One of the most prevailing symptoms of depression is dissociation. A detachment from real life. Like a barrier between you and the rest of the world. This brings with it a lack of energy to connect with people, even complete everyday tasks.
The most basic needs seem unimportant. Washing. Working. Smiling. Exercise. Sex.
“Slowed-down responses, near paralysis, psychic energy throttled back close to zero. Ultimately, the body is affected and feels sapped, drained.” – an excerpt from William Styron’s Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
Sex is not something we often hear about when talking about depression. But we should. Because it stops.
Sex drive plummets. Interest and connectivity leaves. Problem is, this affects not only the person suffering from depression, but their partner too.
I’m a 31-year-old woman. Yesterday my boyfriend told me he doesn’t feel comfortable having sex with me. He’s very insecure and feels he ejaculates too quickly. I also think he’s depressed. I’m really trying to support him, but I’m frequently away for work. I love him deeply, but I’m on edge. – A question for US-based psychotherapist Pamela Stephenson Connolly on The Guardian.
It's the worst sort of catch-22. Depression renders you uninterested in sex. Yet sex can help boost your mood. Even release hormones that might (temporarily at least) relieve some of the symptoms of depression.