Posted by Brainbeard on August 25, 2009, at 4:53:57
I just read a blog post that sent shivers down my spine. Here's the link to the post: http://clinpsyc.blogspot.com/2006/12/sexual-side-effects-of-ssris-even-more.html. It's about sexual side-effects of SSRIs that can persist after discontinuation of SSRI treatment. The reason the article sent shivers down my spine is because I recognized some of the symptoms of this syndrome.
If you want to read more about the syndrome, the Wikipedia article is excellent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-SSRI_sexual_dysfunction.
Now, I've been on Paxil (paroxetine; it was actually called 'Seroxat' where I live) for about three years, and that was about seven years ago. Ever since I quit Paxil, my physical libido hasn't been the same - it has been way lower ever since. My mental libido hasn't been lowered; rather, I have tried to mentally make up for what I lack physically, that is, arousing myself mentally to make up for a lack of bodily arousal. So, the strength of my bodily arousal isn't anywhere near what it was before my SSRI treatment. That could also be a sign of aging (is anybody still as horny as they were in their teens when they're thirty?). But there is more.
Ever since my SSRI treatment, I have a markedly decreased semen volume. But worst of all - I suffer from ejaculatory anhedonia. It is not so much a lack of genital sensation as what I can only describe as an uncomfortable feeling in my head that I get while or directly after I climax. There is a sense of disappointment because the climax isn't really a climax.
I now see that all these symptoms - recuded libido, reduced semen volume and ejaculatory anhedonia - point to what has been coined 'Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction' or PSSD. There is an internet community specifically dedicated to this syndrome: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/SSRIsex/.
Since it is more than seven years ago since I quit Paxil, it doesn't look like these dysfunctions will subside any time soon.
I see this as conclusive evidence that SSRIs lead to 'permanent brain changes' - to put it neutrally.