• Sex and Depression

    1296841202
    xxxxchelzsxxxx [sign in to see picture]
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    As i have recently been told i have postnatal depression, lifes been a tough battle! But whats taken the biggest hit is my sex life! I have had this 'illness' for two years, living with it has been tough, but admitting it hard. Looking back over the last two years alot now makes sense! One of the most dramatic changes is my sex life. It went from id say normal to nothing, then to very eratic! Sex was all i could think about, all day everyday! Then it took a nose dive again to nothing... I was wondering if anyone else out there who is/has suffered with this tough thing found it affects there sex life so dramatically?

    1296841961
    Yoko [sign in to see picture]
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    Not with depression but I've had CFS for 7 years. My energy fluctuates from being manageable (meaning I can just about function) to being bed-bound for long periods so its played havoc with every aspect of my life, including my/our sex life.

    I hated feeling like that and I was worried about the toll it would take on our relationship, so there were times when I'd have sex but really, it was just to keep him ticking over. I would orgasm, but I never felt any interest or desire in sex which was horrible. Its such a dead feeling.

    In the last few months my sex drive has improved dramatically (thankfully!), to the point where I'm thinking about it every day which is more like it was when I was healthy. Talk about feast to famine!!

    I sympathise with you; its no fun. Could it be that in your case its hormones readjusting after giving birth/weaning (you've mentioned PND but I dont know how old your child is)?

    Are there meds which might help?

    1296842076
    Carousel [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi Chelz,

    I can sympathise as I was being treated for depression for several years and not only does the actual mental side of things cause chaos, the medication really didn't help my sex life at all. Initially I found a complete loss of interest in sex, then I realised I was depriving my Husband and turning down his advances, so made a conscious effort to 'go with it' and follow his lead, even if I wasn't in the mood. This only made things worse because mid-sesh I would get all tearful and we'd not finish and then this caused me to get very frustrated, and my Husband began feeling rejected. We agreed to leave all things sex-related alone for a bit and focus on intamacy with no pressure for anything else. I don't know if it was this decision alone, or it combined with councelling/change in meds etc which co-insided with the decision to put sex to one side, but eventually I got things back on track. So much so, my sex-drive began to out-do my Husbands and that caused it's own problems! It was a sex-drive rollercoaster for both of us, and unfortunately, when I was dipping, he was peaking, and vice versa...

    The only thing that really saved us was being really frank and honest about exactly what we wanted, when we wanted it, and how we were feeling... We realised that a lot of the time we were assuming how the other was feeling - "she looks sad tonight, so I won't make a move" "we've not had sex in ... days, so I best do something" - and as soon as we gave each other regular updates on our mood in general and how we felt sexually, things really improved.

    So long as you keep talking, things should work themselves out, even if it's a slow process, which it may well be. There are some excelled support/advice groups, though we did not use them in the end.

    We found LoveHoney about 2.5 years ago and it's allowed us to become more playful about sex and that's certainly improved things...

    Hope things improve for you soon - you will get there in the end :-)

    MrsP x

    1296843031
    Carousel [sign in to see picture]
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    I've just re-read my post and don't think I was clear about the point I was trying to make!

    My advice for an erratic sex drive would be to just tell your man how you're feeling - whether it's low or high and keep him aware of this, because he may otherwise guess and could guess incorrectly - this was the problem we were having before we started properly discussing the issue.

    And, accepting the depression will help along with both of you accepting that there may/will be days when you won't feel like sex and days when you will want it ten times a day!

    There are days when I actually feel embarrassed about the amount I want it, but equally there are days when I cannot even manage a smile - both are understandable and eventually you'll find a 'norm' that suits you both...

    MrsP x

    1296843306
    Lady-J [sign in to see picture]
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    hiya hun.

    i know what your going through, i had postnatal depression after having my son 7 years ago, at first i didnt notice it but paul did so he had to take me doctors and i had to have a long chat on how i was feeling and stuff, so they put me on some meds to help me, after a few years of having it i got hell of alot worse so i had to go back to my doctors and had another long chat, so in the end they told me its now depression and gave me different meds. i will be honest my sex drive went completley for till now, im still on meds and have to be on them long term, i now have to counceilor too. i will also admit that last year my depression hit rock bottom and i ended up self harming, i had to get help with that too and it will be a year soon that i havent done it so i am really pleased for myself .

    it takes time but u will get there.if u ever need a chat about it im always here

    ps paul says hi and he will catch up with u soon xxxxxxx

    1296843350
    xxxxchelzsxxxx [sign in to see picture]
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    Thanks MrsP! i never thought it would make as much difference to my life as it has! As having recently found out, im very insecure and i feel i need it, to feel close to him again, to feel like im not loosing myself!

    It really is a true battle and im very interested to hear other peoples experiances!

    Thankyou so much, nice to no im not completly mad! x

    1296843488
    xxxxchelzsxxxx [sign in to see picture]
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    Thankyou lady-J I feel that chat coming along very soon :)

    xxx

    p.s hi paul! x

    1296843624
    Lady-J [sign in to see picture]
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    cool. all i can say is i know what your going through coz ive been/still going through it

    keep ya chin and everything will be ok xxxxx

    1296843724
    paradise found [sign in to see picture]
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    I can empathise with both depression and CFS (there seems to be quite a few people here with CFS) and, of course, there is a link between the two.

    Yours in Post-Natal though so nothing to do with CFS. Don't be afraid of taking anti-depressants because they really do help, although sometimes the medication itself affects libido or ability to orgasm. I think it's a good idea to take the medication at least until you begin to feel better and the very fact that you feel better should kick start your sex drive again.

    My CFS was menopause induced and seven years on I'm beginning to feel somewhere towards normal again but still have a lot of pain

    1296844023
    Carousel [sign in to see picture]
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    xxxxchelzsxxxx wrote:

    im very insecure and i feel i need it, to feel close to him again, to feel like im not loosing myself!

    The one thing you shouldn't do is have sex because you feel you should - it's okay to not want it for a while, so long as you realise this and are working towards getting things back to your 'norm'.

    Don't forget there are loads of things you can do to feel close together and things you can do to make yourself feel sexy and like a sexual being. Focus on intamacy.

    Some of the things we did and still do are: Sharing baths together and talking, making sure you wear lovely (doesn't have to be sexy as such) underwear, even if no one see's it but you - it'll help you to feel good about yourself, spoil yourself, spoil your Husband, cook special meals together and make time for yourselves, take him out on a date! I hope my suggestions don't come across as silly or patronising, but these things (amoungst many others) helped to keep our relationship on track whilst we were working on sex-related issues. They should also help you to feel happy and positive, but don't beat yourself up if you have down days too. The aim is to make the good days outweigh the bad.

    1296844057
    OperationFilth [sign in to see picture]
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    The big thing in this (I think) is that everyone is different, and everyones' depression is different.

    I have suffered to varying degrees for about 10 years now. I have a low level, constant kind of depression, with periods of Major thrown in on top. Then there's the severe anxiety on top. (Sheesh!) - These days I'm properly medicated and as the running theory for me is that mine is very much chemical, it's working amazingly well. For me, my sex drive never went. I discovered my sexuality more and more in the same time I've been a depressive, so maybe that's why. I did find though that when I first started on ADs, I found it harder to reach orgasm, but it wasn't anything a little tracy cox orgasm gel didn't sort ;)

    As I say though, it's different for everyone - my partner finally admitted in the past week that he isn't coping anymore and needs help with his (suspected, also long term) depression. For him, since the current major flare up (months and months now), he's had pretty much zero sex drive. It's hard on both of us at times, but it comes with the territory. I'm bloody proud of him right now though, as he's got a docs appointment for next week.

    Give it time, and if you find you're struggling with it, don't be afraid to raise it with your doctor, as they may be able to look at possible solutions.

    Best of luck chick x

    1296845634
    GTSH [sign in to see picture]
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    Ive no experience with these things just like to wish you well

    1296849522
    xxxxchelzsxxxx [sign in to see picture]
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    Yoko my child is two so i have been suffering for years just didnt want to admit it really! Also i have been on AD's now for a week.... I no it all takes time, the waiting is just no fun :(

    MrsP Your not being patronizing at all lovely! its very helpful... I guess i now want to have sex to feel alive again? but he hasnt come near me as he knows i am depressed and worries i will shun the advances! But all i want is for him to come to me! Even if it is just for a cuddle, kiss or chat!

    I am finding it hard to cope with it, as when his needs come into it and im just not in the mood (for LONG periods of time) i feel sometimes i should so he doesnt feel unwanted....

    But then i feel like right now i dont know myself anymore as ive been living like this for two years! So when we do have sex when i really do want to i get overly emotional!

    xxxxx

    1296850072
    sweetlove666 [sign in to see picture]
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    can i just ask something of those who have CFS?

    have you tried the low level antidepressants that can help people? if so did it reduce your sex drive

    it's something im considering discussing with my doctor ( as the meds have helped my sister) but i want to know more about the side effects before i try em.

    1296853348
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    sweetlove666 wrote:

    can i just ask something of those who have CFS?

    have you tried the low level antidepressants that can help people? if so did it reduce your sex drive

    it's something im considering discussing with my doctor ( as the meds have helped my sister) but i want to know more about the side effects before i try em.

    Which type?

    I take TCAs for my joints - though they're to treat the pain more than the fatigue. They do help me sleep though.

    If it's tricyclic antiDs you're talking of then I find my pill plays more havoc with my drive than the tablets. Though I only need a very low dose.

    I will also warn, start them at a time when you can have a week in bed - they were hell for the first few days for me, completely wiped me out until I got used to them and I still have to take them 12 hours before I need to wake up otherwise I'm like the living dead the following morning. And I don't need that on top of the fatigue I already have!

    As for the depression - I really can't help Chelz but maybe you should speak to your doctor? You could see about referal to a sex therapist? They might have some tips on how to feel more positive and deal better with regards to depression :)

    All the best

    Adxx

    1296854090
    paradise found [sign in to see picture]
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    sweetlove666 wrote:

    can i just ask something of those who have CFS?

    have you tried the low level antidepressants that can help people? if so did it reduce your sex drive

    it's something im considering discussing with my doctor ( as the meds have helped my sister) but i want to know more about the side effects before i try em.

    I did, when I was first diagnosed my doctor started me on 25mcg amitrypteline (sp?). My body got used to it quickly so it was increased to 50, then 75, then 100, finally ended up on 125 which is not low dose but a proper anti depressant dose so I chose to stop taking it. I take pain meds now

    1296855139
    chipNroll [sign in to see picture]
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    I've had/have regular depression but it's hard to say the effect it has on my sex drive when it's not something that's come on suddenly. I've had it on varying levels, on and off, since my late teens and before that point I was just a hormonal teen so its hard to know for sure what my 'normal' sex drive is. It does tend to be quite erratic though- constantly horny one week and not bothered at all the next. Plus depression is closely linked to feelings of self-worth so when I'm feeling depressed my confidence drops even lower and that can effect sex life for obvious reasons too.

    I don't take medication though so I can't comment how that influences things.

    1296856682
    sexy little minx [sign in to see picture]
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    Chelzs firstly *massive hugs* and secondly well done for going to the doctors and getting help.

    I suffered really badly with PND so know exactly how you are feeling. It's not an easy thing to admit when you are suffering but by admitting it you are on the right road. I found that I had to try several different meds before I found one that worked for me, had a few relapses too but got there in the end. I found CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) really helped me too. As for sex I thought I'd died down there, wasn't interested at all.

    Has your doctor suggested keeping a diary? Good things to keep in it, moods, daily goals and if you managed to do them. Start off with small things and work your way up.

    You WILL get throught it but it just takes time.

    If you ever want a chat I'm here, even if it's just someone to rant to. Will put my email in my profile and if you want you can get me if I'm not on here.

    *more hugs*

    1296861308
    OperationFilth [sign in to see picture]
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    As for the ADs, it took a few weeks and an upping of my dosage to get me to the right level, but we got there. The nausea (on my ones) for the first week was the worst thing, but it did go, and now I don't get it at all :)

    1296861718
    maccess [sign in to see picture]
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    xxxxchelzsxxxx wrote:

    As i have recently been told i have postnatal depression, lifes been a tough battle! But whats taken the biggest hit is my sex life! I have had this 'illness' for two years, living with it has been tough, but admitting it hard. Looking back over the last two years alot now makes sense! One of the most dramatic changes is my sex life. It went from id say normal to nothing, then to very eratic! Sex was all i could think about, all day everyday! Then it took a nose dive again to nothing... I was wondering if anyone else out there who is/has suffered with this tough thing found it affects there sex life so dramatically?

    this must be very difficult, post natal depression does some very strange things - try hypnosis it may be able to help

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