Sex alone is quite a difficult topic for many people, and if we add mental health to the equation, this topic becomes even more problematic because mental health is also surrounded by stigma and shame. Fortunately, more and more people start to open up and explore their sexuality while also trying to better understand how their mind works.
Is sex connected to mental health? If you want to learn more about your mind, exploring your sexuality is definitely a great idea because the connection between mental health and sex is impossible to ignore.
When you have sex, your brain experiences the impact of endorphins which influence your mood and emotions. Besides, the love hormones released during and after sex can help your body fight the consequences of stress and allow you to build relationships by making you feel attachment.
However, the connection between sex and mental health works both ways. Healthy sexual life can positively influence your mental health, but if you have mental health problems, they may disrupt your sexual life. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and many other mental health issues can directly affect your libido and romantic relationships.
In this article, we are going to consider the impact of common mental health problems on sex so that you can understand what hides behind the changes in your intimate life. If you realize that your sex drive has changed but don’t know how to explain it, a great solution is to talk to a licensed therapist. You can even get the necessary help remotely by talking to online therapists.
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While anxiety is one of the most common emotional issues that affect sex life in men, this mental health disorder doesn’t discriminate and impacts both men and women. The most common consequence of anxiety is a discrepancy between emotional and physical arousal.
Many men, including young men who just begin their sexual lives, deal with sexual problems because of anxiety. In turn, an inability to fulfill their own or their partner’s expectations may make anxiety even worse, reinforcing erectile dysfunction. Men can take VigRX Plus to help them improve their sexual performance.
Women with anxiety may also experience problems with physical arousal despite wanting intercourse. Anxiety can also make it very difficult for a person to feel an orgasm or cause painful sensations. According to statistics, women who have been diagnosed with anxiety are 10 times more likely to develop genital penetration pain disorder.
Depression can have a significant negative impact on all areas of your life, including sex. People with depression often lose interest in all activities that used to bring them joy, eliminating the very desire to have sex. It can also lead to sexual pain in women and erectile dysfunction in men. Women diagnosed with depression are three times more likely to develop dyspareunia, a chronic condition associated with pain during intercourse.
Depression can also contribute to the development of post-coital dysphoria, which is characterized by negative emotions after sex. As much as 41% of men and 46% of women deal with such a problem, feeling irritable or depressed after sex, even if such an experience was pleasurable and satisfying.
Besides, depression can impact one’s self-esteem and make a person feel insecure about their body. People with depression often lose their sexual confidence and feel less desirable. Besides, they may limit their social interactions, avoiding opportunities for intimacy and romantic relationships.
In this case, there is also a connection between sex deprivation and mental health, as the feelings of isolation and loneliness may worsen the symptoms of depression. The good news is that sex can help minimize depression and anxiety
Bipolar disorder can make a person feel like they’re losing control of their sexuality. In this case, episodes of depression are followed by episodes of mania or hypomania. During the depressive episodes, a person may lose their sex drive, experience fatigue, anxiety, and a feeling of worthlessness.
However, during manic episodes, the situation changes because mania is characterized by impulsive behavior. This may impact the person’s sexuality, leading to sexual hyperactivity and risky sexual behavior. During manic episodes, people often practice sex with strangers and engage in unusual sexual activities.
The reason is that mania makes one feel overly energized, and sex looks like a nice way to free this energy. Fluctuations of libido caused by bipolar disorder can have a significant impact on one’s intimate life. Nevertheless, researchers note that people with bipolar disorder often maintain sex lives that look no different from those of regular couples. However, the disorder makes them feel less satisfied.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic disorder that is often associated with sexual obsessions and unwanted thoughts about sex. People with OCD might be afraid of various sexual thoughts. For instance, some people are afraid that their orientation may change, while others become obsessed with sexual thoughts that contradict their religious beliefs or focus on illegal activities.
OCD can also lead to various obsessions that fuel the fear of having sex, including obsessions that revolve around the idea of possible contamination. Along with various unwanted thoughts, people with OCD also often deal with sexual dysfunctions, including arousal issues and decreased libido. If you’re struggling with low libido then supplements to improve female libido might help you.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Postcoital dysphoria is particularly common among people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies show a correlation between these mental health issues, and the reason is that sex can trigger memories of past emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, even when it’s consensual and enjoyable sex with a loving partner.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD is another mental health issue that may have a direct impact on a person’s sexual life. Both hypersexuality and hyposexuality are among common complaints therapists hear from people with this disorder.
When a person with ADHD is really interested in something, they may stay focused on it and dedicate a lot of time to it, and sex is no exception. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine demonstrates that ADHD and hypersexuality are common co-occurring issues, with the former being able to increase the severity of the latter.
However, when a person diagnosed with ADHD isn’t particularly interested in sex, their sexual desire may decrease and they may avoid sexual activities. In both cases, this disorder may have a significant negative impact on a person’s personal relationships and sexual life.
As you can see, there is a strong connection between mental health and sexuality. Therefore, if you realize that your sexual desire and intimate life have changed significantly, you may consider talking to a therapist. A licensed professional can help you figure out what exactly impacts your sexual life and suggest an effective treatment.
The good news is that you don’t even need to visit a therapist in person. Thanks to online therapy platforms like Calmerry, you can opt for video chat therapy and talk to licensed therapists from home. Learn more about the benefits of talk therapy to know what you should expect from sessions.
At the same time, if you’re generally less interested in sex than someone else, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with you. Social media and TV often put too much pressure on people, overemphasizing the importance of sex. However, if you check out research data on how often couples have sex, you might be surprised because the reality is quite different from what we see in TV shows.
It’s important to know the difference between sexual connection vs. emotional connection. While sex is an important part of our lives, it isn’t necessarily the main part of our relationships.