Monday, November 10, 2008

The truth about sex & depression

I'm going to go out on a limb and talk about something very personal. Sex. I'm typically shy about this subject not only in doing it but talking about it. I'm trying to break through my shell. There are various reasons behind why I blush at the mere mention of sex and why I must have the light off and the covers yanked up to my chin. Let's just say my early experiences with sex have shaped who I am today and I'm trying to outgrow that shape.

For the last 2 years. Shit. Who am I kidding? For the last 3 to 4 years the sexual relationship between my girlfriend and I has been, well, practically non-existent. God love her for being so patient and understanding, I'm very lucky. Between trying to get pregnant and being worried about having sex while waiting to find out if we were pregnant and then getting pregnant and afraid to have sex because of previous miscarriages - our sex life went down hill. Fast. Like a speeding bullet. BAM! No nookie.

I gave birth to a beautiful little girl, then my father passed away and I became the poster child for postpartum depression. Between shredded nipples/pumping/dreading returning to work/a funeral and home life in general, I was a complete mess. Enough of a mess that people asked Lin on several occasions if I was okay. I was not okay, but I insisted that I was. Who wants to admit that they have lost control of their emotions. Of their life?

Not only did I start smoking again, but I starting taking anti-depressants. Right away I noticed a difference. I was able to cope with life a little bit better, I didn't obsessively check to make sure the baby was breathing 30 times before I was able to go to bed and when I did go to bed, I could finally sleep. I no longer handed the baby to Lin the minute she got home and then ran from the room because I had to get away from that baby. Oh, and wash my hair. I could finally wash my hair. I don't know why that task was so difficult, but it was overwhelming.

The down side to the medication is that it killed my vagina. I may as well have cut the thing off as much use as it was to me. I had no feeling "down there" whatsoever. Not even a hint of a tingle at anytime. Not no way, not no how. I couldn't even give myself an orgasm. THAT is how dead my vagina was. So when there is no sex, not even a hint of sex between 2 people that love each other very much, you start to grow distant. When the distance gets large enough, the kissing stops, the hugging stops, the cute emails, the telephone calls, the snuggling in bed and even the ability to just be cordial to each other. I started to grow resentful of having a partner that was no longer my lover. We were roommates who were co-parenting and it sucked. I went off my medication and that went about as well as a fart in a diving helmet. It stunk really bad and I thought I would never get through it.

I emailed Lin and asked one simple question: Did I function better when I was on meds? The answer was yes and as much as I didn't want to be a slave to medication, I knew I had to start taking them again. Ironically, the thought of going back on anti-depressant medication was depressing.

Then I quit smoking. That is a horror all it's own as well as another story for another time. My mental health grew stronger as my libido grew weaker. There was just no sexual desire at all. AT ALL. I can't understand why Lin stayed, other than we were a family and we were going stick together and get through it. I'm glad she toughed it out. The "baby" is now 2-1/2 and even though we have our bad days we love each other very much and want to be together. Frequent sex or not. Although Lin definitely leans to "frequent" side of the equation.

Depression isn't something to be ashamed of. I think if more people talked about it and would admit to it, there wouldn't be such a stigma. Yes, there is a big chance that medication will kill your libido but I would rather have the medication kill my libido than for depression to kill me.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression. Do something and do it now.


1 comment:

Meg said...

Sex is one of my fav things to talk about. I know you might not feel comfortable talking about it with me but It wont bother me if you would want to talk about it. I notice some days my libido is lacking from my depression medication then there are other days I cant get enough. When I start my home business it will be something i could help with, garanteeeeed!!!