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On 20/08/2015 at 2:33 PM, Karenna said:

Hi Altostrata,


I have been really doing a lot of reading and searching for information about PGAD. Also sometimes referred to as Restless Genital Syndrome.


My PGAD..... I'm pretty sure started within maybe two weeks of stopping the Celexa. I hadn't ever heard of it before....so, at first I thought that my libido was back after being suppressed on the drug. But, it was constant and there was no relief. I started doing searches on the Internet for 'unusually strong sex drive' and stuff like that.

That's when I learned it was, most likely, due to stopping the antidepressant.

My experience with it is not exactly the same as what I have read. According to my research PGAD symptoms that many women get are actually painful.....especially in the area of the clitoris. I never was in 'pain'. I also never had spontaneous orgasms at all.....except while sleeping.

My symptoms were a very, very intense need to be relieved of what seemed to be genital arousal. But, no matter how many orgasms I would experience.....and I am telling you---- I would have near 50 sometimes within an hour. I was never satisfied or relieved from the extremely acute arousal. It was so stressful to my mind and body....I just couldn't relax at all. It was like a horrible restlessness that could not be calmed down. I was so distracted all the time ....all day with this horrible sense of arousal. And it had nothing really to do with wanting sex. Something was seriously wonky between my nerve endings in my brain associated with sexual arousal.

For me.......it was mostly a very intense arousal deep inside the ******....like it could never be satisfied.

The only relief that helped was when I fell asleep. I take Xanax sometimes and that helped just to relax me a little tiny bit. Later on, fairly vigorous exercise seemed to quiet the unwanted arousal temporarily.

Some symptoms that I had along with the PGAD were typical of withdrawal----like extreme agitation, irritability. The inability to relax my mind and body went hand in hand with my PGAD. I was very restless and could not concentrate during these times.

It really was quite unbearable. Always there and I couldn't relax or concentrate. It was so hard to find something to get my mind off of it. Just a terrible, terrible experience. I was thinking of trying the TENS machine. I was considering numbing creams.

I think that coffee and stress aggravated the PGAD.

I am Leary of taking too many vitamin supplements because I suspect that some may aggravate the PGAD. Lately I stick to just Fish Oil once a day and I take vitamin D, vitamin C, and Magnesium a couple times a week.



After a couple of months...I started to get hours of relief a few days a week. Then, I would get half a day and then a whole day sometimes.

Usually it would be fine in the morning but then within an hour of awakening....it would start again. Very, very deep and very, very intense and I would have many, many orgasms without it going away. Can you imagine having 25-50 orgasms within a very short period of time and still being able to have more but still not be rid of the excruciatingly stressful, tense need for the arousal to go away. Just horrible. I don't think people understand it until it happens to them. Before Celexa, I would have a few orgasms and be very content. While on Celexa...I could not achieve orgasm....and I took this drug for many years. I can only imagine what happened to the neurons, connections, nerve endings and receptors in my brain once the Celexa left my body after 10 years.


Anyway.....I started having two-three days in a row without the PGAD. It was just glorious to be free! I was so happy. But, it would come back now and then and I just had to get through it....praying for it to be very temporary.


Right now it comes on, maybe once a week and it is substantially less intense. I loathe it even when it is more muted. I am praying that it just continues to dissipate as time goes by.....maybe not in a perfectly linear way.....but, I have hope that it will, eventually be completely gone. Today was a great day and most days are now as far as the PGAD is concerned.


Are you experiencing some PGAD yourself? Even though it is a terrible disorder....I am quite fascinated by it for some reason. Something in the brain is misfiring.....or nerve endings are waking up......it's complex. I was basically completely anorgasmic while on Celexa. Before the drugs, I had a very normal, healthy orgasm situation...being relieved of all sexual tension and build up.

If my PGAD did not improve....I feel like I would have really been in trouble.....I mean, it was unbearable.


I feel so badly for anyone dealing with this. I pray that more research can be done to help those that have not recovered from it.

Sorry for the long response and/or if I gave too much info.

Thanks for your interest in my experience....I hope you are feeling well right now.


Hi Kareena,

Thank you for posting, I am a month in of discovering I also have PGAD, it started once I tapered to a miniscule amount of citropram & now its been 3 weeks since I stopped but my PGAD symptoms are really debilitating & I'm glad its getting better for you, which gives me hope.



Edited by ChessieCat
Added quote before moving to create Intro
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hetha,


Welcome to SA.


If your PGAD started as you got lower on your citalopram it is most likely a withdrawal symptom from tapering too quickly.  SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This is because taking a psychiatric drug changes our brain and we become physiologically dependent on them, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.  If we take the drug away too quickly we get withdrawal symptoms.  You may be experiencing other withdrawal symptoms which you haven't associated with reducing/getting off the drug.  Please see the link to symptoms list below.


You might find that reinstating a very small amount of the drug would bring your withdrawal symptom/s to a bearable level.  Please read Post #1 of the reinstatement topic (link below) and let us know if you would like to try reinstating the drug.  Once we have details about your previous doses we can suggest a small amount for you to try.


We ask all members to create a drug signature.  This appears below every post you make.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  This is the preferred format which makes it easier for us to see your drug history at a glance:


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

Keep Notes on Paper


Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  


It is a good idea to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope


There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.


This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.


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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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Hetha,


I also got PGAD while starting and stopping an SSRI last year.  I got PGAD from Sertraline in May last year. I have been off sertraline for 10 months now and my PGAD is getting a bit better.  I hope you are getting better and don't hesitate to share your story with us on this forum. We are a lot who got PGAD and many of us recovered but it took time. We can understand what you are going though. If you type PGAD in the search window at the top of the page, you can find our stories. 


Take good care 


- From January 4th 2017 to April 17th 2017:  1 Xanax 0.25 mg in January, replaced by 1 Lyxansia 10 mg in February, replaced by 1 Bromazepam 6 mg a day  in March then back to 1 Xanax 0.25 mg  in April. Every pill was stopped cold turkey.

- April 17th (Easter Monday) started  Sertraline 50.  Xanax 0.25 mg  stopped cold turkey. 

- April 17th to May 4th 1 Sertraline 50, a 25 dose in the morning, a 25 dose at night and half a Zopiclone 7.5 at night

- May 4th  Reduced to 1 Sertraline  25.

-June 1st to June 8th.Tappering off Sertraline every 2 days for a week and put on 1 Risperidone 1 mg a day.June 8th Sertraline 25 replaced by 1 Anafranil 25mg, 1 Risperidone 1 mg a day and 1 zoplicone 7.5 at night, a week later, the Anafranil 25mg and Risperidone 1g was stopped cold turkey and replaced by 1 Xanax 0.25 mg 3 times a day. Since  June 17th : 1 Xanax 0.25 mg 3 times a day and 1 zoplicone 7.5 at night. Other medications  from June 1st to June 15th : Augmentin antibiotics, Chorticoid tablets,  Lanzoprazole, Toviaz. Symptoms : tremors, shaking ,suicidal thoughts, smell and light sensitivity, hyperacusis, floaters, earworms, akathisia, high pitched tinnitus, PGAD.








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