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How Depression is Affecting the Intimacy in Your Relationship

marriage help

 

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. offers counseling and therapy in Reston, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland.

Depression impacts all areas of your life, but the devastating effect it can have on your relationships may create unforeseen problems. It can cause several challenges such as feeling no intimate connection with your partner, trouble communicating about intimacy, difficulties with sexual self-esteem, not knowing how to initiate intimacy, and/or no interest in sex in general. In a nutshell, depression can curb your desire for intimacy with your partner. Let’s explore why this is and what you can do to change it.

Assessing depression’s effect on intimacy

A depressed person’s mind releases neurotransmitters and hormones that lower the libido. This places a person in a mental state in which their brain thinks them out of wanting or enjoying sex. Stress and anxiety often increase significantly at the same time. As a result, the brain releases more hormones and the person sinks deeper into a state of depression. 

The effect of depression medication on intimacy

A person battling depression is more than likely to receive antidepressants. While antidepressants may help you feel better, studies have shown that side effects may include  sex-related symptoms, including erectile disfunction, reduced libido, etc. 

Saving intimacy when depressed

Like most mental illnesses, depression affects everything and everyone in a patient’s life, including their partner. To keep peace in the relationship, partners should have an open and honest conversation about their needs and wants regarding intimacy. It is also wise to discuss the negative feelings that are folded into the depression and how it reduces the desire for intimacy. Together, partners should arrive at a solution that is acceptable and works for both.

The impact depression can have on intimacy can bring several challenges to your relationship. This can cause friction. The best way to improve your sex life when you or your partner is  depressed is to openly communicate your feelings, needs, and wants with your partner and work toward solutions together. Those with depression, experiencing a decreased sex drive also may want to consider reaching out for additional marriage help. Speak with a relationship counselor like Dr. Carlos Durana at A Caring Approach for a more personalized approach to reconnecting with your partner.