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Slimpenguin: PSSD & brain fog after antidepressants and thyroid meds


slimpenguin

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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).

September 2012 - November 2012: Citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. Penis becomes slightly numb for first time.

January 2013 - June 2013: Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian(amisulpride), Wellbutrin, Lamictal. Each taken separately, during a very short time. They have no effect on me, but penis is still numb from the 2 initial S(N)RIs.

August 2013 - December 2013: Iproniazid (an old french MAOI). Penile numbness worsens.

April 2014 - June 2014: Armour (mix of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones), although I had no thyroid problem. PSSD got a hell of a lot worse within a few pills, and continued even after discontinuation of Armour.

July 2014 - Today: waiting for PSSD to go away, but no sign of getting better. Brain fog is the most annoying effect, followed by weak libido and numb penis/scrotum.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi SlimPenguin,

 

Welcome to SA.  I'm sorry about the problems you have ended up with but unfortunately from what I have read around this site it is not uncommon.

 

It would be helpful if you could put your drug history in your signature.  This will give the context of drugs, doses and dates.

 

I can't comment on the thyroid medication side effects, and you have not given a date when you started them.  However, the worsening of your PSSD could be from withdrawal of the previous ADs.  Please see  Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) how long does it last?

 

This is a very supportive community and there is plenty of information contained in this site.  Ask any questions you have in this Topic (click Follow this Topic top right) and use it as a journal of your progress.

 

Someone should be along soon who may have some suggestions.  CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hi slim,

There is a study on PSSD about to take place. It would be important for you and everyone that you enrolled but the deadline ends on the 8th of January: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9674-take-part-in-new-post-ssri-sexual-dysfunction-pssd-study/

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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Hi SlimPenguin,

 

Welcome to SA.  I'm sorry about the problems you have ended up with but unfortunately from what I have read around this site it is not uncommon.

 

It would be helpful if you could put your drug history in your signature.  This will give the context of drugs, doses and dates.

 

I can't comment on the thyroid medication side effects, and you have not given a date when you started them.  However, the worsening of your PSSD could be from withdrawal of the previous ADs.  Please see  Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) how long does it last?

 

This is a very supportive community and there is plenty of information contained in this site.  Ask any questions you have in this Topic (click Follow this Topic top right) and use it as a journal of your progress.

 

Someone should be along soon who may have some suggestions.  CC

Thanks.

 

I updated my signature to summarize my medication history. I only took thyroid hormones for a period of 6 weeks, starting in april 2014. Since then PSSD has gotten a hell of a lot worse, so I believe there's a link.

September 2012 - November 2012: Citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. Penis becomes slightly numb for first time.

January 2013 - June 2013: Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian(amisulpride), Wellbutrin, Lamictal. Each taken separately, during a very short time. They have no effect on me, but penis is still numb from the 2 initial S(N)RIs.

August 2013 - December 2013: Iproniazid (an old french MAOI). Penile numbness worsens.

April 2014 - June 2014: Armour (mix of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones), although I had no thyroid problem. PSSD got a hell of a lot worse within a few pills, and continued even after discontinuation of Armour.

July 2014 - Today: waiting for PSSD to go away, but no sign of getting better. Brain fog is the most annoying effect, followed by weak libido and numb penis/scrotum.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Slimpenguin , thanks for doing your signature.

 

I see your focus is largely on your sexual function , yet you mention a bunch of other

symptoms consistent with protracted ssri withdrawal as well.

 

" 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"

"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."

" Brain fog is the most annoying effect"

 

 

The experience of many on this forum in a similar situation is that symptoms continue to

resolve over time , and it's most likely that they will for you too.

 

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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  • 8 months later...

Man, yours and mine is the same story. The only difference being my testosterone is 165ng/dl.

I also dropped out of my MBA from a very presrigious university. Agter cold turkey withdrawal from SSRIs, I took so,e height increasing supplement which had messed me up to this day.

You can read my story "is this due to SSRIs?"

2009-2014 Prozac 20mg and Fluvoxamine 100mg (with many instances of cold turkey stopping of the drugs)

2014 last cold turkey withdrawal of Prozac 20mg in January

2014 onwards to this date 10.09.2017 (when I last got off cold turkey in 2014 January, one month later I overdosed on Ayurvedic Height increasing supplement and heavily overdosed on L-Arginine/L-Orthinine capsules ordered from Growthflexvpro.com , after this till this date my whole brain cehmistry has changed with acute sexual dysfunction (testosterone below 200ng/dl), severe cognitive dysfunction (and I was Maths topper in my graduation), complete emotional anhedonia)

Met with a pyschaitrist soon after taking the capsules like 5 months later in August 2014. He prescribed Escitalopram Oxalate 20mg and told me that this will resolve the issues ! And stupidly took them till May 2017.

Currently medication free but issues as mentioned above have been persistent.

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Hi!

 

How much did you take Armour daily? Armour and other thyroid medications affect CNS too and from my experience they can make you really wired if you take even little too much.

 

Take care!

 

R

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's now been over 2 years since I stopped taking any meds. No improvement in the sexual department: my penis is still semi-numb, and my libido close to unnoticeable. It has allowed me to abstain from masturbation for 7 months in a row, and I don't miss it.

 

As much as I would like to recover, I'm no longer bugged by my PSSD. I've learned to let go of the things I cannot control, and focus instead on the things I can have an impact on. A life of rumination is no way to live. I've learned to be OK with the prospect of never experiencing enjoyable sex for the rest of my life. Whether it actually turns out this way or not, only time will tell.

 

It's easy to become obsessed with the things that you lack, forgetting that there are many enjoyable things in your life that you take for granted. I spend more time outside, in nature. I make it a point to avoid screens for too long. I create new goals for myself, I make sure I sleep well, I exercise, and I eat right. I've also started meditating.

 

PSSD and depression have forced me to look at my life to analyze which junk activities should be removed from my daily routine, and replaced with new ones. My lifestyle has never been healthier than it currently is.

 

 

Hi!

 

How much did you take Armour daily? Armour and other thyroid medications affect CNS too and from my experience they can make you really wired if you take even little too much.

 

Take care!

 

R

60mg for 3 weeks, then bumped it to 90mg for 3 weeks. Something along those lines. It's been a long time since I quit.

September 2012 - November 2012: Citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. Penis becomes slightly numb for first time.

January 2013 - June 2013: Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian(amisulpride), Wellbutrin, Lamictal. Each taken separately, during a very short time. They have no effect on me, but penis is still numb from the 2 initial S(N)RIs.

August 2013 - December 2013: Iproniazid (an old french MAOI). Penile numbness worsens.

April 2014 - June 2014: Armour (mix of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones), although I had no thyroid problem. PSSD got a hell of a lot worse within a few pills, and continued even after discontinuation of Armour.

July 2014 - Today: waiting for PSSD to go away, but no sign of getting better. Brain fog is the most annoying effect, followed by weak libido and numb penis/scrotum.

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Do you feel that anhedonia has alleviated?

 

 

 

It's easy to become obsessed with the things that you lack, forgetting that there are many enjoyable things in your life that you take for granted. I spend more time outside, in nature. I make it a point to avoid screens for too long. I create new goals for myself, I make sure I sleep well, I exercise, and I eat right. I've also started meditating.

 

This all sounds to me that your anhedonia has started to alleviate!! 

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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Do you feel that anhedonia has alleviated?

 

 

 

It's easy to become obsessed with the things that you lack, forgetting that there are many enjoyable things in your life that you take for granted. I spend more time outside, in nature. I make it a point to avoid screens for too long. I create new goals for myself, I make sure I sleep well, I exercise, and I eat right. I've also started meditating.

 

This all sounds to me that your anhedonia has started to alleviate!! 

Yea it's definitely not as bad as it used to be. I believe it's connected to the lifestyle changes I've made. I used to spend way too much time indoors, watching youtube/TV, browsing the internet, playing with my phone, eating sugary stuff... When I got rid of all that instant gratification, I started getting more accustomed to "natural rewards" for my brain. So yea, I do find myself able to appreciate some of the simpler things in life.

September 2012 - November 2012: Citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. Penis becomes slightly numb for first time.

January 2013 - June 2013: Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian(amisulpride), Wellbutrin, Lamictal. Each taken separately, during a very short time. They have no effect on me, but penis is still numb from the 2 initial S(N)RIs.

August 2013 - December 2013: Iproniazid (an old french MAOI). Penile numbness worsens.

April 2014 - June 2014: Armour (mix of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones), although I had no thyroid problem. PSSD got a hell of a lot worse within a few pills, and continued even after discontinuation of Armour.

July 2014 - Today: waiting for PSSD to go away, but no sign of getting better. Brain fog is the most annoying effect, followed by weak libido and numb penis/scrotum.

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Yep, sometimes healing happens and we just don't notice it since we just keep thinking of what is still missing. You are on your way! 

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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  • 1 year later...

How are you doing now slimpenguin?

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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  • 1 month later...

@slimpenguin hope yourre better today slim

2015june psyc ward due to psychosis

10 days 10mg zyprexa. stopped cold turkey. side effects were blinking eyes, eyes shut down by themself when going to sleep, restless,hunger. I had natural sleep (6hrs) before zyprexa. Slept exact 8hours with zyprexa.

 

2015july one month after cold turkey(had own sleep during this time exact 8hours every night, felt like zyprexa sleep even though i didnt take it) I lost my sleep over a night and it never came back. 0hours for 7-10days before I had to reinstate zyprexa on 5mg first 2days 10mg 1week 5mg 1week and then stopped CT. maybe also had 7.5 and 2.5 some days dont remember.

 

2015sept/october 3weeks Nitrazepam 1w Theralen build of sleep

 

2016may psyc ward psychoziz. Trilafon injection Immovan 3weekz

 

2016june 1week theralen had some extra sleep but realised its just pushing problem forward i guess

 

2019 Ive now been medicine free for almost 2.5 years (I think last Trilafon injection was 2016 October) and still not fully recovered. I believe my overdose on Zyprexa (20mg + injection) did most damage. 

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  • 6 months later...

2015june psyc ward due to psychosis

10 days 10mg zyprexa. stopped cold turkey. side effects were blinking eyes, eyes shut down by themself when going to sleep, restless,hunger. I had natural sleep (6hrs) before zyprexa. Slept exact 8hours with zyprexa.

 

2015july one month after cold turkey(had own sleep during this time exact 8hours every night, felt like zyprexa sleep even though i didnt take it) I lost my sleep over a night and it never came back. 0hours for 7-10days before I had to reinstate zyprexa on 5mg first 2days 10mg 1week 5mg 1week and then stopped CT. maybe also had 7.5 and 2.5 some days dont remember.

 

2015sept/october 3weeks Nitrazepam 1w Theralen build of sleep

 

2016may psyc ward psychoziz. Trilafon injection Immovan 3weekz

 

2016june 1week theralen had some extra sleep but realised its just pushing problem forward i guess

 

2019 Ive now been medicine free for almost 2.5 years (I think last Trilafon injection was 2016 October) and still not fully recovered. I believe my overdose on Zyprexa (20mg + injection) did most damage. 

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