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Sex And Depression. Friday November 21, 2014

Now come on, confess: how many of you clicked on this email because of the title when you haven't clicked on a Moodscope email for a number of days/weeks now?

Hmmm. Thought so.

There's something about sex, isn't there?

So – my own confession: I'm in my 50s and I still really like sex.
(Ah, a moment here – please forgive me but I know my teenage daughter sometimes reads these blogs).

You have to understand of course that I have never actually had sex and that both my daughters were created by Immaculate Conception. Now, stop reading this, darling and do some homework.

Gone now? Good.

So – we've established that I am a normal woman with a healthy libido, lucky enough to be married to a man more than happy to satisfy that libido (and that's quite enough of the personal information, I feel).

But when that grey monster of depression comes and swallows me up things are very different.

In that wonderful video by the World Health Organisation "I Had A Black Dog, His Name Was Depression" there is an image that shows the narrator in bed with his wife/partner with the black dog lying, like a great bolster, between them. He says: "He would take my love and bury my intimacy." Those of us who suffer depression know how very true that is.

When depression shows up we not only don't feel like making love, we are often incapable of it. You may think that it should be easier for women, because, after all, we can fake it, whereas for you guys if it's not happening then there's really no pretending, is there? But if you're in a loving relationship there's no faking anything with a man who knows you better than you know yourself.

Sometimes it's better to say "Let me make you feel good, darling. Don't worry about me: I can't at the moment; we'll make up for it when I'm better." It's not perfect, but it's better than lying in the same bed with a whole universe in the shape of that black dog between you. Often it's just a loving touch or hug that we need, and need to give, not necessarily sex.

It takes trust, a depth of love and intimacy (not to mention patience) which not all of us are lucky enough to have.

But at least let's have honesty: it's not you, it's not me; It's this bloody illness! It will pass – eventually and then (please!) – Game On!

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 5:16am

Thanks Mary for reminding me to be authentic about sex.

Anonymous Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 6:45am

So very true, all of what you say, Mary. Nice that you have named it though for us as a reminder. When in the throes of depression, reasoning goes all askew, and there's a strong risk of damage occurring in a relationship because of that darned Black Dog.

Adam Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 7:55am

Thank you Mary, that was uplifting (excuse the pun!).

Anonymous Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 9:20am

Hi Mary- you are a breath of fresh air- my dear! This is one subject that drives me mad that people will just NOT discuss!! It's become a bit of an obsession of mine! I am right now changing my medication because of this. This is something that really needs to be tackled and challenged, it's a very important issue- if you actually had a good sex life- which isn't always common- before meds- then after meds its gone!! Which is a tragedy. Do discuss this openly with your Dr- as most SSRI's cause- wait for it kids- anorgasmia. Which really isn't much fun - & not polite to talk about!!! But WHY NOT- we are consenting adults! I believe there is no reason why you should still have no urge after being on anti-depressants, other than side effects. Initially our GP's want to just keep us safe, but after we've decided to stick about and get better- some great sex would be -...great!!!

Jenny (still learning the guitar- will try after sex!!)

Rupert Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 9:44am

Mary I didnt know you had it in you..! Honestly though I have always had a keen interest in it and in a way it is probably the one thing that makes me fell better when all else fails - just thinking about it and the possibilities! Agree the anti -deps have a deleterious effect on us guys and it sounds like you girls too!

acousticwilli Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 9:45am

Hi Mary, what a wise young bird you are. Your first couple of paragraphs were absolutely spot on! And all of your message is very sage advice. A really nice start to the day - almost as good as sex ;-)

kp Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 10:25am

I love you Mary, I don't read the blog posts as often as I used to, but when I do (and yes, it was the title that got me), and one really resonates with me, and it is written in my kind of language, it is invariably by you. Thank you.

Snuggles62 Fri, Nov 21st 2014 @ 11:17am

Yes I love you too Mary! My husband and I laughed at your blog this morning. I'm in my 50s and my daughter thinks it's disgusting that we, you know " do it"! As she would say. Cuddling is as important as sex for us. When I'm feeling blank, being held by him means everything to both of us. This has brought us closer.

Menopause has made my moods worse. Femmenescence Has really helped !

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