Case Study: Depression And Libido
I was recently consulted by a 39 year old lady who had suffered with chronic depression and anxiety for 15 years after the birth of her second child. Her husband accompanied her and was a very supportive man. The presenting problems for this lady were her fatigue and lack of libido.
It is well known that many types of modern day antidepressant drugs can reduce libido and the ability to orgasm. The patient was on a very large dose of an antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and this was undoubtedly contributing to her problems. The patient’s blood tests revealed very low levels of the male hormone testosterone and also low levels of vitamin D. She had terrible menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding and PMS, which are all indicators of low progesterone.
I decided that the best strategy would be –
- Introduce diet changes and supplements to improve her mental state and very slowly reduce the dose of the antidepressant drug.
- Prescribe a cream containing natural testosterone in a dose of 2mg daily to bring her testosterone levels back into the normal range, as well as a bio-identical progesterone cream, to reduce menstrual symptoms.
The supplements included-
- Magnesium powder
- Omega 3 – from fish oil
- Raw juicing to boost antioxidant levels
- A liver tonic containing liver herbs and the B group vitamins
- A vitamin D supplement to correct her deficiency
I also discussed the importance of increasing her dietary intake of vegetables, protein and natural fats.
My patient had a history of irritable bowel syndrome and I believed this was impacting on her emotional health. It is often said that the gut is the second brain, and digestive disorders can have a significantly negative impact on emotional health. I asked her to remove grains, dairy products and sugar from her diet, as these foods can be difficult to digest; they can inflame the intestinal lining and they can promote the growth of harmful gut microbes. Having too many of the wrong bugs in your gut can be a problem because they release highly inflammatory chemicals that can affect neurotransmitter production in the brain.
I asked my patient to incorporate fermented foods into her diet such as sauerkraut and I gave her a probiotic.
Over a 6 month period we were able to gradually and slowly reduce the dose of her antidepressant drug by two thirds of the original dose. Her sex drive improved and she was able to have orgasms regularly. Her general health improved with greatly diminished fatigue. The smaller dose of antidepressant drug was able to control her depression and did not cause sexual dysfunction.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.