Low Libido from Antidepressants

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
Misslowlibido
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Low Libido from Antidepressants

Unread postby Misslowlibido » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:10 am

Hi! I’m very new to this so I’m sorry if I do something wrong in this post. I just need help. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two and a half years now and we used to have sex all the time in the beginning and I was also very sexually active in high school. However, sometime in the first year I got out on an antidepressant for my depression and anxiety and it completely destroyed any kind of sexual desire I’ve ever had. I went from loving sex and wanting it all the time to not wanting to hear about it, talk about it, or think about it. I don’t even really get turned on by porn, which trust me, we’ve tried. I feel like it’s starting to weigh on him because we’ve only had sex a handful of times in the past year and a half. Is there anything else I can do? (Btw switching medications didn’t work either, the side effect stuck). Please help!

Gone.Sorry.
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Re: Low Libido from Antidepressants

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:06 am

For clarification: does your low libido bother you personally or is it more that it bothers your boyfriend/you are bothered about how you perceive this must be impacting your boyfriend?

Heather
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Re: Low Libido from Antidepressants

Unread postby Heather » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:21 am

Can I check in with you that when you talked to your prescribing physician, you expressly told them you thought you were having sexual side effects, and so asked for a change in meds to try and ditch that side effect? Do you otherwise feel better with your meds, separate from this?

Also, can I get a sense of if you're sure this is about the meds? One reason I ask that is that it's very common for sexual relationships to involve more -- and sometimes way more -- sex at the start of them than there will be once people settle into them, especially after about six months or so.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Misslowlibido
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My Awesomeness Quotient: I really like my hair
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My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: Illinois

Re: Low Libido from Antidepressants

Unread postby Misslowlibido » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:16 pm

To clarify, it does bother me as well as my boyfriend. I want to be able to do stuff with him again and I honestly think it bothers me a little more than him. And we’re pretty sure the medication is what caused this as when I started them we were still very sexually active and it completely 180’d in the week I started the meds. Also, I talked to my psychiatrist about it and he essentially told me to suck it up and that I would have to just figure out how to make myself do it. Needless to say I’ve left that provider and am currently looking for someone new. I just want to want sex again, but even thinking about having sex with someone else (I mean even a hot actor or something) sounds extremely unappealing. Do I just have to accept I can’t really enjoy sex like I used to?

Heather
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Location: Chicago

Re: Low Libido from Antidepressants

Unread postby Heather » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:32 pm

I'm so mortified by what that psychiatrist said, I'm earnestly speechless. I'm so glad you left them, but I am horrified and so sorry that was said to you, and in that vulnerable environment. That's horrible. If you want to talk more about it, we can.

I don't think you have to accept that, no.

First, I'd find a new provider, make clear you're having sexual side effects and what kind specifically (like, you're saying low desire, but if you also are experiencing things like sexual repulsion, or difficulty getting aroused or reaching orgasm -- if you didn't have those before -- or other things, be sure and tell them). Then a good one will take what you have said into account, and will usually choose a different kind that are either known not to have those effects or to counteract them, etc. I'd say your first step is seeing if an educated change to a different medication helps. It very likely might.

I'm still not 100% it's the meds, or not completely anyway, if for no other reason than that these kinds of meds rarely work that fast, but instead usually take weeks or even months for people to really feel effects. From the sounds of the timing, I do suspect that at least some of this might have been the way things were moving without the meds.

In that case, supposing that different meds help but don't 100% change the situation, then there are a few possibilities:
• if the relationship is feeling off or maybe needs some sexual readjusting (sometimes people who have been together this long just don't feel as sparky in this department as they did before) or shifting, then you can think about and, if you choose, work together on that.
• maybe you're just in an ebb when it comes to your desire, period, or in this relationship specifically: that can happen, and sometimes we just need to ride it out and let our body or mind take the break it feels like they want, even if we don't understand why or like it. It's normal for that to happen sometimes: most people aren't always feeling a lot of or frequent sexual desire, but instead ebb and flow.
• it might be that you, all by yourself, and your sexuality need to work through something or maybe start exploring some new things.

There are more maybes than that, but does any of that sound like a fit for you, and do you feel okay about starting with a try for different meds from a healthcare provider who isn't a freaking horror movie? :(
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Gone.Sorry.
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Re: Low Libido from Antidepressants

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:11 pm

Sorry for bumping this after no response for a week, but I've been mulling over your question and something occurred to me earlier today! Firstly: Heather's response is honestly so excellent, I second everything they said.

Now. The only thing I want to add is... how much have you and your boyfriend focused on nonsexual forms of intimacy? I know it's not the same when you want that sexual activity back, but specifically exploring other forms of intimacy doesn't mean giving up on sex: it just means finding a way to continue to connect with each other while sex isn't desirable (ways that can also benefit you if your sex drive does come back), which might also help take the pressure off of the current state of your sex drive.

Intimacy can be as nonphysical as things like sharing secrets under the stars, staring into each other's eyes while you discuss your fears and goals for the future, or sitting complete darkness under a blanket fort you built together and sharing stories of your past that you haven't told yet, writing each other handwritten notes, learning a new language or musical instrument or other skill together, getting manicures/pedicures together, getting out and cloud watching, reading a book out loud together, etc.
It can also be physical but nonsexual in many ways besides sex, such as setting aside time to take a long bath with each other with candles and bath salts, sitting naked with each other and complimenting each other's bodies, cuddling naked while admitting your insecurities about your body, massages (with oils and lotion and soothing music!), doing (naked) couples yoga (at home) or trying another new exercise together, washing each other in the shower, drawing on each other's body with safe materials, dancing/learning to dance together, going on a walk and holding hands, shaving each other or styling/caring for each other's hair, etc.

Making sure to set aside time to just be together (do something new you haven't tried yet!) can help you feel closer. It could relax things in the relationship and have an added bonus of taking the pressure off sex, which you might even discover more naturally makes sex seem more appealing than spending so much of your time trying to force your sex drive to be the same as it used to be.


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