Recovering from PSSD

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July 11, 2014 | 63 Comments


  1. I decided to stop taking the drug Sulpiride after noticing an increased amount of side effects which included a decrease of libido and dampening of all my emotions generally. After seeing my GP it was agreed I should reduce gradually the dosage over a four week period. Over a very short time it is obvious this was the right thing to do as my libido has returned to normal and other side effects have now diminished and are continuing to do so.
    My mood has improved considerably.
    In short I think it is negative to think people who experience PSSD will never return to near normal and agree the best way forward is to stay positive. If I had continued on Sulpiride, which is a form of anti-depressant and anti psychotic drug – I would have run into a similar side effect -as PSSD. It was a no-brainer to come off it.
    I realise not everyone can choose this route – however I hope my notes will give some sense of optimism and even trigger a possible cure. Who knows?

    • Hello everyone, so far my recovery has taken 9 months and counting. This story will have a progressively happy curve to it, but I will start from the beginning. I was on sertraline(zoloft) for about 5 months before stopping due to the persistent numbing sensation along the shaft and head of my penis. I also noticed that although my mood “improved” over time, my mood felt very one note. I was beyond furious when i later found out about PSSD, I was not told about this at all by my doctor or pharmacist, and that feels outright criminal.

      It was only until two months after coming off of medication gradually that I started to notice that the numbness i was experiencing kept persisting. I have always been a very physical person, affectionate etc. so when it came to relationships, to have this entire part of my body feel blank, good lord was it frightening.

      After a few weeks of despair I decided to just persist and trust that my body would recover on it’s own, however slowly. I still feel some numbness, and my erection doesn’t last as it normally does naturally. For me what has helped the most is meditation, and consistent sex, and being persistently optimistic. I have never been that active, and I have always been a bit overweight, -and- my sleep schedule has never been the best, so I am going to try improving those areas of my life.

      Do keep in mind my sex drive, stamina etc. was particularly high before, I could have sex multiple times a day, ejaculate upwards to 7+ times a day and last for hours without ejaculating without any problems maintaining an erection. I do know that for a lot of you my current normal of being able to have sex once a day, lasting for 30 minutes, and ejaculating 2-3 times in small amounts sounds like a lot, but compared to where my body was naturally on it’s own before it was highjacked, I have a ways to go.

      I do wish all of you the best recovery, meeting your old or new goals as soon as comfortable, because it is not acceptable that any of us have had this part of our lives ripped away from us.

      so again, what seems to be helping me is applying meditation more to my sex life, focusing on sensations, eating well and being patient with myself. I do see how improving my cardio could help potentially, as well as addressing my sleep and weight gain, but like most of you, these things aren’t areas we necessarily had to worry about pre-PSSD. I do hope more information about recovery becomes available over time.

      the only other information i can find so far about PSSD is the Pudenal nerve being manipulated by SSRIs, and how that directly affects sensation around the genitals, as well as messes with fertility and so many other things. Also that SSRIs can apparently increase our prolactin which can reduce arousal, which reduces our GnRH which eventually reduces our testosterone. I’m haven’t come across any straight answers around what we can do to level these chemicals out again, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post, and update about my own progress.

  2. G:

    Sulpiride is not an SSRI. PSSD stands for Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction, so your example, while positive, is unrelated to this subject.

  3. I don’t want to share any stories that dont belong to me, but for a little while while going through different forum sites, i’d note any success story regarding pssd, or anyone reporting significant recovery whether directly or for someone else. I’d also keep note of people reporting improvements and then eventually disappearing (you can only assume these people went on only to continue to improve). For most of these cases the healing was natural. Most mentioned light exercise, healthy diet/lifestyle changes, sometimes supplementation, and even getting out there practicing sex with an understanding partner and a positive/relaxed mindset would sometimes help. Losing all of your confidence about sex and feeling anxious about it wont help… That’s not to say having a positive attitude cures PSSD of course, or even really helps it… It just doesn’t make it worse than it has to be. Giving it time is biggest thing. i dont know 2 stories that were identical so everyone will be different going through this.

    I only did this for a few weeks, but i got about 18-20 pssd success stories (people feeling recovered over time, most likely naturally). and about 22 people reporting improvements (i know theres a lot more, but i just didn’t keep note). Most of these people might turn out to be success stories one day, or they’ll just stop posting on the internet, who knows. i know 40 doesn’t seem like much, but like i said, this is a sample – had i been more religious about this i’m sure these numbers would be higher. I didn’t keep track of each story, it’d just jot down anytime i’d see someone mentioning natural recovery of any kind. I didn’t do it for very long and 40 is what i got. Better than nothing.

    • hello my name is elliott
      i am someone who is curantly suffering from pssd/anhedonia as well.i took 50mg zoloft for 5 to 6 moths when i was eighteen and stoped around october. around january is when the symptoms reapeared, both sexual and emotional wich have slowly been getting worse. although i also had symptoms while on zoloft it got worse over time. i do not know how much you know about pssd, but in youre opinion how long could it potentially take me to recover. does age and time spent on zoloft have any corelation. out of all the recovery cases how many were caused by zoloft and what were the age range?
      what did the people do to help with recovery? who recovered the earliest and who recovered t?e latest.

      i would be thankful to get some insite from youre research.

  4. Neuromancer – Thanks for the comment – I was merely trying to show that my symptoms were beginning to show a similarity to PSSD – shutters were beginning to come down on all my emotions – if I had continued to take the drug I may well have developed something similar:)

  5. On, we have a number of people who have recovered from PSSD. My belief is that just as most people recover from antidepressant withdrawal syndrome within a few months to a few years, they recover from PSSD.

    PSSD is a component of the autonomic dysruption caused by antidepressant use and withdrawal, as are the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome.

    I myself have recovered from PSSD. After coming off Paxil in October 2004, among other withdrawal symptoms I had the absolute genital anesthesia, which lasted for perhaps a year. Very slowly, genital sensation came back.

    Then I experienced perhaps 3 years of “ghost” orgasms, in which arousal is followed by what would have been an orgasm but instead, a non-event lacking sensation, and then a refractory period.

    Following that, I had perhaps a 4-year phase of “ghost” orgasms with occasional weak orgasms, which gradually became stronger and more frequent.

    At about 9 years post-Paxil, I was fully recovered from PSSD. As I was menopausal before I came off Paxil, my belief is younger people with full complements of sexual hormones will tend to recover faster. However, recovery from PSSD can be almost imperceptibly gradual, which can be masked or even impeded by the very understandable frustration, anger, and despair brought on by the condition.

    • Alto

      Thanks for this.

      Alto also added in an email to me: I think it’s very, very important to bring apparently irreversible PSSD to the attention of the medical community. However, it is also important to note that recovery might occur over a period of years and most people probably recover sooner.

      Perhaps the best way to frame the risk is to note that PSSD may occur after going off antidepressants (even with no other apparent withdrawal symptoms) and recovery is a bell curve, with most people recovering with a year or two, others recovering within 10 years, but a minority at the extreme right tail not seeing recovery after many years or perhaps ever (these people still being followed).

      I think this condition is very, very difficult for young men, who may become preoccupied with suicide as a result. It’s also difficult for young women, but the ones I’ve known seem to have a slightly more balanced view of their sexual identities.

      Response from DH:

      Alto your account of recovery is one of the most convincing there is and it holds out hope. But PSSD looks more like tardive dyskinesia to me than part of a withdrawal syndrome. TD appears in withdrawal from antipsychotics but we don’t say most people are likely to recover and we probably feel that even in those who recover there is likely to be something not right.

      All I can say is that I have seen none of those who have actually come to me recover significantly. I have seen no evidence that people who are younger recover better – quite the contrary in fact. Many however have recovered in the sense of managed to realize this is not all there is to them – even some of the men have recovered in this sense.

      My personal opinion is that people need to know of the very real existence of this problem before taking an SSRI – just as women need to know of the risk of birth defects and possible developmental delay in any children they may conceive while on treatment.


      • David, all I can do is point to our collection of withdrawal syndrome case histories here

        I am gathering these accounts as longitudinal reports of the progress of withdrawal and prolonged post-acute withdrawal syndrome. They are self-selected in that only people who are in some degree of difficulty already are likely to search the Web and post in an Internet forum about withdrawal syndrome.

        Thus, they are most likely skewed towards more difficult cases and exclude the few who easily went cold turkey and the majority who completely recover from withdrawal syndrome within a month or few — the left half of the bell curve. (That still leaves half the population at risk for serious injury.)

        We have people who have suffered tardive dyskinesia from psychiatric drug use or withdrawal and have recovered from that, too, as well as those who have recovered from PSSD. These are first-hand, real-time reports. Often, these case histories contain many posts despairing of ever getting better, then (very frustrating) glimmers of improvement, and finally relief from the symptom.

        I absolutely agree the risks must be communicated in the strongest terms to the medical community — but we need to take care to avoid overstatement, or we will not be convincing. Medicine understands bell curves, we are filling in the parameters demonstrating a range of damage from psychiatric drugs; the extremes on both ends are in the minority. Surely iatrogenic conditions that take years to recovery are bad enough to constitute serious medical risk!

      • Dr. Healy,
        I started on Trintellix for a measly three days and almost immediately started noticing sexual side effects. I stopped after taking three pills. It has been three weeks and I still have side effects. How long does it take sexual side effects to go away after stopping an antidepressant normally?

      • Dr. Healy,
        I took Trintellix instead of the other antidepressants. I know it is different in the sense that it is a receptor agonist(i think that’s what they call it). My symptoms don’t seem to be as bad as everyone else’s. Is this why? And does this mean I may heal more quickly?

    • hello altostrata
      i was wondering if by genital anethtseia did you mean you couldlt feel pleasure or you couldlt feel it the same way you cant feel your hand when it falls asleep? i have been suffering from pssd for a year but i would say i can feel my dick. even when i pinch it it hurts. the only problem is theres no pleasure to stroking it and no orgasm. do some people expirence the anethsesia like you do? is there a difference between sensation in genitals and feeling pleasure in genetals?

  6. A peptide called PT 141 (Bremelanotide) works very well for a temporary sex drive. Although it feels mechanical, it does allow a person to have sex.

  7. I took one pill of lexapro almost 3 years ago and i’m still completely impotent, i never experienced “waves” or “windows” so i’m gonna probably stay impotent for the rest of my life at only 24 years old…

    • I hope you be better of the PSSD. Your post is 2 year old and as I am 26 , you are also same. I am feeling these symptoms as I discontinued Zoloft and Paroxytine before.
      I am feeling devastated as this is the time when you should be in your best , while I am in my zero. If sth has helped you, then pls reply

    • A few ideas,
      The antidepressant that you can get from online from a Canadian Pharmacy that is called Miancerin seems very promising and if you are taking any other medications you might check in with your doctor if not good, the Vitamin B8 inositol is getting many good reviews. So is the antidepressant Moclobemide or Manerix that is also available in Canada. They want a doctor to fax in a prescription though.

  8. Don’t be silly and take steroids to fix this problem , il only make the problem worse steroids ,raise testosterone levels while ur on it and this won’t guarantee u great sex drive , some guys go limp while on steroids because of elevated estrogen and even while take anti estrogens, u can’t live the rest of your life on steroids either ,as soon as you get off and the longer u have been on them ,ur testosterone will be very very low it will take a long time to recover if at all , so in that time you will be impotent ,ur testicles will atrophy and could cause infertility along with gynecomastia , don’t mess with steroids, unless a Dr prescribed trt and regulates dosages and side effects

  9. Hope’s everyone who leaved a comment here are better.

    In my case, i think my “pssd” beggining after SSRI use so don’t know wich category could was after a panic attack that started a severe depression episode wiped my was in 2012. And still waiting for the old huge sex drive to come. Still have bad anxiety and depression,so i’m trying to find a fix without sexual side effects.
    Without getting better will never know if that will bring this “pssd” to an end.
    The SSRI worsened the pre-existing problems, but it’s of my belief that the SSRI effects gone shortly after cessation of treatment.
    Everyone if have a similar history to mine or want to chat, feel free to PM me.


    ps.i’m portuguese

  10. Submitted anonymously

    This condition is not worse for males, or young people. I am a female in my forties and I am absolutely devastated and preoccupied with suicidal thoughts as a result of PSSD. My sexual functioning is not just “one part of my life.” It is absolutely vital to having a life worth living for me.

  11. Started Seroxat in 1994/1995.
    2012 – 2017 untreated hyperthyroidism due to seroxat. Penis went dead the same year. Numb. No desire. No attraction. Penis like rubber. Burns too. Shit orgasms. Start of an erection at base but soft end half.

  12. This condition is horrifying and I personally was never warned of any prolonged sexual dysfunction coming off these medications. Since I was 23, I was prescribed these a range of drugs from Effexor, wellbrutrin, cymbalta, each causing severe sexual dysfunction. I suffered from GAD and social anxiety disorder. The medications worked wonders and was an easy fix but caused my my sex life. I must note that each time I came off these meds (short time frame taken), my sexual function returned. That was before landing on lexapro. I took lexapro from 2010 to 2015. I suffered severe sexual dysfunction on lexapro but when I met my wife in 2013, my doctor added mirapex and cialis to combat the sexual dusfunction. It worked very well but I’m early 2015 something changed (cialis tolerance) and my sex life was again in the toilet. My doctor then switched me to a drug called brintellix, which upon taking it any sexual function remaining was now completely gone. I tried a couple other medication switches to get the sexual function back but nothing worked. I have been medication free for 8 months now and have all of the effects as was as sexual side effects of the meds. No anxiety, no erections, numb genitals, pleasureless orgasms. I have had some “moments” like this article suggests but they are few and far in between. I am not sure which drug caused this, but my brain feels fried. 8 months post cessesation I still fee medicated. I also have some of physical symptoms of high serotonin (dialated pupils in sunlight, headaches, high blood pressure, and unexplained moments of extreme diahrea). I had a blood test and it showed I was an overmethlator, meaning my body is producing too much serotonin. I find that extremely entertaining as the theory behind my anxiety disorder was “not enough serotonin”. I think it is important to note via my experience that the longer you stay on these things, the greater at risk you are for this occurring. My sexual function always returned, followed by the anxiety every time until I decided to stay on lexapro for 5 years and three other drugs at the problem so I could stay on the lexapro. Doctors try and get you to comply with taking these medications by taking more medication (viagra, etc…) to combat the unwanted sexual side effects. In retrospect, this is absolutely absurd and I want to let people know that if you are presented with this strategy, you need to weigh the risks that the longer you stay on the drugs the greater risk you may be for something like this happening. I became tolerant to the cialis, which let me on the lexapro, but when cialis tolerance became an issue and I tried to regain sexual functioning by ditching the meds, it was potentially too late. Drugs should only be prescribed when absolutely necessary. Incompetent psychiatrists and psychologists will try to get you hooked these damn meds thinking that they are harmless instead of teaching you methods to deal with your issue. If you can cope with your condition medication free, I suggest you do it before it’s too late. These medications are NOT safe. I don’t know if I will ever recover, but perhaps we can earn others this condition is for real so they can make informed decisions.

  13. I’d be very curious to know if those that dr Healy has been following that haven’t recovered haven’t done so because of the extreme negativity he possesses. There are cases of people recovering yet he is turning a blind eye or turning it into ‘they never fully recovered they just think they did because they can’t remember what they were like before’.

    I feel like we need to take pro active steps to maintain our health. I’ve had pssd (female) for 2 years after stopping lexapro (was on for 4 years). Yes it’s horrible but I’ve seen some improvements from taking fish oil daily, daily exercise and real exercise not just walking at a slow pace, cutting out take away food, soft drink, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes and doing mindfulness meditation as well as neurofeedback. I’m no expert, I don’t know the science behind pssd but I feel like changing your lifestyle would be more helpful than harmful.

    I’ve also noticed that people tend to try things for a few weeks and then stop when they don’t notice a change. I feel like we need to try these things out long term. 2 weeks of high dose fish oil tablets ain’t gonna do much for anyone. 2 years on the other hand might.

    Permanent results come from permanent change. I went from not wanting sex at all, genital aneasthesia and muted orgasm to having my first sexual dream in April of this year that I had had since starting lexapro in 2011. I woke up feeling aroused and I feel like this is a good sign.

    I can now get to my peak and experience chills etc. but my orgasm is still very weak. I’m going to be patient and pro active and see where that gets me. It’s better than being depressed and defeated.

    • Hi anon,

      This is such a relief. Are you feeling any better since writing this message?

      I hope everyone here is well x

      • Hi Violet,

        I did have some more improvements since this post, I started getting a tingling sensation in my legs when I orgasmed.

        The past few months I seem to have gone backwards though unfortunately.

        It will be 3 years next month so I feel like I’m still in the early stages of pssd. A lot of recovery stories I’ve read have happened between 4-5 years. Some others around 7-9 years.

        I’m just going to stay as active and healthy as possible.

    • I think that OMEGA 3 is joke and waste of money 🙂
      Shrinks should prescribe it !!!! Placebo but without side effects.

    • Hi
      I took Lexapro for about a year and stopped to get pregnant. I can’t believe this drug is legal! Im v shocked. I don’t feel anything anymore and it’s depressing. This is all new to me but my dr NEVER told me there would be permanent affects?! I am scared and don’t know what to do. Feeling an orgasm was a type of relief and pleasure for me that I looked forward to & i have very few things to look forward to 🙁 I am shocked from all these stories and how they might never feel anything again? I appreciate your positive input and will try to maintain positive that I will not be like this for long…. there must be a cure!

      • I took SSRI for about six years on and off and ive been off of them for about a year now and my libido is almost non existent. I always had a high libido and wanted sex or masturbated every day, now I feel almost no desire at all, I can reach an orgasm but it´s like a chore and I feel almost nothing. I wanna cry, until recently I never even knew that it was possible to be permantly scarred like this! I´m fucking angry that noone ever told me this I would have thought twice about taking that shit. This is a big problem I cant believe noone ever warns you, seems like doctors dont even know this or dont believe it.

  14. I also have the same condition and have been like this now since last August 2017. I wish I’d never taken ssri citalopram. I am only 31 and hate having an orgasm and it doesn’t feel good. I am male and feel as if my sex life is over I avoid having sex now as I feel so embarrassed to tell the females about it. My last partner was very understanding but I could tell deep down it bothered her. I’d love to hear from anyone that has shown some improvements. To just be able to experience an orgasm again would be great. I forget what it was like.

  15. Hi all,

    25 years old and suffering impotence from 2 weeks using SSRIs (1 week citalopram and 1 week sertraline) back in May 2015.

    My PSSD seems to have gotten worse. I was able to maintain erections to a point but the last 4 months I’ve been struggling and now in the last 2 weeks I can’t get any form of erection.

    I’m looking to take supplements to see if I can improve this but I’m very pessimistic about this….

    • Hi, I’m a 24 year old female suffering with this condition I didn’t realise anyone else had – or even that it was a condition until my recent online research. I took sertraline 50mg back in December 2016 so it will be coming upto 2 years now. If it wasn’t for being a single parent to my 6 year old daughter I don’t think I would be here anymore. Doctors are in complete denial that this is anything to do with the antidepressants they prescribed to me… my anxiety and depression is unbearable. It’s reassuring to read everyone’s comments and know I’m not alone. My family and friends don’t understand and have even laughed at times and said things like ‘you need a decent man’ etcetc. If there are any recovery stories please please could you enlighten me as I’m really struggling, thanks xx

    • Hey man have you had any luck in getting better? I went 37 days on prozac an it seems to have messed up my sex drive an makes my down stairs neighbour less active, I’m 24 an feel like life’s over

  16. I am a 27 years old man. I was on sertraline 100 for about 8 years. While being on the medication I could not attain penile erection. Tried to have sex with my girlfriend multiple times but failed everytime. My penis felt unresponsive to any sexual stimulus. This was very distressing and hence I stopped taking the medicine by slowly tapering it off. It has been 7 months since I last ingested the medicine but the sexual dysfunction is persistent. I still cannot attain erection and as an addition I have been facing the problem of severe premature ejaculation since I stopped taking the SSRI.

    Moreover, my memory has been highly affected by the drug. I struggle to remember everyday things. I cannot concentrate. I don’t feel emotions. It feels like I am dead from inside. And I almost always feel a burning sensation in my brain. The drug has profoundly impacted my brain functions. I am very helpless right now. My life has become an unbearable tragedy. I don’t know what I should do now.

    I am in a long distance relationship with a girl who wants to marry me. I am also desperate to have a family. But I am afraid to be in the relationship anymore given my condition. I have tried Tadalafil(Cialis) and the drug works well. I wonder whether it wll it be safe to take Tadalafil on a long term basis given the incidence of complete vision loss in some people taking the drug.

    • do you think the amount of time you spend on zoloft and the dosage could have an effect on recovery? since i took50mg zoloft for 6 moths and have been suffering for nearly a year would my chances of recovery be greater?

  17. Hi everyone I am 37 years old earlier this year I was given ssri drugs and not warned of the sexual dysfunction side effects, after about two months of using it I found myself having genital anesthesia and complete loss of sexual drive and unable to have an erection. I am however determined to recover I am worried about my age though. This is definitely horrific and something very hard to deal with. I also read many success stories with acupuncture so I booked an appointment with an acupuncturist I really hope is helps. I will keep you posted.

    Thanks for sharing your stories

  18. Hi all,

    I was initially fooled into taking benzos for sleep and anxiety during a particular stressful period of 2 weeks and went into withdrawals (no sleep & anxiety). I was completely clueless and went to a psychiatrist who insisted I had an “anxiety disorder” and gave me two pills of Lexapro. I could literally feel it hit my brain. I had a further two months of withdrawals post-benzo cold turkey.

    But 5 months off benzos, I got locked out of sleep again. And on the 3rd of insomnia, I felt my body go into fits. That was when suddenly my penis went numb (along with other dysautonomia symptom not so relevant). It was stinging with pain for 2 months. But when the pain went away, I had genital anaesthesia and no libido/arousal. It is challenging but possible to orgasm and the orgasms feel normal.

    I’ve tried Welbutrin, Cabergoline to no avail.

    It is unclear whether it is the benzo or the SSRI that caused my current predicament. Nonetheless, it has devastated my life. I can barely get out of the bed and to do things in life as it all revolves around that feeling of virility and being attractive.

  19. Hi,

    I am a 33 yr old female. I have suffered from pssd for almost 17 years from taking paxil for 6 months. I gave up thinking I will ever orgasm the same again. If I do it’s muted. I’m considering sex therapy. It feel like it will never be the same though. How can a drug permanently change your brain. How can doctors not figure out how to reverse it or treat it. Make my seratonin back to what it was when I was a 17 year old.

  20. Hi

    I’m a 31 year old male and I stopped taking sertraline about two years ago. I lost all interest in sex while on the medication which continued for about a year and a half after stopping…Now that I’ve started getting the very occasional sexual urge, I am left with very little sensation in my penis and my orgasms feel muted and weak.

    I’ve only just found out about pssd by reading this website.. I went to my GP earlier this year to get tested for diabetes, as it’s in my family and I read it can affect penis sensation..but I’m fortunately not diabetic. So then I thought it was just natural ageing and normal to lose sensation.. but Ive kept looking for answers and I’m devastated to find out that it’s because of the sertraline and it’s irreversible and potentially lifelong.

    There is no warning in the leaflet that side effects can persist after stopping and I think it’s wrong to give SSRIs to people, especially young people, without a warning about this or trying other options first.

    I’m going to go back to the doctor’s about this.

  21. Hello,

    Im 30 yrs old male, from Serbia. I took paxil/seroxat for about 3 weeks, and small dosage, … I had bad side effect, and then after I stoped, I saw my penis started to be softer at top…then gradually became generally softer and my all body is weaker, I lose weight, 5,6 kilos. My muscles are weaker and cant become stronger, Im fatigued all the time. Memory and concentration went terrible off while I was on seroxat, thats why I stopped. So, that was when I was 22 yrs old. Now I am 30 and I still have not so great sleep, memory, concentration and my errection is not what was like before paxil… I had rock hard erection.. now its little weaker, and my top of penis is softer. So I didnt recover 100%…I feel like, in 1,2 years after stoping this drug, I recover to some degree and then stopped.. and I still am that way… Its just terrible whet they doing to people with this drug.. I cant beleive, but this tought me that there is no trust in people… you have to think on yourself and dont trust anyone… 6 yrs after stoping this drug I have bad sleep, bad memory,
    bad concentration, bad erection… Im happy for the fact that i didnt use longer this drug… But, im hoping to get better.. and maybe recover with time to 100%… Now after 6 yrs of that drug, I am better, but I am not the same as I was before, that is what haunt me…Maybe after 10 yrs, 15 … who knows, maybe I recover, maybe not… I still have to live my life… and I live my life, just with regret that I was that stupid to trust doctors to take this drug… I have regret, thats is only one my regret… but again, that shows me that there is no trust in people. Im going to be more devoted to healthy lifestyle, sleep on time, exercise and healthy food.. thats only thing that I can do… I was searching on internet is there one story that anyone recover 100% after paxil…

  22. I am a male. I was first put on these drugs when I was 9, discontinuing them when I was 19, and have never had an orgasm. There is no evidence I suffered from a mental illness, other than middling grades. I am now 33. I did not know there was anything different about me until I was 24 and at the time thought it was caused by my circumcision. I am concerned about living out the rest of my life alone. I hope this research bears fruit.

  23. Hi to all. Im male, 30 years of age. I been on Paxil for one week, and after I stop it I have low libido, bad erection, week orgasm, my memory is bad, my concentration is bad, I dont feel as same person like before Paxil. Now its beed 5 years since i stop to take that Paxil, which I took for only 1 week. My condition is not better. I have PSSD.. I didnt get warned about this… My life is destroyed… I just dont see the point of living anymore. I cant do anything and I think that I will never recover… Im thinking of commiting suicide… Which I will do, because for me I dont like to live like this, in suffering. I have to go now, God bless you all. Goodbuy.

    • Please don’t do it I too am suffering from sexual dysfunction do medicine but I fighting everyday to see the sun shining on the other side…please fight don’t commit suicide I’m fighting with you

  24. So I’ve read all of these comments and it saddens and scares me. Im a 42 year old woman, married, and searching for answers to this. Does anyone have one?

  25. Hi I’m 30 and suspect I’m suffering from PSSD. I’ve taken different antidepressants since I was 18. I’ve been on Duloxetine for nearly 10 years. I had absolutely no sexual side effects until about 3 years ago when I very slowly starting to lose my libido. It has progressed to the point where I have problems getting an erection at all and I find it extremely difficult to become aroused. All my physical tests are fine and I can only assume it’s damage from the Duloxetine. If I stop taking Duloxetine it doesn’t seem to get better, it just gets even worse. I’m left with no sex drive and I fear it will never improve or return to normal.

  26. I’m a 22 year old male. I’ve been on stertaline for four years now. Slowly my libido went down, with periodic spurts of erectile dysfunction. In the past year I have tried to come off of the Zoloft and amongst the other crazy withdrawal symptoms I was never warned about, I had sexual dysfunction. Mine I guess is a little bit different, I can now get an erection but have severe premature erectile dysfunction. I’ve been wanting to ask this girl in my class out on a date, we’ve gotten close throughout the semester. I thought I would be able to recover from this condition soon. Obviously that does not seem to be the case as I am now trying to map out what life will be like alone. Mental health professionals do not recognize SSRI’s as the cause and that is so frustrating. I’m an absolute mess right now and I don’t know what to do.

  27. I am 27 now I have taken cepralex for more than year and I have stopped taking it for the last 2 month but all the symptom I feel now from low libido to a numbness of gentile is all present . Is there any solution this problem Doctors brought on me .

  28. (Sorry for replying a comment. I messed up my email) Hi, my name is David, I’m 21 y/o and this is my life- ruining zoloft story. About 4 years ago my psychiatrist prescribed prozac for my anxiety. I took it for a week and started to feel that weird emptiness and numbness, like nothing mattered anymore… sure, anxiety and panick attacks were gone… also all joy and pleasure of life were gone. It felt like a complete detachment from reality. The price was too high, so I quit cold turkey. After quitting the reality was unbearable (it was probably the withdrawal that i should have wait through) so i came back to the psychiatrist and she prescribed 50 mg of zoloft. I didn’t feel the withdrawal symptoms and everything seemed normal. My good old anxiety was back and all the joy and pleasure too. So i’ve been taking it everyday. Last 4 years i’ve been living semi- normal boring life… until i didn’t. Few months ago i started chatting with a girl and i was starting to develop strong feelings for her. Feelings were reciprocated. I was spending all days chatting with her. For that time of my life i was feeling happy and in complete ecstasy of new love. Although weeks passed and i started to feel weird. It seemed like all my anxious thoughts have dissapeared and i could go out more easily without having a panick attack. I was telling myself that it’s because i’m in love and that’s why i feel so careless and good. But more time passed and i noticed that i feel more and more numb towards my fears, my hobbies, my parents and her. I woke up every morning and was cheking up my phone in horror to check if our conversations were real, if she was real and if my feelings for her were even real. At one point i was feeling so apathetic towards everything that something clicked… i know this feeling… it’s the same feeling that i’ve been through while i was taking prozac for a week. I knew that this feeling is somehow related to meds. I did some research and found new studies that say that ssri have effect on romantic love. In order to save the relationship i decided to quit zoloft cold turkey hoping that my feelings for her and feelings in general will return like they did 4 years ago after quitting prozac… they didn’t. It’s been 2 months since i quit zoloft and i feel complete apathy, anhedonia, sexual dysfunctions, cognitive dysfunctions, memory problems and horrible insomnia!!! Pssd is not only sexual functions. It’s a complete depersonalization and derealization. I’m still hoping that my brain will beat that horrible state like it did 4 years ago with prozac but i’m afraid that i might have pssd for the rest of my life. Do you think that keeping taking zoloft while you start to become happy and in love could have that effect on me since it’s rather known that prescribing ssri to relatively happy people doesn’t make them better and it makes them apathetic. I also want to thank dr David for taking care of that topic. It’s time for psychiatrists to start taking responsibility for their unethical actions. If i will be able to maintain a job in that state i will spend all my extra money for a reward for a cure since i’m not interested in anything that i could spend money on anymore because of pssd.

  29. I think more should be done in order to make people aware that pssd is much more than just sexual disfunctions so it will be taken more seriously. There are many more horrific symptoms of that sickness than only sexual dysfunctions. Depersonalization, derealization, emotional numbing, insomnia, akathisia, inability to feel love which leads to ruining of relationships… shrinks like to frame it as just sexual dysfunctions and take it too lightly.

  30. I was on multiple different anti-depressants from ages 14-23.. Zoloft was the longest running SSRI that I was taking for years. I am 24 now and have not recovered at all from PSSD (Note that I switched over to SNRI’s at age 22). It took me way too many years of my life to realize what these pills were doing to my body. I have become hopeless that I will ever know what it’s like to live as and feel like a normal man. PSSD messes with someone’s mind so much more than professionals realize. Considering I have always had self-confidence issues, I don’t have hope that I will “get better” or overcome this torture and embarrassment. I pray that I can find a road to recovery before my crippling depression makes my life even more miserable/intolerable. I would do almost anything for a solution.

  31. I took Prozac for 8 years and came off it in September of 2019. I never had any problems while on it. Over 2 months later, my libido significantly dropped. I haven’t really noticed much improvement since then. Though I have been completely drowning in anxiety so I know that’s not helping my sex drive either. Is it normal for the symptoms just to start once off the medication, never having experienced them while on it?

  32. Oh and I started taking the Prozac again, thinking that that would help solve the problem since I never experienced anything while on it and the symptoms only started when I came off. Any feelings about that?

  33. hello my name is elliott

    i took zoloft50mg for 6months and now im suffering from pssd/anhedonia since january2020 and my symptoms have only been getting worse.when i look on interet i either see people say “everyone recovers” to “its permenant”. i personaly dont think that a drug that has been around for decades with milions taking it would have no effect on most but be “permenant” and “ereversible” effects on some. if people have been heard to heal than it canot be permanante and there is still hope for recovery.

    i feel as if we should have a webiste that categorises by taking all of the people who recoverde from ssri and seperating them on the chart. divide first by ssri they took, the dosage, then by how long they were on it and how long after symptons hapened did it take to start noticing improvmrnts. what did they use that could have helped and seeing if positive effects of treatment hapen in one group over another.there we see if a certaine group responds well to one treatment than the others and mark that as a poibility since the reason some treatment help for one person and not for another person is that ssris are all different and mite have affected our brains in different ways. this could potentally noroww down possible treatments for people who took a specific ssri. bu then again maybe it has to do with peaple being different i dont know i was just making a sujestion.

    also i am desperate for recovery stories. if only there were a way to contact those that recovered and never reported on it. if you recover and dont report it on any forum than you do not realize how much we suffer and how valuable these storys are to giving us hope

  34. I took zoloft from 17-19, am 29 now and hve had pssd for ten years. Also have all sorts of other issues , ranging from digestion to skin issues etc….still not even close to functioning in any part of my body

  35. I took sertraline for 5 days 25mg and by mistake I took an overdose 150mg in 16hours. Since that time i developped diskinesia troubles very heavy, cannot sleep and lost my potential erection that was good and now awful.
    Don’t take sertraline zoloft (lost total memory) and don’t take brintellix trintellix I took before : lost memory and emotions locked : cannot feel my personality anymore.

  36. All I can see here is some extreme negativity that most people aren’t any likely to recover and even if they, it will never be like before. Sorry, author, but you don’t even explain the possible causes of PSSD and how someone might get it. I completely agree that patients need to be very well informed about the risks before even taking SSRIs. Almost all of the doctors, however, neglect just the existence of PSSD or withdrawal syndrome or the harm these drugs could possibly do to a person because they are very badly researched. My personal opinion is that these drugs should be avoided unless there is some very serious mental illness, otherwise they are Russian Roulette with your brain and life basically.

    PSSD can be a part of the withdrawal syndrome. I saw Dr. Healy above states that it is not but in many cases can be. If someone was kinda okay on the drugs, but after he quits, withdrawal symptoms arise and along with these other withdrawal symptoms, he also has much worse sexual dysfunction than when being on the drugs, it is obvious that it is withdrawal syndrome. What withdrawal syndrome is – it is autonomic dysregulation when the body attemps to reestablish new homeostasis. If you search for Dysautonomia on the net, sexual dysfunction is a very common symptom (and it is a very common withdrawal symptom). Withdrawal syndrome is in no way permanent, that to be said. To recover from this, basically your body has to correct its autonomic functioning which slowly happens.

    PSSD can also be different from withdrawal syndrome, yes. We know that the antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction is caused from the increased artificial serotonin (basically). When these effects remain even after quitting the drug (for a significant amount of time) without any change, it cannot be said that it is a withdrawal symptom. It is just having increased serotonin which blocks your sexual function. Kinda like being intoxicated from a drug. Still it is possible to improve from this condition.

    What I didn’t like here is the lack of this information about the causes of PSSD and explaining the two sides of it – PSSD as a withdrawal symptom (autonomic nervous system disruption) and PSSD caused from the increased serotonin which is a different thing than withdrawal.

  37. Hello. I see a lot about serotonin but I got genital numbness, hair loss, sleep disturbances, and muscle loss from taking wellbutrin for 6 days in August. None of the symptoms started until I was off the medication for a month. Would this be PSSD or withdrawl?

    • Arielle

      We have a small number of reports of people who seem to get proper PSSD after wellbutrin (bupropion) or stattera (atomoxetine) which are not conventionally viewed as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. There is no easy way to explain this at the moment. When we know what is going wrong we may be able to explain it better

      David Healy

      • Just another voice adding to the Wellbutrin list. I stopped 16 months ago and am only now beginning to recover from the symptoms described here with the help of treatments recommended on the PSSD forum. Previous to Wellbutrin I had a very healthy and positive sex life. This has been the most disturbing health issue I’ve ever faced, including cancer.

        I hope we can begin to open our minds to the fact that not on SSRIs and SNRIs disrupt vital neurochemical function. Wellbutrin does not neatly fall into these two categories as it inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. Yet my symptoms do align exactly with what I read on the PSSD forum (loss of pleasurable sensation, anorgamia).

        My diagnosis and prescription were both made during a 7 minute phone call with a remote/online psychiatrist over two years ago. I regret that one phone call more than any other call of my life.

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