Millions of people are diagnosed to be suffering
from anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. Selective
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclics are two of the most common
anti-depressants usually prescribed to such people.
A recent study found that users of SSRIs
and tricyclics have faced negative effects in their personal relationships with
partners resulting in lacklustre love lives, decreased sexual desires and a
feeling of distant to no personal connection with their mate.
SSRIs and tricyclics were found to have
different effects on men and women, according to a recent study conducted by
researchers at the University of California, San Diego. The study, authored by
Dr. Hagop S. Akiskal inferred that SSRIs, largely affected feelings of love in
male users and tricyclic antidepressants seemed to influence female users'
feelings of love greater than those of male users.
The study was conducted on 192 participants
suffering from depression who have all been in "loving relationships"
for a span of 7 months-26 years and taking SSRI and tricyclic
anti-depressants. The participants were asked to answer a questionnaire that
addressed changes in feelings of love towards their partners from the time they
had started taking the anti-depressants. The study involved 123 women, 69 men,
and 13 homosexual individuals, whose average age was 41.
The findings of the study showed that the
participants taking SSRI had reported a reduction of closeness with their
partner and were also less wishful that their relationships "would last
forever" when compared to patients taking the tricyclic. Men who took SSRIs
were found less inclined to ask for help or advice, or take care of their
partners. Women users of tricyclic expressed more concern on "disturbances in
their sex life," a side effect as opposed to male users.
Lack of love and closeness with one's
partner can be dangerous and the feelings should not be ignored. Dr. Akiskal
says, "Certainly, a physician
should always inquire whether there is any impairment in the love life during
depressive illness, because the loss of sexual desire and sexual feelings are
common manifestations of depressive illness itself."
The study was published in the Journal of