My depressive episodes started in my late 20s. It caught me by complete surprise.
I was a relatively happy teenager (well, as happy as a teenager can be I suppose), and I absolutely loved my early 20s. Aaaah, my early 20s. Young. Healthy. Good friends. Great sex drive. Great sex life. I felt invincible. At the age of 26 I immigrated to London. The adjustment was difficult, but I disregarded and dismissed the ‘negativity’ and carried on regardless.
About 2 years later, I started experiencing ‘off’ days. Those days became more and more regular and lasted longer. My eating habits changed, my libido took a nose dive and I was constantly exhausted. My lust for life evaporated completely. I finally arranged to go to the doctor when I could not cope anymore.
The doctor put me onto anti-depressants and I started seeing a psychotherapist. It took a while, but I did start to feel a lot better and I started enjoying life again. The only aspect which remained non-existent was, unfortunately, my libido. Nothing. Not a flicker of excitement. Not a spark of desire.
This lack of desire had a huge impact on my relationships. I was getting desperate. Things needed to change, so I started doing research, saw a doctor and started the Love Yourself process. Believe me when I say that there is certainly HOPE. Do not despair! Depression and low libido certainly go hand-in-hand, but here are 5 effective steps to increase your drive.
NOT TONIGHT HONEY, I HAVE A HEADACHE
During a spell of depression, the body releases hormones and chemicals that rob you of your sex drive and take away the ability to enjoy sex when or if you and your partner get around to it. With depression, you, mentally and physically, become your own worst enemy when it comes to sex.
Anti-depressants, for me, are a lifesaver. They do not necessarily work for everyone, but they managed to regulate the neurotransmitters in my brain which in turn started to make me feel human again. The downside of taking anti-depressants, however, is that despite making you feel a whole lot better, they suppress your sex drive. And because of low or no sex drive, getting aroused or the ability to have an orgasm is just about downright impossible while you are on medication.
COMMUNICATE AND ARTICULATE
Talk to your partner about how you are feeling. Break down of communication with your partner can be the breakdown of your relationship. Explain that the way you are feeling has nothing to do with your love for them. Reassure them that you do love them, that you do want to be intimate with them, but that it is really difficult for you at that moment. Make an appointment with your doctor and explore options of alternative drug therapy or medication that would not impact your sex drive as much.
LEARN TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
If coital sex is no longer possible due to reasons of lack of desire, lack of libido, dryness, erectile dysfunction, do not worry. There are alternatives. There are lots of ways to enjoy sexual stimulation and pleasure through mutual masturbation, foreplay, intimate massaging, sex toys devices and lubricants. Watching erotic films or reading erotic books can also get you aroused.
‘GASM GADGETS AND LUBRICANTS
If you are experiencing a feeling of dryness (another symptom of depression), having sex can certainly feel very uncomfortable. To make sex feel more pleasurable make sure that you use water-based lubricants. Using a vibrator on your clitoris can feel absolutely amazing and will increase your chances of having an orgasm. I have found the Lelo’s Smart Wand to be utterly orgasmic.
The important thing is to get you and your partner closer together, so allow them to intimately massage your clitoris either with using lubricants, or with the use of a sex toy. Even if you do not reach orgasm the first time, it does not matter. The initial point is to get that feeling of love, closeness and bonding with your partner as well as lighting that libido fire again.
Tenga have got a stunning range called Tenga Air Tech which gives men a “helping hand” when it comes to masturbation. Of course your partner will be able to help you out, so you can relax, lie back and let the waves of pleasure wash over you.
FEELING GOOD – TAKES AN EFFORT
Let’s face it, having sex can make us feel absolutely great. But, even for those who do not suffer of depression, sex can be an effort. That is why, making the time to indulge in the delights of sex – even if you are not in the mood – can have a positive effect on our mood.
This can be achieved through foreplay and sexual teasing. Take a moment to acknowledge the joys of having sex with your partner. The actual act. It does not necessarily mean that you have to focus on having an orgasm each time. This seems to be the ‘goal’ – the be all and end all when having sex. Yes, of course it is absolutely toe-curlingly, pillow-squeezingly delightful when it happens. But take it step by step.
IN GOOD SHAPE
When it comes to depression, things are extremely complicated in terms of eating and in terms of exercise, due to your exhaustion. The thought of cooking or going to the gym is a concept so far beyond reality and your capability, that the mere suggestion can push you over the edge.
Here, however, are some examples of what I eat to help with my depression and to give my libido a little kick up the behind.
Strawberries, Raspberries, Walnuts, Avocado, Watermelon, Almonds, Chocolate, Peaches and Saffron – these fantastic snacks are not only delicious and incredibly good for us, but they are very sexy foods. I am sure that you and your partner will have fun devouring these treats, and afterwards, each other!
Losing weight and exercising will boost your system too. It will give you more confidence generally. I am certainly not talking of doing a marathon or the Triathlon, but just getting out and walking, or going for a swim will get those feel good chemicals (endorphins) released.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Depression is not easy to understand or to live with. If you are in a relationship, speak to you partner about how you are feeling, what you are going through. This communication will take a weight of your shoulders and will take the strain off between you and your partner. Explore each other. Discover and taste new foods which are good for you and your libido.
Make time, and get creative in the bedroom. Keep in mind though, it is more important to have good mental health which may be helped by medication than to be unhappy just to achieve orgasm. To take the pressure off yourself and just enjoy!
Remember to Love Yourself, love and be loved. Respect and be respected. Be gentle with yourself.
I hope to see you soon again,