Can Antidepressants Make You Less Attractive?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
October 15, 2018 | 27 Comments

Comments

  1. This is a very interesting article, and touches on a few experiences I have had myself.

    One example is when I took Fluvoxamine for 5 months back in late 2007- early 2008, I had at some points quite a dramatic change in character/ personality, that at times was almost quite frightening.

    I remember one time there was an incidence on the road outside my flat (I think it was to do with a window being smashed) and there were two policemen questioning some people about what had happened. I remember leaning out of the window and almost shouting at the policemen my account of what I had heard and seen, in an almost inappropriately confident and almost manic way.

    I also remember during this time feeling very confident socially (I am usually quite shy), becoming very excited about mundane things, and feeling as if I had to I could talk in front of a crowd of 100’s of people without any inhibitions (I usually struggle with public speaking).

    I also started having quite strong urges to randomly start chatting to women I found attractive on the street, and to ask for their phone numbers, as I was feeling so confident socially. Thankfully I managed to curtail my urge to do this, and never actually did this. I did mention my urges to do this to my rethink support worker though, who was a little concerned by how forward it seemed.

    All of these feelings of almost manic confidence, which at times I felt almost compelled to act on, thankfully went away quite quickly after I came off Fluvoxamine.

    Another thing I have noticed when I have my windows with the PSSD, is that the type of women I find attractive changes. This has happened so many different times, that I know that I am not imagining it. I was actually thinking about this the other day, about how I wanted to write a comment about it at some point, because I have noticed it so much.

    When I am in a wave with my PSSD and it is at its worst, I can only seem to find young women physically attractive, particularly late teens- early 20’s women. The thought of being attracted to older women, just doesn’t seem as appealing, or to make sense.

    When I have a window, and my PSSD lessens, although I still find younger women attractive, I start finding older women attractive as well, and become less attracted to the much younger women.

    I.e I find women maybe early 20’s – 40’s attractive when my PSSD lifts a bit, but when my PSSD is bad I seem to feel much less attraction to women over 30, and I seem to be noticeably more attracted to younger women.

    I don’t know why this is.

    • This is so interesting Spruce, especially about the different age range that attracts you at different times – and takes a lot of courage to open up about it I should think.
      David has always said that when a cure for PSSD is found it should offer answers to many other problems concerning these drugs too. From what you say, who knows what other possibilities lie there too.
      I am sure that anything that you can add on this, or any other aspect of your problems, could help someone who reads it to come closer to the answer that everyone is waiting for as regards PSSD and other similar conditions.

  2. This is real Rachel Carson ‘Silent Spring’ stuff, isn’t it? And she was warning years ago that birds would do this, that fish wouldn’t multiply any more, because the sexual attraction thing has gone or they all become female. She was warning about this a long time ago ———-few folk listened. The few that did, have got a good chance of a long and healthy life.

  3. If people on antidepressants are less attractive as potential partners, I think it’s mainly because they themselves are less interested in sex and romance. True, women in this society are judged way too much by our looks, and to some extent men are too. You can find yourself written off if your weight, your teeth, your aroma or whatever does not meet Hollywood standards.

    But still … I often used to think how much sweeter life would be if I were a tall skinny blond. But then I’d notice some other woman who was fifty pounds overweight and no great beauty, out there dancing and flirting—and doing pretty damn well at it! The real obstacle was not my weight or my hairdo; it was my state of mind. Antidepressants helped to keep me in a “functional” but joyless state described so well in that corny old 70’s hit by Barry Manilow:

    You remind me, I live in a shell
    Safe from the past, and doing OK, but not very well
    No jolts, no surprises
    No crisis arises, my life goes along as it should
    It’s all very nice, but not very good …

    To a person stuck in this zone, finding a partner may feel like a chore on her To-Do list. The main motivator is not temptation, but anxiety: You don’t want to wake up at forty and find all the good ones are taken, do you? Or miss the chance to have kids, or be all alone when you’re old? Whereas that sister out on the dance floor doesn’t have to nag herself to “get out and meet some guys.” She would find it stressful to have to stop! She may not be a Supermodel, but she’s interested – and men pick up on that in all kinds of ways, both direct and subtle. When people talk about “chemistry” or a lack thereof, this is often what they mean.

    This kind of apathy is less of a side effect of SSRI’s, and more the Main Event. It may not cause suicide, but it can steal lives nonetheless. One day at a time.

    • That’s how PSSD ruins your life Johanna. It takes one day at a time, until you start getting old and your options run out, and all you have left is a lifetime of regrets.

      Just to let everyone know the sad news that another person on the PSSD Facebook group called Kata took her own life about two weeks ago. She had PSSD and was suffering with antidepressant withdrawal in general. I chatted with her a few times on messanger at the beginning of the year.

      So that’s the second person I know this year with PSSD who have taken their own lives.

  4. I’m sitting here now in the dentist waiting room waiting for yet another filling due to one of many ruined whilst on SSRIs falling out. My teeth alone are in a desperate state. I had perfect teeth before SSRIs. Have to go their now calling me.

  5. Tooth done thankfully, I always worry they are going to say its going to need removing, it’s a front tooth so will look terrible if i lost it.

    SSRIs dry mouth, tooth grinding and heavy drinking has left it’s damage.

    Anyone on SSRIs should at least chew none sugery chewing gum to help create saliva. It’s the dry mouth and lack of saliva that causes a lot of the damage.

    • Anne-Marie, – just to add here that Shane has, at last, after a wait of over two years, had his last five teeth removed. What he was told by three different dentists was that it’s the way that psychotropic drugs work on the body that caused the rot – that the rot set in from inside the gum etc. as opposed to outer tooth rot initially I suppose. This does make sense in his case as he had very little pain during that long wait. Also, the need to slit the gum on removal when it eventually happened, which they had not expected to have to do on inspection. An x-ray seemed to tell a different story which resulted in the slitting across all five lower front teeth. Recovery was extremely painful and needed a course of antibiotics – but, as of this week, he is breaking his dentures back in very gingerly, a few minutes at a time. He’s building up to eating a steak – that’s his motivation! For me, it’s seeing his smile ( which is now returning with less drugs going in)after such a long wait and being able to lip read again when he speaks. You can’t lip read an empty mouth! However it happens, it is a great shame that doctors seem to neglect this too as a sign of detrimental outcomes of their medicating.

      • Sliting the gums to remove the teeth sounds horrendous, poor guy hope his ok now. When they removed mine they wriggled the tooth backwards and forwards very slowly like trying to uncork a bottle of wine untill it popped out. I would worry it might snap in half and leave half of it in then they would have to cut you open. Sounds like that happened to your son

        I grinded my teeth so badly especially on my left side that one tooth at the back only had about a third of the tooth left, the dentist was horrified but was able to save it for a few years and rebuilt it. I eventually had to have it removed when it fell apart again. I also have one below it half filled too.

        I recall grinding very badly back then especially in my sleep but took little notice of it as I was too detached and consumed with other side effects and problems, my teeth grinding was the last thing on my mind at the time

        Looking back I’m sure tooth grinding could be a sign of akathisia too.

      • Sorry Mary I just reread your comment, l missed you saying he had all his teeth removed that is really, really very bad. Poor, poor guy and his still quite young too.

        These drug companies have so much to answer for.

  6. The Starlings, and other stories …

    I was wedded to my glorious home on the Banks of a Loch, I was wedded to my child, I was wedded to the way our life worked and anyone looking in from the outside could pretty much see that the unit was rock solid, the dog was very happy..

    Along comes Seroxat, and whoosh, everyone is looking at me now.

    We had all had the chemistry, the nice smells, the attraction smells, the smells that tell another person, young or old, that you are welcome in their lives and that makes the world go round..

    The GPs and Psychiatrist picked up really bad smells, terrible odours, vibes of terrible discomfort, a chemistry set of ‘don’t come near me’ and ‘I won’t come near you’.

    What should have been life’s most important relationship was tossed asunder and an entire unit was cast off in to the shadows never to see daylight again.

    The giving of Seroxat was the death knell and the bad smell and it has wafted around and soiled the fresh Scottish air and our garden of beauty and life wilted and grew no more.

  7. Yes, antidepressants can indeed make you less attractive.

    The simple beauty (and the complete lack of awareness of her beauty, her humour and charisma) of our now poisoned and grievously injured adult child, sometimes literally took my breath away.

    Now her resilience takes my breath away.

    SSRIs for exam stress in a joyous, always happy and laughing young woman were to cause so many different systemic and neurological injuries it becomes difficult to regard these drugs as anything other than intensely toxic, indeed highly poisonous.

    The most intense acute toxicity was akathisia, and with serial misdiagnosis this lead to an enforced, contra-indicated cascade of similarly poisonous combinations of psychotropic drugs.

    Now – seven years from the onset of this unforgivable, iatrogenic destruction of such a beautiful young woman, the extensive skin injuries: – face, chest and back, are causing much pain and disfigurement.
    Skin lesions which add to shame, isolation and rejection.

    In addition to what is perceived to be anti-psychotic induced “pseudo-acne”, the skin immunology has changed with atopy, eczema and hypersensitivity.

    Have SSRIs been party to this? I believe so.

    The Injuries do seem to be concentrated in a wide range of systems where intense metabolic activity is the norm.

    Is it mitochondrial toxicity and/or disruption of cell wall micro-physiology that is the common denominator behind the “drug-wrecked” body that she now lives in?

    If only the self-described experts in psychopharmacology, whose conflicts of interests are now being challenged, would look down the correct eyepiece of their pharma-telescope.

    If instead of denial of toxicity and protestations of “safe”, “effective” and “non-addictive” we had some Candour – a G.M.C. demanded Duty of a Doctor.

    These drugs have some of the most disabling, disfiguring, life-threatening and lethal ADRs in medical prescribing experience.

    So why not study, in great depth and with vast investment, the cellular, sub-cellular and biochemical basis for such intense and widely distributed toxicity.

    Here may lie some real science, and the potential for real scientific scientific discovery.
    Researchers could write their own papers. Achieving publication may be challenging.

    Simply the commitment to such endeavour would decrease the ritual and compulsory poisoning of patients by mainstream psychiatry.

    It would surely decrease iatrogenic injury and death.

    For the survivors, they may be left less isolated and rejected from society and employment by invalid “diagnostic” labels for life.

    Their GPs may become interested in them again.
    They might even apologise for what their safe and effective drugs had done.
    That also is their professional Duty.

    They may then be allowed to retain their beauty and their innate attractiveness.

    Hope could be restored. They might even have a future?

  8. Tim Thanks -I have never heard the prescribing described as a ‘ritual’ before – it so apt – the more they do it the more ingrained it becomes and the harder to challenge or change their beliefs

    • Susanne,

      Thanks for your comment on the concept of PRESCRIBING BY RITUAL in psychiatry.

      Observation of practice convinces me that ritualistic prescribing is a reality, and another potential cause of iatrogenic injury and death.

      First Prescriber:
      Olanzapine and fluoxetine prescribed for unrecognised akathisia and for then for neurotoxicity following previous prescribing rituals.

      Second Prescriber;
      Mirtazapine and quetiapine prescribed for unrecognised akathisia, the same for behavioural changes in organic brain disease.

      Having taught trainee doctors in analysing and enhancing their consultation process, (with the aspiration of optimising the therapeutic potential of excellence in consultation) – I have occasionally observed psychotropic drug prescribers consultation technique and their prescribing pen/prescription pad non-verbal communication.

      Whilst highly subjective, and clearly with the bias of adverse outcome experience:
      I became convinced that their decision to a) prescribe, and b) what would be prescribed was taken early in the consultation – or even before the consultation had taken place.

      If this speculation were to be validated, then the reasons why this (alleged) ritualistic or pre-emptive psychotropic drug prescribing takes place merit investigation.

      Pre-emptive prescribing would not be compatible with consent, and affords no time for an individual approach.
      Coercion negates consent.

      It would suggest that consideration of drug toxicity and anticipating potential ADRs are not on the prescriber’s agenda.

      In primary care – prescribing an SSRI seemed to be an effective means to keep on time in the hamster wheel of 10 minute appointments.

      This was not ritualistic.
      The rituals were observed in psychiatric prescribing.

      Are they driven by financial conflicts of interest and/or by personal perceived clinical experience?

      If I did observe the above – (rather than imagine) – the process was not compatible with “clinical excellence”.

      • Tim – I have been thinking again since your response – thank you I suggest there is also pre-emptive diagnoses based on limited understanding and inaccuracies in GP referral notes. A person is by then already on the path you describe as pre-emptive prescribing. – rarely will they have read the referral letter and certainly not received a copy, even as a matter of courtesy which should be standard,, and which would give a window to agree or not and to add to the notes at the start , which would help in deciding if the medics involved are trustworthy respectful and have the right approach. So many encounters are downright rude and even rather bizarre . Where else are extremely intimate questions asked without explanation , where else can a person see notes are being made about them without knowing what is being said,

  9. This post starts by telling us that the SSRIs etc are not being absorbed by the body are are present in human waste. Following on then from Tim’s premise that maybe ‘they could be penetrating the cell wall’ in some people, causing major mental and physical damage. If the liver is overwhelmed and can’t detoxify them at that stage of digestion because maybe it doesn’t have enough of the necessary enzymes, or because the gallbladder isn’t producing enough bile salts to deal with them, so they stay too long in the system and cause havoc. Do we know what chemicals are in these poisons? Early such medicines used dyes and later ones, even anti-freeze. Do we have any idea what chemicals we are swallowing when we take an SSRI? If the excreted ones can affect the birds in the environment as stated in this post, surely how much worse could the damage be if they are trapped in the body because proper metabolic digestion has been impeded for some reason. In severe allergy, skin and mind are affected. In ME, some think that viruses get through the mitochondria and replicate themselves. Could SSRIs be doing this and causing the body to turn on itself allergically? When psychiatrists say antidepressants work but at the same time, they don’t know how they work, do they also know what these drugs are comprised of? Like Tim says, isn’t it about time biochemists began sharing with us knowledge of exactly what chemicals are in these drugs and whether they can cause serious long term allergy? Tim’s comment is powerful, challenging, and surely should make the prescribers sit up and think, and turn the telescope around. Or have they done this already, do they know the truth, but daren’t tell us because the crime that has been committed against humanity is too awful to face up to? Easier to brand all those who report how ill they feel, as suffering from mental delusions.

    We are approaching November 2nd – All Souls Day, once more. Last year we all lit candles for loved ones, alive and suffering, or no longer here physically beside us. But damaged by prescribed medications. We asked the Universe, power of good, whatever we believed in, to help to raise awareness of the Pharma and medical prescription issues we were so concerned about. Although there is much more to be done, if we look back a year, I think the changes have actually been quite encouraging, especially the recent APPG Report and the interest in AKATHISIA and the research and RxISK Prize. RxISK has done some amazing stuff in so many areas. . We can all light our candles again on All Souls Day and keep the momentum going, can’t we? Maybe we could publicise it even more widely this time? What do we all think?

  10. Tim – It is all so shocking it might be tempting to think it was a nightmare. so many share the same experience and outrage , there is no doubt the state is rotten. I have been thinking again since your response – thank you. there is also pre-emptive diagnoses based on limited understanding and inaccuracies in GP referral notes. Someone’s experience can be precied in a way they find very insulting and misleading. A person is by then already on the path you describe as pre-emptive prescribing. – rarely will they have read the referral letter and certainly not received a copy, even as a matter of courtesy which should be standard,, and which would give a window to agree or not and to add to the notes at the start , which would help in deciding if the medics involved are trustworthy respectful and have the right approach. Even then I realise only a limited number of people will be able to act on that. So many encounters are at a basic level downright rude and even quite bizarre . Where else are extremely intimate questions asked without explanation , where else can a person see notes are being made about them without knowing what is being said, where else can they be so crude as to stick a label on someone which they know will likely damage the rest of their life ,…
    Some kind of diagnosis is necessary but not in the way they are used still. People become the dehumanising labels instead of cherished complex human beings.labels which are used by the lazy minded to develop a habitual response to a collection of’symptoms’ which don’t describe complexity and which can be defended by ‘this is the way we are taught’. So who is teaching the trainees you mention ..so many fine words churned out by the eminent, distinguished, caring, compassionate puff balls – so many being damaged that we need activists which include medics with morals as well as brains to put a brake on them. It does seem that the citadel is beginning to crumble If only researchers could put as much effort into investigating the harms being created by drugs as by plastics – but then if they did the public would become too informed about the dirty secrets being defended behind the walls of drug companies, colleges of psychs/GPs and such as Cochrane.

    • Pre-emptive and/or Ritual Prescribing -Psychotropic Drugs.

      Susanne,

      “So who is it teaching the trainees you mention”?

      Although my undergraduate career was focused on specialist hospital practice, it was evident in the 1970’s that the only VALID EDUCATIONAL “General Professional Training” (after the compulsory pre-registration year) was that designed for Vocational Training in General Practice. (GPVTS).

      I completed this before commencing higher medical training to become a hospital consultant.

      It was in a class of its own in terms of post graduate medical education.
      Professional, highly organised and with dedicated time for teaching and learning.

      “A Guided Voyage of Self-Discovery”.

      Physical, psychological and social components of every patient encounter were acknowledged, experienced and learned from.

      The quality and experience of The Consultation, for both doctor and patient, were sacrosanct .

      This three years of REAL training, at that time, started with six months in General Practice with a one to one gifted trainer.

      Then were there a series of hospital posts, usually for six months each.

      Paediatrics, Accident and Emergency, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and General Medicine were sought out, prior to a further six months in General Practice, concluding with the RCGP Membership examination.

      Many trainees chose to spend six months in psychiatry.
      I chose to spend a full year in Obstetrics and Gynaecology instead.

      I understand that current G.P. training, and its options remain similar, although (regrettably) – I believe all of the General Practice training now follows the two years in hospital posts. (?)

      The point is that so many GPs of all ages will have been exposed to the practice and propaganda of psychiatry.

      Exposed to its (alleged) misuse of psychotropic drugs, its denial and refusal to understand AKATHISIA, DEPENDENCE, WITHDRAWAL SYNDROMES and organised denial of the lethal, disabling and life-destroying toxicities of their prescribing dogma.

      They are exposed to this scientifically evidence de-based indoctrination at a time of greatest belief and trust in their consultants.
      A time of greatest educational vulnerability to deception.

      Perhaps this is a major factor in the G.P. disbelief and denial of the intolerable harms, suffering and loss of life caused by their unshakable adherence to “safe and effective”?

      Also perhaps the reason why ADRs to such dangerous drugs are followed by a referral back to the department of psychiatry where they trained, and the inevitable serial misdiagnosis of adverse drug reactions as “Severe Mental Illness”.

      It is a personal experience that Vocational Training For General Practice was one of the greatest medical training advances of the 20th Century.

      How much safer for patients, had they avoided the “training ” in psychiatry?

  11. Hi Annie, I was just wondering when the Royal society of medicine podcast: episode 1, came out. Was it 2016, or 2018?

    Also what a pair of ignorant morons those two doctors were! I know more about withdrawal and the truth about psychiatric drugs, despite all their fancy qualifications.

  12. Hello Spruce
    In answer to your question …

    A few BINGO cards …

    May 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    This podcast by the Royal Society of Medicine left me very concerned indeed. I intend to write a critical appraisal of the contents of this podcast and to submit it to the Scottish Parliament (in relation to PE!651: prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal).
    Dr Peter J. Gordon

    https://videos.rsm.ac.uk/video/rsm-health-matters-podcast-episode-1—antidepressants-antibiotics-and-the-gender-pay-gap

    I had assumed it would be both educational and informative but in the end it proved to be neither.  Members of the online patient community were dismayed at some of the content, particularly some comments by Prof Clare Gerada.

    Dr Peter Gordon has kindly transcribed the initial part of this interview which relates to antidepressants.

    https://nevertrustadoctor.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/royal-society-of-medicine-podcast-rebuttal-of-complaint-by-rcpsych/

    Dr John Read 3 months ago

    Indeed. And nothing could be more polarising than trying to dismiss facts experiences and opinions one finds uncomfortable with silly labels like ‘pill shaming’ ‘anti psychiatry’ etc., rather than listening and engaging in sensible discussion.
    And how about this for polarising… the head of a professional organisation and the organisation’s leading expert on an issue making an inaccurate and dangerous statement in the media and then suppressing research on its own website because the findings prove the statement to be false, and then lying about why the study was removed. (See Mad in America for the facts of this matter)
    When are RCPsych members giving to speak up and get their leaders to engage in sensible discussions with their critics rather than polarise and suppress? I believe most psychiatrists are not as irresponsible as Profs Burn and Baldwin but you all seem very quiet about the unethical conduct of your current leadership. Except for the 10 (including a Fellow of the RCPsych) who signed the Complaint and our recent letter to the Health Secretary.

    https://holeousia.com/2018/07/27/pill-shaming/

    Professor Sir Simon Wessely on “Pill Shaming” and the Bingo card …

  13. Thanks for that information Annie . I was hoping it would be from 2016, and not so recent, so that maybe this ignorance was from years ago.

    Hopefully the new report from East London and Roehampton university will help persuade people that millions are being harmed by these drugs, and not that millions are being saved.The study they did proves that.

    I genuinely don’t believe millions are being saved by antidepressants, despite what the Royal College of Psychiatrists keep saying.

    I believe many, many more are harmed than “saved”.

  14. Perhaps Shane, Mary or David would like to read out WB Autumn Statement, immediately twittered by SW …

    shane cooke
    @shanecooke
    ·
    1h

    Please note and support if possible- comments of support would be appreciated

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DqroOfJWsAQL394.jpg

    Prescribed Withdrawal @ Nant Hall Church Prestatyn

    Presents

    GUEST SPEAKER : – Dr David Healy

    ‘PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS – Can we make them Safer?

    November 13th. at 6.30pm

    All Welcome.

    PLEASE SUPPORT

    Our response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget 2018

    Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We welcome the promise from government this morning that spending on mental health will increase as a proportion of NHS spend over the next five years and look forward to seeing the detail of how this is to be delivered.

    “It would take around  £2.5 billion to achieve this, so we are keen to see the detail of how that is to be made up – perhaps in the NHS long-term plan later this year. 

    “In addition more money is needed for things like maintaining mental health care buildings and putting into practice the recommendations of the Mental Health Act Review.
     
    “The focus on younger people and crisis services is welcome, but this mustn’t be at the expense of the vital community mental health services which treat so many people with mental illness.”

    SO MANY PEOPLE, WITH MENTAL IILLNESS …

    Says it all really … who is spearheading and spreading ‘Mental Illness’ …

    Let’s go with buildings… before they do any more damage …

    In Rio

    John Read Retweeted
    Laura Delano
    @LauraDelano
    “They either don’t know or they don’t care, but either way this is not practicing science.” –
    @ReadReadj

    on the multimillion $ “anti-stigma” campaign led by the #mentalhealth + pharmaceutical industries that promotes the false story that “#mentalillness is a biomedical condition.”

    • Unfortunately, Annie, Wales doesn’t have a bite of the financial cake handed out in the budget for mental health. Maybe we could offer to pick up any crumbs which may be left – but then we’d only get the usual reply “Health in Wales is not provided by Westminster”! Welcome news for England though – if only there was a guarantee that it will be spent to actually do some good.

  15. This podcast also caused concern as it appeared to promote the concept that antidepressants have a prophylactic benefit in those not-yet-depressed.

    !2mins – 30 seconds into the RSM podcast:

    C.G. I do use antidepressants for patients who are not depressed – also in my sick doctor service, who might have had a referral to the Regulator because I know they’re going to get depressed.

    S.W. That’s fine, but you’ll need to come up with some pretty good evidence for that.

    (I have not used inverted commas as this may not be verbatim, but in good faith, I believe it to be an accurate description of the discussion).

    Does anyone know of such evidence?

Leave a Reply