Help with a sexual question - opinions only

Let me start out with the caveat that this IS something I will be discussing with my doctor at her earliest convenience, but I wanted some opinions from some others who may’ve gone through or experienced the same thing I am feeling.

I am a manic depressive. Diagnosed. I am bi-polar with slight schizophrenic tendencies. At the moment, my medical/medicinal treatment focuses on the clinical depression/bi-polar stuff, feeling these are the more serious things which affect me.

I am on meds - I take 300mg of Wellbutrin and 10mg of Lexapro and 30 mg of Buspirone per day to combat symptoms. I also take Lipitor, but since that is for cholesterol and is a genetic thing I must handle, I am not talking about that in this scenario.

I am a writer. I work for a sexual e-zine. I write about sex, sexuality, lifestyles, toys, books, movies, trivia, events, people…I write about sex all day every day. And I am good at what I do. I really am, even if it doesn’t sound modest.

The problem is that with all these meds in my system, it’s hard to keep a sexual frame of mind. I find myself feeling flat and unenthusiastic about my writing, and it’s moved into my personal life as well. Don’t get me wrong, BF and I have playtime and several things we’re actively involved with, but tonight he made the comment that I have no passion, nothing that I obsess over.

I had to admit, it was true. I do things because they sound fun, and once I am there and involved, I enjoy myself, but the hunger and the lust and the deep anticipation that one would normally associate with a passionate relationship are markedly absent. I have been tending to approach things from a more logical angle, planning things out than allowing any spontaneity.

I didn’t used to be like this. I was once wild and crazy. I was once the free-wheeling sexual goddess that BF thought he was getting when I moved in. But I also started the meds when I moved in, and things…well…they haven’t worked quite like either of us had hoped. I know he is disappointed that I am not that wild and crazy woman any more, and I admit I miss her too.

I also find that my writing has become more burdensome to me. Sex may be becoming more of a chore than an enjoyment. I hate this - I hate the situation, I hate the realization that it’s in all likelihood the medications that evened me out that cancelled out the most daring parts of me.

My question is this - have you come across this phenomenon before? Have you changed meds to try to change the libido? Have you decreased, going by on the ultimate minimum so as to allow yourself to keep some of the wild-sided, spontaneous you that the full dosages seem to cancel out?

Please note I am not looking for medical advice. I am just seeking opinions on others who may’ve experienced similar events in their lives and how they dealt with it. My doctor will handle my medical advice. I just want to know if I am alone in this phenomenon.

Inky

Hey Inky! I must admit that I want to be ‘just like you when I grow up!’ except I can’t write worth a shit. :stuck_out_tongue:

My situation is different than yours but similar in some ways. I have severe depression with slight schizophrenic tendencies (yay!). It was much more pronounced when I was younger to the point where I was once hospitalized for a period of time. Lately, however, I have found that I don’t -need- to take medication. I’m better off with it, to be sure, but I can get along without it. One of the ways I deal with not being on medication (no insurance and want to try living without it anyway) is to give myself ‘crazy time.’ I allow myself to go, but only to a point. When I feel myself starting to go at a non-appointed ‘crazy time,’ I quickly put a stop to it and redirect my attention and my thoughts to a calmer frame of mind.

Is it possible, that in an effort to be as healthy as possible, you are not allowing yourself moments of ‘crazy time’? If this is so, I would ask your doctor for a slightly smaller dose. The trick is to find an amount where you don’t feel all of your natural impulses are stiffled but where you don’t have to worry about going off the deep end.

I think it also helps to remember that wild and crazy can be fun (just ask any of my old friends) but only up to a point. When I first started reading the dope, I was so insane, I thought that I had multiple people living inside of me. I know my old friends would describe me as ‘much calmer’ and probably ‘boring’ now, but when I read the journals of the ones who are still insane, I am glad I was able to sober up! I can also tell you that my ex and I get a long a lot better now that I am not so psycho. It’s interesting to date a person who’s out there, but it can also be trying and annoying too.

It’s late and I can’t think at all, so good luck!

Thanks, kimera, for the words of support. Unfortunately, when I go off meds, I am not one of those who have more manic than depressive periods…generally, I have a quick burst of mania and then months of severe depression. I am not sure that I think it’s the right trade off for me to go completely off the meds.

Actually, I appreciate the meds - some stability has been nice in an otherwise cattywompus life. Being the wild and crazy one also got me into some situations that I know I am smart enough to avoid but found myself embroiled within them anyway.

It’s just the side effects! I really wish there was something out there that could balance yet not eradicate, if that makes sense. If there is, I don’t know what it is; I’ve tried so many meds. This cocktail seemed to be working for me, and I was pleased for so long, but now I am finding that there is a sense of flatness that is associated with my life…

Question is, do I accept the flatness and acknowledge it is a part of accepting my sanity or do I dare try something different in an effort to find at least some of who I once was…

Argh.

Best,

Inky

Oh, I did not mean to suggest that you go off the meds, just try a smaller dosage. If you feel that would negatively affect you, then try a different type perhaps.

I was pretty sure you were not. I was musing aloud - sorry if I gave the impression that was what I had taken away from your post.

I wish I could have “crazy periods” and be mindful of them. But past history has taught me that I am not aware of them until fully embroiled within them - by then it’s too late and damage has been done…well, damage to me, anyway.

I guess it’s not that interesting a topic to anyone else, and that I am alone in feeling this. Kind of alienating.

How desolate and still the silence can be.

Best,

Inky
*in a slump

Inky, is it possible that your depression is escalating? I don’t know much about bipolar, so I can’t address that. But the flatness you describe actually sounds like the way depression affects a lot of people. So could it be that the drugs were good but are losing their effectiveness or that your depression is deepening?

Inky as to your original question: Yes, sexual side effects exist with all of the meds you are currently using. Weight gain and fatigue also exhibit with those meds. My suggestion is to go to see your physician or better yet your therapist. I wish I had time to write more, just know that what you are feeling is normal, but does need some attention.

Meds can certainly be to blame, but I wonder: is it possible at all that the “wild and crazy sex goddess” part came about as a result of bipolar disorder in the first place? Just a thought, I’m not a doctor or anything. Good luck to you in any case.

I have a similar situation/experiences, however I am male. I am just hesitant to respond, it makes me uncomfortable.

I’m with ya, sister-- no need to feel all alone.

I am not a Doctor, but it is possible to be overmedicated. I have no idea whether that is your case or not. Some of the withdrawal/side effects of going off these drugs can be worse than the disease, so I urge you not to go off them without medical supervision.

I had similar symptoms while just taking Lexapro. In my case, it was one of over analyzing and obeseeively worrying about the libido issue. It turned out that it wasn’t a long term problem and actually helped me get into a closer match to my wife’s libido.

I will say that going cold turkey is definately NOT the way to step of this particular series of drugs. I was told by my doctor to go off it gradually, over 6-8 weeks, and be off it before October to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Bummer about how it affects your career though. In my case, depression doesn’t affect the way network packets flow, so it didn’t really affect my job.

Everybody’s different, but know that I was a success story. The drugs not only replace a chemical imbalance, they show you HOW you can deal with stress. (That everything is NOT critically important, and things can slide without the world blowing up.) I hit a period of stress after getting off Lexapro that left the original depression in the dust and handled it extremely well.

It won’t last forever.

Throw my vote in with “Get your meds checked”. Sometimes even the slightest change in dosage can monkey with things. Also if you’re taking anything else, (even over the counter stuff for things like a mild cold, stomachache, etc.) that can mess with the prescription stuff, as everyone’s chemistry is different. IANADoctor, so please check with your physician.

Also, strange as this may sound, could it be your form of birth control? When I went on the pill, my sex drive decreased (an unusual reaction), and once I got my tubes tied, things went back to normal. YMMV, again, check with your doctor. And good luck, Inky, may you return to your former goddess self.

Listen, you wanna torture me? Spank me? Lick me? O_o
Do it.

But if this poetry shit continues, just shoot me now, please?

Inky baby, given that I am also somewhat passionate about Diet Coke I simply grow increasingly convinced that you and I are but seperate protrusions from the same being into these three dimensions. I used to write. Used to write stuff from my childhood hallucinations that still scares the bejeezus out of me and is quite unsettling to others who are not me. I was the kid who would take a dare, who’d kiss a total stranger at a party out of the blue and then walk go on about my business. I had THE hottest 2:AM college radio show–folks would actually set their alarms to listen to it. All that. The creative whiz and the invisible man depending on which part of the cycle I was on. Life was good & bad. Did the meds for a bit but decided I didn’t like sacrificing the highs in order to lose the lows. I bottomed out when I was listening to Roger Daltry assuring me that I could Cry if I want, and thinking, “meh, actually, I can’t” Sex was always welcome becuase I liked my wife and enjoyed her company. But quite frankly I could just as easily have preferred going to an amusement park or picnic with her, or getting some fillings replaced. :wink: It was all equally exciting.

So I quit the meds cold turkey (hey, know what, that’s a bad idea) and was soon able to live the emotional rainbow of the Manic Depressive/Scizoaffective. The writing started to want to come, but I was so “confused” by this time that I couldn’t clarify a theme or even pound out an oddly written short story. Then I melted down about 8 months ago and shortly thereafter hopped back on the drug train. I haven’t “tweaked” my doses though. The idea simply never occurred to me because I just wanted the mood swings to stop and that’s what the drugs were for. I’ve never considered looking for a balance that would give me normality.

I’m accepting the loss of creativity and wildness as the cost of having a balanced mind. You know as well as I that some of the most polished writers have been completely sane. Victorianly sane. But that some of the most interesting, imaginative, reflective and profound writers have been absolutely bonkers and lived in emotional agony.

Lucky for me I’m an insurance guy. My work product has never been better. You need to be crazy to do best what it is that you do. And that blows.