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  1. Hey everyone. I was put on Zoloft and Concerta at the age of 11 for OCD and ADHD. I have been on 200mg of Zoloft for a long time. I CT'd the 36 mg of concerta in February 2017. I did not do my diligence. I made a change with my psychiatrist in 2017 for the zoloft. That change sent me to hell. She told me I could discontinue quickly while tapering onto another drug, which I thought I needed for my "sanity." I have since fired her and am off all medications after being diagnosed with "serotonin syndrome." Within a week of tapering from 200mg to 150mg and tapering on to another drug, I began experiencing strange symptoms, which, according to my "doctor" have nothing to do with the medication: complete emotional numbness (I struggle with this already due to depression but it is so so much worse now), a deep disconnection from my identity, ego, self, and external environment, random bouts of visual problems, severe memory loss, cognitive issues and fogginess--I feel like I am walking unconsciously, with the only thoughts I am having are intrusive, detached thoughts that don't make sense to me, along with bouts of suicidal ideation and severe and uncontrollable mood swings, an inability to think, reason, rationalize or plan ahead, a lack of spontaneous thoughts, soul crushing anhedonia, akathisia, tremors, numb crying spells with no feeling of sadness underneath, feeling like I am losing my mind, severe depersonalization and derealization, severe insomnia, muscle and joint pain, back pain, complete loss of sexual functioning, generally not feeling alive or like a human being, unable to connect to my environment, friends or family. I blame myself for not doing my research about coming off these medications and I blame myself for ever even going on them, though I don't remember if that was my decision or my parents. I had a pretty strong mind despite OCD and depression before coming off the drugs. I was incredibly smart and loved fishing and now I can barely work and my passion in life means nothing to me anymore. I have been in intensive CBT for the last few months, though it doesn't work because I literally cannot put thoughts together myself, my only thoughts are intrusive it seems. Doctors don't believe me and after doing the research I am not surprised. I understand it is too late for me to reinstate and that I am in for the battle of my life. I have been doing some things to help myself, though I have not seen improvement and don't expect to for years: meditation, engagement in life and things I used to enjoy, pursuing goals even though I don't care about them, eating nutrient dense foods, walking and light exercise, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Since I was on these drugs a long time and since I started as a kid I am feeling pretty hopeless that I can get better even though many people keep telling me I can. I expect to deal with OCD, depression, sexual issues the rest of my life but I don't expect to be an emotionless, anhedonic, depersonalized, cognitively impaired zombie who can barely function for the rest of my life. I am looking for hope mainly, a place to come to where people understand, and somewhere I can also offer hope to others who are going through the same. I don't think I can do this by myself anymore, and it is hard to go through all of this when my family and friends don't really understand. It is incredibly difficult to be around people who seemingly are enjoying life and taking for granted their humanity. It is incredibly isolating to be going through severe depression, depersonalization, and cognitive impairment that no one on my therapy team seems to understand. I cannot process my pain or emotions or my past trauma as I cannot access it on an emotional level. I want so badly to integrate my past pain into my life and recover from my life trauma but I cannot do it in this state. As I type this, I am so disconnected that I don't even feel the emotional pain of all of this. I wish you all healing and prosperity and hope that I will someday improve somewhat, at least to the point where I can enjoy fishing again. All I want to do right now is isolate and avoid people and everything that reminds me of what is missing in my life, but am fighting this urge and trying to stay engaged. I am hoping for some advice or hope from others who CT'd or rapid tapered at the advice of a doctor. I know I am afraid right now even though I cannot feel it in my body or mind. I am lost and am not getting the direction I need from therapy because they think I am just depressed, but this is not just depression. I don't expect to go through life without any suffering but this seems a bit too much to handle most days.
  2. Hello everyone! I’m on my last leg of tapering right now at 2.5 mg of Prozac and boy does that small dose of 2.5 mg make a difference! I’ll give you all some background information about me and my history with SSRI’s and just overall tell my story so to speak. I’m currently 19 years old attending university (I had to drop out last semester because of the withdrawal from tapering, but I’m back at it!). The first SSRI I ever took was sertraline (Zoloft) at 50 mg for social anxiety and subsequently depression. I think I was thirteen at the time. It pains me to think back to that little boy and how much pain he was in. The sertraline helped a bit. My mother noticed a change in me more than I did. After only a couple of months however, I started to experience some emotional blunting. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I just knew I felt flat. We told our family doctor and he agreed that I should stop taking it. I did not taper and I did not experience any withdrawal. The next couple of years I don’t think I took any SSRI’s. I was still depressed and socially anxious at times, but I made a promise to myself that I would make a serious effort to make friends. It was my first real effort at exposure therapy and I did it all by myself. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that my obsessive rumination eventually became too strong for me to handle. It was then that I began taking 20 mg of Prozac. I can’t remember when I started. Most likely between August 2015 to December 2015. I do remember however that I did not have any notable side effects. I still felt the full range of emotions and my sexuality functioned like clockwork. In May 2016, my obsessive thinking got worse due in part to a rejection from a girl I liked. I began to believe that the Prozac wasn’t doing anything, so I went to a doctor and he switched me onto 20 mg of Paxil. It would be later on in the summer of 2016 that I would see a psychiatrist. I complained of extreme lethargy and often times couldnt sleep until four in the morning so he prescribed Wellbutrin at 150 mg and some Trazodone that I would take as needed. The Trazodone effectively zombified me so I avoided it often. (Side note: eventually I mentioned the Trazodone to this druggy kid in my creative writing class. He was literally on acid at the time and he said, “You take Trazodone?! Dude I used to snort that stuff. Don’t **** with that ****.”😂) Over time I stopped believing the Paxil or Wellbutrin had any effect on me. I even started to believe they might be a placebo at the time. I did however notice that I was becoming extremely angry all the time, something completely unlike myself. It was as if the only thing the pills had done was replace my depression with anger. I could also cry at a moments notice. I remember my family and I visited the freedom tower memorial in NY and it took everything in me not to burst out into tears. Because of the anger and my belief the pills were placebos, I eventually decided to stop both the Paxil and Wellbutrin cold turkey. This was in December 2016. I didnt have any notable withdrawal symptoms. No brain zaps or physical problems. My sexuality functioned as it always had. My depression however began to amplify. Sometimes, knowing what I know now, I wonder if this extreme depression was induced partly from withdrawal. It was stronger than any I’d previously had. I was constantly ruminating. I couldn’t sit still for a second without being uncomfortable and anxious. My mind was constantly replaying loops of embarrassing things I had done. Often times I would wake up in the middle of the night with an embarrassing memory and then spend the rest of the night in terror as it played over and over in my head. When I went to school, I felt paranoid. I absolutely hated myself. It is important to note however that I was not suicidal. Eventually I gave up. It took two week of me not going to school or even leaving my room for that matter for my parents to decide what to do with me. Eventually my mom found a treatment center for OCD and anxiety. I was skeptical at first. I had seen therapists in the past. They were well meaning, but they had little impact on my depression. We made an appointment with the director of the clinic. When she first walked in I expected nothing. She was very direct and got right to the point telling me that she might be able to help me or she might not. Either way it would be up to me to put in the effort. I agreed to do their intensive outpatient program. For three hours every day I would be exposed to my deepest fears. Initially she suggested medication, however I refused because of my bad experience on Paxil and Wellbutrin. After a month of IOP however, I still wasn’t getting better. Eventually I caved in. I was desperate. I went to the doctor and he prescribed 40 mg of Prozac and 25 mg of lamictal. When I began taking the Prozac at 20 mg, my mood lifted immediately. For the first time in forever my onslaught of obsessive thought began to abate. Suddenly I was convinced these pills weren’t placebo. I worked up to 40 mg and quickly graduated from the IOP. There were no side effects. I still had a considerable range of emotion and my sexuality worked just fine. But then the Prozac pooped out on me in December of 2017. By then I was beginning to feel depressed again. This should have been a warning that this med wasn’t a long term solution, but I was oblivious to the side effects at the time. I made my way up to 60 mg for a month and then eventually 80 mg in February 2018, the maximum dose. This dose was effective. My depression ceased almost instantly. It wasn’t until around June 2018 on 80 mg that I began to notice some strange things happening. At first I didn’t realize they were due to the Prozac. I began to have these odd states where my thinking was clouded, almost like my brain was fried. It was difficult to form words, and I often felt no emotion whatsoever in these states, but it would go away after a good night sleep, so I didn’t think too much of it. Then I met a girl and began dating her. I quickly noticed that I simply couldn’t fall in love with her, despite the fact that we got along together great and she was beautiful. All my romantic feelings we’re muted compared to what I had felt before. And then my dog ran away. At the time I knew I should be sad, but I couldn’t muster up the emotion. It was like I had to sneeze but the sneeze wouldn’t come. The sadness was almost there, I just couldn’t experience it fully. It was around this same time that I realized that my interest in sex was beginning to dwindle. Because of these things I realized I need to make a change. I began taking two 40 mg pills every other day and then two pills on the rest of the days. This was in the beginning of August 2018. My goal was to get to 40 mg. I did not have any significant withdrawal issues. In fact, initially, my sex drive increased. What did happen is that my depression returned. Because of this my doctor prescribed Wellbutrin at 150 mg. I had to stop taking it because I became extremely suicidal. Every waking thought revolved around me killing myself. I was anxious and irritable and definitely had the energy to do carry out my plans. Thankfully, I stopped taking the Wellbutrin after a week and these thoughts went away. It was this experience that convinced me how harmful these meds can be. Unfortunately I did not know how to taper properly and went way too fast with decreases of 20 mg every 2 weeks. Eventually I got to zero for a couple days but my therapist convinced me to stay on them. Stupidly I jumped all the way back up to 40 mg. But then after two weeks I decided once again that I needed to get off them. I did not know I was playing with fire. Once again I went super fast. When I made it to zero this time however, new symptoms began to hit. I got what I realize now is akathisia. If I tried to read my brain couldn’t form the words into sentences. I began sleeping very little. Most disconcerting, my penis had shriveled up and gotten freezing cold and I stopped getting nocturnal erections(morning wood). It was this that caused me to reinstate my taper after only four days at 0 mg. I went back up to 40 mg over two weeks and my sexual functioning more or less returned. My sex drive however did not. By then I knew what I was really in for. After that I began to taper much slower. This was probably stupid, but I would cut the pills in half and estimate the amount of powder I would take. I did this until December 2018 and made it to 10 mg. Then I got pills that I could cut into smaller pieces and bought a scale and I have been using this method ever since. Throughout the taper, emotional anesthesia arose as a prominent symptom. My sexuality is no longer similar to pre drug levels or even similar to what it was while I was on the drug. It has definitely gotten worse as I’ve decreased the drug. However, so far it seems that after each time I have decreased my dose, my ability to maintain an erection would vanish and then more or less reappear after a couple weeks. Currently I am at 2.5mg! 🎉The akathisia has mostly abated (although I’m sure it’ll come back once I’m fully off the drug) I feel emotionally numb all the time. I feel like I have lost my identity and have no access to my memories. I remember them but I feel nothing when I do. Listening to music is pointless. I no longer play my guitar. My erections are fickle, and I have no sex drive at all. I do still have feeling in my penis, so I am not dealing with genital anesthesia. The closer I get to zero however, the less my penis functions. I even went down to about 0.5 mg and my penis went cold like the time I went to 0 mg a couple months ago. It seems the blood flow returned when I went back to 2.5 yesterday; however, my penis head has these odd striations on it. I am afraid of developing genital anathesis post taper. For those who had genital anesthesia, when did this symptom appear for you? My fear is that the lack of blood supply and lack of erections will lead to nerve atrophy in my penis. For this reason I am taking the rest of my taper even slower than initially planned. As long as my penis doesn’t get cold, I will continue to taper. I have also turned my diet around and cut out sugar and gluten. I want to exercise but this seems to trigger the akathisia so I’ve put it on hold. Im against all supplements as I’ve had bad experienced with them. One thing this site taught me is how cautious I have to be so that my nervous system can heal. Does anyone have any advice for me? Do you think because I haven’t experienced physical symptoms (yet at least) like nausea or muscle pain or even brain zaps that I’ll be able to heal fairly quickly? Or will these effects most likely simply appear once I’m finally off the drug. Prozac does have a long half life after all. What do you guys think? Im also wondering when (or if) my emotions will return post taper. For those who have regained the full range of emotions, were you able to look back at emotional memories and feel what you felt in that moment? Does music sound good again? Lastly, when can I expect symptoms of nueroemotions? I’m actually looking forward to this symptoms as it will mean my emotions are returning and that I don’t have permanent damage. Thank you if you took the time to read this, and sorry if it’s a little long. (p.s. Altostrata if you read this thank you for everything you have done. I’ve spent the past month browsing this site on and off and the level of charity you display is phenomenal. Thank you!)
  3. See journal articles about PSSD in Papers about Post-SSRI Sexual Disorder (PSSD) Please note that SurvivingAntidepressants is a site for tapering and recovery from withdrawal syndrome. While we see PSSD sometimes as an aspect of withdrawal syndrome (and we see gradual recovery from it as well as withdrawal syndrome), this site is not specifically for discussion of treatment of PSSD or its neurological origins (which at this time are highly speculative). If you wish to discuss symptoms, theories, and treatment of PSSD, please go to these sites: PSSDforum http://www.pssdforum.com/ Yahoo group SSRIsex (log in to http://Yahoo.com to join) Facebook group (log into Facebook.com to join) Various pages on Rxisk.org
  4. Hi everybody! Will try to sum up shortly the nature of my problem: - Jun'17. Big family tragedy. Got nervous, could barely sleep at night (3-4 hours daily max.), lost appetite. Used simple herbs-based anti-axiety pills to calm myself. No big impact. - Jul'17. Nervousness continues, sleepless nights, poor appetite. Added other more potent natural pills (as I live in Germany - Neurexam). Took Stillnox (aka Zolpidem) as sleeping aid. To no avail. To calm down took 1 single pill of Laif 900 (Saint John's Wort, SJW). My anxiety paradoxically increased even further. maybe because I drank juices (which is not advisable with SJW). As my nervousness continued went to doctor, who prescribed escitalopram 10 mg per day (in the morning). To be on the safe side, took half of the pill (i.e. 5 mg), immediately felt unwell (sweating, heart palpitations, giddiness). Took char coal to wash the pill out. As I did not know what an antidepressant is (thought it to be a sort of anti-anxiety / sleeping pill), took 2.5 mg before sleep for the next 2-3 days. My agitation got worse. In retrospect I think that I provoked a mild serotonin syndrome, given that I took escitalopram soon after taking SJW. My body was shaking, trembling, I was not able to control my hands. Neede even to call sick from work. Got strange suicidal thought which I had never had in my life. Did not know this state was provoked by pills. I somehow foolishly decided that because of my insomnia and malnutrition, my brain started to die off. Dropped escitalopram. Got electric splashes in my head. Panicked. Did not know it was a side effect of escitalopram withdrawal. Was afraid that my brain was harmed beyond repair and decided to commit suicide by jumping from the balcony. My relative held me tight, but I somehow managed to drop him on the floor and get loose. Panicked that I harmed my relative. I called ambulance but they came not alone but with ... police (apparently neighbors called them as I shouted a lot). Was not able to understan what was going on, tried to jump off the balcony in the presence of doctors / cops. Was hospitalized in the ward involuntarily. - Aug'17. Spent 14 days in the ward on 4 mg risperidone (aka risperdal) daily in pill form + tranquilizer (lorazepam). After this "treatment" did not feel well. No thoughts, no emotions, personality erased. Dropped risperidone cold turkey. Was not able to sleep for a week. Went to private psychiatrist. He reinstated risperidone at 1 mg ( I went from 1 mg daily to 0 within 1 month) + gave lerivone (mianserin) 15 mg as antidepressant for sleep. Have been on various doses of mianserin (from 15 mg up to 45 mg and then progressively down to 0) from September to December (i.e. 3 months). Dropped the last 5 mg cold turkey. Since Dec'17 - drug free. Though my initially poor thinking / no thoughts etc has dramatically improved (thanks God), I still suffer from a symptom which first appeared somewhere in mid November: genital numbness, loss of sexual interest, decrease in libido. I found out it is PSSD. My questions are as follows, to which I would kindly ask to help me: 1. Why is this impotence? What is the more likely culprit: risperidone or mianserin. I ask as I have read that SSRI / SNRI are the most likely culprits of PSSD, whereas mianserin is actually used to treat it (with varying success though). 2. How can it be cured? 3. Has anyone experienced reduced eyesight (increased myopia) on antipsychotics / antidepressants and will the issue resolve itself? Thank you very much in advance for your kind help !!!!
  5. Hi guys, I'm a 24 year old french guy suffering from what I believe to be PSSD. Here's my story: Late 2012 - I was diagnosed with depression and went on citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. The meds slightly numbed my penis, even after discontinuation. 2013 - I went on different meds that made no impact on my depression nor sex drive, as they don't target serotonin (Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian, Wellbutrin, Lamictal). Only spent a handful of weeks on any given one of these. My penis was still slightly numbed by mid-2013, from the initial S(N)RIs. I then took an old MAOI antidepressant called Marsilid(Iproniazid) for around 4 months. The numbness in my penis got noticeably worse. I still had a libido but orgasms were very weak, it was harder to maintain an erection. I decided to quit psychiatric meds in december 2013. April 2014 - the penile numbness was still there and orgasms were still weak, no sign of improvement. ENTER THE THYROID MEDS. I took some thyroid meds (Armour thyroid) without a doctor's consent to see if it would help with my depression, although I had no thyroid problem. Looking back it was stupid, but I was depressed and desperate, plus I had read somewhere that T3 hormones were sometimes given as treatment for depression.That's when my libido took a massive dive, along with my ability to achieve erections, feel pleasure in life, and focus on mental tasks. I only stayed 6 weeks on the thyroid pills. Since discontinuation of everything around 18 months ago, the PSSD hasn't gotten better. I had to drop out of a prestigious university program because of my lack of an ability to focus on mentally-demanding tasks 9 months ago. I used to be an intelligent student with a great memory, but now I feel dumbed down. Paying attention to what people say during a conversation has become a little challenge in itself. Dropping out was devastating for my self-esteem. Concerning the sexual SEs, I am unable to be turned on by naked women like I used to be. I require heavy physical stimulation to even start feeling a little tingle of pleasure. Orgasms are pleasureless, and I've lost all ejaculatory strength. The semen just seems to slowly come out and dribble nowadays, whereas it used to to be propelled with great strength before. The numbness is crazy - I have a harder time even just feeling my own urine flowing inside my penis when I take a leak. Concerning erections, I am unable to keep them up during sex. As for pleasure in life in general, it's like it has been turned down. Watching movies used to make me thrilled, but now I no longer feel any sense of amazement during cool action sequences. Music doesn't move me like it used to. The touch of a woman no longer excites me, as if my skin had become less sensitive. I saw some PSSD posters on some website mentioning their skin felt like "rubber" and I think I get the feeling. I did some blood tests to see if my hormones (thyroid, testosterone, DHEA, and other stuff) were out of balance, but the results came back just fine. My theory is that the serotonergic side of the thyroid meds, on top of the previous SSRIs and MAOI screwed something in my brain, and I will need time to recover. I've seen a couple hormone specialists that have told me that thyroid meds don't bring these nasty effects on their own, and whatever effect they bring should disappear upon treatment discontinuation. I saw the Admin Altostrata mentioning time and time again that experimenting with meds to cure PSSD was dangerous and could potentially make matters worse, so I'll stick to taking nothing. Plus, the fact that thyroid meds made me a lot worse can serve as an example to illustrate the argument. Anyways, the past is the past. I hope I will get better, and will post every once in a while to update my progress (or lack thereof).
  6. I will try to resume my whole psychiatric story. I started taking Risperdal for the first time when I was 18, they prescribed it to me without any clear diagnose. I was socially isolated and I didn´t know why, that´s the reason I went to the psychiatrist, I think at that time I didn´t have depression (maybe I was just "a bit sad") but Risperdal induced it to me, it was a terrible experience with suicidal thoughts included. I took it only for three months and then left it, without tapering. Then my doctor decided I had obsessive-compulsive disorder and she put me on Seroxat, I took it for a year in which my depressive episode was healed. The circumstances lead me to suddenly stop taking it, I had an unpleasant withdrawal, this time I didn´t have any psychical symtoms but apparently depression came back. I stayed seven months with this depression until I decided to start medicating myself again. I went to another doctor, after analysing me I was diagnosed "negative symtoms" of schizophrenia because of my problems to socialize and I was medicated for that. I was prescribed another neuroleptic, Solian 200 (amisulpride) which is not aproved in the USA, but it is here in Europe. At this time I was 20 years old, I took Solian for six months and I felt better again, my depression was over (but I didn´t feel euphoric or something). Then, I made the worst decission of my life: I changed doctor again. This doctor wasn´t very kind and I remember he used to boast about the things he knew and sometimes he made me feel I was stupid. He, with his knowledge, decided to take my medication off without tapering, I had a terrible withdrawal which I am still on. Just after leaving it I had a lot of physical symtoms such as: stomachache, dizziness and insomnia, my question is how much do they usually last? I had them for two months, is this normal? I will try to make more questions in another post.
  7. I am a 27 years old man. I was on sertraline 100mg for about 8 years. While being on the medication I could not attain penile erection. Tried to have sex with my girlfriend multiple times but failed everytime. My penis felt unresponsive to any sexual stimulus. This was very distressing and hence I stopped taking the medicine by slowly tapering it off. It has been 10 months since I last ingested the medicine but the sexual dysfunction is persistent. I still cannot attain erection and in an addition I have been facing the problem of severe premature ejaculation since I stopped taking the SSRI.Moreover, my memory has been highly affected by the drug. I struggle to remember everyday things. I cannot concentrate. I don't feel emotions. It feels like I am dead from inside. And I almost always feel a burning sensation in my brain. The drug has profoundly impacted my brain functions. I am very helpless right now. My life has become an unbearable tragedy. I don't know what I should do now. I am in a long distance relationship with a girl who wants to marry me. I am desperate to have a family. But I am afraid to go further given my condition. I am completely helpless and somehow surviving the distress caused by PSSD. I am eagerly waiting to hear from my peers in this forum.
  8. Dear all, This is my first post on this forum. I just wanted to share my experience with w/d of buspirone. I stopped 30mg/day about 23 days ago. I suffered 10 days, said enough, then went back to 10 mg/day. It didn't make much difference for another week. I gave up and upped to 20mg/day 7 days ago. While some bad stuff decreased, I am having very painfaul headaches since 2 days (tonight it woke me up). W/d symptoms: some that I know from SSRI/SNRI w/d, but some special for buspirone: "hangover" headache, "hangover" dry mouth, "normal" strong headaches, very angry (I have to punch some pillows or do pushups), flu-like chills and fever (for 3 days), strange pain in the neck. I want to emphasize that it seems as bad as paroxetine. For now I can even say it's worse cause when I came back to paroxetine, all symptoms went away. Now I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere (have many terrible symptoms, while still being on high dose). So, 1st I wanted to share, 2nd I'd welcome any ideas what to do (I already bought and am trying Omega-3)... I really don't want to go back to 30/day (for many reasons); besides I don't have guarantee that even that will bring me back to state before w/d. Did anyone was relieved after coming back to original dose after such long time (>3 weeks)? Did any particular supplement help?
  9. Hi everyone, just wanted to share my story (and hopefully my eventual recovery). I am 20 years old, and was 19 when I started on 50mg of Sertraline I was prescribed it in Feb 2015 for social anxiety and took it for a month. Quit cold turkey because I felt pretty depersonalised, and cause of the sexual side effects. All of my symptoms came on during my time on the drug or shortly afterwards. They are: Dulling of emotion/Anhedonia - Have felt sadness a few times, and anger a few times. No joy, no passion, maybe some flashes of love but that's it. Unable to relate to characters in books/TV. Dimunition of visual imagination - I used to daydream constantly prior to taking the drug. Since cold turkeying the pictures in my mind are very blurred and I am no longer able to daydream. Loss of creativity - Before the drug I used to read a lot, and when I read I always felt like ideas were constantly popping into my brain. Since I stopped medication this no longer happens. I feel like I am reading the words on the page very superficially.. Physical numbness in brain - Feels like there's a great pressure in the frontal lobe of my head, almost like it is torn (but there is no pain) PSSD - No libido, anorgasmia, difficulty getting and maintaining erections (too much information but I want to be thorough here) No fatigue behind eyes - this one isn't necessarily negative, but since stopping the drug my eyes never get tired regardless of how much time I spend using screens or reading. Possible other symptoms that could be unrelated: Muscle twinges (very mild), worsening of eyesight (20/20 vision pre medication), urine delay (is considerably better now) Improvements - I saw very positive changes when it came to anorgasmia and erections around 6 months into my withdrawal. Unfortunately it seems like in the past 2 months things have gone back to square one. The physical pressure in my head varies a lot, and is definitely much better than it was at the start of my withdrawal (though it still gets very bad). I couldn't read for the first 6 months of this withdrawal because I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it and that was depressing because I used to love reading prior to the drug. Now I read a bit, and it feels nicer than doing nothing I guess, but seriously if that's an improvement in my anhedonia then it's 0% to 1%, because I still have zero positive emotion. General - I feel hopeless about recovery a lot of the time. I have suicidal thoughts but would never commit suicide because of the effect that would have on my mum. I browse through the forums looking for recovery stories, but it seems like most people who recover haven't had this constant anhedonia, and were in a more turbulent emotional withdrawal. If anyone who is in my position, or anyone who was in my position but recovered, could reply I'd be very grateful. Many thanks, Raven
  10. Hello everyone, this is my introduction. I was prescribed an SSRI. Yes I know it makes you feel worse before you feel better but I felt terrible so after a few days I gave up on it . Over the next two weeks I felt worse and decided to start it again as I was having panic attacks, something I had never experienced in my life. I again felt really bad. I couldn’t get out of bed, not that lying in bed made me feel any better, I just couldn’t let anyone else in the house see me in such a state. It was after about a week that, yes, you’ve guessed it, PSSD. I had religiously read the information leaflet in the packet and saw that this could occur but not that it could continue after you've stopped. It was then that I searched online and discovered PSSD. I was horrified. I had never been warned of this. After 10 days I stopped again. I then hoped and prayed that all my functioning would return. After about ten days of stopping I was feeling particularly bad. I have all the classic symptons of PSSD. My anxiety and depression has gone through the roof. Lately I feel absolutely exhausted and depressed in the mornings. There is no way in the world I would of touched SSRI’s had I known the possible consequences. I am determined to beat this and get back to the happy man I once was. The impact of this condition on me is immense. I have found these forums a great help. I’m looking for any support out there as at this rate I’ll end up back on antidepressants for which I’ve now got a phobia. I’m also looking to support anyone else where I can and keep a record of my progress.
  11. hey, i have been experiencing some really bad distress lately. i was put on lexapro 10mg in april 2017 for depression at 18 years old. after one month i experienced the all familiar sexual dysfunction, but since it seemed to give me some relief, i continued to take it, as this was also a stressfull part of my life, with exams during my final school year. after 6-7 months on lexapro i decided i have had enough and quit the medication cold turkey. my immediate withdrawals werent so bad. i felt a sense of light headedness during the day which only lasted about 2 seconds each time, paired with restlessness. it lasted for about a month until it was over. i got on remeron 2 months later and only stayed on it for about 2,5 months before i tapered it over a period of 4 weeks with no symptoms really. now its close to over 8 months since i quit lexapro and i still have some form of sexual function. i cant get erect through thoughts and images, and need physical stimulation either by me or my girlfriend. when im erect i also have very little senseitvity in my penis. at best its a slight ticklish feeling on the penis head. my erections are sometimes hard, but also vanish quickly, though i have had some recent success with the use of cockrings for harder and long lasting erections. my other major symptom is emotional numbness. at the moment i can feel anxiety, sadness through periods of crying, which mostly is triggered by the thought that this is gonna be permanent, and i will never have a fucntion body and brain again. i can still laugh and smile, but it all feels sort of fake and artifical. i havent experienced joy that could be with my for days and get me through several days at the time since i started this medication. the feelings of happiness i get is only in my thoughts, as in i know i should be happy about something, but i dont feel it in my body, just my mind, i dont get a body high from emotions to put it another way. after i started meditating during my remeron taper was about the same time i started seeing my current gf, and i could feel some form of sexual energy going through me parts of the day, and during meditation. it didnt even have to be fully sexual, just her sitting on my lap or w/e, and i would start to get horny and get a small erection going for a bit. it calmed me down in the moment because i already knew about pssd and feared the worst, however that has since dissappered, and hasnt returned for a couple of months. im really looking for answers as my GP and psychiatrist dont believe this really exist, or it is a result of depression. i know for a fact i am not depressed, becuase i rememeber the day i woke up with depression as a day with a gray feeling in chest, sort of where i would get that infaction feel when you crush on someone. that feeling is not present now, and i feel that its just the emotions lacking at this point. for my symptoms i just did a bloodcheck for hormones like test to see if those are the causes for genital numbness, but i doubt it. im writing this short story because im really getting worried that my life will never be like it used to. i will never experience happiness from talking to someone or seeing them again, i will never feel pleasure from sex, which has been pretty barren since i got together with my gf, we only managed it two times. im either not erect enough or losing it just as im inserting the penis, but my psychiatrist says its just mental, which it might very well be to a certain extent. im honestly just looking for some reassurense from someone that this will be over at some point. im hoping it wont 3-5 years like many success stories i read, but if thats the case, so be it. im will be happy if i will get back to normal at some point before my mid to late twenties, becasue i honestly dont think i can go on like this forever, this is just torture. the worst and most raging part about my AD journey was that my doctor assured me that lexapro was "neutral" in his word, and side effects were minor, and i took it because of me being in a vunerable posistion and needing some relief, but now i think im in this for the long run, or the rest of my life, but thats not really an option. i just feel tricked and scammed down to the worst level, even tho i can barely feel anything, i can feel so much anger towards that GP. i dont know how this story reads, because english isnt my native language, but im just looking if anyone can tell me this will be okay and that in years i can write my complete success story, though i dont know what to expect in the coming months or years. please excuse any silly mistakes, this was written in a hurry and i just want some feedback to hopefully calm my mind.
  12. Shar244

    Shar244

    I was taking 50mg Sertraline daily (prescribed for anxiety) for 2 months in 2016. I stopped taking them instantly due to various side effects; insomnia followed by extreme fatigue and when the sexual dysfunction kicked in that was the last straw for me. I suffered for roughly 3 months with vertigo and nausea. I believe I am left with PSSD and also cognitive issues. I have been anti-depressant free since December 2016 I have experienced two or three ‘windows’ I think they are called? The PSSD has probably improved overall 10% day to day in the last two years. Recovery stories give me hope
  13. Hi all, After only using Citalopram for a week I ended up with the inability to get an erection. I went into sertraline for a week after coming of Citalopram and symptoms continued. i decided to come off SSRI’s after this as I wanted my sex life back. Unfortunately I am still suffering side effects today and I took these meds 3 years ago! I did see see some improvement early on, but as times gone on this has only got worse, to the point not even Cialis works for me! Im only 25 years old, was given the meds at 22. I don’t want to live my life like this! From researching I’ve only come across SSRI use and porn use as the only two possible reasons behind my impotence! Seeing other stories across the web I’ve seen several like my case who only took SSRI’s for a very short period and endured very long term effects! Many feedback on this would be very much appreciated!
  14. Hello, After a couple of months of reading some of the posts on this forum, I have decided to join, because basically it seems that I have PSSD. As you will see from my signature strip, I have been on escitalopram at various doses for just over 7 years (finally came off in January of this year (2017)). My history on this drug probably looks a bit confusing. Basically I went on the drug late in 2009 for anxiety that I was suffering. I only intended to be on it for a short time – maybe 6 months – whilst I made some important decisions about my future. But my doctor at that time provided no guidance on coming off the drug. I came off very quickly and crashed. It basically took me about 3 attempts like this to finally realise I could not come off it quickly. In the end it has been a long and slow process with some bumps along the way, but finally I am off the drug – but it took 7 years. I am male and now in my mid-thirties. Anyway, whilst on the drug I suffered from sexual side effects, which from what I have read is very common. But it was in late 2013 that I found out just how much the drug was affecting me. I started a relationship with a girl who although I liked much, I could feel no deep emotion with. Basically I could not fall in love with her. At first I could not understand what was wrong with me, but one day shortly into our relationship I suspected the drug. After a simple ‘Google search’ I had the answer. This combined with the sexual side effects of the drug just made it impossible for me really and in early 2014 we split up. It was at this point that I realised no matter what, I had to get off the drug. It took 2 further attempts of slow tapering but finally I have managed it. I am now almost 5 months off the drug, but seems I have PSSD. At the end of December 2016 I reduced from 10mg every other day to just 5mg every third day. A few days after doing this I could feel something changing sexually – more normal feeling was coming back. And about a week later I had a couple of days of what I would say was completely normal function returning. However this only lasted a couple of days. Shortly after this I took the last tablet. I was now off the drug. About 2 weeks later I once again had a couple of days of everything returning to normal sexually. Again this only lasted temporarily. Then a period of 3 weeks of the numbness and erection difficulties. Then - 5 weeks after taking the last tablet - I again had a period of 2 days of normal functioning – this time I thought it was going to be for good, but unfortunately not. And that was the last time I experienced what I consider everything being normal. Since then I have returned to the numbness, lack of drive and erection difficulties that I had whilst on the drug. I have had the odd day or two in recent weeks where the numbness reduces a bit and there is a little bit of sensitivity, but only a very tiny improvement for a day or so. Then back to full numbness. Also I have developed a ache/pain in my testicles that radiates at times into the top of my legs and buttocks. I can’t remember exactly when this started but I think it was around 6 weeks after being off the drug. I also feel emotionally flat – I don’t think I could fall in love with somebody. I think that issue is still there. I can cry at times, but can’t feel any real happiness for anything. I guess like so many people here I feel the most desperate I have ever done in my life and just looking to talk with others in a similar situation. These past months have seemed like an eternity and every day is such a struggle. I am hoping somebody can give me some hope, because right now I can’t feel much of it. Also I do have a few questions which if anybody can give some sort of an answer to I would be so grateful. 1) Why did I have 3 separate periods of normal sexual function in the immediate period of coming off the drug (first 5 weeks) and then nothing further? 2) the ache/pain that I feel in the testicles – is this part of PSSD? 3) one of the things that really worries me is the fact that I noticed a change to my sexual function after taking just one tablet (God only knows why I did not stop taking them there and then) but as I only planned to be on the medication for a short time, it did not bother me too much. Does this immediate reaction to the drug combined with my long-term use of it mean it more likely my recovery will be a very long time, or worse still that I never recover? Thanks very much for reading.
  15. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  16. I was given 20 mg of Prozac back in 1997 for depression. I was still technically a minor back then. I had an initial "high" from the Prozac which was mistaken for me not being depressed anymore. A few months later, Prozac stopped working and I had completely lost my sexual functioning. I told my doctor about this, so I was switched to Effexor. I kept on being switched from medication to medication in an attempt to achieve the initial "high" of the Prozac and to reverse the sexual functioning but things just got worse. One day I was put on a medication called Wellbutrin and that caused a manic episode from the first dose which caused me to have to be put into an inpatient facility. I was now switched from just being depressed to having bipolar disorder. I was put on Depakote which stopped the manic episode. Depakote caused me a lot of suffering, so I decided to cold turkey the medication about 6 months later. This led to another inpatient hospitalization and now I was polydrugged with Depakote and Zyprexa. This was the first polydrug combination I was on. This combination of medications was even worse because I was sleeping at least 16 hours a day. After another 6 months or so, I cold turkeyed both of these medications and that led to another inpatient hospitalization. I was fortunate in some ways to have the Zyprexa removed and be able to function somewhat ok on just Depakote and now Klonopin. I stayed on Depakote for years but my sexual issues were never solved and I had a lot of other side effects from Depakote such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease like symptoms. In around 2005, I discovered the first person who had described the same sexual issues I experienced. It was called Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. I discovered forums similar to this one, and consumed books by people like Dr. Breggin. In 2007, I was able to successfully withdraw safely from all medications by switching over to lithium and valium and using a compound pharmacy to taper down. I felt a lot better and recovered from some of the damages caused by the medications. I began social drinking in 2008 because I felt like I missed out on such a big part of my life. About 6 months later, I completely lost my ability to sleep probably due to the alcohol damaging what the benzos had already damaged. I was forced into a state psych ward and given a diagnosis of bipolar NOS, psychosis, anxiety etc. After 3 or 4 months in the state psych ward, I left on a combination of Depakote ER and Ativan. I had to eventually updose the Depakote ER and switch to Klonopin again. So for the last 3 years or so, I've been on 1250 mg of Depakote ER and 3 mg of Klonopin. While I am not suffering nearly as much as I did when I was bombarded with antipsychotics like Haldol and Geodon, life isn't nearly as good as I know it could be. That's why I want to get help in coming off of the Depakote ER and Klonopin safely. My confidence level is a bit low because I feel like I may be damaged beyond repair due to being on dozens of psychiatric medications and due to the past experience with insomnia I freak out when I cannot sleep and that is what is happening now. I started to taper off of Depakote ER on 11/24/2014 and I'm on 750 mg Depakote ER now and 3 mg of Klonopin. That's my intro but I'm not sure what to do next...
  17. Hello, Im a 28yo male, from Brazil, and Im desperate! - 2005 start taking Paroxetine 40mg, no big deal, worked quite nice. - 2006 stopped cold turkey, not more than a week with brain zaps and I was fine. - 2007 anxiety and depression came back, like when I wasnt on Paroxetine. - 2007 back to Paroxetine. I was "normal" again. - 2013 depression started again, transitioned to LexaPro 15 + Wellbutrin XL 300 with very few problems, 2 weeks and I was fine. - 2015 dropped Wellbutrin cold turkey without problems. - 04/2017 Transition to Pristiq 50, for five days I took half lexapro pill + half pristiq, the problems started, nausea, headaches, muscle stifness, neck pain, after these 5 days, things were the same... starting feeling miserable =(, I talked to my MD, she said to taper off Pristiq, 25mg for 5 days than 12,5 for five more than, stop taking. First drop and the brain zaps started, insomnia kicked in hard. - 05/12/2017 one week without Pristiq, I cant handle what Im feeling anymore, the zaps are driving me insane, I cant sleep properly, my body and head aches, my concentration is gone. Called my MD and she prescribed me lexotan to help ease the symptons. Still not taking it. I dont know if what Im experiencing is withdrawal from Lexapro or Pristiq, I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!, should I go back to Lexapro and try tapering it slowly or should I keep going like I am? I just want to get rid of the freaking zaps! Im quite desperate, sorry for my bad english!
  18. Authoritative sources documenting Post-SSRI Sexual Disorder (PSSD), more fallout from antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. There are many, many anecdotal reports about this on the Web. ------- Bahrick, Audrey S., and Mark M. Harris, "Sexual Side Effects of Antidepressant Medications: An Informed Consent Accountability Gap." Journal Of Contemporary Psychotherapy, Vol 39(2), June 2009, pp 135-143. No PubMed abstract. Full text here. Abstract from the paper: Sexual side effects of antidepressant medications are far more common than initially reported, and their scope, quality, and duration remain poorly captured in the literature. Antidepressant treatment emergent sexual dysfunctions may decrease clients’ quality of life, complicate psychotherapy, and damage the treatment alliance. Potential damage to the treatment alliance is greatest when clients have not been adequately informed of risks related to sexual side effects. It had previously been assumed that sexual side effects always resolve shortly after medications are discontinued. Emerging evidence, however, suggests that in some individuals, sexual dysfunction side effects may persist indefinitely. The authors argue that all psychologists should be well-informed about sexual side effects risks of antidepressant medications, should routinely conduct a pre-medication baseline assessment of sexual functioning, and take an active role in the informed consent process. ------- Farnsworth K, Dinsmore W. Persistent sexual dysfunction in genitourinary medicine clinic attendees induced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. International Journal of STD & AIDS [serial online]. 2009;20(1):68-69. No PubMed abstract. Full text here. From this letter to the journal editor: Sir: It is widely known that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can cause various types of sexual dysfunction (SD) and recent studies have shown that prevalence may be as high as 60%1 among SSRI users. Emerging evidence shows that in some patients SD may persist and even worsen, long after treatment cessation. It is this group of long-term post-SSRI treatment sufferers that we are concerned with here.... ------- Csoka AB, Bahrick A, Mehtonen O. Persistent sexual dysfunction after discontinuation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Journal of Sexual Medicine [serial online]. January 2008;5(1):227-233. Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18173768 Full text here."]Full text here.[/url] INTRODUCTION: Sexual dysfunctions such as low libido, anorgasmia, genital anesthesia, and erectile dysfunction are very common in patients taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It has been assumed that these side effects always resolve after discontinuing treatment, but recently, four cases were presented in which sexual function did not return to baseline. Here, we describe three more cases. Case #1: A 29-year-old with apparently permanent erectile dysfunction after taking fluoxetine 20 mg once daily for a 4-month period in 1996. Case #2: A 44-year-old male with persistent loss of libido, genital anesthesia, ejaculatory anhedonia, and erectile dysfunction after taking 20-mg once daily citalopram for 18 months. Case #3: A 28-year-old male with persistent loss of libido, genital anesthesia, and ejaculatory anhedonia since taking several different SSRIs over a 2-year period from 2003-2005. RESULTS: No psychological issues related to sexuality were found in any of the three cases, and all common causes of sexual dysfunction such as decreased testosterone, increased prolactin or diabetes were ruled out. Erectile capacity is temporarily restored for Case #1 with injectable alprostadil, and for Case #2 with oral sildenafil, but their other symptoms remain. Case #3 has had some reversal of symptoms with extended-release methylphenidate, although it is not yet known if these prosexual effects will persist when the drug is discontinued. CONCLUSION: SSRIs can cause long-term effects on all aspects of the sexual response cycle that may persist after they are discontinued. Mechanistic hypotheses including persistent endocrine and epigenetic gene expression alterations were briefly discussed. ------- Kauffman, R., Murdock A. "Prolonged Post-Treatment Genital Anesthesia and Sexual Dysfunction Following Discontinuation of Citalopram and the Atypical Antidepressant Nefazodone." The Open Women Health Journal, 2007 (1), 1-3. No Pubmed abstract. Full text here. Abstract from the paper: SSRI therapy is commonly associated with sexual side effects, but it is assumed that these distressing symptoms resolve with termination of therapy. The atypical antidepressant nefazodone is infrequently associated with sexual dysfunction and may be substituted for SSRI’s when sexual symptoms are intolerable. Recently, scattered case reports of persistent sexual dysfunction and genital anesthesia persisting well after termination of SSRI antidepressant therapy have surfaced. In each case, the underlying depressive disorder was in remission. Case: A 32-year old women with major depression was treated with citalopram but switched to nefazodone after 4 weeks of therapy due to genital anesthesia and orgasmic dysfunction. These symptoms continued following institution of nefazodone therapy and have persisted for over a year since termination of antidepressant treatment. Her depression remains in full remission. Discussion: It is likely that persistent post-treatment genital anesthesia and other sexual side effects are underreported, and physicians should be aware of this bothersome phenomenon. Formal post-treatment surveillance for this condition is war- ranted. Pharmacogenomic research may ultimately allow physicians to predict who is at risk for antidepressant induced sexual side effects. ------- Bahrick, Audrey S, "Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction." ASAP Tablet, Vol 7(3), Sept 2006, pg 2. No PubMed abstract. Full text here. From the article: Post-market research has now firmly established that the SSRIs and SNRIs can significantly affect most every aspect of sexual functioning at rates significantly higher than the 5-15% reported in pre-market trials. Depending on definitions of sexual dysfunction and methodology, post-market prevalence studies have found rates between 36% and 98%. The 5 to 15% rates of SSRI and SNRI-induced sexual side-effects listed in the current drug-insert literature are based on information obtained in the initial trials via spontaneous reports of individuals who had been on the medications for a short time. The differences in reported rates between the pre-market trials and post-market prevalence studies are an artifact of methodology; we now know that when individuals are directly asked about their experience of sexual side effects via either a structured clinical interview or a self-report inventory, we obtain vastly different rate information than if we rely on individuals to spontaneously volunteer personally sensitive information about changes in sexual functioning.... ------- Csoka AB, Shipko S. "Persistent sexual side effects after SSRI discontinuation." Psychother Psychosom. 2006;75(3):187-8. No PubMed abstract. Full text here. ------- Bolton J, Sareen J, Reiss J. Genital anaesthesia persisting six years after sertraline discontinuation. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy [serial online]. July 2006;32(4):327-330. Full text here. ------- Also see references here http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Post-SSRI-Sexual-Dysfunction ^ Bahrick A. Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy Tablet 2006; 7:2-10. ^ Kauffman, RP. Persistent Sexual Side Effects after Discontinuation of Psychotropic Medications Primary Psychiatry. 2008;15:24. ^ Zajecka J, Mitchell S, Fawcett J. Treatment-emergent changes in sexual function with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors as measured with the rush sexual inventory Psychopharmacol. Bull. 1997;33:755-60. PMID 9493488. ^ Balon, R. SSRI-associated sexual dysfunction Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163:1504-1509. PMID 16946173. ^ Montejo AL, Llorca G, Izquierdo JA, Carrasco JL, Daniel E, Perez-Sola V, Vicens E, Bousono M, Sanchez-Iglesias S, Franco M, Cabezudo A, Rubio V, Ortega MA, Puigdellivol M, Domenech JR, Allue B, Saez C, Mezquita B, Galvez I, Pacheco L, de Miguel E. Sexual dysfunction with antidepressive agents. Effect of the change to amineptine in patients with sexual dysfunction secondary to SSRI. Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 1999;27:23-34. PMID 10380144. ^ a b Csoka AB, Shipko S. Persistent sexual side effects after SSRI discontinuation. Psychother Psychosom 2006;75:187-8. PMID 16636635. ^ Bolton JM, Sareen J, Reiss JP. Genital anaesthesia persisting six years after sertraline discontinuation. J. Sex Marital Ther. 2006;32:327-30. PMID 16709553. ^ Kauffman RP, Murdock A. Prolonged Post-Treatment Genital Anesthesia and Sexual Dysfunction Following Discontinuation of Citalopram and the Atypical Antidepressant Nefazodone. The Open Women’s Health Journal. 2007;1:1-3. ^ Csoka AB, Bahrick AS, Mehtonen O-P. Persistent Sexual Dysfunction after Discontinuation of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). J Sex Med. 2008; 5:227-33. ^ Goldmeier D, Leiblum SR. Persistent genital arousal in women - a new syndrome entity Int J STD & AIDS 2006; 17:215-6. PMID 16595040. ^ Goldmeier D, Bell C, Richardson D. Withdrawal of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may cause increased atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and persistent sexual arousal in women? J Sex Med. 2006;3:376. PMID 16490037. ^ Leiblum SR, Goldmeier D.Persistent genital arousal disorder in women: case reports of association with anti-depressant usage and withdrawal.J Sex Marital Ther. 2008;34:150-9 PMID 18224549. ^ Adson DE, Kotlyar M. Premature ejaculation associated with citalopram withdrawal. Ann Pharmacother. 2003;37:1804-6. PMID 14632589. ^ Hines RN, Adams J, Buck GM, Faber W, Holson JF, Jacobson SW, Keszler M, McMartin K, Segraves RT, Singer LT, Sipes IG, Williams PL. NTP-CERHR Expert panel report on the reproductive and developmental toxicity of fluoxetine.NIH Publication No. 05-4471. 2004;1-211. ^ Maciag D, Simpson KL, Coppinger D, Lu Y, Wang Y, Lin RC, Paul IA. Neonatal Antidepressant Exposure has Lasting Effects on Behavior and Serotonin Circuitry. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006;31:47-57. PMID 16012532. ^ de Jong TR, Snaphaan LJ, Pattij T, Veening JG, Waldinger MD, Cools AR, Olivier B. Effects of chronic treatment with fluvoxamine and paroxetine during adolescence on serotonin-related behavior in adult male rats. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2006;16:39-48. PMID 16107310. ^ Maciag D, Coppinger D, Paul IA. Evidence that the deficit in sexual behavior in adult rats neonatally exposed to citalopram is a consequence of 5-HT(1) receptor stimulation during development. Brain Res. 2006;1125:171-5. PMID 17101120. ^ Hansen HH, Mikkelsen JD. Long-term effects on serotonin transporter mRNA expression of chronic neonatal exposure to a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Eur J Pharmacol. 1998;352:307-15. PMID 9716368. ^ Raap DK, Garcia F, Muma NA, Wolf WA, Battaglia G, van de Kar LD. Sustained desensitization of hypothalamic 5-Hydroxytryptamine1A receptors after discontinuation of fluoxetine: inhibited neuroendocrine responses to 8-hydroxy-2-(Dipropylamino)Tetralin in the absence of changes in Gi/o/z proteins. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1999;288:561-7. PMID 9918559. ^ Faure C, Ouissame MF, Nasser H. Long-term adaptive changes induced by serotonergic antidepressant drugs. Expert Rev Neurother. 2006;6:235-45. PMID 16466303. ^ Palotas M, Palotas A, Puskas LG, Kitajka K, Pakaski M, Janka Z, Molnar J, Penke B, Kalman J. Gene expression profile analysis of the rat cortex following treatment with imipramine and citalopram. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2004;7:401-13. 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Histone modifications at gene promoter regions in rat hippocampus after acute and chronic electroconvulsive seizures. J Neurosci. 2004;24:5603-10. PMID 15201333. ^ Cohen AJ. Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction Associated with Low Serum Free Testosterone. Psychiatry Online 1999. ^ Tanrikut C, Schlegel PN. Antidepressant-associated changes in semen parameters. Urology. 2007;69:185.e5-7. PMID 17270655. ^ Szyf M. Toward a Discipline of Pharmacoepigenomics. Current Pharmacogenomics 2004;2:357-377. ^ Lacasse JR, Leo J. Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature. PLoS Medicine 2005;2:e392. ^ Moncrieff J, Cohen D. Do Antidepressants Cure or Create Abnormal Brain States? PLoS Medicine 2006;3:e240. ^ Damsa C, Bumb A, Bianchi-Demicheli F, Vidailhet P, Sterck R, Andreoli A, Beyenburg S. "Dopamine-dependent" side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a clinical review. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;65:1064-8. 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  19. Sex Med Rev. 2017 Oct;5(4):429-433. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 Jun 20. Sexual Consequences of Post-SSRI Syndrome. Reisman Y1. Abstract at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28642048 INTRODUCTION: Sexual dysfunctions are well-known side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use. Altered libido, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, ejaculatory disorders, and orgasmic problems are frequently reported by patients treated with SSRIs. Moreover, these antidepressant-emergent sexual dysfunctions do not always resolve after discontinuation of the medication and can persist indefinitely. These complaints are termed post-SSRI sexual dysfunctions (PSSD). AIM: To examine the existence of this clinical entity, possible theoretical mechanisms, possible risk factors, and possible treatment modalities. METHODS: Through literature research and clinical experience, the available information about PSSD is reviewed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Summary of the current literature with insights into possible causes and management options. RESULTS: There are some indications that antidepressant-emergent sexual dysfunctions do not always resolve after discontinuation of the medication and can persist indefinitely in some individuals. Although some or all sexual side effects that start with the use of SSRIs might continue after stopping the medication, other sexual complaints can develop. Decreased capacity to experience sexual pleasure is the most frequent characteristic of this syndrome. CONCLUSION: The research and understanding of PSSD remain limited and not well understood; however, the data support the existence of PSSD, which can have a substantial effect on the quality of life of these patients. More research is warranted to show the cause and possible mechanisms of PSSD that could lead to the correct diagnosis and treatment. Reisman Y. Sexual Consequences of Post-SSRI Syndrome. Sex Med Rev 2017;5:429-433.
  20. Sex Med Rev. 2018 Jan;6(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.07.002. Epub 2017 Aug 1. Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction: A Literature Review. Bala A1, Nguyen HMT1, Hellstrom WJG2. Abstract at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28778697 INTRODUCTION: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a widely used class of drug. Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) is a condition in which patients continue to have sexual side effects after discontinuation of SSRI use. The prevalence of persistent sexual side effects after discontinuing SSRIs is unknown. The recognition and study of PSSD will increase our knowledge base of this underreported and distressing condition. AIM: To provide coverage of the current literature on PSSD, update information on the pathophysiology of PSSD, and discuss potential management options. METHODS: Comprehensive review of literature pertaining to PSSD. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The symptoms, classification, pathophysiology, diagnostic considerations, and management of PSSD were reviewed. RESULTS: Common PSSD symptoms include genital anesthesia, pleasure-less or weak orgasm, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation. Different theories have been proposed to explain the pathophysiology of PSSD: epigenetic gene expression theory, cytochrome actions, dopamine-serotonin interactions, proopiomelanocortin and melanocortin effects, serotonin neurotoxicity, downregulation of 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A, and hormonal changes in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The diagnosis of PSSD is achieved by excluding all other etiologies of sexual dysfunction. Treating PSSD is challenging, and many strategies have been suggested and tried, including serotonergic antagonists and dopaminergic agonists. There is still no definitive treatment for PSSD. Low-power laser irradiation and phototherapy have shown some promising results. CONCLUSION: PSSD is a debilitating condition that adversely affects quality of life. Further studies are warranted to investigate the prevalence, pathophysiology, and treatment of PSSD. Bala A, Nguyen HMT, Hellstrom WJG. Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction: A Literature Review. Sex Med Rev 2018;6:29-34.
  21. I'm tappering off Cymbalta after starting it on december 2015. I didn't realize until it was too late, but while on cymbalta I lost the ability to feel, so i decided to quit I tought it coulnd't get worse, but now that I´m tappering I feeling even less, I guess that´s part of the withdrawal
  22. Hello. Altostrata I saw your clip on the youtube where you talked about your experience with the medication. I took one week medication Paxil and It did completely destroyed me.. when I stopped taking this medication I felt so bad and did not know what was happening to me .. then I went to a lot of doctors first with a neurologist who prescribed it and Of course he did not know anything about why I felt so bad... I was doing a lot of analysis and review at doctor, and everything was fine ... even the magnetic resonance of the head, but still I felt so sick.... When I stopped the drug I had a bad concentration, bad memory, forgetfulness, bad sleep, poor libido, poor erection, muscles I do not feel always, Im tired, I can not get muscle inflammation after I exercise, I dont have passion for some things It simply destroyed myself - That drug. I spent so much time try to descover how to reverse this condition and every time i hit wall... the time can only help. I took it for one week, and now its past 5 yrs i feel the same ..im having same symptopms when I stopped that drug? Is it possible that im damaged for life? Please Altostrata, can you tell me this... After 9 yrs did you recover fully in sence that your memory, concentration, muscles and libido is as good as it was before you took that drug?
  23. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
  24. Hi all, I'm at a complete loss regarding my situation so I'll start from the beginning. During the summer of 2016 around july I began taking Sertraline 20mg for what I would now describe as mild anxiety, when struggling with initial sides of increased anxiety and sudden insomnia my doctor prescribed me flupentixol which I then took with the sertraline for around 3 months and then went cold turkey on due to severe drowsiness. I continued the sertraline for around 9 months before going cold turkey. I'm so confused regarding my situation because in order to cope with the insomnia I also smoked weed every night whilst taking it to help me sleep which seemed to work wonders. Even after dropping the sertraline I continued smoking weed in order to help me sleep. I had actually never smoked weed prior to this insomnia (I was 26 BTW) and it was a friend's suggestion. Anyway I attempted to quit smoking several times last year after dropping the ssri but noticed an extreme feeling of anxiety at all times whenever I did and and inability to sleep until early hours of the morning. This pattern went on until early this year where I smoked once again before bed internally praying that I would be able to stop somehow. That night and for the next month I suffered the most extreme anxiety attacks I never thought possible, which definitly helped me to cut the weed permanantly. The strange thing is, ever since then I have experienced various symptoms associated with withdrawal which are, Extreme rage/anxiety/depression constantly alternating. Headaches sometimes unbearable migraines. Horrendous restlessness which after reading some accounts on this site I think is akathisia. Burning and aching throughout my body. Extreme hatred towards family and friends which comes and goes. Blurred vison Awful digestive problems (burping nonstop everyday, diarrhea and constipation and bleeding. Bloating Brain fog feels as though someone has hold of my brain smothering it. Vibrating in my ears. Sometimes I spend the entire day crying uncontrollably with anguish twisting my hands and feet with worry and anxiety. Muscles twitching all day and almost zero appetite. I guess my question is, Can withdrawal sometimes take a year to fully manifest? because the weed aswell as cbd oil seemed to keep the anxiety and insomnia at bay then suddenly almost a year after dropping the sertraline I developed all these mental and physical symptoms. Or is there something else wrong with me because I've had cameras in me, been to three different doctors and various homeopaths and they say everything seems fine when it clearly isn't. I've lost my job my friends three stones and it feels as if I've lost control over my entire body and mind. Someone please help lol. I have many other symptoms to an extreme degree but I've actually lost track of everything I'm going through. Still sane though I think.(hope)
  25. NOTE: This topic has been merged with a very similar one posted in the Tapering discussion, so there is some duplication of post subject matter. ~Jemima Hello everyone, I am currently tapering off of Zoloft, 25mgs, after a very short time of taking it [7 weeks] due to the fact that I do not like the emotional numbing it causes. I love to feel a range and depth of emotions. My taper plan is half a pill for 2 weeks, than a quarter of a pill for another two weeks, and then completely stopping. I don't really have a pill cutter to taper more slowly, although I have considered slowing the taper. My withdrawal so far has included emotional breakdowns [can not stop crying due to the thought of being emotionally numb forever], and increased anxiety, which I am on Ativan for. I hope that I am not emotionally numb forever...I'm scared of never being able to feel again. I start crying because I fear that all of my senses will be reduced forever and I will live in a world without color. I am going to begin day 6 of the taper today...currently at half a pill or about 11.5 mgs...wish me luck.. theelt712
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