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Sex drive; which of us is being unreasonable? Watch

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    Mods: please don't move this to sexual health or mental health. I put it here as I want advice on my relationship not my mental or sexual health.


    I have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and for the last few years have been on a cocktail of different medications trying to control it. Recently I started a new one and it seems to be helping more than any other in many years. The problem though is that it has drastically affected my sex drive. I don't get turned on at all and everything just feels numb and unresponsive despite my partner's best efforts.

    I know this is affecting my partner. They want me to give things another week then tell my psychiatrist I want to switch medication if things haven't improved by then. I feel better than I have in years and it is still quite early days on this medication so I am in general feeling positive about it. But I feel so guilty about my partner. I know they want sex but I am unable to do that right now and I don't know whether this side effect will wear off or how long that may take. I have been "dealing with" them off for the past few weeks as I don't want them to go without.

    I feel uneasy about asking to stop this medication, I have tried so many and have so much energy and in general feel pretty great compared to previously. But I don't know, am I being selfish?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Mods: please don't move this to sexual health or mental health. I put it here as I want advice on my relationship not my mental or sexual health.


    I have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and for the last few years have been on a cocktail of different medications trying to control it. Recently I started a new one and it seems to be helping more than any other in many years. The problem though is that it has drastically affected my sex drive. I don't get turned on at all and everything just feels numb and unresponsive despite my partner's best efforts.

    I know this is affecting my partner. They want me to give things another week then tell my psychiatrist I want to switch medication if things haven't improved by then. I feel better than I have in years and it is still quite early days on this medication so I am in general feeling positive about it. But I feel so guilty about my partner. I know they want sex but I am unable to do that right now and I don't know whether this side effect will wear off or how long that may take. I have been "dealing with" them off for the past few weeks as I don't want them to go without.

    I feel uneasy about asking to stop this medication, I have tried so many and have so much energy and in general feel pretty great compared to previously. But I don't know, am I being selfish?
    If you're being asked to switch medication that is of great benefit to your mental health then he, in my opinion, should get lost. That's just selfish.

    I'm not familiar with this kind of situation so I'm not sure if mentioning the issue to your psychiatrist would help but I would not say ask to switch.
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    No you are not being selfish at all. If these medications are working significantly for you then don’t let anyone tell you to stop taking them. If he were in your position would he stop taking them for you? It’s really important that you always put your health first. If he doesn’t like you staying on them then just dump his ass
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    Your mental wellbeing is more important than your partner getting laid. Sure, it can be frustrating not getting any, but if they are the right person for you, they will be understanding and not pressure you. I don't think you're being selfish. There are times in life when you need to think about yourself, and this is one of those times. In my opinion, your partner will just have to wait.
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    Neither of your wants are intrinsically unreasonable, but them wanting you to change your meds is
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    What are the alternate meds like? Maybe they give you the same (or even better) benefits without compromising your sex drive.
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    TBH this is just one of those horrible situations where there is no right answer. It's not reasonable to expect them to lose a huge part of your relationship (sex) and just put up with it. It's also not reasonable to expect you to compromise your health.

    Personally I would say you should tell your psychiatrist asap so they can be aware, they may be able to advise you further given they know more. For example if they told you that side effects often reduce over the course of 2-3 months that would be very different to if the side effects usually last the length of the medication usage. Likewise if they said there is another very similar drug you could try switching to that's a different situation to if you've pretty much tried everything and they don't think another medication will help you.

    After you've got some advice from your psych you can talk to your partner again. I think they need to understand it's got to a bit long term rather than over a couple of weeks for making a decision here...
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    TBH this is just one of those horrible situations where there is no right answer. It's not reasonable to expect them to lose a huge part of your relationship (sex) and just put up with it. It's also not reasonable to expect you to compromise your health.

    Personally I would say you should tell your psychiatrist asap so they can be aware, they may be able to advise you further given they know more. For example if they told you that side effects often reduce over the course of 2-3 months that would be very different to if the side effects usually last the length of the medication usage. Likewise if they said there is another very similar drug you could try switching to that's a different situation to if you've pretty much tried everything and they don't think another medication will help you.

    After you've got some advice from your psych you can talk to your partner again. I think they need to understand it's got to a bit long term rather than over a couple of weeks for making a decision here...
    Thank you for your response, Doodle (and everyone else!).
    I have been trying to "take care" of my partner's er...needs in ways other than sex but I still feel so guilty because I know it's important to them. Do you think that makes a difference to how reasonable things are? ( anyone else on TSR reading, I would be really interested to know their answer to that too!).I have tried most of the drugs for this condition (maybe 8+) and this one is working the best so far. I'm not sure there are many alternatives left and other ones I have taken either didn't work or had their own range of horrible side effects. I did speak to my psychiatrist who said that this medication doesn't have decreased sex drive listed as a side effect and that was about all he said - however, when I googled it I found forums for people with the same mental health diagnosis as me who found that they did have this side effect. Some said it wore off in time while one even said they still have no sex drive 2 years later even after stopping the drug! So I really don't know. That was very worrying. I tried explaining this to my partner, as well as how much better I feel on this medication but she is quite clear that I need to get off this drug if things don't resolve quick. I already felt like I was never good enough for my partner and now I can't even perform and satisfy them in an area we previously frequently bonded. It makes me feel so guilty and selfish.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for your response, Doodle (and everyone else!).
    I have been trying to "take care" of my partner's er...needs in ways other than sex but I still feel so guilty because I know it's important to them. Do you think that makes a difference to how reasonable things are? ( anyone else on TSR reading, I would be really interested to know their answer to that too!).I have tried most of the drugs for this condition (maybe 8+) and this one is working the best so far. I'm not sure there are many alternatives left and other ones I have taken either didn't work or had their own range of horrible side effects. I did speak to my psychiatrist who said that this medication doesn't have decreased sex drive listed as a side effect and that was about all he said - however, when I googled it I found forums for people with the same mental health diagnosis as me who found that they did have this side effect. Some said it wore off in time while one even said they still have no sex drive 2 years later even after stopping the drug! So I really don't know. That was very worrying. I tried explaining this to my partner, as well as how much better I feel on this medication but she is quite clear that I need to get off this drug if things don't resolve quick. I already felt like I was never good enough for my partner and now I can't even perform and satisfy them in an area we previously frequently bonded. It makes me feel so guilty and selfish.
    TBH for me 'receiving' wouldn't be enough to solve the issue. Sex isn't just about scratching a physical itch (or she could just masturbate) - it's about intimacy, being wanted, doing something for each other, having fun and a whole lot more. If you're not into it, even if you're going through some motions to 'satisfy' her then she will know and it will not be the same for her.

    I do think she is being unfair by making this a short term issue. It's pretty normal for couples to have dry spells regardless of medication or anything like that so it certainly shouldn't instantly be an issue if your health is involved. Personally I think it would be reasonable to have that conversation if in a few months nothing is better but you should both be able to give this a try. If it's not improving you can also try other things to 'spice things up' and see if it helps.

    But you can't force your partner to accept a low sex drive... it sounds like she might not be able to and perhaps that will end up meaning you have to choose. That really suck and TBH I'd be tempted to say you choose your meds on the basis that your GF doesn't sound very supportive at all.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Mods: please don't move this to sexual health or mental health. I put it here as I want advice on my relationship not my mental or sexual health.


    I have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and for the last few years have been on a cocktail of different medications trying to control it. Recently I started a new one and it seems to be helping more than any other in many years. The problem though is that it has drastically affected my sex drive. I don't get turned on at all and everything just feels numb and unresponsive despite my partner's best efforts.

    I know this is affecting my partner. They want me to give things another week then tell my psychiatrist I want to switch medication if things haven't improved by then. I feel better than I have in years and it is still quite early days on this medication so I am in general feeling positive about it. But I feel so guilty about my partner. I know they want sex but I am unable to do that right now and I don't know whether this side effect will wear off or how long that may take. I have been "dealing with" them off for the past few weeks as I don't want them to go without.

    I feel uneasy about asking to stop this medication, I have tried so many and have so much energy and in general feel pretty great compared to previously. But I don't know, am I being selfish?
    Sex isn't worth general wellbeing (unless they intertwine, which in this case they eloquently don't).
    • #3
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    I'm rarely in the mood now because of depression but I go along with it because it's intimacy and I don't want our relationship to suffer. You dont have to necessarily be 'so up for it' every time, but if you want him to be happy, its not that difficult.
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    (Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
    Sex isn't worth general wellbeing (unless they intertwine, which in this case they eloquently don't).
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean?
    Sex isn't worth your health, unless sex is what is damaging your health in the first place
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    TBH for me 'receiving' wouldn't be enough to solve the issue. Sex isn't just about scratching a physical itch (or she could just masturbate) - it's about intimacy, being wanted, doing something for each other, having fun and a whole lot more. If you're not into it, even if you're going through some motions to 'satisfy' her then she will know and it will not be the same for her.

    I do think she is being unfair by making this a short term issue. It's pretty normal for couples to have dry spells regardless of medication or anything like that so it certainly shouldn't instantly be an issue if your health is involved. Personally I think it would be reasonable to have that conversation if in a few months nothing is better but you should both be able to give this a try. If it's not improving you can also try other things to 'spice things up' and see if it helps.

    But you can't force your partner to accept a low sex drive... it sounds like she might not be able to and perhaps that will end up meaning you have to choose. That really suck and TBH I'd be tempted to say you choose your meds on the basis that your GF doesn't sound very supportive at all.
    Thanks for the detailed response.

    What you've said is pretty worrying, ngl. We've been together for a little over 10 years and she has always told me to take the meds and been very supportive so it's such a huge change for her to tell me to tell my psychiatrist that I want to switch drug when it's working so well. Obviously I enjoy sex a lot but I also enjoy other types of sexual release so I find it interesting and, very surprising, that you say - for you at least - other things just don't do it. That just makes me feel even worse about the situation tbh. (sorry, not blaming you, I really appreciate your honesty)
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    (Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
    Sex isn't worth your health, unless sex is what is damaging your health in the first place
    Ok, so you're saying keep taking the meds and try to get my partner to "deal with it"?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm rarely in the mood now because of depression but I go along with it because it's intimacy and I don't want our relationship to suffer. You dont have to necessarily be 'so up for it' every time, but if you want him to be happy, its not that difficult.
    Yeah...not gonna work.
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    Your mental health comes first. I assume from your posts that you're a male (apologies if I'm incorrect) - there are meds that can help you along, so to speak, such as viagra or cialis. This of course doesn't aid your sex drive directly, but you don't need to be having sex just because you're horny - it can also be just time getting intimate with your partner in a fun activity and pleasing her. Plus side is, if you're not really horny, you'll last a long time
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    (Original post by It's****ingWOODY)
    Your mental health comes first. I assume from your posts that you're a male (apologies if I'm incorrect) - there are meds that can help you along, so to speak, such as viagra or cialis. This of course doesn't aid your sex drive directly, but you don't need to be having sex just because you're horny - it can also be just time getting intimate with your partner in a fun activity and pleasing her. Plus side is, if you're not really horny, you'll last a long time
    :beard: My psychiatrist refused to even recognise that this problem is drug-induced so not sure how I'd get either of those but I'll have to look into it. A big part of the problem is that I just don't feel anything from anything; it's not just that the equipment doesn't function it's that I couldn't really care anyway. I feel like such a terrible boyfriend saying that It's really hard to explain. I know I'm attracted to her I just don't feel it right now. And I know it's not just her, I've tried porn and even like looking at other women who previously I would find very attractive but there's absolutely no reaction.

    But I see what you're saying about intimacy, I think I was underestimating how important that is - it's something Doodle mentioned too.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Ok, so you're saying keep taking the meds and try to get my partner to "deal with it"?
    Yes
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    (Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
    If you're being asked to switch medication that is of great benefit to your mental health then he, in my opinion, should get lost. That's just selfish.
    THIS!! do NOT stop a medication that is helping your health, You come first, and..there are other ways to have fun inthe bedroom
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