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deepseas72's avatar

How much does fatigue,weight gain,and depression play a part in the loss of sexual desire?

Asked by deepseas72 (1076points) June 26th, 2008

I have gained about 40 lbs in the last year and a half. It has wreaked havoc on my self esteem. I also started a new job about 2 months ago. The hours are longer, highly stressful at times, and it requires a lot of energy throughout the day. By the time i get home, I am so exhausted. I have no interest or energy for sex, and this is taking a toll on my partner. I think the main problem is that I feel ugly because of the fat. He thinks that my sexual interest should always be at a high level just because I am a male.I also take cymbalta, which takes its toll as well.

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13 Answers

charybdys's avatar

I’d say you have a perfect storm there. Each one individually can do it, so all three will almost certainly be an issue. Sexual interest being always high in males is a myth. But it can still be a problem in your relationship, especially if it was high before. The biggest issue I see is that removing one or two factors might not be enough.

Cymbalta might be doing it. Its side effects listed are weight gain, and decreased sex drive. You might want to talk to your doctor. But don’t expect miracles. Good luck.

nikipedia's avatar

To echo what charybdys said—yes, all of those things can have an impact, and they tend to all feed into each other as well. It might be hard to squeeze this in with your new, longer hours, but exercise could be helpful with all of those problems. And it sounds like it might be time for a med change? Talk to your doc—see if s/he has any good ideas. Good luck, and please do keep us posted.

hollym's avatar

All of those pieces can definitely add up and have a huge impact on your sexual interest. The only recommendation I can really offer is try another drug. Wellbutrin is one that seems to have the lower sexual side effects. Also, like nikipedia said, exercise can do a LOT for all aspects of your life. As tired as you feel, exercise absolutely will give you more energy (even though I knooooowww this is easier said than done).

Good luck!

Kay's avatar

Have you thought about talking to a therapist or someone similar so you have a place where you can vent all of your stress and work through some of these feelings? It might help you feel better if you can work out your emotions in a setting like that. They can also help you come up with ways to cope with stress/anxiety. Remember to take care of yourself and treat yourself well and don’t blame yourself for gaining the weight.

charliecompany34's avatar

for me, i would say none of those things would effect my sexual desire, but to answer your question: 1. weight gain can lower self esteem. 2. fatigue can lessen desire to even engage 3, depression can go tandem with weight.

wildflower's avatar

Yes, all those have a big impact on your sex drive – no doubt! And you really should address the depression before anything else.
Of the other issues, the weight is a particularly tricky one. I find it can have a negative impact when your shape/weight shifts in either direction. I’ve had times when I’ve been pretty out of shape and can’t even stand the thought of myself as being sexual at all, but then I’ve also had times when I’ve been in great shape and I worry about being perceived as too sexual and end up overcompensating.

susanc's avatar

Whatever you do, take small steps. A little more exercise, a call to find out
what therapy is available and recommended, an appointment with your doc
to adjust the meds, a few extra leaves of lettuce on the dinner plate, a minute a day of breathing without trying to solve anything. These are big changes when you’re carrying a lot of stress. Any of them is a good beginning. As was asking Fluther. Good for you. p. s. you sound very sexy to me.

Milladyret's avatar

I recently lost 50 pounds myself, and it did WONDERS for my sexdrive! I remember at the time I gained that weight, I hated myself and the way I looked, and sex was the thing I wanted the least.

Losing weight will not only help your sexdrive, but it will also help you get through a workday easier, as well as do wonders for you self-asteem.

When did you start taking anti-depressants? Can your depression come from weightgain? By doing something with your life-situation, maybe you can lower the dosage of Cymbalta?

Loads of good litterature on diet and mental health as well as physical health! Take control over your own life, it will do wonders :D

jo_with_no_space's avatar

How much? Immensely, I would imagine.

fallingtoofast's avatar

yes i really do think these things can affect sexual desire. When i started college i found myself in serious depression. I wasnt able to make love with my partner one night, which came as a great surprise to both of us. later on, i got therapy for my self esteem issues, which helped immensely.
i suggest a few things to help your situation. First, i think you should start working out on a regular basis. Working out will not only help you lose weight, but in the long run, you will find yourself in a better mood. this comes from experience.
Also, you should invite your partner along for the workouts. this will hopefully help reconnect you two on some things you may have lost since this depression started.
And NEVER EVER underestimate the power of therapy. before i got therapy, i always thought it would be an embarrassing thing to get.. but i was wrong, therapy helped me in so many ways, and i really think it could help you too.

Garebo's avatar

It always starts with your mind state. If you feel fat, tired and ugly, than you project that to others, or your partner. Its a catch 22, so how do you quit being fatigued and depressed, etc?
If you try and reverse your mind state from a cycle of self sabotage to a cycle of success you will see things improving. It’s not easy in this current economic malaise for anyone, nevertheless, you can always be thankful you have a job and a loving partner or maybe not so loving for the time being. You must have plenty of food, so look at it as you are fortunate, them maybe things will improve. You have to learn to be grateful for what you have and realize things are probably not as bad as you think. Besides sex is never fun when it is done without passion, then its just gimme sex.

littlewesternwoman's avatar

If you’re taking Cymbalta for depression, the first thing you should know is that depression usually has a negative effect on sex drive. Some anti-depressants also reduce sex drive – and cause weight gain. Definitely see your doctor; a change in anti-depressants could immeasurably improve your situation.

I second all those who recommend exercise: Not only will it help you vent your (considerable) stress and get your weight under control, but it will also raise the serotonin level in your brain – which is one way to mitigate depression. Exercise has been shown to be helpful in reducing depression.

Anti-depressants are nice, but they’re much nicer when accompanied by therapy. Any one of the things with which you’re coping – depression, weight gain, loss of sex drive, transition to a new job (and a high-stress one at that), changes in your relationship with your partner – could have underlying causes which would benefit from some airing-out and insight. Moreover, all of the things with which you’re coping are inter-related and, in truth, it will be hard to untangle them and resolve them until you get at their root causes.

Anti-depressants and exercise can help you eliminate negative symptoms (depression, loss of sex drive); therapy helps you get at the underlying causes of those symptoms so that you can move past them and find better alternatives for yourself. Talk to someone who can help you unravel your situation and, taking one thing at a time, get yourself to a happier place…where you deserve to be!

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