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Readers Respond: How Has Bipolar Disorder Affected Your Sexuality?

Responses: 91

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Updated September 21, 2009

how has bipolar affected your sexuality

Yes biploar does put a damper on your sex life. I used to be very interested in sex, but now I cannot remember having sex. I had been diagnosed with bipolar for at least 16 years. On top of that, I have come down with something like parkinsons, diabetes and several other problems. I do miss sex like crazy,but do not desire it. Desire has been lost.
—Guest madelinehelen

The downside of sex

I just have no interest. I haven't had sex for I don't know how many years and hate it, but I just don't have the libido I once had. I also have gained so much on my meds and have a very disfiguring scar high on my thigh from a devastating infection which hampers my self-esteem. I am married to a wonderful man who is very understanding, his sex drive has always been much less than mine was, so it really isn't a problem that I don't have any interest now. I want to talk to him about it and try to "start something back up," because I know he loves me as I am, but the thought just panics me to death. What to do, what to do? I don't want to change my meds because I am fairly stable now. But one thing, I wouldn't go back to my long bouts with hypersexuality that I went through years ago.
—jannamaria48

Been through it all!

I have experienced every side of the BP sexual spectrum. When manic I can not get enough. Then I become depressed and my doc raises my antidepressants and I have a very low libido. I often feel like two different people. I wish the pharmaceutical companies could come out with medications that don't interfere with people's sex lives. I guess I will keep talking to my doctor and being honest about how/what I am feeling.
—Guest Stacey

Both sides now

I experienced exactly what Guest Heather went through during hypomania. Literally hundreds of men, everyone I met. And, most were the dregs of humanity, one of whom took me for every penny I was worth before dumping me for a younger "chick." Now I'm the opposite - I'm married to a wonderful man, and we have sex maybe once a year - and it's horrible for me, I hate it and dread it. I feel so badly for him, he doesn't deserve that, but I don't know what to do about it. Is it the meds? I have been in an episode for almost 10 months now, but the sex aversion has gone on for several years.
—Guest Guest Meebie

No Sex Drive, No Problem

My medications reduce my sex drive to almost zero. This was a problem in my marriage. Now I am separated though still married. I am determined to be faithful to my wife even though I never see her. In my case the medication side-effects are a blessing. It makes that aspect of my life so easy to control. I have only two concerns. One is the possibility of having to change medications to one without this side-effect. The other would be a change in my marital status when I would need my libido back. For now I just enjoy the peace of mind I have with my chemical restraints.
—Guest Lost Cause

overstimulation is painfull

I finally had the nerve to tell my pdoc about this, because 7-10 times a day for a man is very painfull!
—RodneyFerrer

age vs bipolar

I'm 48 so I don't know how much is related to age but the libido is zilch. In the past couple of years (since a major med change) I have had no real interest in sex. I have been single for several years and I to think I am undesirabe d/t decrease sex drive and the bipolar disorder itself. I find a guy in my group interesting and he has stirred up some old feelings but not sex related. (Bummer). I just don't think I'm old enough to not desire sex and snuggling.
—Guest Paddy

The Whole Gamut

While lady TM loves the manic sex (is this like Tantric sex?) I never want to experience the hyperesxuality again. It ruined my life for the first 46 of my 56 years. It landed me in prison, took away two wives and two children, gave me two bankruptcies/two car repo's, made me a pariah in the community I was born in, and it goes on and on. I hate having the least bit of mania. Rampant sex may be fine for some people, but I prefer making love to a woman, and this beautiful experience is taken from me due to the meds I take. For all intents, I'm purposefully castrating myself with meds so I will never have to relive such terrible and unrelenting behavior. If this doesn't read well, it's because I'm also cororbid with migraines, and and one has been playing around for an hour or so, and now I'm sure it's coming so it's time to take a pill and lay down.
—chilehead53

Manic Sex

Wow. It just feels so good to hear about other peoples experiences as I don't feel quite so dysfunctional knowing that it's just part of the bi-polar gig. Last summer during a whopper of a manic episode, I allowed a 28 yr. old man (I'm 47) to move in with me. He had a criminal record. I picked him up on the side of the road as he was walking. I was used for housing and food - but the sex was absolutely fabulous. My morals would normally dictate my actions - which would not have included starting a relationship with a man like him, but I suppose it could have been a lot worse. I almost signed over my car to him as he didn't have one and I could utilize public transportation. Just prior to meeting him, I had several one night stands in my apartment. Whoa. I'm grateful that I got through that phase, and was able to take away some positives from those experiences. As a single individual who has been raising a child on my own for years (he was no longer at home), having sex felt good.
—Guest Katherine

Sex Meds

Like Guest Sam, prior to proper diagnosis and medication I too almost ruined my life. I hurt many "good guys" that cared very much for me. I slept with literally hundreds of men for the thrill. It was an ego boost. The men I chose were generally lower in intellect, wealth and social standing thus feeding my feelings of grandiosity. When I think back on those years I am deeply ashamed of my behavior. There is hope. With the right diagnosis (I had been treated for depression from the get-go and then many years after) and the right medication (this was a long process too), I finally got rid of that burning need to sleep with every man I met and now with the right cocktail (Lithium and Seroquel) have a healthy sex life again.
—Guest HeatherM

when sexual overstimulation is PAINFUL..

sexual energy has never been compromised for me--even when Im in the throws of horrible depression. when I am hypo-manic, however, I have had periods of painful sexual overstimulation--very annoying! it also has a seasonal component...YIKES
—Guest KITTYHAWK

Nothing

Since my last raging mania in 2004, I have been on meds that have reduced my libido to zero. Once in a while I have a dream and wake up thinking maybe this is it, but then soon realize that my meds have taken away my ability to enjoy sex or have an orgasm. For awhile, I was so turned off by sex that I couldn't even read about it or watch sexual situations on TV or in movies without feeling uncomfortable. Things were out of control when I was manic, but now the pendulum has swung about as far in the other direction as possible. I am single now and don't really even consider looking for someone to date, as I feel I am doubly undesirable as a partner because of the lack of sexual desire and the bipolar. If I did meet someone, I would just be going through the motions, as sex brings no pleasure to me.
—Guest BumbleBee

hypersexuality ruined my life

Yes, it has ruined my life, made me take all kinds of dangerous chances, and i have ended up with dangerous men who treat me like a piece of meat. I have come to believe nobody wants me expect for what i can do in bed. I end an abusive relationship and within weeks i am back in one. I am on the internet meeting strangers all for the high and the temporary affection. Right now i just want to die cause i dont think i can do it anymore. I hate myself
—Guest Sam

manic sex - WOW!!

manic sex is just WONDERFUL with every nerve fibre in your body on fire and tinkly sparkly effortless cosmic orgasms, I feel so sad for mere mortals who will never experience such wonderment. I am very lucky.
—Guest Lady TM

firefighterALAN

Using my meds to control Bipolar has cause Erectile disfuction for me. I guess alternatives would be to see my Dr. and find something else to take for Bipolar.
—alanchevrette

The ups and downs of sex

Before I was married my sex life was out of control and was not medicated properly at the time. When I became married I was able to keep my sexual desires to my husband for 18 years. I did go through a very low libido after my children were born but after a hysterectomy my sex drive soared to that's all I thought about and wanted. Being on my meds has not slowed me down although I found the right anti depressant and anti-psychotic medication that didn't effect my libido where other cocktails of medications had. It is difficult as manic/depressive to control urges outside my marriage but I do so knowing the hurt and pain it would cause my family if I ever acted on it. We need to make conscious decisions everyday in our life, sex and sexual encounters are only one and an important one of whether it will have a positive or negative effect on our lives and those lives around us. Surviving Bipolar for 27 years since diagnosis has been difficult but it can be done if we choose wise
—Guest Amanda Walton

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How Has Bipolar Disorder Affected Your Sexuality?

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