Medical Q&As

Depressed - sex drive gone?

I am a 54-year-old married woman with what appears to be mild depression. I have completely lost interest in sex with my husband. Several articles that I read recently suggested seeing a therapist. What kind of therapist? Family therapist? Sex therapist? Psychologist or psychiatrist? It is also difficult to know if my moods are causing the relationship problems or if the relationship is causing the depression.

You raise many important questions but I think the most important information you have given is that you are depressed. Depression colours your mood and perception and loss of interest in sex is a common feature of this very prevalent illness. I would suggest that your depression is the first item that needs to be addressed and your GP would be an appropriate person to attend in that regard. Once your mood improves you might find that you experience a renewed interest in sex and no further action may be required. As you have suggested yourself, it may be that your mood is affecting your relationship. Alternatively you might find that your mood improves but your interest in sex is not re-kindled in which case seeing a psychologist with a particular expertise in counselling could be very useful. You might come to a realisation that your relationship with your husband is a contributory factor in your depression. You will then be faced with further choices about how you proceed from there. I have no doubt that seeking a solution to your current difficulties should begin by addressing the issue of depression.