What would Freud say?

This provides a twist on the old addage to be thankful for what you’ve got. A small percentage of the population suffers from an achey, depressed feeling after sex. I have never seen anything in the literature about this, but on the ‘Net they’re calling it ‘post-coital blues.’ No one is sure what causes it, or how to treat it.

Dr. Richard Friedman discusses post-coital blues in an article in the New York Times. Friedman read about brain chemistry research diring masturbation and came up with a novel treatment: SSRIs. Friedman wondered whether the sexual side-effects caused by excess seratinin may mitigate these effects. He reports that after two weeks, both of his patients reported a dramatic improvement, and saw a decline when he removed them from the medication.

I like Friedman’s piece. He takes the time to point out that this could be due to placebo or symptom fluctuation. Friedman also dispells the myth that sexual dysfunction always represents some deep-seated traumatic event. It would be interested to see some research on this treatment.

Brian Alexander at MSNBC has a different take. After waxing poetic for half of the story. After spending half the column tossing out poetry, Alexander points to prolactin, the chemical responsible for milk production, as a culprit, as a cause. He even notes a study in which excess prolactin was found to cause a reduction in sexual appetite and desire.

[and now we have to ask; why can’t science writers cite sources in magazines]


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