My name is Finn, I am 23 years old, and I have been suffering from PSSD for a year. Since I have always suffered from anxiety attacks and psychotherapies helped me only to a limited extent, I turned to a psychiatrist. He prescribed me the medication Escitalopram for my anxiety.
After the first dose, I noticed a reduced genital sensation as well as a decreased libido. Surprisingly, I felt much better after the first dose and my mood also improved suddenly. I then took the medication for 5 days, but then stopped because the sexual restrictions bothered me. After the half-life expired, everything was as before, but I also had slight discontinuation symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and bad mood.
Since the anxiety was particularly strong again afterwards, I wanted to try another medication. This time it was Sertraline. As with the previous medication I experienced genital numbness after the first intake. In addition, I noticed that my feelings were suddenly dulled.
"I felt strange, not like myself anymore."
I also got dry skin and hair, a tinnitus in my left ear and a strong fatigue and brain fog. I then stopped the medication after only 2 days. I thought that also this time after stopping everything would normalize, but that was not the case.
Since then I now suffer from decreased genital sensation, depression, barely existent libido, persistent tinnitus, sleep disturbances and delayed orgasm as well as erectile dysfunction. My skin continues to be dry and my hair is dull. When I exercise, I also feel powerless, sweat quickly, and get heart palpitations. My beard growth as well as my body hair has also decreased.
"Since I never had sexual dysfunction before taking the medication and also did not have depression or any other symptoms, the connection with taking the antidepressants is clear to me."
In addition, since then I have had an altered reaction to medications and often can't tolerate them and have developed hives.
When I realized that I was suffering from PSSD, I had strong suicidal thoughts and did a lot of research on the subject. I felt totally helpless because no doctor would believe me and they had never heard of it. I then tried various supplements including St. John's Wort, but these only helped in the short term and made the symptoms worse in the long term.
Now, with renewed psychotherapy, I am trying to somehow come to terms with this condition and improve my anxiety. Before I was quite a fun-loving person but now I feel jaded and there is often only experience one mood and no real ups and downs anymore. Having never been in a relationship, I now feel further inhibited in approaching women.
To improve this situation for the many PSSD sufferers, the only solution I see is research to understand how it happens and what medication would help to treat it.