Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction Is Real and Devastating

I read this article via Mad in America today.  Unfortunately, stories such as this one are very common.  I belonged to a support group on Yahoo for nine years and read many, many of them, along with sharing my own story.  We know that some of the people in that group committed suicide.

“I was never warned that chemical castration was a risk of SSRI use and therefore had no way of giving my informed consent. I was a mentally vulnerable teenager who was robbed of his sexuality after only five doses of a common medication.”

ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION BUT NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT

By

My name is Jack. I am a 21-year-old Minnesota man suffering severe sexual dysfunction after taking the SSRI Prozac for five days when I was 17 years old. For the last four years, I have been completely unable to experience sexual pleasure due to a condition known as Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD.)

I first saw a psychiatrist in April of 2016. I had always been shy and may also have high-functioning autism, which manifested as social anxiety and disordered eating. After a brief assessment, I was recommended and prescribed the common SSRI antidepressant Prozac. During this meeting, there was no discussion of side effects of the medication and certainly no warning of long-term problems associated with treatment.

I fulfilled the prescription and took the dosage recommended by my doctor. After only three days I began to experience many symptoms of sexual dysfunction, including difficulty ejaculating, pleasureless orgasms, and a total lack of sensation in my penis. I could still achieve erection and ejaculation with much effort, but experienced no excitement or sexual pleasure. I continued taking the medication for only two more days before stopping. However, the severe sexual dysfunction has persisted in full for the last four years of my life.

Previous to taking Prozac I lived a clean lifestyle. I had never taken recreational drugs and was not a drinker or smoker. I had a normal, functional teenage sexuality and had never had any problems with arousal or erections.

For a full year, I said nothing, hoping the effects of the Prozac would go away on their own. I was shy in all areas of life but particularly so regarding sex, so did not bring up the problem to my doctor and did not revisit the psychiatrist.

The removal of my sexuality took an immense toll on my mental health and emotional well-being. I thought about it constantly. I was angry, sad, and in a far worse state then when I had originally sought psychiatric treatment. I was unable to enjoy sex or masturbation. I did not pursue relationships with girls and my thoughts became suicidal.

In 2017 I finally sought out another psychiatrist. I attempted to discuss my sexual problems with her but immediately sensed that she was very uncomfortable with addressing sexual matters. Knowing that it could not be ignored I continued to talk to her about it, but all she would say was that the problem must be psychological and ordered me to see a therapist before she would consider treating me.

I saw the recommended therapist once but did not find it helpful. I knew that the source of the pain that needed addressing was my destroyed sexuality, which I have always felt sure was not psychological but chemical. It also did not sit well with me that the therapy was presented as mandatory.

I returned to the same psychiatrist and was this time put on buspirone. I took this for a month and experienced mild improvement in mood but no change in the sexual dysfunction.

It was during this time that I began to experiment with illegal drugs. I was desperate to find something that would give me a sense of normalcy and escape, or to discover something that would revive pleasurable sensation in my body, even just a little.

Over the course of the next year, at age 19-20, I acquired various illegal drugs over the dark web.

First it was illegal opioids, which had little effect.

Then a month later, in December 2017, I acquired and experimented with meth. I no longer truly cared what happened to me, I just desperately wanted to feel normal again. I tried it six times in total and found that large amounts allowed me to feel a few seconds of sexual pleasure reminiscent of what I had experienced before Prozac. I would feel several seconds of excitement before climax, but then it would disappear and I would ejaculate without any sensation. Once I took enough to feel a sensation similar to orgasm, except it was emanating from my head and flowing outwards from my body instead of originating in my genitals. Though I would experience euphoric moods the meth could not restore my sexuality. I stopped my experiments with meth after going through awful mood crashes and intense headaches after using, as well as causing myself what I believe was almost a heart attack.

At the end of December 2017 I tried LSD and had a horrible trip with strong feelings of disorientation and frightening identity loss.

In January 2018 I tried smoking black tar heroin. It brought me no real relief, only a vague feeling of being numb and calm.  Over the course of 2018 and early 2019, I experimented several more times with heroin, occasionally mixing it with cocaine, but the highs could not mask the devastation of losing my sexuality.

In the summer of 2019, the death of my beloved family dog awoke me to the fact that I had been repressing all of my emotional pain. I had reached a crisis point where I lost the ability to feign functionality but also stopped running from my problems. I quit the only job I’d ever had and began searching for specialists.

In July I went to the Mayo Clinic and saw a respected urologist named Dr. Kohler. He told me there was some evidence stimulants increase sensation, so he prescribed me 5mg of instant release Adderall. However, he also told me that my problems weren’t that big of a deal, since sex or masturbation only last a few minutes anyway and I shouldn’t be upset. Like all the drugs I’d tried before it, the Adderall did not restore sensation.

Since then I have also seen an endocrinologist who found nothing wrong with my hormones and a sex therapist who said they have encountered SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction before and think it’s quite common, but have no way to treat it. I have had doctors repeatedly tell me it’s all psychological or that I need to take Acceptance Therapy.

I began phoning up university research departments asking if anyone was working on studying Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. Some refused to listen and none of them got back to me. Then, finally, I managed to get in touch with Amy Pearlman at the University of Iowa who is collecting data for PSSD. It was great to hear that someone out there is working on it, but the research is still in its infancy. PSSD has been recognized by the European Medical Association but is not yet officially acknowledged anywhere in North America.

I am now searching for ways to share my story with a wide audience with the hope of warning the public about the risks of SSRIs and garnering interest in researching treatments. I am deeply angry that this was allowed to happen to me. I was never warned that chemical castration was a risk of SSRI use and therefore had no way of giving my informed consent. I was a mentally vulnerable teenager who was robbed of his sexuality after only five doses of a common medication.

The mental anguish of my chemical mutilation causes me to self-harm by punching myself in the face, chest, torso, and neck. I bite myself so the pain can distract me from my misery. I think about suicide constantly. The loss is just too overwhelming, even four years in.

To add insult to injury, sex is everywhere in our society- music, movies, advertising. It is impossible to escape triggers. Almost every social scenario for young adults involves a sexual element, which makes it difficult for me to relate to other people. I have no real friends, no job or higher education, and spend most of my time in my bedroom in my family’s home.

I was never this sad or this depressed before those five doses of Prozac. This is the worst thing that can be done to someone apart from physically mutilating their genitals. It does something to you that nothing else can. If you wouldn’t be okay with having your penis or your clitoris cut off then do not belittle the trauma of people experiencing Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction.

Jack Menne

Jack Menne is a 21-year-old high school graduate who lives with his cat in the Twin Cities metro area. A former inventory auditor for retail stores, he devotes his time to raising awareness of PSSD and promoting scientific research on the disorder.
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Torturing new mothers and then wondering why they get mentally ill.

This happened to me. When I had my second child my sleep was interrupted at night and my newborn daughter and toddler son wouldn’t take naps at the same time. I was EXHAUSTED and, after about a week of not being able to sleep, I became delusional. I ended up in the hospital, diagnosed as schizophrenic, and put on meds that, according to the DSM, were not supposed to be given to pregnant or nursing mothers.

Since then I have recovered and have been off psychiatric drugs for almost 3 years.

Mia's Blog

Woman SleepingTorturing new mothers? Who does that? Well, as a society, we all do. I’m not kidding, I’m perfectly serious, and I’m going to stop mincing my words and say it how it is. We torture mothers.

Sleep deprivation is a method of torture that has been used for at least 500 years, and is still used today. It was used extensively in Guantanamo Bay. The difference between sleep deprivation in Guantanamo bay and in new mothers is that no-one is systematically and intentionally hurting new mothers. But the effect is the same. Sleep torture is designed to create psychological changes, which are supposed to encourage the victim to submit, to lose their sense of reality, and to talk.

Chronic sleep deprivation is not good for you. It leads to cognitive impairment, anger and irritability, anxiety, and even psychosis.  Yes, you read that right. Chronic sleep deprivation is known to cause…

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Tardive dyskinesia – a sign of iatrogenic injury from neuroleptics

When I was a Psych major in college we were told these drugs were wonderful at controlling the symptoms of “mental illness”. We were NEVER told about the horrible side effects. Therefore, later, when I worked in hospitals and halfway houses, I thought that tardive dyskinesia was just another symptom of the “disease”.
It wasn’t until much later, when I found out about it through my research on a computer, that I realized it was the result of brain damage caused by these drugs. Sadly, I saw it in one of my relatives who had been on neuroleptics for many years.

I have tardive dyskinesia. I’ve not written about it. I can’t find a single reference online about it that doesn’t pathologize it..and DRUG it further.

This is a very brief definition taken from WebMD (and to be clear they do not know what it is)…but the description is fair enough.

Tardive dyskinesia is a side effect of antipsychotic medications. These drugs are used to treat schizophrenia and other mental health disorders. TD causes stiff, jerky movements of your face and body that you can’t control. You might blink your eyes, stick out your tongue, or wave your arms without meaning to do so.

I’m not going to say much now except that in my experience it is, in fact, a heinous and difficult condition to live with. It’s also NOT a disease process. It’s the body attempting to DETOX from the poisoning it’s been subjected to. It works to help…

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION BUT NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this yesterday.  Gwen Olsen is a former top drug rep who sold Haldol to nursing homes only to quit Johnson & Johnson and become a whistle blower when she saw what it was doing to the ones who were given it.

 

“…the truth about a product’s side-effects are often hidden until evidence of harm becomes too obvious to ignore.

Perhaps we are slowly approaching such a tipping point with antidepressants and anti-psychotic medications, as more studies and evidence warn us that not only are these drugs exceptionally hard to quit, but the under-discussed side-effects are startling, including a wide-range of sexual dysfunction for both men and women.” 

Read more…

Antidepressants are a Major Cause of Sexual Dysfunction but Nobody Talks About It

Antidepressants are a Major Cause of Sexual Dysfunction but Nobody Talks About It

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Mad in America: Lasting Damage from Prescribed Drugs

By

Mad In America

Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction

“Further evidence of long-lasting changes associated with antidepressants, in this case, comes from the emerging literature on post-SSRI sexual dysfunction. It is well established that SSRIs commonly impair sexual function while they are being taken, but there are mounting reports of persistence of some difficulties following cessation of the drugs for months and sometimes years.11 Persistent sexual impairment is also demonstrated in male rats treated with SSRIs during adolescence.12 13 It is difficult to estimate the prevalence of persistent sexual dysfunction given the currently limited data, but one survey identified that 34% of respondents showed evidence of possibly having the condition, and 4.3% showed a high probability of having it.14 I have heard some psychiatrists protest that post-SSRI sexual dysfunction is ‘psychological’ and simply a re-emergent symptom of an underlying depression, but the fact that it is consistent with known acute effects of SSRIs and with animal research into lasting effects makes it difficult to uphold this position. It seems more likely that it is another example of a long-lasting, and possibly occasionally permanent, change to normal bodily functions induced by some prescribed psychiatric drugs.

Historically, the medical community has been slow to appreciate the extent to which drugs can interfere with and alter normal brain and body functions in both predictable and unpredictable ways. It took psychiatrists a long time to acknowledge that tardive dyskinesia was caused by neuroleptics, and they tried hard to pin it on something else (schizophrenia).1 It has taken three decades for the withdrawal effects of antidepressants to be taken seriously. The prescription opioid epidemic in the United States continues despite mounting evidence that the drugs can exacerbate chronic pain rather than relieve it.2

The recent furor caused by publication of evidence about the serious nature of antidepressantwithdrawal made me reflect on the lasting damage that can sometime be done by prescription drugs, and how it has often taken concerted efforts by users of these drugs to bring these effects to public attention.

Read more…

https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/04/lasting-damage-from-prescribed-drugs/?fbclid=IwAR17tLXsMy4MLa9upxrpBhgDFk7N7sfdiXjqnI6tnV1-mKHOEIgeT5R6tZU

 

Joanna Moncrieff, MD

Dr. Moncrieff is a Senior Lecturer at University College London. She is one of the founders and co-chairperson of the Critical Psychiatry Network. She has written three booksThe Bitterest PillsThe Myth of the Chemical Cure, and A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs.
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Psychiatric Drugs and Sexual Dysfunction

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Psychotropics and Sexual Dysfunction, by Anthony J. Bella and Rany Shamloul (Published by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health from the Central European Journal of Urology. 2013; 66(4): 466–471.) “Sexual dysfunction (SD) is common in patients taking antipsychotics, and is … Continue reading

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Sexual development in kids who’ve grown up on psych meds (and how drugs impede normal bonding in everyone)

It may be too late for some of us who have suffered in this way, but this information MUST get out so that parents think twice about putting their children on psych drugs.

I’ve posted some variation of this post more than once now. I felt moved to post it again since I had a conversation with a journalist friend who is thinking about this issue too. My last paragraph in this piece speculated about what antidepressants do to pre-pubescent and adolescent kids. What happens when the normal drive for sex and orgasm and romantic love is muted or altogether absent because the kids are on SSRI or SNRI antidepressants (and/or other psych drugs)? My friend talked with an adolescent counselor and she’s noticed that these kids are strangely uninterested in romantic love and sometimes even appear to be asexual. That is ALARMING and it’s right in line with what my speculative fears suggested. I don’t have much more to say about the topic but would like to raise the issue that more people may start to think about this very serious problem…

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KNOW YOUR DRUGS

Know Your Drugs is a global awareness campaign that was developed by Canadians for Vanessa’s Law in collaboration with RxISK.

Vanessa’s Law is named after Vanessa Young, who died on March 19, 2000 when she was 15 years old of a heart attack caused by Prepulsid, a prescription drug that Health Canada removed from the market on August 7, 2000.  Vanessa’s father Terence Young, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Oakville, Ontario from 2008 to 2015, introduced the federal law as a Private Member’s Bill (C-17) on December 6, 2013.

Canadians for Vanessa’s Law is the lead charitable organization for the Know Your Drugs global awareness campaign.  Its mission is helping Canadians make informed choices about prescription drug use by educating them about Vanessa’s Law and prescription drug safety.  Its Executive Director is David Carmichael.

These websites provide information on the side effects of prescription drugs:

Adverse drug reactions can be reported online at these websites:

The video below shows how the pharmaceutical industry commits fraud by hiding the results of drug trials and paying huge amounts in lawsuits, amounts which mean little, since they make billions by continuing to present these drugs as safe.

via Video

 

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Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction–Trying to Find a Cure ~ By Kevin Blow

“A complete and permanent wipe-out of your ability to make love is among the most debilitating side effects of a drug imaginable. In the case of all these drugs when it happens it affects men and women, young and old, can appear after a few days on the drug or only after treatment stops. It can last for decades, perhaps longer. It leads to suicides, the break-up of relationships and job losses. There is no upside to it.”

Read more at…

https://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Post-SSRI-Sexual-Dysfuncti-by-Kevin-Blow-Antidepressant_Drugs_Medical_Orgasm-171024-447.html

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Mad in America: Real People, Real Side Effects: Stories of Sexual Dysfunction

Mad in America

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By Jhilmil Breckenridge

“…..In their desperation to get well, patients, their families, and doctors push drugs, often as a first course of action. In my opinion, drug pushers are not just the sleazy ones we associate with gangster movies. These drug pushers are disguised in white coats and friendly smiles, licensed to the hilt.”

Read more of this article…

https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/11/side-effects-stories-sexual-dysfunction/

 

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