the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Wherein I answer a frequently asked question

So, hey! How about some oversharing! No? Too bad! You’ve come to the wrong website!

That is, unless you were searching for “antidepressant” and “sex drive.” Then, welcome! Hey-ohhh!

I get this question a lot, actually. Usually it goes like this: “So, yeah, I hope this isn’t too personal, and I totally understand if you don’t want to answer this, but I was just wondering if, maybe, you know, um…” And then there’s three more paragraphs of trying to get to the point because, as you might imagine, it can be a little awkward when asking a total stranger HOW HARD IS IT FOR YOU TO ORGASM?!

Let’s put it this way. I was on Zoloft for, what, nine years? And then I stopped taking it because I wanted to get pregnant and didn’t think it was safe for pregnancy. NOTE: DUMB IDEA. Well, dumb in terms of wanting to kill myself, but not so dumb for suddenly being as horny as a fourteen-year-old boy alone in his room with a poster of Heather Locklear in a bikini.

WHOA, did that just date me, or what? Fourteen-year-old boys are horny, right? I wasn’t ever one, so I’m no expert. But my brother was fourteen once, and that’s my only reference. On one wall there was Heather Locklear, on another there was Heather Thomas, and then above his bed there was Kathy Ireland.

Unrelated: I went back to blonde to hide all the gray in my hair.

Anyway, once the Zoloft was out of my system Jon had to sit me down and have a talk. He was like, dude, we can’t keep up this pace or you’re going to kill me. And I was all, why are you talking and not taking off my clothes?

Then the postpartum hit, and it was back to the sex-killing antidepressant. Prozac this time, and it was just like Zoloft. Meaning, no sex drive. But I didn’t want to kill myself. That’s the trade-off. And as a couple we work with that trade-off, meaning Jon is very generous. And I try to be the same in return.

Ahem.

So I casually mentioned to my psychiatrist about a month ago that sometimes not having a sex drive makes me feel like I’m not human.

Now that I’ve written that down I suddenly feel incredibly sad. Because so many of us who suffer from depression have to live like this. Like robots. The alternative is living in hell. So we choose robot.

Yes, we have sex. We have great sex, but every once in a while I’d like to feel a bit, oh, I don’t know, primal? I’d like to have rips in my clothing that I’ve self-inflicted. I want Jon to walk into the bedroom and be all, oh god, not again, woman.

So he suggested a change in meds. I guess this is my meds update! Yay for you!

I tapered off of Prozac for a week and then started taking Cymbalta. He said it was the one antidepressant that could claim that it might not reduce your sex drive. So far I haven’t felt a difference, but I’m going to give it some time. I’m hopeful. And I guess being able to say that, to feel that, is why I take the drugs in the first place. And it’s why, if I have to, I will live with the trade-off.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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