Dear Annie: My husband takes antidepressants. He suffers from severe anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If he doesn’t take his pills, he’s tough to be around. He becomes depressed. His attitude toward everything is negative. He stays in bed. He sleeps all day. It’s an ugly sight.
We met when we were in our 20s. Life was carefree when we fell in love. We were young, and all that mattered was spending time together. Most importantly, our sex life was great. We’re currently in our late 30s. Nowadays, we have “adult” problems — such as jobs, a mortgage and maintaining our health. Those are normal obstacles for any married couple.
Now include the fact that my husband seems to have zero sex drive from the antidepressants and, as a result, we never have sex. I want him to not be depressed, but I also have needs. What should I do? — Amorous Spouse
Dear Amorous: Cruel but true — decreased sex drive is among the most commonly reported side effects of antidepressants.
Talk to your husband, taking special care not to make him feel guilty or defensive about his lack of sex drive. His doctor could suggest solutions — antidepressants that aren’t associated with decreased sex drive, for example, or medications to treat erectile dysfunction. A doctor might also refer you to a sex therapist or couples counselor to address any underlying issues in your sex life.
Dear Annie: “Sad Nana With So Much to Be Thankful For” certainly struck a chord with your readers. I’d like to provide perspective from someone in the same boat as “Sad Nana’s” children.
My mother is the sole caregiver for my terminally ill father, who is in hospice. Mom refuses all help — except for that provided by her children. We, as Mom’s hired help, are all exhausted and frustrated that our remaining time with our dad is being orchestrated by her.
“Sad Nana” needs to remember that her children are losing their father, just as she is losing a spouse. Perhaps “Sad Nana’s” children want to use their remaining time with their dad visiting, recalling cherished memories and making peace with his imminent death.
Asking the children to prepare meals, cook and clean for her reduces their role in their dad’s life to that of hired help. I suggest that “Sad Nana” invest in professional services or take advantage of those provided by Medicare or perhaps her church family.
I imagine that “Sad Nana’s” husband would rather she be by his side as his wife rather than nursemaid — and his children be children rather than hired help. “Sad Nana” made her choice; she should avoid holding others accountable for it. — Dying to Be With Dad as a Daughter
Dear Dying to Be With Dad: Your letter speaks to the importance of making use of all hospice care and all other available care covered by insurance. If you’ve not expressed your frustration to your mom, it’d be worth doing so.
I’m so sorry to hear what your family is going through, and I truly hope you get to spend some quality time with your father.
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