Depression is a mood disorder causing a ‘low’mood which will affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior and general sense of well-being. If you suffer from depression you may feel anxious, restless, irritable, guilty and or worthless. You may also feel helpless, hopeless , empty and sad. You may lose interest in things that you once found pleasurable and lose your appetite or start eating more. Other symptoms are difficulty in concentrating and remembering details, difficulty in making decisions and also either excessive tiredness and sleeping or insomnia. Aches and pains and digestive problems may also occur. If the depression is very bad you may contemplate or attempt to commit suicide.
According to the United Nations World Health Organization depression is a huge burden affecting people all across the world. It is estimated to affect up to 350 million people. A World Mental Health Survey conducted in 17 countries found that one out of twenty people had a depressive episode in the previous year.
Data on the economic costs of depression are not available worldwide but the following economic effects have been reported in America.
Depression’s annual toll on U.S. businesses amounts to about $70 billion in medical expenditures, lost productivity and other costs. Depression accounts for close to $12 billion in lost workdays each year. Additionally, more than $11 billion in other costs accrue from decreased productivity due to symptoms that sap energy, affect work habits, cause problems with concentration, memory, and decision-making.
The World Health Organization quotes the following statistics regarding depressions and suicide:
Almost 1 million lives are lost yearly due to suicide, which translates to 3000 suicide deaths every day. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end his or her life (WHO, 2012).
According to psychotherapist and life coach Christine Webber the action of depressive illness slows down and disturbs many bodily systems including the ability to enjoy sex. Research has shown that depression has an adverse effect on any activity that requires energy, spontaneity and good coordination – which includes sex.
Also many people who are suffering from depression lose interest in, or no longer find pleasurable, sex and sex related activities.
In addition to the above influences of depression on sex it has been found that many anti-depressants have physiological side effects that, especially with men, lead to sexual dysfunction.
Some of the most common and widely used anti-depressants have been found to have this effect. According to Healthline.com these include: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa amongst others.
According to Clinical Pharmacist Sarah T. Melton:
Sexual dysfunction is a common adverse effect of antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction has been reported to be about 60% among patients taking SSRIs. Impaired sexual function includes decreased desire or libido, impaired arousal, erectile dysfunction, and delayed or absent orgasm. Sexual dysfunction is a common reason for nonadherence to and discontinuation of pharmacotherapy, which may lead to relapse of depressive symptoms.
If you suspect that you are suffering from depression please visit your doctor in order to rule out any other medical causes. An example of this is hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) which is very common in women. Also if older people are taking many other pills their interaction may cause depressive symptoms.
Once you have visited your doctor he may put you on an anti-depressant. This should be seen as just a first step and one of many approaches to treatment the you should pursue together. Below is a summary of other non medical treatments that have been shown to have excellent results.
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