. Society, through movies, television, and written material, has emphasized sexual intercourse as the only example of intimacy, but this is of course not the only way.
Sexual activity may never be able to cure depression alone, and the combination of medical, family, and relationship support will continue to be the best practice in fighting the challenges of chronic depression. However, the importance of physical intimacy in relationships cannot be under valued as an important part of the healing process. Sex must happen!
Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2014, from http://www.m.webmd.com/depression/features/depression-and-sex?page=5
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