Published on March 23, 2008 at 3:57 AM
Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, say depressed women have more sex than women who are mentally well.
The researchers say depressed women have more sex regardless of whether they're in a committed relationship, from kissing and displays of affection, to foreplay and intercourse.
Dr. Sabura Allen, who led the research says the results of their study of 107 Melbourne women confirmed suspicions gleaned from earlier work which indicated that some women use sex as a treatment for depression.
Dr. Allen a clinical psychologist, says when people are depressed they feel more insecure about their relationships and concerned that their partner may not care about them or find them valuable and therefore having sex helps depressed women achieve the sense of closeness and security they need.
Allen says depressed women are likely to seek sexual intimacy more often to help feel more secure.
The study found depression was also linked to more sexually liberated and adventurous attitudes and in single women it was linked with a wider variety of sexual encounters and a greater frequency of causal sex.
The study found that women who suffer from mild to moderate depression have a third more sexually active than those who are not.
The research was presented at an international Women's Mental Health conference in Melbourne where the latest research into mental illness and hormone-related conditions is being showcased.
Other new research has shown high rates of severe PMS and post-natal depression among Australian women, a dramatic drop in the abortion rate, and a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
The study will be published in the British medical journal.