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.
AdvertisementSSRIs 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 Affective Disorders.
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