Altostrata

Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD)

500 posts in this topic

I've had PSSD for 3 years (was on Lexapro for 3.5 months). After the first year post-withdrawal, I recovered about 10% of my function (the horrible electrical zap sensations from stimulation to my genitals stopped and I can now have a muted, short orgasm by using a vibrator - but still cannot orgasm from manual or oral stimulation). I've had no further improvement in 2 years. My sex drive has completely gone away because there's no point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, I've been on Zoloft for a few months at 50mg once a day. I did a quick taper by removing 12.5mg each week. I am off for 2 weeks now. During the time I took Sertraline, I had pretty much all of the sexual symptoms. When I was tapering, everything returned back to normal, and stayed that way for 4 days of being off.

 

But then a lot of bad things started happening: I had a breakup, I guess my withdrawal picked up at that point as well. I started getting extremely anxious and panicky, overthinking everything. I barely ate, and still barely do. Today I had a cheeseburger at work and I am not planning to eat anymore soon.

 

But the most scary and terrifying part is the fear of PSSD. After that 4 day mark I lost my drive, except for 2 occasions late at night when I was feeling calm. Now there's no drive whatsoever, I don't even feel like looking at girls in the street or at porn. I am still able to get hard and reach an orgasm fairly quickly and effortlessly, but it took some concentration to get hard last night and it wasn't the hardest of erections. I'm quite sure if I fall into a state of permanent PSSD, I might do the most irrational thing, or at least will never be able to accept myself.

 

Is it just stress, onsetting PSSD or what? Any help would be hugely appreciated, because I'm losing my sh*t..

Edited by ChessieCat
SW para breaks/CC changed obscenity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try to forget you ever heard about pssd. You'll be alright, just try to find peace in your life again. Stop worrying and stressing! Hit the gym, go for a run.. Everything will return to normal. And most important, stay away from conversing with others stuck in the same state of mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Djderek, thanks for the encouraging words. It'll be easier said than done though. I had read about PSSD while on Zoloft and was sooo happy when my sexual abilities returned, and now I feel like in limbo, not knowing is hard. All I have left is hope. But I can't imagine accepting having permanent damage and moving on to a full life sadly :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for all the panic from my side, but if I had 2 weeks of completely normal function during tapering, is that a positive sign that my brain and genitals and everything between them are ok, or it does not make a difference and it can go both ways?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll paste my comment from a reddit thread:

 

So an update to my situation: the more time passes, the worse my functioning becomes apparently. I'm still stressed and anxious in general, but far less. I have been quite successfully pushing pssd thoughts awayfor the past two days. Talked to my therapist (who is also a neurologist) about pssd, and he really dismisses this idea obviously. I did another "test" today, and the erection had to be built up and was very limp (60% I'd say). I ejaculated really quickly, with low pleasure. Not sure about the sensitivity, seems ok. Though I'm still not eating well, not sleeping well and, if it's not biological pssd, I am putting way too much pressure on trying and failing to become aroused and the whole functioning.

 

The SSRI I was put on was very pointless in retrospect. But now I'm quite afraid of becoming asexual and impotent... I guess the best thing to do, is to try and not think about it as much as possible, not test myself, try to eliminate stress, eat healthier, exercise, take some ginko biloba... and see where a month or so gets me. But damn this is scary to think I might be in the small percentage of unlucky ones... I don't know what to do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because of the scarcity of research on PSSD, it's difficult to make an evidence-based conclusive statement about PSSD -- causes, prognosis, factors that affect recovery, and what treatments work for whom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll paste my comment from a reddit thread:

 

So an update to my situation: the more time passes, the worse my functioning becomes apparently. I'm still stressed and anxious in general, but far less. I have been quite successfully pushing pssd thoughts awayfor the past two days. Talked to my therapist (who is also a neurologist) about pssd, and he really dismisses this idea obviously. I did another "test" today, and the erection had to be built up and was very limp (60% I'd say). I ejaculated really quickly, with low pleasure. Not sure about the sensitivity, seems ok. Though I'm still not eating well, not sleeping well and, if it's not biological pssd, I am putting way too much pressure on trying and failing to become aroused and the whole functioning.

 

The SSRI I was put on was very pointless in retrospect. But now I'm quite afraid of becoming asexual and impotent... I guess the best thing to do, is to try and not think about it as much as possible, not test myself, try to eliminate stress, eat healthier, exercise, take some ginko biloba... and see where a month or so gets me. But damn this is scary to think I might be in the small percentage of unlucky ones... I don't know what to do now.

I struggle to see how I could just be one of the extremely rare unlucky ones. I was on a cocktail since years as a kid. I struggle to see how I am an unlucky co-incidence of all the people. It just doesn't feel like a rare co-incidence. There is probably a lot more, especially on cocktails for long times.

 

Maybe I couldn't have come out of all those drugs for so long okay, it probably isn't a co-incidence. This is my body, no other human should be violating it so personally and in a way that is supposed to be private, and mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading on the Rxisk website that Dr Healy thinks although people who have PSSD can recover to a certain degree, he thinks full recovery from PSSD is unlikely. As someone who suffers from PSSD and has only seen small improvements, this has got me quite worried. I was wondering what other people on surviving antidepressants think about Dr Healy's stance on PSSD. Do you think he is right? Why do you think he has such a pessimistic outlook on PSSD?

Edited by scallywag
merged topics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone; wanted to share my feedback regarding lexapro (escilatopramt) withdrawal. 29 years old, male, workout, normal weight.

 

First i would like to say i am NOT recommending what i did, i am just giving feedback on what i did and how i approached the situation. I work 2 jobs, 1 managing over 40 people and 5 teams and the other as a personal trainer so i really couldnt afford to have side effects.

 

Been taking ambien and lexapro (20mg) the past 7-8 months for depression and insomnia. Past 3 months since i was getting annoyed with all the sexual side effects of lexapro so my doctor added wellbutrin 300mg.

 

Wellbutrin helped a bit but not the point i wanted to. About a week ago i got really pissed off as one more time my gf wanted to have sex but again i wasnt in the mood so i cut the lexapro cold turkey and increased the wellbutrin to 450mg (i told my doctor) hoping to counter attack the side effects. I am aware that lexapro and wellbutrin are quite different anti-depressants.

 

First two days i felt kind off down and zoned out but i tried to be positive and noticed that talking to people all the time helped rather than isolating myself. Third day a REALLY pleasant effect came into play. Libido came back hard and touch wood is still going excellently. It's been a week without lexapro i feel kind off zoned out and slightly depressed on occasion but i am noticing daily improvements. My energy is also much better. Because of wellbutrin? I dont really know.

 

I just wanted to share the above and want to say that i believe the mentality/mood we approach any situation is very, very important. If i quit lexapro and already doomed myself that i would suffer before even quitting (pygmalion effect) than probably i would suffer more. I actually tried to quit before by going from 20mg to 10mg but i was so obsessed that i would suffer and was worried that actually the side effects were much more! 

 

Trying to be as positive as possible and have faith that there will be light at the end of the tunnel really helps in my opinion. And of course only associating with positive people. 

 

Please do not get me wrong i understand the suffering of many people and by no means am i saying that withdrawal is all mental and easy. Of course it is not, i have gone through my fair bit of suffering and addictions. All i am saying is that we should always believe we will get better, we should visualize our selves already being better and we should have faith we will become better.

 

Thank you

Likesoup

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading on the Rxisk website that Dr Healy thinks although people who have PSSD can recover to a certain degree, he thinks full recovery from PSSD is unlikely. As someone who suffers from PSSD and has only seen small improvements, this has got me quite worried. I was wondering what other people on surviving antidepressants think about Dr Healy's stance on PSSD. Do you think he is right? Why do you think he has such a pessimistic outlook on PSSD?

 

Yes.  It's not pessimism, it's realism.  He indicates that up to 90% of people who take antidepressants may experience sexual dysfunction.  Sexual dysfunction is a very easy symptom to be in denial about - as there are psychological ways to "compensate" for sensory numbness - so it's possible to still function highly and just say "nah that can't be true".  The spellbinding effects of withdrawal and the blunting of emotions make it difficult to accurately remember previous versus current sexual performance - as such, it's hard to objectively state if you're back to normal, and I think this results in people who are in denial or honestly do not remember how much better it used to be.

 

In my opinion, anhedonia / emotional blunting and sexual dysfunction work together and act synergistically to make our lives miserable.

 

I'm 3.5 years out and I still cannot feel any emotions whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know sex was about a million times better for me before taking SSRI's. The difference is so obvious. I don't think I can continue with this inability to experience sexual pleasure forever. My life is miserable. It has to end at some point. Doesn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This mental health marketing is taking the p***, they are mass drugging and harming people and throwing the insults in our face. This is the worst insults they couldn't be more obscene with it.

 

You'll never hear those they injured from these pharma sponsored  'mental health' charities. We need to hold them to account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rethink mental health charity is sponsered by drug companies. I don't think National MIND is, but I wouldn't't be surprised if they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the MHRA who regulate the drugs in the UK (much like the FDA does in the USA) is in a way controlled by the drug companies. Thetop people who work in the MHRA are ex drug company CEO's etc. This is fact, you can look it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 It has to end at some point. Doesn't it?

 

Everything ends at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oskcaja. According to David Healy it might end up ending when I die. I.e I never recover. So let's say I live out a full life. That's another 50 years of not being able to have an orgasm, feel my penis, or enjoy sex in any way shape or form.

Edited by ChessieCat
Removed obscenity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oskcaja. According to David Healy it might end up ending when I die. I.e I never recover. So let's say I live out a full life. That's another 50 years of not being able to have an orgasm, feel my penis, or enjoy sex in any way shape or form.

 

Living with this condition is not easy for anyone, one must find alternative reasons for living besides those we enjoyed for most of our lives prior to this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone currently suffering from PSSD-when you drink alcohol are you able to get the pleasurable effects? That buzzed feeling or a feeling of drunkeness? I can't help but think the two are related with respect to dopamine levels. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just now able to drink alcohol again after not being able to for 4.5 years after a horrific protracted benzo withdrawal. I haven't noticed any return of pleasurable sexual sensations when I drink alcohol, but I haven't really tried mixing the two either. Is this working for you? Being buzzed or drunk always lessened my sensations previously but I'll give it a try. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not suggesting to mix the two, but wondering if when you drink, you're able to feel a buzz and feel drunk? I find this sensation has been reduced for me since I stopped taking my SSRI 15 months ago. I'm sure it will creep it's way back, just as I'm hopeful that full sexual responsiveness comes back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have PSSD for 4 years and the buzz of alcohol has definitely been reduced. No improvements on that. I'm sure the two are linked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah okay. Yes, I'm able to feel a buzz/drunk. I'm not the best person to answer this because I was completely alcohol intolerant for years after benzo withdrawal (caused severe neurological symptoms). But since my alcohol ability came back, maybe my sexual ability will too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's a very good sign Rainy! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im way too scared to drink alchohol or anything after this... I won't even touch caffiene in tea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me and fema4psychiatrists are going to try and petition panorama to make a program about PSSD. I have started a thread in the events, controversies, actions section and you can find the email to send your information to there. Please get involved people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question about ejaculation during withdrawal. When i tried to get off of citalopram last year I noticed that I had a very high libido (wanted sex with my wife daily) but noticed that I didn't last more than a couple minutes before reaching orgasm, when I penetrated. When she was on top I didn't ejaculate prematurely. Anyone else have a similar experience? What do you do to overcome it? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question about ejaculation during withdrawal. When i tried to get off of citalopram last year I noticed that I had a very high libido (wanted sex with my wife daily) but noticed that I didn't last more than a couple minutes before reaching orgasm, when I penetrated. When she was on top I didn't ejaculate prematurely. Anyone else have a similar experience? What do you do to overcome it? Thanks!

Yes it is called PGAD that happens on withdrawal. For some people.It happened to me too. Before it went to just numb again. I ejaculated on the bus during withdrawal.

Edited by ChessieCat
removed blasphemy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, I've been on Zoloft for a few months at 50mg once a day. I did a quick taper by removing 12.5mg each week. I am off for 2 weeks now. During the time I took Sertraline, I had pretty much all of the sexual symptoms. When I was tapering, everything returned back to normal, and stayed that way for 4 days of being off.

 

But then a lot of bad things started happening: I had a breakup, I guess my withdrawal picked up at that point as well. I started getting extremely anxious and panicky, overthinking everything. I barely ate, and still barely do. Today I had a cheeseburger at work and I am not planning to eat anymore soon.

 

But the most scary and terrifying part is the fear of PSSD. After that 4 day mark I lost my drive, except for 2 occasions late at night when I was feeling calm. Now there's no drive whatsoever, I don't even feel like looking at girls in the street or at porn. I am still able to get hard and reach an orgasm fairly quickly and effortlessly, but it took some concentration to get hard last night and it wasn't the hardest of erections. I'm quite sure if I fall into a state of permanent PSSD, I might do the most irrational thing, or at least will never be able to accept myself.

 

 

 

 

Is it just stress, onsetting PSSD or what? Any help would be hugely appreciated, because I'm losing my sh*t..

My two cents - don't mess with porn - that in itself can lead to ED due to desensitizion and creating unrealistic expectations! Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hello everyone,

 

Former paxil user here between 2005 and 2009 male 33yo

I would like to know how you would describe pssd? I do have morning etections, can masturbate and have orgasm while watching my favorite porn. it only becomes a problem when i'm with a partner. I find it really hard to connect with someone, not enough connection and arousal to keep erection for intercourse.

To ejaculate, i need to have played out in my mind my favorite porn sene without any connection with my partner.

In life in general i feel i cannot connect with people like i used to and i'm starting to wonder whether it is my AD use a few years back thats causing all this.

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

 

Former paxil user here between 2005 and 2009 male 33yo

I would like to know how you would describe pssd? I do have morning etections, can masturbate and have orgasm while watching my favorite porn. it only becomes a problem when i'm with a partner. I find it really hard to connect with someone, not enough connection and arousal to keep erection for intercourse.

To ejaculate, i need to have played out in my mind my favorite porn sene without any connection with my partner.

In life in general i feel i cannot connect with people like i used to and i'm starting to wonder whether it is my AD use a few years back thats causing all this.

Thank you

Hi,

First thing you should do is immediately cut porn. From what i understand you seem pretty addicted to it. Check out dopamine and porn and this http://yourbrainonporn.com/ 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cmon' man

 

Hello everyone,

Former paxil user here between 2005 and 2009 male 33yo
I would like to know how you would describe pssd? I do have morning etections, can masturbate and have orgasm while watching my favorite porn. it only becomes a problem when i'm with a partner. I find it really hard to connect with someone, not enough connection and arousal to keep erection for intercourse.
To ejaculate, i need to have played out in my mind my favorite porn sene without any connection with my partner.
In life in general i feel i cannot connect with people like i used to and i'm starting to wonder whether it is my AD use a few years back thats causing all this.
Thank you

 

Yeah probably, these effects last for a very long time and pop up at the most inconvenient times many years later - leading many to blame themselves and seek alternative treatments or beat up on themselves for their lack of performance, etc.

 

This is FAR more common than people realize and it's prevalent in society especially in those who took antidepressants "one time" back many years ago, etc.

 

One time use of antidepressants in college for example, can leave people with sub acute PSSD for many many years to come.

 

This is what the psychiatrists and doctors do not tell you, and let us battle it out in our minds, confusing other doctors and causing so much harm in the long term that it's really difficult to fully calculate.  What does appear to be certain is that these drugs are remarkably effective at disrupting society, and individual/family lives.

 

This is also true for adolescents or pre pubescent people who take antidepressants, say for a couple of years in highschool or in middle school - as an adult they cannot perform adequately, and they beat themselves up, turn to drugs, addictions, etc - all because their doctor was too ignorant to understand the long term harmful effects of the poison they prescribe.

 

Sub acute effects of antidepressants in general - that is effects that people notice but not in a fully conscious way that directly thwarts their ambitions, are likely QUITE prevalent in a large % of the population (who knows, it could be as large as 75% - the same % of people who actually experience sexual dysfunction as a side effect) who at one point in their life took antidepressants- because even just a 1-2 month trial on these drugs can leave sub acute symptoms in the brain and the peripheral nervous system for an awfully long time.

 

So the next time you hear a parent tell you their child is "trying" antidepressants for a period of time, you may wish to forward them to this forum and PSSD information.

 

The long term effects of just a short term trial of these drugs is breathtaking, really.

 

 

 

This quote comes to mind (not exact quote but close):

 

A dance with the devil can last you a lifetime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hello everyone,

Former paxil user here between 2005 and 2009 male 33yo

I would like to know how you would describe pssd? I do have morning etections, can masturbate and have orgasm while watching my favorite porn. it only becomes a problem when i'm with a partner. I find it really hard to connect with someone, not enough connection and arousal to keep erection for intercourse.

To ejaculate, i need to have played out in my mind my favorite porn sene without any connection with my partner.

In life in general i feel i cannot connect with people like i used to and i'm starting to wonder whether it is my AD use a few years back thats causing all this.

Thank you

 

Hi,

 

First thing you should do is immediately cut porn. From what i understand you seem pretty addicted to it. Check out dopamine and porn and this http://yourbrainonporn.com/ 

I agree. I had two friends in college who were daily porn 'users' (addicted). One could not have sex without imaging some porn scene.

Sadly he later died from opioids... I would say talk to a professional...it may take time to get aroused by real sex but I believe it's possible. I don't think it's caused by AD withdrawal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,
I unfortunately have pssd and visit the pssd-forum daily. Unfortunately  for me and other people with pssd is it not possible to join the forum. But why?? The forum does not want new patients? Me and other well-known people have been trying to join the forum for months, and we get no confirmation(no email and the account is still inactive). Maybe someone here has experience with the forum. I read there that a study in Germany(in Ulm) is about pssd in planning and still volunteers with pssd are needed. Very glad I would contact other people with pssd. If interest exists please write to me. Kind regards

 

jescowhite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I've read in the PSSD-Forum that there is a new study about PSSD in planning! That will take place in Ulm, Germany. Unfortunately for me and other people i know its impossible to join the pssd forum. Maybe someone of you has experience with the PSSD-Forum. I would like to get in contact with other people who are suffering from pssd and maybe find some volunteers for the study! Just answer me here!

 

Best greets, jescowhite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's already clear what PSSD is to anyone who understands how antidepressants work on a general level.  Hint:  probably a neuropathy to the C fibers and the 5HT projections from the Raphe nucleus in the brain.  Probably also the projections from the Locus Coeruleus, cholinergic projections - and possibly glutamanergic toxicity.  In summary:  It's probably a freaking mess, and the only way to know if you're going to recover is to just never take another psych med and be patient and hope your body can heal the damage that has taken place.

 

I highly doubt the PSSD study is going to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of how PSSD works, but that's what this community really needs - because only when one understands how something works can they propose treatments and a long term prognoses.

 

I've posted this in other places but watch this video, Dr. Healy is the leading expert on this sort of stuff:

 

START AT 29:00

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now