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Root1121: Looking for some input; PSSD after stopping Cymbalta 8 years ago?


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TL;DR:  Took Cymbalta in my teens for a little less than a year.  After stopping, gradually an extremely low sex drive and ability to be aroused, as well as an overall feeling of apathy started to develop and I have been trying to adjust since then. Considering supplementation with inositol as my next move to turn things around.  Am I on the right track?  Thanks for any help.


Hey everyone,


looking for some input on my situation.  Glad I found this forum while I was looking for some answers.  I'll give a brief history here:


In 2006, I had some suicidal thoughts and a highly variable mood.  At the time I was in junior high.  After talking to my parents, they became concerned, and took me to a (apparently the worst psychologist based on following events) psychiatrist.  She started me out on Cymbalta at 60mg/day.  At the time, my parents and especially I did not know anything about dosing ADs, but from where I stand now, it is extremely odd that she started me out on the highest possible dose that she could.  Anyway, I was on Cymbalta for a little less than a year.  In February of 2007, I decided that I didn't want to be on Cymbalta anymore (I don't remember why) and I quit cold-turkey.  Apparently, my psychiatrist had no problem with this, and I followed through.  No more drugs.


At the time, I didn't really notice much, but things were probably happening gradually.  The first thing I noticed was that my genuine interest in sex had pretty much disappeared.  As a boy in his youth, I would say that was pretty abnormal.  At the beginning of puberty, I was very interested in the thought of sex.  However, all sex drive, any form of erections, any strong interest in the opposite gender severely declined and sometimes was completely absent a few months after stopping my medication, from what I remember.  Nothing would arouse me sexually, and at age 18, when I started becoming sexually active, it was an intense struggle to have intimate exchanges with anyone.


Now, at age 24, I am seeing some consistencies that have remained since stopping my medication.  I continue to have issues becoming sexually aroused and getting an erection is usually very difficult without supplements that promote them.  At first I thought it was from watching too much porn, but that hasn't been able to genuinely arouse me for years either, and after abstaining for well over a year and not seeing much of a change, I am starting to very strongly doubt that is my problem.  My fiancée has also noticed that I don't really get excited about anything, and that my responses are very muted.  I've noticed this too, but it's been so long, I thought that it was just part of my personality.  However, I don't think it's normal that I don't usually feel affected or sympathetic about anything.  I feel very disconnected from everything, and most things that I do are motivated by a feeling of obligation, like I SHOULD do things because they're good for me or because it will help someone else.  I don't really get a ton of satisfaction out of much, which was something I've been chalking up to just a mildly-low self-esteem.  However, I'm sick of feeling flat like this all the time.


I am seeing the doctor in 10 days, to see if he will run tests and say anything different than any of the other doctors have in the past.  I have had numerous blood panels and hormone tests over the past 5 years, as well as dabbling with other ADs for short periods with nothing working.  Most recently, my testosterone has been slightly low (around 550) and prolactin levels have been a little high (~20.2), but everything else is pretty normal.  


I've been reading around about nootropics recently and the one thing I see keep getting mentioned is the use of inositol to re-sensitize every thing.  In anyone's opinion, am I on the right track, or am I taking this approach in vain?  I'm just looking to find the root of my problem so I can fully enjoy my life.


-Cymbalta ; 60mg/day from 3/2006 - 2/2007; stopping cold-turkey at age 15

-Symptoms (PSSD, muted/flattened ability to enjoy things, social anxiety, low self-esteem) begins shortly after, worsening then plateua-ing in 2009

-Fluoxetine, Bupropion, Cymbalta attempted again in 2013; no improvement, all meds stopped

-Symptoms persist to present-day


Introductions thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10980-looking-for-some-input-pssd-after-stopping-cymbalta-8-years-ago/


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Root , welcome to the site. I'm really happy for you that you had enough sense and support

to stop the meds after just one year.

It's quite likely that you are experiencing "legacy symptoms" from the short stint on Cymbalta and

the other antidepressants you mentioned.


Could you fill in a signature for us with the meds , dosages time-frames etc. as best as you

can recall. Instructions are here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/


This thread http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/52-post-ssri-sexual-dysfunction-pssd/may answer some of your questions , and there is also a

thread about inositol here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4908-inositol/


If you click FOLLOW you'll receive an email each time someone posts.


Best wishes , Fresh



1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks, Fresh.  I will look into all you suggested.  I've spent the last 8 years flipping back and forth between trying to just lie down and accept the way I am and struggling to feel more happiness from the things around me I KNOW should make me happy.  A healthy sex life with the one I love is just one of those things.  Hopefully I can figure something out.

-Cymbalta ; 60mg/day from 3/2006 - 2/2007; stopping cold-turkey at age 15

-Symptoms (PSSD, muted/flattened ability to enjoy things, social anxiety, low self-esteem) begins shortly after, worsening then plateua-ing in 2009

-Fluoxetine, Bupropion, Cymbalta attempted again in 2013; no improvement, all meds stopped

-Symptoms persist to present-day


Introductions thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10980-looking-for-some-input-pssd-after-stopping-cymbalta-8-years-ago/


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September 2011 - 75 mg Effexor, 15 mg Mirtazapine
September 2012 - CT. Developed PSSD (mostly erectile dysfunction and diminished enjoyment of sex).
January 2016 - Symptoms persist, no improvements. In fact, things seem worse now than they were in the first year.

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  • 2 months later...

Please let us know if the inositol works out. I'm back alone again after the PSSD/lack of excitement just murdered a very promising relationship I was having. Devastating.


I don't know where to turn with this stuff anymore. Re-go back on some different meds to see if it twiddles with the messed-up pleasure centres I seem to have? Wait and see if it returns (how long???)


Feel totally corraled down an avenue of being alone. In the words of Travis Bickle, "god's lonely man". So sick of being like this.

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Hi all,


I feel sorry it last for so long for many of us. I am really sick of that as well, Halfperson.


Root. If you want my opinion, your lack of excitement for life (I relate to this) can be maybe due to the use of the f* SSRI´s or maybe because you have  been fighting for so long against PSSD and you have a masked depression.


In my case I use to think how I would be if my pssd just dissapeared tomorrow and I think I would start enjoying again all the beauty of life. When I was having Escitalopram (lexapro) I lived in a plain no affectional life and nothing really moved me. I was living a life without the normal ups and downs everybody has.... then I quit and the plain feeling lasted for 1 year: PSSD was a problem but I didn´t over worried because of the plain affection ssri´s gave me but....after the point of 1 year after quitting  I becomed depressed and anxious: since that point I started to excessively feel , this is a characteristic of anxious depression, you overworry, overthink and everything moves you and make you have hard times. I felt emotional again, but only in the bad side.


I´m writing to you because you are seeing a doctor and I have found one who had treated PSSD sufferers. In my case, I´ll make an appointment with him after a visit to an endocrinologist as I have estrogens and progesterone and testosterone low and high prolactin. I want a medical opinion...

This is the link where you can contact him and some info:


http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/what ... epressants


I can´t talk about inositol. I asked about the president of pharmaceuticals in Spain about the mechanism of action and told me "It´s already unknown"... who knows if its mechanism of action is similar as SSRI´s one and worse us more!!, although there are some stories around the web saying some people cured from pssd.


In my opinion there are many people who are depressed and think their sexual and emotional function is broken, then they have the inositol and get cured, but because they get cured from the depression so the sexual and emotional function improve, not because inositol cures PSSD.

This is my point for now, maybe time and reading more stories will prove inositol is the solution.

Symptons:- 1 Not arousal, not libido: the sensation of "I could live without sex" - 2 I can get orgasms but they are much weaker. -3 I have noticed that my breast  don´t get swollen before menstruation (This has improved) -4  Lack of vaginal discharge (this has improved)- 5 Barely absence of vaginal odour
Induced by In Escitalopram 1 year and two months
Begining:10 mg per day -Jun 2013 to May 2013-
Reduce to 10 gr every two days - Jun 2013 to Aug 2013

Eventually quit on September 2013.

Slight Improvements. Window:  3 days on August 2015

WHY STARTING WITH IT?Great general anxiety that Esc. cured . Novemb 2015 anxiety hasd returned
Natural suplements or herbs you are having?: 1500 mg oil fish omega 3 daily since 28/1/2014.


December 15. 0,5-1 gr lorazepam per day. 

"if you come up with any good ideas, please let me know"

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  • 2 years later...

Hi root1121. How are you doing now?

Zoloft 50 mg from April 23, 2015 to August 28th, 2016 (1 year, 4 months).

4 week taper. Last dose on August 28, 2016


Mianserin 30 mg in an attempt to reverse PSSD from September 6th, 2017–around mid November 2017 after a few week taper. Did not fix PSSD


Currently taking: Melatonin and magnesium every night.

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