Better Times Will Return

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January 4, 2018 | 38 Comments

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  1. It wants to! RE “better times will return”. The last 10 years have been a living hell trapped in a body that cant experience sexual pleasure or desire. The only thing that keeps me going is the thought that “better times will return” and that the PSSD will eventually go away.

    • Spruce, please show the image to all and sundry – the more interest we have ,the more is the likelihood of getting an astounding price for this work of art. The artist has done her bit, I’ve done what I can – now it’s up to all blog readers to do their bit. The one offer we have to date is nowhere near that person’s maximum offer. The only way to maximise this possibility of a very high price here is by finding those who adore the charm of Josie’s work – they are out there aplenty. They merely need a nudge in the direction of the Rxisk Prize Fund by means of having the chance of owning an original piece of work from an artist who has faced “adverse events” in her own life but is now flying in a well-deserved successful career. Despite her success, she is still mindful of the needs of others – be they humans or other sections of the animal kingdom and their environment. Bearing all this in mind, I felt that she fitted the bill exactly as someone whose work would be sympathetic to our needs here – and it most certainly does!

  2. PLEASE NOTE – a new local offer has just been received for the art piece. It is £300 which is 407 dollars. Looking forward to more emails coming in now! Thanks to all of you who may well be spreading the word about this piece already.

  3. Although I am not in financial position to make an offer, I would like to say to the artist that her splendid textile Better Times Will Return will grace the highest bidder’s wall with beauty and hope and bolster the brilliant RxISK prize at the same time.

  4. Linda – comments are extremely welcome from anyone. The present ‘highest offer’ has gone way beyond my wildest dreams – that does NOT mean that I wouldn’t like to see even higher offers of course! Words of encouragement mean a lot – to me, as well as, I’m sure, to Josie. I shall make sure that she is made aware of your comment Linda. Closing date for bids is ONE WEEK away – January 18th.

  5. Mary. I will mention it to as many people as i can. I really hope it gets a high final offer. Anything that aides in finding a cure or raising awareness about PSSD is very worthwhile in my opinion. Great artwork too.

    • Thanks Spruce. I agree that the artwork is stunning. In fact, all who have seen it – actually ‘seen it’ and not just seen the photo – have commented that Josie has really pulled out all the stops for this one. The Welsh idiom (commonly used in Welsh) gave rise to the picture – and they marry so well together; the meaning fits our aims here, so, all in all, everything fits together nicely. I have to admit that when I picked it up from Josie I was so taken aback that I felt that I could never part with it. I secretly yearned for ‘no bids’ – but that was not to be! – and neither was it the purpose of the commission in the first place. Interesting to note that all bids have come from Welsh speakers with no connection to Rxisk. Therefore, Newsletter readers, we now await YOUR offers.

  6. Jan.12…

    Risk Prize is 4 months old and is already dead.
    At this pace it will take more than 10 years to gather the money.
    Big Pharma is selling TENS of THOUSANDS of MILLIONS of dollars every year of antidepressants. If a cure for PSSD could be found they would sell even more antidepressants.
    In 10 years, thousands will kill themselves because of antidepressants, and millions will be chemically castrated…
    It’s a really sad world we live in when we take the red pill…

    Hey D! Tell Prof. Healy to make a 90 minutes documentary on PSSD. It will be much more usefull and honest than a prize impossible to reach.

    Have a nice year. Make an effort to be a more honest person. There’s a lack of it in the world.

    • Daryl

      Long before twitter and facebook, medicine and people in general were reluctant to face up to drug wrecks. I think this is a matter of psychodynamics rather than conspiracy.

      David

  7. Hey guys, just want to check in and say that I am seeing some brilliant emotional and sexual improvements almost 4 years post SSRIs.

    I got PSSD in the Spring of 2014 and I was very emotionally dull and basically sexless for what seemed like forever.

    I felt as if I had no hope of ever returning to a normal, pre PSSD state, but I am now.
    Thank God. Personally, I believe in and follow Jesus but I’m not here to try to convert anyone.

    I was on a very high dose and I cold turkeyed. It’s been years later, but I’m getting better. If it can happen for me, it can happen for anyone. I thought that I was a hopeless case. I suppose everyone going through it feels like that. Your mind is a very powerful thing.

    There is hope. I also spoke to a few people who have recovered from PSSD years later. And 2 doctors who dealt with people who have overcome it. It’s possible. No one is hopeless. No one. Please never give up. The human body and brain are much stronger than SSRIs.

    Please dont despair.

    Also, please remember that a lot of people who overcame PSSD dont post about it. I wasnt going to, as I basically almost forgot to.

    God bless

      • Hi David.

        Honestly, I prayed and prayed. I know, a lot of people will dismiss that but it’s the truth.

        I truly hope that you all get better soon, too

        God bless

        • Lauren, I for one will most certainly NOT dismiss your claim as I, also, but for a very different reason, truly believe in the power of prayer/ personal healing etc.
          It’s another of those things that, unless you’ve personally experienced a near ‘miracle’ directly from the power of prayer, is very difficult to accept or believe.
          I’m sure that you, Lauren, feel, as I do, that there are powers in unseen things but that
          does not mean that we dismiss any other intervention which may support individuals to the same extent. It’s a case of doing what YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH isn’t it.
          I know that using the phrase ‘ mind over matter’ rattles many – but the truth is that ‘miracles’ CAN happen even in these ‘modern’ times. Many will probably say that your problem would have cleared up anyway – that it was a COINCIDENCE that the use of prayer seemed to work. Well, maybe it was – who are we to question things beyond our understanding, to the point of dismissal of the proof as given by you? It hardly matters HOW it has happened – we should rejoice in the fact that it HAS!
          No-one knows the cause of these problems in the first place – therefore no-one should dismiss anyone’s explanation of how their individual healing has happened.
          We are not saying that it’s a ‘one size fits all’ solution – only that we need to understand that complicated matters may well need a whole range of ideas thrown into the mix. Thank you Lauren for being so honest about your healing – it isn’t easy in these modern times to stand up and state that you believe in the ‘unseen’. I’m sure we all wish you the very best of health now.

          • Hi Mary,

            Thanks for your reply. Prayer really does work 🙂
            Having said this, atheists/agnostics have been known to recover too, whether it be with the help of exercise and healthy eating, or a case of the damage reversing itself over time.

            Either way, I believe that everyone can be cured. There are no hopeless cases. Even those who have been off all meds for several years, sometimes more, can heal.

            And yes, the mind is so powerful! Have you ever heard about the shark and the fish tank? Well, I’m not so good at explaining things so here’s an article:
            https://propelsteps.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/story-barriers-are-just-in-our-thoughts-shark-experiment/

            God bless everyone, I hope all is well with ye soon

    • Hi Lauren. You mention you are making stronger progress with PSSD at 4 years post SSRI, and you feel your PSSD is resolving. That is great news, and I hope things continue to improve for you.

      I have a few questions about how your PSSD started to improve, if you don’t mind me asking.

      I have had small improvements in the last few years where things improve for a while, and then the small improvements vanish again, and my genitals go very numb, and my libido is non existent etc. Can I ask is this how it was for you? I.e you had small improvements that then vanished, and then eventually came back again? Also did the smaller improvements slowly get stronger over time until you noticed they weren’t so small anymore, and now you were having bigger improvements etc?

      • Hi Spruce, sorry for the late reply.
        Small improvements are a good thing! It means that your libido isn’t dead, just broken and in need of repair.
        For me, I had small improvements here and there but nothing major. I found that a lot of my symptoms were exacerbated once I discovered PSSD and studied it obsessively. I’m not saying that PSSD doesn’t exist, because it does and it’s beyond frustrating when people deny it’s existence, I’m just saying that it’s not a hopeless case and obsessing over it and overthinking seems to make it worse, therefore hindering healing.

        I find, as a woman, my sex drive mostly revolves around romantic feelings. As in, my sexual desire would stem from my romantic desire. It’s different for everyone of course, but personally that’s how I experience mine.
        It’s odd, but I found myself back to normal when my heart got broken. I missed and desired an ex, and that’s when I knew I was out of this anhedonic hell. I hope that this helps. I have prayed for you in the past and I will keep praying for you.

        • Thanks Lauren for your reply.

          For me PSSD doesnt seem to have much of a psychological aspect, although i do acknowledge that googling and obsessing about PSSD can lead to people feeling more distressed about it etc, and the stress of this might make things worse. The PSSD for me though can be at its worst, whatever mood i seem to be in.

          For me PSSD feels very physical. I.e the numb genitals, anorgasmia, and zero libido happened straight after taking citalopram for the first time, and these symptoms have never gone away.

          You say you felt sexless. Did you mean by this that you had no libido? Did you have any other symptoms like numb genitals or pleasureless orgasms? Finally did your PSSD go on for about 3 years without much improvement, and then sort of resolve fairly quickly in the fourth year, or was it a gradual process over the years?

          Sorry if i ask too many questions, and thanks for praying for me.

          I so desperately want to go back to how i was before i took citalopram. Living with PSSD is like living a half life, compared to the life i had before PSSD. Life is so much better when you can enjoy sex and feel emotions properly.

          • Spruce, my son took Citalopram for over a year before being changed in one fell swoop, onto Venlafaxine. No reason given as far as we know. Then much later, cold turkey off everything including Zopliclone for sleep. He was 32 and didn’t live with us, didn’t discuss his sex life except once, when he visited us and was distraught. He said his partner at the time, an older woman with (we later learnt, after his death) a narcissistic personality disorder, had sent a derogatory text message around all their mutual friends about his prowess one night in her bed. I can still see him banging his head on the wall, saying “I’ve really messed up now Mum, nothing can alter this.” Awful.

            Could it be Spruce that Citalopram messes up certain brain functions/pathways, and like the wiring from a car engine to the controls, the link can be frayed or broken. With some head injury brain problems, (like with Stroke) the brain can be trained to find different pathways to utilise when some are irreparably damaged. Might this be the way to get the sexual feeling back? If we could pinpoint, by scanning or whatever, which pathways are not working, and then find other pathways to circumvent them to do the job they had been doing before Citalopram? Apologies if this sounds ridiculous, but so many people seem to cite Citalopram as being one of the worst culprits for PSSD.

          • Heather I am sorry to hear that your son suffered with sexual problems from the medications, on top of everything else he went through. It is so common, and rarely talked about.

            I too have been humiliated by a few women about my sexual problems since developing PSSD. It can be quite devastating to your self esteem when this happens. I have also had the experience of women being more sympathetic about it as well though.

            The worst experiences I have had on disclosing my sexual problems have not come from romantic partners though, but from doctors.

            About the brain rewiring, and making new circuits to compensate for the damage or changes made by SSRI’s. There might be something in this, and this could be what the brain tries to do after someone develops PSSD.

            I am starting to think that PSSD might be more in the body rather than the brain though, than I previously thought. I am not saying the brain isn’t involved, but I am starting to feel PSSD is more to do with damage or alteration to nerves in the genital area.

            I have had some more improvements that have been slightly stronger these last two months, and every time I get these improvements in my libido and sensitivity, I get mild nerve pains in the top area of my testicles. These pains only happen when I get the improvements. I have had these nerve pains before, but they seem to be getting a bit stronger.

            It is a strange feeling, and it feels like the nerves in my testicle area are trying to connect in some way, and sometimes it almost feels like I am getting a very mild electric jolt. Although it can be slightly unpleasant, it also kind of feels good too, like my body is trying to heal itself.

            Also sometimes when I orgasm (which is mostly muted/ pleasure less) I get a flush of mild nerve pain which is sort of pleasurable flush across an area of my testicles, and it feels like a stronger orgasm is trying to get through, but is being inhibited in some way.

            I am starting to think that if the damage /alteration to the nerves in the genital area can somehow recover, then everything else might fit into place, i.e the libido, numbness, and pleasure less orgasms will all resolve too. Maybe this is too much of a simplistic way of thinking about it, but that is the way it feels to me.

            It feels like to me there is some damage done to the nerves in the genital area that maybe act as a relay between the brain and genitals, or mediate pleasure from the genital area to the brain. It feels like these nerves have been damaged or changed somehow, and the message between the brain and genitals are either not getting through, or are only slightly getting through. It is like the whole sexual circuit has been broken somehow and everything sexually is somehow thrown out of sync because of this. I feel this “break” in the circuit is in the genitals and not so much the brain. I could be wrong, but for someone living with PSSD, this is how it feels for me.

            You mention citalopram seems to be a bad offender when it comes to causing PSSD. I think I agree. I have been around in the PSSD world for a long time, and a lot of people who have developed PSSD, have had it caused by citalopram or its isomer escitalopram. Although all SSRI’s have been known to cause PSSD, I think citalopram and escitalopram are particularly bad for causing it.

          • As an add on from my last post.

            I know Dr Healy has been saying for quite a while that he reckons PSSD is caused more by damage or alteration to the nerves in the genital area, rather than PSSD being more in the brain etc. I was a bit sceptical about this for quite a while, but with the recent improvements co inciding and feeling more connected with the stronger nerve pain type feelings in my testicles, I am starting to think he might be right.

          • Spruce, it is so encouraging to read your recent comments where you feel a slight improvement in your condition. I feel that comments like yours, stating exactly what you are now experiencing must be of great value to anyone who may, at this moment, be working on an idea they may have of a way forward towards a cure. I hope that your ‘improvements’ continue to increase – with which, quite understandably, your whole outlook on this disastrous situation gains momentum too.

  8. PLEASE NOTE – PLEASE NOTE – PLEASE NOTE

    WANTED – MORE BIDDERS!

    Only TWO days left now – THURSDAY will see the end of bidding for the ‘daw eto haul ar fryn’ textile art piece.
    Things seem to have reached a full stop – at £350.
    Please check under you mattresses, in your socks drawer, in that long-forgotten bank account or anywhere else where you may have stashed your cash at some point………just incase you can come up with A FANTASTIC OFFER which will take us all by surprise.
    Please bear in mind that, whoever places the highest bid – the amount will show for THEIR country on the graph, not on mine…….but, as things stand at the moment, Wales is laughing all the way!

  9. I’m very pleased to announce that the bidding has now reached £400. Keep at it – one more day to go! Thanks everybody

  10. Just a quick message to inform everyone that the bidding for the textile art piece has now ended. The winning bid was £400 (554 US dollars). The winning bidder is from North Wales.
    Many thanks to everyone who took an interest in this sale – either by making offers, sending encouraging comments or merely adoring the small picture at the top. Your adoration would be doubled if only you could see it in all its glory, in real life!
    The thanks for that goes to Josie. Thanks for being so willing to take my suggestions and create such an astounding piece of work. I hope that you feel overjoyed by the amount of the winning bid – as I do.
    The bids have been overwhelming – I had expected steps of a few pounds at a time; it hadn’t even entered my head that it might go into the hundreds!
    Thanks also to David for being willing to put it on here for the full two weeks – you can now have your site back David!
    To finish, I just hope that the saying ‘daw eto haul ar fryn’ comes true very, very soon for all who are quietly suffering as they await a breakthrough in dealing with these horrid problems.
    Mary

  11. Taking up Lauren and Mary’s point on prayer, and not dismissing the power of it for a second, could it be that the mind is more amazingly in control of the body than we can possibly imagine. If we really deep down believe in the power of a greater benevolent force than any evil that could befall us, could it be that our cells feel it or feel our optimism, and self heal? This belief thing isn’t something we can manufacture, so it would be entirely wrong to imply that because a cancer sufferer or drug damaged person doesn’t bounce back to good health, it’s their fault for not believing. It’s much more complex than that. I can only say that several times in my life when in a dire situation health wise, I’ve had to trust in this ‘power for good’ because there was nothing else left. Once was when I broke my neck in a car crash and the situation was so ghastly that all I could do was trust and believe. The outcome was so good eventually, after major surgery etc, that instead of being left quadriplegic, which I had been told was inevitable, I walked out of the hospital 3 weeks later, albeit very slowly, and over 4 years got all my feeling back. The houseman doctor told me it had been a miracle. But I didn’t like to say to him, for fear of derision, that I had lain in the bed, visualising the healing of my neck, as I stared up at the while ceiling tiles, unable to move, all day long, and when I couldn’t sleep at night. I felt if I had nothing else, I could at least trust in the power of my mind. And in the protection of the Universe/God/angels/whatever. That’s not to discount the brilliant work of the neuro-surgeon, but even he had warned that the outcome was pretty bleak.
    So, after this and various other examples, I totally agree with Mary and Lauren, and that’s why I feel sure the work DH is enabling with the RxISK prize etc will bear fruit, even though against tremendous human odds, because the aim is purely good, for all mankind.

  12. I agree wholeheartedly with you Heather, about the power of the mind etc. Where the power of prayer seems to differ is that the person who recovers does not necessarily have to be the one who prays. In the incident that strengthened my belief, the patient was in a deep induced coma at the time. Medical opinion was that getting him out of that state was going to be one almighty struggle. That was late on a Saturday night. His sister put the situation out on Facebook and asked all to pray for him; prayers were also offered for his recovery at the church service on the Sunday morning. By noon, the patient was out of the coma and the ICU staff were speechless!
    Of course, there could be many explanations for the sudden recovery – but if it suits me better to believe, that we are all in a ‘plan’ and that such ‘miracles’ can take place, than to doubt absolutely everything that doesn’t have a logical explanation, then that is what I will do – as I find it far less stressful to do so than to dismiss the unexplainable!

  13. I am a woman with pssd for over 4 years without improvements.
    It’s good that Lauren is better off with herself, and also her hope for all us, but I think, because of how she writes, that maybe she did not have real PSSD, but maybe just anhedonia, and lack of libido was a consequence, as she herself said. pssd means that the genitals are no longer horny despite the mental desire, pssd means that the clitoris is dead, no longer responds, is not congested, is anesthetized, pssd means that one wants to masturbate but can not anymore because there underneath nothing “answers”. we talk about physical sensations and not magic little ponies.

  14. I feel it’s a rather dangerous game to start classifying each other’s symptoms or the severity thereof. Far better to group together and be totally supportive of each other. No one can REALLY measure the pain of another person – be it physical or emotional. Surely these conditions will be on a continuum just like so many others?
    Let’s forget about wondering who has suffered the most and get on with supporting the Rxisk Prize Fund in the hope of finding relief for ALL sufferers.

  15. Mary has a good point here.
    Not only does the severity and interpretation of symptoms vary from sufferer to sufferer, but other factors in their lives can add to the burden, so it’s really difficult to see what causes an improvement and what doesn’t. If things are going well generally and there are supportive others around you, who understand and encourage you, things inevitably look more hopeful.

    In our son’s case, RoAccutane-isotretinoin for bad acne followed on from horrible bullying at school because of his skin problems. He was already feeling anxious because of this, just as most acne sufferers do, when first put onto this drug. If the bullying has been intense enough, with no escape from it, you can see how PTSD develops. Then the addition of an SSRI or anti-psychotic can cause a synergistic mini psychosis which fluctuates so doesn’t fit a conventional diagnosis, and may eventually be labelled as ‘attention seeking behaviour’.

    Then, into the mix in our son’s case, (very unluckily) came an older woman who had a narcissistic personality disorder, with all the emotional ups and downs that that entails, she being surrounded by an entourage of ‘flying monkeys’ (a term used to describe friends of the NPD sufferer who endorsed her confusing emotional behaviour on social media) and finally, bowing under the weight of all these factors, particularly when an unsympathetic psychiatrist insisted on his coming off Venlafaxine cold turkey and denied reported side effects, you have the ingredients for suicide.

    And possibly into that mix was also fear of what we know as PRSD but which he didn’t. More puzzlement, shame and confusion whilst hope faded with lack of control of his life. Life under the load of that lot became intolerable. And the worst of it was, no one believed or listened, nor peeled the onion back to the beginning, with school bullying aged 14.

    So, OK then, who killed cock robin? More importantly, who could have saved that life? Only he for himself, in truth, but he might have managed it with help to understand ALL those factors.

    And there is so little understood about the havoc an NPD partner can inflict. Not enough is written about this. They can’t do empathy, but destroy very empathic people who try to jump through hoops to understand and please them. The partner is made to feel it is they who is mad, which is what happened to our son. We need more open discussion about this, I feel more awareness of NPD is needed. Partners like this can drive you insane, never mind all the other stuff. So many decent long suffering people are branded as mentally ill due to life’s problems dropped onto them in unmanageable numbers, then anxiously given medications with ghastly side effects, and finally abandoned as they slide away into hopelessness and their minds won’t work properly anymore so they can’t protect themselves. Isn’t this the very worse form of cruelty in a so-called civilised world?

  16. Spruce, your insights on the PSSD issue are very interesting and indeed sound hopeful. Your explanation, describing areas where sensation is returning makes a lot of sense. I must apologise too, it was Escilatopram our son was on for a year or so, not I think Citalopram. Later he got switched onto Venlafaxine, then Sertraline and Olanzapine. The last two made him feel like he had voids in his thinking and he felt he had to end things or become a permanent burden to the world. The withdrawal (cold turkey) from Venlafaxine was horrendous, electric shock feelings in nose/skull etc, ringing ears, dizziness etc. At the time it, along with shaking akathisia, was not acknowledged by the prescribers and dismissive mental health social workers. I totally agree that the worst sidelining and lack of listening compassion came from doctors and other workers in The System.

    Everything was blamed on him bringing his symptoms on himself by ‘being anxious’ and ‘not getting a grip’, whereas he was doing his absolute best to cope, against almost impossible odds. He was the most honest and conscientious of people. He never lied, nor was he ever attention seeking. But the family, apart from us, his parents, did not believe him, thanks to the dismissive attitude of doctors. He didn’t lie, but they did. After he died they offered some kind of muffled apology and said ‘sometimes we doctors get it wrong’….sure they do. Too late for him though. Too late for us. I can’t bear to think of his terrible suffering, I have to try to block it out, as I know now from reading this Blog, if he’d been able to understand what was REALLY happening to him, he could well have found a way through. I admire your tenacity Spruce, you SO deserve to win, heal, and share your knowledge with the world.

  17. I kept reading the comments for the past 8 months and every single comment I read was exactly the case for me. Exactly the same feeling as other PSSD sufferers have, exactly the same thing they have been told by doctors when they talk about PSSD. I was 22 years old when I was diagnosed with “severe depression” and “OCD” which I never had (you can’t visit a psychiatrist and won’t be prescribed their “magical pills” even if you’re healthy) and was prescribed Prozac and Anafranil. I was brainwashed by the doctor and he assured me that the drugs were safe. I didn’t even check the side effects. I took the first dose and woke up next day and I was shocked. I knew it was something behind the drugs I took. So I did a quick search and found out that both drugs have sexual side effects. Then something stroke my mind. “What if the side effects persist after I come off the drugs?”. I then searched about the likelihood of persistent sexual side effects and came up with the term PSSD. I freaked out. But stupidly I kept taking the drugs for another 13 days. Eventually I decided to stop taking the, and hoped everything would return to normal. Days passed and nothing changed. When I found out that I have PSSD, I started getting depressed, lost my interests, my motivation, my desire to stay alive etc. I can’t continue my studies thanks to antidepressants. It’s been 10 months for me and my emotional state is getting worse as I have seen numerous doctors and they all dismissed my claim. Just being believed would make it easier for me to tolerate this situation. As you know they all say the same thing. “This is your depression that has caused this and you should start taking the drugs again”. I just can’t get it. How is it possible? Making money at the cost of ruining lives is not acceptable. I’m sure the medical industry is aware of this but they try to hide the truth. People will eventually realize this sooner or later but how many more lives should be ruined till then? Who is going to be accused of destroying the lives of the people who expected help from the so-called professional?

  18. Ali i feel exactly the same way.

    To be honest i already feel my life has been ruined by PSSD. In a lot of ways i feel the damage is already done even if i recover. I have had so many years turned to misery because of this condition, that even if i recover in the future, it feels way too little too late for me. I lost almost my entire youth to PSSD.

    As you say, it is the repeated not being believed (over 10 years for me) that makes having PSSD so much worse though. No one believes you. If PSSD was accepted as a real condition, it would make living with it more bearable, because then you could get some understanding and compassion.

    The constantly being disbelieved, isolation, and inner angst caused by PSSD, nearly drove me to suicide.

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