Health Sexuality

The Monster Under The Bed: Starting the Conversation About Sex and Depression


Wellesley Room November 15, 2015 10:30 am - 11:40 am

Bookmark and Share

JoEllen Notte
Stephen Biggs

At some point in every person’s life they will either experience depression or know intimately someone who has depression. Currently the most prevalent forms of treatment are pharmacological, and the focus is often placed on the alleviation of symptoms like low mood, apathy and amotivation. Relief in any of these areas constitutes success, however, for some there are unwanted sexual side effects to treatment, which unfortunately are seldom addressed. Similarly, when sex is affected by symptoms of the depression itself, the issue is rarely addressed at all.

This workshop will discuss how sex-lives are impacted by depression symptoms and current treatments, with a view to empowering both clients and professionals to better address the issues that arise when sex and depression collide.  Specifically, we will share the results of JoEllen Notte’s Sex and Depression Survey and follow up interviews conducted over several months beginning in the Fall of 2013.

Incorporating both mental health consumers’ perspectives and the most current information regarding treatment impacts and side effects on sexual functioning we hope to provide consumers and their sexual partners with practical information that can help them give voice to their concerns.  It is our hope that the information we’re gathering will also inform the way health care providers provide a space for sexual concerns in the treatment of depression, and we also hope to offer some concrete practical direction in this regard.