The relationship between depression and sex is complicated. I often question myself Can healthy sex life reduce depression?
Depression can steal your sex drive, make your enthusiasm trun low, and reduce any desire you once had to feel attractive or confident. On the other hand, many aspects of sex can help boost your mood and act as a buffer against depression’s effects.
Are you curious to know what is linked between depression and sex? Is depression keeping you or your partner from lovemaking and its mood-lifting benefits?
Revive your sex drive to help yourself get out of depression: Both Stress and depression too often go hand in hand. With a little creativity and effort, you can soon be able to reconnect and enjoy the mood-enhancing effects of sex.
We all know sex is one of the essential needs of humans as described by psychologists. Everyone knows that sex makes us feel good, and depression does exactly the opposite, which makes us feel low and unwanted.
Being with someone you care for can definitely elevate your mood. There is evidence that sex can stimulate the release of the following feel-good chemicals in the brain:
- Dopamine: It helps focus attention and generally increases motivation to achieve something.
- Endorphins: These fight the stresses of daily life and give you a temporary high.
- Oxytocin: Also referred to as the cuddle hormone, oxytocin increases the feelings of compassion, affection, and care.
All these feel-good hormones and chemicals that are released in our brain and body during sex can temporarily reduce the symptoms of depression. This, however, does not mean you should indulge in meaningless one-night stands to combat your lows. The benefits of sex are optimal if you are intimate with someone you really care about and feel connect with at an emotional level. A series of flings night after night may only attack your self-esteem and push you deeper into the never ending darkness of depression.
A question must be coming in your mind that how does sex benefit your mental health to fight depression?
Here are some points you can go though for a better understanding:
- Sex acts as a stressbuster against depression: A dose of sex reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. The decrease in cortisol levels releases stress and makes you feel calm and relaxed. Sex is also a kind of temporary escape from the stresses of everyday life. Sure, there’s a lot to focus on when doing the deed, like how to please your partner, what turns you on, and the pleasure itself. If you find your mind wander to your daily depression and stress, try to take small steps and concentrate on every little physical sensation you’re experiencing.
- A Light workout on bed: Alright, it’s not a full workout but sex can be considered light exercise, and it’s way less boring than speed walking on the treadmill. One study concluded that during a 25 minute romp, men burn approximately 100 calories, while women burn about 69 (yes, 69). Even though you’re only burning a small number of calories, you are engaging in physical activity, which is good for your mental health! Exercise can reduce depression and anxiety, so keep up with a good fitness regime overall and throw in as many reps of sex as you’d like.
- Sets you in a good mood: A study conducted on 58 middle-aged women found that physical intimacy with a partner led to less stress and a positive mood the next day. The same study found that being in a good mood led to improved physical affection and good sex. This proves that sex helps improve your mood and a positive mood leads to better sex.
- Offers a temporary but pleasurable diversion: Sex lets your mind drift away from the stress and depression that you face daily. It can take your mind off of other things. Sex is a kind of temporary escape from the stresses of everyday life. Giving full attention on various aspects of sex, such as the touch, the position, and foreplay can take your mind off your current depressive state and ease your mental burden and make your mind wander around for a small period of time.
- Helps you fall asleep: Depression and stress can make it hard to fall asleep. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder which is the first indication of depression. Sex and even orgasm, without actual intercourse, stimulates the release of the hormone, prolactin, which is known to induce feelings of comfort and drowsiness. Getting enough sleep is crucial to both mental health and physical health. Just think about how grouchy you feel when you’re short on sleep, and how much better you feel when you’re well rested! So if you usually have trouble sleeping, try having some sex before bedtime. The hormones released help you feel more relaxed and ready for bed. If you have an orgasm, then the hormone prolactin is released, which will make you even sleepier. A good night’s sleep can increase the sexual desire and can help reduce depression fast.
- Lowers your blood pressure levels: Increased blood pressure is one of the ways that your body responds to stress most likely. A study examined the effect of sex on the blood pressures of individuals who were exposed to stressful events, such as solving a math problem or standing on stage. When these individuals had sex, they were found to have lower baseline blood pressures. This study suggests that people who have sex are less likely to feel anxious during stressful events and it can help to copeup with depression too.
Sex isn’t a “total cure” for depression, but the hormones and chemicals that are released in our brain and body during sex can temporarily help in reducing symptoms of mental health challenges like depression and can also boost mood, increase compassion, and help you grow with your partner stronger.
Interesting thing is, the levels of those chemicals increase with sex, the level of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, also lowers with sex.
“The more the sex, the lesser the stress”.
What better way to practice mindfulness than sex?
Just remember to practice safe sex, avoid unhealthy sex decisions, and, of course, have fun and revel in pleasure.
Nevertheless, to all the singles reading this, we’ve got you covered. Although sex is a great stress buster it’s not the only way out of stressful times. There are other ways too like listening to music, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, taking therapy or even confiding in someone and talking your feelings out aloud.
You’re stronger than you think. Remember, you’re a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars. You got this!