Intimate bonding—how psych drugs get in the way

I’ve spoken before about issues with bonding and intimacy while on psych meds. Here the topic is again visited with brilliance by Evelyn Pringle. Personally I think this can effect mothers and children too.


Although the adverse effects of women taking psychiatric drugs while pregnant related to birth defects and infant withdrawal syndrome are often discussed or reported, the serious adverse effects on the sex lives and reproductive systems of millions of young couples are rarely mentioned.

Whatever the reason, due to the ever widening marketing campaigns by the psycho-pharmaceutical industry, young people need to be warned before they get conned into taking psychiatric drugs.

Sexual dysfunction, including lack of libido, orgasmic dysfunction and delayed ejaculation, are common side effects of using SSRI antidepressants, according to the May 2005 report, “The Marketing of Depression: The Prescribing of SSRI Antidepressants to Women,” by Dr Janet Currie. The report warns:

“There are concerns that not all sexual dysfunction may fully resolve after termination of treatment. Since SSRIs are prescribed more often for women, women are more frequently affected by SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. Because SSRIs can also lead to a worsening of depression, paradoxical effects, emotional blunting or detachment, reduced emotional activity, memory loss and confusion, these effects, in conjunction with sexual dysfunction, can negatively affect intimate relationships.” (read the rest here)

6 thoughts on “Intimate bonding—how psych drugs get in the way

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  1. Hello all,

    Mine is a story that I have told so many times searching for answers that I am getting tired of typing it out. It is one I have since is being played out daily hundreds of times over and helping divorce attorneys avoid the affects of the recession. Many of these stories can be found here. ( But the very shortened version of it is this. I was in a relationship with a person who was caring, passionate, honest, committed, and very much in love with me (and I with her.) She had always shown signs of bi-polar and/ or anxiety. After the birth of our child these traits became more profound. We talked about it and she acknowledged it. She sought therapy. 5 months later there was no longer any trace of her old personality except the bipolar and anxiety traits. After a brief period of reduced libido, it started to gain force and went to the other extreme. I am now fighting to get my wife off Prozac in hopes of saving my family.

    My thoughts are this. Are they barking up the wrong tree, or at least only one tree instead of many? If you take that we know that this dysfunction manifests itself in many ways, what is it that they all have in common?

    This loss of desire is not an independent “feeling” that just happens. When you consider that the drug is supposed to “take the edge off” people who have anxiety or OCD issues, you are saying it is supposed to reduce their feelings of concern. Well these drugs are not surgeon’s scalpels taking out those feelings that are deemed unhealthy. You are asking the drug to remove the things that a person is passionate about. That not only includes how the bed is made, what smells are coming from the kitchen, or the exact time your toddler went down for a nap. It also includes feelings of sorrow, guilt, and consequence. These emotions are very important in making up that magical feeling we call “love”. Sex is a dirty, messy, energy consuming affair (especially when done right.) Why would anybody who didn’t have that connection not only with their partner, but also with themselves want to bother with it.

    What I would like to see is that they stop calling it a “sexual dysfunction” or “reduced libido” and explain to the patience that it is going to cause you to loose passion for yourself and your loved ones. I guess that wouldn’t be a very good marketing ploy.

  2. I have been sexually over active and behaved in bizarre manner when on the drugs in the end to be left absolutely sexless in every respect of the word is more than any human should be asked to accept from a drug any drug. I am off the meds cold turkey as they stopped working for me and began making me very ill. I had by then lost so much to these drugs relationships money home ect my actual life was all I had left. I quit cold turkey and KNOW it was the right choice for me. Withdrawal is hell I don’t recommend it I truely think I would be dead now if I did not quit the drug. Still I am sexless but no longer have symptoms of parkinson/ms which is why I quit the meds. Maybe in time there will be healing only time will tell.
    To anyone thinking of going on these drugs I would say don’t do it. If big pharma has it’s way the truth about these drugs will never be known. I know I would rather be dead than take another antidepressant drug.

    1. it’s possible you’ve become sicker because you cold-turkeyed…I don’t generally recommend anyone cold-turkey unless one is literally facing death by toxicity…

      I hope you get better soon..there are lots of general guidelines and ideas on how to improve one’s health naturally on the about page of this blog…

      my best to you…

  3. I’m living proof that physical intimacy can go quickly down the toilet after taking psychiatric meds and no one seems to think that this is important, as if that isn’t a necessary part of your life.

    1. it’s very very important and what happens is that those of us who are viewed “crazy” are not treated like equal human beings. When I worked in the system it was almost as if the clinicians didn’t believe our clients were sexual human beings. It’s a travesty and a crime. Just another way we are treated sub-human and expected to be okay making sacrifices no one in their right minds would make.

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