Cock Killing Medication: Persistent SSRI Sexual Dysfunction

One of the most important things in having a wonderful sex life with your wife, is having a functional penis. It’s important that blood can flow in, it can get hard, it can stay up, you can come to orgasm, and you can squirt a good amount of semen into her. It’s also important that you have some amount of sexual desire, in that it’s fairly normal that your first reaction on meeting an attractive woman is “I’d like to tap that”. Ideally you should also be experiencing that “I’d like to tap that” reaction with your wife quite frequently. It’s not just normal, it’s a display of positive male health.
As a man there is a real sense that your entire body is a life support system for your penis. From a biological point of view, that’s your prime directive, whip it out, plug it in, make more little humans. Plus it’s fun. So your penis is like the canary in the coal mines. If it stops working or starts failing for any reason, you find out why, and stop doing whatever is causing it… immediately. So if you want to loosely summarize my entire approach to male health, the rule is, if it’s good for your penis and semen, it’s basically good for you as a whole. Here’s a check list of examples…
Exercise… check
Good diet… check
Not Smoking… check
Not drinking alcohol to excess… check
Not chugging coffee… check
Not overusing bicycle seats or taking hits to the groin… check
Moderate protein supplementation… check
Not getting diabetes by consuming endless sugar… check
Adequate fluid intake… check
Getting enough sleep… check
Controlling stress levels… check
Having a single critically bad day at work and starting on SSRI anti-depressants… whoa whoa whoa WHAT?
Lets talk about that last one shall we. And first, I have to post a disclaimer… I am not a doctor, any and all medication changes you make, should be under the direction of a licensed physician. This post does not substitute for medical advice. Do not start, stop, change, alter, tweak, adjust or even consider flushing your medications down the toilet without talking to your doctor first. If you are truly crazy, you should seek medical attention. If you react to ambulances the same way criminals react to police cars, you’re probably crazy and should stop trying to remove the restraints. Ask politely and we’ll talk about it. I said politely.
So that little piece said… I’ve been long aware of the potential for sexual side effects from SSRI medications. Most notably for reductions in desire and ability to have an orgasm. These are well known potential side effects. Interestingly a year or so ago, I noticed that for a few of them in my drug book there was a subtle change. Some of them were now being actively prescribed for Premature Ejaculation.  So Mr Trigger Happy goes on Prozac, and becomes less trigger happy because the Prozac nerfs his desire, excitement and sexual sensation.
So what was a horrible side effect, has now for some cases been turned into the purpose of treatment. Basically in computer geek speak… “it’s not a bug it’s a feature”. It’s also a clear admission of what the drugs are going to do to you if you take them. To be 100% blunt, my drug book says the purpose of SSRI medications, is to make you less depressed and kill your cock.
Perhaps I overstate a little, “kill” is such a harsh Saxon word. Why not get some more scientific data. I turn to the Center for the Evaluation of the Risks to Human Reproduction who have a  157 page report on Prozac (Fluoxetine) who concluded (pg 143) that;
“The Expert Panel concluded there is sufficient evidence in humans that fluoxetine produces reproductive toxicity in men and women manifested as impairment of sexual function, specifically orgasm.”
“Reproductive toxicity” doesn’t exactly say “it kills your cock”, but it sure makes me nervous about ever experiencing date night again. And to be honest while my wife loves me deeply and sweetly, I’m pretty sure me catching a bad case of Reproductive Toxicity would be the beginning of the end for us. Lets be serious – this is why we’re married to each other. I just spent the last 15 years programming her with that, it’s not meant to backfire on me lol.
I’ve also been long aware of how difficult some people find getting off SSRI medications is. It’s called SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome That link is worth reading simply in it’s own right. (As an aside, many of these drugs now come in liquid forms, the purpose of which is to enable tiny adjustments to your drug dosage so you can be ultra slowly weaned off the medication.)
However what I have recently discovered is that the well known sexual dysfunction from taking SSRI medications, can often continue on after stopping the medication. You absolutely must read on PSSD (Persistent SSRI Sexual Dysfunction)
Pulling some appalling numbers together – and I admit that the data is somewhat loose here, but to an extent the science is kinda new, so we have to go with what we’re got. Assuming the Wikipedia figures of “up to 60%” of people on SSRI’s experience sexual dysfunction is reasonably correct. And assuming that the PSSD figures on Wikipedia of “up to 55%” of people who have been on a SSRI still experience sexual dysfunction six months after stopping the medication… my quick and dirty math comes to a rough 1 in 3 chance that starting on a SSRI medication will result in long term sexual dysfunction, even if you stop the medication.
Does sexual function return sometime after that six month mark? I’ve got no clue – no one seems to have even asked the question, or done a study on it.
Hey maybe I’m way off on those numbers. I truly hope I am. That’s a lot of deeply saddened people, and shattered marriages out there for every occurrence. I’m not getting any enjoyment from reporting this stuff. But even if I’m overestimating by a factor of three, that’s still a rough 10% shot that starting on a SSRI will deep six your sex life. Maybe permanently. Of course if I’m even partly right, that means thousands of people would have been affected. You can join a group of 2249 of them in a Yahoo group where the permanent damage is discussed.
In the end though, I do have to admit that while Wikipedia is nice and an easy source of information, and I’m basically a science guy, ultimately what is spooking me is the stories of people I’m coming across. While I do know of many people who say that SSRI therapy has really helped them, I’ve also come across multiple stories of despair over SSRI destroying sexuality on Talk About Marriage. I really have no answers for those people other than to get off the meds… if you can.
Also in talking with a few friends about this issue recently, I’ve had the most heart wrenching conversations about their lives. I can only imagine the agony of being scammed out of an active sex life forever because of a few bad days one partner had, and an “easy solution” to that in pill form.
Have a look at the video below. More importantly, actually go to Youtube and read the comments, and start following your nose to what you can find related to those videos. I won’t pretend that it’s a scientific methodology, but it’s frightening what other lay people are reporting.
One comment in particular caught my eye and gave me the absolute heebie jeebies…
“I had 11 days of fluoxetin a month ago, my sex drive wnt down, my erections lost power… I don’t know if I will make it they have not returned. I really hope they do”
Anyway… this post is far more personal than I’ve let on up until this point. I had a pretty bad day myself recently. The short version is that work has been hell for well over a year with short staffing, I’ve had multiple close family members with serious medical issues – as in my father, my wife, and both daughters all within the last two months, I’m juggling school in bits and pieces and all the normal family life issues as well. I had a truly awful day at work, felt physically terrible all day, and I went to the ER because I wanted to rule out having some sort of cardiac issue. Chest x-ray came back fine, my EKG said I was just peachy. I was diagnosed as having a stress reaction and when they offered me an Ativan I took it because I was interested in basically having my first recreational drug use experience of my life. I am simply horrifyingly square I know, I know. (I was disappointed, I’m damned if I know if it did anything at all for me.)
So naturally there was a follow up to review my results etc and doctor agreed that while I had multiple serious stressors in my life peaking together, perhaps it could be managed better by taking something like Lexapro. Now about half my job description is being a psych nurse, so being offered to be prescribed psych meds is one part shock, one part insult, one part temptation and five parts self-doubt. To be honest I’m very good at talking crazy people into taking their psych meds, and now all my patter is running through my head… “Well you want to have a good day right? Listen it doesn’t bother me if you don’t take your meds, I’m just worried that if you don’t, something bad will happen and we’ll all be holding you down this afternoon. Someone could get hurt. You could get hurt. I’ll be back in a few minutes and ask again, take your time.” And then you game them a little by gently touching their arm and go to leave and they almost always fold.
I declined the Lexapro script. I think simply because in that moment I couldn’t agree to standing on the other side of the med cup. I do not take psych meds, I give psych meds. That is what I do.
Still she very kindly gave me a months supply of free samples of Lexapro. I was polite and took it. Shoved it in my medicine cabinet where it sat like bad sushi. Since then I’ve done a lot of thinking, reading, searching and talking to people. Jen and I talked, long and deep – now really is a difficult time, but most of the stressors are temporary. As I said before, I have no illusions that we would survive as a couple if the sex ended between us. So for me, for us, this is simply an unacceptable risk.
Listen I really know some people are truly helped by psych meds. But I also know some people, some marriages, are damaged beyond belief by them. Be advised, talk to your doctor, research on your own. I will be reporting to my doctor on Monday that I’m not taking the Lexapro samples, I don’t have to, but it’s common sense. Don’t be a lone gun with psych meds.
So here’s the takeaway point. If you are ever offered these medications, it’s probably going to be happening on the crappiest day of your life. When you are worn down to your weakest and most vulnerable. Maybe you truely need them, maybe you don’t. Personally I’d change everything else you can first before admitting you need them. But that’s just me. So as I said before, if it’s good for your penis and semen production, it’s probably good for you. You may have to live like a monk to get through your crisis, but that’s maybe the easy way out after all.
Exercise… check
Good diet… check
Not Smoking… check
Not drinking alcohol to excess… check
Not chugging coffee… check
Not overusing bicycle seats or taking hits to the groin… check
Moderate protein supplementation… check
Not getting diabetes by consuming endless sugar… check
Adequate fluid intake… check
Getting enough sleep… check
Controlling stress levels… check
Deep kissing… check
And for the record… the canary has been successfully sent into the mine four times in the last three days and is doing just great.

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Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Excellent article!

    I have used Arsenal-X (From GNC) for about 4 months now and in addition to increasing the intensity of my exercise routine I have noticed the following results.

    1. Energy level increased significantly.
    2. ATTITUDE was better all day.
    3. Blood flow to all areas of body increased!

    So, what is better than stronger erections, a great attitude and firmer abs?

    Having my wife notice and having sex with her for hours…

  2. CH says:

    Athol, what about Piracetam? It amps my brain and sex-drive, but now I'm worried about long term effects. Anything to worry about there?

  3. Athol Kay says:

    No clue about long term effects of Piracetam, so have no advice. Short term it appears well tolerated.

    My point about SSRI's is that the damage to sex drive and function is NOT a side effect, it can now be prescribed as the DESIRED effect itself. I'm just saying what the drug books say the drug is actually for.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A good SSRI alternative is WellButrin….No sexual side effects and if anything it ups the libido.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don't know if my husbands meds were SSRI's but they actually helped him along quite a bit….kinda wistful for those days now that he's off them. :-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, unfortunatelly, some people just can't do without antidepressants. I wouldn't take them for a few bad days, or even a few bad months, but years of daily panic attacks can really fkc up ones life. SSRI's do kill sex drive. Badly. However, there are non-SSRI antidepresants that actually work. Some even mentioned here. So, there is a way for help without extremelly nasty trade-of, and people should try to find a best solution for them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This man seconds wellbutrin – it has the opposite effecton me. Prozac = no sexual interest and no orgasm Wellbutrin = lets get it on

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