Singer, 19, claims antidepressants changed her SEXUALITY: ‘I took out my nose piercing and got rid of my pink hair… I’ve never been happier!’
A Kansas singer claims antidepressants changed their romantic and sexual preferences.
June Henry, 19, of Lawrence, Kansas, said she began questioning her sexuality within weeks of starting a course of Wellbutrin.
Henry had a polymeric relationship, typically involving three or more people and being both sexual and romantic.
In a video viewed by almost two million people on TikTok, Henry said: “I started taking medication about a month ago, and then two or three weeks later I woke up one day and looked around, and I thought, why for God's sake? * am I polyamorous?”
Musician June Henry said continuing on Wellbutrin made her reevaluate all aspects of her life, including her relationship. About two weeks after taking the drug, she left her polyamorous relationship and said she was truly happy
One of the benefits of Wellbutrin, Ms. Henry said, was that she no longer sleeps on a mattress on the floor. She said: 'I'm no longer a polyamorous pink-haired girl who sleeps on a mattress on the floor. I'm stable and I have a damn bed frame.”
In addition to leaving a 'polycule' – the word for a polyamorous group of at least three people – she took out her nose piercing and dyed her hair.
“I was always afraid of taking medication because I thought it would take away who I am,” she said.
After a few weeks, she woke up and started questioning many aspects of her life.
“I started asking myself, why am I polyamorous?”
“And then I dyed my hair brown, I got my bridge piercing out, I broke up with the 'cule, and I've never been happier.”
Wellbutrin is used to treat depression, but is different from the most common type of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
One of the changes Mrs. Henry underwent was a drastic change in her hair color from bright pink to a natural shade of brown.
It belongs to a class of drugs called norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).
Rather than working by maintaining a stable level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain for longer, Wellbutrin works on the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, keeping the levels of both in the brain more stable for a longer period of time.
Mrs. Henry went on to say, “Then I dyed my hair brown, I got my bridge piercing out, I broke up with the 'cule, and I've never been happier…I feel so damn stable and all normal.'
Because Wellbutrin does not interact with serotonin, changes to which can cause sexual side effects, it is thought to have few or no sexual side effects.
Yet some commenters on Ms. Henry's video, who said they also use Wellbutrin, have experienced similar changes in their sexuality and preferences.
One wrote: 'I too was no longer polyamorous once I got on the right meds.'
Another said: 'Giiiirl because I was on medication I went from non-binary to one of the girls ���� I'm just… good. I feel like I betrayed my family, but I'm as happy as I am.”
One commenter pointed out that the most likely explanation, rather than fundamentally changing who we find sexually attractive, is that the medication “simply makes us more comfortable being ourselves.”
Dopamine's involvement in sexual drive and satisfaction suggests that it may also influence who a person is physically attracted to.
High levels of both dopamine and norepinephrine are released during moments of attraction, so a drug that increases these levels could contribute to changes in the level of attraction and even who a person finds most attractive.
An estimated 33 million Americans use antidepressants. It can be a lifesaver for people with severe depression or seasonal affective disorder.
But the side effects – including headaches, weight gain or loss, constipation and dizziness – can be unbearable for some people.
It is also known that antidepressants can increase suicidal thoughts, especially among young people who are prescribed them.