Friday, 21 November 2014

Sex And Depression.

Now come on, confess: how many of you clicked on this email because of the title when you haven't clicked on a Moodscope email for a number of days/weeks now?

Hmmm. Thought so.

There's something about sex, isn't there?

So – my own confession: I'm in my 50s and I still really like sex.
(Ah, a moment here – please forgive me but I know my teenage daughter sometimes reads these blogs).

You have to understand of course that I have never actually had sex and that both my daughters were created by Immaculate Conception. Now, stop reading this, darling and do some homework.

Gone now? Good.

So – we've established that I am a normal woman with a healthy libido, lucky enough to be married to a man more than happy to satisfy that libido (and that's quite enough of the personal information, I feel).

But when that grey monster of depression comes and swallows me up things are very different.

In that wonderful video by the World Health Organisation "I Had A Black Dog, His Name Was Depression" there is an image that shows the narrator in bed with his wife/partner with the black dog lying, like a great bolster, between them. He says: "He would take my love and bury my intimacy." Those of us who suffer depression know how very true that is.

When depression shows up we not only don't feel like making love, we are often incapable of it. You may think that it should be easier for women, because, after all, we can fake it, whereas for you guys if it's not happening then there's really no pretending, is there? But if you're in a loving relationship there's no faking anything with a man who knows you better than you know yourself.

Sometimes it's better to say "Let me make you feel good, darling. Don't worry about me: I can't at the moment; we'll make up for it when I'm better." It's not perfect, but it's better than lying in the same bed with a whole universe in the shape of that black dog between you. Often it's just a loving touch or hug that we need, and need to give, not necessarily sex.

It takes trust, a depth of love and intimacy (not to mention patience) which not all of us are lucky enough to have.

But at least let's have honesty: it's not you, it's not me; It's this bloody illness! It will pass – eventually and then (please!) – Game On!

Mary
A Moodscope member.