Dating, Libido, and Antidepressants

September 8, 2008

As I casually mentioned in a previous post, antidepressants sometimes have what they call “sexual side effects,” which may include some or all of the following: trouble getting in the mood, staying in the mood, and/or reaching orgasm.  This is fine and dandy if you’re not doing a combination of the following: taking antidepressants, dating, and/or interested in having sex.

Dave and I are both very intelligent, but both come from significantly dysfunctional families.  I’ll save the discussion of how intelligence and dysfunction might relate for another time.  The point is, we’re both smart, successful (he’s a tenured college professor), reasonably happy, mildly neurotic, and fun to be around…but only if we take our medication(s).  Between the two of us, we have tried every antidepressant and ADD medication under the sun, including those that were developed to treat other disorders but have shown promise for “off label use” for the treatment of depression, anxiety, or inattention…or any other symptom or side effect of other drugs.  Once you start taking one medication or a combination of medications, sometimes you end up with undesirable side effects and need to tweak your drug cocktail.

In case you wonder, why take the medications at all?  It’s called “quality of life,” people.  I’ve been taking antidepressants on and off for about 18 years.  Trust me, this has given me ample time to weigh the pros and cons of taking various medications.  When I am “in treatment,” I am less likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and engage in impulsive and reckless behavior.  And I’m happier.  And I attract healthier people into my life.  Use your imagination to figure out what I’m like when I’m not “in treatment.”

Back to the present, Dave and I are experiencing sexual side effects from the medications we are taking.  It doesn’t mean we haven’t had fun together, but there have been a few, uh, anticlimactic moments.  We’ve both been down this road before and have consulted our shrinks and have begun tweaking our meds.  We’re both confident that we will make up for lost time soon enough, but meanwhile, we are both moody as our brains and bodies adjust.

Dating and Boundaries

September 2, 2008

Right after I posted the last blog about thinking Dave was too old for me the first time I saw him, he asked if he could read my blog.  I’m pretty open about the fact that I write this blog.  I’ve shared the link with some of my friends, hoping they find it amusing and interesting (and hopefully not TMI (too much information) at times!).  I wasn’t surprised or offended that he asked.  I had already planned on sharing the info, but didn’t want to volunteer it if he wasn’t interested.

So, I told him how to find it (Google: cindy dating).  As I was telling him this, I was remembering that I said he was “old” and hoped he wouldn’t be mortally offended by the comment.  Now would be a good time to mention…or should I say confess…that I once mentioned my dating blog on a first date.  I was too embarrassed to admit that at the time.  This was the date where the moment he said “I’ll call you,” I knew I would never hear from him again.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that he was horrified that I was writing about my dating experiences or something else.

Anyway, I figured my blog couldn’t possibly scare Dave off since we’ve already shared our histories of intermittent sanity with each other.  We both take antidepressants.  Did you know that certain antidepressants are infamously linked with sexual side effects?  I’ll save that story for another post.

To make a long story short, Dave wasn’t mortally offended by the age thing.  He did tell me that he didn’t think he should read my blog anymore…to respect my privacy.  He doesn’t want me to censor myself, which I would likely do if I knew he would be reading what I said.  I told him I don’t really care, because I don’t.  I asked him if he read any of the other posts and he said that he didn’t.  He admitted to being a narcissist and just wanted to know what I had written about him.  After I thought about it, I realized that I agreed with him.  If he was just going to read my blog to see what I’ve written about him, he would be missing the point anyway.  The blog is about ME and all of my dating and relationship experiences.  He would rather hear about these directly from me.  If he had a blog, I’d read every word of it, but every person is different.