Some people feel sad after having sex. It is what is called post-sex depression, which is completely normal if it dissipates quickly and does not acquire a high intensity.
Some studies indicate that 10% of people experience post-sex depression. It is an access of inexplicable sadness after having sexual relations. Now, this situation has nothing to do with the way in which said relationship took place. As pleasurable as it may have been, in the end they feel depressed.
Actually, post-sex depression is not considered a disorder, or a dysfunction or anything like that. In most cases, it is no more than a kind of emotional discomfort that has no major significance . However, if that state is maintained for too long, it could indicate a deeper problem.
” Lust deserves to be treated with mercy and forgiveness when it is exercised to learn to love .”
Until now, science has not fully elucidated why this emotional state arises. There are several theories about it. It must also be said that none of them can explain all cases. What applies to some people does not apply to others. Post-sex depression can be due to many factors.
What is post-sex depression
The Journal of Sexual Health published a study detailing the characteristics of post-sex depression. Although it may vary from one person to another, the central element is the presence of a feeling of sadness , which appears just after the end of intercourse . This sensation is defined as inexplicable, since it does not correlate with the pleasure experienced.
The most common is that this state of sadness is maintained for a few minutes, and then disappears without a trace . However, there are those who maintain that feeling for several hours. There are even cases of people who experience depression for several days.
The sensation that is experienced is described as a kind of existential emptiness . There is a desire to cry, but the person does not know how to explain why. He also feels irritable, moody, and wants to isolate himself.
The physiological reasons
According to doctors Brian Bird, Robert Schweitzer and Donald Strassberg, who have studied this subject in depth, during sexual intercourse there is a kind of hormonal revolution . Later there is something like a sudden stabilization attempt , after the climax. This dynamic leads to a sharp drop in hormone levels and depression.
For his part, Dr. Richard A. Friedman, director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Psychopharmacology Clinic , explains that during orgasm there is a sharp drop in the activity of the cerebral amygdala . This area has to do with fear processing.
What happens, then, is that during sexual relations, fear and all associated sensations decrease significantly. After the climax, the brain wants to quickly recover these sensations, since they are essential for survival . That is why there is an upturn in those emotions, which generates that strange feeling of emptiness.
The human being is not only biology. What happens to us cannot be explained solely in terms of hormones and neurotransmitters. If that were the case, basically all cases of post-sex depression would be the same. However, it is known that there are notable variations around this aspect. This is due to the fact that symbolic elements that translate into feelings are also involved in the theme.
Some psychologists have pointed out that the intensity of post-sex depression is higher and longer lasting in those who have mixed feelings about sex . Sometimes they feel guilty when experiencing sexual pleasure, due to a very restrictive upbringing or character traits that lead to guilt.
Likewise, it is possible that this feeling of depression originates from the inability to reach full orgasm . The person experiences frustration and this manifests as post-sex depression.
When to worry?
As we already noted, post-sex depression is completely normal in most cases. Its incidence is known to be slightly higher in women. If it occurs, but then dissipates after a few minutes, there is nothing to worry about.
The duration of that state is a definite factor, as is the intensity. If it lasts a long time and is experienced intensely, it is likely that there are other underlying problems . This could just be the manifestation of a more severe state of depression and in that case it would require professional management.
Likewise, if sadness is derived from unpleasant sexual relations or from the attitude of the couple, depression becomes a warning sign for what is happening in the relationship. In this or another case, it is best to go to a professional if the problem persists over time.