Does depression affect libido?

by Onyinye Ogbuka

Does depression affect libido?

Yes, depression affects libido but it is treatable.

Depression is a mood disorder that not only affects the sufferer but also affects those around the sufferer. Depression is linked to sex because the parts of the body that communicate information are the neurotransmitter. Whenever the brain speaks desire, the heart reacts by pumping blood so the needed area which creates an erection or vaginal lubrication. Depression creates hormonal imbalance and this interferes with the neurotransmitter that has to do with arousal and this can lead to a dry vagina or erectile dysfunction.

However, depression affecting libido is not as important as treating depression itself. This is because the low libido is not the problem but the depression itself. If left unchecked, it can lead to suicide and will have a negative effect on those that are around the depressed person. 

The following are ways by which depression leads to low libido

  • Ability to experience pleasure. 
  •  Low interest in activities 
  • Low energy levels
  • Mood swings. 
  • Low self-esteem

Ability to experience pleasure; due to the distress signals that the brain is sending to the heart, it is much more difficult for a depressed person to experience pleasure, especially the pleasure that comes from sex because there is the presence of hormonal imbalance.

Low interest in activities; A depressed person does not have the desire to join in activities or participate in them. They most likely want to be alone and be in the comfort of their home.

Low energy levels;a depressed person is always tired and has low energy levels because the part of the brain that makes them feel motivated is being blocked by the stress signals that are being sent to the heart. So a depressed person has difficulty taking on tasks or even doing them because they get tired at the thought of doing anything that looks like a task.

Depressed people experience mood swings; one minute, they’re happy and the other, they are sad. This makes it hard for someone to be around them because they are easily irritated and more likely to speak out in their irritation without minding the feelings of the person they are speaking to 

Low self-esteem; depressed people often have low self-esteem because they count their achievements as nothing or in most cases they believe that they are doing nothing even if they have the whole world. Depressed people are more prone to feeling like they have not achieved anything just because one or two things are not working out in their favour, they fail to take note of the things that they have been able to achieve.

Does antidepressants have effect on sexual libido?

For mild depression, the victim may not necessarily take anti-depressants. Their depression can be treated using simple talk therapy with a therapist. For severe or chronic or clinical depression, antidepressants and some other drugs are discharged to the sufferer. Some drugs asides from antidepressants affect sexual libido, some antidepressants do not affect sexual libido. However, the important thing is to ensure that depression is treated, the sexual libido can come afterwards.

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What do you do when you find out your anti-depressant is reducing or has reduced your libido? 

┬áIn light of this situation, it’s important that you communicate with your partner, and tell them the new update so that they don’t feel like you are not interested in them. Make them understand that it’s not your fault, it’s as a result of the antidepressants that you are taking. This will ensure that they do not have unnecessary feelings of not being wanted or not desirable or not attractive. Keeping them in the loop about the development will help them to be more understanding and to be more tolerant of your new situation.

Does depression kill your libido?

Yes it can, for mild depression, it can kill your libido but therapy will help. For chronic depression, it can kill your libido but recovery my be harder and much more slower.

How to recover your libido?

If it is depression related, see a therapist. If it is lifestyle-related, eat healthily, avoid junk food, exercise more, reduce stress, drink a lot of water and get adequate sleep.

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