I’ll start off by saying I have Bipolar Disorder, with mostly manic episodes(which causes me to be hypersexual) and recently officially diagnosed with ADHD. The medication for the ADHD, Adderall, says it can cause loss of libido. I’ve only been on it for 3 weeks and boy does it ever cause this problem. I just don’t want to do anything anymore, no cuddling, no kissing, definitely no sex. Is there anything I can take, short of stopping the Adderall, that would bring my loving feeling back? My boy has started to notice and the irony is I had been complaining to him about not being affectionate and he has been making attempts but I’m not responding correctly. It doesn’t help that at my job they’re talking about doing layoffs in my department so needless to say I’m a little depressed and worried about that. We have a fairly active sex life. I really only see him on the weekends and that’s usually when we have sex. Its not for lack of time or anything like that.

Any over the counter or prescription medication like a female viagra that could help me? I just saw my shrink Saturday and I forgot to mention it to him as we were discussing the meds for my Bipolar Disorder. Should I just stop the Adderall for a week and see if that makes a difference?

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11 Responses to Loss of libido

  1. SseNope says:

    Do you notice a relationship between the timing of your Adderall and any increase of libido? Stimulant meds are so short-acting that it might be possible to take your meds in the morning and see an increase when it wears off in the evening.

    But honestly, I’m more inclined to blame your stress at work and subsequent depression. Plus, even slight pressure caused by only seeing him on the weekends surely doesn’t help.

    My first inclination is to turn your eye towards stress relief. How do you normally unpack from a stressful week or day? Exercise in general can improve libido, and it’s a remarkable de-stressor and for some, depression treatment. (I also noticed that when I worked out in the morning, I felt more balanced and had better focus for the day. And yes, I have ADHD as well.) If a massage sounds more appealing, you could turn it into a sensual thing with your boyfriend: take PIV off the table, and focus on the relaxation. My boyfriend finds meditation to be helpful for stress and depression.

    After the stress has been ameliorated, you may find that your mood and libido improve. You can stop your Adderall, but for me personally, I would worry that that would just increase my stress!

  2. LriSuper says:

    I take the adderall at 730am so that I can be focused at work, it usually wears off by 3pm or so. Even if i was going to see him that night around 7 or 8 it would be well out of my system for the day. I read up on the side effects of Adderall and beside the loss of appetite, which I don’t mind, it also said loss of libido, which I do mind. Even if we don’t have PIV, I just don’t seem to want to reciprocate the little bit of affection he’s giving me. That’s been a problem as well. He’s not as affectionate as I’d like him to be and the irony is now that he’s trying..I’M not into it. Perfect timing right?

    The only new thing was finding about these layoffs on Monday. They say it could be in 3 weeks or as late as September! How can anyone plan for that? I just want to know who it is at this point so I can relax and go back to my old self and happy sex life. I still say its the Adderall, because I’ve been on that longer than I’ve known about the layoffs and it has been happening for the last couple weeks. I’ll talk to my doctor next week. Thanks for your reply.

  3. SseNope says:

    Do you find that you’re more testy or irritable since beginning the medication? If my Ritalin dose is too high, or I’m coming down from it, I get cranky. (And if your appetite has decreased, maybe your blood sugar is kind of perpetually low?)

    I’m honestly really hesitant to blame anything solely on medication (except, for example, yeast infections on antibiotics). Human bodies–especially brains–are so complex that there are probably multiple factors that can be tweaked.

    Ugh, that’s so frustrating about the giant window of time for the layoffs! Scary! Fingers crossed for you.

  4. LriSuper says:

    I don’t feel anymore testy or cranky than usual. I can be pretty hot and cold because of the bipolar disorder though and I have been over processing this layoff in so many ways its not funny. I have to talk about things excessively until I come to a resolution in my mind. My friends and parents know this, but its often hard for new people in my life..like my boy. He told me to “pray about it and move on”…which set me off a bit.

    I say all that to say…I’m thinking its just depression from the job thing, but I don’t know how to snap out of it. I thought I had moved on from it and had been doing well at work for the rest of the week considering what’s on the horizon. He kept asking me what made me happy, but I don’t know…nothing I used to like makes me happy anymore (hallmark of depression) BLAH!

  5. SseNope says:

    That’s the trouble with depression: you totally can’t will it away, or snap out of it. Do you have a therapist or a routine way of tackling depression? I can understand how being told to “pray and move on” would be absolutely the wrong thing to hear! Maybe he would benefit from learning more about what depression is like, and experiences similar to yours. Having a non-understanding partner can breed resentment, which doesn’t help libido.

    I hope things improve soon.

    PS: This is my favorite representation of depression, ever: Hyperbole and a Half.

  6. LriSuper says:

    Its weird, because I’m rarely depressed. My bipolar disorder is 90% mania..which can be fun at times…really fun when I’m hypersexual. Not so much when I’m spending hundreds of dollars in a weekend LOL. My depression is almost always caused by something..I’m never just “blue” for no reason. I think this is caused by the layoffs, and i read that the Adderall can also cause depression(what’s the point of taking this stuff?). Then i’m feeling less interested in sex, which is also something that is making me feel bad. I regret not talking to my shrink about this yesterday. I do see my therapist every Wednesday..maybe I can talk to her, but she can’t change my medication. I know I can’t self medicate, but something has to give.

  7. SseNope says:

    The thing about side effects lists is that they have to list every single possible thing people reported during the trials. There’s often some indication about how frequently the complaint popped up, but not always.

    It’s totally possible to change to a different stimulant med, or delivery system. When you next see your prescriber, bring it up! (Your therapist might have some ideas too, even though she can’t prescribe.)

    Depression causes loss of libido. Whether it’s caused by the bipolar, the stress, or the Adderall, depression is likely going to have a bigger impact on your libido than any other one thing. I know you can’t snap out of it, but when your depression improves, I bet your libido will too. (Are you on anything for the bipolar? SSRIs are notorious for killing libido, and they can take months or years to have an effect in that way. I don’t know about other depression/bipolar meds.)

    Dan Savage says a lot of smart things about dealing with lulls in libido. Mostly, stay sensual and communicative, take PIV or other “key” acts off the table, don’t pressure yourself or get too down on yourself for not reacting in the way you expect. Work around the edges of arousal, and avoid scaring it off like a shy woodland creature.

    Also, the VP post below yours has a lot of other avenues to an improved libido. It’s worth a shot.

  8. LriSuper says:

    I take Geodon as my antipsychotic, Lamictal as my mood stabilizer, I’m not on an antidepressant per se because i rarely suffer from depression. I also take Adderall for ADHD. I’m “hoping” when this thing at work blows over all will be well, but I have noticed these things changing ever since I started the Adderall 3 weeks ago…way before I found out about the layoffs. I can’t help but think they’re related…and the job thing just compounded upon the already decreased libido.

    I need to talk to my boy a little more indepth about what’s going on..He thinks I’m just rejecting him but that’s not the case. I mentioned that I was depressed, but I don’t think he knew what to say because he didn’t respond to anything i said..just listened. I didn’t go into great detail but maybe I should.

    I used to love having sex with him, making out, oral..all of that..but the last three weeks have been pretty dry. Just the thought of sex makes me go blah. I don’t even feel like my vagina is connected to my brain anymore. Its just there, feeling like nothing! LOL Please wake up vagina..oh please 🙂

  9. LriFru says:

    My husband had some unpleasant sexual side effects from Strattera when he started taking it, and after a couple of weeks, he went back to his psychiatrist and discussed them with her and she actually ended up changing his medication to Adderall. What she said during that discussion was that while the sexual side effects are unusual, it’s also unlikely that if you have them on one of the ADHD medications that you’ll have them on all of them.

    If you can rule out another cause like stress, for your lowered libido changing ADHD medications might help. The nice thing about the Adderall is that it’s effective almost immediately, whereas the Strattera may take a couple of weeks to get to a therapeutic dose, but it also may provide relief from ADHD symptoms with fewer unpleasant side effects.

  10. LriSuper says:

    Thanks! I will definitely try to schedule an appointment with him sooner than the 3 weeks he suggested. I don’t know all the ADHD meds and I’m willing to try them all if that will help. I was totally out of it when i saw him yesterday morning so I didn’t have a very successful session. I will page him again tomorrow. I paged him today and I know its sunday, but when you have psych patients you need to be a little flexible in your availability.

    I will make a list of my concerns for next time I go to make sure I get them all resolved.

  11. SseNope says:

    Strattera is related to SSRIs, so I’m not surprised he had sexual side effects. On the other hand, I experienced a huge increase in my sexual response when I switched from SSRIs to Strattera–so it’s not necessarily a death knell either. I was a huge fan of Strattera, even though it caused GI distress unless I split it into two doses. I could even have coffee and tea while taking it! (I have to be careful when balancing stimulant meds and caffeine.)

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