Could having more sex improve your mental wellbeing?

A women says her doctor prescribed sex as a treatment for depression [Photo: Getty]

Depression treatments can range from anti-depressants to cognitive behavioural therapy, but one woman has said that her doctor prescribed her something altogether more unusual to treat her bipolar disorder: sex.

Speaking to whimn.com.au the anonymous woman explained that she had suffered from depression and anxiety for most of her life, but after getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as well as medication and exercise, her doctor told her to have lots of sex.

As someone with a naturally high libido, that meant having sex a lot. But having followed the doctor’s orders the woman was amazed to find that it did have a positive impact on her mental wellbeing, helping to stabilise her moods.

“We don’t always have to have intercourse either, simply touching, cuddling or just fooling around and being connected can be just as great to get those feel goods,” she told whimn.com.au.

And there may be something in it upping your orgasm quota to benefit your mental health. According to the NHS sex could help you beat the stresses of modern day living.

They cite a small study of 46 men and women where participants kept a diary of sexual activity, recording penetrative sex, non-penetrative sex and masturbation.

The results revealed that the people who had no sex at all had the highest stress levels, while those who only had penetrative sex had the smallest rise in blood pressure, indicating that they coped better with stress.

Could sex improve mental wellbeing? [Photo: Getty]

Sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox, who has her own ranges of products with online sex toy retailer Lovehoney, agrees that sex and orgasms could have multiple benefits for mental health.

“Sex is a natural anti-depressant,” she tells Yahoo Style UK. “Sex increases the heart rate and stimulates the brain to release more serotonin, the happiness hormone, a key anti-depressant and the main reason to smile after sex.”

Tracey says that a recent study revealed that sexually active women rarely suffer from depression.

“Men and women who often have sex cope with better stress and have lower blood pressure than those who abstained from sex,” she continues.

“There are other health benefits such as better sleep which also aids mental health. Oxytocin, which both the male and female body produces at orgasm, helps with insomnia. It’s the reason why so many fellas fall asleep as soon as they have climaxed,” she explains.

And the benefits of sex don’t stop there. “Sex also relieves headaches by releasing the tension that restricts blood vessels in the brain. Sex boosts the levels of a human’s anti-ageing hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) – a key factor in keeping us young. After orgasm, levels of DHEA in the blood rise to five times the normal level. A study found that couples in their sixties still having regular sex looked between five and seven years younger than those no longer having sex.”

And if you start the day with passion, you will be in a good mood for the rest of the day. “Studies show adults who make love in the morning are more optimistic about the day ahead,” Tracey reveals

Early night tonight?

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