Low libido depression

Low Sex Drive — Could It Be a Sign of Depression?

Low Sex Drive — Could It Be a Sign of Depression? | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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You’re busy, you’re tired, you’re stressed, and you’re definitely not in the mood. 

We all have days like this. And everyone finds themselves in a rut from time to time. These things pass. But for many women, a noticeably decreased sex drive that differs from their typical pattern can point to something more serious: major depressive disorder, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In fact, major depression is nearly twice as common in women as it is in men — as many as 21 percent of women will experience major depression at some point. And lack of libido can be a tipoff.

“Change in sex drive is a key symptom we look at when deciding if someone fits the diagnosis for major depressive episodes,” Payne says. “A primary symptom of depression is the inability to enjoy things you normally enjoy, like sex. People with depression also have decreased energy, feel badly about themselves and might view their partners through a negative filter, all of which impacts sex drive.”

Other symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, appetite or weight changes, decreased energy and trouble concentrating. Talk to a doctor if you have been experiencing these symptoms. Treatment can help you manage depression. 

A depression-related sexual slump is usually temporary. So if you’re dealing with depression, you don’t have to resign yourself to a sexless existence. 

Even if you’ve been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, it’s possible to maintain a healthy sex life. Payne offers several tips:

  • Get help for the depression. Payne recommends a combination of antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps treat depression by teaching people to recognize and reframe unhealthy thought patterns. Though this combination is very effective, it can take time to find the right balance, since some antidepressants can cause a reduced sex drive. “Your doctor might need to fiddle with finding the right medication for you. And they can take up to two months to work,” she says. Common antidepressant medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood) and bupropion, which affects neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in addition to serotonin.
  • Keep doing it. Even if sex is the last thing on your mind, it’s important to keep those flames burning. “Sometimes I write prescriptions for my patients that tell them to go home and have sex with their partner,” Payne says. “If you don’t do it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: You’ll do it less and less. Having sex increases the chances that you’ll return to a regular sex life once you feel better.” Plus, she says, intimacy might give you a mental break from the depression.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. There’s no “right” amount of sex. “Some 80-year-olds have sex multiple times per week. Some 20-somethings might have sex once a month,” she says. Do what feels right for you and your relationship.
  • Get buy-in from your partner. It can be difficult to recognize depression as a valid reason for decreased sex drive, Payne says, because mental illness is still stigmatized. It’s also invisible, unlike, say, a broken leg. “People don’t see depression as a serious illness,” she says. “I try to educate about how serious it is. I compare it to a medical illness, like diabetes. If your partner was having trouble sexually due to diabetes, you’d be understanding. Think about it from that perspective.”
  • Redefine intimacy. You don’t need a hot and steamy tangle in the sheets to reap the benefits of a close physical relationship. If you’re not up for going all the way — or even part of the way — simply holding hands, snuggling or laughing together is helpful.  

Sometimes the most important thing you can do is remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Depression affects every aspect of a person’s life, including sex,” says Payne. “But once a doctor figures out the right medication, most people get completely better.” 

#TomorrowsDiscoveries: A Different Approach to Treating Psychiatric Disorders | Atsushi Kamiya, M.D.

Dr. Atsushi Kamiya studies how genetic and environmental factors cause problems in brain function, using this knowledge to prevent and treat cognitive and mood disorders.


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SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

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    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
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    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

12 reasons why libido decreases

November 23, 2017



You can not only read this article, but also listen to it. If it's more convenient for you, turn on the podcast.

1. Stress

It doesn't matter where you got it: at work or in a relationship. Stress is stress, and it kills sexual desire. Often sex helps to relax, but for this you need to at least start. The way out is to learn to relax and somehow keep stress under control. There are a lot of methods and techniques for this, we also wrote about them. Try it and find the right one.

2. Problematic relationships

There are couples who fight, but not so many. Conflicts, swearing, fading of feelings, betrayal, misunderstandings - it is clear why in such an environment there is no time for sex. Sometimes it happens that the attraction to the partner disappears.

The solution to the problem is boring and lengthy. You need to honestly analyze the relationship and understand what is wrong. Maybe your partner has become unattractive to you, maybe you spend too little time together and don’t feel close, or maybe your partner is a manipulator and it’s better not to try to revive passion, but to end the relationship.

3. Alcohol

Yes, alcohol, if only a little, is a stimulant that sometimes helps to relax and puts you in the right mood. But any overkill can lead to a state of too drunk to fuck, and if you love alcohol faithfully, then soon you won’t want to love anyone else, because alcohol affects your health too badly. In addition, a drunk person can be disgusting and repulsive to a partner. There is only one way out - to know the measure, and if it doesn’t work out, then to be treated for addiction.

4. Lack of sleep

When you instantly close your eyes in bed, there is no time for sex. In fact, this is due to the fact that the need for sleep is more important for the body than sex, and the body first satisfies the most important needs.

The easiest thing is for those who do not sleep because of a large number of things: they need to prioritize, and if the sexual life is not in last place, then give up some load in favor of rest.

But sometimes lack of sleep is caused by insomnia or sleep apnea (for example, if you snore). Then you need to heal and get enough sleep.

5. Children

When a small child appears in a family, parents often have no time for sex, because everything comes at once: stress, lack of sleep, difficulties in new roles and relationships, constant interruptions due to children's crying. Fortunately, these are temporary difficulties, but still try to entrust the child to relatives or a nanny at least for a couple of hours a week in order to be just the two of you.

6. Medicines

Many medicines reduce sexual desire: these are blood pressure pills, antidepressants, some contraceptives. Feel free to tell your doctor about side effects so that you can find other drugs that do not destroy libido.

7. Low self-esteem

To want sex, sometimes you have to feel sexier. Dissatisfaction with your body can be so strong that you don’t want to show it to your partner, even if everything suits him. You need to work in two directions: eliminate those shortcomings that can be eliminated, and accept those that cannot be corrected. For the latter, you may need the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist - normal self-esteem is worth it.

8. Obesity

First, obesity is dangerous. Due to excess weight, problems with blood vessels, hormones appear, pressure rises and diseases of all organs and systems develop. In such conditions, the libido does not survive.

Secondly, obesity is often a reason for low self-esteem, which does not contribute to sexual desire.

If the weight has gone beyond healthy limits (or crept up to the edge of the permissible), then it's time to think about yourself first and get back in shape, and then the libido will return.

9. Erectile dysfunction

This is about men. Maybe you want to, but you can't. In this case, you need to go to the doctor and find out what is happening and whether any diseases are to blame for impotence, and then treat them.

10. Low testosterone

Testosterone production, like many other hormones, is associated with many factors, internal and external. We can influence some: change your diet or start exercising to increase testosterone levels. And you also need to remember that sex itself affects the level of this hormone, so if you have the opportunity to want, you need to want.

11. Depression

This is not the kind of “depression” that makes you want chocolate and mourn, but a clinically serious condition that needs to be treated, because reduced libido is far from the most unpleasant manifestation of this disease. Yes, antidepressants can also reduce sexual desire, but at least they can be selected and changed until there are those that work.

12. Menopause

Due to hormonal changes in the body, a woman sometimes loses desire, and sometimes there are unpleasant sensations during sex: dryness or even pain. This can be combated with the help of lubricants. The good news is that good sex continues after menopause.
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Reduced libido due to stress and depression: what to do?

No nothing strange in the fact that after years of relationship your passion fades, and you It’s not so often that you want to make love with your partner anymore. But if given the state lasts for a long time, you do not experience sexual attraction at all to either to her lover, to no one else, then this is already a problem, and her name is low libido. Scientists managed to find out that not the very absence of sexual desire harms a person, and its cause or effect is depression. Today we will learn how These two conditions are interconnected, and how to deal with them.

Contents of the article

  • 1 How depression is associated with low libido
  • 2 What is depression and why is it dangerous?
  • depression
  • 4 Treatment of low libido and depression

How depression is related to low libido

If depression is the cause of the decrease in libido, then you have a great chance of success in recovery, and you can return your sex life, extorting only your psychological state. A modern person throughout the day is faced with a sea of ​​​​problems and worries, all this accumulates, and over time it can manifest itself as depression. You don’t feel the world, you don’t want to do anything (just be sad and freak out), you can’t talk about sex, your partner may even start to annoy.

But when depression becomes a consequence of low libido, everything is more complicated here. First case, you need to contact a professional sex therapist who will identify causes of lack of sexual desire. In the future, you will have to take a course treatment, and only then begin to deal with the psychological aspect.

Depression against the background of sexual impotence is quite understandable. The man is ashamed of his state, and falls into a blues. And some women just don't talk to their spouse that they don’t want sex (otherwise they will find the one they want), and through force they are engaged love with him, not feeling anything pleasant, only disgust. That's depression not far away.

Both cases, doctors recommend couples one thing: do not be silent, talk about problems on work, in life, discuss it with your soul mate. If you understand that you low libido, tell your partner frankly about it, together you will achieve greater success in treatment than alone.

What is depression and why is it dangerous?

Why is it necessary to treat impotence and increase libido? Well, there is no sex, and it is not necessary - some will say. And the thing is that a person is arranged in such a way that he simply needs sexual intercourse, otherwise his health will begin to deteriorate, and you yourself will fall into depression without noticing it. Speaking about the psychological condition, which was called depression, it is also simply necessary to treat it. If there is no desire to have sex, it is worth considering that this is only the tip of the iceberg, the main problems associated with the disease lie much deeper. Let's talk about it.

At a depressed person seems to be lost in the world. He does not feel joy, nothing captivates, as if he does not see anyone around. Native people begin to move away, believing that you simply do not need them. Depression eases and then returns new strength, and its symptoms are as follows:

  • a feeling of sadness, uselessness;
  • poor sleep and appetite;
  • a sharp weight gain, or vice versa, its loss;
  • low energy;
  • weakness;
  • lack of concentration on work, deeds, even one's own thoughts.

One more symptom is lack of sexual desire. You may feel like you are just tired, no energy for it, sex in general can stop you from liking it.

Last a symptom of depression may not be a symptom, but a cause. pay attention to what came first - psychological discomfort or lack of sexual attraction!

Results of a study on the relationship between low libido and depressed

Approx. 40% of women have problems related to sexual desire. Surely the number more, doctors are sure that many ladies are simply embarrassed to talk about what they don’t want intimacy. And all these girls, in addition to low libido, suffer from depression!

Cause low libido and depression (which are interrelated, as we have already written) are problems in daily life, or a sudden change in life. For example, birth child, departure of an adult child from home, moving, divorce, new job, and so on - all this is stress, which can be followed by depression, and then low libido, or vice versa.

If If you are depressed, it does not mean that your libido has already decreased. Absence the desire to make love in a difficult psychological period is normal. By statistics, having cured depression, libido rises again. If the problem lies precisely in the fact that depression appeared against the background of low libido, then Don't worry, there are many treatment options available.

Treatment of low libido and depression

First Discuss issues with your partner. If you are suffering from depression or no longer feel the craving for intimacy, tell your loved one about it, no need hesitate! It is also recommended to undergo sex therapy together. If the doctor prescribe treatment, in any case, do not refuse it, believe me, everything will not go away.

Offered options for dealing with both problems: