Depression can have a variety of effects on your sexuality, including difficulty with arousal, decreased sex drive, and difficulty with maintaining relationships, which can all lead to intimacy challenges and health issues. Fortunately, there are ways to manage depression, as well as ways to explore and overcome the intimacy challenges associated with depression. Here, we offer advice for dealing with depression and exploring sexuality.
Take Care of Your Basic Needs
When dealing with depression, it’s important to take care of your basic needs. Minimize stress, ensure a good sleep schedule, eat a nutritious diet, and allow your body to get the exercise it needs. Taking care of your basics is not only key to managing depression, but also a foundational step in exploring and developing your sexuality.
Be Mindful of Intimacy Levels
Be mindful of how comfortable and safe you feel when it comes to different levels of intimacy. Different people and situations will create different levels of comfort. Respect your own level of intimacy and practice being in touch with where you feel most safe and comfortable.
Open communication is key for developing relationships and intimacy. Practice expressing yourself openly, clearly, and safely. If you’re in a relationship, work on developing ideal communication channels with your partner. If you’re single, practice on friends and family members.
Develop Boundaries and Consent
Developing boundaries and consent is an important part of managing depression and exploring sexuality. Learning how to communicate your boundaries and practicing respecting other people’s boundaries is essential for healthy intimacy.
Connect with Support Systems
Connecting with supportive people, such as friends, family, and counselors, can be beneficial and therapeutically helpful when it comes to exploring sexuality and dealing with intimacy issues associated with depression.
Seek Professional Help
If your depression and intimacy challenges are severe, seek professional help from a mental health provider. A mental health provider can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms to manage depression as well as provide skills and guidance to navigate through the complexities of exploring sexuality.
Dealing with depression and exploring sexuality can be difficult, but it is possible with the right guidance and support. Taking care of basic needs, practicing communication and consent, connecting with supportive people, and seeking professional help can all help you on your journey to managing depression and intimate relationships.