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How Depression Can Affect Sexual Intimacy?

Depression & Sex

What is depression?

Depression is one of the mood disorders that leads to a constant feeling of low self-esteem, lack of motivation, sadness, and loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed by the person. It is also called a major depressive disorder, or clinical depression, which affects the way of thinking, and behaving and can also lead to various emotional and physical problems.
Depression is not just some intermittent blues. It is a severe problem that requires long-term treatment. Most people with depression get better with counselling, medication, psychotherapy, and nutritional support.

Symptoms

Depression is a long-term medical condition that may express itself in various ways and may have multiple episodes. The most experienced symptoms are:

  • Feeling sad, tearful, empty, and hopeless
  • Sudden outbursts of anger and irritability
  • Easily frustrated over minor issues
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • Easily fatigued that even small work takes too much effort
  • Loss of appetite or increased cravings for food and sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Anxiety and restless all the time
  • Feeling worthless, fixating on past events
  • Trouble thinking straight, concentrating, decision making and loss of memory
  • Frequent thoughts of death and suicide
  • Unexplained back pain or headaches
  • Problems to face day-to-day work, at school, social and personal relationships.
  • Sudden personality changes
  • Loss of libido or loss of sexual drive
  • Always want to stay at home instead of going out.

Also Read Treating Premature Ejaculation with Homeopathy

Causes of depression

The exact cause of depression is unknown precisely. But as with any other mental disorder, different factors may be involved:

  • Brain chemistry: Some research indicates that changes in the function of brain neurotransmitters and neural circuits may play a vital role in causing depression.
  • Changes in hormones and their imbalance may lead to depression. In addition, hormone changes from pregnancy, after delivery, menstrual period, menopause, andropause and thyroid problems can also make depression severe.
  • Depression can be inherited and is more common in people with relatives having this condition.

Risk factors

Depression is usually said to affect people mainly in their teens or middle age, but it can happen anytime and to any age group. Women are much more affected than men by depression.
Factors that increase the risk of developing or triggering depression include:

  • A past or family history of any mental illness, such as anxiety disorder, eating disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Some personality traits such as low self-esteem and being too dependent, and being self-critical.
  • Any traumatic events in childhood, such as physical or sexual abuse, loss of a loved one, sudden unexpected death of a relative, complicated relationship, or financial problems.
  • Belonging to minority groups like lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or intersex.
  • Suffering from chronic disease with prolonged pain.
  • Consuming certain medications and drugs.

Complications

Depression might get worse if left untreated, leading to emotional, behavioral, and health problems that affect every aspect of life.
Some of the complications:

  • Excess weight or obesity can lead to heart disease and diabetes
  • Pain or physical illness
  • Alcohol or drug misuse
  • Anxiety, panic disorder, or social phobia
  • Family conflicts, interpersonal relationship difficulties at work or school
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal feelings, suicide attempts, or suicide
  • Self-harming, such as cutting

Prevention

Depression can be categorized as mild depression, moderate, or severe depression, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Unfortunately, there are no definitive ways to prevent depression. But it can be managed by specific steps. They are:

Try to control stress, increase resilience and boost self-esteem.
Get help from family and friends, especially in times of crisis. Talk to them about your problems.
Start the treatment as early as possible to prevent complications.

Risk factors

  • Depression stems from a complicated intermixture of personal, interpersonal, psychosocial, hormonal, and other biological reasons or factors.
  • People facing adverse life events such as unemployment, tragedy, and mental trauma are more prone to depressive episodes.
  • Depression may lead to severe stress and mental dysfunction and affect the person’s life circumstances in many ways,
  • It has been linked to various physical health disorders, such as cardiovascular disease.

How does depression affect the sexual drive?

Clinical depression affects all aspects of a person’s life. That also applies to a person’s sexual drive. It is not just depression but also certain medications given to treat depression, such as antidepressants.
Getting sexual contentment can be extremely difficult for both men and women who are depressed. Some of the most frequently faced problems are erectile dysfunction and anorgasmia(difficulty reaching orgasm).
Stress, anxiety, and guilt may lead to a decreased desire to have sex and may affect the ability to become aroused, maintain arousal and reach orgasm.
Lack of connection between the partners can also impact intimacy. Including the sexual partner during therapies and discussions about depression can be helpful for better understanding the situation.
Partners who are open to talking about these issues and problem-solving together can help overcome the pressure.

How do antidepressants affect the sexual drive?

People diagnosed with depression are usually prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which help to increase the serotonin levels in the body.
However, SSRIs have been associated with problems such as delays in ejaculation, reduction in sexual desire and satisfaction, diminished libido, erectile dysfunction, etc.
Treating depression is crucial for normal physical health, mental health, and relationships. To address the side effects, you can ask the consultant to prescribe the lowest effective dose of an antidepressant or certain drugs that can counteract the sexual side effects.
It is best to work with your partner and talk to your healthcare provider to determine what is best for you.

How To Work Through the Depression and Sex

Getting over depression is a challenging and long road to recovery. When it comes to depression, both men and women suffer alike, but women are much more prone to depression due to various life events. It not only affects sex but all aspects of your life. But some things can be done with or without medication to improve intimacy.
Initiating non-sexual contact such as simple hand-holds, kisses, and some romantic gestures like a candle-lit dinner, flowers, etc.
Talking frankly about the problems with your partner, discussing the treatment options, and exploring new ways to enjoy sex can help to build the relationship.

Other ways to manage depression

If a person is so concerned about the side effects of antidepressant medication, you can also try other alternative therapies such as:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Exercise.
  • Herbal or dietary supplements.
  • Psychotherapy.
  • Yoga.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
  • Stay healthy by exercising, eating a balanced diet, and also by maintaining healthy body weight.

Diagnosis and treatment

Depending on the severity of depressive episodes, healthcare providers may choose to offer a variety of treatments, such as psychological treatments, behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and antidepressant medication.
Mild depression can be treated without antidepressants. However, these should be used in children and adolescents with extreme caution.

Effects of depression on other systems of the body

On the central nervous system

  • Difficulties with memory and reaction time during everyday activities.
  • Extreme sadness, grief, and a sense of guilt.
  • Irritability and anger issues.
  • Lack of interest in activities and things that used to bring happiness.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Concentration troubles and difficulties in maintaining or keeping up the work.

On the digestive system

Depression plays a primary role in triggering appetite and absorption of nutrition. Some people cope with depression by overeating or bingeing. It can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Some people may lose their appetite entirely or fail to eat regularly which leads to malnutrition.
Maintaining a healthy diet when experiencing depression is essential for the neurotransmitters to work efficiently.

On the cardiovascular and immune systems

Stress hormones speed up the heart rate and tighten the blood vessels. It may lead to heart disease when it goes on for a prolonged time.
Depression and stress also harm the immune system, making the body vulnerable to infections and diseases.
Inflammation is linked to many health problems.

Depression in children and teens

It may be challenging to identify the symptoms in children who are unable to express their symptoms.
Parents should keep a lookout for behaviours such as persistent clinginess and sadness in their children.
Unwillingness to attend school or play with friends over time.
Children may also be excessively irritable and hostile.
Another big concern is that teens are particularly susceptible to depression.

Homeopathy for depression

Homeopathic medicines work at a deeper level to treat the person as a whole. Therefore, it can be a beneficial addition in treating depression as there is no harmful side-effect to the homeopathic medicines. In addition, homeopathic medicines are not habit-forming or cause drug dependency.
Homeopathic medicines for depression and anxiety can differ for every patient. Because, it depends on various conditions, causes, and symptoms that can cause disease. We provide the information only.

Homeopathic medicines for depression

Some of the frequently used homeopathic medicines for depression are:

Ignatia: For depression of recent origin. Depression from prolonged grief, disappointment, and death of loved ones.

Natrum muriaticum: It helps treat depression due to unpleasant memories, long concentrated grief, broken relationship, death of a loved one, etc.

Aurum metallicum: It is helpful for symptoms such as hopelessness, lack of self-worth, and a desire for death. In addition, it is indicated for profound depression and constant suicidal thoughts.

Sepia: It is indicated for depression in women at menopausal age. Intense sadness, indifference, aversion to physical or mental tasks, decreased sex drive, and a bearing-down sensation in the uterus.

Kali phosphoricum: Depression due to overworking and an over-stressed mind accompanied by tiredness, lack of energy, fatigue, and exhaustion. A weak memory and a lack of desire to do any physical or mental task and negative thoughts, along with intense gloominess.

Some natural homeopathic products available to treat depression and anxiety are Schwabe India’s Stress-Free Life, Alpha-TS, Agnus castus MT, Klimaktolan, Damiaplant, Five phos, Alfalfa general tonic for health, etc. Please consult with a registered doctor before taking any homeopathic medicines.

Takeaway

Depression is a mental disorder that can affect anyone despite age and gender. It affects not only the mind but also the body physically. Also, it can significantly have some profound negative impact on the quality of life. Therefore, it is essential to seek proper help if you or someone are experiencing symptoms of depression.
Depression is treatable. A doctor may recommend a combined approach, using medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. With the proper support, a person can manage both the physical and mental health effects of depression.

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