Can Depression Affect Sexual Desire? Here’s What You Can Do

Depression Affect Sexual Desire

Step 3) Seek sex therapy or coaching

If you’re not currently on medication or have been able to exclude antidepressants as the cause of your low libido, you’ll want to consider other factors. 

Even if the root cause of your low sex drive was initially depression – habits you acquired during your depression might be the reason it’s not come back yet.

A lot of clients I see as a sex therapist and online sex coach develop a negative pattern surrounding sex that inhibits desire, even when the depression at hand is dealt with.

When low libido starts to set in, perhaps you find it difficult to talk about it with your partner.

Instead of having the awkward conversation, you start to pull away, so as to not “encourage” sex. 

The next time your partner cosies up to you on the sofa, you disappear to the bathroom. 

When your partner goes in for a kiss hello, you turn your cheek to avoid a kiss on the lips. 

Every time your partner initiates closeness or intimacy, you back away for fear of having to turn them down. 

By doing this you’re avoiding unpleasant feelings and difficult conversations. However, in the long-term, you’re further and further away from desire and general intimacy in your relationship. 

Read 5 Things to Do (And to Not Do) When Your Partner is Feeling Depressed

Even when your depression subsides, the gut reaction is still there – telling your mind and body that sex equals pressure, stress and something that’s bad for you. Something you just don’t want (even though, deep down, you maybe still do want it). 

In order to change this and increase your desire – you need to relearn what sex means to you. 

Sometimes you can do this on your own, but more often than not, the kind of pattern mentioned above needs more – and this is where professional help comes in. 

Seeking the help of a sex therapist or a sex coach is a great way to learn how to want sex again. The combination of our knowledge of sexual science and psychology, and the actionable tools and exercises we can offer – help you can get your sex drive back. 

Can depression affect sexual desire? Yes – but it’s reversible.

Our sexuality is a fundamental part of ourselves. It’s an ingrained aspect of our person that both affects and is affected by every-day life. This is why depression not only robs you of joy all-round, but of sexual pleasure and desire, too. Because desire isn’t just a drive – it’s an emotion tied to our other emotions. 

By treating your depression with talk therapy and antidepressants, troubleshooting medication and seeing a sex therapist or coach – you can feel that spark again. I know, because I’ve seen it before, again and again, and it can happen for you too. 

Originally published on Therapy by Leigh.


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