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No Sex Drive – Symptom or Side Effect?


I know that for many of us the loss of our sex drive is a really big deal, whether it’s gone because of symptoms from our illness or because of side effects from medications used to treat our illness it’s just – gone. And that can bring up a new body of bothersome, if not terrible feelings about us in general.

Some of us are still a bit reserved when we talk – or don’t talk – about sex, as we have this idea ingrained into us that those thoughts are private and should be left alone, but I’d like to take a look at some of the reasons that many of us struggle with loss of sex drive and how to get that back.



When we’re depressed our chemicals in our brain aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we know this to be true on an actual scientific level. When it comes to sex and intimacy, the brain is a huge part of that, and when your brain is stuck in anguish, anticipating sex is not on the top of the list, at all, neither is receiving pleasure. The thought of sex may even seem like work, or worse, completely appalling. This is all okay, it’s not ideal, but it’s okay, and absolutely not your fault. Depression is a libido-stealing jerk. But what if I told you that it didn’t have to always be this way? What if you wanted to get some of that sex-drive back again? Because there have been studies and research shows that intimacy in a relationship does indeed help with depression. It’s not a cure-all, but it does help.


Bringing Intimacy Back


The most important thing when bringing intimacy back into a relationship is to be treated for your depression first. Of course there is situational depression, where something traumatic or tragic happens like the death of a loved one, but that is a depression where it does pass. Doctors call this Adjustment Disorder, and it can even happen with something positive.

When you’re living with depression, and we all know depression just is, sometimes trying to explain that to a partner who doesn’t always understand can leave you feeling a little worse. There aren’t quick fixes and this also applies to intimacy. Intimacy isn’t just a physical thing. When we are intimately connected to someone one an emotional level, and we get that fired up again, often it’s the spark that helps to ignore the physical intimacy again. If you want to try to re-establish that connection there are a few helpful tips you could consider.

  • Find the things you do cherish about your relationship and vocalize them to your partner.
  • Allow yourself to be dependent on someone else, even if you’re always the strong one.
  • Encourage your partner to share their feelings with you.
  • Go on a date. Even if it’s just a drive somewhere. Change your surroundings.
  • Agree to not talk about your children or anything negative for one evening. (That one gets difficult)
  • Send a flirty text message.
  • Hold hands.
  • Consider a couple’s counselling or couple’s class to take together.

If your partner opens up to you and lets you know that they have been feeling under appreciated or neglected, please try not to be defensive. They’re trying here too. Yes, you are the one battling this illness every single day, but they are there with you and their feelings must be validated as well. You are not to blame for your illness, but there could be some lingering feelings of hurt and resentment and if these have not been brought up before this is actually a good thing because you’re talking about it now. Now you’re on the same page and can start working toward finding ways for both of you to find your way back to each other.


Side Effects From Meds


I was once prescribed the only medication that was apparently labeled impossible for a woman to achieve orgasm, it wasn’t fun and there went my sex drive. After some tumultuous time I re-visited my doctor and we axed that particular med and tried something else. A lot of the meds that we take have an effect on our sex drives. In this case I would suggest that you speak to your doctor, and see what options are available to you. We don’t want to give up stability in order to have a headboard breaking sex life, but shunning an area of our lives that is very important is also not ideal. There is a balance and your doctor can help you find it. But, as in anything to do with your health, you must speak up. There is nothing to be ashamed of regarding wanting your sex drive back. Remember, finding our balance means finding it in all areas, intimacy is a big area as well.

No Sex Drive – Symptom or Side Effect?

Nicole Lyons

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APA Reference
Lyons, N. (2015). No Sex Drive – Symptom or Side Effect?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Sep 2015
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