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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

 

Stress!!! It doesn't only cause heart attacks

Is stress sabotaging your sex life?

Does your stressed-out, workaholic partner seem to lose interest in sex when the going gets tough? Is it you or could it be related to stress?

According to Johannesburg psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde, a specialist in stress management: "Stress occurs when our perceived demands are greater than our coping resources." Looking at it like this, it is easy to see why stress can trigger immense anxiety and even depression. Constantly feeling out of control, powerless and worthless, one can see why a decrease in libido is not uncommon in these situations.

In many people severe stress can be the trigger for depression, panic disorder or generalised anxiety disorder. A possible symptom of these illnesses is often a loss of interest in sex or the ability to enjoy it.

A constant state of anxiety has been shown by studies to correlate with reduced sexual desire in both men and women. Physiologically it makes sense that stress hinders sex drive, because in both sexes stress reduces testosterone levels. Moreover the stress hormone adrenaline, which is secreted in our bodies when we are stressed, shuts blood flow away from the genitalia.

Hormones, hormones

Over the past few decades it has become increasingly clear that any illness, including mental illness, is most often not specific to one part of the body or functioning. The way our bodies are designed causes there to be repercussions in a number of areas. Hormones play a very important role in sex drive, and anything that affects our hormones, like the Pill, menopause, anxiety and depression, will obviously impact on our sex drive.

When looking at the symptoms of depression, like insomnia, a change in appetite, a feeling of worthlessness and anhedonia - a loss of interest in things that were normally enjoyed, including sex - we can see the immense impact this would have on libido. Sleep deprivation is an underreported and underrated cause of decreased sex drive, and although researchers have yet to tease apart the sex-sleep connection, it's likely that the hormone vasopressin plays an important role.

The change in appetite common in depression can affect libido, either through weight gain and a combined feeling of helplessness and worthlessness leading to a negative body image, or even through weight loss due to restricted eating. Research shows that the brain chemical neuropeptide Y, which kicks into high gear in response to food deprivation, also undermines sex drive.

Antidepressants

When depression is treated, a normal libido usually returns, although sadly in some cases, some of the antidepressants used in the treatment of depression, can cause sexual dysfunction themselves. Up to fifty percent of people taking SSRI's, a newer type of antidepressant, experience this side effect.

Fortunately, there are ways around this problem. Discussing the problem with your doctor will allow the two of you to decide which alternative is best for you. The alternatives include: decreasing the dosage slightly, waiting six months until your body builds up a tolerance to the drug and the side effects diminish. Another option is taking a drug vacation, where you stop taking the drug on a Thursday and start again on the Sunday, allowing you a weekend with fewer side effects - although this can only be done with certain drugs under specific circumstances. The other option is to change your drug altogether or to start taking another medication in conjunction to counteract the sexual side effects of the first.

Give your libido a boost

A healthy lifestyle is the best way to ensure a healthy libido. Eating correctly, moderate exercise and enough sleep will help you cope with stress, maintain a good body image and keep those hormones in balance. Nevertheless like weight and romance, libido can wax and wane for any number of reasons, but there is no reason to suffer in silence and feign enthusiasm for a spouse's sake, for fear that diminished interest signals a decaying marriage. A decreased libido is something millions of people around the world each year seek treatment for, and like most other medical conditions it can be treated.

For more information please contact the Depression and Anxiety Group on (011) 783-1474/6 or (011) 884-1797.

Health24
Comments:
the only time i stress is when i am not sure if i am going to get any!  
I am sure Kandas will be able to use this information.

PA,

So you are basically always very relaxed. :-)
 
This is something that affects my sex life severely.


My wife and I both do high pressure jobs with high levels of stress.

Donner

Our kids are 15 months apart and very young to add to the work pressure

So the anxiety doesn't end at all and we're at home we don't sleep either!

If we get some three times a month it's a lot and even that's an effort, i.e. staying awake long enough to actually get to the deed!

I was on Prozac once too, and I can positively attest to the fact that they do have a severely negative effect on your sex life!!!!


Okay, now that I've shared, I'm going to keep quiet about my personal life!
 
its okay davids,

we are all friends here.
 
lol PA  
NO COMMENT!!!

LOL
 
That's cos you're not married yet Wesley!!!  
I guess you're right davidS. LOL  
Let's face it, sex in the modern era is but a figment of our imaginations.

Too much stress, too much to do, too little time.

It must have been far easier before electricity - when you went to bed after the sun went down, were cold and the prospect of a nice warm body lying under the bear skin was enticing!

Welcome to married life WPW!!!! ;-)

Here's a tip, cut off your electricity supply!
 
Davids,

Just don't take the advice to seriously. We want you to be t the KKNK next year. :-D
 
ja Ras. I cant wait for April so that i can get my license. LOL

I can garauntee you this, i will see to it that i make time. I told her we must wait 2 or 3 years b4 we have kids but it seems like she wants to start straight away. HECTIC!!!
 
wpw,

Good luck on the planning bit. You'll need it.
 
Hahah


Donner


Ain't that the truth


If she wants kids wpw, you're having kids...believe me...

I've seen this get done to friends before.

The wife and I were together for ten years before we tied the knot and lived together five years before that...


Donner

I'll be making time...

Anyway, KKNK will be rest for me.
 
davids
So while living together you were married already. You know what i mean. So it was just the church and then it was official. LOL
 
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!  
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