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No sex drive on antidepressants

Community Member
Hi all. I'm not new to this site/these forums but it's the first I've spoken to someone about this issue.

Since commencing my anti depressants (3 years ago) my sex drive has slowly dwindled away and I feel like it's causing major strain in my 10 year relationship with my boyfriend. We live together and he works shift work most of the week, and has always had a high libido. So when he has time off, it's no surprise he naturally wants to have a lot of sex (which is fine) however I find it so hard to reciprocate his energy. I've just halved the dosage of my medication (after speaking to my GP) in hopes of making things better as I feel like an awful partner however not much has changed. I really wish I wanted sex more, but I just don't often feel into it these days- and I feel like he deserves better...

We had a brief chat tonight and he said I need to stop forcing myself into it because it makes him feel worse. Which naturally made me cry and feel even worse about myself. Should I mention I've gained 20kg since starting anti depressants and have lost 7kg since April but still hate the way I look. I feel like he deserves someone prettier, skinnier and with a higher sex drive who isn't mentally screwed up like I am. I don't know how to change my mindset about everything.

Any input would be appreciated...
4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Unigirl1994,

Reading your post it really stood out to me that you sound like you feel really down about and critical of yourself. You mentioned feeling like your boyfriend deserves better, that you've gained weight (even though you've managed to lose 7kg which is an awesome effort) and called yourself 'screwed up'.

To be blunt, it made me feel worried about you. You mentioned reducing your meds to try help with your sex drive but didn't say how the reduction has affected your mental health. Do you see the doctor again soon? Perhaps there are other options.

No wonder you have no sex drive. When I feel critical of myself to the extent that you describe I don't really want sex either. I kind of feel like if I feel disgusting then my husband probably thinks I'm disgusting too. But that's not accurate. That's my depression putting me down.

What helps me is to keep on trying to manage my anxiety and depression even if that means working with the doc to change doses or try different meds. And above all being open with my husband and asking for reassurance.

Your boyfriend sounds understanding in that he doesn't want you to feel pressured which is a great thing. Intimacy is important for sure but there's nothing wrong with not having the same drive. It just means working out a balance that both of you can accept.

Have you considered looking into and writing down ideas of things that are intimate that you feel you are able and willing to do and then asking your boyfriend if adding these would help meet his needs? My husband has a lower drive than me and we've had to be creative to find a balance that works for us. It can be as simple as him just watching sometimes. There are many ways to be intimate and what matters is that you both feel comfortable.

I hope you can speak to the doctor soon, perhaps even take your post so they can see the impact of the medication change. You don't sound like you're in a good place right now and hopefully that will improve.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Unigirl, I understand that AD's can have side-effects with different people and sorry for how you are feeling, but agree with Nat that reducing the AD hoping that your libido will increase may not be the solution.

Your MH is important and I realise that you want to please your boyfriend, but the reason he has you is that he believes you are beautiful, so can I suggest that you visit your doctor and have the AD reviewed.

I've been in the same situation so my GP changed the medication straight away.

Hope to hear back from you.


Community Member
Hi Nat and geoff.

Thank you so much for your replies. I did post a reply a few days ago but it seems to have disappeared so I will try again:

Unfortunately I was brought up in a household with a mother who once had an eating disorder (anorexia) so when I started to become overweight, unfortunately the comments from her and my family were less than helpful - suggesting I stop eating, try medication etc. Thus lead me to hold all my confidence in my looks and since then I've had none. So unfortunately despite my dosing, this is the way I feel about myself 24-7.

I work out 3 times a week and am trying to break the cycle of my binge eating and self destructive habits.

I think the night I posted this thread was a very rough night for me as I had to come to terms that my depression is not only affecting me but my partner too - and that hurt.

As stated, he works shift work and we don't get a lot of time together. However we have next weekend off together and I plan to have a serious conversation about all of this and work out how we can help each other, as I know he loves me and would never leave.

Thank you for taking the time to reply, it means a lot to me.

Hi Unigirl, thanks for getting back to us and can I suggest that you try and build up your confidence before the weekend, good luck, and please let us know how it all went.

Best wishes.