April’s Cosmopolitan features How Depression Stole my Orgasm – an article on Sex for sure… but Sex and Depression or Sex and Antidepressants?
It’s worth downloading the full article and telling us what you think the message is.
It opens with some pretty clear examples of how SSRIs have immediate effects on sex and can almost immediately wipe out sex for ever. There seems little doubt that the drugs cause problems.
But a doctor is then rolled in who says:
For some, these sexual issues could be down to the depression itself, with SSRIs merely exacerbating the problem. Dr Juliet McGrattan, a health expert and former GP, says, “When you’re depressed, there are chemical changes and imbalances in the brain that make you stop enjoying things in life, and that includes sex. Sometimes patients would come to me concerned about a lack of sex drive and after exploration we would work out that depression was the underlying cause,” she explains. To truly separate which symptoms are caused by depression itself and what’s a side effect from the drugs, a large study would need to be conducted on adults who don’t suffer from depression
(Juliet and pretty well all other doctors seem to be unaware that these studies have been done on a bunch of Romeos demonstrating back in the last millennium that SSRIs almost instantly badly compromise sexual functioning and that these effects can endure after treatments stop).
The author of the piece, whose sex life is wiped out by an SSRI ends up saying:
It also made me realise that somewhere along the way we’ve got it all wrong. Why do orgasms have to be the marker of successful sex?
It was chasing them that made me anxious and afraid. But discussing it, and becoming able to enjoy sex in other ways has brought me hope – a hope that in the future I’ll be able to lie in bed, never anxious, those painful memories of inadequacy as dim as mood lighting. One day, I’ll get there. Even if it does take me a while.
Amy Jones, a writer, begins with “citalopram both killed and saved my sex life” before ending with:
I became very aware that it had been months since I’d had sex with the attractive man in bed next to me… the problem was, the mind was willing but the body was taking a bit more persuasion.
Nothing was happening: I wasn’t getting wet, orgasms were taking far longer than before and weren’t as intense. I’d been having regular, easy orgasms since my mid-teens, so to suddenly not be able to have one even though I really wanted to was frustrating in every sense of the word.
Thankfully, my husband is a patient man and I am as stubborn as a very horny mule. We kept at it, with the help of lube and vibrators, and gradually my body remembered how to enjoy itself. I’m still on citalopram and our sex life is as active and enjoyable as ever – but I’m lucky. I have friends who have found their sex drive non-existent, or who haven’t been able to orgasm full stop. Antidepressants are brilliant, but we need to make people more aware of how this kind of medication can change such a huge part of their lives, and offer more support to cope with it.
Is this the pharmaceutical industry fighting back, trying to tell people their drugs are just fine – the problem, if you have one, is all in your mind.
If it is the Empire Striking Back, this might just be good news. Signs perhaps that they feel a disturbance in the force.
Or is Cosmopolitan trying to spread the word in its own way that antidepressants might be a disaster – the problem for Cosmopolitan being one of trying to grasp the idea that anything could really really get in the way of sex.
Joseph Davis’s just out Chemically Imbalanced, picks up the question of why any of us end up on SSRIs and related meds. He explores the idea of a “glitch” – the glitch we might have in our eyes that can be put right with glasses or our hearing, helped by a hearing aid, or our brains that is holding us back and can be corrected with an SSRI.
For most people who get put on these meds now, other than superficially there is no pretence they are being treated for depression.
What is striking is that in North America at least, the idea of the glitch has taken hold to an astonishing extent. Equally astonishing is that it is primarily a white thing – the members of African-American, Asian and Muslim communities are much less likely to turn to meds when they have problems. They have an external threat to their existence more deadly than Covid – white folk.
As a result the figures indicating that 15% of the populations in Western (white) countries are on antidepressants means that more than 15% of white people are on them.
This means that (taking partners into account) something between 30-50% of white people are not making love the way they might wish to be making love – made worse for them by the relentless Cosmopolitan drip-feed telling us the ten best positions from which to blow his mind or whatever.
For those who nevertheless manage to get pregnant while on meds, the risks of miscarriage and birth defects are doubled by treatments they will likely be unable to get off. Their treatments may lead to them drinking more alcohol than ever, even though they know they shouldn’t – so much so that rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are increased in women taking SSRI antidepressants.
This should be a worry to white supremacists everywhere who might want to think about lobbying the Republican Party or Conservative Party, the Lega Nord or other parties whose prospects depend on their being sufficient white votes to give them a chance of being in power.
Freedom of Information requests to FDA or EMA or other regulators to establish what was known about this “conspiracy” against the white nation might be in order.
For the record, I don’t think there is a conspiracy but what do I know. This problem though, if it didn’t start with a conspiracy, might well have reached a point where some bureaucrats have been asked to plan a way out of the current sexual lockdown – information that might just be retrievable – before some decent law-abiding citizens turn up with guns to ask just what the hell is going on.
Perhaps asking the Dutch government are their comments directed at any particular ethnic group – do they think like Cosmopolitan that with a little bit of will-power any problems caused by SSRI drugs can be overcome? Perhaps they would recommend taking a break from SSRIs during the pandemic?