Bipolar and Sexual Health: How Does It Affect a person?
Dr A Chakravarthy
Btm layout, Bengaluru May 24, 2019
If you have bipolar disorder then you are not alone, there are about 43.8 million adult Americans suffering from a mental ailment.
Bipolar disorder affects the brain, and it causes extreme mood fluctuations which can impact the energy levels and eventually a person’s sexual life.
What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition characterized by mood swings that can range from mania to depression. The symptoms of bipolar disorders are:
Symptoms of Mania
It is characterized by a feeling of utter happiness (or euphoric). A person with mania may experience:
- A high amount of energy
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Agitated or jumpy
- Anxious and a feeling that he/she can achieve anything
- Engage in risky behaviors, like dangerous driving, reckless sex, etc.
Severe condition of mania can evolve into a psychosis, hallucinations and/or delusions.
Symptoms of Hypomania
Less severe mania is a condition known as hypomania. Symptoms of hypomania are similar to those of mania, but the behaviors are less extreme, and the individual can function well in their daily life.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is an unrelenting feeling of immense sadness for at least two weeks and longer. It is characterized by the inability to take pleasure from almost any of life’s activities, and feeling broken or lacking the normal energy levels that you had before the depression set in. A person with depression may experience the following:
- A visible decline of interest or pleasure in almost all kinds of daily activities
- Considerable weight loss or weight gain
- Psychomotor agitation
- Loss of liveliness
- Constant fatigue or tiredness
- Reduced ability to concentrate or think
- Feelings of excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Constantly recurring thoughts of death
How does Bipolar Disorder affect the Sexual Health of an individual?
Bipolar disorder affects the sexual health of an individual at different levels. Give it a read!
Sexual health and Manic episodes
When you have a manic episode your sex drive and sexual impulses can lead to a sexual behaviour that isn’t apt for you among which hypersexuality is seen very common. A manic episode can include the following behaviour:
- Hypersexuality or an increased sexual activity
- An excessive need to watch pornography
- Multiple sexual partners
- Inappropriate sexual behaviour
- Excessive masturbation
- Over the top sexual thoughts and behaviour
Sexual health and Depression episodes
Depression can be a mood killer to your sex life. It can cause symptoms opposite to hypersexuality which includes low sex drive or a lack of interest in sex. This creates relationship problems because your partner doesn’t understand your sex drive issues and may make your partner feel confused, frustrated, and rejected.
Severe bipolar depression in men can also cause sexual dysfunction which includes erectile dysfunction. Hence, bipolar depression can be utterly harmful to both men and women!
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