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johnson: 5htp and PSSD?


johnson

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hi everyone, I have been reading posts on this website for a while and decided it's time to join and tell my story. I was diagnosed with Anxiety, depression at 14. I didn't go on meds till about age 19. I first took Paxil for about 6 months when I was severely depressed then stopped because of the side effects. At that time I wasn't taking it regularly or every day so I didn't have or notice any withdrawal symptoms.

 

I started taking wellbutrin around age 24 for about a year or so from what I remember. I stopped that as well because of the side effects. No withdrawal symptoms from what I remember.

 

Then I read about 5htp(5-Hydroxytryptophan) on the internet. Which was what I thought a "natural" anti depressant. I read that 5htp is a replacement for tryptophan which was no longer sold in Canada or US. I took this for about 4 years and took 100mg a few times a week with food.

 

I remember reading somewhere that this should only be taken short term and not long term. But of course I didn't listen. I recently stopped taking 5htp about 2 months ago.

 

Since then I've had some sleeping problems, headaches and pain in my stomach. But nothing too major.

 

However the main reason I am here is because of PSSD(Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction) if that term even applies with 5htp. I first noticed problems last summer when I met a girl. I had problems with getting an erection hard enough for intercourse. I never thought much of it at the time because I didn't really like her too much.

 

However I met someone I did like about 4 months ago and had the same problem with my erections. I also had problems getting an erection when I masturbated which started about 4 months ago, and was getting delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation and loss of feeling which was a real alarm for me. I wasn't too much into porn when I did masturbate before and just used my thoughts(hot women etc) when I did masturbate. But once I started having problems with my erections I started watching porn thinking that it would help. But it didn't really help that much or if anything made it worse.

 

So I went to the doctor got blood work done, urinalysis and check for low testosterone and he said everything was fine, it's just Psychological. Since I stopped taking 5htp 2 months ago and all supplements my erections have improved somewhat and get the "morning wood" on and off but it's still a big challenge.

 

My question to everyone on here is do you think 5htp can be the cause of my sexual dysfunctions? I've read posts from other members that have had pssd but again that was from taking prescribed anti-depressents and not 5htp? Sorry for the long read and I hope this was the right place to post this. I don't know what else to do. Thank you all for reading.

Edited by scallywag
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Welcome, johnson.

 

5-htp is a serotonergic. We have plenty of evidence that serotonergic drugs, such as Paxil and other SSRIs, frequently cause sexual dysfunction.

 

It could be that your earlier exposure to Paxil and Wellbutrin, although they didn't cause PSSD, made your nervous system sensitive to serotonergic substances.

 

We have a couple of cases of withdrawal syndrome from SAM-e, a supplement that is also serotonergic, so I guess one can have PSSD, too. In withdrawal syndrome and PSSD, nervous system imbalance has been caused by introduction and then withdrawal of a substance that downregulates serotonin receptors.

 

What we see with withdrawal syndrome and PSSD is very gradual improvement over time. Treat your nervous system very gently. Don't try to push it or correct it with drugs. Be patient with your sex life. Take care of your general health: Eat healthy food, avoid junk food, get regular gentle exercise, sleep on a regular schedule. This all helps your nervous system to recover.

 

For other recovery tips, see our Symptoms and Self-care forum.

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

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Hi Alto,

 

Thanks for your reply I appreciate it very much.

I will be patient. I have already been exercising for the last few years.

I made a few changes to my diet and cut out all supplements.

I just wish I knew all this info about 5htp/Anti-Depressants before I ever even took them.

I guess the other thing is I am just looking for answers as to why I have erectile dysfunction at age 30

and my only guess was because of taking 5htp/Anti-Depressants and hoping that was the reason.

And as far as recovery goes, it's difficult when I feel like things are getting better then the

next day things go back to being bad and i'm back to square one.

 

Thanks.

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That's the way our bodies fix themselves, johnson. Try not to get frustrated. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

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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  • 2 months later...

Hi Everyone,

 

This is just an update.

 

It's been almost six months since I stopped taking 5htp and other supplements and I think I can finally say I've made a bit of progress. For those of you who don't know what 5htp is, it's a "supplement" that you can purchase from anywhere without a prescription. I took this thinking it was a natural alternative to taking an anti-depressant without the side effects and it would help to improve my mood because I suffered from depression and anxiety. Here is a link that explains what 5htp is. This supplement was only supposed to be used short-term but I ended up taking it for over 3 years.

http://blog.doctoroz.com/is-this-right-for-you/5-htp-is-this-right-for-you

 

Anyway it's been an extremely difficult time for me as I am certain it has been for all of you here. My main problem was severe sexual dysfunction.

Since I stopped taking this supplement my erections seem to be better though not quite there yet. 2 months after stopping 5htp I also started getting feelings of frequent urination but that has also gotten a bit better but I still have my bad days and am struggling with this daily. I did see my doctor about frequent urination and I went through all the tests and everything came back fine. Which leads my to believe that my nerves or something else got screwed up down there from taking this supplement

 

Two things that have really helped me so far was Alto's message of being patient and giving the body time to heal. The other thing that's helped me is reading the recovery stories.

That's helped me stay positive.

 

I never would have guessed that taking a so called "supplement" 5htp would cause so many problems. I took paxil, wellbutrin/bupropion before this but never for a long period of time. I took 5htp for over 3 years regularly. I know it's not as bad as taking prescribed anti-depressants but I had a lot of symptoms from taking this.

 

The symptoms I've experienced while on and off this were;

 

insomnia,hives,eye twitching, restless legs, frequent urination/tingling sensation (still on going),upset stomach, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, severe sexual dysfunction (still on going), headaches, brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, chills, fatigue, anxiety. Not to mention I didn't really feel any emotion either.

 

I just want everyone to know to exercise caution when taking any supplement.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you so much for posting about your experience with 5HTP. We get lots of inquiries about this supplement and generally recommend against it, especially for people who are still tapering off of antidepressants. It's good to have a first person account of the dangers.

 

That said, I'm glad to hear that you're recovering.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Hi Johnson,

I am one of the members who had the withdrawal reaction from a supplement. In my case it was Sam-e; I thought i was taking something more mild in that it was over the counter too. It is very real! It takes more time than you might expect to endure before you start feeling like things are calming down, but it does happen. I quit cold turkey 10/2011 and still have just the slightest reminders of withdrawal problems here and there, but I'm mostly healed and back to my old self. The brain does heal and the sensitivities do calm down but it takes time. You can do it. There were many days I thought I was going to die... I didn't. It's hard to endure but visiting this board and seeing other people doing their recoveries helps too. You will get there too!

 

R

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Hi Johnson,

I am one of the members who had the withdrawal reaction from a supplement. In my case it was Sam-e; I thought i was taking something more mild in that it was over the counter too. It is very real! It takes more time than you might expect to endure before you start feeling like things are calming down, but it does happen. I quit cold turkey 10/2011 and still have just the slightest reminders of withdrawal problems here and there, but I'm mostly healed and back to my old self. The brain does heal and the sensitivities do calm down but it takes time. You can do it. There were many days I thought I was going to die... I didn't. It's hard to endure but visiting this board and seeing other people doing their recoveries helps too. You will get there too!

 

R

 

Thank you!

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Hi Johnson. I don't really have anything to add to the excellent advice that has already been given here, but if you want to see some pretty convincing research on serotonin and erectile dysfunction, do a search for "Elaine Hull" "male sexual behavior". You seem like a patient person. Give it time. Our bodies can fix most things, if we let them.

Be well,

Ed

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  • 5 months later...

Hi Everyone,

 

Just wanted to give an update. This coming Wednesday November 27 will mark one year since I took my last pill of 5htp.

I stopped taking this 'supplement' Nov 27, 2012 when came across this website.

 

A lot of my symptoms have improved but the main issues I still have are sexual dysfunction and frequent urination. I can say that both have improved but I thought at the one year mark I would be completely healed by now. I guess I just have to give it more time.

 

I visit this site often and it has helped me get through this hell. I never hope I have to go through this again or anyone ever has to go through this for that matter. I still can't believe how long the symptoms last. It's crazy. Especially from taking a 'supplement' for 3 years.

 

I still don't know how I made it through the past year. It's been so damn hard. I thought when my sexual dysfunction issues were at their worst to the point where I couldn't even get an erection at all, I felt as though my life was over. I wouldn't be able to enjoy sex, that I would never be able to find a woman and get married and have a family, like my soul was gone along with my manhood.

Luckily that has improved but still not enough. I still have issues with that. There are times when I feel like things are finally getting better then I have a relapse. It can be depressing.

 

The frequent urination is really tough to deal with. Sitting down at work or even walking around, I have this tight pressure down there and really sensitive throbbing that comes and goes. It's not fun. I go to the bathroom to pee to get some relief but it ends up making things worse. But with this I have good days and bad days. Luckily It's not bad 100 percent of the time like it used to early on during withdrawal.

 

I just want to heal completely and live my life again and enjoy it. Once I get past this I want to find a woman and hopefully settle down and have a family. I am 31 years old most of my friends are either married, have girlfriends and or have kids. Not to mention that my mom is on my case to meet a girl and that my two older brother don't have any kids so I'm probably her last hope for grand kids!

I just really really really want to get on with my life now and live again. This is so tiring. Hopefully I will fully heal soon!!

 

thanks everyone. I wish you all the best and hope you all recover.

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  • 3 months later...

Just an update,

 

It's been 15 months since I took my last pill of 5Htp. I still have issues with frequent urination, sexual dysfunction and now recently neck pain.

At times I feel like I am getting better and recovering but then things get bad again and I am back to square one. I don't know what to do

at this point. I've been to the doctor before and had blood work, testosterone, urinalysis tests that always come back fine. Do I keep waiting for things to improve?

Everyone around me is getting on with their lives, my friends are having kids, getting married moving out etc and I'm stuck here. I don't even have a girlfriend and as much as I would love to be with someone I feel like it wouldn't be a good idea because of what I am going through. I don't know what to do anymore.

I feel like recovery is just around the corner and that voice inside of me is saying it's only a matter of time now before you fully heal, but then things get bad. Maybe I'll wait another few months and see how things are and if they haven't really improved i'll try a men's health clinic? My only fear is that they'll end up saying I'm fine and just end up prescribing me Viagra or something for my sexual dysfunction.

I don't know what do to anymore....

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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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  • Administrator

Those waves and windows can be so frustrating!

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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thanks for dropping by to post updates!

 

I'm sorry things are still not satisfactory but I don't think you have to put your wishes on hold: the right partner will accept you and help you deal with things and they might just improve along the way...

 

I believe you can make it happen ;)

 

best,

bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

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I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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thanks for dropping by to post updates!

 

I'm sorry things are still not satisfactory but I don't think you have to put your wishes on hold: the right partner will accept you and help you deal with things and they might just improve along the way...

 

I believe you can make it happen ;)

 

best,

bubble

 

Thanks for reading my post bubble. I've thought about finding someone for a while now. Definately going to think about it again. Thanks!

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  • 2 months later...

if i have only been taking 5htp for a month, if i stop now (while i'm still tapering off effexor) do you think i will get any withdrawals ? I a'm on 120mg a day

10 years on various anti-depressants

5 years Effexor xr

tappered of 150mg in 6 months

nothing for two weeks

Reinstated 15 beads for 50 days

Tappered off then clean 2-3months

gradually went back up to 13 mg 3 years

bridged fluoxetine 10mg

2 week tapper

1 year clean

reinstated 5ml dispersed fluroxatine for 6months

 

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if i have only been taking 5htp for a month, if i stop now (while i'm still tapering off effexor) do you think i will get any withdrawals ? I a'm on 120mg a day

From what I understand and researched it's not recommended to take 5htp and anti-depressants together. I am not sure to be honest what would happen if you stop taking 5htp while you are still tapering off effexor.

 

If you were taking only 5htp by itself than you would be fine since you've been only taking it for a month. But since you are tapering effexor I am not too sure.

 

Maybe someone else can give you advice on this.

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Cam, I would step down from the 5-HTP at about 25% every 4 days or so. Do not change your Effexor dosage at the same time, you won't know where symptoms are coming from.

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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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone,

 

In my past I had initially thought that I had only taken AD's (Paxil, Wellbutrin, Bupropion) for a period of about a year on and off. But I read an old post of mine on a website forum I used to belong to that I actually took wellbutrin/bupropion for about 3 years(2006-2009). Then after that I went cold turkey and eventually started taking 5htp in 2009. When I went cold turkey I did not have any real major withdrawal problems from what I can remember.

 

I don't really have anything to ask except that I was thinking that maybe my past history of taking Anti-Depressents along with taking 5htp has contributed to my current problems of Erectile Dysfunction and Frequent Urination? When I took Wellbutrin/Bupropion I had some problems with frequent urination at the time but never ED or the other issues I am currently experiencing now. I've been off 5htp since Nov 2012 but I am still experiencing issues with frequent urination, ED and a few other things.

 

I could never really wrap my head around the fact that all the problems I have right now are mainly because of 5htp. Maybe my past history of medication has something to do with this as well?

 

Thanks.

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My guess is it was the drugs, 5-htp being only a minor player.

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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Thanks Alto. I just don't understand that when I took Wellbutrin and got off of it I had never had issues with Erectile Dysfunction. I last took Wellbutrin in 2009. Then I started 5htp in 2009 and started getting Erectile Dysfunction problems in July 2012.

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Maybe it was the 5-htp. We have a number of people here who've had problems with it. It's a lot stronger than people think.

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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Ya. Taking Wellbutrin and 5htp in the past 6 years (3 for Wellbutrin, 3 for 5htp) is probably the reason I am here.

Thanks again for replying Alto. It's been 19 months since I took my last pill.

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 However the main reason I am here is because of PSSD(Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction) if that term even applies with 5htp. I first noticed problems last summer when I met a girl. I had problems with getting an erection hard enough for intercourse. I never thought much of it at the time because I didn't really like her too much. However I met someone I did like about 4 months ago and had the same problem with my erections.

 

I also had problems getting an erection when I masturbated which started about 4 months ago, and was getting delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation and loss of feeling which was a real alarm for me. I wasn't too much into porn when I did masturbate before and just used my thoughts(hot women etc) when I did masturbate.

 

But once I started having problems with my erections I started watching porn thinking that it would help. But it didn't really help that much or if anything made it worse.

 

I'm just throwing this out there as a possibility you may or may not have considered:

 

Is my ED related to my porn use?

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

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 However the main reason I am here is because of PSSD(Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction) if that term even applies with 5htp. I first noticed problems last summer when I met a girl. I had problems with getting an erection hard enough for intercourse. I never thought much of it at the time because I didn't really like her too much. However I met someone I did like about 4 months ago and had the same problem with my erections.

 

I also had problems getting an erection when I masturbated which started about 4 months ago, and was getting delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation and loss of feeling which was a real alarm for me. I wasn't too much into porn when I did masturbate before and just used my thoughts(hot women etc) when I did masturbate.

 

But once I started having problems with my erections I started watching porn thinking that it would help. But it didn't really help that much or if anything made it worse.

 

I'm just throwing this out there as a possibility you may or may not have considered:

 

Is my ED related to my porn use?

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply Petu. Before all of these problems started, I used to be able to masturbate without watching porn. For a while I used to just masturbate on thoughts only and no porn at all and I liked it that way. Then once I started having problems I started watching porn again thinking it would help.

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Hi johnson,

 

I have read your posts off and on since you have been on the site and today I decided to do a little reading on 5HTP and Wellbutrin, just the wiki articles and what Web MD had to say about them. Oddly, wikipedia says that bupropion has the lowest incidence of sexual side effects of all the drugs used to treat 'depression' and in some cases has been prescribed to treat the side effects from SSRI induced sexual dysfunction. But the article on 5HTP says that it has some effect on serotonin and that leads me to believe it may be what caused your problem unless some other cause can be found for your ED (like vascular problems or diabetes or something). If it indeed is the culplrit (and it is not likely you will ever find out if it is, at least as far as studies go), you'll have to not ever take it again nor any other serotonin manipulating drugs. You are obviously sensitive to it and not in a good way and will most likely have to take heart in the fact that people have reported that ssri induced pssd eventually resolves. How long it takes is individual.

 

If you have already read the articles, then forgive me for mentioning them. It did say, however, that long term studies will likely never be done on 5HTP because it is 'unpatentable' meaning 'no cash cow for a drug company'. So whether it really works for depression or not won't be studied in depth as well is if it is harmful long term. And whether there are any antidotes for its effects.

 

I long ago lost any desire for romance, likely due to high doses of cymbalta. And I am afraid to even try. But I am older and to me it doesn't matter. I surmise you are much younger and it is still an important part of you life. I really hope it starts to get better for you.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Hi johnson,

 

I have read your posts off and on since you have been on the site and today I decided to do a little reading on 5HTP and Wellbutrin, just the wiki articles and what Web MD had to say about them. Oddly, wikipedia says that bupropion has the lowest incidence of sexual side effects of all the drugs used to treat 'depression' and in some cases has been prescribed to treat the side effects from SSRI induced sexual dysfunction. But the article on 5HTP says that it has some effect on serotonin and that leads me to believe it may be what caused your problem unless some other cause can be found for your ED (like vascular problems or diabetes or something). If it indeed is the culplrit (and it is not likely you will ever find out if it is, at least as far as studies go), you'll have to not ever take it again nor any other serotonin manipulating drugs. You are obviously sensitive to it and not in a good way and will most likely have to take heart in the fact that people have reported that ssri induced pssd eventually resolves. How long it takes is individual.

 

If you have already read the articles, then forgive me for mentioning them. It did say, however, that long term studies will likely never be done on 5HTP because it is 'unpatentable' meaning 'no cash cow for a drug company'. So whether it really works for depression or not won't be studied in depth as well is if it is harmful long term. And whether there are any antidotes for its effects.

 

I long ago lost any desire for romance, likely due to high doses of cymbalta. And I am afraid to even try. But I am older and to me it doesn't matter. I surmise you are much younger and it is still an important part of you life. I really hope it starts to get better for you.

 

Hi Cymbalta,

 

Thanks for taking the time to write on here. I appreciate it.

I have been to the doctor and had my testosterone levels, prolactin etc checked and everything came back normal. I also had bloodwork done as well and it came back fine. I am about average weight 155lbs about 5'9. I try and keep active and watch my diet. I don't smoke or drink alcohol or do drugs.

 

I definately will not take any pill, supplement, or medication related to increasing serotonin or any drug for that matter ever again unless it's for some life threating reason.

 

I'm still shocked that a supplement such as 5htp which can be found at any pharmacy or health food store that can be purchased without a prescription can do this kind of damage. I read somewhere that one side effect of 5htp is that it can cause problems with libido, erection etc. The funny thing is not every site lists this as a side effect of taking 5htp. I never came across sexual dysfunction as a potential side effect when I was doing my research before taking 5htp. One mistake I made though, is that on the side of the bottle it says to not take this for a period of over three months or take this long term. I chose to take this for 3 years. That is where I fucked up. I think about it all the time. My intention was to take 5htp as a "natural" alternative to Wellbutrin because I didn't want to take drugs to fix my anxiety/depression issues.

 

Sorry for rambling, but to answer your question I just turned 32 years old. I haven't had a girlfriend in years. I really want to find someone and get married and maybe have a family. My friends and family are always on my back about meeting someone and getting married. At this point I don't know how to respond to them anymore. I keep saying that i'm looking and eventually i'll find someone. How do I tell them that I can't be with anyone right now because my penis doesn't work properly or because I constantly feel like I have to go pee (frequent urination)?

 

I've contemplated taking viagra but that would continue the endless cycle of medication. At my age I don't want to even touch. Hopefully I never will. Viagra also causes headaches and frequent urination. Something that I am already struggling with daily.

 

This can't be how life is. I really hope this is temporary.

 

Thanks again for writing here Cymbalta, you don't know how much you posting here means to me. I'm having a really tough time with life now and this helps. I don't know how old you are but I hope you recover fully from whatever sexual problems you have. I know I read here and on other sites of older people recovering from sexual dysfunction. It just took time. I hope you do too. I guess when things are bad it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully we all can see the light someday soon. I'm so tired from all of this. If you ever need support of any kind let me know i'll be here for you as best I can. Thank you.

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You got me thinking about that warning you mentioned about not taking it longer than 3 months. That might be a standard thing for some supplements or it may really be specific for this one. I wonder why it does not readily show up? Seems to me it should regardless of whether you heeded it or not. There had to have been some reason for it to be mentioned.

 

It would be very easy for me to say that if you stop worrying about it it will most likely go away in time. Well, we both know it probably will but the real thing is when? And at a time in your life when you are thinking of settling down and starting a family is not the time to have this problem. I will tell you this, there are some really understanding women in the world that would not cross you off their list because of this. There are ways of getting around performance issues to start families, I am sure you know that. A loving relationship is a loving relationship no matter what kind of sex is involved. You can either wait till it clears up or soldier on in spite of it and see if you can find that good woman. I know they are out there, because I would be one of them.

 

As for me, I'm sadly done with all of that. Had too many heartbreaks due to my own immaturity. Right now my depression is really choking me and I don't know for how long it will continue. Btdt says it is a phase and it will lift. I hope so. I know it is my thoughts that are hurting me but they are relentless and I have a lot of years of regrets running constantly through my mind. I would urge you to try to take your focus off this problem as much as you are able. I really think that is your best chance at getting it to resolve. It is genuine affection between 2 people that is most desirable, the rest is all mechanics. Girls just wanna be loved and taken care of, yes?

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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You got me thinking about that warning you mentioned about not taking it longer than 3 months. That might be a standard thing for some supplements or it may really be specific for this one. I wonder why it does not readily show up? Seems to me it should regardless of whether you heeded it or not. There had to have been some reason for it to be mentioned.

 

It would be very easy for me to say that if you stop worrying about it it will most likely go away in time. Well, we both know it probably will but the real thing is when? And at a time in your life when you are thinking of settling down and starting a family is not the time to have this problem. I will tell you this, there are some really understanding women in the world that would not cross you off their list because of this. There are ways of getting around performance issues to start families, I am sure you know that. A loving relationship is a loving relationship no matter what kind of sex is involved. You can either wait till it clears up or soldier on in spite of it and see if you can find that good woman. I know they are out there, because I would be one of them.

 

As for me, I'm sadly done with all of that. Had too many heartbreaks due to my own immaturity. Right now my depression is really choking me and I don't know for how long it will continue. Btdt says it is a phase and it will lift. I hope so. I know it is my thoughts that are hurting me but they are relentless and I have a lot of years of regrets running constantly through my mind. I would urge you to try to take your focus off this problem as much as you are able. I really think that is your best chance at getting it to resolve. It is genuine affection between 2 people that is most desirable, the rest is all mechanics. Girls just wanna be loved and taken care of, yes?

At times I've been able to stay away from this site and not think about my problems with withdrawal when I get the so called 'windows'. Because with windows I can at least function and get on with my daliy life. However when the symptoms are bad, which they are most of the time it's really hard to not think about this. I try to get on with my life but as you know it's a struggle.

 

I would love to meet a woman that would be understanding to what I'm going through. But I don't know how I can find her. I know there are many women out there just looking for a good guy. My question would be even if I did find one how long would she be willing to wait?

 

I will try my best not to think about this and take a break from this website as much as I can. I think you should try and do the same thing.

How long has it been since you stopped taking Cymbalta? I read your post and noticed you took a few other drugs at well before you went cold turkey.

Again I don't know how old you are but I'm sure someday you would like to be loved and cared for by a significant other? It would feel damn nice don't you think!

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Yes this surely is a struggle for all of us and I know that I do not handle it well at all. I'd like to stay away from the website but I am just hurting so much right now, all of the problems with depression and low self esteem are coming back to haunt me and I can find no solution for them. I am 64 and though it might be comforting to wish for someone to care for me, I know in my heart it won't happen. Over and over I keep seeing how selfish and self centered I still am and people like me don't attract the kind of person I'd like to meet.

 

For you, though, if you do the best you can to get on with your life and just be nice to people, I think you will find that things will eventually improve. You have really only been off the drugs for a short time. The wellbutrin a long time, yes, but it may not have had anything to do with your current problem. Casting about to try to find a pill or a supplement to fix this is likely to backfire again so the best thing to do is wait. That's the hardest, the waiting. Eat right, get plenty of rest, get some enjoyment into your days and be nice to all the women (and everybody else for that matter). Something magical may happen when you least expect it. I pray that for you.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Yes, 5-htp is a serotonergic and this is evidence that increasing serotonin is by no means a sure cure for what ails you.

 

As CW5600 says, while you're healing, find a route to develop your interests and be open to relationships without pressuring yourself with expectations of sexual performance. This situation forces us to be resourceful in ways we've never had to before. Have faith in yourself, you will find something of great value in yourself you didn't know was there.

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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Thank you CW5600 and Alto. Your kind words were really helpful to me these last few days. You don't know how much you've helped.

Sorry if I sound selfish. One thing I have realzed is that I haven't been kind to my self.

Especially when the symptoms get really bad I really start to hate myself. I also need to be more kind

to my family. Thank you both for helping me realize that.

 

I think I am going to wait a bit more until my symptoms calm down before attempting to talk to women and maybe eventually getting a date. Something that did happen the other day at the grocery store, I saw an old girl I knew from high school. She didn't recognize me and I saw her with her two kids and she was probably married. Of course I felt a bit down seeing where her life was compared to mine. But then there was also a song playing on the radio in the grocery store. It's by Nickelback called "gotta be somebody". It's about finding someone in your life, and not finishing last. I listened to this song many times over the years.

You can google the lyrics it's a pretty good song. I'm not religious at all but It's almost as though God was maybe sending some kind of message to me.

 

CW5600 I will pray for you that you find peace, calm and joy in your life. I don't know you obviously but I highly doubt deep down that you are a selfish person. Thank you for thinking of me.

 

Thank you for always replying to me Alto. Considering how many other people there are on this site.

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Hi Johnson,

 

I stumbled upon this thread and I felt like I'm in a similar situation as you.  In my case I blame SAM-e for my sexual dysfunction.  I thought since it was considered "natural", it would be relatively side effect free.  I suppose I was wrong.

 

I had tried a SSRI in the past.  In 2011 I took the SSRI Lexapro 5mg for one day.  I had a terrible reaction too it and had to stop immediately.  I experienced brain zaps for a week, but they went away.  Luckily, I didn't have any lingering side effects from the Lexapro.  I never touched and hopefully never will touch another SSRI ever again.

 

In Fall 2013 I decided to try the supplement SAM-e.  I figured it would be a safe effective way to treat some mild depression.  Apparently SAM-e is known to be fast acting in treating depression. Anyway, I took 400mg-600mg of SAM-e daily for about a week and then stopped because it made me sick to my stomach everytime I took it.  Around the time I stopped the SAM-e I noticed my genitals were numb.  Honestly, I'm still wondering if the SAM-e is what caused it, but doctors have ruled out most everything else it could be.

 

Its been about 10 months now and my penis and testicles are still numb.  Not a tingling numb, but a loss of pleasure sensation numb.  Touching my penis feels the same as touching say my arm.

 

I seen a few stories of people saying they have genital anesthesia from anti-depressants so I guessing maybe thats whats happened to me.  My only guess to my condition is that maybe the SAM-e somehow overloaded me with serotonin and desensitized something in my brain.

 

I would think my libido would be fine if I could feel the old pleasurable zing that I use to could, but now that the zing is gone my libido is low.  My orgasms are still pretty pleasurable thankfully, but they take forever to get because of the lack of sensation.  10 months later and the numbness has not changed.

 

Do you experience this kind of numbness Johnson?  Have your symptoms improved much since they first started?

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Johnson,

 

I stumbled upon this thread and I felt like I'm in a similar situation as you.  In my case I blame SAM-e for my sexual dysfunction.  I thought since it was considered "natural", it would be relatively side effect free.  I suppose I was wrong.

 

I had tried a SSRI in the past.  In 2011 I took the SSRI Lexapro 5mg for one day.  I had a terrible reaction too it and had to stop immediately.  I experienced brain zaps for a week, but they went away.  Luckily, I didn't have any lingering side effects from the Lexapro.  I never touched and hopefully never will touch another SSRI ever again.

 

In Fall 2013 I decided to try the supplement SAM-e.  I figured it would be a safe effective way to treat some mild depression.  Apparently SAM-e is known to be fast acting in treating depression. Anyway, I took 400mg-600mg of SAM-e daily for about a week and then stopped because it made me sick to my stomach everytime I took it.  Around the time I stopped the SAM-e I noticed my genitals were numb.  Honestly, I'm still wondering if the SAM-e is what caused it, but doctors have ruled out most everything else it could be.

 

Its been about 10 months now and my penis and testicles are still numb.  Not a tingling numb, but a loss of pleasure sensation numb.  Touching my penis feels the same as touching say my arm.

 

I seen a few stories of people saying they have genital anesthesia from anti-depressants so I guessing maybe thats whats happened to me.  My only guess to my condition is that maybe the SAM-e somehow overloaded me with serotonin and desensitized something in my brain.

 

I would think my libido would be fine if I could feel the old pleasurable zing that I use to could, but now that the zing is gone my libido is low.  My orgasms are still pretty pleasurable thankfully, but they take forever to get because of the lack of sensation.  10 months later and the numbness has not changed.

 

Do you experience this kind of numbness Johnson?  Have your symptoms improved much since they first started?

Hi Jovo,

 

Thanks for replying any updates on your situation? I definitely experienced numbness early on. But now it's the complete opposite.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to johnson: 5htp and PSSD?

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