Because really, that’s the only reason I could have seen me appearing in Vogue.
But there I am. In the July 2013 issue. However, as you may have guessed, it’s not for my impeccable sense of style. Yoga pants, LOFT t-shirts, and postpartum bellies have not been deemed as highly fashionable by Those Who Know Style.
The reason I’m in Vogue is much more important than fall fashion, in my humble, unstylish opinion.
Last year, the fabulous journalist and author Elizabeth Weil interviewed me for a story called “Tough Love” that she was writing about women, depression and … wait for it … the effects of antidepressants on libido.
Yes, I’m quoted in an article in Vogue about s-e-x.
You can see why I’m not exactly spreading the word to my in-laws.
But I’m telling you because Liz’s article is good and important and one you should read, especially if you take antidepressants. It talks about an uncomfortable issue we should be discussing more – because if we did, maybe the medical community would put more of a priority on solving this problem that’s invading the bedrooms of America.
How’d this all happen?
Liz found Honest Mom while doing research for her story, and we had a long chat about how SSRIs affect me and my desire. I was happy to vent about it, as the issue had been weighing on my mind for a while.
After the interview, I found the courage to write a candid blog post (one that Liz references in “Tough Love”). My post was called Motherhood + Antidepressants = Zero Libido. Sound Familiar? With lots of trepidation, I published it.
And BOOM. The comments started flying.
That post got the most comments of any post I’ve written. Partly because a guy jumped into the conversation and started a comment war. Mostly because this is something women really want to talk about with other women, and were so relieved to be able to vent about it on my blog.
However, I took the post down a few months back because even though Hubs was initially okay with me writing it, my frankness in the piece eventually made him uncomfortable. I don’t blame Hubs for feeling that way. Once my mom knew about my blog, I didn’t want her to read the post, either. I was embarrassed.
And of course, therein lies the problem.
This problem is WAY more common than you think
The zapping of desire is one of the worst side effects of antidepressants, and more common than first thought. According to Liz’s article, more than 1/3 of people on antidepressants suffer sexual dysfunction. And in 2011, a well-publicized study found that one in four American women are on mental-health medications.
From my research, I found there are roughly 158 million women in the US. And that means that 39.5 million are on mental-health meds. Which in turn means about 13 million women in the United States are dealing with sexual side effects from antidepressants.
13 MILLION women. But we’re too embarrassed to talk about it. And therefore? We’re suffering in silence.
So let’s get talking, ladies.
I get it that not everyone’s comfortable talking about this stuff. I mean, come on – I took down my posts about it. The thought of certain people knowing about this part of my life made me squeamish. And out of respect for my husband, I’m not going to delve into the nitty gritty details of this issue on my blog. Suffice it to say: I GET IT.
If you’re comfortable talking about it, let loose in the comments! So many women are in the same boat and it’s so nice to hear we are not alone in this. Use a fake name if that makes you more comfortable. Whatever works.
Either way, if you are on SSRIs and are dealing with a total lack of libido, talk to your doctor. You’re already talked about depression with her. This is almost certainly related, so don’t be afraid to bring it up. Some women find that adding Wellbutrin to their antidepressant can help, so that is something you could ask about. Ask about natural solutions, herbs, exercise, whatever. Just ASK.
In her article, Liz talks about what women are and aren’t doing to deal with their nonexistent libidos – and since Vogue isn’t putting the article online, be sure to grab a copy of the July issue the next time you’re at Target.
Yeah, you’ll get some great tips on fall fashion – but better yet, you’ll get some great tips for dealing with this VERY important problem. And until there is a true women’s Viagra out there, we need all the tips we can get, right?
Fess up: Do your mental-health medications affect your libido? What are you doing about it?