The Impact of Depression and Anxiety on Female Sexual Desire

When you are in a bad mood or anxious you really don’t want to do anything, certainly not get intimate with your partner, right? Well, it might not be as clear cut as that. Sexual desire is a multifaceted concept that can indicate overall well-being or the state of a relationship. The influence of emotions and mental health on sexual desire still remains controversial and not completely understood. Researchers set out to investigate the impact of depression and anxiety on women’s sexual desire, seeking to unravel at least some the complexities of this intricate relationship.

Potential participants of the study were excluded if they were on any medication that could have an effect on their menstrual cycle, or if they were sick. The study was able to recruit 213 female participants from Italy with an average age of 21. These participants were asked to fill out a daily survey for two months. The survey asked questions about their sexual desire, depression, and anxiety.

The research found that some women’s sexual desire increased when anxiety and depression were low, but also when they were high. You are reading that correctly; some women can have a so called “paradoxical rise and fall” in their sexual desire. However, this is usually seen at the high and low ends, but not in the middle.

Researchers point out that the biggest conclusion is that people’s sexual desire is very individual, and should be treaded as such. Though the research comes with some big caveats that should be addressed in subsequent research. One such caveat is that the researches didn’t ask if participants were in a sexual relationship. Another caveat is the researchers did not ask about the coping strategies of the participants.


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