Buried Alive: Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD)

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March 27, 2013 | 117 Comments


  1. Saying ‘sorry’ or ‘I understand’ seems inappropriate, however my husband and I have some idea of the dreadful experience you have had. Within weeks of being put on a statin and having renal failure he became impotent and things in that particular direction have never fully recovered. Like you, doctors were all too ready and eager to say it was stress, tiredness, the after effect of the dialysis etc. It’s a fairly difficult and often embarrassing subject to discuss with your GP at the best of times and worse when it is dismissed as being of minimal importance. Often, one partner is left feeling abandoned and isolated but who can these
    feelings be shared with, as some may feel they are being unfaithful or abnormal to even voice those feelings.

    In the scheme of things we try to not let it upset us and focus on other aspects of my husband’s health and well-being, but we both grieve the loss of that side of his life which was spontaneous and joyful. We wish you the best you can possibly be.

  2. We need to find an answer. It is the worst thing in the world.
    I’m praying for you find an answer Dr. Healy.
    Thank you Dr. Healy.

  3. I am so sorry you are going through this and for all you have lost. I have lost all of the same and as you explain very well, it is the personal experiences and relationships in all areas of life that have been affected; From those personal intimate partnerships, to general connections with people of whom we were – living, breathing AND feeling HUMAN beings. It has been 3 years post ssri for myself, female, and I can relate to everything you are saying. Doctors are completely insensitive to this issue and I was told that I should not be too concerned about it as It wouldn’t be something I would be thinking about while I was depressed. Well, that comment was laughable as I wasn’t depressed but suffering from the SSRI withdrawal syndrome, have had a horrendous 3 years since I stopped and PSSD is just one of the MANY symptoms that hasn’t changed. I still experience NO emotions whatsoever, that hasn’t changed in 3 years, still have numbness, taste, smell, hearing disturbances, memory and concentration problems.

  4. Hi,
    I have developed PSSD from taking Cital (citalopram) for 3 months. Since quitting it, I have severe PSSD syndrome.
    No doctor is believing this condition.
    Take care 🙂

    • I was also on the shit for 4 months, my endurance during sex was much longer than I am now, I find it hard sometimes to keep an erection and when I do have sex with my lovely girlfriend I can last between 1min to 10mins at best!!!.
      I only started taking it because I was being bullied by my manager.

      Anyway I digress, so I went to the docs as a last port of call and the doc didn’t even hear me out and sent me off with a prescription for citalopram (20mg). Within a couple of weeks I was almost numb sexually and the shit I was getting at work seemed like it was no longer getting at me as much as I just didn’t give a shit anymore about anything in like a numb/distant way, kind of like I’m not the one driving me!, the side affects were annoying like the sweating, dry mouth, shakes, the constant yawning!!!,

      Anyway I stopped the pretentious shop assistant job in the end and stopped taking the pills outright, got the odd buzzy shock feeling from my brain down my body,

      Now when I have sex I might as well cut the cock and balls right off because I’m just to dammed sensitive to give her any type of pleasure. I wish I never took it and just kicked the manager instead and served the time.

      Rant over

  5. We should require peripheral testing levels for SSRI’S before initiating therapy…Insulin can be regulated with Blood Sugar levels and we need the same technology before allowing SSRI’S to be marketed…there is indeed a cell biology to medications and a non selective targeting of the receptor sites for Seratonin/Dopamine is a backward approach….let science be able to identify blood levels and have parameters for prescribing SSRI’S …unfortunately I am left with no libido and I believe the worst damage was my loss of cognitive reasoning ability…..that is mental slavery…….I can reason now but have severely disrupted emotional feelings left…I just do the best I can….

  6. My life has been made hell by this I have been outed in society as a weirdo. Whenever I talk to people it’s like it’s not on an even playing field. I know they feel whole and I cannot connect to anyone emotionally. I have all sort of rumours made up this made me an easy target for the wrong type of people

    • So sorry Chris to hear, that you are feeling left out. That is one of the worst feelings possible. I too suffer from emotional bluntness and PSSD. It`s like i am not here anymore, i feel totally dead on the inside. My body is alive but my soul and personality have been taken away from me. I feel very robotic and cold, i cannot feel much of anything, no matter how hard i try. Life seems meaningless and dull without emotions. What is the purpose of being in here, if you can`t feel anything, get enjoyment or excitement out of things and be whole as an individual? Everything humane has been stripped away from me, and all that is left is an empty shell. Not even a person, just a soulless vessel roaming on earth. I feel so alienated from other people, i can`t form any emotional bond with them anymore. This is a curse put upon us, a horrible and devastating fate. What type of rumors are people spreading about you, if you don`t mind me asking?

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I am trying to better understand the emotional aspects of PSSD. My boyfriend stopped taking his SSRIs in March. We started going out in May, he is 22. He can get “sexually aroused” but there is a mental disconnect….an apathy. Its like he is unable to become excited about sex or intimacy. He says he “enjoys” sex, but I can tell he is faking it. I am trying to be patient and understanding but at times it really gets to me and I end up questioning myself worth. I really don’t know what to do. He is such an amazing person, and I know that I’m in love with him, but I want to be wanted too….Any thoughts?

    • I’m on the opposite end of your situation, Amy. I’m 20 and I started dating my boyfriend in January. I just got off Citalopram in May after being on it for 6 months because I realized that it was the cause of my sexual dysfunction and weight gain. We used to have sex regularly, but he feels so guilty that I don’t get as much pleasure that we hardly ever get intimate anymore. I like to think we have a strong relationship but as long as I have PSSD there will always be that barrier there. I have read that it can depend on your age and/or how long you were taking the SSRI, so I guess only time will tell.

    • Amy, I recognize your story. I used to take Efexor and it worked very good. I stopped taking them a couple of years ago. I recognize how your boyfriend feels. I too feel emotionally disconnected. I want to enjoy life, enjoy sex, feel happiness…. but it’s just not really there anymore. I love my husband, but don’t really care for any kind of intimacy anymore. It is a horrible state to be in. I’m sure your boyfriend would be different towards you if he could. This is not about you, this is about the horrible side effects of medication. If I knew then what I knew now, I would never, EVER have taken it. Ever.

    • Yes, my thought : you will quit him due to SSRI, and no one will understand (neither will want to understand) you or your bf.
      SSRI have wasted his life and your relationship.
      This is the truth.
      This is my thought, and all other addition is coping/rationnalization.

      I myself survived antidepressant dunno how. I took them for 6 month for a “not that bad” depression (but I needed to be more functionnal and depression prevented me to be, I needed only a pat in the back). What ensued was the worst moment of my life. SSRI made me numb, impotent, unable to love, I lost my creativity, and I got the feeling of having lost my soul, lost myself. I lost my girlfriend of 8 year due to inability to experience emotion and getting frequently angry (wich never happened before). I stayed fully aware of my condition about all loss I experienced, that’s the worst.
      Sexual dysfuntion stopped 1 or 2 month after stopping ssri, emotionnal numbness stopped approx 10 month after stopping and my soul didn’t got fully back before at least 2 year after SSRI.
      I’m sure some minor symptom left (ability to discern feeling/distinction of feeling seem sligthly diminished compared to before ssri) but I’m used to them now. Psychologically I’m almost traumatized (not in the sense that I think about that all the day, it’s more that I will never take SSRI again, or that I’m OK to kill a SSRI promoter for 0$).

  8. First of all, I think it should be mandatory for doctors to make patients FULLY aware of all of the possible side effects before prescribing any SSRIs / SNRIs.
    I was on sertraline for my OCD and anxiety. Having experienced the sexual dysfunction and genital anesthesia during and after using sertraline, I know it is extremely scary, and can be a traumatic event. I stopped taking sertraline once I realized just how bad it was affecting me. The first two weeks I was on it, I was stoned out of my head. I rarely take any drugs (not even ibuprofen or aspirin), so I guess I am ultra sensitive to drugs. After a few more weeks I realized that I had no feeling in my genitals, not even when I needed to urinate, I just stopped cold turkey. I know – not the smartest thing to do.
    Thankfully after an long, anxiety filled period of time, I regained my feeling and am able to have all the regular feelings and enjoyment that sex brings. But that doesn’t mean that the drug is harmless. In fact, from everything that I have read online, I am one of the lucky ones. My sister has been on anti depressants for over 15 years. She has suffered through a lot, and I have seen it all. While the SSRIs have probably saved her life, her mental state has varied over the years as one drug stopped working, then she switched to another, then another… Overall, I am glad she is still with us, but she is always one bad day away from not being here.

    The one thing that doctors always say that annoys the hell out of me: “Well, all drugs have side effects. You just have to get used to them. Once you stop taking them, everything will go back to normal.” How can they say that when they don’t know! Have they taken the drugs?

    There are two things that I hope for the future:
    One: that scientists find a better drug that can help people with depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. that will not have the side effects that SSRIs and SNRIs have.
    Two: that SSRIs and SNRIs get banned, because I think they are truly dangerous drugs.

    I wish everyone all the best.

    • There is a better drug its called 5 htp…. I took it for 5 years after stopping with 3 months of zoloft. I still have my sexual function but it never was like it was before.Its not good to mix with ssri so you need to be off SSRI for a while before you switch. Can be dangerus to take both at the same time because of serotonine syndrom

  9. I have PSSD too, for almost 2 years now. Apart of problems with sexuality, I have noticed that i am less interested in relationship, and feell numb emotionally very offten. It is a very devastating condition. I also had several physical problems (like Parkinso-plus) but I managed it trying many medicines. Hopefully I do not have any problems with personality. Good luck 🙂

  10. 39-year-old male. I was put on Cymbalta for a month or so for depression. 30mg to begin with, then 60mg. Almost as soon as I started on 60mg it was like a light switch turned off my sexuality. No arousal, no visual stimulation, complete lack of interest. Two weeks later I met a lovely woman and when we got together intimately nothing happened for me. Nothing. I made the decision to immediately stop taking the drug to try and reverse the effects. This continued for several weeks, then a month or more. She gave me time but there was no improvement. Eventually we had to call it quits. I still get the odd nighttime and morning wood, but overall arousal and interest is still next to zero. I was depressed before, but now I’m depressed and devastated to lose my sexuality so suddenly. I have lost most interest in people and life. Will my libido ever come back like before? I have no idea. I am in limbo.

    • Max I’m so sorry to hear you went through that. I hope things have gotten better for you. I was put on SSRIs in my early twenties and resisted but finally caved in like a good compliant mental patient and submitted to whatever I was told to take. Finally in 2007 I went AMA against medical advice and stopped two harmful mefications. My life significantly improved. But my youth was robbed from me. Your story saddened me because I know what that’s like. I hope you didn’t lose hope.

    • Took Setraline on and off between the years of 2008 and 2016 at 10 mgs daily. I experienced minute side effects compared to what has taken control of my life now. Was taken off of Setraline and put on Cymbalta on June until December of 2018. After I stopped taking Cymbalta in Early December, I tapered myself off starting at my daily dose of 60 mgs every other day. I have been experiencing severe PSSD symptoms, as well as a variety of others, as a result. The doctors look at me like I am out of my mind. Has anyone experienced any sort of resolution?

  11. I have also been castrated by an SSRI. My psychiatrist poison-of-choice was Cipralex (escitalopram). I only used it for a couple of months, 5mg/day. Decided to stop once I realized it was the drug that was behind me becoming impotent and asexual. Probably goes without saying that before SSRI I had normal and active sex life and high sex drive.

    The castrating effect appeared after the first pill but back then I could not connect the dots. How could I have known the impact can be so sudden! Only month and a half later did I realize what had happened and the culprit was immediately obvious. Before starting treatment I was told only ~10% of users experience any kind of sexual issues while on an SSRI and that sexual functioning would return to normal anyways once the drug had been stopped. This, of course, is not the case as we know.

    I have been off escitalopram for almost a year and nothing has improved. For the first time in my life I have become suicidal. The iatrogenic damage done to my personality, sexuality, general well-being and social life is unimaginable. PSSD is not the only problem SSRI has given me. Ever since taking it I have bad cognitive problems, emotional flatness and skin numbness throughout my body.

    This all has been verified by a medical doctor as SSRI-induced damage but there seems to be nothing that can be done I’ve been told. If time won’t repair the brain there is no hope. Let me point out that I had to see a dozen of doctors before I came across one who was aware of the phenomenon – PSSD.

  12. I am a 30 year old male. I have suffered from PSSD and persistent anhedonia/ emotional numbing for 6 years after taking Prozac 20mg for only 4 days. Every psychiatrist and psychologist I have been to either say “it can’t happen, the drug would have long worn off” or “it’s all to do with my thoughts and existing depression”. I have suffered tremenously from this and the NHS does nothing but add insult to injury. I feel truly alone in this battle against PSSD.

    Dr Healy, if you are reading this, I really hope you find a cure. If only more doctors were as open minded as you. I would be so grateful if you could contact me if you are organising any clinical trials for potential treatments of PSSD in the future, I would very much like to participate.

    Thanks for reading

    • yep. me too. only i took 3 paxil. anhedonia, and pssd. no arousal to external stimuli. the part of my mind that controls passion is dead

  13. My story is a bit different,

    I am normally healthy, fit, and active mid-forties male. About a year ago my primary relationship was falling apart and I had a major heart event as a result of the stress. Part of the recovery and situation it was recommended that I go on Lexapro in conjunction to my cardiac medication. It definitely changed my normal anxiety and depression levels to a better and happier baseline. However, the relationship was quite doomed by that time.

    So, new job and new housing some 8 months later, and I started lightly dating. Since I wasn’t in any relationship, it wasn’t until then I noticed that there was a “distance” in my emotions to the dates. Sexual activity wasn’t fulfilling for myself, with significant ED challenges, but I managed to entertain my dates well enough and “work around it”.

    At some point I felt the Lexapro was acting more as a stressor than a stress reliever. Romantic emotions were distant, lust was disconnected, my normal performance was a shadow of its former self. To rebuild a life, I wanted to focus on something like a relationship as part of moving forward, and that was now a problem.

    I discontinued the Lexapro with a dosage draw down over the course of 4 weeks. Discontinuation syndrome was a bitch, but I knew what it was, so it didn’t scare me.

    After a month or two, I felt the strength of my emotions return, including the lust. My ability to get excited, stay that way, and achieve orgasam was Mostly the same. There was some dulling, but I believe that to be a result of the situation, background stress, and the nature of the dates. However, the depression returned with full force and made me completely useless in my other life rebuilding activities. Dating is not easy for me, there really isn’t necessarily someone for everyone… the odds don’t work in my favor.

    So now I have a choice – I can be severely depressed (and possibly a risk to myself and others) but connect to all the range of emotions with intensity, including love and lust -OR- I can be happier and more resilient yet be emotionally flattened and chemically castrated.

    I am choosing castration.

    I am choosing to put my love life on hold or on permanent cease and desist because no one will support me but me. Its a matter of necessity – I must work, function, and manage myself and my health. I don’t have something to come home to, little support structure, no extended family to lean on. If I don’t function, I fail, and will undoubtedly be either homeless or suicidal/homicidal. Either way, its not an option I’m willing to entertain first.

    If anything, I’m choosing to view the freedom from needing an intimate relationship as something potentially positive – but certainly not for everyone.

    • I was sad to read that you feel suicidal each day, that must be terrible. You have a lot of passion left in you from your words and you have reached out to help others and warn this other guy about what could happen to him. That takes something.

      I too have PSSD but I am not going to let this define me or lose hope in life. Despite PSSD, I still love deeply, I experience life and joy even though I don’t feel complete and somewhat ‘broken’ because of PSSD..

      • I Reported PSSD too one here. Im sure there are 120,000 not only 120 too :-s

        I made a blog post too at pssdblog.blogspot.co.uk

        I’m almost done with this i swear. I feel exactly the same and most people seem to. they utterly stole my identity most peoples main driving force. and they get to go home as if they not affecting REAL people out there. just a bunch of dustbin deserving lunatics. I was 9 years old. I wouldn’t have taken anything. especially if they just come out honestly and say your a piece of sh

        my government steralized me

        what is it with people how am i meant to get over my natural identity stolen. I am just like you said existing as a walking vegetable. people just don’t understand or care more likely that my natural driving reproductive force that men think how many times a day about sex. they wouldnt like it done to them and they wouldnt be so happy. I am such a happy person. biolgoically also makes u numb. i just want to get on with my life its stolen

  14. I think the original post and the commentaries that follow it grasp the devastation that SSRI/SNRI’s can have in those afflicted with PSSD. The diminutive notion that “there is more to life than sex” is upsetting on many fronts. The effect that sexuality and libido have in one’s life go far beyond simply the act of sex. The statement of “…I have no libido; there is no drive there at all, no desire or lust, no propelling force of nature” and “loss of identity” better capture the syndrome. With PSSD, there is no passion in anything. The chemical processes or disease of PSSD causes loss of pleasure in most things in life. Simply enjoying the little things in life are a struggle. Emotional blunting and anhedonia. Drive and motivation to achieve are crushed. While PSSD is known by some in the healthcare fields, many in the medical and psychological professions remain in the dark and continue to perpetuate that drug effects go away once stopped. PSSD is probably a result of epigenetics and perhaps alterations of dopaminergic and androgenic activities downstream. Sadly simply approaches such as TRT or dopamine agonists have not been effective. So far only time has led to PSSD resolution in those lucky enough to recover their “identities”.

  15. This story sums up how I feel perfectly. I also have gone to 10 different doctors and counting -all of them telling me ” this is impossible” “there is no way this can happen” well it did…but it wasn’t on an SSRI it was from taking Zolpidem (ambien) only twice! I have been through MRIs, dozens of blood tests, seen several psychiatrists, neurologists, pain specialists, psychologists…every test has turned up fine -but I know I am not the same outgoing, healthy person I was in Dec. of 2013. Since my drug injury, I have completely lost the ability to “feel” an orgasm connect in my brain..so it’s pleasureless. I can feel it down below, but it’s almost like someone has severed that connection to my mind that releases all the good chemicals after orgasm. I also on the same day this happened acquired a condition called PGAD which is also listed under the symptoms of PSSD. It’s been 3 months and I’m trapped between a feeling of unwanted and horrible arousal and then being unable to complete an orgasm for my body to relax. I was 100% healthy and sexually A-OK before taking this drug twice. If a doctor tells you “this is impossible” look them straight in the eye and say “well, actually it is possible, because it happened to me.” Since this happened I’ve fallen into the darkest depression I have ever been in my entire life. I have said everything Tony states in this article. I don’t feel a connection to the world now. Life feels pointless, dark, sad, boring and doesn’t have the same spark it used to before I acquired both PGAD and PSSD. Sex is a huge part of what makes us human, it gives us a reason to exist in a way. The concept of S-Death is very interesting to me and I’m learning more about since my drug accident/injury. I have heard it all from “sex isn’t everything” to “don’t worry you’ll get better” to “you’re depressed so you can’t feel anything including orgasm” I don’t buy into any of this nonsense. I’m not an idiot and I know what is going on in my body. Before this happened I only took an advil once in a while, now I would take anything to fix this problem, which I know is not possible. I think the best thing to do when dealing with doctors is to print out documents, show them the forums, show them the definitions, keep records from your other appointments, and keep trying until you find a doctor that takes you seriously. Be your own advocate! I have finally found some docs who will listen to me, but I am armed with a folder of scientific studies with sticky notes and tons of highlighting. lastly, SSRI’s definitely top the list for sexual dysfunction but Z-Drugs and other drugs need to be taken into account as well. These maybe rare issues, but they may not be, the number of people reporting this type of stuff might be low because it’s embarrassing – who knows. It’s definitely not embarrassing to me anymore since it ruined my life! I basically have nothing left but to hope I can help others not have to suffer the same fate as I did.

  16. This is very interesting to hear. Citalopram and and Mirtazapine where prescribed to me over three years. I don’t really mind the lack of sexual desire, I had a bad marriage break up and needed a break but it’s the lack of passion. By that I mean I feel a bit two dimensional, unable to connect with people on a bigger level. Passion, I think extends through all of your life and if it’s blunted it’s quite a handicap. Sometimes I look back on the old days and think where did that passion go. I don’t know, perhaps we’re all still depressed, but I don’t think that’s the case because I closed all of my issues long ago. Any way this might explain a great deal and we will all wake up tomorrow and run the Great North Run, fall in love or in love again and get a great new job with tons of friends. Take care of yourselves, warm regards Andrew.

  17. I am a female that too suffers for PSSD. It has been over three years like this. It all started immediately after the first pill I took. My psychiatrist put me on Cipralex, because he thought it will help the therapy go more smoothly. I took it for around a year. After discontinuing things only got worse. It ruined my life because of the anhedonia its given me. If it was only sexual dysfunction, I could probably live with it, but now I have zero emotions, I can’t focus, my memory is really bad, no motivation to do anything what so ever, I don’t enjoy ANYTHING anymore. I used to be a very emotional person, I love art… Without emotions are creating my life is empty…
    I hope that one day, we all can be normal, happy people again.
    Good luck to you all!

    • Help! My wife I think just got PSSD it’s been three months and she feels 35% feeling and does not feel an orgasm at all. I’m devastated and I thinks she is in denial. Can you please give me some hope that it goes away or gets better?

  18. Eight years ago I was on Paxil for close to 3 weeks for social anxiety. It worked well for the first week or two. My social anxiety was completely gone and for the first time in my life I just didn’t give a crap about anything. I also felt kind of strange at the same time almost dream-like. I had this surreal feeling going on.

    One day I woke up without my morning erection and my penis was completely numb. My sexuality had gone from 100% to 0% overnight literally. The doctor said it was all in my head and to continue on the medication but I tapered off a few days later and had terrible withdrawal symptoms for a little while. Oddly I also noticed a lot of hair in the shower drain when I was on the paxil and some time following that. But I still have a full head of hair eight years later so there was no lasting impact on my hair fortunately.

    Now eight years later my life is still ruined. I don’t have any close friends anymore. My dating life is ruined. My ambition has not come back and I feel dead inside much of the time. I still have PSSD too. I stopped saving for retirement because I just don’t care and I rather use all my money for the present moment.

    I used to be horribly afraid of death before the paxil but now I don’t care if I die or not. In my mind I definitely want to be alive as long as possible I just don’t feel any fear at all about the prospect of death.

    My social anxiety is still cured. I rarely get any sort of butterflies in my stomach and I don’t feel anxiety in my body like I did before the paxil. I would gladly take the social anxiety back if I could have the rest of my life back too.

  19. This mirrors my experience. It is totally devastating. I’ve gone five and a half years without medication and I am sexually dead and without that I am nothing. Incidentally, my last brain zap was over a year after my last taking SSRI. The withdrawal is hell. These antidepressants are the most damaging drugs imaginable.

  20. I Quote

    “The State Attorney’s Office asked for a life sentence and chemical castration. Bowman is one of the few men in Florida who faced the unorthodox punishment.

    State Attorney of the 7th Judicial Circuit R.J. Larizza said, “It’s an extreme measure and should be used in extreme circumstances, and we believe this was one of those extreme circumstances.

    They wont give chemical castration to a rapist
    I’ve never done any harm to anyone , just took Zoloft for 3 months 15 years ago
    & really doubt I will ever feel any sexual pleasure again.

  21. 5 mg Lexapro stole my life in 4 days. I stopped right when I noticed…but I fear it’s been too late. It’s coming up on two months now since my last pill. The only thing number than my dick is my emotions. You think that love is central to the human existence? You’re wrong. Love is purely a chemical reaction. Nothing more. I learned that the hard way. Used to be a devout Christian, now I’m Atheist. Used to have moderate anxiety, now I have severe depression. I WANT MY ANXIETY BACK.

    I lost my best friend, my sexuality, my happiness, my confidence, my desire, my affection, my faith, my trust. Worst of all…I think I’ve lost myself. Somewhere along the road I lost myself. I am not the same person that I was even 60 days ago. How’s that for depressing? I have no positive emotions. No affection. Just Anger, Sadness, Disbelief, and Hatred. I This all feels like a dream. Can I please wake the f*** up? F*** you Lexapro.

    • I’m sorry John, it’s a living nightmare and I know because I’m living it myself.

      Hopefully in time you will improve, it’ll be a slow process but your body has the ability to heal itself. You’ll have to be incredibly patient with yourself, especially as 10 minutes when your feeling the way you are can seem like hours.

      I wish I’d never touched antidepressants but the damage is done, I as you have have learnt an extremely difficult and painful lesson but desperation is incredibly powerful and it’s desperation that coerced you into taking them in the first place.

      God works in mysterious ways? It doesn’t get any more mysterious than this but I still believe he is there. He’s not going to cure you miraculously though I wish he would but he can give you the strength that you need to tough out the early stages of recovery and beyond.

      You have to be patient, the alternative is grim and I know because I think about it often.

      The brain should not be tampered with with exception of course but antidepressants are more damaging than I’d ever thought possible.

      Take care


      • There are times when amphetamines and stimulants are to be tested. This is one of them.

        I was slated to go on Cymbalta for treatment of a permanent muscle spasm. I told my doctor after reading this to cut the muscle out or keep giving me painkillers… neither is what I want, but I also don’t want to have to go through this hell.

        That said – don’t stop. Keep trying new drugs. Most people with PSSD can beat it – and most that don’t, haven’t tried every drug out there.

        Patience is not the answer – persistence is. Find another doctor if you can’t get scripted something new… until you have gone through every single upper and downer in the book. Seek out experts on PSSD, sadly there are now ones in every developed nation.

    • Citalopram has ruined my life too. I have no sexual emotions, nothing. I have also ended up unemployed.

  22. Lexapro ruined my life.
    I want my penis back.
    I want to get erections
    I want to feel the enjoyment of a woman
    I want to masturbate
    I want to feel like a man again
    I want my life back

  23. ..5 weeks on Citalopram – lost all joy of life and the sadness too, all emotions and, the worst – love to my husband, who used to be anything for me… Gained PSSD and anhedonia… I’m off it now, depression is back, worse than ever… I wouldn’t mind it if I only loved him… I’m even not able to cry any more… And there is no cure, it seems… I don’t want to, can’t live this life any more but there are my little ones there – even towards them I feel kind of… indifferent? I’m not a human beeing now, I’m a dummy…
    P.S. Apologies for my English

    • …my husband used to be EVERYTHIHG to me, of course… My writing and all other intellectual skills seem to be washed away too…

  24. Antidepressants help absolutely nobody. They just numb a person’s emotions. They make a person not care about whatever real problems they had before. And then while taking and after stopping the drugs a person can find that they don’t care about ANYTHING anymore. Its a miserable emotional numbness. No more sadness, anxiety, guilt, or remorse, but also no more happiness, love, excitement, or hope. Just a blank, logical, hopeless existence.

    Also, no more emotions tied to memories. The happiest moments of your life now seem like just another moment. Its like you can’t even remember how you felt in those times because you literally can’t feel that emotion anymore. This is why satisfied antidepressant users say they didn’t realize they were “depressed their entire lives before their antidepressant”. They can’t even remember how they felt before because they’ve lost the ability to feel.

    I believe many if not most antidepressant users get PSSD. I’ve spoken with some people I know personally about their antidepressant sexual side effects. My friend I talked to bragged about being able to last a long time in bed now. He thinks it because his genital sensitivity is a lot lower. He hasn’t taken an SSRI in about a year. He said his libido was “too high” before the antidepressant anyway. He doesn’t care about relationships anymore and is a cold person. He said relationships are a “waste of time”. I asked if he knew if he would ever go back on an SSRI and he said he absolutely will if his depression comes back which he said he expects it to. Its like he doesn’t even realize/care that his libido and sexual pleasure was stolen from him and that he is suicidal now because of it. The hope of love and sex is what keeps a person living. Its in our nature. Take that away and what does a person have to live for?

    Antidepressants are the biggest scam of all time. Scam isn’t even a strong enough word to describe them. They are a crime against humanity. Poison handed out to the masses as “healthy medication”. These drugs take away what makes a person human. They give a person a brain problem instead of “treating” one. I can only hope more awareness grows for the dangers and permanent effects that these drugs have.

  25. This week marks a year since the terrible PSSD began last January 2014. Took Celexa 40 MG for 5 months. PSSD for me is complete lack of genital arousal, orgasm a distant memory, morning erections completely gone, total erectile dysfunction. Deeper is the complete lack of sexual arousal. Women walking by might as well be cars passing on the street. The chemical process of attraction in our brains has been altered. Worse than the PSSD though is the ahedonia; the complete lack of feeling pleasure or excitement. It is though my emotions have been taken away and all that is left is a shell of who I used to be. Quite simply, these “medications” take away part of our humanity.

    It is true the drugs will be out of your system in a few weeks or months. But the chemical changes they made to our brains, sometimes they don’t go away after taking them.

    Those who think these symptoms are just in our heads simply do not understand. I know cars, driven and fixed them my whole life. One day I come out and the engine will not start. At all. Nothing. I cannot fix it. I ask others for help (I’m talking to you doctors) and am told “That is impossible” “It’s all in your head” “If you think the engine won’t start it certainly will not” Look, I may have been talking crazy drugs but I ain’t crazy, I know when shit is broken and when it works.

    I want to say say everything will be alright. I wish I could say we will all get better in time. I wish I could say it really is not as bad as we make it out to be. Only thing we have is hope.
    Hope that our brains heal and get better in time.

  26. Reading through these comments is like reading through every thought I’ve had over the past five months. I stopped taking Citalopram in September 2014 almost ten years after they were first prescribed to me. I felt happy and satisfied in life, but slightly numb and emotions were dulled. I also didn’t want to be taking an SSRI if I ever fell pregnant, so made the decision to stop.

    I’m 26 now, and it makes me utterly terrified to think of the damage they’ve caused to my brain as I’ve grown up. What started off originally as mild anxiety has turned into full blown depression recently. I’m absolutely certain that this is the effects of PSSD (emotionless, no passion, no enjoyment of anything I ever do, no motivation, complete indifference towards anything sexual despite having the most beautiful boyfriend who I am in love with and couldn’t resist previously, sadness, irritability) but when explaining this to the doctor I am simply told to start taking the medication again. After being on 10mg of Citalopram previously, he’s now tried to prescribe me 50mg of Sertraline, and told me that it’s absolutely impossible that these current feelings could be caused by the drug. Needless to say I have declined.

    It’s frightening how quick they are to prescribe these drugs, and how they cannot understand that taking something for almost ten years might have a lasting effect when discontinued!? All it takes is a quick Google search and the results are evident, yet every medical professional I’ve spoken to (both NHS and private) seems completely unaware of the side effects that can occur.

    Anyway, it seems I am lucky in the severity of my issues, as although it feels like my world is falling down around me most days I do have some sexual desire (although completely dulled and very rare) and with a LOT of exercise and eating right I can have days where my mood lifts and I begin to feel human again. I have also recently started therapy. I do believe it takes time, a lot of time, to begin to heal, and I can only hope that normal life will start to return slowly and that one day I can say that I am ‘over’ PSSD. We can only hope I guess.

    Good luck to everyone out there suffering with this.

    • the ssri gets stuck in the uptake ports, and our body can’t clear it. eventually the neuron atrophies because it has no more need to produce serotonin. the serotonergic pathway of the brain is responsible for positive emotions and sexuality. once the serotonergic neurons are interfered with, and ruined, you lose your emotions and sexuality. and yes it will be permanent

  27. How about setting up a crowd funding campaign to fund the research required to blow this whole scam wide open???

    I am sure there are many thousands of SSRI PSSD victims who would all donate to a well presented crowd funding proposition. Food for thought…there is a world full of victims out there and General Practitioners are creating more by the hour.

  28. I am on the other side – I am the husband (50) who’s wife (51) is struggling with PSSD. She’s been on SSRI’s for 20+years. It’s been a nightmare – up and down – changing back and forth when drugs lose their efficacy. Our sex life has been bad for years – I even started tracking our sex life in Sept. 2012. Today is Feb. 10, 2015, we’ve had sex 23 times in 894 days. That’s once every 40 days or so. Our current streak is 62 days. We had sex last on Dec. 10, 2014. Now she has quit taking her meds. she is about a month in, but I really don’t know if her libido will ever come back. When we do have sex It’s because she finally feels guilty enough to give in. She has an orgasm most times and she seems to like it once we start but ZERO drive to do anything sexy- kiss- fondle ZERO. I’ve never gone outside our marriage – But I would let my wife f**k someone else (man or woman) in a heartbeat if it would wake her sexuality up. But sadly I don’t know if she’ll ever snap out of it. I’d like to sue anti-depressant companies. It’s hard to put a price on the loss of a sex life but I’d like to try!

  29. PSSD is worse than hell, worse than death, and I do not say that lightly. It is a curse that makes me feel death is much preferable to the constant, grinding, hidden misery of my current existence. I am not even ‘depressive’. I am simply not whole anymore.

    Thanks to a 26-month course of Citalopram then Fluoxetine between 2011-2013, my once-immense libido feels completely and chemically destroyed. All excitement suddenly and unexpectedly excised. I am a very loving 40-year old male who thrives in longterm relationships and over the last few years, I have felt like only half a man, attractive to and attracted to women yet without any sexual capacity. All thrill is dead. All recent relationships have failed due to this factor.

    I am in a deeply loving relationship with a very special woman right now, I have been honest and told her and she has been amazingly supportive yet I fear failure further down the line. She is amazing in every way, she is a gift from the gods and every time I fail her, more and more of me dies inside. We are so close and in tune but I feel so sad for her, defeated, part of me wants to let her go and find someone ‘complete’…I know she loves me deeply and does not want this but inside I feel like some tragic, pointless monster, feel like I’m holding her back. I put a brave face on but it is killing my heart, my soul.

    Many would say “be thankful to be alive”. I cannot live this way. I want us to be complete. Losing that thrill is losing possibly THE main motivator of life for me…no excitement, no reward, yet I still have the extremes of attraction and emotion. The frustration of this limbo…the fact I still have it over 18 months after discontinuing the meds…I cannot take it much longer….I do not want to lose this person.

    Despite all the above, I am a positive person and will try to live on in hope.

    • That’s been my life for the last 15 Years, lucky my wife has Diabetes & has NO sex drive or pleasure either, so sex for us just doesn’t exist.
      somehow we live our lives without

  30. Same story here, over 7 years now and no changes, lost everything had all, had fantastic libido and my brain was sharp as fcuk, but all ended in one second after i withdraw, somebody just shut the lights out…. brain penis connection lost, empty head, empty soul, no feelings, dead inside and outside, i can only consider this as a sort of punishment coz i left my wife and son one day…..it has happended after couple of months i left them…. so u know….. and now i’m left alone, handsome man now 37 but dead…. hell on earth – PERIOD

  31. I speak english not too well but I want to comfort You. I am woman. I was taking lexapro for two years. It was few yers ago. I was having no libido and anorgasmia for three years. This symptoms passed one years ego (after three years). Wonderful orgasm returned. Five days ago I decided take venlafaxinum egein, becouse I have problem with deppression. Unfortunetelly all bed symptoms returned I can’t orgasm at all again. I decided stoped taking this medicine. I hope my orgasm return, but I don’t known it. I think it is possible Your libido and orgasms return becouse I experienced this.

  32. these stories are not encouraging. i took an ssri for a week this march, 2015. i have had no personality or sex drive since. long term prognosisis not good

  33. Suffering the same issue here. I’m a 25 year old male that started Zoloft 2
    Months ago due to some depression that my manager at work told
    Me was surely a “chemical imbalance” I was against these drugs and didn’t want to use them , but finally caved as she’s been on them for years and year and said they saved her life. I started at 25 mg for 1 week and felt nothing, then I bumped up to 50 mg for 2 weeks also felt nothing, the doctor bumped it up to 100 mg and my tongue went numb so she went down to 75 mg till the numbness in my tongue went away then put me back on 100. Still felt nothing I felt like I was losing emotion.. My manager at work then told me “take 150 mg” clearly 100 isn’t enough for you.. So I took 150 mg for 4 days and my doctor lost it on my said don’t self medicate … Well maybe she should have told me how evil these were. Let me tell you I had been dating my gf for 7 months and seen her every day, she gave me butterflies just by thinking when I was gonna see her through text even if I just dropped her off.. She gave me butterflies when I kissed her. The sex was like no other, I posted a picture every other day on Instagram to show the world how much I loved her. She’s my soul mate and it was the craziest high I ever felt.. I was in the honeymoon phase for 7 fkn months and I had a bit of “depression” so started taking Zoloft.. My love then started dying, I stopped posting pics of us, I stopped telling her I loved her as much, she didn’t feel special at all and I didn’t connect the dots that Zoloft robbed me of my love and happiness .. It made me lose my honey moon phase that I thought would never go away.. I told me practitioner I wanted off these meds and she tried to prescribe another one to go along with the Zoloft I’m on. 300 mg Wellbutrin and I refused. I wanted off .. I have no emotion anymore. The course of my meds was around 2 months.. 100 mg was the dose that I did for about three weeks. Now as I started tapering down, 100 to 50 mg for a week, then 25 mg for a week, I lost all sensitivety and feeling down there. I can get boners but it’s completely numb. I have no urge to have sex and my gf feels like I lost all attraction towards her when she is the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. I used to have tears in my eyes telling people how much I loved my gf. It was cloud nine… These meds have stripped me of all my love and happiness and all emotion. It’s all gone, everyone keeps telling me it’s gonna come back give it time for them to leave you system . And I’m hoping they’re right. My question to any of you is, since I used this for only 2 months.. And only a few weeks at a high dose , am I more likely to get feeling back vs someone that used it for years? I’m terrified .. I feel dead inside with 0 emotion all because of these drugs that were supposed to make me happy? They did the exact opposite . My gf tells me she will never give up and she’ll be here and we’ll get through this, but what if I never get the love and honeymoon feeling ever again? What if my penis is numb forever? I even started using some testosterone injections for increase libido.. Nothing yet. I don’t know.. So lost . Have no feeling, no love, no emotion. It’s scary to see everyone with the same horror stories. I really hope we all feel human again one day, you guys are not alone. God bless

  34. Hi Hope it does for you Sm
    I was only on for 3 Months 150 MG , no better 15 years on
    & I believe the nerve pain I also have been getting ever since is also related.

      • 3 Months on Zoloft back in Dec 1999
        went cold turkey March 2000
        got sick of the lack of sex drive
        I had hoped after a week or so id be back to what I was
        Still waiting
        No Lust
        No Orgasm
        No desire
        Tried all sorts of diets , fitness routines , No alcohol for months
        nothing made any difference to these issues
        I’ve been chemically castrated !!!

  35. I am also suffering from post ssri sexual dysfunction.
    It have been 2 years since I stopped SSRI but my sexual functionality has not been back.
    Help please!!!

  36. I think Citalopram and Escitalopram are the 2 worst SSRIs for causing permanent sexual dysfunction. I have had PSSD for over a year now. I stopped taking Citalopram in June 2014, but my sexual feelings did not come back. My penis size has also shrunk. I have lost my sexuality completely. It is devastating. I think it is doubtful there will ever be a cure. I wish I had never taken Citalopram. When I was prescribed Citalopram, I assumed it would be a safe drug – but it is not safe at all – it destroys people’s lives.

  37. I took Paxil 20 years ago. So I have desensitation of the head of my penis. Obviously I had an overactive penis when I was younger so it numbs the senses quite drastically. Of course now that I am older I would love to have that youthful vigor back again. Obviously I was on the edge when I was younger and had panic attacks so I chose the antidepressant option. You know you think a pill should help you and certainly not damage you but as posted in some of the previous comments, looks like I’m taking it to my grave. Unless someone figures it out maybe there’s a pathway with another drug, let me know if you guys figure it out.

  38. I`ve been on Efexor 150mgx2 daily, Epilum 300mg, perizal 2mg for 9 years. Problem was over these 9 years, I couldn`t tell the difference between anything, couldn`t figure out how I used to be before it, whether my feelings is just me etc etc. So 2 weeks ago, the company didn`t deliver due to their screw up with the prescription, so I decided to stop it outright and see if there is anything better without the meds and side effects if you don`t take them for a day or 2.

    Well I`m pretty much in withdrawel still. It`s been little over 2 weeks, I`m irritable, still feel lightheaded some days, ultra depressed with no sense of general feeling. I`d kill just out of irritation regardless of what a person does. Problem that worries me, I`ve been detached from people for years after my long relationships failed. Now I read these effects might be permanent or carry on for years. I now suffer from a 10 second premature ejaculation and I`m really not confident about anything and not interrested in sex, although my sex drive is intact and I can get an errection like normal no worries.It`s more of a mental block for me to not want to engage and is embarrassing. Any ideas, will it get better as time moves on or am I now permanently supersensitive and broken?

      • Horst’s advice re going back on and tapering slowly is standard. There a number of difficulties though. First it doesn’t apply to some features like PSSD. This can happen on meds and once established is not fixed by slow or abrupt taper. Slow taper while generally thought to be helpful does not prevent enduring problems in a number of cases as Stuart Shipko outlined on Surviving Antidepressants some years ago.


  39. My boyfriend is going through similar and is currently having acupuncture he hasn’t been cured completely but it has improved since and has managed to cum during sex for the first time

  40. I got the very same thing since 2008, so almost 10 years, I’ve lost all my sexuality in every aspect. I was a sexual machine, the happiest man on the planet, whole life was in front of me wide open. So called GP’s, doctors, medicine specialist, these are the minions of satan himself. SSRI’s are the biggest crime and scam to kill us from inside. The worst thing is that we paid for this in $, and they are propably heaving a good time and they are laughing coz they gave us POISON which takes away the most wonderful thing that GOD gave us. Stop heaving a fate that it will all return, it won’t!. Most scary thing is …. I only hope our souls are intact!! I’ve got the feeling those poison pills could have damaged or even destroy it.

  41. i got more to add…. I’ve lost not only sexuality but they made me completly different person, complete depersonalization. I was a tough guy, heavily built, God gave me excellent brain & body and it’s preformance, SSRI took all that away. I had to go through hell to somehow manage not to kill myself cuz of a zombie emptiness inside. No feelings, no emotions, people thought I got crazy or something, I’ve left everything and everybody, I used to be everywhere, I’ve had so many interests, I was creative, my brain was perfect now it’s all gone…. I was looking for ways to finish all this shi tt cuz there was no help coming from “doctors” and “specialists”, nobody belive in this or they all know about this but they are scared to not allow this to go to official. No motivations for anything, no needs, complete emptiness, zombie life, worst than anything, prison life cuz I’m not able to kill myself, no social life. God bless You if He does exists

  42. I recently came off of prozac and abilify after being involuntarily admitted to an impatient pysch ward. I have no sexual sensations at all, no arousal, no excitement, no orgasm, and there is no improvement happening. I have a feeling this will be long-lasting, as it seems to have completely shut down my sexual response on all levels. I feel nothing but sadness, and I lay in bed all day with no future romance or sexuality to anticipate. I am isolated and alone, but live with my family and have a daughter, and that is the only reason I am still alive. I am terrified that my daughter could someday be placed on these medicines, and feel like I am living only out of fear of what would happen to her if I were dead. I lost my sexuality and my love and passion for existing, cannot enjoy music, friendship, conversation or even nice weather anymore. I feel like my soul has been scraped out of me.

  43. SSRIs do not make you feel good. They make you feel nothing. The effects last long after you have stopped taking the SSRI, permanent for some like me. I was mis-diagnosed with depression when I was actually suffering from apnea. After I had taken Paxil, Effexor and Citalopram for several years, a really smart ORL correctly diagnosed me as suffering from severe apnea and put me on a CPAP. I began noticing the effects of the SSRIs soon enough and have been “living” with the results. Not only the sexual effects, but also a cognitive disconnect, loss of interest in my favorite activities like drawing and music, a deterioration in my memory. I used to learn languages with ease and now that is gone too. I am experimenting with maca , tryptophan, and ginko. Will update if there is any positive results.

  44. I have very little to say, apart from fully agreeing with every single word you wrote and thanking you for this excellent blog.
    I would only have one tiny question for you. How is your sleep now? I suspect that those people who took in the past an SSRI and that complain about sexual problems afterwards might have a secondary problem either with their sleep or their heart who is making a comeback impossible.
    Unfortunately not all cardiac conditions can be diagnosed (let alone sleep ones), but I would suggest to try to ensure there are no simultaneous conditions that could keep your libido to zero after 7 years. This is not to say SSRI can not cause long-term damage. I actually believe they can.
    I only think that it would be good to exclude all other factors first (if possible).
    Hope this helps.

  45. Celexa castrated me from one dose in 2013. I feel such anger reading all these posts. It is so sick. This needs to be exposed and we need to find a cure. They know exactly what they’re doing.

  46. Hi everyone. Incredibly shocked and disheartened to read these awful stories. I am so sorry for your losses. I cannot even imagine the pain of PSSD.

    I’m here because I have been prescribed Celexa, although I have yet to pick up the prescription precisely due to fears of PSSD, and to a much lesser extent, weight gain. I am curious, does anyone have statistics on how common PSSD is? Your testimonies have made me re-think medication entirely. Still, I have been suffering from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks and wonder if medication could make these symptoms more tolerable. Of course, this would never be worth the risk of my sexual identity. Anecdotally, I do know a number of people on SSRIs who have had sexual symptoms, but that have subsided with time and medications such as Zoloft, Celexa, and Prozac have really helped a number of my friends/acquaintances live normal lives. I feel stuck between risking losing a major part of my life and identity and having to deal with an unbearable anxiety disorder. Any responses or clarification would be greatly appreciated.


  47. I just took escitalopram 10 mg tablet for one day and now I am suffering from anorgasmia .What a stress reliever medicine! It did more harm than good.I’m never going to take that medicine ever again!

  48. Sorry to say, I can’t see any company spending the millions of dollars trying to find a cure
    Or if they do anything, would be just to prevent it occurring in new users.
    Our only hope would be a side effect from a new drug designed to do something else
    16 Years now & given up hope

  49. I’m 37, female. I’ve been taking Lexapro 20mg for 6 months and after using it for a few days I couldn’t achieve orgasm. I personally loved that side effect! I wasn’t in a relationship and without any sex drive I didn’t care to be in one either. It actually made me less depressed! Loved the way lexapro made me relax, care less and enjoy the ride. Unfortunately I had to stop taking it 6 months ago, because it made me severely constipated. Depression came back. Sex drive and orgasm and everything sex related came back to norm. I’m still constipated, that never improved. I guess as a woman I can’t exactly relate to what a disaster it may be to a man. Sex is not and never was on my priority list. Many of my female friends just like me just want a partner and friend for life, sex just gets in a way. Men always want so much sex it is annoying. What I want to say is, you can still be in a relationship with a woman and be happy, sex or not. I wish I never took ssri. I learned how to cope with my life now. When i wake up with a panic attack, I talk myself out of it, i tell myself things are not that bad, i challenge myself to face my fears, like opening mail, paying bills, doing something now rather than later as I have a problem with procrastination. I keep reminding myself to focus on and enjoy what i have. Sometimes I cry but still get work done (while crying) because I know that as long as I keep busy, no matter how unhappy I am inside, at the end of the day I feel accomplished and better. I make time for myself and for my hobbies. Spending time on what i like doing made such a big difference for me. My lows are not that low anymore.
    The truth is, there is no cure for depression. You just have to pull through life with depression on your back.
    Maybe one day it will go away, I’m not there yet, but I can function now, I just do things, I pushed depression in the background, I know I have it, no point of thinking about. I don’t talk to my friends about it anymore either, I’m not suicidal, I just want to forget about it and I try to have a normal life.

  50. I have had PSSD for two years now. Anyone who says their sex drive is not important or they don’t need a sex drive to survive is lying to you and/or themselves. It is not an easy thing to live with. In addition to my severe PSSD, I suffer from depersonalization disorder which makes me feel completely dead, as though I have no thoughts or emotions. As if this were not enough I also have severe OCD which threatens to make my life even more unlivable. What makes anyone happy to give out these drugs to already mentally disabled individuals is beyond what I can possibly understand. They must not know about this or the pain that it causes, but what a lame excuse that is. I still pray I will recover one day, but I know it may never happen. What shit.

  51. I haven’t read the whole article so I’m sorry if this is have been explained before, but the one who wrote this article have unusual high and consistent prolactin levels. Basically, he is in the state when “after” the orgasm has occured, and that’s when you often feel nothing for sex. It also inflicts the dopamin levels to the negative.

    Use prolactin inhibitors of some sort.

  52. Do you ever wonder if these side effects have been an unplanned side effect turned beneficial and scientists and government now use , to.control over population . And so they just keep on acting as if ssri do not cause sexual side effects and damage sperm and dont warn you beforehand, to me it seems like chemical castration and there getting away with it. Ive had issues 2years on since taking.citalopram for only 3 weeks, i have no desire despite a higher than average testosterone level and previously high sex drive ,i have no desire at all it is absolute bullshit and the drs only option is viagra fucking viagra im 27,have you bastards even the slightest clue to what you have done to me. my brain has been damaged i dont know how this isnt in the headlines, is there anything being done about this at all

    • Yes, it has also crossed my mind that certainly, more was known about PSSD than has been made public and you have to ask yourself why that could be.

  53. If I knew the risk of PSSD was 1 in 10 million, or 1 in 50 million, or 1 in x million, I would have never had taken an antidepressant. I wouldn’t have taken any risk at all. I’ve had it 18 years now yet today hardly anyone knows about the condition. My GP says I had a rare adverse effect, so she carries on prescribing antidepressants to lots of people, like most GP’s do. As many people end up staying on them indefinitely, because they are so addictive, most don’t realise that their loss of sex drive is permanent. This masks the severity of the problem.

  54. Hi, I am a 35 year old woman from England. I took 10mg Citalopram daily for 18 months, no doctor warned me about the sexual side effects but I started noticing them almost right away. I stopped the pills in March 2013 almost 4 years ago and although things have got slightly better, things have never been the same. I went back to the GP who tried to tell me it was my anxiety/depression causing the symptoms and tried to push me back on SSRIs! One of the things I always had through any anxiety or depression was my sex drive. Sex was a great escape! I told my friends it felt like my identity had been stolen from me but because sexuality is so intrinsic to who we are, it’s hard to understand unless you have PSSD. I have tried to ‘train’ myself back to where I was but also focus more on things like healthy diet and exercise, and put my energies into my work. For a couple of years I drank more heavily and got into debt which was in part l believe linked to how devastated I was at losing my sexual enjoyment. It feels like my genitals were injected with anaesthetic and it never fully wore off. I made myself have an orgasm yesterday but it was so uneventful/distant I think I got more pleasure out of cleaning the bathroom. It’s like I have been chemically castrated. I still live in hope though and so much respect to everyone for sharing their story, together we are stronger!

  55. We need radical action. Go to the buildings of big pharm and protest. Demand change. Constantly until they fix this. What do you have to lose? You lost everything humanly possible. Sobbing over a computer is not going to reverse the damage that has been done. They can and will fix this!!!! Live for something. Justice has to be served. Death is the least of your worries. Rally and spread massive awareness. One life and u want to throw in the towel?They stole years from you. Rally up for change, bring awareness. You lost your sleep, your sexualities, your passions, your goals, dreams, your emotions, your life!! Rally up. Rally up. This can be solved in a few years if enough awareness is brought to the media. You do have some humanity. You have a soul. Why wouldn’t this be the next option? Contact others afflicted and support one another. Contact those who recovered. I don’t believe in permeance. Nothing last forever. You can still enjoy a full life. You we’re choosen. To bring about change!!! Enough is enough. Go out there and claim the only life you have instead of dying alive. There’s enough of us and many more will come forward when the few take a stand. I truly believe this is the only way. May you find the courage to take back your life that was STOLEN from you.

  56. I’m a 26 year old female and my sexuality died about a year ago after withdrawal from citalopram which I used for 10 years. Now I’m on a new SSRI Brintellix for helping me not to be so depressed about losing my sexuality (which ofc wont come back as long as I am taking Brintellix – a catch 22). I’m a bit angry that I was put on these poisons as a teenager because I have no sense of who I am anymore! Is the unmedicated bubbly, though a bit aggressive and easily irritable me ME or is the medicated more calm yet not so enthusiastic and bubbly me ME. I could and can deal with sexual dysfunction, it’s the total loss of identity and sense of self which is wrecking me. And the thought of what I could have become without these meds. It is almost criminal to put underaged people on these meds – unless the situation is life threatening, which wasn’t in my case

  57. I’m nearly 22 and have been chemically castrated since taking prozac for a few weeks at 17. No libido, complete impotence. 21 years old. It’s permanent. There were also massive changes to my emotions and personality. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and it ruined my life.

  58. This condition is terrible but we must come together if we are going to make it right. Being new to PSSD, I am absolutely shocked there is not more being done as far as building awareness and looking for a resolution, or at the least, a treatment method that works. I think this is a much larger issue and is impacting people more than they we realize. If sufferers continue to talk about suicide and ruminate on how their life is over, it makes it easier for the medical community to dismiss this syndrome as the return of the underlying mental condition that we were given this drugs for initially. I think that PSSD is not an appropriate definition of ALL of our symptoms. I think it defines a subset of symptoms of a larger ssri induced syndrome. The emotional aspect of this cannot be ignored. I suffered from a very debilitating genetic anxiety disorder since adolescence, which has been cured since taking SSRI’s over an extended period of time. However, it was cured at the expense of my sexuality. The issue is clearly serotonin related in the brain, at least for me. I say this because every time I came off the medications, my anxiety as well as my my normal sex life returned, but only if I was exposed for a short time. This was until I decided to take lexapro for 5 years straight. I tolerated the sexual side effects because the medication has done me a lot of good as far as improving my quality of life. Granted, if I was warned this could happen I definitely would not have stayed on them as long. I decided to come off medication because I was tired of using cialis for sex and I wanted to see if I could handle the anxiety on my own. Only this time it did not return and neither has the anxiety. I feel as if we are stuck in some sort of homeostasis, almost as if whatever regulates serotonin has become broken after years of treatment. We need to figure out why our serotonin system is malfunctioning. I feel as if my brain is still pumping out so much serotonin that my other symptoms are consistent with serotonin syndrome (headaches, no libido, high blood pressure, etc…). none of which I had issues with prior to meds.

  59. Maybe now they can use antidepressants on rapist & pedophiles
    Since we have been the guinea pigs, so they know it works

  60. I have three close friends, all three mothers with children under 5, all three had synthocinon used during labour, all three with longer than 2 years of post-natal depression, all three on citalopram and all three are struggling in their marriages because of sexual dysfunction. They don’t know each other and come from vastly different cultural backgrounds.

  61. It’s the blight of my life. I was on privacy for 5 years for ocd 6my daily. It ruined my sexuality, I have no morning erections, no libido and unable to orgasm. I feel remorseful for taking these drugs. I feel a victim because psychiatrists exploited me only for taking my money. I wish I had never taken fluoxetine. I was wandering through psychiatrists and there were further prescriptions of zoloft. I had never realized that I suffered from pssd while I was on fluoxetine medication. Only when I had unsuccessful sexual experiences did I realize that something went wrong. But when I realized the fatal side effects had already prevailed. God bless us to regain our sexual life again.

  62. I died in 2008, I was taking fluoxetine for 8 months. Went cold turkey. Became impotent, lost libido, lost all emotions in 1 sec. I felt my head will explode. Extremely high blood pressure lasted about 2 min. After that something was teared apart in my brain, vain or synapses… electric impulses…. 180 degrees depersonalization. Stop believing that you will recover. It’s a BRAIN DAMAGE, permanent. Pharmaceutical companies know exactly what these drugs do. Depopulation of the planet, they want us dead or alive suffering.

  63. Hello to you all ,
    I too am a victim off medication , first on Prozac , that made me manic or more depressed and suicidal (bipokar i know now …) , than on Effexor , that made me ¨¨” very joyfull ¨¨ , too outsiders , i knew i was hypomanic / manic .
    This also made me more stressed , than orherwise have been the case , and i suffered a cardiac arrest , i was in a coma for 15 days but survived .
    Because of all of this a MRI scan of my brains was made, that showed damage and also a shrunken hippocampus , i think this causes the strange emotional issues , lack of ¨¨¨ lust ¨¨ , and bonding to your partner , and other issues…..
    This would involve acethylcholine wwhich is downregulated by SSRI ¨”s and SNRI ¨s , as in my case .
    All in all rhe word hell does not discribe it in full what we have gone through …., and those bloody pills keep on being prescribed……
    I wish you all the best !!!!!

  64. Im 22 years old female. I was taknig prozac for 4 weaks this summer. Im now nearly 4 months off and still have major sexual dysfunction. There is no improvement in 4 months. It is pernament. I also have emotional bluntes. My life is ruined.

  65. i took only one pill of lexapro 10mg, 6 years ago, i was 22 and until that moment my sexuality was like everyone’s 22 years old men so incredibly huge, excuse me these coarse details but in order to be more understood i could masturbate me 12/13 times in a row and i got a boner instantly when i had visual stimulations and even sometimes without reasons so normal things that all young men experience but then i took this poison… during the effect of the drug i had rapid heartbeat and difficulty to urinate and completely castrated, i didn’t get a complete boner since, the first 4/5 years i was almost soft even alone watching porn and it took me 1 hour to whack off, absolutely no respond to visual stimulation, in this situation it was impossible to keep a girlfriend and it’s still impossible even if things have little improve since 1 year, i maybe regain 20/25% of my sexuality but in practise i moved from completely castrated to the sexuality of a 70/80 years old man…

    i had also profound mental change, before i could fall in love in 3mn but after the poison my love and romance feelings has been reduced in the same proportion of my sexuality so almost 100% but its slighlty improve like sexuality but what didn’t improve at all was the indifference/anhedonia, it’s very strange but i’m not depressed at all and i wasn’t at the time ( i took lexapro for social anxiety), i probably never be able to have a girlfriend because my improvement aren’t enough fast, so never have family and kids so never have a LIFE but in practise i don’t care so much, before the pill i was very worrying about my future (studies, jobs…) and i suffered a lot from loneliness but now i don’t care i’m unemployement and single since many years and practically housebound but i’m happy… lexapro should induced me brain damage like too much serotonin forever

    we are chemical so don’t touch chemicals if you don’t want to mess things up in your body especially neuro medications and accutane and propecia (well known to fuck lifes up)

  66. Hi all,
    25 year old male with severe impotence after a week or two on sertraline.
    If I knew this would happen I would’ve steered clear! I had the highest sex drive and then I took these at 22 and my erections faded instantly. I came off them straight away and have been suffering ever since!
    Neither my sex drive nor erections have returned.
    They were using these to chemically castrate sex offenders, yet never told us before we took them. If that isn’t blatant misuse of power than I don’t know what is!
    I’m completely suicidal from this!

    • Hi Gavin!

      I am pretty much in the exact same boat as you. I started taking prozac when I was 22. I had an extremely high sex drive and sex was just amazing every single time. After taking prozac I was still okay! When I got off the pills however… about 6 weeks off and my ability to get aroused was just gone. Its been 3 full years now and I can say that some of my arousal and ability to get an erection has come back, but nothing close to what I had before. Sex has became completely unfun for me and has become something I fear instead of enjoy. The response I have had from the medical community has been complete denial which just makes me angry. I am a highly educated scientist and I feel there is probably an obvious biochemical solution for us all if anyone of those morons would get to the lab and look for one. Wish you the best!

  67. I was bullied by my Neuro to take citalopram for my Tourettes adhd ocd he saidnit was a cure all tablet and wkild work wonders
    after a couple months being a zombie and not being able to sexually perform i stopped them
    Now my wife thinks i dont love her because for the past few 5 years after stopping its very rare i get a strong erection during sex and now also have so mich anxiety that is adding to the erection problems
    i donget the odd strong erection but even masturbation has very weak erections most times
    i used to have an abnormal sex drive
    I did have problems afyer divorce 15 yr ago but got over that so was suprised by the current problems and we have tried averything to ease the anxiety and my erections still dont work right at all
    we havnt tried tablets like viagara yet
    i think there is a problem from the citalopram but the stress and anxiety now just finishes the job and we both end up feelong let down
    my wife id now sick of being understanding and im sick of life

  68. I suffered a minor MI in Oct of 18 previous to which though I’ve lived a celibate life with my wife for 30 years due to a medical and psychological problem she suffers, I was/am able to keep my physical needs somewhat satisfied personally with some (a lot) of loneliness in that area of my life.
    When I was in the ER for the MI, I developed depression, circumstances of the MI I was told, and I was placed on Zoloft during the hospital stay, to which my PCP was over joyed to have me refill, him knowing I had some depression from my situation of no sex in my life which he knew of and wanted me to see a psychologist and get on meds years ago which I refused, saying I’d been handling it myself for a few decades already. yes I had a lousy disposition most men would.
    When I discovered the effects I became more than outraged to think a doctor would take advantage of a person making them medically castrated and numb to natural desires instead of informing them of the side effects first. I may be able to wrap my little peabrain around the doctors intention while I was having the MI to get my head straight and calm me down during the procedures needed but for a PCP then to continue on to purposely medicate, sedate their passions chemically to an uniformed patient is unacceptable unethical and unlawful.

  69. Sadly, I have another similar story to add to this long list.

    My wife was suffering from depression since we have been together (13yrs). Last year, our family Doctor prescribed an SSRI to help with the symptoms and to let her concentrate on her school a little better. A few months later, she grew distant and announced that she would like to begin the separation process after Christmas to make it easier on our two young children.

    When I took my concerns to our family Doctor who had failed to warn us about the risk of detachment from anti-depressants, she prescribed one to me to deal with my depression over loosing my family and make sleep, as I had been distraught for months and unable to sleep or eat.

    I have been unable to reach my wife as her student-life now consumes her and all her time. Our separation is well underway and she is moving out next month and my world is shattered. If someone out there can offer any help or advice, however small, please do not hesitate to contact me or leave a note here. My life really does depend on it.

  70. Hi alll. (Excuse my English).
    I’m 54 now. When 33 I started taking SSRI’s for anxiety, depression, and Extreme panic attacks.
    Finally was paxil (plus benzodiazepines)
    I was so scared of the panic attacks that I went on with this combo for 16 years (then 5 years more of deprax + benzos, and still now). I became the opposite of who I was. The first was the chemical castration, then losing relationships, and all my friends and family ties (I’m single and gay). For many years I was (am) in a bubble almost autistic. Extreme chronic loneliness (still), endless physical ills, low level emotions. NO DREAMS at night, only seldom nightmarish dreams.
    Desensitized in all senses and of course sexually. I do still feel sexual attraction for some people I see, but is in my mind, my body can’t follow. Is excruciating suffering. I wish I had zero sexual desire.
    And lastly and covering everything ANHEDONIA… can’t feel pleasure, satisfaction, excitement, joy, fun about Any Thing. But I do feel physical pain and my soul suffers A LOT.
    I wonder what’s the meaning of a wasted life, a lost life, a life not lived.
    Now I’m done. I just wish Not-To-Be.
    (Excuse my long vent, and thanks for reading)

  71. 20 years now off this HELL
    Do I think about it much (probably only 10 times a day)

    Anyone else still with issues or am i here alone.


  72. I’m 39 years old, male.
    I fall in depression when i was 19 for some reasons, mostly for social exclusion, loss friends etc.
    19 years ago i use already internet and already read about the “garbage” of ssri … so i didn’t take paxil i was prescribed and try to continue to live.
    After 10 years of low and high, i can’t work and cant’ have stable job… so i “surrend” and started taking paxil.. After 1-2 days I soon experience libido loss, but i decide to continue. After 2-3 weeks my depression diseapper , Suffering and others bad emotions diseapper.. libido also.
    After, I tried more time to quit Ssri ( i switched 2 years ago to citalopram from another psychiatric ) , but I can’t because of whitdrawal, in particular mental confusion.

    My libido , my sex drive is equal to zero .
    I’ve no desire at all.
    I’m desperate.. what’s the sense to live if I can’t love a woman, make family etc ?

    So my choiche is: trying to live with anxiety and depression, or trying to live alone with no sexual desire at all …
    I prefer to be dead , that’s my last choiche.

  73. Currently taking 50mg of pristiq per day. First week told dr that I was having a hard time finishing. It takes me so long to crummy wife now ex wife wants nothing to do with an hour of sex. Our bedroom died quickly. I can get hard eventually but keeping erection

  74. Let me start with a wish
    May one day, very soon, when you google “PSSD cure” you see many websites posting

    “At last a long awaited “definite cure” has been found for PSSD. Its a one month medication with minimal cost, no side effects and has a 100% success rate for all categories of PSDD, all ages and both genders.”

    My story
    I am a 34 years old male. I had been through an episode of anxiety and minor depression in March 2017. I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency by a general physician and was prescribed with vitamin D suppliment, a multivitamin and ecitalopram (10 mg) for 2 months. The treatment went well and I got healthy.
    In August 2019 again I developed similar symptoms. In the mid of September, when I was 2 weeks away from my wedding, I visited a psychiatrist. He prescribed me with ecitalopram (10 mg). I didn’t give serious consideration to the possible side effect of sexual dysfunction as I had two things in my mind. My past experience with ecitalopram (which wasn’t bad) and the conception that sexual dysfunction is a less likely to occur and temporary condition that may go away once the medication is stopped. But I was stunned. Within 2 weeks of the treatment I had develped sexual dysfunction. I continued with the medicine for a total of 25 days till I quited it in the hope of reversing this effect. It was pretty late then.
    It has been 7 months since my life is terrible as anything. Although the temporary treatment with Cialis has enabled me to keep things going but the fact that its a temporary treatment saddens me deeply.
    I am 10 times more anxious and depressed then I was before this drug. I am socially isolated to a great extent. I don’t enjoy things I once used to. I dont enjoy my work. And of course there is desperation and lack of interest in life. Sometimes I think life with cancer would have been far better than life with PSSD.
    There is much difference of psychological burden carried by people having sexual disability by birth and those who are intoxicated by a few pills. The former accept and adopt to it but the later are in a shock for months and years due to this sudden catastrophe.
    However I have made some improvements in the last month or so that has given me a bit of hope. I have got my morning erections back and despite my lowered testosterone level (below 300) my wife has conceived.
    They say God tests us with trials and tribulations in this life. And I believe PSSD is one of the most difficult trials.

    I wish you all the best. Lets not lose hope as miracles happen everyday.


  75. Googling during PSSD

    Side effects of ecitalopram(or whatever SSRI)

    Is sexual dysfunction permanent?

    Causes of sexual dysfunction

    Sexual dysfunction cuased by SSRI


    Does PSSD go away?

    PSSD cure

    PSSD success stories

    How to stay motivated and find meaning in life?

    Afterlife/ Evidence of afterlife

    Easy way to commit suicide

    Does an overdose of alprazolam cause death?


  76. It’s a bit of relief to find out I’m not alone. I’ve been put on lots of antidepressants because doctors insisted my Fibromyalgia pain and fatigue were caused by depression. But I’m 100% positive it was the EVIL drug Cymbalta that permanently ruined my life.

    While I was on it I had the nausea, brain zaps, suicide attempt, rage, tremors, blood-curdling nightmares, etc. For the first few months it did seem to help my mood and pain levels, but it wasn’t long before the side effects (and resulting divorce) were not worth the trade off.

    I’m a 52 year old female. I have not taken anymore Cymbalta or any other antidepressants since 2012 and I have had ZERO desire, loss of emotion (blunted I guess is the word), and have been basically just “existing” in isolation ever since. After all these years, I still have no interest in human contact let alone relationships or intimacy. Using that word is almost laughable – it’s like talking about an abstract or alien concept I can’t even begin to identify with anymore.

    So, basically I am a recluse with very little care or interest in anything and I’m sure my neighbors and kids think I’m weird…but I can’t figure out how to fix it. I don’t know where to begin to access the emotions, needs, desires and enthusiasm that Cymbalta apparently killed in my brain.

    It’s frustrating to just “be” with “nothingness” and I wish scientists would study this phenomenon to find a solution…or at least ACKNOWLEDGE that these kinds of drugs can cause far more damage than relief.

  77. “A new study in 2020 estimated that the median cost of getting a new drug into the market was $985 million, and the average cost was $1.3 billion”

    Somehow I cant see this happening for us.

  78. After being on an SSRI for 6 months my doctor put me on Effexor. I was on it for 3 months before deciding that I was sick of feeling emotionless. I completely came off the medication within a span of a week. I went through a bipolar manic state and psychosis. After coming off the medication I have absolutely lost the ability to cry. I have not been able to cry in a year. It doesn’t matter the situation, I cannot cry. My body will tremble and I’ll get the sniffles, and my stomach will jolt when I swallow. All the same reactions as when someone cries, but the ability to actually cry is gone. I feel like a sociopath and I completely blame the antidepressants for doing this to me. I feel emotionless.

  79. Hi ,
    I have been taking antipsychotics and an antidepressant called mirtazapine for over a year . I stopped taking it last month as I didn’t like the numbness or sexual side effects . Unfortunately since I stopped taking it the numbness is still there . I am completely emotionless – unable to feel any connection or love toward anyone. I also have a very low sex drive – I rarely have any sexual thoughts or fantasies by or feel attracted to anyone .
    I also suffer from physical anhedonia . I cant feel pleasure from physical touch like head massages or bathing . This means I can’t feel pleasure from sex or orgasm .
    The anhedonia and low sex drive has really distressed me and made me unhappy . I feel hollow and unable to participate in life

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