Depression Treatment

Can having sex help treat depression?

A Answers (2)

  • A , Mental Health, answered

    I asked my coauthor Dr. John Preston this question while we were collaborating on a book about depression management.

    His answer is very enlightening.


    It is very likely that orgasms are accompanied by a release of endorphins that then cause a sudden release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It is dopamine that is likely to be the specific molecule activating pleasure centers in the brain. This also results in generalized relaxation and may promote sleepiness.

    The emotional factors are numerous. Probably topping the list is the feeling of closeness and bonding to another during and following orgasms. Separation stress in baby mammals can be quickly soothed by reuniting with its mother, and this is known to result in the release of endorphins. Thus, a part of the emotional aspect of sex is to produce a calming feeling, especially related to reducing separation stress (people, at least for a while, feel less alone).

    Satisfying sexual relation can also be a source of comfort as it can provide
    assurances of being loved by another. This may be especially true if sexual
    interactions transmit the message that the sexual partner is sensitive to the
    other and interested in providing pleasure to him or her.


    I can now see how sex with a loving partner could help a
    person manage depression.

    1 person found this helpful.
  • A , Psychology, answered
    Can having sex help treat depression?

    No, sex can't "cure" depression. But having sex can temporarily boost feel-good neurochemicals, such as oxytocin, says neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD, author of Rewire Your Brain for Love.

This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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