Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

Dealing with the Effects of Stress & Depression on Your Sexual Wellbeing

Stress can impact both your physical and emotional well-being.

Without good coping skills, stress can lead to depression, which can negatively affect a couple’s intimacy and sexual functioning.

Depression can reduce energy levels, reduce arousal and increase fatigue. These effects are further complicated by anti-depressants which have been found to reduce sexual interest, decrease the ability to achieve erections, reduce vaginal lubrication, prohibit male ejaculation and diminish the capacity for orgasm in both men and women.

How can you and your partner combat the effects of stress and depression?

  • Have a good night’s rest. Allowing your body to rejuvenate overnight will help to increase your sexual functioning, particularly in the mornings.
  • Re-kindle the flame. Take time out from planning Christmas dinner and entertaining family members to be alone together. Take a bubble bath, or have a romantic dinner at home or at your favorite restaurant.
  • Be honest. Being sensitive, honest and clear about your needs and desires will reduce performance anxiety.
  • Be realistic. Tell your partner how you feel. It’s OK to not be in the mood for sex. Don’t fake it.

It is important to remember that depression is common and treatable. There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. If you feel tired, stressed and physically drained for a long period of time, you should seek medical help.

Medication and counseling will help you improve your appetite, sleep and help restore your energy and sexual interest.