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Spruce30: asking for advice on PSSD


Spruce30

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Hi, i am new to surviving antidepressants and have just recently joined. I have been free from SSRI since 20th January 2009 (almost 8 years free), and i have been free from benzodiazepines (diazepam) since 17th May 2015 (almost 18 months). I live a fairly healthy lifestyle and dont drink or smoke, and i have a fairly healthy diet and get regular exercise. I am 31 years old.

 

I went through a long taper coming off diazepam which took about 4 years to get to where i jumped off, and i was on benzodiazepines from 2006- 2015, so about 9 years. I first took an SSRI (for OCD) in November of 2007 (citalopram) which i was on for about 3 weeks. I then took fluvoxamine for about 5 months in 2008, and briefly took citalopram for a second time in January of 2009.

 

When i first took an SSRI in November of 2007 the main thing i noticed was that it stopped my ability to feel pleasure when i orgasmed, totally wiped my sex drive, and made my genitals feel numb. When i came off citalopram these effects never went away. I then went on to try fluvoxamine which i didnt feel affected me sexually. I then stupidly took citalopram again in January 2009 (for about 2-3 weeks) and it even further lowered my libido, and also caused severe premature ejaculation. I had been taking lorazepam for about a year before i originally took citalopram in 2007 , and this never seemed to affect me sexually either.

 

After coming off all SSRI's my sexual symptoms did not resolve, and after a while i became quite concerned. I ended up googling about why my sexual functioning may not have returned, and learnt to my horror about PSSD. To cut a long story short i went back to my psychiatrist with information on PSSD which he refused to read, and he was adament that my sexual problems weren't caused by past use of SSRI. Over the years i have spent quite a lot of time going to doctors trying to get help for this problem, but none of them seem to take it seriously, and i have been left very frustrated by the disbelieving attitude by the medical establishment about PSSD.

 

I became very depressed after reading about the bleak prospect of recovery, and i often thought of suicide.

 

About 15 months after stopping all SSRI, my premature ejaculation completely resolved, and i noticed very small improvements in my libido. These improvements went on for about another year, but they were nothing special. A while after this i decided to get off the benzos and swapped from lorazepam to diazepam to taper, as diazepam had a longer half life. When i started taking the diazepam one thing i noticed was that the diazepam seemed to stop the small improvements in libido, and it also caused erectile dysfunction (something SSRI's hadn't caused). I kind of accepted from then on that my sexual problems may have been partly caused by benzos, and continued to taper.

 

It took me four years to taper benzos, and i jumped off about 18 months ago as already mentioned. Since getting off benzos (and therefore all psychiatric drugs) i have noticed definite improvement in orgasm, sensitivity in my genitals, and in my libido. Although it is great that i have noticed these improvements, they are only small improvements and my sex drive and other sexual issues are far from how they were before i took psychiatric drugs. Also these improvements last for a number of days (sometimes up to 10 days), and then seem to completely vanish, only to come back again at another time.

 

There were a few questions i wanted to ask people on here. I am not sure how much of my current sexual problems are caused by my past use of SSRI, and how much is caused by the benzos (which i do feel also affected me sexually). I appreciate that there may be no definite answers to my questions, but here goes anyhow.

 

Do you think i can make a full recovery (with the sexual stuff) to how i was before taking psychiatric drugs?

 

Do most people end up fully recovering from PSSD, or is it often permanent?

 

Are the small but noticeable improvements a good sign that things will continue to heal, or are they not a good indicator of healing or that i will eventually recover?

 

Why do the improvements seem to come for a while and then completely vanish and my genitals feel numb and my sex drive is non existant? Does it matter that the improvements keep vanishing?

 

When the improvements vanish i often feel pessimistic about the future and feel i will never heal. When the improvements are around i feel i might eventually heal and feel more positive about the future. Is this common?

 

Since coming off the benzodiazepines 18 months ago i had a few other withdrawal symptoms which have almost completely recovered at about the 16 month mark. The only thing that has been so slow to heal is the sexual stuff. Is this a sign that this is the only thing that wont heal?

 

Sometimes i get perioids where i have a lot of improvements (long windows) and short waves (when the improvements vanish). This can go on for a few months. Then i can have times where i will have a massive wave for like a whole month, and no improvements for that whole month. There seems to be no pattern to it. Is this normal?

 

Finally should i worry if a wave seems to last for a long time? Sometimes when the improvements vanish for a long time i feel i am going backwards, and that any possible healing is being reversed etc.

 

Sorry there are so many questions, its just the thought of the sexual stuff never healing really scares me. I dont think i could live out the rest of my life not being able to enjoy sex.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Spruce30 -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
 
I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

Small but noticeable improvements are a hopeful sign with any withdrawal symptom.

 

There is little predictable about waves of symptoms and windows of feeling better. You can read more about that in
The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization

Sadly few people are given enough information about adverse effects and about withdrawal to say that they gave informed consent to taking the meds. We have only one topic about PSSD. In it you'll find links to other sites and online groups that support people around PSSD specifically:
Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD)

There are a few men here discussing PSSD in their intro threads. They have posted in the condition/symptom specific thread above and are likely to post in your thread to cheer and commiserate with you. To find others dealing with PSSD, google the site using the search terms
PSSD introduction site:survivingantidepressants.org

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hi Spruce. To be blunt, I think the chance of a full recovery is slim, but I do think you could make further improvements. This is just my opinion and it is coloured by the fact that I also have long lasting withdrawal symptoms. The ups and downs you experience seem to be just part of the condition. Most likely your brain can't regulate levels of neurotransmitters properly and so different environmental variables have an effect on your symptoms (diet, stress, exercises...etc). I don't think it means you are getting any better or worse.

 

The one thing I think you should try is Vitamin D. It helps to regulate brain neurotransmitters. Many people are deficient and even in those not damaged by an SSRI it can improve sex drive. In the past when I have taken it I experienced some periods of hyper sexuality which was very strange after years of PSSD. Be careful though because I also had some increase in anxiety, so make sure you take a low dose at first and wait for few days to see how you feel.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Wow, well this has made me feel better, NOT. I went over to the pssd forum and the general consensus over there is that if you have PSSD you are unlikely to recover, and are pretty much doomed. After reading about all of this i am having thoughts of suicide again. I thought there might be a chance i might one day recover and be able to have a normal sex life. Thanks for setting me straight.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Spruce,

 

I can understand your concern but this is what I posted elsewhere recently:

 

TheWayfarer's comment:  "From my research many people who have experienced this never fully recovered or at-least they never claimed a full recovery."

 

and my response:  It could be that ones who post are the ones who continue to have issues.  We have a similar thing here at SA where it can be hard to find successful withdrawal recovery stories because people who heal no longer need the support of this forum.  Once they have the information about tapering and things are going well they no longer need to be here and go on about their lives.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here is an SA link:  for-those-who-are-feeling-desperate-or-suicidal

 

Here is a UK link:  http://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/suicide.php

 

Scroll down the page and see under the heading:  Agencies which provide support and information

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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Thanks for your reply chessie cat, it has restored a bit of hope in me. I do think that maybe you are right that the people who recover may disappear from these forums, wanting to put the whole thing behind them. I also can see that it might be true that the more severe cases could be the ones to stick around on the forum, giving a bad impression on the prospect of recovery. Can anyone else reply giving me some hope that i can eventually recover from PSSD. Are there a lot of people that recover from PSSD?

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It was not my intent to leave you discouraged or worse, in despair. I'm very sorry that happened. I appreciate you letting me know that the attitude and outlook of people on another site was not helpful.

 

Was it our topic?

If yes, we could edit the first post to remind readers of the "response bias" in online sites -- those who recover are less likely to post.

If not, which site or group was it?  If you tell us we can either delete our link to it or add a cautionary note to the link about what they'll find.

 

People can and do recover, Spruce. It's so unfortunate that nobody really knows how long it will take for a given person to recover or what can be done to facilitate recovery.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator

Hi Spruce--  Welcome to SA.

 

PSSD is a very hot button topic for a number of people here who have very strong negative views on the subject. We do however, have a number of not so vocal members who have made nearly full recoveries from PSSD.  They drop in from time to time to give support to newer members and keep us updated. You're right in thinking that those who have recovered have moved on, so aren't here to talk about it.  Moving on is a major part of recovery from AD usage and all it's side effects and symptoms.

 

One downside to forums such as SA is that it is very easy to find the negative cases and latch on to them.  One of the hallmarks of ADWD and in fact some of us view it as a symptom, is to seek out negative reinforcement and believe it above all else.  As in life in general one negative act will over shadow ten or more positive ones.  A positive out look about a positive outcome is essential to a speedy and complete recovery. 

 

I wish you a speedy recovery.

 

Brassmonkey

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Hi,

thanks scallywag and brass monkey. I am not sure if you actually gave me the link scally wag, but the site i was refering to was the site pssdforum. There is a lot of negativity there with a lot of people in despair saying that this is a permant thing RE PSSD, and that there is little hope of recovery. While i understand people feeling despondant after years of not healing, it isn't what you want to hear when you are trying to stay positive and hopeful that you will one day recover. I think all of this is affecting me worse than usual as i am going through a particularly bad wave at the moment where my symptoms are worse than usual, and i often feel more distressed and pessimistic about healing when this happens. I do take on board that people who recover might not come back to report their recovery, but it can be difficult to bear that in mind when a lot of what you hear is people many years out with little improvement. I still cant wrap my head around how ignorant the medical community is to PSSD, it is such a horrible condition, and people often have to suffer it in isolation because the doctors etc are so ignorant.

 

I suppose i wanted to ask is healing and recovery the norm for PSSD, or is it the exception? Is that surviving antidepressants view on PSSD, that healing from PSSD is the norm? The consensus at benzo buddies is that almost everyone who is going through benzodiazepine withdrawal eventually recover given enough time. I wanted to see if this is also true of PSSD? It seems to me that people seem to recover less from protracted withdrawals from antidepressants, compared to benzodiazepines. This is what it seems like to me from looking if people are recovering from benzodiazepines compared to antidepressants. Maybe i am wrong.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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Hey Spruce30,

 

I also had what I consider to be PSSD type symptoms after tapering off a similar SSRI. The acute phase, first 3 months off, were terrible. Numbness and zero sex drive. Things have gradually gotten better. I'm 14 months off now. No more numbness and drive is improving. 

The road is long, but healing is happening all the time. Are you on any medications right now that could be affecting your progress? I also believe that exercise is key for PSSD recovery. Do what you can, and gradually increase the intensity as you recover. 

Celexa 10 mg ( approx 5 years), reduced to 5mg (approx 10 years). Prescribed for anxiety and panic. Started tapering July 2015-2.5 mg for a month, then 2.5 every other day. Kept tapering until October when I took my last crumb.  Almost 4 years drug free and WD symptoms are evolving constantly. Some improved, some new. 

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Wow, well this has made me feel better, NOT. I went over to the pssd forum and the general consensus over there is that if you have PSSD you are unlikely to recover, and are pretty much doomed. After reading about all of this i am having thoughts of suicide again. I thought there might be a chance i might one day recover and be able to have a normal sex life. Thanks for setting me straight.

 

How much sleep do you get a night though? Have you had a sleep study? If you aren't sleeping adequately, erectile dysfunction is guaranteed. 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

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Hi Spruce, sorry I didn't mean to make you feel hopeless or suicidal. I just gave my honest view on it but as I said it is clearly influenced by my own situation. I made significant improvements going from almost complete numbness to now being partially functional, I just don't know if a complete 100% recovery is possible for me. I have read about some guys recovering after several years who claim to be 100% normal again but I don't know how common that is. So it is possible, but it would be misleading for me to say it's a certainty.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

Mimi11; i am not on any medication whatsoever, but my neighbour has been smoking a lot of heroin downstairs and it has been giving me some symptoms, and yes i do feel it has been holding me back a bit (you can get affected, and even mildly addicted to heroin from second hand smoke, florida university did a study on it). I am trying to get re housed. I get lots of exercise, do judo and brazilian jui jitsu 2-4 times a week, and powerlifting about 4 times a week. Can i ask at 14 months how healed do you feel compared to your functioning before you took antidepressants? I.e 30%, 50%, etc.

 

No more AD's; my sleep is quite good, about 8 hours a night. I think healing happens even if you aren't getting much sleep.

 

Andy013; i was wondering how many years you have had PSSD, and how much improvement you have had RE compared to how you used to be before taking Anti depressants. I.e do you feel 30%, 50%, 60% etc of how you used to feel before taking an antidepressant. Also how long did it take you to get to this level of healing? To be honest i think i would almost be satisfied with about 75-80% healing if i could feel horny etc when having sex with a partner.

 

It just seems to me that even though the withdrawal from benzodiazepines is often more unpleasant than the withdrawal from antidepressants, people withdrawing from benzodiazepines seem to make a full recovery more frequently (even if it takes a very long time) compared to people withdrawing from antidepressants. I have been looking on forums like benzo buddies and surviving antidepressants for years, so feel i am in a position where i can say this. Maybe i am wrong though. Do other people find that recovery from antidepressants seems less of a good prognosis compared to say benzodiazepines?

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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I have had PSSD for over 5 years. It's hard to say how much I improved since the beginning. I remember having no sex drive at all and full numbness and that has mostly gotten better, but my sex drive is still lower than normal. It goes up and down though so sometimes it is better than others. It probably took 2-3 years for things to improve to the level they are at now and then they pretty much stayed that way. I think my situation is a little different from most other people with PSSD though. I still have other problems from withdrawal as well and I had a very bad time after going cold turkey. Most people I read about with PSSD, it seems to be their only issue.

 

Also, I have had a few instances where I felt hyper sexual and was super horny for several days. Anytime I felt this way it was always because I had taken vitamin D (or I was sunbathing) and I also found that eating lots of green vegetables at the same time seemed to boost the effects. However these effects only seem to last a short time and then afterwards even if I continue the vitamin D I can't get them back. I've not really seen anyone else who had these effects from vitamin D though so your mileage may vary.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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So do you think you are close to being recovered from your PSSD Djderek?

 

You might have some more healing yet andy013, if you stay off all psychiatric drugs long enough. What % roughly of your former sex drive/function do you feel has returned andy013?

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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Hard to compare to how I felt pre-SSRI. It was a long time ago and a different stage of life. However, the numbness is gone, orgasms are stronger than they were on the SSRI and sex drive is improving. I tend to think that I was hyper-sexual while on the SSRI, so it's really difficult to compare. I feel that things are heading in the right direction though. 

Celexa 10 mg ( approx 5 years), reduced to 5mg (approx 10 years). Prescribed for anxiety and panic. Started tapering July 2015-2.5 mg for a month, then 2.5 every other day. Kept tapering until October when I took my last crumb.  Almost 4 years drug free and WD symptoms are evolving constantly. Some improved, some new. 

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Can i ask how long it took brian and charlie brown to recover if you know Djderek?

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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I am glad you recovered djderek, i bet you are very relieved. Have you any other symptoms left?

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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Yeah I still get angry and sad and depressed and anxious. But I can manage it much better now.

 

Charlie Brown took 7 years, brain took one and a half. But they abstained from all chemicals during recovery.

 

And most importantly, learn how to manage thoughts and stress levels. I remember how bad I was mentally when I had no libido or happiness. Eventually I just started to relax and things started to get better. My outlook and perspective became more suitable for an enjoyable life

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Wow, that is encouraging that people can recover 7 years out. Do you know much about his recovery timeline, i.e did he gradually recover, or did the recovery come out of the blue after 7 years? Also did he fully recover. Sorry so many questions.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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Sorry just realised you said Charlie Brown recovered 100%

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Thanks scallywag, reading his success story made me feel a bit better, and made me feel it might all end one day.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Spruce - there are a number of factors with PSSD to consider.

 

The first is - you are not a teenager anymore.  You are unlikely to reach those hormonal levels of excitement again.

 

A friend and I described the post-serotonin sexual thing as like a door - you go through it - and you are different on the other side.  You will never be the same as before - but that doesn't preclude pleasure, intimacy, and relationships.

 

I would suggest, rather than looking at it as a performance issue - leave it alone, for a year, for 2 years.  I know you are young and probably want to get it on, but in the scheme of a whole life - a year is not that long.

 

Pursue your martial arts, take up dancing, learn a new language or a musical instrument, and leave your genitals alone.  There are nutritional deficiencies which can be caused by the exhaustion of your seminal chi.  Get your zinc tested, consider selenium.  Learn instead, kundalini, to build up the chi, to send it through your whole body, not drain your life force with each orgasm.  When your life is engaged, filled with joy and relationships, your body will follow.  Nurture the big brain, and the little brain will come along in good time.

 

You mention:

I get lots of exercise, do judo and brazilian jui jitsu 2-4 times a week, and powerlifting about 4 times a week. 

 

Powerlifting has been known to deplete testosterone, kill libido.  I don't have evidence for this, other than personal experience with bodybuilding, and how the guys who did the biggest, heaviest weights, and had the largest bulkiest muscles - were the ones least, um, arousable (when I was a young female in the "Pit" I noticed this).  My theory was, that all the sexy hormones went to building those big, solid muscles, and there was nothing left over for sex.  Again, this is just my personal experience, I have no science to back it up, but I have seen many bro-science articles on the web. Consider lighter, circuit style training to keep up your definition, and leave the big muscle "gains" for others - at least for now.  

http://www.criticalbench.com/watch_your_sex_drive.htm

https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/get-your-sexy-back-how-your-workouts-are-crushing-your-libido

 

definitely bro-science, but overtraining can change your hormonal structure.

 

Yoga, on the other hand, produces lots of arousal.  Some say it was designed to produce arousal, to prepare people for tantra yoga.  I dispute that history, but do know that there is a lot of nooky (sometimes scandalous nooky!) going on around yoga studios because it feels so good to be in the body.  There is a lot of strength and flexibility there, and it will help you with your ju jitsu.

 

http://naturallysavvy.com/care/yoga-and-sex 

http://cloudnine.hillarymilesproductions.com/health-self-help/yoga-for-male-libido-enhancement-and-sexual-health/

 

As far as what caused it?  The antidepressants or the benzos?  What about the synergy of both?  I understand the driving need to find out why this happened to you, but really - if it was one, or the other, or both - is that going to help you heal?  At least you learned that ADs and benzos are not a good idea for you (and at least you never took a neuroleptic, or "antipsychotic").  This is ruminating on something which will not ultimately help you, and it is a question that nobody (not even you, who experienced it) knows the answer to.  Let go, you will never know, and you may find that diet or stress or situations contributed to your symptoms, as well.  All you can ever find is "contributions," never "primal causes."

 

Instead look to ways to improve your life.  The first thing a yogi would tell you - is what I have told you.  Fast from your sexuality, ignore it until it cannot be ignored anymore - and then you will know you are healing.

 

I hope this gives you some things to hope for.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Powerlifting increases testosterone jancarol. So because i am not a teenager anymore, even if i do get my sex drive back, it wont be that great. So SSRI's and benzos ruined the best years for me to enjoy sex, and now anything that recovers will be a paltry second best to what i could have enjoyed. Something to look forward to. NOT! I hate that psychiatrist who put me on SSRI's and benzos, he has ruined 9 years of my life and counting.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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I'm sorry, but i didn't think much of your advice jancarol, however well meaning it was.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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  • Moderator Emeritus



Powerlifting increases testosterone jancarol. So because i am not a teenager anymore, even if i do get my sex drive back, it wont be that great. So SSRI's and benzos ruined the best years for me to enjoy sex, and now anything that recovers will be a paltry second best to what i could have enjoyed. Something to look forward to. NOT! I hate that psychiatrist who put me on SSRI's and benzos, he has ruined 9 years of my life and counting.

 

OOPS!  I wanted to clear up any misconceptions on this!!!  Does not matter what age you are for this info!

I am aware of an incorrect statement because I am big into research, and knew that JanCarol pegged it right on the nose regarding libido (and lower T)  from powerlifting (specifically powerlifting!) for many (if not most) men.  It actually makes testosterone levels even worse for men that are also on a low fat diet, that is separate research, but I found that info freely while pulling up/looking for the below links. I found NO research that pointed to the opposite of this, which is VERY rare for me to not find a dissenting opinion somewhere.  I wish it were not true for sure!  Sorry you are having a rough time.

 

"When a man participates in heavy weight training, the levels of testosterone in his body will shoot up — assuming, of course, that this program is appropriate. Do note that overtraining is one of the biggest killers of testosterone, so taking this point too far and doing a very large volume of weight lifting will actually work against you and your testosterone levels"    (bolded by me) This is from a bodybuilding site.

Link: http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_150/197_fitness_tip.html

 

http://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-and-testosterone#1

Page 2, starting with "Overdoing it..."  Written by Schroeder (who has no conflict of interest) confirms the above information but is much more clear.    This comes from WebMD, a good, solid medical site.

 

"Powerlifting. This involves lifting heavy weights. One study I found focused on elite powerlifters and how their testosterone and cortisol levels are influenced by lifting heavy.

And:After exercise, cortisol was increased. As a reminder, cortisol is a catabolic hormone which tears down tissue—is a stress hormone.

Testosterone:On the other hand, testosterone was not increased in the athletes. Hormone levels are complex.

No significant change in testosterone concentrations was observed during the experiment in either men or women, which resulted in a marked decrease in the testosterone/cortisol ratio." (string of text bolded by me)  To get the feel for what they mean read the next comment below, which is more clear.

AND:

"Powerlifters, T. These extremely strong people—powerlifters—did not have an increase of testosterone levels after a meet. Lifting did not directly increase T.

Instead:Their cortisol went up, which made the testosterone/cortisol ratio go down" (my bold)

Link: https://www.stronghealthtips.com/testosterone   This info is based on a study, thought the study is not named.

 

If you would like actual medical studies, they are out there.  I do not have the time to look.  But there are so many web sites out there, all say the same thing about powerlifting, it actually LOWERS testosterone...  Figured you would want the right info!!

 

 

 

Spruce, if you have any fear of Kubdalini yoga, then follow the top link given, by JanCarol which has very basic yoga poses, better yet take a class, as they will make sure you are being safe, just do not overdo it!!  Is supposed to increase blood flow to delicate areas!     

 

Good luck.  I do hope you feel closer to normal sooner rather than later!

Skeeter.                         

Current meds: Lexapro 20mg, Valium 6.25mg
Current status: September 2018 forced to go down to 10mg of Valium/Diazepam from around 15mg, with the plan to have me totally of in 2 more months. I was not given a chance to give input at tapering at this speed, please go much, much slower. Luckily I found a new doctor, but was thrown off course by my rapid taper, as of 2/19 am down to 6.25mg, and am stable. Will update with dates of taper ASAP.
Read my history here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12819-skeeters-journey/

   
I am NOT a doctor. My opinions are just that- MY opinions, based on my personal experiences and research, but your experience and reactions may differ greatly, we are all different! I maintain that a doctor educated in withdrawal is the best place to get info or to get the "go ahead" before changing your medications in any way!

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I used to lift heavy weights when i was a teenager before i took any psychiatric drugs. It never had any affect on my libido, and i had a strong sex drive until i took psychiatric drugs. I have never heard of powerlifting causing men to lose their libidos. Powerlifting does have a slight affect on testosterone levels, but it doesn't have a powerful hormonal effect in the same way many psychiatric drugs do. I dont really believe in chakras, and other things like that which have no scientific basis or evidence for their existence. I also do not overtrain when powerlifting.

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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Focusing on chakras is a form of meditation. Basically your increasing awareness towards certain body regions and improving the mind body connection. Less thought

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I have been off all psychiatric drugs for almost 19 months (i came off diazepam, which was the last psychiatric drug, on 17/05/2015). The only main symptom i have left are sexual issues. I have genital anaesthesia, anorgasmia (pleasureless orgasms), and non existant sex drive. While i have seen definite small improvements in the sexual problems since jumping off diazepam (these improvements come in a windows and waves pattern), my waves also in some ways seem to be getting longer and worse. What i mean is, the consensus that the longer you are off the drugs the better and longer the windows are supposed to get, and the weaker and shorter the waves are supposed to get, just doesn't seem to be happening to me. I keep a symptom journal and monitor my windows and waves. Near the beginning my waves and windows seemed to be a lot shorter (both the windows and waves). Now both my windows and waves seem to have gotten longer, and while my windows seem to have gotten a bit better/ stronger, my waves often seem to have also gotten longer, and are often as bad if not worse, than when i jumped off nearly 19 months ago. My windows and waves just dont seem to be following the pattern they are supposed to that other people report with healing, i.e windows get longer and stronger the longer you are off, and waves get shorter and weaker the longer you are off. Sometimes i feel i am not healing at all. Should i be concerned about this?

Last took an SSRI January 2009.

Last took a benzodiazepine May 2015.

Free from all prescription medication since May 2015.

Everything has mostly healed apart from PSSD which is still very bad, and is my most distressing symptom. Also i have developed some allergy problems/ sensitivities to things in the environment which i believe was possibly caused by the prescription medications (SSRI's and benzos).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Spruce,

 

I have merged your 2 new topics about windows and waves into your Intro/Update topic and into the Symptoms and Self Care forum.

 

Each member has 1 Intro/Update topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  This keeps your history and the responses to questions in one place, which is helpful for the mods, yourself and other members.

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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