Hi, this is my first time posting here so please forgive if this is in the wrong place. I know there are strict guidelines related to sex posts and I am trying to write in as broad of terms as possible, but if this is still not allowed, please let me know and I will remove it.
My brief (and somewhat embarrassing introduction - at least to me
I am almost 30 and have never had sex. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder when I was 16 and have been on some form of anti-depressant or another ever sense. I've also struggled with self-harm, excruciatingly low self-esteem and severe weight gain (that's a whole other can of worms i.e. binge eating, sugar addiction, etc.) I won't recount my whole life story but it's been rough at times. I'm very embarrassed by being such a "late bloomer" where sex is concerned and not very many people in my life know about this except for maybe a couple friends.
In the past, I've dealt with this particular topic by simply not thinking about it and just pushing it to the back of my mind, but I'm finding this harder to do as I approach 30. Not only am I ashamed but also fearful that I will never be capable of having a physical relationship with someone. For some reason or another, be it the continual use of anti-depressant medication throughout my teens and twenties (I've been on Effexor now for almost 5 years), the obesity or low self-esteem (I think it's a combination of all three), I have very little sex drive which is further complicated by my fears of actually having sex, on the one hand, and, on the other, spending my entire life alone (literally).
I'm trying to focus my energy into making positive lifestyle changes i.e. resolving my self-destructive eating habits, treating my body with kindness for once and just generally building a healthier life, and hope that the rest will just follow it's natural course. One thing I've been wondering, however, is whether or not there is any action I can take regarding my anti-depressants if I want to have a healthy sex life. I don't ever recall really having any sort of sex drive past my pre-teen years (I stopped experiencing the phenomena of butterflies in the stomach around the end of junior high), which coincidentally is when I started taking these medications. I feel like I have been on the medication for so long that I was never able to develop a healthy sex drive like other people when they were teenagers.
Increasingly, I feel like the anti-depressants are holding me back from "real life" (even numbing me, in a way) but my family and doctor are strongly against me going off them. However, I've been reading more and more about natural treatments for depression, i.e. regularly exercising, talk therapy w/o drugs, etc. This is something I'm definitely interested in exploring, and would love to know...
- Has anyone else out there suffered from a low sex drive entirely/in part because of their anti-depressant medication? How did you deal with it? Are there any other late bloomers on here whose sex lives have been affected by their depression, particularly medication?
- Has anyone made the switch from medication to managing their depression naturally? Did this affect your sex drive in any way?
- Is there any natural herbs I should know about that increase your sex drive or at least prevent it from shutting down almost entirely?
Again, I know this is a sensitive subject and my post is not appropriate please let me know so I can take it down.
Sorry for the length, hope I didn't put anyone to sleep! If you made it this far, thanks so much reading.