Depression and Sex: The Vicious Cycle of Self-Loathing
Depression is a medical condition characterized by intense feelings of nothingness, sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness lasting for at least several months and interfering with an individual life. How depression and sex relate to each other is a complex web not clearly understood. Nevertheless, depression and sex have been a household phenomenon in recent years, a fascinating yet alarming detail. The WHO estimates that globally, about 350 million people suffer from depression. In America alone, more than 20 million people have depression.
Depression steals your right to be happy or to enjoy simple life pleasures like sex. It takes away your sex drive and after that desire to get intimate with anyone. Depression makes off your motivation to seek love and be loved in return. It depletes any desire or longing that you have ever had of being attractive or having people find you good looking and desirable. Sex, on the other hand, can flip the tables for you by acting as a buffer against depression and jars of nothingness.
Depression, Sex, and Women
According to Marianne Brandon, a sex therapist and clinical psychologist, depression in women causes:
- A reduced sex drive
- Impaired self-esteem
- Decreased energy and motivation
- Dissociation and desire to be alone
In one study, research verified that sex is a mood booster that can give your life the breakthrough from depression. In this study, researchers found that semen can in real sense help wade off depression. Beyond sperms, these scientists discovered that semen might have mood-boosting chemicals or hormones more especially for women.
In the research, women who had sex without condoms were less likely to get depression than those who used condoms. Even so, these scientists warned that women with or without depression should not dive into a crazy sex life without protection. Why? In many a time, unsafe, unprotected sex has been associated with negative self-esteem and other depressing conditions such as sexually transmitted infections and unwanted or unplanned pregnancies.
Depression, Sex, and Men
In the above study, a romp in the sack may also keep men upbeat as well. Even though having sex with or without protection hardly had no effect on their depressive conditions, men who had sex found themselves feeling better and much calmer than those who did not.
In men, depression is a whole different thing. Since depression is usually viewed as women problem, it becomes difficult for a person to recognize depression. Nevertheless, depression in man is often characterized by denial concealed in:
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities such as sex
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Reduced apathy
- Increased irritability, aggressiveness, and hostility
Which is Which?
Both men and women can benefit from the mood enhancing properties of orgasms and the emotional bond of an intimate relationship. Under that concept the question arises, since depression negatively impacts your sex drive, and lack of sex can also alleviate depression, are people not having sex depressed because of the thereof lack of sex or are these individuals not having sex thanks to depression? While the coin can flip and land on both sides, the two scenarios are a loop, one leading to the other but the vicious cycle of nothingness, a feeling far greater than sadness, is imminent.
Sex Drive and Depression Facts
The Social Life Survey and National Health indicate that approximately 43% women and 30% men in the general population complain about sex. In depressed individuals, these numbers rise to around 70-80%. Some estimates indicate that decreased libido occurs in 50%, (could be higher) in women with depression. Depression in extreme cases leads to hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
Where do you Start?
Despite the depression and sex sword cutting both ways, treating one can work in reducing the impact of the other. Treating depression should become a priority. Why? Dealing with depression can lead you to the perfect place, or near perfection. Depression often leads a person to dark places of self-loathing which is lethal and may result in personal injury or a mental breakdown from which recovery is quite hard. Depression also kicks loads of negativity into overdrive in that even when you are in love, and you are sure your partner loves you back, your brain does not just care. So instead of heading the asylum way let us choose to fight depression first and see how it impacts on our sex life.
Dealing with Depression
Talking to someone who has perfected the art of listening with passing judgment is walking free of depression. Therapy has been an effective treatment method for depressed individuals.
A therapist can recommend some antidepressant medications to help you fight depression. Usually, selective-serotonin-reuptake inhibitor is the first line of treatment when a patient has HSDD. At other times a combination of medications and psychotherapy is applied. However, research indicates that antidepressants can lead to reduced sexual desire.
Excessive fatigue and psychosocial stressors that work to increase the overdrive mentality, needs addressing through intensifying multifaceted approaches that do not negatively impact sexuality such as:
- Exercise to reduce stress
- Relying on social support
- Stress relieving diets
- Getting adequate sleep
- Good self-care
Some patients also seek alternative antidepressants medications that have fewer risks on sex. These holistic approaches use natural remedies that do not cause addiction and not habit forming to address depression by increasing the flow of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, melatonin, testosterone, and while at the same time reducing cortisol.
Another approach applied when dealing with depression is reducing caffeinated and alcoholic beverages uptake. Coffee is a depressant, but while there is no clear link, two things are for sure:
Caffeine can affect your sleep and thereby affect mood. Lack of sleep in most cases worsens depression. Caffeine also exacerbates anxiety. Even so, abruptly stopping the intake of caffeinated beverages can worsen depression until the body readjusts and recover from the sudden lack of stimulated adrenaline- that is how coffee keeps the body alert. That abrupt stop can also lead to increased fatigue-a libido killer, headaches, and irritability. Gradually reduce your caffeine intake to lessen these withdrawal side effects.
Alcohol affects the brain chemistry increasing the risk of depression and hangovers create a cycle of anxiety, guilt, and jittery. Life gets depressing when you consume too much alcohol. So if you are prone to drinking alcohol to drown your sorrows, you could be wiring your brain to depression. People with depression tend to drink too much while too many bottles can lead to depression. This coin too flips both ways.
Depression and sex are related even though the exact chemistry is largely unknown. Depression is real, and help is available. Do not suffer alone while millions of people out there are addressing depression and leading better lives. There is no quick-fix of treating your depression and sex issues, but you should fight to win regardless of how deep you are buried in the self-loathing and nothingness realm. Wake up.