Sexual dysfunctions in depression


The incidence of sexual dysfunctions in a group of 51 drug-free depressed patients and in age- and sex-matched controls was studied. Three groups of sexual dysfunction were assessed: alterations of libido, genital symptoms, and menstrual irregularities. The Beck Rating Scale for Depression, the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were completed on each participant. Depressed patients obtained significantly higher scores on anxiety, depression, and alterations of libido than controls. Rating scale scores for anxiety and depression were strongly inter-correlated, making the separation of depression-related symptoms from anxiety difficult. In males, the genital symptoms correlated inversely with the L (lie) score of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. There were no inter-relationships between the three groups of sexual dysfunction.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Beck, A. T., and Beck, R. W. (1972). Screening depressed patients in family practice.Postgrad. Med. 52: 81–85.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Enoch, M. D., Trethowan, W. H., and Barker, J. C. (1967).The Othello Syndrome in Some Uncommon Psychiatric Syndromes. John Wright and Sons, Ltd., Bristol.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Eysenck, H. J., and Eysenck, S. B. G. (1963).The Eysenck Personality Inventory. San Diego Educational and Industrial Testing Service, University of London Press, London.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Feighner, J. P., Robins, E., Guze, S. B., Woodruff, R. A., Winokur, G., and Munoz, R. (1972). Diagnostic criteria for use in psychiatric research.Arch. Gen. Psychiat. 26: 57–63.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Johnson, J. (1968).Disorders of Sexual Potency in the Male. Pergamon Press, London.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Mathew, R. J., Largen, J. L., and Claghorn, J. L. (1979). Biological symptoms of depression.Psychosom. Med. 41: 439–443.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. McNair, D. M., and Fisher, S. (1978). Separating anxiety from depression. In Lipton, M. A., DiMascio, A., and Killam, K. F. (eds.),Psychopharmacology: A Generation of Progress Raven Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Munro, A. (1973). Gynecology. In Munro, A. (ed.),Psychosomatic Medicine Churchill Livingston, Edinburgh.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Shepherd, M. (1961). Morbid jealousy: Some clinical and social aspects of psychiatric symptoms.J. Ment. Sci. 107: 687–704.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Slater, E., and Roth, M. (1960).Clinical Psychiatry. Baillere, Tindall and Cassell, London, p. 211.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., and Lushene, R. E. (1970).STAI Manual. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, California.

    Google Scholar 

  12. van der Kolk, B. A., Shader, R. I., and Greenblatt, D. J. (1978). Autonomic effects of psychotropic drugs. In Lipton, M. A., DiMascio, A., and Killam, K. F. (eds.),Psychopharmacology: A Generation of Progress Raven Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Roy J. Mathew M.D., D.P.M., M.R.C., Psych..

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mathew, R.J., Weinman, M.L. Sexual dysfunctions in depression. Arch Sex Behav 11, 323–328 (1982).

Download citation

Key words

  • libido
  • impotency
  • premature ejaculation
  • amenorrhea
  • polymenorrhea
  • depression