Super-depressed or Super-virile?


This is an honest thread, although it may sound somewhat funny. I apologize if it does. People who may have suffered from depression and those who have taken antidepressants before may understand where I’m coming from.

For the past four years I have suffered incredibly from depression. I tried numerous prescription antidepressants, besides therapy, but nothing helped. The drugs had horrible side effects, I lost all pleasure in life, suffered terrible headaches, further deepened into my depression, etc. I didn’t sin as much, I suppose, since I was in so much pain that there was little outlet for me to sin.

A few months ago I came across a wonderful herb called Rhodiola. It is similiar to Ginseng and comes from Siberia. Supposedly it is an adaptogen that has powerful effects on the body. It increases endurance, increases recovery time, boosts energy, and increases libido. It also importantly helps generate positive moods. The herb has in fact been given to cosmonauts to allow them to work longer, and it traditionally has also been given to newly weds to increase fertility. Well, in order for this stuff to work for me (in alleviating depression) I have to take twice the average dosage. The dosage works very well for my depression most of the time (although not constantly) but it also makes me extremely virile and more attracted to females than normal. I’m normally a relatively shy person, so it’s not like I’m engaging in any wrongful activity with these women, but I know that I talk with them more often and more easily. In short, I am much more amorous. While I don’t see this as bad, I notice that my mind has increased in its projection of romantic fantasies and so forth, and although I try to consciously control them, it is very difficult, especially in the morning when I’m only half-conscious.

So, I know that I am sinning in having these fantasies, which I didn’t have as much when extremely depressed, but at the same time I know that I need to be on this herb for the time being.

I haven’t been to confession for five weeks. I am thinking of going soon, but I am having difficulties because, to be quite honest, I feel that, although I am sinning, it’s more a deterministic kind of sinning, as if I don’t have much control when I sin at certain times–times when I honestly doubt that God has given me an alternative. It’s hard to explain, but those who may have been depressed for long periods might better understand one who thinks that one is very limited in free will when in certain states. I also feel uncomfortable telling the priests these sins, not because I am afraid of confessing my sins, but because I am not sure if the priest will understand the circumstances surrounding the sins.

I’m just looking for advice, both spiritual and material. Thanks!


I am going to make an assumption here, and if the assumption is incorrect forgive me.

If you have a good rapport with your priest, you might consider making an appointment to speak with him outside the confessional. Tell him what you have shared with us. In other words, ask him to help you with an examination of conscience. You sound, to me, as though you are in need of guidance in this area and that you are sincere in your search for this guidance. We can give you our opinions, and we may have good opinions. However, if you have a good, solid, Papist Priest who can guide you in this area my suggestion would be to take advantage of his counsel.

Once you have made a good examination of conscience, you can make a good confession. A good confession leads to a happy, healthy life.

You are in my prayers. Good luck and my the Lord guide you.


I, too, have suffered from depression and struggle with it on and off. I understand your dissatisfaction with the success of various treatments.

From a theological standpoint, there is an “effect” (like the double effect, but I heard it called something different in this case). It has been applied to masturbation and/or arousal.

It goes like this: If a person realizes an action they are performing with free will has an unintended side effect (of causing arousal and eventually orgasm), the action does not become sinful because of this unintended side effect. They are not obligated to discontinue the action when they realize this side effect will happen.

It seems to me that your willful action, taking this herbal remedy for the purpose of treating a legitimate condition, is permissible as long as you do not carry out these fantasies and continue to exercise free will to put them out of your mind to the best of your ability.

If it was me, I would feel better after having confessed these fantasies, but I am almost certain that a great deal of culpability is removed because you are suffering unintended side effects due to the drug. I find the best weapon against such sins is in fact confession, so I go rather frequently. I’m never quite as tempted when I’ve been to confession recently, and it’s a lot easier to avoid a sin when you have a pre-set appointment with a priest who you confess to regularly, and you know you’re going to have to tell him, AGAIN, about the same sin you have to confess every single time.


Hi-- Like many folk, I have suffered from depression. In my case on and off for nearly forty years. I have tried nearly all antidepressants at one time or another, a few seemed to work for a while then lose effectiveness. Some increase libido, others deminish it. I suppose there never will be a perfect drug.
Right now, I am not using any. I live through my depressed states on the hope they will just lift by themselves, as they always have.For me, having tried everything, there is no other way. It’s no fun.
Prayer for me has not lifted depression, but has given me the ability to bear it. I have often wondered if my depression is a penance for the many sins that I have done. I hope so.

“So, I know that I am sinning in having these fantasies, which I didn’t have as much when extremely depressed, but at the same time I know that I need to be on this herb for the time being.”–Madaglan
Fantasies are not a sin if you do not encourage them or act on them. Any temptations that we overcome add to our good.That is one reason God allows temptations.

I wish you well, --nicolo


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