Uncut conversations with Jojo Fraser and Ruth Micallef – Antidepressants dull my sex drive and orgasm

Uncut conversations with Jojo Fraser and Ruth Micallef –  Antidepressants dull my sex drive and orgasm
Jojo, antidepressants dull my sex drive and orgasm and it sucks! I want to come off them but am not sure how safe it would be.
This discussion comes up a lot.  We need to remove the stigma.  Thank you x
Ruth, let’s kick off with you.

 

Ruth - uncut conversations with Jojo Frase
I love the opportunity to talk about sex drive. Why? Because sex, orgasms (particularly female orgasms), and all things under the sheets are still seen as very taboo subjects to discuss. Because of this, so many suffer in silence about challenges in this area, feeling an element of shame, or secrecy.
So, lets talk about antidepressants first.  The reality, and slightly scary part of antidepressants is that we don’t actually know how they work.
We do know that they help with the symptoms of depression (and sometimes chronic pain), but they do nothing to address the underlying causes.
To thing about things metaphorically, antidepressants are the equivalent of putting a big plaster on a wound every day.
Side effects of Anti-Depressants include symptoms like dizziness and drowsiness, heart problems, agitation, weight gain, reduced appetite, and yes, you guessed it, a reduction in your libido just to name a few.  So in short, yes, antidepressants are a great way to start helping you on your journey to working through the underlying causes of your Depression.  But my personal opinion is that they should NEVER be prescribed alone by GP’s or Psychiatrists without a Talking Therapy used alongside them.  Talking Therapies, like the ones we offer at Honed, give you the space to work through these underlying causes whilst the Anti-Depressants keep your symptoms at bay.  When the causes of your Depression are beginning to be worked through, talking to your GP about slowly reducing your medication (never go cold turkey!!!) will likely see that libido return.
If you would like to look for a Registered Therapist who would fit your needs, do get in touch, I’d be happy to help.
Good luck! We’d love to hear how you get on.
Jojo Fraser - motivational mental health blogger and author

To anyone else reading with this issue, I feel you.  Perhaps your other half has this issue.  I feel you too.  When it comes to under the sheets, or wherever you like to get it on, that must be seriously frustrating and a bit of an anti-climax indeed.  I have interviewed people who have come off their antidepressants slowly at the right time for them and are feeling a lot better for it.   It’s a case by case scenario and of course, people take the medication for various reasons.  A lot of the people I talk to take antidepressants for either anxiety, depression and in some cases PMS.  Yes, antidepressants are prescribed for PMS now too (look out for a podcast I have coming on this over the next few weeks). If you have found an antidepressant that works for you, it can be scary to consider life without it.  It took us a LONG time to find a form of medication that worked for my Dad.  The GP’s prescribe pills and send you home, saying fingers crossed.  It can be horrendous.  People are sent home with medication that warns of suicidal symptoms and are left to pick up the pieces.  Whilst some pills can have extremely negative and life-threatening repercussions, antidepressants have other consequences to do with our lifestyle and factors such as our sexual sensations.  We need to remove the stigma of this.  It is important that we talk about it.  Because if we don’t, it can add a lot of strain to our relationship.  As Ruth said, there is a still a lot that we don’t understand when it comes to antidepressants.  We do know that they help with the symptoms of depression (and sometimes chronic pain), but they do nothing to address the underlying causes.  That takes a lot of work.  Finding the right tools and support is key.  To quote my lovely friend Lynette Grey, who offers some incredible meditation and healing sessions (that girl has had me in floods of tears but for the right reasons):

 

‘Everyone can heal themselves.  Our minds have the power to heal’. 

 

You can tune into a fascinating podcast where Lynette shares deeply with me about her process to coming off antidepressants.  It is a powerful discussion and I have been told that it has helped a lot of people.  We shake it off and rock out to Eminem at the end for that crucial natural mojo injection.  Find it here. I will never listen to that tune the same way again.

 

I spoke recently with Gary Young, founder of The Mindful Enterprise, about this.  He made a powerful statement:

 

‘My view is that there are very real scenarios where people need some kind of medicine to stabilise them but I also feel there is a placebo effect with pharma drugs where people can convince themselves they feel better because of the tablets but in actual fact its the mind they’re changing  which the body responds to’.

A very interesting point made here and food for thought.

 

I want to thank everyone who has opened up to me.  I want to thank everyone who talks openly about their mental health and the daily issues we face to remove the stigma and to open up important conversations like this.  These questions are important and EVERYONE has the right to good mental health.  Our lifestyle and wellness go hand in hand, like tea and toast.  They key for me is that we keep talking.  We keep questioning.  We get support.  We remember that we are not alone.  We remember that we all deserve to take the time to work on ourselves and whatever that means.  For me, sex is an amazing gift but there are factors that can get in the way of that.  The key one of course being our state of mind.  When we take a person’s lack of sex drive personally, it makes things worse.  Perhaps you are reading this now and are struggling with the fact that your partner doesn’t have the same sex drive that you do.  My advice would be – don’t take it personally.  It’s not about you.  Let’s judge less and talk more. Let’s be honest.  That is when we can start to heal and make positive changes.

 

 

 

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