How does depression affect your libido?

by Dr. Pranjal on July 10, 2023 , 5 min read

Every aspect of daily life, including sex, is impacted by depression. Sexual health is crucial to relationships and can improve your mood. Some antidepressants might reduce libido. Libido, or the desire to be sexual, plays a significant role in most relationships. Your quality of life and your connection with your spouse may suffer if your sexual function wanes. Both men and women can experience low libido, but because it can be a taboo topic, they frequently don't seek treatment.


A good life depends on having a healthy sexual life. Sexual dysfunction is frequently present in depressive patients. Patients with depression often exhibit anhedonia, or the inability to enjoy sex, as well as exhaustion. Sexual dysfunctions are frequently linked to antidepressants, which are recommended to treat depression. However, a lack of sexual desire may indicate a medical problem. If you have little to no desire for sexual activity, you may have low libido. You might also experience severe distress or interpersonal difficulties because you lack sexual fantasies.



Most people's levels of sexual desire change over time. It's normal to experience periods where you don't want sex as much. But if your libido has been declining for a while and is making you anxious or depressed, it may be time to see your doctor. Researchers are aware that depression and decreased libido frequently co-occur. Whether they happen simultaneously or not, both significantly influence your life and demand medical care.


What is depression?

"Depression" is a common term used to describe Major Depressive Disorder. It's a condition that results in a person having a depressed mood, not enjoying daily living, or both. Everyone occasionally feels down, but depression typically lasts longer.


Some of the symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, aggression, anxious, irritated, angry, or restlessness
  • Reduced sexual desire or sexual function issues
  • Losing interest in things that were once enjoyed
  • Changes to sleep patterns
  • Feeling tired easily
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Using drugs
  • Drinking excessively
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Having delayed responses in conversations
  • Having difficulty completing tasks
  • Experiencing pain, headaches, or digestive problems
  • Weight changes


You might think you don't have enough energy for sex if you're depressed. You might discover that you no longer like sex as much as you used to because sadness can also make you less inclined to enjoy sex.

What does the research say?

The relationships and overlap between poor libido and depression have been examined in a number of studies. Researchers have thought about what factors may raise the risk as well as how frequently both illnesses affect men and women. Here are some of the key conclusions.


An article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that about 40 percent of women with a sexual disorder also experience depression and 3.7 % have problems with both desire and depression. 

What does depression have to do with libido, anyways?


Sex is more than just a basic want, despite being frequently seen as a biological need. It's more akin to an emotion that is influenced by a variety of factors other than our biology.


We may feel that we do not want to have a relationship for a variety of reasons, including psychological ones like sadness and anxiety, interpersonal ones like conflict and communication styles, and even cultural ones. Stressful life situations like a divorce or a job loss are risk factors for depression and reduced libido. Important life changes or occurrences might also act as triggers. Abuse of alcohol and other substances raises the risk of sadness and poor libido.



Although it's possible to have both conditions at once, having one condition does not necessarily mean you have the other. There are treatments available that might be helpful in either scenario.


Let's look at some treatment options

There is no single treatment for low libido and depression. Options include self-help techniques, relationship counseling, sex therapy, and medicinal interventions. The major objectives of treatment may involve reviving sexual desire, fostering efficient communication, and enhancing your capacity to take pleasure in daily activities, depending on your situation.

Talk to a professional

Talking to their doctor is the first step toward getting help. You can speak with a sex therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist if you'd like more expert assistance. Any of these experts are qualified to talk to you about your treatment options.


Increased mind-body awareness and the ability to identify thoughts and actions that are negatively affecting your sex drive and general happiness can both be achieved through therapy.

At Kindly we have expert therapists that will help you understand the root cause of your sexual problems. It’s best to take quick action to rely on expert advice during times of crisis. Click here to book a consultation

Find insight into communication

The first step is admitting that you have a problem with your mentality and sex life. An at-home technique for low libido and challenging emotions is to be transparent with your partner. Self-help books and helpful blogs both provide ways for you to improve your communication abilities. You might feel less isolated and your relationship's intimacy will increase if you can find techniques to better communicate with your partner.

Talk to Your Partner

Start communicating with your spouse if you want to improve your sexual life. It's not necessary to indulge in roleplay or wear seductive underwear to have an enjoyable sexual life. It's more about the intense feelings and touches your spouse gives you; it's a shared experience that both of you can consciously enjoy.

Relieve stress the right way

Stress can sometimes make people feel depressed and have decreased libido levels. This can result in a vicious cycle where stress-related reduced libido leads to further stress. Stress-relieving activities frequently have an impact. Think about doing some journaling, meditation, exercise, or listening to music. Trying to relax as much as you can helps lessen both diseases' symptoms.

Take charge of your situation

Depending on the underlying causes, there are many different approaches to addressing low libido. Making healthy lifestyle decisions, such as obtaining regular exercise, changing your food, lowering stress, getting adequate sleep, and reducing your alcohol consumption, can also assist.


You might also think about learning some sex positions designed for depressed people because they can make you feel less stressed and anxious when having sex with your partner. Your sex therapist will be useful in this situation.



Work With Your Doctor

Despite the fact that not all antidepressants reduce sex drive, some do have side effects that are dose-dependent. Occasionally, treating depression by just reducing the dose can do so without impairing sexual desire.

If you experience sexual side effects from antidepressants, discuss them with your doctor. Once you've been taking an antidepressant for a few months, you'll notice that you begin to love having sex.


Numerous natural supplements and herbal therapies have been investigated as mild to moderate depression treatments. These have demonstrated antidepressant effects without reducing libido in patients. Kindly has a wide range of 100% naturally sourced supplements that will help you enhance your performance. Click here to explore. 


Inform your doctor if you're taking any herbal remedies or supplements so they can keep an eye out for drug interactions and determine if the combination is safe or not.


Break down your walls…

The fact that a patient with chronic depression has been thinking that way about themselves for so long that it has become ingrained in their minds, almost forming a habit, poses a significant difficulty for medical professionals treating them.


Simply treating depression medically with medication won't solve the issue. Some things need to be unlearned with psychotherapy. Unlearning all the negativity can help people bond with loved ones in new and meaningful ways.


To summarise

Even while most people go through times of increased and decreased sex drive, having a low libido can be concerning as it may affect your relationship and social life. Low libido and depression frequently occur together. Tell your doctor if you have experienced any symptoms, such as depression or a prolonged low mood.


Consider improving your communication abilities and scheduling more time for stress-relieving hobbies. The first step you take toward feeling better can be to spend quality time unwinding with your partner. Relationships can be strengthened by discussing depression with your spouse, learning about the available treatments, and experimenting in bed with your partner in a judgemental-free environment.

overall Rating


by Dr. Pranjal on July 10, 2023 , 5 min read

Still Not Sure How to Improve Your Sexual Health With Us?

Our Self-Assessment Test takes the guesswork away. Assess real problems with solutions that show visible improvements in 3 months*.

Take Assessment
Copyright © 2023 Kindly
Mothersense Technologies Pvt. Ltd.