I have been reading about neurochemistry and the effect of serotonin on relationships, and some new studies suggest that antidepressants are not the free lunch some of us were hoping for.
Not only do the SSRI drugs dampen the libido, they can fuck up your relationships. They can even inhibit the neurochemical activities that are involved in romantic love.
This is a little alarming. Many of my friends and enemies are on one or more antidepressants, and we are all authorities on which ones are energizing (Welbutrin) or sedating (Remeron). We know which ones are too constipating (Cymbalta) and which ones have the worst withdrawal symptoms (Effexor.)
Most of us are less interested in sex than we used to be, but many of us are lucky enough to have partners who will rise to the challenge. They know that if we stopped taking our meds, we’d be impossible to live with, so our increased sex drive would be a moot point.
While reading about the biochemistry of love and attraction, though, I was happy to see my own theory of female sexuality confirmed: It’s all about oxytocin.
As long as we’re secreting oxytocin (which is stimulated by breastfeeding and orgasm) we are driven to connect and nurture. Oxytocin leads us to form bonds, basically. Any woman who has nursed a baby can tell you this. Oxytocin equals bliss. When male voles are given a shot of oxytocin, they want to be clingy and monogamous. When autistic people are given oxytocin via a nasal spray, they are better able to make eye contact. It even increases trust and empathy.
Here is the important part, men: If you pay more attention to our boobs, this will make us love you more, and continue to love you without straying. It will make everything better. When you come home from work, don’t complain about the traffic and how much you hate your job. Instead, play with your partner’s boobs!
Back to the SSRI problems, I don’t know what the long-term effect on our society will be if no one wants sex and people stop falling in love. Maybe we’ll adapt somehow, or maybe we’ll decide it’s better to be depressed because we hate ourselves than be resilient but sexually numb.
In any case, let’s all make sure that everyone’s boobs are properly attended to, and that everyone keeps taking their meds until reality is more tolerable in larger doses.