Talk therapy can be an important part of treatment for depression or bipolar disorder and is often very helpful when sexual concerns are present. A good therapist can help you realize and work through many of the psychological factors mentioned above as well as help with interpersonal issues. They can help you cope with feelings and symptoms, encourage open communication and change behavior patterns that may contribute to your concerns.
Changes in Medications
Side effects of medications can sometimes be dealt with by small changes to dosing or the time of day that you take the medication. Sometimes giving your body time to adjust to the medication will reduce or eliminate side effects. In certain cases, a health care professional may advise a delay of taking the medication or a “medication holiday” where medication is skipped for a predetermined amount of time. When making any changes to medication, it is extremely important that you do so under the counsel of a medical professional.
It is also important to remember, while some medications used to treat mood disorders can lead to a reduced sex drive and/or reduced lubrication, medications don’t affect everyone in the same way. You may not experience a side-effect that is commonly reported or you may experience a side-effect that isn’t commonly reported. Trying different medications may be one strategy you and your health care provider should consider in order to reduce or eliminate sexual side effects.
Open communication with both your health care provider(s) and, if applicable, your partner is vital to handling sexual concerns related to your mood disorder. Many people find it difficult to discuss, but the only way to improve the situation is to begin the conversation.