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Winter2: Genital anaesthesia and emotional blunting after citalopram - effects of ginkgo and weed on recovery


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Hi there,


I'm glad I've found this site, hopefully it will help awareness of this issue so that real progress can be made.


I suffered mild depression for a few years, but never had any sexual issues. After having a pretty short stint on citalopram (around 8 weeks) I got concerned by the complete genital anaesthesia and tapered off. I'm now 11 weeks post and have barely seen any improvement. This is coupled with the kind of emotional blunting a lot of people have talked about. I'm no longer able to feel sad in the same way as I previously did, but neither can I experience emotional or physical ecstasy - I'm kind of stuck in this middle range without any physical or emotional extremes. Blunted.


Three weeks ago I started taking Ginkgo Biloba, 240mg daily. I took it for five days, and from day 1 I experienced noticeable improvements in both physical sensation and my emotional experiences. Then, on day 5, I smoked some weed (which used to act as a real sexual stimulant for me), and the effects of the ginkgo all but diminished. I've continued to take it daily (and not smoked any more since), but the initial effects it was having are pretty much non-existent. I'm just wondering if anyone is able to shed any light on this?


I know the body can sometimes react in a strong way initially to a drug before going back to how it was, but it just seems too convenient that this happened exactly when I smoked some weed. My (extremely sketchy) hypothesis is that the citalopram somehow set my brain into a kind of new homeostasis i.e. what was "normal" chemical functioning for my brain changed. My experience, and those of others, tells me that this does not have to be permanent, but I do need to find the right sort of "kick" to push my brain back into its old homeostasis. It appears to me that ginkgo was doing this for me, before somehow being majorly affected by the weed. Currently, my plan is to continue with the ginkgo for about three more weeks to give it a chance (that will have been six weeks in total). If that doesn't work I'm going to try inositol, which some people appear to have had incredible recovery with. I'm just frustrated that I seem to have destroyed what was a steady improvement on the ginkgo, and wondered if anyone here had any advice?



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  • Administrator

Your system has been sensitized by withdrawal. Adding one chemical (ginko) caused it to react one way. Marijuana has a significant on the nervous system. It pushed yours another way.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome winter2,

I merged your post and Alto's reply from the PSSD thread from our symptoms forum. Your own introduction/update thread is the best place for them. You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.


I'm sorry that gingko was helping at first, but then stopped, that often happens with supplements tried for withdrawal symptoms, its been my experience and that of a lot of others here, they work for a while, but then don't. But on the other hand, it may have been the weed which stopped it working as Alto suggested.


Lots of people have tried Marijuana for AD withdrawal, some find it helps, but most find it makes symptoms worse, we have a topic on it here: cannabis, THC or marijuana to ease withdrawal symptoms ...


Funny you should mention inositol, I started reading about it earlier today. Apparently there have been good results for anxiety and OCD when taken in amounts between 12g and 18g, which is a high dose, and probably not something we would recommend here for someone with a sensitized nervous system.


But do add your results to our inositol topic if you do try it: Inositol - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants


I hope the gingko starts helping again soon. Maybe if you took a break from it for a week or two and then started again, it might work again. Time is what usually works best, most people recover over time.


It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:




I'm glad you found us, we are friendly, supportive bunch, its good to have you here.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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PeterSv, have you enrolled in the PSSD study? It officially starts today. If you send an email today maybe they will still accept you.


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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