Is mental health linked to sexuality?

Contributor: - Kira - - Kira -
So there have been some recent discussions about depression and how it applies to masturbation, eating, etc. It got me thinking about how mental health pertains to sexual health. I've read a few articles that link certain mental illness to high or low sex drive and wanted to see what the personal experience here has been. So if you have any type of mental health issues - depression, anxiety, mood disorder, personality disorder, etc - do you think it effects you sexually? If you don't have mental health issues, do you think mental illness and sexuality are linked?

Voting is private, but feel free to share experiences. I'm really interested in trying to find out if there is a link or not.
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
I have mental health problems and I think it negatively impacts me sexually.
22  (31%)
I have mental health problems and I think it positively impacts me sexually.
3  (4%)
I have mental health problems and I think it has no impact on me sexually.
9  (12%)
I do not have mental health problems but do think it is linked to sexuality.
27  (38%)
I do not have mental health problems but do not think it is linked to sexuality.
Something else?
11  (15%)
Total votes: 72
Poll is closed
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Contributor: Yaoi Pervette (deleted) Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
I don't talk about this much, but I have Schizoaffective Disorder. If I am feeling really depressed, I might not feel like having sex, but I wouldn't say it has affected me negatively. I was always highly sexual from an early age. I think the medications used to treat certain disorders can have just as much or more of an impact then the illnesses themselves. I've know people who've taken anti-depressants and had trouble with arousal or orgasm.

I am not saying mental illness doesn't affect sexuality. Depending on the disorder, sexual response could range from uninterested to taking extremely dangerous sexual risks. However, no two people are alike, and I don't think you can completely generalize people's sexual responses with mental illness.
Contributor: LadyDarknezz LadyDarknezz
I have Major Depressive Disorder and it hasn't really changed my sex drive. Some of the medications I was on did make feel uninterested in sex or masturbation, but it was nothing major. The anti-depressants I'm on now hasn't caused me to lose any interest in masturbation, and I've been on them for a little over a year now.

Back when I was sexually active, I was on anti-depressants that usually makes people less interested in sex, yet I found myself wanting to have sex more. I guess it really just depends on the person, medications, and/or mental illness.
Contributor: El-Jaro El-Jaro
I have issues with depression and find that sexual feelings can be even more confusing while in the midst of a depressive wave.
Contributor: Katastophy Katastophy
I have ADD and take medication for it. The medication also acts as a mood stablizer for me, and when I go off of it I tend to get much moodier and feel like I'm depressed. I haven't thought about it, but now that I do, I think that I had a stronger sex drive before I started my medication, but I'm not sure. I also used to be addicted to masturbation, but the severe need to touch myself every day has kind of worn off since I started taking my meds.
Contributor: - Kira - - Kira -
I didn't have time to post my own experience when I made the poll. Sorry.

I have Bipolar type I and I find my sex drive swings with my cycles. In my normal state I have an incredibly high sex drive. When I'm hypomanic (between normal and manic - elevated mood and such) my sex drive tends to go up. When I'm full blown manic it goes down because I'm too busy being delusional or whatever other problem is being caused in that cycle. When I have a minor depressive episode my sex drive decreases slightly but it's not too noticable. When I'm in a major depressive episode I rarely want to have sex. So at the two extremes my sex drive decreases drastically but at the two middle points it swings in the same direction as my mood. I guess I fall in at "other" because I didn't know how to word that as an option.

In my experience medication is sometimes worse than the illness itself for sexual side effects. I've had my doctors switch my medication a few times because they dropped my sex drive down to below zero. There were even a few that not only killed my sex drive but dried me out so bad that all the lube in the world couldn't make sex comfortable. Ugh.
Contributor: Chilipepper Chilipepper
Mine is Dysthymia (life-long depression). While not on meds, I tend to have an extremely high drive (just thinking about sex could make me climax); although my depression affects my inability to find a partner. While on meds, I have absolutely no desire for any sort of release; people find me more pleasant to be around, though.

I'm starting new meds at the end of the week so maybe they'll help balance it out.
Contributor: Ghost Ghost
I definitely have depressive issues and it definitely affects me sex life.
Contributor: Eva Schwaltz Eva Schwaltz
I don't have any disorders, but I think it is very easy to link almost anything to mental disorders.
Contributor: El-Jaro El-Jaro
Isn't the brain the most receptive sense organ?
Contributor: Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Originally posted by El-Jaro
Isn't the brain the most receptive sense organ?
I always refer to the brain as our biggest sex organ - receptive is a good concept as well. But I have to say not all brains I've met seemed 'receptive'!
Contributor: hyacinthgirl hyacinthgirl
I have an eating disorder and it does not particularly affect me sexually. However, the massive guilt complex, phobia of sinning, and compulsion to punish myself for imperfection that led to the eating disorder definitely affect me sexually.
Contributor: Lucky21 Lucky21
I have witnessed first hand how mental disorders can cause sexual issues. I don't think this applies to everyone, but it's definitely prevalent.
Contributor: Miss Anonymous Miss Anonymous
I have mental health problems and I think it negatively impacts me sexually.
Contributor: Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
I'd say that sexuality is linked to mental health not vis versa.
Contributor: Taylor Taylor
I have had an eating disorder to varying degrees for the last 10 years and it has a very big impact on my sex life. If I'm "feeling fat" and go into a restrictive phase my sexual drive pretty much shuts off. I try to isolate myself from everyone including romantic partners. When I am in more of a binge and purge phase I get a very high sex drive. I think it's because I want to "binge" on everything in my life including sex.
Contributor: Love Bites Love Bites
I'm depressed/suicidal and bi-polar. Sometimes, I am extremely childish and don't want anything to do with sex. Sometimes, I can be in the middle of sex or fore play, and I just completely lose interest. However, I also know that sometimes I'm much more interested in sex then my partner. It can last for days or over a week. I don't think that my experiences slant more towards negative, or positive, so I don't hold much belief that my metal status has much to do with my sex drive.
Contributor: bayosgirl bayosgirl
I have major depressive disorder and anxiety, and it does not affect my sex drive at all.
Contributor: ViVix ViVix
Originally posted by - Kira -
So there have been some recent discussions about depression and how it applies to masturbation, eating, etc. It got me thinking about how mental health pertains to sexual health. I've read a few articles that link certain mental illness to high ... more
I absolutely think mental issues can affect your personality, sexuality, and many other aspects.
Contributor: Megan Jean Megan Jean
I have depression, and there are times when it gets in the way of my sexual function.
Contributor: Hallmar82 Hallmar82
My wife has mental health problems (OCD and bipolar) but it only affects our sex life every so often. Usually her body-image issues affect it more.
Contributor: gsfanatic gsfanatic
It can be, though not everyone has the same links/
Contributor: MJ7 MJ7
i think my mental health and sexuality are strongly linked
Contributor: tortilla tortilla
depression - definitely affects sex drive
Contributor: hem hem
I think it greatly varies from condition to condition!
Contributor: mr115393 mr115393
I gad GAD and am clinically depressed. I have some weird periods where I can't have orgasms, but they usually pass pretty quickly. When I first started taking my medication (Lexapro) I spent a week or two with absolutely no sex drive, which is a huge change for me. That eventually passed too. For the most part though, I'm a pretty sexually healthy person.
Contributor: Zandrock Zandrock
I think it is.
Contributor: Artishok Artishok
I do not have mental health problems but do think it is linked to sexuality.
Contributor: Bethy Cassatt Bethy Cassatt
My boyfriend was real freaked out when he was diagnosed with depression because he didn't want to loose his sex drive. He's doing fine so far, but he definitely has off days where he doesn't want to have sex or cuddle because of his depression. I feel it.
Contributor: Winifred Winifred
I've dealt with multiple mental health problems and some of them have affected my sexuality more than others.