Posted on: Saturday, December 7th, 2019
In light of international AIDS day that passed on December 1st, let’s bring light to sexual health and its relationship to mental health. While it may seem obvious to some, it should be noted that mental health and sexual health have a mutual relationship with one another. This should not be mistaken with a philosophy saying “the more the merrier”, but rather, if you have a good, healthy sexual life, you’re also more likely to have more positive mental health as well. This creates a domino effect for your own general sense of well being, as well as your partner’s.
Not only does the onset of mental illness affect sexuality, but so can the medications one may take to treat their mental illness. For example, many antidepressants inhibit arousal, which can inhibit sexual arousal. Other medications have indirect side effects (symptoms such as weight gain or impotence) that can affect one’s sexual life based on a decline in self-confidence and disruption of positive body image. This doesn’t mean you should stop taking any medications for the sake of your sexual life, but looking at alternative options that can help both aspects of your well being.
Lastly, if you suspect or know that you or your partner is struggling with mental illness, it’s imperative to introduce, maintain or strengthen lines of communication in order to solidify that it is not your partner, but their mental illness that may be getting in the way of you both having fun – so don’t sweat it, hot stuff.