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roxy65: PSSD after Lexapro - so scared


roxy65

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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.

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to roxy65: PSSD after Lexapro - so scared

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
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  • Administrator

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.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Welcome to the Group!

 

2 years Drug History Prior to Tapering:

Between 2011 & 2018 I had approximately 58 dose changes between the 4 main medications I took as well as 14 new medications add & taken away.

Prozac (Fluoxetine):(Aug 2016-Dec 2016: 60MG),(June 2017-Nov 2017: 60MG),(Dec 2017: 80MG),(June 2017-Sept 2 2018: 60MG),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 5 2018: 40MG),(Sept 6 2018-Sept 8 2018: 20MG),(Sept 9 2018: 0MG).

Cymbalta:(Jan 2017-May 2017: 60MG).

Cyclobenzaprine: (Aug 2016: 30MG,(Feb 2017: 30MG).

Diazepam (Valium):(Aug 2016-Sept 15 2016: 30MG),(Sept 16 2016-Oct 2017: 15MG),(Nov 2017-Aug 19 2018: 6MG),(Aug 20 2018: 0MG).

Gabapentin:(Aug 2016-Aug 3 2018: 2400MG),(Aug 4 2018-March 26 2019: 2000MG),(March 27 2019-March 30 2019: 1600MG),(May 1 2019: 2000MG)

Hydrocodone:(Aug 2016-Oct 2016: 10-325/4daily),(Nov 2016-Feb 2017: 10-325/3daily),(March 2017-April 2017: 5-325/4daily),(May 2017-April 2018: 10-325/3daily),(June 2018-Aug 25 2018: 10-325/5daily),(Aug 26 2018-Sept 2 2018: 4.5daily),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 10 2018: 10-325/4daily),(Sept 11 2018-Sept 18 2018: 10-325/3daily),(Sept 19 2018-May 1 2019: 10-325/3.5 daily).

Oxycodone: May 2018: 10-325MG/4daily). 

Please see my Intro for full drug history.

         **Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing What You Didn't Know Before You Knew It!  -Maya Angelou/

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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?

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  • Administrator

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

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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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.

LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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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?

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  • Administrator

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.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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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.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved your post to the existing topic:  pssd-post-ssri-sexual-dysfunction

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

  

1 hour ago, Courtrose said:

Were you reinstated and back on the pills when you started to regain sexual function ? I didn't get these problems until I quit. I have since reinstated and am wondering if I can expect the sex problems to clear up eventually. 

 

Roxy, please create your drug signature so that members can see your drug history when you post.  Thank you.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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