By Dr. Hitesh Shah, Sexology
Depression, not unlike stress, is renowned for having an adverse effect on sexual libido both for men and women. The brain is the centre for experiencing and translating the feeling of pleasure and pain. With chronic depression, the sexual urge disappears along with the will to live, the will to be happy and the desire to anticipate sexual pleasure. This works in a vicious cycle until it affects your sexual performance, which in turn brings in feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. This is why a good sexual experience always puts you in a good mood, and why the corollary holds true. The two go hand in hand and one is necessary for the other.
This is not to undermine the psychologically grave problems of clinical depression that the middle-aged generation of today constantly grapples with. When you and your partner are depressed, it automatically brings forth relationship problems, which go on to project themselves on your sex lives. In addition to the psychological effects of depression on your sex life, any sort of anti-depressants that your therapist prescribes for alleviating depression have a damaging influence on your sexual libido. Men face early onsets of erectile dysfunction; while women find it difficult to ejaculate as the entire exercise for them becomes a mechanical ordeal. It is important primarily, to cure the depression first. In most cases, it is evidenced that the problems related to sex life go away with the disappearance of depression.
The biggest obstacle to overcome is breaking the pattern you have established for yourself to cope with your depression and crippling anxiety that comes with it. Talking to your partner about the precise problems you face, experimenting with him/her to find new ways of enjoying sex, and giving foreplay some priority can bring about changes in your sex life.