Medication and sex

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Medication and sex

LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
I took a SSRI for about 18 months during a particularly harsh period in my life. It was a hard choice to make because I had such a dim view of being on medication for depression and other mental health issues.

One of the reasons I was "anti-meds" was because of the effect many meds have on sex drive. And the medication I took was no exception. I suffered through, however, and when I stopped taking the medication, I, thankfully, got my sex drive back. But, I know it was an easier choice for me, because my time on these meds was temporary.

Not everybody is so lucky, especially those who need to take meds for life, to control chronic mental health issues. Many choose to stop taking medication as the author of this article did, with varying results.

What do you do when you have to choose between mental health and sexual health?
02/22/2010
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sweetnesswithsomeheat sweetnesswithsomeheat
It was very hard but I talked with my partner and explain some of the things that could happen and we work it out.
03/10/2010
Sir Sir
I choose mental health, even though sex is a part of that. The two affect each other greatly, so if one is out of balance for me, so is the other. I can generally deal without sex for a while, even though I do have a high sex drive. What I cannot deal with is my mental health, I tend to get aggravated very easily and let things pile up inside me. This affects my sex drive because it makes me not really interested in doing anything at all in terms of sex. But my sex drive does not really affect my mental health. So for me, mental health is more important. I'd say the same for any partner. I'd rather them be happy and get better than please my sexual appetite.
03/10/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
We chose to be med free (my partner is bipolar) but, luckily, we had that choice. My psych background and his dislike of medications means we've worked together, long and hard, and often have to make allowances and be really analytical about why he's doing things he's doing. I also have to have a tough skin sometimes.

If he ever got to the point, however, where meds were necessary? I think we'd choose them over the horror that bipolar can be. Him happy, healthy and fairly sane is way more important than constant sex.
03/10/2010
seaofneptune seaofneptune
I've recently been suffering from anxiety issues and many doctors first response was to try to prescribe an anti-depressant to me. I never have been someone to take medication that could be mind altering, so I said no. I have suffered from 2 bad anxiety attacks because of it - but I said no because I feel that it will be something I can eventually conquer instead of having to take medication for the rest of my life. I love my sex life with my partner and unfortunately suffering from anxiety makes my sex drive low enough so I'd hate to make it worse by taking a medication. I would refuse to take it but if it was a must, I am sure my partner would talk me into it.
03/10/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I took a SSRI for about 18 months during a particularly harsh period in my life. It was a hard choice to make because I had such a dim view of being on medication for depression and other mental health issues.

One of the reasons I was ...
I chose to suffer through the depression and stop the meds when I realized that I couldn't function on them. I felt wildly out of control and the sexual side effects, while seemingly of no consequence to my Dr. were hell for me. I couldn't achieve release and I went around hopped up like a damn junky trying to get that release! This wasn't "mild" or acceptable to me. I caught myself actually trying to seduce a young pizza delivery guy...that's when I put a stop to the medication. It's rough but I have learned my cycles and my guys are aware of them and we work with them as much as we can. Over time the lows have become more manageable as we learned that, for me, raising the levels of oxytocin can almost eliminate the "end of the world scenerio" feelings the depression causes. I got into massage and it really helps me to balance my emotions naturally.
I thanks the Gods that I don't have manic depression, which runs heavily in my family...that would be so much harder to manage without drug therapy.
03/10/2010
Zoeyjane Zoeyjane
I just really want to take the opportunity to say that most people don't totally have to choose between sex and mental health. There are options as far as medication adjustments, vacations, combining and products that can help some with physical issues (like lubricants and erection aides). Please do try to communicate with your partners in combination with your doctors, so that you can find the best treatment possible!
03/11/2010
CherryTV CherryTV
I agree with Zoeyjane. There are a number of antidotes for a diminished sex drive from meds. Hopefully your shrink can help you with that. Also, what a few of my friends do who have issues reaching orgasm due to meds is masturbate after sex. Since they're more in control while masturbating, it's easier to get off. And with their partner right there, they get touched/fondled/kissed while masturbating. Fun, huh?!?!?
03/12/2010
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
Quote:
Originally posted by Zoeyjane
I just really want to take the opportunity to say that most people don't totally have to choose between sex and mental health. There are options as far as medication adjustments, vacations, combining and products that can help some with physical ...
Zoeyjane makes an excellent point! Her article even includes some things to consider when trying to manage the effect medication has on your sex life. It's really a tough thing, to realize you are sacrificing mental health for sexual health or sexual health for mental health.

I think the important thing is to know that, like she said, sometimes tweaking things to maximize both is possible. We all know nothing is ever black or white, so consider all options and possibilities and make the best choice for you.
03/12/2010
graydog graydog
Depression can also decrease sexual pleasure. Welbutrin is an antidepressant that can increase the ability for orgasm, probably by treating the depression. Many antidepressant meds act by adjusting the chemicals that make the nervous system work. Some have sexual side affects but others correct the imbalances in the nervous system. My wife has had a huge increase in sexual satisfaction after her depression has been under control. Multiple orgasms are almost commonplace now and before getting to one was a major project.
03/16/2010
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
I have an anxiety disorder and was initially prescribed Ativan (an anti anxiety medication that's also used as a very mild sedative) and Paxil (for social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and is also an anti-depressant). After a few months I became very frustrated with the sexual side effects of Paxil (it didn't lower my drive that much but it did make orgasms near-impossible). I spoke to the doctor to see if both drugs were really necessary and as it turns out, they're not. They do, in many situations, work best as a combination but my doctor listened to my concerns and I was taken off Paxil. I now take Ativan only, which takes care of about 90% of the anxiety issues, and has zero sexual side effects. However, if I had to make the decision to be on an anti-depressant to manage the anxiety disorder, I would be open to the option if I were able to do the research and try to find the one best suited for me with the fewest side effects. I guess in the long run, sanity and a healthy lifestyle (you know, the kind where I'm not afraid to leave the house) would come before fulfilling orgasms if it was strictly one or the other.
04/18/2010
LikeSunshineDust LikeSunshineDust
Quote:
Originally posted by Tori Rebel
I have an anxiety disorder and was initially prescribed Ativan (an anti anxiety medication that's also used as a very mild sedative) and Paxil (for social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and is also an anti-depressant). After a ...
Ugh. Your doctor should know better. There a several drugs similar to Paxil that don't have the same sexual side effects. Actually, Paxil is one of the worst one in its class as far as sexual side effects. I swear, doctors need to go to pharmacy school.
04/18/2010
Miss B Haven Miss B Haven
I have been under the same types of medications mentioned by ToriRebel along with a variety of pain killers and muscle relaxers. I cannot even begin to explain the drop in sex AND mental health on such drug combinations. I went 14 months without so much as touching myself!

Encouraged by my husband I made small attempts at masturbating but was not able to orgasm. That left me wanting to orgasm more and wanting sex with my hubby back. Small attempts turned into play sessions and within a few months I encouraged myself to ask for sex with my sweety. I wasn't able to orgasm but again the 'want' feeling continued to get stronger and even though I am still on all my medications I have become much more open to sexual advances and I play with a wide variety of toys. Today I am happy to report that mentally and sexually I have found satisfaction and a good balance between husband and toys and both together

If you have the means to I would suggest trying alternative treatments to try to help control mental/physical ailments. If medication is your only option I think it is better to be of sound mind first because like I was able to do, you can find alternative ways to find sexual health.
04/18/2010
Total posts: 13
Unique posters: 12