Frequently Asked Questions About Seasonal Depression For Dads


I had always been the happiest and politest boy in the neighborhood. Whenever I went out of the house to walk the dog, get the morning paper, and do other chores, I often had a smile and a greeting ready for every person I would see around the house. Sometimes, even if the people were a few places away, I would run to them to say hi. Because of that, the elders treated me as their kid, and the other children wanted to befriend me.

At such a young age, I did not understand what’s so special about my habits and gestures. After all, that had always been the routine in our home. My mother and father would wake me up with kisses and tickles, and then we would all head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast together. I learned how to be polite, joyful, and helpful early, yes.

I only realized that not every kid acted like me when I entered primary school. I overheard a classmate arguing with her mother. It went like this:

“You did not take your lunch box to school again,” Mrs. Cooper said as soon as Jane came up to her.

“Your food sucks, Mom,” Jane retorted.

Mrs. Cooper looked hurt and shocked. “Excuse me, young lady?”

“Yeah, you heard me.” Then, Jane walked past her mother and stood beside their car. “Come on, Mom. I’m growing roots here!” she yelled, annoyed.

Although I did nothing back then, I promised myself that I would never be like Jane. Besides acting awful towards her mother, she did not know how to appreciate Mrs. Cooper’s efforts. Worse, Jane did not even greet her.


Becoming An Adult

I carried my happy and polite disposition into my adulthood. In college, I had been known as that guy who would never turn a friend down and always had a helping hand ready for everyone. Of course, some people tried to take advantage of that, but I knew how to dodge them without acting rude.

After getting my college diploma, I began working at a construction firm as an architect. That’s where I met my wife, Sherra. We became friends quickly when we found out that we both loved the Star Trek franchise. Her easygoing attitude also meant that she was always smiling. However, what made me realize that Sherra was the one was when my parents dropped by the firm, and only Sherra was there to entertain them.

Mom called me that night and gushed over Sherra. She said, “Son, I met the loveliest girl at your workplace today. She had a massive pile of paperwork on her desk, but she left it to assist me even before knowing that I was your mother. I hope she’s still single – she’s a keeper.”

Having A Family

Twenty years after that conversation, Sherra and I had been happily married with two teenage boys. We had a short courtship as it turned out that Sherra liked me before I even courted her, and then we tied the knot and subsequently had twins.

Plenty of things have changed since then. For one, Sherra quit her job to become a hands-on mother. I supported her decision because looking after two energetic kids was a full-time job. The only consolation was that they inherited our happy disposition and rarely kept us up at night, even when they were still babies. I also stopped working at the firm to start my own when the children turned five years old to be with them more.


Our routine became similar to what I had during my childhood days. My wife and I would wake up the boys early with kisses and cuddles. My sons were never fussy, so they would always jump off their beds and greet us happily and help us make food in the kitchen. They did not stop acting that way even when they went through puberty – the stage that most parents dreaded the most. Their voice merely grew deeper, and they had a growth spurt, but the twins were still as affectionate and happy as ever. Hence, our happiness continued.

Hitting A Snag

When my sons – yes, both of them – got accepted to Harvard, I was perhaps the proudest father on the planet. Their acceptance letters arrived a couple of months before their high school graduation, so I had enough time to share the fantastic news with my parents, friends, and even clients. My wife and I also accompanied them to Massachusetts early to find an apartment within biking distance to the campus. We were over the moon at the thought of having Harvard diplomas hanging in the house a few years later.

However, my happiness hit a snag on the first night that the boys were gone. It was already Fall, so the semester was about to start. I knew they were safe in their apartment, but I could not help but feel sad about the fact that I won’t see my kids every day anymore. My sadness turned into lethargy soon enough. When December came, and I still felt that way, Sherra finally put her foot down.

“I’m worried about you, honey,” she said one evening. “I set an appointment with a psychologist tomorrow. We will go there to sort out your prolonged sadness,” she added gently yet firmly.

As it turned out, I developed seasonal depression

What is the meaning of seasonal depression?

Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that an individual experiences due to the changing of seasons. Most people deal with it in the wintertime since that’s when we all get the least amount of sunlight. However, it is possible to experience seasonal depression during the summer, too.


What is the saddest month?

January is technically the saddest month of the year. This is when the temperature is mostly low and the skies are gloomy. Even if you see the sun, it is not as hot as in other months. In truth, the third Monday of January is called Blue Monday.

How common is SAD?

Mild seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been diagnosed in up to 20% of individuals in the United States. Approximately 6% of them have moderate or severe SAD. Gender-wise, SAD is more common in young female adults.

What is the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder?

Some psychiatrists may say that the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an antidepressant. Many individuals with this type of depression start taking the medication before they even get the depressive symptoms. However, for folks who do not want to take antidepressants, the best treatment is light therapy.

Which vitamin is good for seasonal affective disorder?

Vitamin D is an excellent vitamin to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), considering you get depressed in winter. The reason is that it is challenging to get this naturally during this particular season, no matter how much you stay outdoors. Nevertheless, you should ask a physician if you can take this vitamin with your other medication.

Final Thoughts

I did not take antidepressants to battle my seasonal depression, for the record. Instead, I forced myself to go out and get as much sun exposure as possible every day. My kids also came home for the holidays, and they livened up the house once more. My wife and I decided to get a house in Massachusetts to visit the boys whenever we wanted. Though the psychologist could not guarantee that my SAD won’t return, he said that I had high chances of not experiencing its symptoms if I continued doing things that made me happy.

And I could not agree more with that.

How A Father’s Mental Health Shapes One’s Mindset

My family had been described as “picture perfect” by friends and relatives one too many times. You see, my parents were not only lawyers who helped crime victims get justice; they often offered their services to less-fortunate individuals, too. My twin sister and I were in our second year of residency at a hospital, and we both wanted to open a clinic. Best of all, we never had ugly fights with each other because Mom and Dad taught us the value of family.

Despite that, it’s only the occurrence in our household. If you look at our extended family, you would see that we visited my father’s clan more than my mother’s. It’s not that Dad insisted on that – it was Mom’s decision, frankly speaking.


The reason was that my mother did not approve of a lot of things that Pops (my grandfather) did in life. She was incredibly close to her mother and siblings, but her father was a much different story. Every time Mom had to see or talk to him, it typically felt forced and was very awkward.

In truth, watching their interaction used to confuse me when I was a child. Because of my closeness to Dad, I assumed that all children and fathers had a close relationship. However, the more I got older, the more I realized what could strain people’s relationships: mental health.

Allow me to share a few examples below.


A Person May Decide To Follow Dad’s Footsteps

My grandfather had always wanted to live an easy life. Whenever he got money, you could only find him in the casino, betting on every game that could double or triple the amount he came in with. Though it was – and still is – too shameful to admit, Pops would even resort to extortion to continue his gambling habits.

Now, some of my uncles thought that their father managed to unlock the quickest way to gain financial success. During get-togethers, they would play poker from dusk until dawn with real money at stake. They also preferred to take part-time jobs alone to ensure that they had free hours to stay at the casino anytime.

Was this mindset effective, though? Did my Pops and uncles become rich? Of course not. Whoever told you that you didn’t need to work hard to earn well was crazy. And if you believe in their words and follow their footsteps, you turn out to be crazier than them.


Someone May Do Everything To Avoid Taking The Same Path That Their Father Took

If there were folks like my uncles, there were also people like Mom, who tried everything to avoid getting likened to her dad. While Pops was technically the happy-go-lucky type, my mother said she knew the value of hard-earned money from childhood. After all, my grandmother had to pick up the slack and get two jobs when she was young as her father was too busy gambling. Living with such a reality made Mom determined to graduate, have a stable job, and marry a non-gambler.

In truth, my mother succeeded in avoiding the same life path that Pops took. The only significant failure that she could see was her inability to coax my grandfather to change or stop his gambling ways.


Dad’s Behavior Could Make Kids Resentful For Years

Mom had been going all out to pamper my grandmother for as long as I could remember. She opened a bank account just for Gran and gave her new bags and shoes every month. She also encouraged her to join community groups so that my grandmother could meet new people and enjoy her life.

As for Pops, my mother only gave him gifts during Christmases and birthdays. Its frequency could easily have been the same as Gran’s, but Mom could not forget when my grandfather turned down the expensive shoes that she bought for him. He went as far as saying, “I’d rather receive money than wear those shoes.” And, no, he never apologized for it.

While we all encouraged Mom to forgive and forget, we could not blame her for staying resentful for years. It wasn’t as if Pops made an effort to make it up to her. Thus, he could not ask my mother anymore to fund his gambling habits.


Final Thoughts

I know how some readers might ask, “Is this fiction? Can a father be THAT awful?”

Well, no, and yes. You should understand that not everyone can be blessed with a doting or responsible father. Some do not bother to know their kids’ favorite toys; others leave before the baby arrives. My mother technically got lucky because Pops was not an absentee father, but gambling had already affected his mental health. As a result, his behavior had various effects on his children’s mindsets.

In case you have similar issues with your father, try to be wise like Mom and don’t follow his footsteps. If you can pull them back on the right track, that’s great! But if your father cannot be redeemed, save yourself from the doom and live well.

The Importance Of A Dad’s Influence In The Family




Has there been any concrete proof that fathers do have a significantly relevant impact in their children’s lives? Apparently, cultures seem to devalue the roles of father, and I see this everywhere, from media to government policies.

Let’s elaborately discuss this topic by citing a range of known studies and trials to prove it.

One of the reputable professors of Sociology at Rutgers University, Dr. David Popenoe, gives us an excellent synopsis of the topic. He states that dads are not only ‘second adults’ in the family. Active dads, particularly the biological ones, bring lasting positive benefits to their kids. They give security and financial support, as well as provide an example of good male role models. Their parenting technique is uniquely distinct from that of a mom, and that difference is relevant in strong and stable child development.

Another important aspect of a father’s influence on his children’s lives lies exactly in what Dr. Popenoe refers to as his ‘ominously different parenting style.’ Males and females are so different. Because of this, moms and dads raise their children in different ways. Dads, for example, love their kids more fiercely, perhaps because they play tougher and are more possibly going to inspire them to take risks. They offer their children a wider space for social involvement. They also encourage them to deal with life differently. They are inclined to emphasizing rules, fairness, and discipline, which is, in a way, advantageous to children because this helps instill impartiality and an understanding of right and wrong.

Dads also support competition, generating independence. While mothers foster a sense of security, fathers stress intangible ways of communicating, which helps children widen their vocabulary and logical skills. Mothers uphold care and compassion, thereby establishing the relevance of relationships. Fathers, on the other hand, often see their children as they are connected to the world – to the bigger picture. Moms tend to see the world and its connection to their children. As a whole, they work in equilibrium with each other and provide their children with a healthy and stable perspective of life.



Studies and Trials

Where is all the proof for these allegations? Clearly, the topic is so vast that we can’t delve too deep into it. However, we can provide several examples of some critical studies and research.

  • More than 80% of research regarding the relevance of a father’s influence and his children’s welfare published in the 1980s onward revealed substantial connections between positive father participation and children’s well-being.


  • In an evaluation of more than 100 trials on parent-child connections, it was shown that being raised by a loving and supportive father was as significant for a child’s well-being, comfort, academic and social achievement as having a protective and loving mother. Other studies even suggested that fatherly love was a more significant influencer to some vital positive child well-being results.


  • Psychiatrist Kyle Pruett states that a dad’s more active parenting style and his relatively denser reactions to a kid feeling frustrated serves to improve problem-solving capabilities and independence in children. He further stressed that a father’s positive influence is related to more pleasant and affirmative behavior in girls as well as boys. This study was performed at the University of Pennsylvania, which also revealed that kids who felt comfort and closeness with their dads were two times more likely to go to college, 75% less at risk for getting pregnant when their reach their teenage years, 80% less likely to commit crimes and go to jail, and 50% greater chance of not developing depression.


  • Researchers who participated in a 26-year clinical trial found that the primary factor in growing compassion and happiness in kids was father participation. Dads who spend quality time with their kids resulted in their kids becoming more loving and kindhearted adults.


The studies mentioned above are only the surface of a more profound and vast topic that we have only just scratched. However, all these have substantially provided us with sufficient evidence that proves our point. They validated beyond a shadow of a doubt that dads do play a vital and exceptional role in stable and strong child development. This implies that our guesses are correct and that the statements we are getting from the media, pop culture, and government policies are undoubtedly incorrect. Kids are better off when their bond with their father is secure, sympathetic, and nurturing.




Ultimately, the insinuation is vivid. People like us who have already been aware of this fact should have to do what we can to disseminate these details out into the open as soon as possible. It is comforting to finally prove the fact that a father’s positive influence and involvement have a range of positive effects on children’s lives. It is only suitable that fathers are appreciated for their role in raising kind, loving, and headstrong children – children that are ready for the world.



Why Emotional Maturity Is Useful In This Pandemic Outbreak

Each person reacts differently in every situation. Some can handle things gracefully that they do not compromise their physical, emotional, and mental health. However, some people find it hard to do the same. Thus, their approach to virus-related problems becomes overwhelming and unrealistic. Let us understand how and why people tend to be different in so many aspects of dealing with this pandemic situation.


What Is Emotional Maturity?

Emotional maturity is what makes people clearly understand and manage their emotions, depending on their current situations. Since emotions play a significant role in individuals’ everyday interaction, it becomes essential for survival. People become aware of their current mood, desire, thoughts, and expression. It allows them to identify what is inside of them that others cannot understand. So when people can name each of their emotions, it gets validated. Thus, it makes it easier for them to accept and be aware of their emotional state and can make a plan to deal with it. Emotionally mature people do not quickly lose their cool even in the face of adversities. Instead, these people react with thoughtful deliberation and more likely to succeed in handling stressful situations.


If individuals have a strong capacity to regulate their emotions, they better able to maintain good health. It includes the psychological well-being that largely contributes to a healthier outlook in life. Therefore, when individuals are emotionally matured, they can quickly draw necessary boundaries in terms of sensitivity, open-mindedness, acceptance, and forward-thinking. Problem-solving skills of people are unique. Most of the time, they operate and make decisions based on emotions by varying degrees. Some are dependent on their emotional spontaneity while others master their control. Healthy emotional maturity becomes an asset not only to navigate the essential things in life but also to take control of it. Emotional maturity is helpful in this pandemic situation because it allows individuals to analyze the problematic situation before reacting stupidly onto it.


When people are weak in understanding their emotions, they find themselves easily influenced by the demands and expectations of others. It becomes a problem because it makes them unaware of using the word “NO.” In some instances, when they can’t master the art of controlling their feelings, some become dependent on others. But with emotional maturity, people learn to say “No.” They do things based on how they perceive it as right and disregard it when it is wrong. Sometimes, others call them selfish because they follow their understanding of what is appropriate and what is not. But it is vital to understand that there is a thin line between selfishness and emotional maturity. When people are emotionally matured, they can put themselves before others even without putting them at a disadvantage. These people recognize that the use of emotional boundaries serves as their protection. They have an effective communication style of conveying their message to others in a healthier way


Emotional Incompetence

At this time of crisis, everyone thinks that they understand the situation entirely. That explains people’s side-by-side self-proclaimed truth of what the world is experiencing. Unfortunately, with that set of mentality, no one seems to admit the wrong actions associated with that belief. That explains why most people during this pandemic are complaining more instead of finding ways to adapt to change. Emotional maturity is not about looking at things full of questions and doubts. Emotional maturity means knowing that things are not okay but still acknowledging the possibility that it will all soon come to that. It supports a positive perspective that aligns with the mental and emotional balance that encourages people to become aware of looking beyond self-serving motives.

Improvement Of Mental Healthcare Among The Young


File:Glen A. Wilson High School, Hacienda Heights (6988687746).jpg



The hosts and organizers of the 2018 Mental Disorder Event welcomed more than 200 participants, students, and other attendees to an event of collaborative researchers to deliberate on mental health and the changing world. The event perked the interest of psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals across the globe. They wanted to learn and share their knowledge on recent studies and research on how to make mental health therapies more youth-friendly. Mental health disorders have been increasingly affecting more and more young people today, and some therapies are harmful in many ways to them and their growth.

Person-centered Service 

This is needed for ages 16-25 to reinforce the changing mental healthcare and support needs of young people as they move into adulthood. These services must work in generic care settings, such as sexual health clinics, youth centers, and higher education settings. If these are efficiently implemented, they would most certainly engage the schools and voluntary sectors to provide more holistic support that young people need.

School-based Support




Schools must be more informed on mental health concerns. The government has recognized that schools do have a vital role in protecting the young and promoting mental health. The Healthy Schools Program was created to help schools focus on students’ emotional health, putting more emphasis on helping parents understand their children and their ‘growing up’ behaviors. But programs that aim to enhance children’s behaviors only in the classrooms were not very effective and so the guidelines needed to be reorganized. If mental health were opened in schools, children and young adults would be more aware of it and hopefully be more willing to be referred to mental health specialists. The school counselor’s role in helping children in schools should also be reiterated.

Headteachers and professors have an important role to play in promoting positive mental health interventions in schools. They must acknowledge the need to create a whole school awareness of emotional and mental health concerns and should be provided with support to be able to do so.




A Father’s Depression During The Pandemic

It has been more than a month since the world received the most devastating news about the Coronavirus outbreak. I am one of the few individuals who ignored it. Honestly, I never thought it would end up to be this bad; that is why I never entirely thought about preparing at all. I was so confident that things will soon be okay and that experts will eventually find a way to control the situation. But I was wrong. Now, all that is left in my head are questions of these pandemic uncertainties. There are what-ifs that I want answers. I desire the end to all of this for the sake of the most important persons in my life.


Failure To Do My Duty

As a father, I was supposed to take care of my family. My wife and children depended on me. But with the current situation right now, I felt so vulnerable. I considered myself incompetent in providing my family their needs in times of crisis like this. I believe I failed to do my duty of becoming a better father because I did not take the situation seriously. I often told my wife that things are not that bad, so we don’t have to worry about anything. As positive it may sound, the result of that overly confident statement created a toll on our lives.

Now, we have nothing. Our family’s situation could have been better if only I listened to my wife’s advice. She told me that we need to save and prepare ourselves in case the Coronavirus infection gets worse. I shrugged her off and said to her that she is just overreacting. I was so stubborn and ignored her reminders that the possibility of an outbreak is at stake. Now, it is too late to regret everything.


Emotional And Mental Torment

But what entirely drew me to my mental illness is when I became a virus carrier. I was so stupid to think that my family is protected all the time. As I continued to ignore the possibility of the infection harming me, I never thought it could do so much damage to my whole family. I did not listen to anyone, and I was so relentless about following safety protocols. I thought it was merely annoying that such a government directive is keeping me from doing what I usually do. But my stubbornness made me experienced emotional and mental pain when my wife got infected.


I was shocked to know that I am a COVID-19 positive. Honestly, I thought about it when I experienced mild symptoms. But then, I was too confident that the disease won’t do any harm to my body. Little did I know that it will soon get passed on to my beloved wife. My anxiety heightened up when doctors figured out that she caught the infection from me. Yes, my wife experienced the Coronavirus’ symptoms and for almost 15 days, until she was unable to breathe properly. Eventually, after the 20th day, she died, and I wasn’t there during her times of suffering because I wasn’t allowed. But what added more damage to my already unstable mental and emotional state is when my two sons showed symptoms as well. That is why they are both were hospitalized and isolated from me.


Now I am all alone feeling guilty of everything that has happened to my family. If only I listened, things could have been different. My stupidity and ignorance was the reason I lost my wife. And now, I am on the edge of losing my sons as well.

Please do not allow this to happen to you. Think about your family.

Why You Must Not Disregard Your Mental Health

grayscale photo of a man covering his face with both hands, depression, HD wallpaper


At the 2017 Mental Disorder Conference, there was much talk about people who needed help talking about their illness because they are afraid or ashamed of what they have. It was a very successful event, especially for the awareness of everyone about mental health, as 100% of students who attended said so. Over 70% believed that it convinced them to seek the help of a mental health professional, and almost 90% felt the workshops done had reduced mental illness stigma. There were also film presentations showcasing movies focused on how people with mental disorders went through and overcame them. These movies were done and directed by students themselves.

But mental health is a broad topic that is crucially important to discuss. Why? Here are some reasons why one should not ignore his mental health.

It is no longer uncommon. Despite the fact that mental illnesses have various levels of severity, there is an estimated one in six people in America that is diagnosed with some kind of mental health disorder yearly. Sadly, there are just so many of these people who don’t ask for help.

Your physical health is connected with your mental health. You may think that your physical well-being and your mental well-being are not at all connected, but it is – because your brain is part and parcel of your body. In fact, a mental disorder may have been the cause of some or most of one’s physical symptoms. Stress and heart palpitations, for example, are potentially caused by depression or severe anxiety.

Other conditions or injuries may increase the likelihood of developing a disorder. While it is true that a mental disorder can manifest physical symptoms in the body, it is also a fact that other moderate to severe conditions can increase one’s risk of developing a mental disorder. Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and stroke are among the diseases that increase the likelihood of getting diagnosed with mental illness since all these cause negative emotions like depression and severe anxiety.

It is genetic. Thorough family history taking helps determine if one’s mental illness is derived from past experiences or simply the cause of genes gone wrong. It is essential, therefore, that one must provide complete details regarding his family, including what conditions his family members have or had in the past.

person holding medication pills, mental health, depression, anxiety, HD wallpaper


The earlier, the better. Like most other medical conditions, an early diagnosis yields better results. It is encouraged that you seek help as soon as possible, so your symptoms can be controlled through therapy and medications. Treatment helps one prevent more negative effects from manifesting and further complicating his life.




Can Prostate Cancer Affect Intimacy?



Yes, prostate cancer can inadvertently affect a couple’s intimacy.

Upon realization of a prostate cancer diagnosis, things between couples can immediately change; however, if both individuals are committed to figuring things out while working on a few adjustments, the condition will not only prove your love and loyalty to each other but also strengthen your relationship in the long run.

Set Clear Expectations

Without having any knowledge whatsoever about prostate cancer, it’s going to be difficult to handle the situation. Understanding that prostate cancer treatment will yield physical, mental, and emotional side effects, will prepare both couples about what to expect during and after the medical procedure.

Asking your doctor upfront about what the signs and symptoms are and how to efficiently manage them is crucial in dealing with the condition. Make sure that during diagnosis revelation, your partner is with you so that he or she is fully aware of what’s happening and what’s supposed to happen. Having your significant other around while you swallow hard the reality of having the condition is beneficial to you and your relationship.


What are the things that are usually divulged during consultations?


  1. Maintaining or getting an erection will be effected within the first few months after a series of treatments. Unfortunately, there are instances wherein this sort of problem goes on for an extended
  2. Therapies like chemotherapy, hormone and radiation therapy, medications, and surgery can yield side effects like lowered libido, lethargy, weight gain, and urinary incontinence.


Though these issues are upsetting, there are ways to manage them. For those who have experienced erectile dysfunction, they can get their libido and erection back with the help of injections, medications, and even surgery like penile implants.

“Treatment will probably also involve helping both partners to not tie all of their sexual satisfaction to the presence and firmness of the erection,” writes Ari Tuckman, PsyD, CST.

By being proactive about your overall well-being, you are boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence which then establishes a more intimate relationship with your partner.


Focus On The Pros

A cancer diagnosis would certainly put your life asunder. It is easy for a person to wallow in the negatives and wait until death comes. However, you have to remember that you are not alone in this journey and there are a lot of ways to confront the condition and come out victorious. You have to focus on the pros and the things that matter in your life.

“Becoming interested in life, its choices, even and in spite of its challenges, are helpful for a positive outlook, and an interesting life,” writes Claire Grainger-Valvano, LCSW, OSW-C.




Seek Help

If there’s trouble in paradise due to prostate cancer, seeing a therapist is always a smart choice. Unfortunately, a lot of men who have this condition would find it difficult to take a leap and seek professional help. However, couples have to realize that mental and emotional health is as important as physical health; therefore, asking the advice of an oncology therapist can be highly beneficial for your relationship to thrive despite the illness.

On the other hand, if the dilemma is with your sexual vitality, like having issues with orgasms, erections, and even incontinence, airing it out with your primary physician is recommended.

A person who has prostate cancer will need all the help he can get; nobody can go through this condition alone. It is vital that the ember of love, affection, and intimacy is continuously burning despite the situation. Remember, though cancer can somehow affect the quality of intimacy your relationship has, there are a lot of treatments that are currently available that can make a huge difference in a couple’s quality of life.

“My ultimate hope is to see individual behavioral health treatment become a standard of cancer care, not something an individual or family has to seek out and pay for independently,” says Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD.


Prostate Cancer And Its Effects On Sex



Men who are enduring treatments for prostate cancer are expected to have difficulties when it comes to their sex life. Aside from losing interest in the act entirely, there are those who wanted to do so but are having problems getting an erection.

“Impotence, erectile dysfunction, sexual issues and incontinence in these patients complicate matters further. Anxiety may exist both before testing and while awaiting test results. Confusion over choosing from various interventions often adds to anxiety and depression in these patients,” Dr. Avinash Desousa, a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in Mumbai, finds.

The Prostate Gland

In basic anatomy and physiology, the prostate gland, which is strategically located below the urinary bladder, is considered part of the male sex organ; its primary role is to secrete a fluid that is a significant component of semen. The prostate gland helps in propelling the seminal fluid inside the urethra every ejaculation. Referred to as the walnut-shaped organ, the prostate gland is said to be healthy when its surface is regular and smooth.

Prostate Cancer In A Nutshell

Prostate cancer is a disease wherein cancer cells proliferate into the prostate tissues where they reside and multiply; thus, forming a lump or tumor. In the United States, prostate cancer is considered as the widely known cancer in men wherein more than 230,000 were diagnosed in 2013. Annually, there are about thousands who die from this illness. Based on a report made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of men who have prostate cancer are those who are 65 years old and above.

As the tumor grows within the prostate and becomes big enough to result in blockage of the urethra, it causes a series of signs and symptoms, namely:


  • Dribbling, intermittent or weak stream of urine
  • Full bladder with straining during urination
  • Blood is present in the urine

As you can see, prostate cancer mainly affects the quality and quantity of urine expelled from the body. Prostate cancer in itself is not responsible for causing sexual problems for the majority of men who have it.

Sex After Treatment

As previously stated, the disease itself does not cause sexual predicaments; however, during treatment, there can be major repercussion that can directly affect a man’s sex drive.

“For many couples, sex is a way to reconnect, have some fun together, and recharge from their daily demands,” writes Ari Tuckman PsyD, CST.

Furthermore, upon diagnosis of having cancer, men tend to become depressed which also changes their interest in having sex with their partner. Some of the therapies that can cause sex problems are radiation and hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Treatment becomes more challenging due to the affinity of nerves that supplies impulses to the prostate which are commonly damaged.




Surgery requires the removal of the prostate gland which poses a risk for the patient to have erectile dysfunction or the inability to have a proper penile erection. This is due to potential damage to the nerves around the gland. Because of the increased number of risks, surgery is the last course of treatment offered to a patient with prostate cancer because of its radical, invasive, and permanent nature.


Get Your Sex Life Back

While sexual dysfunction is expected for most prostate cancer treatments, the good news is, there are a lot of ways to counter these adverse effects. A lot of options are currently available to aid in reviving a healthy sex life. While fatigue due to treatments can cause loss of interest in sex, it will recede over time. Other treatments that can help in achieving normal erections include medications, creams, vacuum pumps, and implants. Through it all, the essential element is emotional and psychological support.

“Many of these issues can be worked out in individual therapy. Find a therapist that you are comfortable with, so that you in turn are comfortable talking about material that may previously been embarrassing, or you have never admitted,” writes Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC.



Supporting Your Partner With Prostate Cancer



Upon knowing that your partner is struggling with prostate cancer, the first thing that would come to mind would probably be, “How can I help?”


Technically, there’s nothing that you can do about his condition. But then again, your presence is necessary for practical and emotional support to help your partner positively cope with his illness and help him see it through the daily challenges of battling with prostate cancer.


Get Your Partner To Talk

Proper communication is always a sign of progress for couples. A lot of men who have prostate cancer are usually hesitant to talk about their condition, but there are also those who value the sense of having someone around to open up to and share thoughts with. Allowing your partner to vent his feelings and emotions about his situation will significantly help him in dealing with his illness for it will widen his perspective and make him feel that he is not alone in his struggle.

On the other hand, for those couples who find it hard to communicate with each other, there’s always the availability of friends and family members. More so, couples can quickly seek help from medical professionals if things in their relationship go out of hand.

And because support systems like significant others, friends, and members of the family are exposed to the stress and turmoil of having a loved one with cancer, they are not excused from dealing with their feelings and finding someone to listen to their grievances or thoughts about their situation.

“The intervention is creating a space for people with different perspectives to feel safe to open up and come to terms with the reality of the situation and find ways to effectively communicate about feelings, fears, and hopes,” writes Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD.

“Ordinary conversations are frequent among couples who face cancer, and they are associated with patients’ psychological adjustment, providing a foundation for potential interventions for coping with cancer that do not focus on illness,” adds UC Riverside psychologist Megan Robbins.

Dealing With The Diagnosis

A diagnosis of prostate cancer can significantly change and influence a family’s usual way of living and can immediately affect harmonious relationships and friendships. Expect that a lot of alterations will happen – getting plans canceled or interrupted, no longer interested in engaging activities, not wanting to indulge in social gatherings.

“Trauma can come from a serious medical diagnosis,” says Dr. Wayne Jonas, MD. “Cancer is a diagnosis that often does result in trauma – from both the name and the treatment.”

Usually, these changes occur due to the side effects of cancer therapy. People realize that as the stage progresses, the adjustments also progress. But what can partners of individuals who have prostate cancer do to deal with the diagnosis efficiently?




  • Gather more information about the condition.
  • Communicate with people.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help from close friends and relatives.
  • Don’t change your daily routine entirely. Yes, there might be minor modifications in your living condition, but that does not mean that you have to redefine the way you live entirely.
  • Treat the condition as part of life and don’t let it become your life.
  • Attend social gatherings, go on dates and vacations; do what couples usually do.


Most importantly, do family activities and go on holidays to enjoy time together. Having prostate cancer doesn’t mean that you are no longer allowed to bask in the goodness of life and each other.


Focusing On Yourself


Since your partner has everything he needs to get through with his condition, you, on the other hand, must also look after yourself. Remember, when you are feeling down, anxious, or are unable to cope, support and treatment are available. The diagnosis of prostate cancer can also have a massive impact on your well-being which is why, for your sake and for the sake of the one you love, you also have to be mindful of your health.