I was so horny it made me sad.
November 5, 2009 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Depressionfilter: Help me understand a sudden increase in libido and its emotional aftermath.

Context: Male, British, 26, straight, depressed (but not too badly, but then again maybe terribly).

I've been single for over three years. No sex, no kissing, nothing. No attempts made to be otherwise. No approaches from any women. Until recently, this hasn't been a problem. My sex drive has been easily managed, and my loneliness has been kept in check by my depressive thinking (women are beautiful magical wonderful creatures, but they'll never want you, ever, because you're awful, so go read a book or just die or something). This was all fine and well, or at least bearable, until a few weeks ago.

Then, out of nowhere, my sex drive exploded. It was like when you hear about a transgender person first being given testosterone - throbbing pulse, mind flooded with pornographic visuals, sexual desire like I've never felt before. Everything made me think of sex. I practically wanted to chase after women and start humping their legs in the street. It was absolutely horrendous. I could barely think. This lasted for about two weeks then finally abated.

Since then my sex drive has still been higher than it was before, but it's no longer driving me crazy. And, heartbreakingly, my perception of women (and myself) has changed slightly. Instead of seeing myself as fundamentally broken, awful, and disgusting, I've been thinking that, hey, I have a lot of good qualities and there must be a girl out there who'd think I'm okay. And instead of seeing desirable women as something completely alien, like a unicorn, I'm seeing them as real people who might, just might, maybe, one day, be interested in me. This is a big shift, and I suppose it's a good thing, but it brings into sharper focus how lonely I am and how much I crave sexual release, intimacy, and companionship. (Although, clearly, I'm not in the right place for a long-term-serious-relationship, and nor do I want one.) It's as if almost overnight I switched from being one of those sad, lonely guys to being one of those sad, desperate guys. And it hurts.

So I have two questions for you. One, what actually happened here? Two, what should I do next?

[And a few specifics about the depression: I think I've been suffering from a long-term non-crippling depression. I am functional, but self-esteem is an issue. I saw my GP a few months ago and he suggested computerised CBT, which I've singularly failed to engage with. I'm thinking of going back to see him soon.]

Disposable email at nonboinker3000000000@googlemail.com

[I asked this [http://ask.metafilter.com/134559/Too-horny-Cant-think-Need-sex] question previously, when I was in the grip of mind-warping hornyness. I'm quite ashamed of it now. I think this new question is more honest, but to me writing always feels like a kind of lying.]

Thank you.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sudden behavioral changes can be a symptom of a medical problem. Try re-visiting your GP.
posted by the_ancient_mariner at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2009


The suddenness of it could be a warning sign, sure.

But it's also possible that this is a sign that your depression is lifting some, as well -- at least from what I've heard. I've heard that sometimes as depression starts lifting, it frees up some other emotions that your depression has been holding in check. It could be that you were this horny all along, but your depression kept it from coming out -- and you finally got to the point where your depression lessened enough that it could finally come out, and so all of this pent-up lust came pouring out, saying, "FINALLY!"

Since it WAS so sudden, it's worth discussing with someone just in case, but it's also possible this is a good sign. Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:51 AM on November 5, 2009


Since then my sex drive has still been higher than it was before, but it's no longer driving me crazy. And, heartbreakingly, my perception of women (and myself) has changed slightly. Instead of seeing myself as fundamentally broken, awful, and disgusting, I've been thinking that, hey, I have a lot of good qualities and there must be a girl out there who'd think I'm okay. And instead of seeing desirable women as something completely alien, like a unicorn, I'm seeing them as real people who might, just might, maybe, one day, be interested in me.

This sounds like a good thing, to me. While I understand how this is a paradigm shift in your self-identification, perhaps your desire for companionship can spur you to take care of your emotional problems--start by visiting a therapist or trying that CBT your GP suggested.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:05 AM on November 5, 2009


One, what actually happened here? Two, what should I do next?

There's a part of you that believes you are worth something. It is struggling to be heard. The next thing to do is to listen to it and get that itch scratched.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:10 AM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you're bipolar instead of depressed, this hypersexuality could be a symptom of a manic episode. I hope not... I hope the above folks are right and it's your depression lifting.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:44 AM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Depression can nuke your libido and your sense of self worth. The fact that you're now thinking of yourself in positive but realistic terms is a good sign.

I'm no expert, but if I were to guess what happened, probably something in your brain hooked up properly again and you did get a shot of various brain chemicals. You went ZOMG! HUMP! because your poor starved receptors were excessively sensitive, and this tapered off as your body got used to the new levels. I’d mention it to a shrink if you’re seeing one, just so they have a handle on your current mental state.

Have you recently taken up a new exercise program or other increased physical activity? That’s a common source of elevated libido/improved mental health/self esteem.
posted by Phalene at 10:07 AM on November 5, 2009


You didn't mention meds but if you were on an SSRI (which are notorious for dampening libido) and then went off it, it's possible you could have experienced some kind of rebounding of your libido.

Also seconding the possibility of a manic/hypomanic episode. Might be a good idea to check into it. Were you having any other issues such as racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, unusually high self-esteem, or risk-taking behavior? Having symptoms other than the sexual ones would be a stronger indicator of a manic episode.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:36 AM on November 5, 2009


Your GP referred to computerised CBT cos it costs him/her a hell of a lot less then referring you for further evaluation.

Have you had an evaluation done by a phychiatrist? You could explain this sudden change to your GP and ask to be referred to discuss this (and your chronic depression) with an expert. No idea what the wait times are for this referral at the moment.

You can also ask your GP to refer you for talk therapy/CBT with a professional, initially you will get a series of 8 sessions but again no idea what the wait times are. I'm going to take a guess that since your GP mentioned computerised CBT you are in one of the larger cities in the UK where the waiting times are much longer than ideal.

You are not dealing with your issues at the moment, you are simply surviving. You may have started into a new and quite postive phase of your life when you actually start to enjoy life and it would be good to talk to some professionals who can help, guide, and ensure that any gains you make, you maintain. If I were you I would start getting a referral no matter how long it takes and finally talk these issues through. Good luck.
posted by Wilder at 12:31 AM on November 6, 2009


FWIW, I'm bi-polar but have a solid libido even during depressive phases. A lack of libido is not always a symptom of depression and the appearance of a libido does not necessarily contraindicate depression either.

That said, I'm sharing the opinion of some other commenters and wondering if some bi-polar might be involved here. If so, mood stablization could help. The issue remains, however, that you're horny and not doing much about it and if you're wired up to need that release, you're going to have to get working on it or go nuts.
posted by wackybrit at 6:23 PM on November 8, 2009


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