It first started with porn. I wasn’t able to get turned on in spite of watching my collection of hot people going at it with each other. I stopped experiencing desire despite watching Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Freed, and Eyes Wide Shut did absolutely nothing for me. With time, I realized how my anti-depressants had affected me.

I have been struggling with depression for a long time and had been prescribed anti-depressants since the first time I was diagnosed. I have continued therapy and my tryst with pills simultaneously. The pills contributed to me getting up every morning which was a very good sign at that point. So, I popped them every day without fail. They helped uplift my mood, and somehow helped me manage my mood swings.

My therapist and my psychiatrist both managed to not get me addicted to my pills. Once you start relying on a drug to make you feel happy, it messes with your ability to smile, makes you doubt your happiness when you actually are happy. My drugs were my saviors, but my therapist was incredible enough to make me not doubt my increased endorphin level. However, there was a huge cost to my physical well-being along with the emotional one. I started dating only a few months after I started regularly having my pills. I went out with my then boyfriend a couple of times and it started getting serious. We kissed each other and took things slow. And, then I stopped getting turned on.

My inability to get aroused after watching porn could have been chalked off to circumstantial problems. But, when my partner started touching me I failed to feel the way I used to feel before. I was not only not aroused, I wasn’t even interested in the sexual aspect (which is weird because I love sex). Thinking it was a momentary issue, I decided that I would tried again later and eventually feel the usual ‘part and parcel of the mood’.

I did indeed start getting aroused but they were frequent spells, and not continuous lapses. I blamed it on stress, because I was absolutely serious about my then boyfriend and we had connected emotionally. Wasn’t emotional intimacy the gateway drug to pleasure and orgasm?

This affected my mental peace. I was a young girl and I wasn’t getting turned on, what was wrong with me? I stopped feeling sexy and started doubting myself. The only good aspect of this scenario was that I had a therapist I could count on, the non-judging breakfast club variety. I decided to elaborate my problems to her, because I mean I wanted to have sex! And lo and behold, my young self thought the problem was because of me! I was not getting in the mood, or even responding to being touched in my most pleasurable areas. Thankfully, she found the answer to my problems.

My goddamn anti-depressants were affecting my sex drive! My Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) were gradually reducing my pleasure quotient and affecting my ability to orgasm as well. Because I am living in India, my psychiatrist did not inform me about this particular negative effect of my pills.

Nobody openly talks about sex where I live so yeah, it is difficult. But, I finally understood why my lady parts weren’t being as vigorous as they used to before I started my pills.

Yes, I needed mental peace but what is mental peace if you can’t perform sexually or feel erotically charged? I am a sexual being, and I love to have sex, and I’m not ashamed about it! However, the fact that the only pills that helped me get up in the morning were affecting my problems getting into bed with the guy I wanted to really pissed me off.

This was a trade-off, I could continue with my anti-depressants and not get turned on easily, or I could rely solely on therapy and try to get back on track. Slowly, I did stop using my pills and I did get my va-jay-jay back on track but that ‘slowly’ indeed took a lot of time. I changed partners in the mean time because I could not make myself be with someone and let him sacrifice his sexual wants for my lack of desire.

This made me want to dig deep into the whole spectrum of having anti-depressants messing with getting turned on. I discovered I wasn’t the only person who was alone facing this problem. A host of other people have been having similar problems like me.

This goes out to all of you who had to compromise on your sexual health for your mental well-being. You shouldn’t have to do one without the other.

My fellow people, your sexual health matters as well.

So, find a good psychologist and try to solve this curious anti-depressant problem.

I helped solve mine, and currently I feel great (well I am getting better with my depression).

You owe yourself the pleasure of feeling great as well!

  • Deboparna Poddar

    Deboparna Poddar is a student majoring in Economics and an unequivocal feminist and socialist. She is a writer and extremely passionate about her causes, is determined and loves to read.