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I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:22 am
by i.hope
Hi everyone,

I've been checking this website for more than a month now and I think it is time to tell my story

I'm a male, 33 years old, BiPolar, Have been on multiple SSRIs before ( Escitalopra, Effexor, Paroxtine are the ones I remember ) they usually work great for around 4 months then they just poop out and I stop them because I only get their side effects and no positives, also been on Abilify and Seroquel.

Last year I decided to quit all meds and face life on my own along with CBT, this was on October 2018, I was a light pot user, it never gave me any bad side effects and I loved it but as I decided I will quit all chemicals to help my brain reset I decided I will stop that as well, the only thing I couldn't stop was 50 mg of seroquel otherwise I WILL NOT sleep no matter what.

The next 6 months were insane, I was under huge stress, not only from quitting all the meds but life was just insane, my relationship with my wife almost ended,I lost my job, I had a lot of conflicts with my parents and freinds and I lost my brother, school was emotionally abusing my son and no body cared and every one thought I was just overreacting , 6 months of pure stress, at the end of it I couldn't take it on my own any more and My doctor suggessted putting me on 20mg lexapro, since I have taken it multiple times before, and the only side effects were anorgasmia ( which I didn't mind ) and very little numbness in my penis, I said fuck it why not.

I will never forget the day it was 20 April, I took the pill, felt very sleepy, wake up after an hour excited and energetic, but this nice excitement developed slowly into panick, I had a weed edible that I thought will help me calm down ( it always had this effect on me ) but it made things worse and I was in pure panick, I remember laying on bed waiting to die.

After a couple of hours panick is gone, and weed edibles make me very horny ( I was on a rollercoaster of feelings ) so I put some porn and tried to masturbate, and I was shocked, it was like my penis is gone, it was like I was touching a foreign object, I went mad, like crazy ! and instead of trying to calm myself down I tried hard to ejaculate, after a very long time I managed to, and it was a little painful and 0 enjoyment.

Since that day I feel like I'm a shell of my old BiPolar self if that makes any sense, I wish somebody gives me my cycles of depression and hypomania again ! at least I was able to feel things ! at first I didn't know about PSSD, but my numb penis was driving me crazy and searchng for numb penis got me here, and the day I dicovered this site and the thought that I could be in this for life destroyed me.

Later I tried to pick myself up again from this dark place and started looking for solutions, I did all the diagnostics recommended in PSSDLAB, of course got the same response from doctors that it is all in my head, and now I'm experimenting with everything just like most, and there is still very little hope inside of me that all what I'm suffering from now is not PSSD but anything else, because it has been 3 months only, but the genital numbness is getting worse :(

I'm a big fan of Mesolimbo, his knowledge and enthusiasm, I hope he can shed some light on my condition, so answering his questions



2- Why did you take antidepressants in the first place? and for how long were you on them? which med?
For BiPolar Depression on and off from 2014 to 2018 ( Escitalopram, paroxetine, effexor, clomipramine ), then Escitalopram for Anexity in April 2019

3- How was your sexual and emotional function before antidepressant intake?
"above average" horny when I'm in a stable state ( not hypomanic or depressed ) , normal when depressed, out of this world horny when hypomanic ( but this happened like only one time in my whole life )

I was extremely emotional, I used to cry like babies watching cartoons I liked when I was young just from nostalgia, when I loved someone I used to feel it deeply, music was like magic for me, I used to feel other people's emotions as well just by talking to them and connecting with them, I think they call this an empath ?

4- What are your symptoms exactly and when did they start? sexual dyfunction alone, or cognitive/emotional/hedonistic as well? which symptom is bothering you the most?
Emotional Numbness symtopms started gradually during the stress period, sexual symptopms started after the SSRI.

* Emotional numbness is bothering me the most, but then some days I get windows when I can feel very little, but then I remember my numb penis and I feel emotionally numb again, it is a vicious cycle.

* A very strange case of genital numbness, it is all numb as in no pleasure comes out of touching it, like a hand shake, except one very little point near the tip,is 100% sensitive !

* I strugle to get an erection, like my thoughts are diconnected from my genitals, with hard stimulation I can get it hard, but also no pleasure in that at all.

* While my penis is getting hard it turns into a strange shape, it increases in girth and width in the tip and in the beginning of the shaft , but stays falccid in the middle !

* My libido is OK, like when I see a beautiful girl I feel this primal feeling that I want to do her, but then my penis is in lala land, which is a nightmare ! this started a cycle of fear and now when I sea a beautiful girl I feel fear because I remember my condition.

* I have lost 90% of my feelings in terms of depth, I'm not sure if that makes sense, like if I hear a song I was mad about before, now I feel like meh, nice but can't stand it for more than 10 seconds, when I try to play with my son ( which was extremely joyful for me ) I feel like he is a stranger which breaks my heart, and then I can't cry because of that.

* I have 0 motivation to live, I'm about to go bankrupt in a couple of months, and I just don't give a fuck, usually I would have been making plans and contacting clients, now I just can't bother.

* Lost most of my cognitive abilities, but fixed this with rivastigmine

5- What meds/suppplements have you tried so far?

* Ginko : Nothing

* Modafinil : Restores my feelings and interest in things for around 4 hours, also fixes numbness for about 30% of what it was, then I slip into severe depression

* Pramipexole : Was great for feelings for the first 4 days, then I couldn't handle the side effects, had no effect on numbness at all.

* Rivastigmine : Restores my cognitive abilities 100%

* Flibanserin : First day, took 100 mg. wake up next day thinking I'm cured, I was hornier than before this condition, and I was enjoying music and it was amazing, but then I couldn't feel my penis ( it didn't fix that ), as the days went by I tappered the dose down because the feeling that you are extremly horny but can't release this tension is bad, effects are wearing out gradually

* Abilify : This is a game changer ! Although I know some people actually got PSSD from it, it makes everything better, in terms of feelings, at least I can enjoy songs for longer, I'm interested in talking with people and I can feel some connection to them, helped a lot with numbness like increased it to 60% , but I don't think I will be able to depend on it because it gives me very bad internal restlessness

* Benzos : I tried this with Abilify for the restlessness, it also made a huge improvment, may be it made me able to feel the postive effects of abilify more.

6- Do you have access to meds without prescription (buy online), or would strictly require a prescription for meds to try?
I have access to online, and one of the benefits of living in a 3rd world country is that you enter a pharmacy, tell them the name of the med you want and they just give it to you , that is how I got Flibanserin

7- Can you tolerate galicky foods? what about proteins?
I was never able to tolerate it my whole life.

8- Have you done any blood testing? what were the results?
Did all testings recommended in PSSDLAB, all levels are normal, but always in the low or high range, for example my prolactine used to be 5 in a range of 2 - 15, now it is 12, my Free T is in the low range, thyroid is fine, and my blood sugar is always low even after a couple hours of a meal ( could be hypoglycemia ? )


My current stack

* Rivastigmine 1.5 ( without this my brain is jelly )
* Abilify 2.5
* Flibanserin 25
* Bromazepam 3 ( without this I can't stand still for more than 10 seconds )
* Tadalafil 5mg daily ( makes erections easier and urologist said it could help repair any fibrosis, although doppler on flaccif penis showed nothing )
* Seroquel 50mg for sleep
* Pentoxifylline 400 ( my urologist reccomended it but It does nothing )
* Hitting the Gym 5 days a week

I'm on a rollercoaster, there are good days, and there are days when I'm suicidal, this has always been my BiPolar nature, but this condition is making it out of control !

Thanks everyone !

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:22 am
by Mesolimbo
i.hope wrote:My current stack

* Rivastigmine 1.5 ( without this my brain is jelly )
* Abilify 2.5
* Flibanserin 25
* Bromazepam 3 ( without this I can't stand still for more than 10 seconds )
* Tadalafil 5mg daily ( makes erections easier and urologist said it could help repair any fibrosis, although doppler on flaccif penis showed nothing )
* Seroquel 50mg for sleep
* Pentoxifylline 400 ( my urologist reccomended it but It does nothing )
* Hitting the Gym 5 days a week

I'm on a rollercoaster, there are good days, and there are days when I'm suicidal, this has always been my BiPolar nature, but this condition is making it out of control !

Thanks everyone !

Your emotional numbness responds to tonic dopaminergics. Can you get Rasagiline or Piribedil?

I advice you to quit taking Aripiprazole, Flibanserin, and Pentoxifylline. They are redundant.

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:42 am
by infinityzer00000
You've had a very traumatic and stressful event in your life. Your body got to the point where its had enough and shut everything down. In your post it was obvious that you were extremely ill and the pills did next to nothing. CBT is useless for your condition.

You need real trauma therapy to start peeling back the layers of why you were so unwell in the first place. More pills aren't going to help or mend you.

This site is toxic for pushing more drugs on people. I'm not saying "it's all in your head" because its offensive and degrading to you because you dont really know what has happened. Your emotional numbness is tied to the lack of feeling in your penis and this emotional numbness comes from the trauma and stress in your life. The mind and the body have separated from each other to save you from feeling more pain. It's your protective mechanism. Your body thinks your fighting for your life right now.

Good luck in recovering from your trauma my friend. You have a long path ahead of you.

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:06 pm
by lordofpssd
I relate alot to your post I.Hope.
I also experience the exact same effect on abilify as you do!
@Meso what would you say is abilify’s mechanism behind the increased sensitivity?

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:21 pm
by Mesolimbo
lordofpssd wrote:I relate alot to your post I.Hope.
I also experience the exact same effect on abilify as you do!
@Meso what would you say is abilify’s mechanism behind the increased sensitivity?

My guess would be on partial dopamine receptor agonism. It has low intrinsic activity though, so it's more prone to induce akathisia and inner restlessness than Piribedil which is a partial agonist that has a higher intrinisic activity. Aripiprazole is also interesting as a 5HT1A partial agonist, but I don't think that this plays a major role in its pro-hedonistic effect.

I.Hope clearly went through a very stressful period in life and I think his HPA axis went haywire. But I like taking things slow when finding symptomatic relief. Since dopaminergics improve his blunted affect, then it's very important to solve this issue first as to offset the apathy he's experiencing. He needs to get his life on track ASAP before going bankrupt.

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:27 pm
by i.hope
Mesolimbo wrote:Your emotional numbness responds to tonic dopaminergics. Can you get Rasagiline or Piribedil?

I advice you to quit taking Aripiprazole, Flibanserin, and Pentoxifylline. They are redundant.


I have access to both, the only thing I'm afraid of is downregulating my dopamain receptors, which could lead to more depression later or something called DAWS ? and I'm very afraid to leave abilify after the improvment in numbness ( please correct me if I'm wrong, I have very basic understanding of how these things work )

Any reccomendation on the dosage ?

I don't know how to thank you Mesolimbo ! I never imagined you would read my long story and offer this quick help and your attitude that you want to help me get my life back on track is just amazing, I have been in this dark hole alone for months and this is the first time I feel like there is some one to talk to ! thanks a milion time.

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:31 pm
by i.hope
lordofpssd wrote:I relate alot to your post I.Hope.
I also experience the exact same effect on abilify as you do!
@Meso what would you say is abilify’s mechanism behind the increased sensitivity?


Hey man ! I have read all your posts before and I related to how you described your symptopms too, looks like our brains are similar in some way or another.

I'm on modafinil now so I I can write and say positive things, lets hope we can overcome this shit.

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:51 pm
by i.hope
infinityzer00000 wrote:You've had a very traumatic and stressful event in your life. Your body got to the point where its had enough and shut everything down. In your post it was obvious that you were extremely ill and the pills did next to nothing. CBT is useless for your condition.

You need real trauma therapy to start peeling back the layers of why you were so unwell in the first place. More pills aren't going to help or mend you.

This site is toxic for pushing more drugs on people. I'm not saying "it's all in your head" because its offensive and degrading to you because you dont really know what has happened. Your emotional numbness is tied to the lack of feeling in your penis and this emotional numbness comes from the trauma and stress in your life. The mind and the body have separated from each other to save you from feeling more pain. It's your protective mechanism. Your body thinks your fighting for your life right now.

Good luck in recovering from your trauma my friend. You have a long path ahead of you.


I can't agree more with "Body separated from mind as a protective mechanism", also my emotional numbness is tied to the lack of feeling in my penis that is 100% true, I know that I need to fix my physiological trauma to actually "heal" and receover my old self but i consider this a far away dream in a fairy tale now, I'm in a very dark place I can't describe it, I have battled with BiPolar depression for years, but it is nothing compared to what I'm experiencing now, I surrendered, I need help, pills can help me temporarily at least so I can be able to get a hold of my mind and try to dig deep into it and regenerate those destroyed pathways if that is the right way to describe it.

Thanks for your warm wishes and for your insightful reflection on my story, I wish you all the best too.

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:15 am
by Mesolimbo
i.hope wrote:[
I have access to both, the only thing I'm afraid of is downregulating my dopamain receptors, which could lead to more depression later or something called DAWS ? and I'm very afraid to leave abilify after the improvment in numbness ( please correct me if I'm wrong, I have very basic understanding of how these things work )

Any reccomendation on the dosage ?

I don't know how to thank you Mesolimbo ! I never imagined you would read my long story and offer this quick help and your attitude that you want to help me get my life back on track is just amazing, I have been in this dark hole alone for months and this is the first time I feel like there is some one to talk to ! thanks a milion time.

I'll be frank here. There's no way to prevent dopamine receptor downregulation - even partial agonists would eventually, at least, desensitize the receptors. Tolerance to Aripiprazole's pro-hedonistic effect is common. The fact that you are taking Modafinil also means rapid receptor desensitization due to its DAT-inhibiting property.

If you want to optimize your dopamine receptors densities, the best way is to optimize your sex hormones since testosterone and estradiol potently potentiate mesolimbic dopamine signalling. However, that's not currently possible since there seems to be a sex hormone resistance issue in PSSD/PFS, probably due to receptor silencing (but there's no evidence to support that as of yet). I'm currently researching sex hormones and neurosteroids in relation to brain functions and post-drug syndromes.

There's also the possibility that you are not suffering from PSSD but instead trauma-induced derealization.

How is your sleep quality? is it refreshing?

Re: I.Hope intro

Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:10 am
by naiverat
Interesting. Seems like most of us had extremely stressful events in our life close to our SSRI use. Upon quitting, I was working a nightmare of a job, dating a girl with borderline personality disorder, and tapering off benzos. My cortisol levels must have been through the roof for many months. I wonder if the stress during the quitting period stops us from returning to homeostasis.

My HPA axis is still wrecked (hypersensitive to stress), and I'm looking into ways to correct it (possibly Seriphos or GR antagonists like RU486/mifepristone). Maybe this holds a clue to solving PSSD. I know some PFS guys have seen improvement with RU486