Antidepressant drugs are commonly known to cause sexual side effects—about a third of American adults taking them report issues with sexual dysfunction. However, what many don’t consider is how such drugs may also suppress the emotions of love and romance.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, known as SSRIs, the most common type of antidepressant, work by boosting levels of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter that also inhibits desire. SSRIs also decreases dopamine, a chemical which appears central to the neurobiology of romantic love and attachment.
“There’s every reason to think SSRIs blunt your ability to fall and stay in love,” said Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who has done pioneering work on the science of love. At least you’ll be calm and mood-regulated in your resulting life of loneliness.
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