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How to Treat Low Libido From Anxiety

Wendy M Yoder, Ph.D.
How to Treat Low Libido From Anxiety

Anxiety is an overwhelming form of daily stress. Many find that living with anxiety daily causes them to experience significant sadness and discomfort in their everyday life, often leading to less enjoyment of the things that previously caused them happiness.

That's why when you have anxiety, it is not uncommon to also experience low libido. Your sex drive is directly affected by the way you feel, and anxiety is the type of condition that can make it hard to find your partner or the idea of lovemaking to be arousing.

What Causes Low Libido?

Low libido is a complicated issue, and it's rarely related to a single cause. Every day your hormones and arousal changes based on your nutrition, the amount of sleep you get, your love and attraction to your partner, and more. 

A weak libido is a common problem for people that suffer from anxiety. The following are some of the reasons anxiety may reduce libido:

These are just a few of the many links between anxiety and libido. In some cases, the exact connection may be even more complex. The key issue to understand is that the mental and physical changes that come from dealing with regular anxiety make it difficult to find arousal and enjoyment in your partner or the idea of sexual intercourse.

How to Overcome Low Libido From Anxiety

When anxiety causes you to experience low libido, the first step is, of course, to cure your anxiety. But anxiety reduction is a long-term process, and not something that is complete overnight. In the interim, make sure you're trying all of the following:

Your general health directly affects your libido and is important for reducing anxiety. Make sure you have a healthy diet and are exercising regularly. Keeping your body in the best of health is a powerful way to improve your overall arousal levels, which are often affected by things like food, exercise, and sleep.

When anxiety affects your arousal, don't try to hide it. Trying to hide it and overcome it causes further stress because you'll find that you try too hard to get aroused. Arousal is an automatic function, and not something you can force, so the more you try to force it the harder it gets. If you talk to your partner about it, you'll find that the added pressure of knowing that you're open about the problem takes some of the stress off of you.

Extended time away from an active sex life can put a strain on your relationship and potentially lead to more stress. If possible, try to make love anyway for fun. Talk to your partner, and don't make it a stressful event. Make it something you do to keep your sex life going and try to remember the enjoyment you experience when you do get aroused. If making love isn't physically possible, at the very least you should spend time being romantic and having fun in an intimate way to at least keep that component a part of your life.

Article Resources
  1. Mathew, Roy J., and Maxine L. Weinman. Sexual dysfunctions in depression. Archives of Sexual Behavior 11.4 (1982): 323-328.
  2. Figueira, Ivan, et al. Sexual dysfunction: a neglected complication of panic disorder and social phobia. Archives of Sexual Behavior 30.4 (2001): 369-377. 
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