It’s something that you will experience at some point in your life time, unfortunately there are others who have to live with this invisible monster, on a daily basis. But there is one thing that depression can hit hard on and that is a lack in your Libido.
I have suffered from this, many a time I didn’t entertain the presence of any kind of sexual contact. It’s hit and miss and can be one emotion and feeling that I really miss. Especially when my eyes see the delicious form of a male, wanting me but my brain kicks in and says “Jo, Jog the hell on!“.
Any form of mental illness can be debilitating on a level across the board but I want to talk about the lack of intimacy, on this part. It’s like a barrier is put up, you know you want it but you just can’t take it. loss of libido
There can be many reasons to this, be it the way you are feeling or the medications you have to take. I am being bold, with this post and will reveal a bit more about me, in the hopes that it gives my readers that are struggling with their love life, a way to boost their sex drive.
First off, you need to get down to the root of why you are feeling blue. If it is an ongoing issue, then I would suggest a medical profession is the road to take. CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) may help to unveil the causes of your distress and help you overcome your battles but of course, this is something that you would have to want to do. It’s not easy to discuss your inner-most intimate thoughts with a stranger, I know this first hand. But it really does help and seeing a therapist is confidential, whatever you tell them, can not be shared or repeated, due to patient confidentiality. Don’t think what you divulge isn’t worthy of their time, therapists have pretty much seen and heard everything.
You may need to discuss your medical options with your GP (general practitioner), who will establish if you would benefit from medication. Antidepressants get a bad name, some people label them as ‘looney pills’ but all they do is level the chemicals and hormones within a person’s body, which will help them get through life on a daily basis. I had to go through 4 different types of tablets, before I found the one that suited my body and needs and even then, I had to play about with the daily dose level, until I hit 40mg’s a day, which was to be the magic number.
For the record, I am not that looney, you won’t see me randomly ranting at 2pm in a high-street about numbers and alien abductions. 1) I am rubbish with maths and failed miserably in algebra 2) I already have a tin foil hat! On a serious note, I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2011, I had been misdiagnosed and passed from pillar to post for 5yrs, prior to that. I take 40mg’s of Citalopram a day, it helps me focus and get on with my day and yes, I am happy to stick with them, as it works for me.
Exercise is something that also can aid in fighting depression. Research shows that 20-30 minutes daily heart pumping activities, helps the mind and body. Get your heart rate beating, raise that pulse and get your blood pumping, which also helps release chemicals that enhance the mood. Go out for a casual walk, a bike ride or join a gym.
Look at your diet; do you live off of junk food, sugary and starchy foods? Then this could be something that is holding your body back. Cut out those ‘diet’ drinks, they aren’t particularly good for you, no matter what the TV ads say! If you like a can or two of coke, a day, limit yourself, a little of everything is good for you. Bread is a devil in disguise, it is known to retain water in your body, a lot of people have gluten and wheat allergies and don’t realize it. Try cutting bread, pasta and potatoes out of your diet for a week and see how you feel. This also goes for sweets and chocolates……yes you, you reading this! I know you have a secret stash of cheeky snacks in your cupboard. Try some superfoods that can help boost your libido, if you love honey have a read of our guide here.
Back to the sex drive issue, or lack of: Don’t feel like you have to sexually perform with your partner. If you are not feeling ‘up for it’, then so be it and your partner should respect that. Here’s a little insight for you too, not every one is having mind-blowing-earth trembling-sex, so don’t think you have to. We crave for human intimacy, whether it be verbal, touch or much more but expectations of sexual contact seems a lot higher and extreme, when your libido has packed in for a holiday.
Start off slow, if you are having trouble getting in the mood, take the stress out of it. Spend a night on the sofa with your partner, curl up and watch a film and chill out. A simple touch from him/her can go a long way. maybe suggest experimenting with some sex toys. Cuddle and allow your partner to run their fingers gently over your arms or skin that is showing. Touch can get out sexual enhancers buzzing and knowing that the end games doesn’t have to be sex, will help you relax. You can still have a great sex life without intercourse.
As a partner who is supporting someone with depression, try suggesting before bed, that you give them a back massage but with no intent but just to cuddle up and sleep, afterwards.
I have found that over the years, my ‘lady parts’ can become numb to being touched. Confiding in my female GP, it turns out that a side effect to taking antidepressants can be that of the clitoris being numb to sexual pleasure. Not to fear though, it can be a simple remedy, as simple as buying over the counter Estrogen creams but please do consult a medical professional, before doing this.
You could also try herbal remedies, I find that watermelon extract, really does help. It has natural antioxidants and is known to give the sex drive, a good old kick up the arse.
I have had moments of kissing and playing around with a partner and then, as soon as that zipper fly undoes, I end up rebounding off of him, like I had just witnessed the most outrageous thing in the world! It’s not disgust, it’s like my body is screaming ‘dudette, no, nope, noooo, this ain’t happening tonight!‘
There are ways and means to work around a loss of the libido, it may take time but I promise you will find it again. For me, I ventured into finding kinks and fetishes that I had previously thought about but never tried. Spanking is one of them, so when my sex drive takes a drive, a good old spanking or two, can help get me back in the mood. Communication is also a key point, especially if you have a partner. Tell them that you aren’t feeling in the mood, don’t push them away. Allow him/her to be there for you, to be your shoulder, plus it never hurt to have a sexy man run you a nice long hot bubble bath.
I am not a medical professional, I am just a woman who has experienced life at a different pace to others. To help me understand why minds act this way, I studied Psychology. I don’t have a chosen ‘area’ but I would like to think that I have helped myself understand why my brain functions certain ways.
All in all, don’t bottle up your emotions, let them flow out, talk to people or write down your feelings. Have a read of our sexual health blog. Not allowing your frustrations out, can cause us more stress, which is not needed.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure and not everything works for everyone but if you are on medication for depression, please do not stop taking it, without seeking medical advice. The brain is important for a person’s sexuality due to the chemistry, i creates ideas, feelings and pleasure. Getting out of your body’s funk can take time, there is no set limit. Our bodies heal with time and understanding and you may find that you have to reteach yourself certain things. I had to find my way around being aroused over time, when I went from a long dry patch. The male touch just didn’t do anything for me, so I explored and had my (then) partner experiment with feathers and other textures, that he would run over my naked body and you know what, it was fun and it worked!
But over all, don’t be hard on yourself, it’s not your fault. You are stronger than you realize x