Last year I had a very difficult decision to make. Having gone through extremely tough 6 months I was put on antidepressants by my GP. This isn’t a new thing in my life, I suffered with extreme postnatal after my first daughter and have been prescribed antidepressants at least one other occasion in my life. My family has an unfortunate history with mental illness. I’ve always thought of myself as exceptionally strong as a person but we all need help occasionally. Having watched people I love spiral into the darkness of anxiety and depression I know all too well how easy it is to miss it.
Almost as soon as I was prescribed the drug I noticed the difference. My sexual urges began to wane. I am an extremely sexual being. It’s wrapped around everything I do. Scheduling masturbation into my life has been part of my day to day existence since before I even knew what it was. Suddenly I realised I hadn’t cum for days.
Within a fortnight, I realised to my horror it wasn’t just the urges that were suppressed. My orgasm was weakening. Taking longer to achieve. Harder to get. In just a fortnight how can that be? I persevered my efforts to continue to get myself off daily. Although it began to feel a chore. A lot of effort for a little pay out. Gone were the beautiful bursts of colour streaking through my vision as I threw my head back and moaned my way through internal fireworks. Instead it was like a damp squib. A muted effort.
Panic began to set in. I was in absolutely no doubt I couldn’t live like this, I needed the release. To be able to cum. It wasn’t an entire surprise as the drug I had been prescribed was also used as a treatment for hypersexual disorders. I had been offered it before to tackle what my GP felt was a tangled issue. My depression and my hyper sexuality. She felt they were linked. I felt she was wrong, and didn’t want my sexual urges policed.
Painting Over Marker Pen
I read and researched and hoped things would settle down. But with each passing week it got harder to cum. And when I did it was pitiful. It was a mere drop compared to the waves and waves of pleasure I was used to. It didn’t come close to scratching the itch I felt. I longed for my old orgasm. It felt like being on a diet. Longing for the tastier treats you craved still but couldn’t have
I spent hours trying to resurrect my lost sex drive. The horrible thing about anti-depressants treating hyper sexuality is it’s like painting white paint over marker pen. You can just about cover it but in the right light it shows through. I may not have the over whelming physical desire to be fucked, to cum, the way I used to but it left a massive hole in my life and I was grieving it.
You can’t just remove something so intrinsically linked to someone’s personality and expect them not to mourn it. I ached for my sex life. Mourning the delicious anticipation of sex with my partner. Grieving for the days spent tangled in my sheets exploring each other, or just myself. Learning things about myself I never knew. Unwinding my kinks in every little detail to find myself in the middle.
The Loss of my Orgasm
After approximately six weeks of taking the drug it happened. I finally couldn’t cum. It didn’t matter what I did. I tried all my most trusted methods. I used fail-safe toys, the Doxy wand, my trusty and beloved Satisfyer. Nothing worked. The morning it first happened I spent hours building the sensations to the point where I was shaking and sweating and SHOULD CUM… nothing I did could push me over that edge.
I was left over stimulated, frustrated and slightly heart broken. I sat on my bed and sobbed. What was my life without my glorious orgasm? My GP had told me I needed to be on these drugs a minimum of two years. Two years? Like this? No. just no. I couldn’t live without it. I felt like half of my former self. No longer sure what the point was of anything without that amazing, delicious payoff at the end.
Seeing my GP
For me sex is life. It always has been, I made an appointment to see my GP, desperate and in need of help. The appointment was on my birthday, already this was a bad day for me last year. I hoped that getting my meds switched would improve this. Sat waiting in the surgery anxiously I tried to convince myself it was going to be ok.
I explained to my GP the problems I was having. Explaining to her how it was affecting me and how I understood it was a side-effect of the drug I was on. She listened and shook her head. She told me she was unwilling to switch my tablets for at least 6 months. I needed to suck it up and accept that long term it would settle down and do me good.
I narrowed my eyes at her, by settle down did she mean my orgasm will return? She explained that possibly not, there were no guarantees but it would become easier to live with and the urges would leave me. She offered no alternative, she said almost all antidepressants affect sex drive and orgasm. And female orgasm changes with age so maybe it was this I was experiencing. Maybe it was my age not the drugs.
I felt utter rage bubble up inside me. I was NOT experiencing some time of life sexual waning. This corresponded exactly with the beginning of the course of tablets. The more I took the worse it got. I begged her for help. I told her I simply couldn’t live like it. She calmly sat there watching me dissolve, handed me a tissue and told me to bear with it and rebook in six months.
A Difficult Decision
I left the surgery bereft. Walking home in a daze of tears and hopelessness. I had a choice to make. My sanity or my sex drive. the next twenty-four hours was spent digesting what she had said. I wanted to talk to my partner about it and couldn’t. This decision had to be my own. Could I live without that part of my life? No, I couldn’t. Was this helping my mental health? Not even slightly. I didn’t feel any way shape or form better. I felt half the woman I was. In mourning for my sex drive, even more lost.
I made a hard decision, I was going to stop the medication. I’d only got six weeks of tablets in my system I could stop now with little damage. And hopefully this would reverse the process. On my own, not telling anyone about my decision I weaned myself off. I honestly can’t think of a time when I felt more cut off from people. I feared my family’s reaction. I’d discussed the possibility and they were totally against it.
Returning to Me
Gradually my responses began to return. Masturbation felt good again. I begin to ache for my partners touch again. Within a fortnight, I could cum again, all be it weakly but my god the first time it happened I sobbed. Grateful for the return of that release. Feeling female again, feeling sexual, feeling me.
I suffered no ill effects from stopping my tablets. I guess I was lucky. Within a month, I was back to explosive, addictive multiple orgasms and loving every second. I spent every minute I could embracing my sexuality again.
The Importance of Medication
By no means am I advocating stopping mental health medication. My own sister is on life-long medication and the consequences of being without this far outweighs the possible effects of being on it. But it made me think. Should I even have been given those drugs? Why was my GP so disinterested in my issues? Is this lazy medicine? Blanket treat everyone with a one size fits all mentality when it clearly doesn’t. How many thousands of people are possibly in this same position.
There must be another way. Surely people shouldn’t have to choose between their peace of mind and their sex life. For me that’s not a choice I can make. I know I can’t live without the sexual side of my life. I don’t regret this decision at all and I’ve fully accepted I probably can’t ever take anti-depressants again.
Living with Depression
Living with depression is hard. There should be much more emphasis on personalising medication to work with the person’s life. GP’s should be able to afford each patient the time to get this balance right as it’s crucial to being able to remain on medication happily. Mental health medication is often long term or life-long, it needs to be got right!
I think there should be much more research into the impact of the loss of sexual urges on people with depression. If you are suffering from the dark enveloping effects of depression surely sex and orgasm is a healthy, free way to shine a little light into that darkness?
If you are on mental health medication and suffering from adverse side effects insist on seeing your doctor. Insist on a double appointment to give yourself adequate time to speak and be heard. If you think your GP isn’t listening or hearing you get a second opinion. It is good practice to seek regular medication reviews if you are on long term medication, your GP has an obligation to hear you out.