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.... AND SEX!

Most of what you read here is from my own personal experiences, or those of people that are close to me that have also suffered from this debilitating, but BEATABLE condition. I also have a strange sense of humour, so at times it can get a little tongue in cheek, but the message is still there.

A brief intro…

My name is Robbie, I am 26 years of age and I have suffered from depression on and off for about 4-5 years now. At all times when I have been depressed I have been in a relationship of one form or another... some serious, some not so.

Now, straight to the nitty gritty!

Depression first entered my life when I was about 21 years old and at the age when I was trying to get out and sew my "wild oats" so to speak. I had just entered a relationship with a girl that I had only known for a short time. It was primarily a physical attraction that got us together in the first place, so as you can imagine things got pretty steamy pretty quickly and we soon got ready for was a pretty wild time. One way or another.

About two or three weeks after the beginning I was struck down with depression for the first time. It was, and still can be, the most harrowing time of my life. This was when we were meant to be getting to know each other, and here I did not even know myself. Up until this point, I had been the normal me, suave, cool, sophisticated and pretty damn adorable! (Just ask me!!!) But this was soon to all come to an end. I hadn't put a foot wrong as far as the whole courting bit goes. But now I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't concentrate, sleep or get through the day without a panic attack. No problem right? I'll just try to be cool in front of her and she'll never know. I can fake it, right?


There are some thing's a guy can't fake, if you know what I mean.

It's strange you know, I always found her extremely attractive and always wanted to make love and all that goes along with it, but after a little while, I realised that my sex drive was beginning to diminish. I just couldn't get motivated. Don't get me wrong, everything was still working fine physically, but I just couldn't be bothered using it. Anytime I got the urge I felt that it would somehow only lead to disaster. Not too cool for a 21 year old huh? What sort of disaster, I don't know exactly, but that was just the depression's way of getting in on EVERY aspect of my life.

You see I think that's one of the worst things about depression. You always expect something bad to happen, no matter what it is that you do. Even something as beautiful as making love can be turned into a negative thing.

But not always. I was lucky and managed to "get my mojo working' and was soon back on my feet in that department. But still, things weren't quite the same.

Part of the good thing about sex is that it causes endorphin's to run rampant inside your body and make you feel... well, you know how it feels. This can be topped off by the experience of an orgasm, which heightens your senses even more. More good feeling's... right?

Well, not for everyone it seems...

When I got depressed, I did the first thing that most people do. Go straight to the Doc and get some medication. I have taken Luvox, Cipramil, Efexor and Aropax. Each with different side effects. Some had them some didn't. They affect different people differently.

But the part I wasn't ready for was the leaflet inside. They give you a little information leaflet that list's such things as:

  • What the drug does
  • What the drug looks like
  • How much to take
  • What to do if you take too much
  • What to do if you don't take enough
  • What to do if you don't take enough and then take too much to make up for the ones that you didn't take before you remembered that you had forgotten to take them at all. (Just Kidding).

Then, getting towards the end there's a section, a very long section in some cases. This section is called "Side Effects"

In this section they list possible side-effect's as anything from a slight headache, to a stock market crash, to Global Thermonuclear War. I guess it's just their way of covering their asses... Should you experience something like nausea, muscle stiffness or sexual dysfunction... hang-on. Did you say SEXUAL DISFUNCTION? What the hell does that mean? Great! This stuff is meant to make me feel better and now they tell me I'm gonna be impotent! I may never have sex again! (You'll notice that because I'm male my interest in sex came dashing back once my libido was threatened)

WOAH!!!!!!!!! Slow down. Don't jump to conclusions Robbie!!!

By dysfunction they mean that. Dysfunction. Not Malfunction! This just means that maybe things may work a little differently than they used to. They did.

After beginning my course of medication, and convincing myself that my life as a young, virile gigolo was not over, I got back into the swing of things in the sex department. Only something had changed. All of a sudden I was the "All Night Man". I tried and tried, but neither for love nor money, could I bring myself to orgasm. Great huh? Not so great. My girlfriend didn't know what to do. The first time this happened she ended up in tears. You see she thought she was the problem. That she wasn't able to bring me to a climax. Not so. These drugs do strange things. They can make you happier, sadder at times or even give you a feeling of numbness. But they do help you in the long run. For me, my "sexual dysfunction" was orgasms. Yes, I did get there, but it took a lot longer... a LOT longer.

When I discussed this with a friend of mine she told me that she suffered from similar problems whilst on anti-depressants. Her partner also felt similarly to the way mine did. Like it was their fault for not being able to bring them to a climax. Inadequate almost. As most of us know this is hardly ever the case. If your partner is the person you love the most dearly, then they are definitely more than adequate. It's just the way your body reacts to having a foreign chemical put into it. Like I said earlier, we all react differently to these drugs and also to the symptoms of depression. Another friend of mine told me that when she was on anti-depressants she almost had an orgasm every time she sneezed – TRUE STORY!

Damn! Think about that one for a bit!

Communication is the key here. Lot's of it. If you suffer problems such as these you gotta tell the other person that it affects as well. Don't be ashamed. Make them realise that it's not them that are the problem. And it's not you either. It's just something that you've both gotta work through, together.

I think the bottom line to the Sex And Depression bit is this...

If depression has entered your life, and you are in a relationship, things will be different. It is still possible to be intimate in one form or another. Some will choose sex, some might just like to have a cuddle. Some may even just choose some quiet time sitting alone with one-another, saying nothing. We are all different people fighting the same battle. And if, even for a moment, we can get some form of relief from the pain that we are going through, be it sexual or otherwise, then I say go for it.

You Deserve It!

Love and Light to all,

Robert Arnolda.

Your feedback and input will be greatly appreciated.

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