Saturday, September 18, 2010

SSRIs and Sexual Dysfunction

I thought this topic was interesting. So, I posted it! (=

This is my week 7 discussion board post concerning sexual dysfunction:

In 2009, in the United States, it was observed that there was a significant increase in the intake of psychotropic medication in both children and adults between the years 1996-2006. The increase for senior citizens doubled, while for adults the increase was 76% and children was 50% (Payne, 2009).

The method anti-depressants take to regulate one’s brain chemistry involves a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRIs) which is known throughout medicine to be a prevalent factor in erectile dysfunction, orgasmic dysfunction and female sexual unresponsiveness (
Rivas-Vasquez, Blias, Rey, & Rivas-Vasquez, 2000). Serotonin is an important chemical component of your brain chemistry, especially in relation to the human sexual response (Greenburg & Bruess, 2011). When being regulated by medication, many patients experience unsatisfactory results as far as their sex lives, which can in turn effect continued compliance in patient treatment (Rivas-Vasquez, Blias, Rey, & Rivas-Vasquez, 2000). There is a benefit, though, to SSRIs’ effects on the sexuality of males if they are plagued with premature ejaculation. SSRIs are often prescribed to treat said dysfunction (Greenburg & Bruess, 2011).

Paraphilia is known to cause both depression and sexual dysfunction and is a very private subject to subscribers of the different forms (Greenburg & Bruess, 2011). The inability to become aroused or reach orgasm in the usual fashion would be mentally depleting for most. If said person has no sexual partners due to these circumstances, it would make sense for them to develop depression.

Also, in matters of medicine, whether or not a person has contracted asymptomatic STIs, such as chlamydia or syphilis, could also be a cause for sexual dysfunction which could be enough to cause depression in and of itself (Lecture 7). The general public knows a thing or two about the contacting of an STI, however, not enough to diagnose themselves often times (Lecture 7).

Paraphilias are taboo and can at times illicit negative reactions from otherwise rational people. I would venture to say that the general public, including those seeking therapy and psychotropic medicine for actual medical disorders, does not know about either STIs of paraphilia to be properly assessed and treated with medication.

I don’t believe a general physician should be prescribing psychotropic medication because of how severe effects of said medications can be. In my estimation there should be an STI screening as well as an introductory meeting with the prescribing psychiatrist where these general statistics are explained and a questionnaire is given for the benefit of the patient.

In addition to sexual dysfunction, there are many drawbacks to taking psychotropic medicines, just listen for all of the possible side-effects they read in the commercials on television and radio. If it is possible to treat someone’s depression without SSRIs, I think that the health-care field owes them this.

My question to the class: Do you believe it to be in-ethical to require a STI screening to prescribe psychotropic medication? Why or why not?


Blias, M. A., & Rey, G. J., Rivas-Vasquez, R. A., Rivas-Vasquez, A. A., (2000). Sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant treatment. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 31(6), doi: 1CU037//0735- 7028.31.6.641

Greenberg, J.S., Bruess, C.E. & Conklin, S.C., (2011). Exploring the dimensions of human sexuality (4th ed.). Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones And Bartlett Publishers.

Lecture 7

Payne, J.W. (2009). Health buzz: increased use of drugs for mental illness and other health news., Retrieved from doi: VMC-R2R0-Y9XT-41XB

In conclusion:

I'd really like to hear people's opinions on depression, psychotropic meds and STI testing. I rarely get responses on my discussion boards due to the fact that APU is partnered with AMU (American Military University) and those students don't have much time for such things.

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