Investigating the Relationship Between Sexual Dysfunction and Depression

Sexual Dysfunction

Having adequate sexual dysfunction is a crucial part of human relationships. It strengthens the bond between partners and even enhances the quality of life. This is why people with great sex lives are seen as happier, healthier individuals.

The brain is the most sensitive “sex organ” in the body. There are chemicals in our brains called neurotransmitters that help the brain cells communicate with one another. Our bodies react to what our brains tells us. This means that sexual desire starts in the brain. In other words, there is a link between sexual dysfunction and depression. When we are sexually aroused, our brain cells communicate with one another, stimulating blood flow to the sex organs. This makes us yearn for sexual pleasure.

But what happens when a person is depressed or is suffering from any mental problem?

Depression and Sexual Dysfunction

Studies show that depression, anxiety, stress, and fear, among other mental health issues, are known to affect male and female sexual functioning. In other words, depression has negative effects on a person’s ability to achieve sexual pleasure. To simply put it, there is an undeniable link between adequate sexual dysfunction and depression.

Depressive illnesses are more common in women than in men. This is why the negative effect of depression on sexual functioning has been extensively studied in women than in men. Although there have been patient reports and physician interviews that show the link between sexual dysfunction and depression in men, there has been limited data and lack of enough evidence. Nevertheless, sexual desire, interest, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction were all adversely affected by depression in both men and women. However, it was noted that the sexual functioning scores of depressed men were better than depressed women.

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According to the studies done over the years, neurotransmitters in our brains become out of balance when we are depressed. As a result, sexual interest or satisfaction may be low to nonexistent. Aside from that, low levels of such chemicals can dull pleasurable feelings, straining relationships even further. This suggests that people with depression will most likely experience sexual problems, providing evidence of the link between adequate sexual dysfunction and depression. The severity of which depends on the how depressed the person is. This means that those with severe depression will most likely suffer from sexual dysfunction.

Antidepressant Medicines and Sexual Dysfunction

People who have been diagnosed with clinical depression, the more-severe form of depression or also known as major depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), are prescribed with antidepressants. These medicines are highly effective in easing depression and its effects. However, many of these medications have undesirable effects on the patients, including sexual dysfunction. Research suggests that some antidepressants can make it difficult for men to get an erection. A lot of the men and women who have been taking antidepressants for quite some time are experiencing different sexual problems, including being unable to initiate or get aroused, fully participate in the act, and worst, enjoy sexual activities. These complications can seriously affect a person’s self-esteem, which, in turn, can adversely affect his or her recovery from depression because of the link between adequate sexual dysfunction and depression. This can result to patients being prescribed with higher doses of antidepressant drugs.

Managing and Treating Sexual Problems

If you’re suffering from depression, are taking antidepressants, and are experiencing sexual dysfunction because of it, you should consult your doctor on how to manage and treat such problem.

Fortunately, there is a way to manage and treat the sexual side effects of antidepressant drugs without affecting your treatment. One way to do that is to have your psychologist prescribe you medications that have lesser effects on sexual functioning. There are antidepressants that cause fewer to no sexual side effects. These include Serzone, Wellbutrin, and Remeron.

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Bottom Line

Everybody copes with problems differently. Sometimes, life can just be harder for some of us. This is why there are people who are diagnosed with major depressive disorder. There’s nothing to be ashamed. What’s important is that you get help immediately.

It’s important that you be honest with your doctor about these problems. There is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed because it’s not your fault that you are depressed. And if the antidepressants you are taking are causing you to become more depressed and are straining your relationship because of your inability to achieve or provide sexual pleasure, then all the more reason to consult your doctor about it. There is always a way to treat such medical problems, especially since there is a link between sexual dysfunction and depression. And if being honest with your doctor means being able to fully participate in sexual activities with your partner, then you should do it as soon as possible.

Additionally, you should also be brutally honest with your partner. You should talk to them about the link between sexual dysfunction and depression, and how it is affecting relationship and life in general. You should also tell them that you’re doing everything you can to ease the effects of such mental problem so you can be truly happy with yourself and with them.

Clinical depression and sexual dysfunction can be managed if you know the right way to do it. This is why you should see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms of such health problems so they can explain to you the link between sexual dysfunction and depression, and what you can do to stop it.