Five ways to fight depression in the bedroom
March 22nd, 2012
08:54 AM ET

Five ways to fight depression in the bedroom

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

We live in a culture in which use of SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors), talk therapy, and mental health days have become nearly as common as gym memberships and multi-purpose vitamins.

In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 20 million people in the U.S. experience depression. Unfortunately, mood swings aren’t the only symptom of depression - it can also have a negative effect on your romantic relationships, especially when it comes to sex.

"One symptom of depression is anhedonia, a lack of pleasure in things that were once enjoyable,” sex therapist Dr. Stephanie Buehler writes in her timely new book, “Sex, Love, and Mental Illness.”

“Sex is often one of those activities in which a person loses interest. Add to that fatigue, lethargy, and a tendency to want to be alone and there are plenty of reasons for depressed persons and their partners to experience a decline in their sex life."

Additionally, when a person is depressed, the non-depressed partner may become susceptible to depression as well.

Kathleen, a 32-year-old, stay-at-home mom, spoke to me about the role depression currently plays in her marriage.

"For a long time, I have made an effort to get Karl interested in sex, but I am constantly getting rejected. Not only does my ego take a hit, I also feel selfish bringing my sexual needs into the picture. They seem so trivial next to his depression. So we basically have both given up, but I need that closeness from him."

“Because people who are depressed may also have low self-esteem, they may feel that they are poor sexual partners,” Buehler writes on the complex dynamics that often emerge when depressions rears its head in an intimate relationship. “This can have the effect of a pushing a partner away, which only makes the depressed person feel more isolated or inadequate as a partner.”

So what can you do if depression has creeped its way into your bedroom?

1. Get help from an expert.

For those grappling with milder forms of depression — such as dysthymia, a low-grade, chronic depression that affects about three million Americans — cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may be useful. This type of therapy focuses on combating negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones.

2. Consider medication.

While SSRIs do come with sexual side effects, making a dent in your underlying depression is important. Still, research has shown that SSRIs can dull sexual sensation or diminish the brain's neural pathways associated with arousal and orgasm.

If you’re experiencing severe side effects from your antidepressants, talk to your doctor about trying other medications. Some — such as Bupropion (Wellbutrin) — have fewer sexual side effects, and may even help stimulate sexual desire. Medication affects everyone differently, and your psychopharmacologist may be able to find a balance of meds that helps improve your mood without wreaking havoc on your sex life.

3. Take a break.

Then there are the steps you can take on your own, back at home. First, try taking sex out of the picture. At least temporarily. Instead, play around with other forms of intimacy.

While sex may not be a possibility for the immediate future, connection is still important, and holding hands, hugging, and kissing can all go a long way toward thawing out the sexual frost between you.

4. Just do it.

When you feel slightly more ready for it, have sex - with a partner or even just with yourself. When you're depressed, even putting yourself through the motions of sex can be helpful.

As Buehler writes, "When a person has an orgasm alone or with a partner, it gives a boost to serotonin and raises endorphins and opioids, the brain's so-called happy chemicals."

Sex also relaxes you, and boosts self-esteem.

5. Communicate.

It goes without saying that when you're depressed, you feel isolated and, as a result, communication can be a struggle.

“Sex is a communication tool that partners use to connect with each other in good times and in tougher times,” says Sara Benincasa, a comedian and author of a new memoir “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from my Bedroom,” which documents her own battles with depression.

“When you're depressed and feel a lack of sexual desire, it's almost as if a voice has been silenced.”

That’s why it's important to communicate about the side effects of your depression, with both your partner — who may not fully understand what's going on — and with your health care provider.

Between the three of you, you’re sure to find a way back to better sex, and a better state of mind. And the road will be much easier than it would have been if you were going it alone.

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Filed under: Depression • Relationships • Sex

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Zack

    I was depressed for some time with all of the symptoms described in this article. Going to therapy and taking medications somewhat helps. What I found even more helpful was to simplify your life. Putting pressure on yourself to achieve success is not necessary. Take some time for yourself and remove those things that are not really important in the scheme of things. Understand that life is fragile and there is no time to waste with useless stuff (like watching reality tv, surfing internet). I switched to a new job. I stopped doing things that required too much of my time. I spent most of my time talking to my wife and kids. My life has changed significantly in the last 6 months. I am so much happier and intimacy is great. I finally understand what it means to enjoy life.

    March 22, 2012 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. HBar

    If you're having trouble with sex, take drugs that give you trouble with sex, even though they give you trouble with sex. If that don' work, try having sex with yoursellf! Talk to an expert, who will supply you with plenty of syllables. And if you really can't have sex, just shut up and have sex!

    Like... Don't waste my time, OK?

    March 22, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JTM

      Wow, does it hurt if you try to break out of your ignorance?

      March 23, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
  3. Lawrence Jeffries

    I get depressed with my spouse because sexy-ness went out the window with marriage. In particular, using the bathroom with the door open, leaving bloody pads on the bathroom floor, wanting oral sex and not bathing, starting a argument before sex, ambiguous messages – wake me up in the Am to have sex...don't wake me I need sleep!!! My image of my wife before we were married has been blown out the water...I think sexy, getting ready for sex and I have visions of bloody pads and her sitting on the toilet!!!

    Don't know how to present this to her with out getting knifed in my sleep.

    March 22, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ann

      Well, Lawrence Jeffries, if she didn't know before, she does now! And from what you write, it sounds like it's about time she did!

      March 22, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You need to embrace all that is female, appreciate your wife and her cycles, and all that is her. You are the one with the problem, not her.

      March 22, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence Jeffries

      @ Scott...thank you for the reply, but, does cleaning up after yourself or shutting the bathroom have to do with appreciating the cycles? My point...the images of sexy should be something cherished and perpetuated...more to the point...do not become complacent or assume you don't have to be a sex symbol.

      March 22, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • GreatGooglyMoogly

      Are you sure your wife isn't suffering from depression? Not bathing, pooping with the door open, and leaving bloody pads on the floor are NOT things normal women do!! Trust me! You need to convince her to see the doctor... good luck.

      March 22, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • rose

      Sorry but a woman never shows her bloody pads to ANYBODY... and going to the bathroom with the door open is another no no. Hygiene is the most important thing in a relationship and maybe you should have a conversation with her...

      March 22, 2012 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia

      Yup, definitely have a talk with your wife. I recommend you google "depression" & learn the symptoms & see if she might really be actually clinically depressed, 'cuz the bloody-pads-on-the-floor thing is something I have not done since I actually was clinically depressed in my mid-twenties. I'm 41 now. And if she's not clinically depressed she's an inconsiderate warthog.

      March 23, 2012 at 07:02 | Report abuse |
    • hope

      lawrence~ that is a really good example of why people should not rush to marry. gert to know your future spouse well before the "i do's". try approaching it with tact and gently explain that you like some mystery. good luck

      March 23, 2012 at 07:11 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. B

      Wow, she sounds disgusting. I don't know of any woman who thinks it's okay to leave used hygiene products on the floor. And leaving the bathroom door open while using it is also disgusting. Bathing is essential. On the other hand, it sounds like you have some unrealistic expectations as well. Maybe you could try meeting somewhere in the middle? She becomes less of a pig and you try to accept her as a human being.

      March 24, 2012 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
    • SMH

      I mean me and my husband use the bathroom with the door open, we are comfortable, and he still thinks I am as attractive as when he met me. So what. Except your wife, flaws and aww.

      March 26, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • Meta

      Sorry to be the one to let you know Lawrence....but what you are experiencing is not representative of someone with a healthy life. Leaving bloody pads on the floor, not bathing etc are not things that a normal woman does. Talk to her about getting help!

      March 26, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • Lula Mae

      Dude, maybe you should leave your log wipes on the bathroom floor too!

      March 27, 2012 at 02:01 | Report abuse |
    • jeanbush

      Why don't you try a few proactive measures? Offer to shower TOGETHER and soap each other up as "slowly" as possible then dry each other off and jump in the sack; when she's in the bathroom, walk by and shut the door for her. As for the pads on the floor, just walk her back and ask her to please pick them up/or move the trashcan closer:) If she gets hot tempered at any of these suggestions, sit down and have a firm talk with her. If that doesn't work, seek counciling, if only for yourself. Good luck, Lawrence.

      March 29, 2012 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • Ajayi

      Fovero arthro !Tromerh sdneysh me 1 asyndeto yfos kai thn enallagh skepsewn kai eikonwn na diamorfwnoun 1 mwsaiko pou synepairnei !Pragmatika FANTASTIKO!!!!Bravo Persa, synexise etsi!!!!!

      April 14, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
  4. jovofo

    I have suffered with depression my whole life. It has been with me so long that I have a hard time distinguishing the year, or even my own age. I have always been 25 years old. In my current relationship, we do not have sex. I am sure it is me. How long can I go on like this? How long will my girl stick around under these conditions? She already puts up with the depression itself. Credit to her. The side effects are destroying my life. I have taken every depression medication over the course of my 36 years, to varying levels of effect. In addition to the techniques recommended in this article, I have tried counseling, cognitive therapy, positive self-reinforcement, books, tapes, meditation. I always end up right back where is started. Aside from the depression, people would think my life is perfect, great career, good money, I guess you would call me attractive, and healthy (other than the craziness). I have always had a good sex drive, but lately (past 4 years) I just don’t care. I have gotten to the point where I feel asexual and question the role of sex in my life altogether. This only further depresses me. Maybe I have just given up.

    March 22, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ann

      I wish I had an answer for you. Your depression sounds like sheer hell. I truly hope you find something that helps.

      March 22, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • Cail

      Jovofo.. you sound like me, exactly like me actually, except I'm older. All you and I can do is to keep trying. Some days are better than other. I lost my girl after 4 years of her struggling to stay with me and I me not being able to get up and help. These are hard and sad things in our lives. You aren't alone out there. Remember that.

      March 22, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • art

      Sex is overrated. You are normal.

      March 22, 2012 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      Good luck, man. As a depression sufferer, I'm familiar with that feeling of "it doesn't matter what I do, nothing seems to help me". It's the hopelessness and accompanying despair that makes you not care about anything. I feel your pain, as a famous politician once said. I take anti-depressant meds. I also try hard to appreciate that there are positive aspects to my life, and to keep active at what inspires me and gives me pleasure and purpose. Some days are great, and some are awful, and most land in between. Think about what your own expectations are and make sure they're realistic, and not based on some idiot idea that American culture says you should aspire to. American culture is morally and emotionally bankrupt in so many ways (not to mention, tawdry) that it can be hard to keep your head up and focused on what you want. So many meaningless, stupid distractions in front of you, all day every day. Just watching cable news each day can bring you down. Just try to be on your own side, and engage in activities that can make you feel good. To varying degrees, that works for me, although I still endure the occasional full crash sometimes.

      March 23, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
  5. Mathew

    HBar, no offense here, but you are an inconsiderate, ignorant person. You also didn't read the article clearly enough to understand what he is trying to say.

    March 22, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ann Wilson

    Not having sex is not going to hurt you–it's not terminal. If you are either depressed or on SSRI's then you are not
    going to be able to perform. This is true whether you are male or female. Getting treated for depression is by far
    more valuable than having sex! Sex is very over-rated in our society.

    March 22, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • REJ

      I can't stand women like you.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      Is that dust I see in your crotch?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      HEY! Are you guys on this forum to help, or not? This woman doesn't need your disapproval. You ought to keep that negative crap to yourself. We're ALL struggling here. EVERYBODY'S looking for answers. Saying "I can't stand women like you" contributes nothing. Why don't you instead try to say something to help her? W-T-F???

      March 23, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • Hb

      retief, obviously they were in study hall on the computer when they posted. Don't worry....they'll go away once shop class begins.

      March 23, 2012 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  7. M. R.

    I suffer from depression and GAD. This has severly affected sex with my wife. I took anit-depressents, but the side effects even made it worse. My wife craves sex and hates that we don't have sex regularly. She becomes mean and picks at everything about me. When I got upset about this , she says well it's sex or that as she has to get her tension out some way. She says she won't do it anymore, but always does. All this increases any self-doubt about myself that I try to counter act everyday with positive affirmations. I sometimes really want out. What do I do. When we have sex , she is happy for about 2 days or so and then it starts again that we don't do it enough. 2 days snowballs into a month and then all hell breaks loose. help..............

    March 22, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Flora

      I suggest you leave. She's already made it perfectly clear through actions that she doesn't care about you or how her words is affecting your mental health, she only cares about getting what she wants out of the relationship. It could be that she really doesn't know just how much damage she's doing in perpetuating your marital problems – some people were taught to discount mental health issues as simply being a crybaby, and she could be one of them. In that case, I suggest you see a marriage counselor who can tell her just how serious depression is and how selfish she's being. But if she's seen the whole dog-and-pony show before & continues to jab at your self-esteem, then it's time to tell her "either straighten up or I'm out of here" and mean it.

      March 22, 2012 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • KJC

      I would suggest marriage counseling.

      March 22, 2012 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • jeanbush

      You didn't say what the rest of your marriage is like and whether it's worth staying for; however, regarding your wife's "relief," you can take care of her in many manual ways without having to perform yourself. My boyfriend, who is also depressed by the failure of his marriage of 38 years, often has trouble ejaculating. So he takes care of me then I take care of him. A climax is a climax regardless of style. Good luck.

      March 29, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ibrahim

      same story is heard over and over again. Ordinary blokes that yobreevdy knows DO premeditate making women helpless so that they can have sex that the woman would not consent to if fully capacitated. It happens all the time. And it's rape, every time. Even if she isn't hurt and can't even remember it .

      April 8, 2012 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Maylin

      Lots of specialists say that aid pelpoe to live their own way, just because they are able to feel free to buy necessary goods. Furthermore, a lot of banks present credit loan for different classes of pelpoe.

      April 14, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
  8. lady barbara

    Wake up america and stop looking for a magic PILL to cure whatever ails you.

    March 22, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lady barbara

      Amen, Art. Life is just a series of cycles. You can't be the energizer bunny forever.

      March 22, 2012 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • BeenThere

      You, lady barbara, clearly do not get it. Good for you for never having to deal with the depression monster. Congratulations, now take your judgement somewhere else. I am currently depression-free because I will do whatever I can to feel like myself again (yes, even feel like the "energizer bunny" again, even just for a day (not forever, whoever said that?) and I caved in and went back to medication (which I was truly trying to avoid). Now, I have never been happier. Good thing I didn't follow your advice, I'd still be miserable, it's no way to live life.
      You are like the #1 thing depressed people can't stand – people who say "oh just snap out of it and be happy." Like we WANT to feel this way? geesh.

      March 23, 2012 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      BeenThere: Yeah, I've been there too. I used to suffer major depression and for a while even contemplated suicide. Of course they wanted me to take their magic pills. I was fat, stressed out, and ate the typical garbage-for-food diet that most Americans eat. Did anyone even suggest that I should change my life? Nope. Just wanted to pass out the pills like Pez. I've since become a vegetarian. Eliminated the things in my life that caused me stress. Exercise constantly and maintain a healthy weight. And guess what? I'm no longer depressed...at all. All without the aid of pharmaceuticals. I'm not saying that no one should take the pills, but they should be an absolute last resort.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      barbara, you miss the point. Depression sufferers aren't looking for "magic". They just want something to help them overcome their disability, and live a relatively happy, normal life. Like you. We don't need your disapproval, or your implication that all we need to do is just "buckle down" to overcome our depression. There's no "one and done" solution to it. Why do you take the typical conservative "stop whining and pull yourself out of your own funk" approach? If that works for you, great. But we're not you. Why do you assume that what works for you will automatically work for everyone else? Not everyone is built like you. Save your criticism for someone else.

      March 23, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
  9. art

    Sex instincts drop with age. That is normal. Don't focus too much on sex. Focus on real love and companionship, which has nothing to do with sex.

    March 22, 2012 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jake

    Suffering from depression myself, sex was not the only area of my life affected. Work, friends, the little pleasures in life, you name it. After switching doctors and trying multiple combinations of antidepressants, we finally came to a combination and dosage which works effectively. It is going on 6 years with the same antidepressants. SSRI’s made me feel worse. The correct SNRI (Duloxetine) with Bupropion was the answer in my case. I tried several SSRI's and SNRI’s along the way. A sleep study was also on the agenda; since sleep problems may cause or contribute to depression (my doctor had frequent success improving depression by improving sleep quality). Sex was still an issue. My wife and I have always considered sex an important part of our relationship. The little yellow pill, Cialis, offsets most of the antidepressant side effects.

    March 22, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Donovan

    I am nearly 60 and my wife is 14 years younger than me. I have suffered from depression for most of my life. My wife is understanding about my inability to perform when I am under stress and depressed; other times, she is not. The pills to treat ED upset my stomach, which is not a good way to get into a romantic mood. It's very frustrating for both of us, and I'm half-tempted to tell her that it would be OK to divorce me so she could look for a younger (non-depressed) man.

    March 22, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bubba

    I was really depressed until I started having sex with my pets. Then, things really started looking up. I'd recommend it to all the losers out there.

    March 22, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • palintwit

      Sounds like the Palin houshold to me !!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:09 | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      Bubba, why not just walk out back and put a bullet in your worthless brain. What a freakin' jerk-wad. You're a POS, dude.

      March 23, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew

    It is entirely refreshing to see men chiming in here in the comments. I too have been a life long sufferer of this nasty disease. I have been on countless meds over the years, therapy, you name it. Sadly, there is no one thing that "does the trick". I try to take it day-by-day although there are many days where I just don't want to get out of bed. Sex and intimacy have really taken a beating in my life, along with interpersonal relationships. I feel that it's important to try to find at least one thing every day that I'm grateful for. It could be worse, after all....

    SSRIs have made an already unbearable situation even worse. Luckily, I found Cymbalta and Seroquel. The combo of the two really seem to help (mind you, there are still days where depression and anxiety overrule any and everything).

    Good luck and best wishes to everyone here! You're not alone and should NOT be ashamed for being you.

    March 22, 2012 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Lori

    Just lay there and take a nap while he does his thing...

    March 22, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Ceecee

    Does anyone worry that your partner will go find sex somewhere else since we're too depressed to have sex?

    March 22, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Amy

    I've been fighting depression for over 30 years in my bedroom. Whats causing the depression is my husband, he won't sleep in the same bed as me, we haven't had sex, intimacy, loving, cuddling and all the other things in marriage for the last 30 years. He eats sleeps down in the basement, he wants nothing to do with me. All he says is leave me alone and don't bother me. He prefers his work shop over me. depressed me, you bet I've been depressed all these years. I've seen a shrink and my medical doctor for years. I really don't know what normal is any more. Maybe god will take me away soon.

    March 22, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Realistic Truth

      AMY you sound like youve gotten less attractive as the years went on.

      March 23, 2012 at 07:17 | Report abuse |
    • Daniela

      Realistic Truth -you are a troll. I cannot think of a worse reply than yours to a depressed person.

      To the poster -I am terribly sorry that you have been suffering all of these years. Your husband might have some issues going on too -perhaps depression or something else. It does not seem right at all for him to tell you to leave him alone and to have shut you out all of these years. Can you get him to go to therapy with you? If not, can you move out and start a new life?

      You still have so much life to enjoy. Please do not lose faith.

      March 23, 2012 at 07:35 | Report abuse |
    • REJ

      My wife has done the exact same thing to me, except we sleep in the same bed. Recently it has come to light that she was sexually abused along with her other siblings by their dad. I understand what that can do to a person...but at some point you have to stop being in denial and be willing to get help. I have been pushing her to go to counseling for 20 years and she refuses. Even some of her sisters have tried, with no effect, to get her to go to counseling. For the last eleven years there has been no touching, no hugging, no intimacy at all...and I am sick of it. I am sorry that this happened to her. I have done all I can to help her and support her...but if I had ever known this was going to drag on this long and impact my enjoyment of life so drastically...I wouldn't have married her no matter how much I loved her. I have had enough. As soon as I an afford to get her some transportation and find a place I can live temporarily and get things together, we are separatiing. That is the only way she will ever get the message that she must go to counseling and learn to take care of herself or our marriage is finished. I am sad that it has to be that way...but this has dragged along way too long. I have wasted enough of my life and my own happiness on a person who refuses to live in the same world that I do.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
    • reeses peaces

      Amy, that is terrible! you are the victim of emotional abuse. I wish i could give you a hug. I wonder if there are spousal abuse support groups you could attend or any kind of group therapy? This abusive relationship is causing your depression. I know how hard it is to leave, though, because you are afraid you will be lonely. If you start engaging in outside activities and bonding with other people outside your marriage, you may be able to do it someday. At one time in my life i thought i would DIE if i didn't have a mate. Then my fiance died and it was awful but i rebuilt my life and found friends and i think i found happiness with these friends and doing fun stuff out of the house. I know you can do it! 🙂

      March 23, 2012 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • REJ

      Amy your situation is terrible, but I would prefer to be living alone than to live with someone who refuses any intimacy. Living with someone like that is worse than being alone. If you can get away from it, you at least have a chance to make your life better. If you stay with someone like that, who is never going to change, you wake up one day and realize all your youth and best years are gone...and so much of it has been wasted on someone who didn't care at all about your needs. By the time you wake up, you are old and no one is attracted to you any more. I feel like I have been cheated out of a lot of happiness I couold have had. Dont be like me. Get out.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:53 | Report abuse |
  17. Alphiee

    So sad to read these comments. I've recently been diagnosed with MDD Sev. All these years I thought it was just me but I now realize this disease is overwhelmingly common. Just wonder why so many people in America have this? If you are in question about getting help, you need to! It just keeps getting worse as time goes on. It was almost to late for me.

    March 22, 2012 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Forist

    I can sympathize with everyone here. My wife sleeps in another room, has been void of intimacy for a decade. She has no desire to resolve her issues or even discuss them. I now find myself working later, having less and less desire to go home and dreaming of meeting someone else. Our marriage has digressed to a marriage of convenience in which we are little more than room mates. I don't care anymore.

    March 22, 2012 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • That Dude


      You are better than I am. A decade. No disrespect, but you can tell me that you are not upset that you wife doesn't want to be intimate with you? The first thing I would think after she says she doesn't want to talk about it, is she cheating? How can you be around someone for a decade or two and not be intimate. If I was around someone for a decade or two and they were not my type or I disgust, eventually I'm going to attempt to be intimate with them.

      April 6, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • clive

      you have written my situation word for word ,,,what did u do in the end ...I have started doing my own thing after years of rejection and bein told to leave her alone if I try foor a cuddle or even a kiss and the odd occasion it did happen I would be told hurry up and she wouldn't even hold me or anything making me feel like sh-t....I sleep in separate bedroom now after getting drunk a few times and moaning at her about it and eventually immature calling her names and swearing at her cos so frustrated and then being ignored and treated like crap all over again.... she disappears if my family pop in and makes my life hell if I go out with friends ....she doesn't cook me anything and I pay all the bills except shopping and get nothing in return..... I spent a few years constantly hugging her being affectionate and all she did was treat me even worse and get angry and tellin me to stop sayin it and that I was not normal..... I feel trapped as I don't want to be the bad guy that walks out on his kids and I cant afford to pay for two properties...any ideas or am I a horrible person for wanting a soulmate or even a slightly physical relationship?

      April 20, 2014 at 03:40 | Report abuse |
  19. blip

    Amy, why don't you just pack up and leave? Sounds to me like your utter charmer of a husband won't even know you're gone. "Leave me alone" gets the following reply: "Fine. You're a [d]ick. And I am outta here."

    March 23, 2012 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daniela

      LOVE it! Great advice!

      March 23, 2012 at 07:36 | Report abuse |
  20. Joe

    "And your psychopharmacologist" You could just say "your doctor" (any physician e.g, pcp or psychiatrist). And yes, I'm aware there a couple of NP's who prescribe as well.

    March 23, 2012 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Ye Olde Gent

    This article focuses on pharmaceuticals to combat depression, but I wish it mentioned that physical activity and quality of sleep are huge factors as well. If you are a guy and your neck (shirt size) is over 17 inches you have one of the risk factors for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea destroys your sleep (and can lead to cardiac problems) and very much sucks the life right out of you.

    Also, any exercise can greatly help therapy. The 23 1/2 hour challenge (youtube video below) is a must-view. Just 20-30 minutes of exercise can help a lot with depression. It certainly won't cure it, but along with the right drug therapy it can help. If you are ready to try anything, make sure you try exercise. Don't wipe yourself out ... just do 20-30 minutes a day (think of it like brushing your teeth or bathing). It really can help.

    This video called the 23 1/2 hour challenge is really worth watching.

    March 23, 2012 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tacc2

      But exercise is so hard! Much better to just take the magic pills. So what if they make you crazy and destroy your liver and kidneys! Our health insurance covers them and the pharmaceutical industry is an important part of the economy after all!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:34 | Report abuse |
    • Ceecee

      Great video. Thanks YOG.

      March 23, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  22. Kramer

    A lot of women just pretend to have a sex drive until you marry them. My wife has absolutely no sex drive after having children. I get my needs met elsewhere. There are plenty of options.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ytram

      Kramer you a smart man because that seems to be true, most men can relate to this decline thereafter child birth. I know it has a lot to do with damaged tissue from giving birth. How does a woman expect to only want part of what comes with having family and marriage? Prior to two kids it was at least consistent now it's like trying to win the lotto.

      March 24, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • That Dude


      I agree. But why is it that they want kids so much and then push you to the side like you don't exist. That is not right. But she says she don't have a sex drive but I bet she is getting her sex drive by some other way? Most women just make up excuses. You had kids and it takes to have kids. So was there depression then? I don't think so. People need to stop listening to these doctors so much and talk to there companions about the situations they are having, because your companion is by your side not the doctors.

      April 6, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  23. tacc2

    Way to push the drugs Mr. Kerner. Wake up people! You live in a terrible culture where most of your life is consumed toiling away for low wages, most likely doing something you don't like. With an 8 hour work day and the commute to/from, you probably have less than 4 hours to yourself every day. During which you need to take care of children, housework, and all the other usual things in life. If you're like most Americans, you get almost no exercise and not enough sleep. You probably also eat a horrible diet. Our "leaders" keep pushing ridiculous agendas. And every year it's, "We need more, and better. Keep growing. Keep doing things faster." NO FREAKING WONDER YOU'RE DEPRESSED! But that's ok, we all know it's really just a chemical imbalance in your brain. You just need the right drug to fix you. The doctor (who gets kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies) tells you so, so it must be true.

    20 million+ Americans on some form of antidepressants. It's absolutely disgusting. Ever read Brave New World where the populace is constantly taking Soma to escape from their crappy lives? You're all doomed.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • reeses peaces

      i was with you until the "you're all doomed" comment. there's always hope. once the big picture is finally seen, people can improve their lives for the better. don't be so negative! and yes, everyone should read brave new world as well as 1984....

      March 23, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
  24. Amy

    I've been depressed for 45 years, that was the first and last time my husband and I had sex. He always said that sex was nothing special, unexciting, way to much work for so little, and just plain disgusting. He told me the day after our wedding that he was starting to work midnights and did so for 40 years before retireing also he was moving all his things to the basement. So ive slept alone and everything I've had to do was on my own with no love or encouragement from anyone. He doesn't care where I go or who I'm with. He just doesn't want to be bothered by me or anyone else. He just stays in the basement by his shop with no phone, computer, Tv no nothing. He goes nowhere and hasn't any friends ! I think I could write a book on depression and what its like to spend just about 45 years in your shrinks office.

    March 23, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ytram

      I'm having the same issue Amy sorry to hear its the other way around. I've tried everything possible know to man. I feel like I am still on Mars......

      March 24, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • jeanbush

      Amy, it sounds like he's depressed, not you. However, I have to ask why you've stayed in such a loveless, hateful marriage and didn't leave him 37 years ago????

      March 29, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • That Dude

      I'm so sorry. But why did you marry him? You are suppose to marry because your companion is someone that you can depend on and trust. Its too late now but I hope you didn't marry just because. That would throw anyone to depression. The other question is don't you think you need to know why he moved to the basement and doesn't want to be around you? That is very scary. I pray that you will be alright.

      April 6, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  25. tough stuff

    When my marriage started to fail because of depression and, not just a lack of sex drive, but a fear of that type of intimacy, I went to my OB-GYN to see if it was depression v. hormonal. He gave me a photocopied section of some book that had all kinds of suggestions on how I could make sex appealing FOR BOTH MY HUSBAND AND MYSELF! (How thoughtful of him!) It included things like "keep the bedroom floor clear of dirty laundry" and "send your husband sexy messages during the work day" and "before he gets home, put on fresh clothes and makeup." Oh, please.
    I ditched that doc and went to a PA (female) who wanted to prescribe an anti-depressant but only after she had checked my thyroid function, etc. She also strongly recommended a therapist and other types of non-pharmaceutical help. Have been on Lexapro for a year now. The husband is long gone, he couldn't get past the part of marriage that wasn't fun, but life is better.

    March 25, 2012 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • That Dude

      Obviously you weren't into him in the beginning or you would have at least tried to work things out. Why is depression a reason to not have sex. Why did you want to marry him. Were you to sexually involved in the beginning. If so why change. Don't be one way before marriage and then think you don't have to do that anymore because your married. That's why he left because there was a change there and if your not have sex with your significant other then yes they are going to leave. People marry so they don't have to play games or go out to have sex anymore. People think that we can get sex at home but I guess that is not the case. So you left him and he went and found someone to sex him on a normal bases.

      April 6, 2012 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
  26. Innuendo

    Buehler ... Buehler ...

    March 26, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Vincent

    In USA the depression is usually installed because of the food habbits. All the chemicals in the body like serotonin, dopamine are strongly related on this. There are studyes that shows links between serotonin, depression and obessity.

    March 26, 2012 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Lula Mae

    Bloody pads on the bathroom floor for the hubby to see, priceless! LMAO!

    March 27, 2012 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. salih

    Sometimes sex is the best solution to overcome the stress. Of course it changes person to person or sometimes it depends on the stress level of person. Some symptoms, person really effecting negatively due to stress level and it inevitably effects person's sexual life. I completely agree that people who suffer from stress need to absatin themselves from sex, they would be oriented romantic acts such as kissing, taking hand or hugging. They give relieving sensation for people. Above all, when partner getting in the bed together, they are likely to forget about real world issues, and they are likely to focus each other and it give them pleasure and satisfaction. I believe that it is the best way to fight stress with natural way. Also communication is the key factor. Partners need to speak together, they need to share and show their feelings to each other. Walking together is also beneficial way for relaxing especially in the nature. Getting bath together, massaging each other, pereparing food togeher, listening music together and so on. In conclusion, couples need to support each other when they facing depression. Without consulting professional help, they are able to achieve to overcome difficulties comes from depression and its repercussions.

    April 4, 2012 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. That Dude


    That is nasty. But have you told her. You should be glad she is giving you oral. It's called spontaneous. Remember this a lot of men don't get oral like that. Sex in the AM is great. It doesn't matter when she wants it, you should be glad to satisfy her. Answer this question, did you live with her before you go married. You have had to see all of this before. Ponder on this, if you are not having sex with her, her toys or some other man will. Then you will be posting about your wife cheating.

    April 5, 2012 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rosilene

    That same story is heard over and over again. Ordinary blokes that vyerebody knows DO premeditate making women helpless so that they can have sex that the woman would not consent to if fully capacitated.And that's pretty much my story too. Except I'd just had a bad breakup and this guy was my friend. Well, apparently. I'm extra-extremely lucky that it only took a few weeks for me to articulate the r-word. And I'm relatively unaffected, though I can't go out drinking any more. That's annoying. Big hugs everyone!It would be nice if there was a site where women could post their experiences anonymously, without comments, though I'm not sure what it would achieve. Would be nice, though, to have it out there.

    April 8, 2012 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. vnmaster

    IS there anybody out here who has taken seroquel or any other similar med for two years and was able to function normally after taking med for so long? I am just not able to get up after sleeping at 10pm and cannot wake up until after 9am. So, I am unable to go to any job? I am an IT professional and this health problem of mine is keeping me from holding to any job?

    April 10, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. jake

    I contacted Ancient benin shrine because someone that I loved the most suddenly left me. I have always been the one that has been hurt. I knew that when I first met him, he was the one I have always been looking for. For some reason he's been holding on to the pain from a past relationship. Dr.Ancient so far has been in contact with me every day and has decided that he will take my case. He told me that me and the guy was very well matched and he will help clear his mind from all the negativity. He did all that and now we are now both happy together again. Thank you Ancient benin shrine .Thank you for choosing my case. Thank you for giving me hope again. Email ancientbeninshrine@gmail.com jake

    December 11, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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  35. Wendy

    I get depressed if my husband and I don't have sex. If we go more than 2 weeks without making love I get really really blue and it sneaks up on me but then we are intimate and it is lovely and my mood lifts. It's more about feeling passion and connection and reaffirming we are important to one another. But when we don't have sex I get depressed, feel insecure, and lonely.

    August 13, 2013 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. julliana

    Hello, my name is julliana,
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    November 3, 2013 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. amanda3466

    i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady who encharm him with her beauty, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don't know what to do until I complained to my friend and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Saibaba. who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 2days. she ask me to contact Dr Saibaba. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two days my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or the kids. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr Saibaba on any problem, he is very nice, here is his contact templesaibaba@yahoo.com

    January 29, 2014 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. big richard

    When I'm depressed I go to the local full service MP and stock up on a dose of the happy drugs! ~ ~ ~ ~ <====3

    January 29, 2014 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. betty

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    March 21, 2014 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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