Effects of Meds on Marriage

I’m trying to decide which can cause more damage to my marriage: the medication side effects or an unmedicated illness.

Ever since I started medication for my bipolar disorder years ago, I have secretly struggled with a decrease in sexual desire.

I could stop the meds. Then I wouldn’t have to force myself to have sex with my husband. I wouldn’t have to start mentally preparing myself in the morning so that I could initiate sex that night and make my husband think I’m all fired up.

I am, in fact, fired up. But it’s not something that instantly happens anymore. I can’t get spontaneously turned on and desire sex at random times. Not since I began treatment for bipolar disorder.

I have to spend hours working towards it. Mentally, I self talk.  I do thinks to make myself FEEL pretty. Paint my nails. Or style my hair. Send David a few kinky texts at work. Texts I have already written and prepared and saved in a file. Ready for when I need them. Maybe I put clean sheets in our bed.

And sometimes I go to our “special” drawer. A place where we keep our adult toys. I hold one and visualize the things we’ve done with it. I pick up another and another and imagine what I could do with it with David that night.

Sometimes I start to feel a tinge of desire. Of longing. And I begin to get excited for him to get home from work. I lie back on my bed and all of a sudden I feel like crying.

I should not have to work this hard and I should definitely not need to prepare myself like this in order to be intimate with my own husband. So I battle with the thought of stopping my medications.

If I do that, what happens then? A completely different problem arises. The bipolar itself. A whole new kind of strain on our marriage.

Stopping my meds means the depression will surface. I won’t want to get out of bed. I’ll be very irritable and end up causing arguments with my husband over little insignificant things. Without my meds I blow up over everything.

I may become manic. End up spending our mortgage money on dog toys on eBay. I stop sleeping so I don’t even make it to bed for nights on end.

And sex? Yeah! I can’t control myself. I want to be touching him all the time. I need to be near him every minute that he’s home, often causing him frustration because I take away his personal space.

Then we argue.

We get frustrated.

And I get suicidal.

All of this because I stopped my medication so that I could be more intimate with my husband. But instead, the bipolar has made things even worse.

So ultimately, what has more effect on intimacy in my marriage? I don’t exactly have an answer to that. Living with bipolar isn’t easy and there isn’t a single area of my life that isn’t affected. I wake up every morning, afraid. Afraid that he will leave me because intimacy is so complicated for us.

So what would cause more damage to my marriage? Taking the medication or living with untreated bipolar disorder? I’m not sure and I’m not about to find out.

Because thankfully I have an amazing guy who tries his best to understand me and my illness. We communicate openly about intimacy in our relationship and I know that I won’t ever have to stop my medication in order to keep my husband satisfied sexually.

And I hope you never feel the need to do that either.

You Can Find Me At The Bottom Of The Rabbit Hole 

Morphine is categorized as an opiate. It is obtained from opium in its raw form from the poppy plant. 

(When I read this the first thing that came to mind was war, since the poppy is a symbol relating to it. Ironic. The opium is something related to a different kind of war. And oddly enough, this war of addiction also loses lives. Knowing this will unfortunately cause me to think of morphine. It’s how my brain works.) 

Since it is a powerful analgesic drug, it is prescribed for treating severe to acute pain. Morphine is also often used to relieve pain following operations. 

As long as morphine is taken according to the dosage prescribed by the doctor for treating pain, it is safe. However, if the individual starts taking it in doses that exceed the prescribed limits, or if it is used for other purposes than medical use, it can rapidly result in addiction.


The reward systems of the brain are activated by the addictive characteristics of morphine. The anticipation of the reward becomes very intense, which causes the individual to want the drug continuously, which in turn results in him/her making morphine the focus of his/her life. This capacity of morphine to chemically alter the brain from functioning normally by activating its reward mechanisms is what causes addiction to the drug. Besides, morphine also impairs the consciousness level of an individual, hampering his/her capability of being fully cognizant of his/her surroundings and to think properly. 

(For example, trying to eat while I have morphine in my system can get tricky. Mind you this is ONLY when I take it in excess. It’s happened. Yes. Which is why I am currently going through the most intense withdrawal I have ever gone through on my own. Taking extra doses leaves me in a bad place because the pharmacy has a strict protocol for me and I can only get my prescription filled weekly. I cannot get it until exactly the morning of the 8th day, so I take my dose that morning. Anyways, when I increase doses on my own, or take it any way other than orally, I react differently. My mind seems to shut down. Heartbeats gets slower. And communicating becomes difficult. I shut down all over. And getting a fork to go straight to my mouth to eat something is ridiculous. It is shameful for me to even know what using morphine wrong feels like. But I do. I have screwed up in the past. I’ve gone overboard with it more than I am willing to admit. And for that I am currently being eaten alive with guilt.)

Once the body gets used to morphine, it requires increased amounts of the drug to produce the same pleasurable effects. This is when an individual develops tolerance to it. While tolerance to morphine usually develops in a few weeks, sometimes it can happen in just a few days. Once an individual develops tolerance to the opiate, he/she will undergo withdrawal symptoms if the amount of the drug is reduced by a certain level. The withdrawal symptom’s severity usually depends on the length of time the drug has been used and the amounts taken. The withdrawal symptoms of morphine generally include a whole range of physical sensations such as: uneasiness; abdominal cramps; diarrhea; nausea; vomiting; insomnia; chills; coryza; rhinorrhea; severe bouts of sneezing; lacrimination; perspiration; muscular spasms and twitching; involuntary kicking; acute aches in the abdomen, back and legs; cold and hot flashes; restless sleep; goose flesh; mydriasis; increases in blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and the temperature of the body.

If untreated, the addict then gets trapped in a ceaseless cycle of attempting to quit, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, the craving urge, and relapsing. And even if the addict refrains from relapsing, the metabolites of the drug which remain for many years in the fatty tissues get released into the blood, which increases the chances of craving and relapsing continuing for a long time. If left untreated, even microscopic amounts of metabolites can make the individual feel as if he/she has actually had the drug, setting off the feelings of craving and relapsing, even after years of being off the drug.

Three Days

Having a wisdom tooth removed is a very dangerous thing. For someone like me. 

The extreme pain requires strong pain medications. Extra prescriptions for extra pills to ease the extra pain. For a recovering drug addict that is prone to frequent relapse and is easily triggered by the slightest thing who also has little self control and doesn’t currently have a firm foothold in sobriety – this is a bad thing. 


solid foods are not permitted for an extended amount of time. After several days a visit to the storage room to dig out the scale is a sure sign that the ugly voice of an old enemy, the eating disorder, has wiggled it’s way back. 

Three days post procedure and I’ve suddenly realized that I have once again entered a dangerous territory. 

I want it and I want it NOW!

Currently on the 5th day of vacation. 4 nights so far in tent … with my mother in law. I must say that it hasn’t been as bad as I had anticipated. Aside from having enough respect for her request that David and I refrain from being sexual while she’s with us, we have all gotten along quite well. (How can you expect a couple who are madly in love AND on vacation to keep their hands to themselves?! Anyhow, we are blessed with the talent of creativity so it worked out ok.) I admit, I found it hard a few times, trying to control myself. It’s ironic how my sex drive goes into a flat out high speed chase after David when I know I’m in a situation where I can’t have him the way I want him. Take it away and you want it more than ever!!


Proud of juggling life so well,
Proud we manage not to tell,
Proud our lives look good to all,
But pride’s what comes before a fall.
And so we hide hurt rather well,
But deep inside it starts to swell,
Until we’re taken with the tide,
Of all the things we tried to hide,
And then our secrets are no more,
Our problems spill upon the floor,
Seeping, sliding making mess,
Whilst others sidestep,
We confess,
We couldn’t manage any more.
We hid our scars but they’re still raw.

By PookyH