Depressed people have sex

Depression and sexual relationships

Last update: 23 July, 2020

The Depression, this invisible disease, over which hangs the veil of ignorance prejudices, affects all areas of a person's life: Work or teaching, family, social affairs, etc., and of course the most intimate areas, those of sexuality and especially sexual relationships.

Despite what many people may believe Depression is not the same as being extremely sad. Apart from the signs or symptoms detailed in the manuals of psychopathology, depression is experienced as if something were preventing us from doing our daily tasks and activities.

In fact, the World Health Organization made a video that illustrates this idea. This short film called I had a black dog and his name was Depression shows a man who wants to cope with his everyday life, but is constantly held up by a dog who does not want to let him get out of bed, who pulls him away from what needs his attention.

Depression and Sexual Relationships: How Do They Relate to Each Other?

Depression affects sexual relationships in a variety of ways, although it primarily affects those dynamics that arise within a couple as a result of emotional attachment, closer communication, present and future commitment, and ultimately life together. When one of the members is immersed in a depressive process, a number of changes take place in the couple:

  • Little or no sexual or otherwise erotic desire. This is the greatest impact, as desire is the engine that drives us into a sexual relationship. The loss of motivation in all areas of life is particularly reflected in the loss or reduction of sexual and erotic desire, which has a direct effect on the intimacy of the partner.
  • Inability to create erotic fantasies. This is the result of the loss of the desire that fantasies were associated with. If a sexual relationship were like eating a cheesecake, desire would be the ingredients and fantasies would be the different ways to combine them to create something we can enjoy.
  • Deficits in self-assertion. Assertiveness is the only correct way to communicate our desires without giving in to any pressure and without aggressively expressing what we want (or don't want). Often times, however, people with depression develop feelings of guilt for failing to meet the expectations of others, and this in turn creates passivity in communication as a compensatory mechanism.

The relationship that depression and sexual relationships have with one another can take several forms.

In an intimate context, we humans have the ability to choose when we want to have sex and when we don't. In fact, often with a couple, one person wants to have sex and the other doesn't. But when one of the partners is depressed, it becomes more difficult for them to express their lack of sexual desire, and they resort to this compensatory mechanism, which consists of simply indulging in the other's cravings.

  • Change in relationships with yourself. Although we speak of couples, self-stimulation deserves special consideration as it is a very important part of us, a source of self-knowledge, discovery and joy that we can achieve in our intimacy. This type of relationship is also affected when we suffer from depression. In fact, it is not uncommon for the frequency of masturbation to drop sharply when someone becomes depressed.

It is a fact that depression and sexual relationships are related as bad mood affects sexual desire and the ability to create fantasies.

My partner is depressed. How should I behave?

It's important to remember that depressed people don't want to be depressed. You want a different level of activity, mood, and fun of sex. Although every depressive process has a number of variables that make it individual, there are also similarities that lead us to the following ideas:

  • No judgments. The last thing a person with depression needs from their partner is for them to question their behavior, decisions, or rhythm. Doubt or prejudice only cause the depressed person more pain, frustration and the already mentioned and omnipresent guilt. This type of assessment, when our partner is expressing a lack of desire for a sexual relationship, can lead to even greater discomfort.
  • No pressure. The ideal is to accompany the partner, but to respect his rhythms and his freedom. Sometimes our partner needs company, sometimes he has to be alone, sometimes he doesn't want to talk, sometimes he just wants to cry in company ... This respect must be shown in the most intimate sphere and we must not show his state of mind with a lack of attraction to the other confuse, d. H. we should assume that the desire not to have relationships stems from a depressive process, not a personal question.
  • Show availability. Not putting pressure on our partner does not mean ignoring them. It is important that our partner understands that we are giving him the space he needs and that we respect his rhythm while accompanying him. This accompaniment can be explicitly through sentences like "If you want to talk just tell me", be expressed.
  • Please help. More and more people with depression are turning to a psychologist and we know that this decision is usually not made easily or immediately. It is therefore important to support our partner in making such a decision and, if necessary, to show willingness to go with him.

According to the World health organization Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide. In addition, we know that what many consider a cost is more of an investment when we choose to put ourselves in the hands of a psychologist.

Overcoming depression is not an easy process, even with professional help. However, when we have a partner who understands and respects the situation, especially in the most intimate setting, their support will be invaluable and will pave the way to sanity.

You might be interested in ...