Antidepressants may affect love relationships
Taking antidepressants may affect how a person feels towards a romantic partner, according to a new study.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego recruited 192 people with depression with an average age of 41 who said they had been in a romantic relationship for between seven months and 26 years. The participants were asked to fill out questionnaires about their feelings of love, attachment and sexual attraction to their partners--both before and after taking antidepressants. The antidepressants that the researchers were particularly interested in were SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)--which work primarily through the serotonin system--and tricyclic antidepressants--which affect the serotonin system less than do SSRIs.
The results of the study showed that the participants who took SSRIs reported feeling more uneasy about sharing their partners' thoughts and feelings and were less likely to wish that their love for their partner would last forever, compared with the people who took tricyclics. The researchers also found that men taking SSRIs were less likely to ask their partners for help or advice than were the women taking SSRIs, and the women taking tricyclics reported being more unhappy about disturbances in their sex life.
The study's findings, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests that patients with depression should communicate with their physicians and their loved ones about any medication's side effects.