There are many ways therapists treat depression and anxiety, including medications, behavioral therapies, and support groups. However, there are some things you can focus on at home to improve depression symptoms and reduce anxiety. These include regular exercise, good nutrition, and time spent outdoors. Additionally, developing positive coping strategies such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. But can sex help with depression?
The connection between sex and depression is not straightforward. Many people who have symptoms of depression may have unhealthy feelings surrounding sexual relationships, including codependency, fear of rejection or failure, or even sex addiction. It’s important to work through these issues before attempting to use sex as a way to manage depression symptoms. If you struggle with your mental health, a depression treatment center like Recovery Ranch Tennessee may be a great place to find help. With experiential, evidence-based, and holistic therapies, you can find the bridge to a better tomorrow. Call 1.844.876.7680 to get started today.
The Link Between Depression and Sex
Sex and depression 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. Often, these disorders are co-occurring, and each fuels the cycle of depression and compulsion. Researchers also found that 40% of women with 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 a lack of sex cause depression? Maybe. When people feel sexually frustrated, that can lead to dissatisfaction, creating feelings of loneliness and depression. While you might think that sexual frustration only happens with single people, those in relationships can also experience it. 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 with 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.
Sex May Not Always Help 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 that you will need help with other areas of your life.
Some signs of sex addiction include:
- Using sex as a way to cope with emotions
- Having risky behaviors like unprotected sex or multiple partners
- Being unable to control sexual urges
- Feeling guilty or ashamed after engaging in sexual activity
Getting help at depression treatment centers can also provide you with more opportunities to learn more natural ways to fight depression.
Depression and Sex Addiction Help at Recovery Ranch TN
Recovery Ranch Tennessee offers sex addiction treatment and treatment of other co-occurring mental issues. Trained clinicians will deliver treatment in a gender-specific environment allowing patients a safe space for vulnerability and healing.