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Readers Respond: How Has Bipolar Disorder Affected Your Sexuality?

Responses: 79


Updated September 21, 2009

The impact of bipolar disorder on sex can be frustrating or even devastating to self-esteem and relationships. The mood swings and the complications of treatment far too often push these normal tensions to extreme behavior and dysfunction. Mania often leads to hypersexuality and for some, sex addictions. Depression and medication side effects can kill libido, bringing sex to a grinding halt. How has bipolar disorder affected your sexuality?


I am a 60-year old male and, I discovered my BD approximately one year ago. Examining my experience against the of its consequences, I now understand the reason(s) for my current predicament(s): I was a difficult person with which to live. My entire life is handicapped by this condition; so much so, that my ambitions were, generally, frustrated. My first wife - God bless her - succumbed; but that is another story. I do not want to be self-pitying; however, my discovery of this website, I perceive to be opportune and, perhaps to be beneficial. Thanks for this opportunity. Roland.
—Guest Roland

no balance

Ok, how about this? I'm either so horny I can actually SMELL men if I was blindfolded. I could probably tell you how many men were in the room. Then there are times when I have NO drive at all. I'm married to a wonderful man, and I'm TERRIFIED I'm going to hurt him someday. I haven't yet, probably because I'm not all that social and tend to stay away from people. I'm sure I'm a pain to him because either I'm all over him all day and night, or I don't want to be touched....I don't know what to do...and it's too embarrassing and fills me with anxiety to even think about talking to a doctor about this....anybody have any ideas?? Oh, and I've never been able to orgasm with my husband, only with masterbation.
—Guest messed up

it gets complicated

I'm a woman who is in a relationship with an amazing woman, and we both hav bipolar. We are both generally very sexual people. I am committed and loyal to her. After reading some posts I can relate to things a bit better. Wen it comes to sex my gf can b hypersexual, which has never caused problems. Since being in a bit of a depression, we hav not had sex and we love spending time together but we aren't even physically affectionate. I would initiate bt I stop myself cos I dnt get much back. I struggle with this cos my gf is the only person I can b like that with. And being loving like holding her or just her hand is important to me. And yes it makes me question myself. Am I still attractive to her, does she want me... It's heartwrenching. And harder still because I seem to need a lot of reassurance. I love her with everything in me and seem to give her all the reassurance I wish I had.

Horny Lonely

She died 1 1/2 years ago. I have proof she was unfaithful much of the last 10 years with me - I'm impotent from diabetes. I was aware she cheated on me during our early years with a couple old boyfriends but in 2000, when I got sick she told me "your sex life is over - get used to it." Then she started going a local sex club with a friend. She spent money to have black men "service her" in my own house. There are photos and videos on the web that she submitted to help pay for her expenses when I was out of town. She never told me about this - I found much of it in our bedroom after she died. All during this time, I thought she was faithful to me but every time I went on a business trip, she'd spend more time and money on her "friends" at the club - she even flew to Florida and had sex with two guys on a nude beach. She asked for a divorce once; she told me she had little love left for me. I didn't realize that she really meant it. Now I know what she did - not why.


I'm with a guy with by poler there is no sex been with him for 5 yrs now an the sex sucks but we are building a house togather an I know that he is a good man but we have NO SEX it feels more like a brother sister relationship then a boyfriend an girlfriend relationship The longer I go without the less I want sex I'm a person who loves to be a people person I want to start a bussiness an all he wants to do is tell me how dumb I am same as the house there is no Ideal that is mine it is all his i own the land we where suppost to be our project togather not his. I find myself doing things like the only way I can get any response out of him i like not clean the house when I do clean he never sees what I have done it is what i havent done so sad that is what I have to do he never says he loves me now reading ya alls stories I see that I'm not alone guess I need to focus on myself an do what make me happy an if he want to be a part of my life then fine
—Guest dee

I dont know what to do, anyone help

I have been with the same man for 5 yrs now. During our relationship i was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Im on lithum for that and also lamictal for epilepsy. Obviously both medications can attribute to a lower labido. All this being said... I dont know what to do. My boyfriend has stood by my side ( for the most part ) but our biggest problem is sex. I dont have any feeling nor do i have any desire to even be touched. I'll have my moments but they don't stay. I dont know what i can to to increase my desire for sex and give my man the intimacy he deserves. If anyone has any idea's please post
—Guest guest


I am feeling the same way thank gosh its not me i feel like i mean nothing to him now our sexual life was great until he took his medication again i can sleep naked, i feel like im unatractive when i try to show him some love he knocks me away and makes excuses im so over it!!!
—Guest Jessica - Maree

45 and the libio less wonder

I was hyper sexual my freshman and sophomore yrs in college. Who wasn't? I had so few partners since then. My last relationship was a very long time ago. I'm bringing this up with the Dr. again.
—Guest bi-polar and in the midwest

Girlfriend wants sex and leaves

My girlfriend has bipolar 2. She wants sex with me and when we do she has to leave and I don't hear from her. A couple day go by and she wants more. She says she needs space and I'm too needy. I love her and her ups and downs get in the way. She has moved out two times in 2 months. She recently checked herself in charter oak hospital. She got out and came back and moved in again. A couple days went by and moved back with her ex husband with her 2 sons one of them lived with us. He was happy being here and looked at me as a dad. Then she takes him away that hurt me. Her poor choices really ruin what we have. She wants sex every other week and comes back then leaves me and my heart gets broke. What can I do ? I think she lies to me her story's always change. She says she loves me but her actions say the other. Someone help me find the answers?
—Guest David


My boyfriend's sexual behavior is concerning me. It's more than just risky sex, it's porn, odd requests, his sexual addiction is ruining our relationship. He takes meds but I think counseling would help us both. I just don't know what to do. How do I help him? I can't do things he wants. I want to him to be happy but I can't fulfill his needs anymore. I'm slowly being distroyed and have no where to turn. We talk about it but it's not getting thru to him that this isn't healthy. I want to help but I'm just not enuf anymore. I'm feeling inadequate :(
—Guest Carwee

feels so unwanted

I could lie by the side of him and be wanting my husband to want me back but it never happens.the rejection hurts me so much and has changed how i see him.before medication our sex life was amazing but now its 1-3 a month if im lucky and no 4play for me its very much about his pleasure. Feel like just giving up on my marriage cos i cant see it ever getting better, ,:(
—Guest sarah


I had 1 manic episode could not help looking at young men did not like feeling out of control have been on lithium (like my mother) & 25-50 mg serequel at night my husband has bipolar also needs lots of support often denies symptoms I assist with his meds to keep him on track
—Guest Joanne

Bipolar spouse repeatedly cheats

He was just diagnosed but has been having sexual affairs for at least 3 years (that I know of.) I really don't know if I can take any more of this. I want to support him in his recovery but it seems like I keep learning things about him - women he's contacted, women he's been with. I don't want to give up nine years of marriage but how much more am I supposed to take?
—Guest R

no sex wanna change

Been married for over 26 yrs and have great and sometimes amazing sex with my husband but can't keep it up. We love each other but our sexual life is up and down. Which drives him crazy when several months go by with no sex. Sometimes I masterbate but won't have sex with him. I really have no reason it just is. And I want to change. But we've been in this cycle so long I don't know how.
—Guest fedora

sex and bipolar

I am on Zyprexa and I normally have no sex drive and even if I would love to have sex but it is too painful I know my partner has someone else it hurts but what can I do. I am taking less of my medication as recommended by my dr. but last Thursday the desire for oral sex was so strong I could not control it, I feel I would have given in to anyone . I am frightened about it and I do not know if I can share this with my doctor. I am so embrassed and I feel dirty. I had to take my medication that night. I do not want to feel this way.
—Guest Princess
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