Jump to content
roxy65

roxy65: PSSD after Lexapro - so scared

Recommended Posts

roxy65

Hi everyone.

 

Long story short, I lost someone close to me and was having a difficult time dealing w/ the grief. Went to my GP who prescribed Lexapro. I only took a small dose for 3 months. Like immediately, my genitals went numb, especially my clitoris area. I dealt with it for a while because my doctor said it should get better with time. When I realized it wasn't improving at all, I came off of it, tapering fairly quickly. Fortunately for me, I didn't experience withdrawal symptoms. Then again, I didn't really experience much improvement in depression anyway. I suspect I was never depressed. Just sad.

 

I expected the sexual numbness, no libido, and lack of orgasm/very weak orgasm to improve upon stopping but I am 4 months out with very little improvement.

 

I feel like vaginally, I'm less numb but it's as though my clitoris isn't even there still. I can climax with my BF but it takes so much time (and A LOT of pressure ... feels like I'm wearing like 2 layers of clothing over that area is the best way I can describe it!) A lot of times I seriously just fake it. It's so discouraging. I feel bad for him because our sex life has totally changed. I was a very sexual person prior to this. I could orgasm very easily and quickly and had so much sensation. I hate to say it, but I don't even feel as attracted to him as I used to. I mean I am, but overall, I'm just so much less sexual and sensual now.

 

I'm angry at myself for taking the Lexapro. I wish I could've been strong enough to not even mention it to my GP. I replay that scenario a lot in my mind.

 

Of course, I've read a lot of horror stories about PSSD, so I'm very scared that this will be permanent for me. I did come across some of Altostrata's posts though, which were very comforting.  In my research I haven't come across as many women's stories, so it was refreshing.

 

Overall I am doing much better emotionally now-  that's the annoying thing. Like I feel like I probably never needed the stupid Lexapro in the first place, but here I am with these lingering effects from it. 

 

I would appreciate any hope or encouragement because this whole thing keeps me awake some nights, as much as I hate to admit that. I just feel like it stole a part of who I am.

 

I should add that I also have Lupus and worry that that complicates my recovery further. I don't know though.

 

Thanks for listening. I wish everyone well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
roxy65
Posted (edited)

Topic title:  Lexapro / Prozac PSSD

 

Hi everyone.

 

Long story short, I lost someone close to me and was having a difficult time dealing w/ the grief. Went to my GP who prescribed Lexapro. I only took a small dose for 3 months (though I did also take Prozac for a short time as well). Like immediately,  my pelvic region went numb and I had sexual dysfunction. I dealt with it for a while because my doctor said it should get better with time. When I realized it wasn't improving at all, I came off of it, tapering fairly quickly. Fortunately for me, I didn't experience withdrawal symptoms. Then again, I didn't really experience much improvement in depression anyway. I suspect I was never depressed. Just sad.

 

I expected the sexual numbness, no libido, and lack of orgasm/very weak orgasm to improve upon stopping but I am 4 months out with very little improvement.

 

I was a very sexual person prior to this. I could orgasm very easily and quickly and had so much sensation. I hate to say it, but I don't even feel as attracted to him as I used to. I mean I am, but overall, I'm just so much less sexual and sensual now.

 

I'm angry at myself for taking the Lexapro. I wish I could've been strong enough to not even mention it to my GP. I replay that scenario a lot in my mind.

 

Overall I am doing much better emotionally now-  that's the annoying thing. Like I feel like I probably never needed the stupid Lexapro in the first place, but here I am with these lingering effects from it. 

 

I should add that I also have Lupus and worry that that complicates my recovery further. I don't know though.

 

Thanks for listening. I wish everyone well.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Welcome, roxy.

 

I am sorry you are experiencing PSSD from Lexapro. The good news is you have some sensation. Most likely, full sensation will come back very gradually and unevenly over many months.

 

Please see

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

"Is it always going to be like this?"

 

The importance of recognizing you're feeling good

 

How did you go off Lexapro? Did you have withdrawal symptoms? How long did they last?

 

You will need to be patient and keep your body healthy, with regular moderate exercise, fresh veggies and fruits, and regular sleep. You should assume your nervous system is still somewhat fragile from going off Lexapro. Taking it and going off it was a big change for your body.

Share this post


Link to post
laydefish

Welcome to the Group!

 

Share this post


Link to post
roxy65

 

On 7/11/2019 at 3:21 PM, Altostrata said:

 

On 7/11/2019 at 3:21 PM, Altostrata said:

How did you go off Lexapro? Did you have withdrawal symptoms? How long did they last?

 

 

 

Thanks so much for the info. I went off fairly quickly, but I was only on 5 mg for 1 month, then 2.5 mg for the second, so it wasn't a difficult withdrawal. In fact, I didn't notice any withdrawal symptoms. Immediately prior to the Lexapro I took Prozac 2.5mg for about 2 weeks. I tapered off of that easily too because the dose was so small. My main reason for coming off of the Prozac was the genital numbness & emotional numbness, which my doctor felt would improve on Lexapro. However, both of those symptoms worsened instead of improving.

 

That's when I decided I wanted to be done with SSRIs for good. It's difficult to say which of these drugs caused the long-lasting PSSD effects for me. I guess it's possible that the Prozac started it and the addition of the Lexapro didn't help matters, or maybe it was the Prozac by itself.

 Very soon after weaning off of Lexapro, my emotions normalized. I was able to experience anxiety and sadness fully again. I didn't experience any other withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately though, it's the sexual dysfunction and numbness that has persisted.

 

Thank you for the encouraging tips. This has definitely motivated me to lead a healthier lifestyle. My diet is better than ever.  I do need to increase my exercise though. I'm tired a lot due to chronic illness.

I have read about windows, and I do think I experience them sexually. I notice that some days I think that things are improving and then they take a turn for the worse. Is this what happened for you as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

As with withdrawal symptoms in general, the post-discontinuation sexual dysfunction seems to improve very gradually in the waves and windows pattern.

Share this post


Link to post
LaughingKat

Hi, @roxy65. Others hear know much more than I do about this but I want to say, please don't be hard on yourself for taking what your doctor prescribed. You were having a hard time and you believed your doctor would help you and act in your best interests. That's the way it should be! 

 

I have been on SSRIs twice in my life and each time my orgasms immediately went away. When my anxiety was acute, I was willing to make that tradeoff, even though what the drug did was only numb my emotions too. But I needed some relief at the time. Later I became angry that doctors and the pharmaceutical industry think it's OK to deprive people (women) of one of the great pleasures of life, that that is an acceptable side effect. The system is very inhumane. 

 

Good luck to you.

Share this post


Link to post
roxy65

Thanks so much @LaughingKat. You're right. I'm not sure why I'm so hard on myself about it. I guess it's partly because I had concerns but told myself I was overreacting. I feel like I should've trusted my gut. You're right though - we aren't doctors, and they have the responsibility to do what's right for us and inform us of the facts, and clearly they're not doing that in this case.

@Altostrata if you don't mind me asking - did you have waves where you were completely numb all over again? Like back to square one. Then a window where you felt like things were improving a lot. I guess what I'm asking is how bad do the waves get for most people?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

I had a lot of other withdrawal symptoms that were more worrisome; waves and windows were more apparent with them. My PSSD improved very slowly over 3 or 4 years, not so much with waves and windows but with transient occasions where I felt more normal sensation than the usual total anesthesia.

 

Your PSSD sounds less severe than what I experienced.

Share this post


Link to post
roxy65

So discouraged right now. Very bad week for me with almost complete genital numbness. Trying to remind myself to stay calm and not blame myself for this but I just feel so upset that this has happened to me. I have Lupus and have dealt with so much loss in my life due to it, and to lose something that used to be such a great part of my life like this feels so cruel. 

 

Guess I'm just in a bad wave but it's hard not to feel like it's permanent.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

I've moved your new topic to an existing topic: 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Also see this post and the link quoted: 

 

On 8/19/2011 at 8:44 AM, Altostrata said:

Many people experience overpowering or disturbing emotions while tapering and as part of withdrawal syndrome.

 

Many of the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome arise from autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The distressed nervous system itself can generate intense uncomfortable feelings -- see Neuro emotions

 

Share this post


Link to post
roxy65

Thank you. That is very helpful. I was hoping to have conversations about it with people though. 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy