Searching for any hope

Hi All,

I’ve recently found out about PFS and just wanted to post to get stuff off my chest and see if there’s any glimmer of hope.

It’s a long story and I’m not really sure where to start.

I’m 28. In terms of my mental health, I’ve been very unstable since July last year, following a really difficult breakup where I discovered my ex had cheated on me and been gaslighting me for a long time, leading me to become temporarily homeless and needing to sofa surf. Understandably this was hard, but I felt I managed to find my feet, and in September decided to come off Citalopram (SSRI) which I had been on for several years. Things felt very weird following this, at the time, I thought it was all psychological, however started to experience genital issues around November (hard flaccid/some numbness). This lead me to find out about antidepressant withdrawals and PSSD, and I found the surviving antidepressants website. In the new year things hit a terrible place, I was practically bed bound with anxiety/panic and ruminating thoughts about whether to reinstate a small dose, and noticed a sense akaesthesia and insomnia. I eventually decided to reinstate 0.5mg citalopram, following the advice on surviving antidepressants. Since then, things have become very odd, I noticed a increasing sense of emotional and physical numbness, extreme brain fog and confusion, which initially only appeared in the evenings but now is 24/7. I thought this was perhaps me stabilising on the drug, and felt okay about this.

That was until I did some further research on PFS. I’ve been taking Pygeum (also a 5-ar inhibitor) for several years, occasionally in a pill mixed with Saw Palmetto, with no apparent issues. I was taking this on and off, however started taking pygeum again towards the end of November, which coincidentally is when my hard flaccid issues began. Having then read about pygeum possibly worsening hard flaccid, I stopped taking it mid December.

So I am now in a place where I have no idea what is happening to me. Looking back, my ‘crash’ in the new year seems to match up with stopping pygeum a couple of weeks before. However, I’m also a very obsessive person so don’t know if this ‘crash’ was due to be obsessing about possible antidepressants withdrawals, or whether it was the withdrawals themselves, however I have never felt anything like it, 24/7 emotional torment, literally no escape from the thoughts and feelings.

I have noticed things feeling much weirder since reinstatement … emotional numbness/detachment/anhedonia/unimaginable brain fog where I feel like an actual zombie. As well as increased head/sinus pressure, much worse genital numbness and possible shrinkage/ED. The anxiety is better, but I now barely feel alive or human, and feel a lot more suicidal and hopeless.

I’ve accepted there’s no way to know what is happening to me here… PFS, PSSD, antidepressant withdrawals… I have no idea. But I have decided to stop the reinstatement of citalopram. I’ve halved my dose today and will review in a couple of weeks, and then plan to stop completely. It’s been a difficult choice, as it goes against everything they recommend on surviving antidepressants, but they have no idea about PFS, and my physical state does seem to be deteriorating (looser skin, painful knees, receding nails, feeling physically unwell). These things can also apparently be signs of antidepressant withdrawal, so god knows if this is the right decision. It’s lose lose… continue the reinstatement and risk making possible PFS worse, or stop and risk the withdrawals getting worse. I just have to hope this is the right choice.

I’m sorry that was a lot of ranting, but I guess I was just hoping for any works of hope or encouragement. I can very much feel my body and mind breaking down, the more physical symptoms I experience the surer I am this isn’t just ‘psychological’.

I’m just feeling incredibly lost and hopeless… the thought of living like this forever, or indeed things getting worse, is unbearable. I see no quality of life in this state, I’m single, off sick and possibly going to loose my job as a trainee psychologist, my dream job, that I’ve been working towards my whole life. If things genuinely may just continue getting worse, my dick continuing to shrink, which already was a source of great insecurity for me, my already fat body becoming even more loose and unsightly, and feeling like I’m not human, I’m not sure I can do it. I don’t want to die, I loved life and always had hope. But this feels incredibly hopeless. It would feel so much easier if I could just have a test to confirm “yes you have PFS, this is going to happen”… then I could grieve, I could alter my plans and world view. But I’m living in limbo, no idea what’s wrong with me, no idea if things are going to continue getting worse, how do I continue like this? It feels all my dreams, even of a simple life… having a partner, feeling content, have been took from me. And worse of all this isn’t even acknowledged by medical professionals. I’m aware I sound i crazy when I speak to my GP, I’m aware it sounds like mental health issues, but this isn’t, something is deeply wrong.

I’m so sorry for the long winded and hopeless post, if there’s any advice or hope people can share, I’d be so blessed. Just any kind if lifeline to hold onto, anything, even “things got slightly better for me, my dick didn’t turn into a nub, I’m not a bag of jelly, I can think somewhat clearly”…. As this is what feels is destined for me after reading this forum.

Thank you all so much.


My man I’m so so sorry that you’re feeling and going through this

We… ALL…of us have felt like this or some variation of what you described to one degree or another. And yes it’s awful. It truly is
So we are with you in your frustration and feelings of seeming lost.

However, you also like us need to find the strength and holding out because you can rebound or at least begin to improve even incrementally.
Certain things and interventions you may or may not want to seek out.
I’m not suggesting you try anything I’m just saying you also need to follow your own path in terms of taking care of yourself.

Knowing that you’re lot alone must help somewhat
When I had my major crash where I felt nothing was truly scary BUT even I rebounded
Can’t tell you how bad it was and how crazy it was that i even got back to me 50% let alone fully.
It was crazy.

So I hope that helps knowing that at least one person here (and there many more) have gone to absolute shit then rebounded.

Just give yourself some care, self understanding and time. Try to breath
You may have to try extra to find a center of stability and peace.
We shouldn’t have to but we do.

You have support and friends here
Lean on us

Stay strong my friend and be well

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Do you think it’s possible for me to rebound to at least 50%-60%? I was functional and pretty happy for a while but now I’m suffering my 2nd crash after taking one pill of Prozac. I don’t know how long I can go on like this. I can’t think clearly at all or even get a moment of respite. I’m sorry if this is desperate I’m just suffering so much and I’m scared I set back all of my progress because this crash is SO much worse than the first.

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I understand pal believe me I do

Rebound to 50-60% even higher is possible of course. If I could flip a switch for ya and make it so I would. Of course I or no one can promise anything

Maybe you’ll make smaller incremental improvements over time but maybe that’s what it’ll take because that seems to be the case for most ppl ya know?

I’ve rebounded from absolute zero and I mean ZERO…… to me honestly it was a miracle
So if it can for me it can be possible for anyone.
Was I cured no….bit I mean down and fuckin out and it took a few weeks to get up off the mat.
I swear I never experienced anything like it

Shame on me because I should be more grateful in my life for not being and feeling like that anymore. Couldn’t sleep
Could barely move
No emotion
No perception of time

BUT my body needed TIME to heal
And yours does too

It might be tough
But time and hang in there my friend

I wish I can offer more than just words of my experiences for ya

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And please don’t apologize for asking for help

We all want to get better
And you sound like a great guy who doesn’t deserve it just like the rest of us

Rest, breathe, and rest some more
If there’s something anything you can do to keep afloat or your mind a little off it if possible do it
Walk, listen to music anything to help

Check back in whenever you need pal
I’m pulling for ya
You’ll be OK

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Thank you so much. That’s what I needed to hear. Whatever it is I’ll be okay. I’m going to hang in there and keep my fingers crossed for some improvements over the next 6-7 months. Going to keep exercising and trying to eat as best I can. Hopefully I will bounce back :crossed_fingers:

Thank you for understanding. I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this as well.

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You’re welcome no problem at all

Just a heads up
Light exercise
Don’t push it too much

Get outside and at least walk in the sun
But don’t push it too too much

You’ll be alright just be patient and easy on yourself