One of the major side effects of anti-depressants and mood stabilizers is the lessening of a sex drive or “libido”. Along with weight gain, it is seen as one of the worst parts of having to be medicated. Some people will stop taking their meds because of the issue, as it may seriously affect a relationship. Years ago, this was a concern of mine as well.
No longer. I have realized that for me, any romantic relationship I ever had was based on chemical overload and made me so manic that I would jump in WAY too soon with men that were SO not right for me. I would either desperately cling on to someone who really didn’t want any long term thing, or I would “save” someone who “needed” me, all with disastrous results. Every relationship I entered into was THE love of my life. They were my “happily ever after”s. I would come to this determination within a month or less of dating. You can just imagine how these all worked out. In the only actual marriage, at least I ended up with an awesome daughter, but it would have been so much better for her had the marriage had even a chance of working out.
In the last 10 years, I have gone from thinking that I HAVE to find a life partner, to realizing that I am actually quite happy without one! With no libido driving the search for a mate, I have come to understand that I personally just do not do well in relationships. This does not make me sad. I am not lonely. I do not yearn for romance and constant camaraderie or a soul mate. I am actually MUCH more relaxed and content without that other person in my life, in my house, in my bed and in my face.
I do not miss sex. At all. No one seems to accept that, though. People think I’m just saying that to justify my solitary life. They think it is just the meds talking. They believe that I’m just afraid to take another chance on love and that I am secretly longing for a significant other.
No thank you. I don’t need one, don’t want one and I’m perfectly OK with that. It is a relief to not be affected by a biological urge that was always out of control and caused me so much grief. It is wonderfully liberating for me to be libido-less.
About L. Song
L. Song is a middle aged professional who has been struggling with Bipolar Disorder II since her teens. After finally being properly diagnosed and prescribed the correct medication at forty-four, she has dedicated herself to helping others who suffer from the stigma of mental illness through her work. To try to make a difference, L. Song supports organizations such as Mood Disorders Society of Canada, CAMH, as well as HMC. As an avid “horse person,” she also follows and contributes to a Facebook page, Riders Against Mental Illness Stigma. She plans to someday work with people and horses in a therapeutic capacity and publish a book about her experiences living and recovering from the disorder. You can follow her story on HMC's Supportive Minds blog.