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Papers about emotional numbing on psychiatric drugs & after going off


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Ashton, C. H. (2002). Benzodiazepines: How They Work & How to Withdraw (The Ashton Manual). Benzodiazepine Information Coalition. https://www.amazon.com/Benzodiazepines-They-Withdraw-Ashton-Manual-ebook/dp/B07QGNP9BL
Aydemir, E., Aslan, E., & Yazici, M. (2018). SSRI Induced Apathy Syndrome. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 8(2), 63. https://doi.org/10.5455/PBS.20180115111230
Cassels, A. (2021, March 4). A new libido-destroying epidemic? Focus on Victoria. https://www.focusonvictoria.ca/issue-analysis/50/
D’Souza, M. S., & Markou, A. (2010). Neural Substrates of Psychostimulant Withdrawal-Induced Anhedonia. In D. W. Self & J. K. Staley Gottschalk (Eds.), Behavioral Neuroscience of Drug Addiction(pp. 119–178). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/7854_2009_20
Goeldner, C., Lutz, P.-E., Darcq, E., Halter, T., Clesse, D., Ouagazzal, A.-M., & Kieffer, B. L. (2011). Impaired emotional-like behavior and serotonergic function during protracted abstinence from chronic morphine. Biological Psychiatry, 69(3), 236–244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.08.021
Goodwin, G. M., Price, J., De Bodinat, C., & Laredo, J. (2017). Emotional blunting with antidepressant treatments: A survey among depressed patients. Journal of Affective Disorders, 221, 31–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.048
Greenfield, B. (2019, January 3). In recovery—From antidepressants. How patients are helping each other withdraw.Yahoo. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/recovery-antidepressants-patients-helping-withdraw-130646526.html
Hatzigiakoumis, D. S., Martinotti, G., Di Giannantonio, M., & Janiri, L. (2011). Anhedonia and Substance Dependence: Clinical Correlates and Treatment Options. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00010
Heilig, M., Egli, M., Crabbe, J. C., & Becker, H. C. (2010). Acute withdrawal, protracted abstinence and negative affect in alcoholism: Are they linked? Addiction Biology, 15(2), 169–184. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1369-1600.2009.00194.x
Nevels, R. M., Gontkovsky, S. T., & Williams, B. E. (2016). Paroxetine—The Antidepressant from Hell? Probably Not, But Caution Required. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 46(1), 77–104. pubmed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044489/
Opbroek, A., Delgado, P. L., Laukes, C., McGahuey, C., Katsanis, J., Moreno, F. A., & Manber, R. (2002). Emotional blunting associated with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. Do SSRIs inhibit emotional responses? The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 5(2), 147–151. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145702002870
Price, J., Cole, V., & Goodwin, G. M. (2009). Emotional side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: Qualitative study. The British Journal of Psychiatry: The Journal of Mental Science, 195(3), 211–217. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.108.051110
Puścian, A., Winiarski, M., Łęski, S., Charzewski, Ł., Nikolaev, T., Borowska, J., Dzik, J. M., Bijata, M., Lipp, H., Dziembowska, M., & Knapska, E. (2020). Chronic fluoxetine treatment impairs motivation and reward learning by affecting neuronal plasticity in the central amygdala. British Journal of Pharmacology, bph.15319. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15319
Read, J., Grigoriu, M., Gee, A., Diggle, J., & Butler, H. (2020). The Positive and Negative Experiences of 342 Antidepressant Users. Community Mental Health Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-019-00535-0
Read, J., & Williams, J. (2018). Adverse Effects of Antidepressants Reported by a Large International Cohort: Emotional Blunting, Suicidality, and Withdrawal Effects. Current Drug Safety, 13(3), 176–186. https://doi.org/10.2174/1574886313666180605095130
Rütgen, M., Pletti, C., Tik, M., Kraus, C., Pfabigan, D. M., Sladky, R., Klöbl, M., Woletz, M., Vanicek, T., Windischberger, C., Lanzenberger, R., & Lamm, C. (2019). Antidepressant treatment, not depression, leads to reductions in behavioral and neural responses to pain empathy. Translational Psychiatry, 9(1), 164. online. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0496-4
Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). SSRI-Induced Indifference. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 7(10), 14–18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989833/

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Papers about emotional numbing on psychiatric drugs & after going off
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  • 9 months later...
  • Mentor
On 5/8/2021 at 5:16 PM, Altostrata said:

Paroxetine—The Antidepressant from Hell? Probably Not, But Caution Required.


"Probably not."


Yes, Paroxetine is the antidepressant from hell. 

Like Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, all of them.


When I first got into antipsychiatry I used to be extremely angry. 


Now I understand why most people talking about these things tend to be more moderate, sometimes acting like these substances are kind of harmful but mostly ok...


It's so doctors will listen and not see us as some insane internet people.

It's so we can actually make a difference on this situation.


I now understand the need for moderation and calmness when talking about psychiatric drugs.

Even though we know these substances have the capacity to utterly destroy human existence for those who take them.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.


"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/16/2022 at 8:48 AM, Yesyes123 said:

It's so doctors will listen and not see us as some insane internet people.

It's so we can actually make a difference on this situation.

Yes I want to be heard

Current: Bupropion 450mg, Neurontin 800mg, Klonopin 0.5mg


July 2020: started Cogentin 1mg, Lamictal 50mg, Zoloft 150mg, Zyprexa 5mg (+5mg as needed), Klonopin 0.5mg

November 2020: stopped all meds cold-turkey

February 2021: started Latuda 60mg, Lithium 300mg, Melatonin 5mg, Protonix 40mg, Topamax 25mg

2 weeks later: stopped Topamax, increased Lithium 900mg, started Klonopin 1mg, Lexapro 20mg, Neurontin 400mg

April 2021: started Bupropion 150mg, Revia ?mg

May 2021: stopped ReviaProtonixLexaproincreased Neurontin 800mg, started Celexa 10mg

August 2021: decreased Celexa 5mg (stopped Celexa 2 weeks later), increased Bupropion 300mg

September 2021: increased Latuda 80mg

October 2021: decreased Lithium 600mg for 4 daysLithium 300mg for 4 daysstopped LithiumLatuda

     increased Bupropion 450mg, started Remeron 15mg, decreased Remeron 7.5mg, stopped Remeron

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  • 10 months later...
  • Mentor

from Paroxetine—The Antidepressant from Hell? Probably Not, But Caution Required.




Many SSRI users complain of apathy, lack of motivation, emotional numbness, feelings of detachment, and indifference described as a flatness or not caring much anymore. All SSRIs, SNRIs, and serotonergic TCAs can cause thymoanesthesia to varying degrees, especially at high doses





and this is supposed to be better than the supposed "depression" they were "diagnosed" with and given these drugs to treat?


according to the DSM-5 these are the symptoms of depression (emphasis mine)

he DSM-5 outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.

  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.

  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.

  4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).

  5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.

  6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.

  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.

  8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition.



ADs are  no better than drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs, which do basically the same thing- they don't significantly change how you feel (nor why you feel that way) they just  make is so you don't care any more


How is this a good thing?

depression doesn't (usually, in my opinion) arise out of nowhere- it's related to life stressors/circumstance and/or negative thought patterns.


how can you change or deal with those things if you don't care?




  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". felt ok til  Sept, then acute WD hit!!  reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well, age 62 (total of 42 yrs on psych meds) 
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content
  • Aug  2022❤️ loving life  ❤️  age 66 - and things just keep getting better! 
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