Can Sex Help With Depression

Can Sex Help With Depression?

Trying to manage depression can be a beast. There are so many medications out there with serious side effects. 

But are there natural ways to fight depression? The answer is yes! Exercise, good nutrition and staying connected with friends can be a serious boon to help combat depression. 

Another way to fight depression is through sex. 


Depression and Sex

Depression and sex have a complicated relationship. When you’re feeling down, your sex drive can be as depressed as your mood. However, having sex can help enhance your mood by releasing oxytocin, a brain chemical that boosts your happiness.

It’s important to note that some people can go too far in the opposite direction and develop a love addiction or sex addiction in their pursuit of combatting depression. Many times, these disorders are co-occurring, and each fuels the cycle of depression and compulsion. Researchers also found that 40% of women who have a sexual disorder also have depression.

Low libido can cause sadness in several ways. If your partner expects sexual performance from you and your body can’t deliver, it can cause you to feel bad about yourself. Medical professionals often note the link between low libido and other mental or medical issues related to depression. On the opposite end of the spectrum, feeling out of control or suffering from the guilt associated with sex addiction can also lead to depression.


Can Lack of Sex Cause Depression?

Many people know that having sex releases feel-good chemicals in your brain. The opposite is also true. When you don’t have sex, those chemicals are not activated. However, that doesn’t mean that lack of sex will cause your mood to plummet. There are many other factors at play.

So can lack of sex cause depression? 

Sort of. When people feel sexually frustrated, that can lead to dissatisfaction, which can create feelings of loneliness and depression

While you might think that sexual frustration only happens with single people, those in relationships can experience it as well. Lack of intimacy or emotional connection can lead to couples not having as much sex as they’d like. Or there may be a medical issue contributing to the frustration. 

Those who might have premature ejaculation or other sexual dysfunction might feel embarrassed about their performance and avoid sex. A period of sexual abstinence can lead to one or both partners feeling sexually frustrated, which can present as symptoms of depression if not addressed.


When Not to Use Sex to Help with Depression

There’s an alternative side of the conversation about sex and depression that many people may not consider. If you’re dealing with sex addiction and experiencing depression, having more sex will not help you. 

The shame and guilt associated with sex addiction can lead to depression if you don’t get help. Many sex addictions often co-exist with other mental issues. If you already have signs of sex addiction, the chances are good that you will need help with other areas of your life. 

Getting help at depression-specific treatment centers can also provide you with more opportunities to learn more natural ways to fight depression.


The Ranch offers sex addiction treatment and treatment of other co-occurring mental issues. Trained clinicians will deliver treatment in a gender-separate environment allowing patients a safe space for vulnerability and healing. 

If you or your partner are showing signs of a love addiction, sex addiction or porn addiction, please contact us today at (888) 503-1801 to learn more about our treatment programs.

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