Why Do I Feel Depressed After Sex?

Feeling depressed after sex is common and nothing to be ashamed of. It is often caused by a drop in hormones and neurotransmitters that rise with orgasm to promote feelings of satisfaction.

It can last from a few minutes to a few hours and may need treatment from a doctor or sex therapist. It can also be caused by negative communication with sexual partners.

1. Hormones

The sex-related hormones and neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin rise to support feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness during orgasm. When sex isn’t satisfying, you might feel sad or down afterward as the levels of these chemicals drop. This is what happens with some people and can be a sign of an imbalance or underlying issue. A naturopathic doctor can help you find the right balance of hormones.

The sad feelings that come after sex are also known as postcoital dysphoria, or melancholy, and can be experienced by women and men of all ages. Even in consensual situations, sex can cause this mood disturbance, and the symptoms can include sadness, crying, anxiety or aggression, regret or shame, or a sense of emptiness or numbness.

This is a common feeling that can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. The cause can vary from person to person and can be due to hormonal fluctuations, past sexual trauma or abuse, relationship difficulties, underlying mental health issues, or more.

If this is something that you struggle with regularly or it’s affecting your ability to have healthy, fulfilling relationships with others, you should consider reaching out to a therapist. They can help you understand what’s happening with your hormones and support you in navigating the feelings that arise. You might find relief through different therapeutic approaches than someone else with similar concerns, but don’t give up if you’re not getting immediate results.

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2. Anxiety

If you have underlying anxiety issues, these may surface after sexual activity. If you have a partner and are in a safe and intimate relationship, this can be a good time to check in with one another. People in kinky communities often do a process called “aftercare,” which is a way to ensure that both partners are still feeling good after sex. You can mold your aftercare experience to fit your specific needs.

Feeling sad or depressed after sex is a common phenomenon, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if this feeling is consistent and interfering with your life and relationships, it could be a sign that you need to talk to a therapist.

Anxiety can also affect your mood and trigger feelings of sadness after sex. If you’re worried about how you might be perceived, this can cause a feeling of depression that can make you want to hide yourself and not have sex at all.

If you’re having difficulty communicating with your partner and you find yourself crying after sex, this can be a sign that you need help with your anxiety. A therapist can help you work through your anxiety, which will then allow you to stop feeling sad after sex and feel more confident in your sexuality. The goal of therapy is to change negative patterns and beliefs, so it can be a great tool in improving your quality of life and happiness.

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3. Self-esteem

In healthy relationships, sex should leave you feeling happy, satisfied and loved. But if you’re not, it might be a sign that there are issues with your relationship or your emotional health. Especially if you’re regularly crying during or after sex, it could be time to talk to a therapist.

Depression after sex is surprisingly common, even in consensual situations where both partners have enjoyed the experience. It’s called post-coital dysphoria or post-coital tristesse and can be triggered by hormone changes, cultural shame, sexual guilt, and/or self-deprecating thoughts.

It’s also possible that sex isn’t making you feel good, whether that’s because you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, or your partner doesn’t listen to your needs. ‘Making up sex’ can be hard, but it isn’t sustainable in the long-term and often results in resentment, anger and low mood.

Ultimately, your mood is affected by many factors including the genes you have, how you think about yourself, and your lifestyle. Taking an honest look at your self-esteem can help you get to the bottom of why you’re feeling depressed after sex and how it may be affecting your relationship. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled an expert-approved list of the best online therapy programs to help you unpack your issues. Alternatively, you can always speak to a sex therapist who is specially trained to help people with this issue.

4. Withdrawal

For some people, feeling depressed after sex is a part of their sexual experience. It is a normal reaction to a pleasurable experience, but if it occurs regularly and interferes with your relationship or leads to avoidance of intimacy, you may want to consider reaching out to a therapist.

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Post-sex depression is more common in women than men and can be triggered by both consensual and non-consensual sexual experiences. It can manifest as tearfulness, a sense of melancholy or depression, or feelings of anxiety and aggression and may occur even after masturbation and whether or not the person has orgasmed.

In some cases, feeling depressed after sex can be a sign of psychological trauma or sexual abuse. Other times, it can be related to a specific issue in your relationship, such as unresolved conflict or confusion about where you stand with your partner.

If you have suffered a traumatic sexual assault or other life-threatening event, your depression could be triggered by PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). Talking with a therapist can help you determine the root cause of your trauma and learn how to manage it in a healthy way. For some people, this means finding alternative ways to express intimate love and connecting with their partners in more meaningful ways. For others, it means learning to identify their triggers and create a plan for how they can cope with them before they lead to self-destruction.

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