Tenacity - My story with Lexapro

ssri
pssd
antidepressant

#1

Hey, I am from pssdforum. I saw a post that was welcoming users from pssdforum to come here. First of all, I apologize if I was still supposed to use the template that was created for new member stories. I am 18 years old and will be starting college in a month. After experiencing a severe panic attack and being stuck in a constant state of anxiety with debilitating physical symptoms, I started taking the SSRI antidrepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) on June 17th, 2018. I noticed I was having problems achieving and maintaining an erection just 4 days later. I quit the medicine cold turkey. Since then I have seen some very small improvements. I was swapped over to Wellbutrin, which I took for 2 days. I believe it has been 2 weeks since I stopped the Wellbutrin. I stopped taking it after I noticed that it had reset me back to where I was before. I don’t see any issues with my libido really. My desire seems just as strong as it was before. I just can’t get hard very easily. I’m just a little over a month out, and I know that there is still a strong chance that I can recover from this, but it has been a little bit frustrating. I am trying to stay positive, and I have been exercising when I can. I plan on getting hormone testing done in a few weeks if I find that I don’t see more improvement. Again, apologies if I was supposed to have put this in the format still. My main goals for right now are to wait things and stay positive. I think my issue really is a combination of severe anxiety and the effects of the medicine. I’ve been trying to not let my physical anxiety symptoms get the best of me. Occasionally I do get really upset and down on myself because this is really frustrating, but I always reassure myself by saying things could totally be worse.

EDIT: Will be revising this to fit the new member template tonight or tomorrow.


#2

Hi there. Welcome to the site. Really sorry to hear your story. Sadly - it is the same as so many here. We are SSRI, Propecia, Accutane patients - all with such similar lasting side effects after quitting. We all here want to find a way out of this - so be sure to stick around.


#3

Yeah , it is certainly pretty crazy how a short round of medicine can do something something like this. I am hopeful I can get over this though given some time naturally, and even if that isn’t the case, I am confident we will make it through.


#4

Hi Tenacity. Welcome!

You can use the current new member template and simply adjust it to mention Lexapro in place of finasteride. Just edit it into your first post after completing it. FYI… a new member template should be posted in the next few days that better reflects the new membership here. …This is only a temporary thing until an improved patient survey is implemented.

Not at all uncommon for guys on Propecia or Accutane to notice erectile problems after only a few doses either. It was only a couple weeks on Accutane for me to first notice it took much longer to get an erection, but I really wouldn’t consider it ED at that point.

Most importantly, you are right for keeping positive about major improvements, possible recovery, in the early days of suffering from this.


#5

Thank you so much! I think my ED is a combination of performance anxiety and medication. I’m working on it. I’m glad it is the only symptom I’ve experienced and I realized it quickly enough to go ahead and get off the medicine as quickly as possible. I will go through and do the new member template now to revise my post. Sorry about that, I was just a little bit confused and it was kinda late.


#6

Hey Tenacity,

Welcome to Propeciahelp. PFS guy here, originally I had a few issues from SSRIs too but never connected the dots so I guess you could say I was a PSSD guy first. I took Escitalopram and Fluoxetine for a couple of weeks and they left me with further depression, anhedonia and numb genitals. I’m pretty positive I didn’t have ED but my libido was lower than it used to be (for quite a while), a welcome side effect for my 15 year old self.

Unfortunately since our problems are almost certainly connected, I can’t tell you what exactly to do since even within our subgroups people’s responses are heterogenous. However I’ll just tell you what I did, which was meet a good pdoc, use agomelatine and xanax (for a short period to overcome some minor SA), exercise a ton and socialize. That and time slowly improved everything, eventually I switched to Wellbutrin as I had some attention issues and although I slept less, it worked out really well for my motivation and attention. It might help if you give it a go, try exercise for a couple of months and see how you respond to it before resorting to any meds.

I sympathize with you. I was 18 when I got PFS, had just finished my college applications and in the middle of my gap year. I didn’t think I’d make it to my 19th birthday because I was hit very severely by PFS, but I slowly improved in a few areas. I’ve had a failure or two in the bedroom, but thanks to a very understanding girlfriend it’s been ok. I know this sucks but like you said, it could be much worse.

The best advice I can give you is to avoid antidepressants, and if you choose to go on them, pick one that doesn’t inhibit 3-alpha-HSD. Although if your depression is minor to moderate, I think working out would benefit you more than you’d imagine.

Hope college goes well for you, I’m starting in a few weeks as well. Good luck.


#7

Thank you so much! I’ve been trying to run a mile every day I can do it. I hate running so much. I plan on getting a hormone panel of some sort done in the next month just so I can make sure it wasn’t a coincidence, but I am pretty confident my medication has caused all of this. My physical anxiety symptoms have slowly started to get a little bit better aside from constant light headedness as a result of running, which is pretty awesome, because I was having some terrible chest pain there for a little bit, which turned out to be nothing. I had two EKGs done to check and see if there could be more to the problem. Now I have not the slightest bit of chest pain or headache problems.


#8

Good stuff! Keep running, try and make sure you go as often as you can handle it (up your distance as you go too). I started quite a while after but I used to hit the gym 6x a week and it was one of the best things I’d done for my depression.

A hormone panel usually doesn’t reveal much with these diseases, so don’t stress too much about it. I’ve had my testosterone levels almost out of range/out of range on a few days and those happened to be my worst days. So if it’s going to cost you money don’t bother. If it’s not too much trouble and doesn’t cost you much, get it done in case you want a baseline to refer to in the future for whatever reason.


#9

Yeah. I’ll ask my doctor what he thinks cause I have an appointment in 2 weeks anyway. I really like the positivity over here compared to the pssd forum. It really kills me when I see how upset people get. It is totally reasonable to be upset and frustrated. I think that is part of wanting to be normal, but at the same time I feel like you really have to set an example for people coming into this that it is possible to get over. It really kills me for PSSD because it is like as soon as you hop into the little community that they have it seems like everyone is stuck on never getting over things. Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. This thread alone is giving me some hope.


#10

To be fair, Propeciahelp has it’s fair share of despair but I’m glad you’ve mostly seen the good. :stuck_out_tongue:

On a more serious note, sometimes you never know what other people are feeling. I haven’t been on the PSSD forum myself, but I’m sure there are people who’ve been hit a lot harder than you have and I can imagine that’s why you notice a lot of posts where they sound upset. It’s also possible most of the people who had minor sides left the site and went on about their lives, only lurking every couple weeks, so you primarily see the more serious stuff. If there’s one thing PFS has taught me, it’s that suffering is relative.

Also, if you ever need to talk to anyone, feel free to message me.


#11

Apologies for not cleaning up my thread but I had some good news to share so I figured I’d come back and say it. I’m nowhere near 100% but I just started taking Ginkgo yesterday. I’ve taken 3 capsules so far and I’ve seen some pretty modest improvement. Improvement is improvement though and I’m excited for it in any form. I hope everyone is doing well.


#12

Have another update. I got a portion of my hormone panel back and my testosterone is actually slightly out of range. I’m at 271.3 ng/dL. I understand that this is only slightly out of range but I’m also 18 years old and this number should likely be a lot higher. I’ll keep you guys updated on my findings as I get the results for the rest of my panel.


#13

Hi Tenacity!

Saw that you sent an Accutane victim posting on the PSSD forum our way.

Just wanted to say thanks for the kind deed brother.


#14

No problem! I want to be able to help others if I can because its the least I can do while I’m struggling myself. I hope he found his way over here, and I hope everyone here is doing well. Keeping you all in my prayers.


#15

Hey everybody, it has been a while since I stopped by but I wanted to paste my recent post on pssdforum here so I could share some positivity. Thanks!

Hey everybody. I hope all of you are doing well and taking everything one day at a time. After 4 months, I think I’m finally going to be able to move past all of this. I know that my case would be considered very mild compared to most who browse here, but I only took 4 5 mg pills of Lexapro. I discontinued on June 21, 2018 after noticing that I couldn’t get an erection at all. It stayed that way for quite sometime. I had some anesthesia for a temporary period but that left relatively quickly. I haven’t moved past my physical anxiety symptoms and I’m still suffering on a daily basis as a result of those, but I am working with a counselor and things are going a lot better for me in that regard as well. It has been a long 4 months. A lot of nights I would be okay, but on some nights I would be crying myself to sleep because I thought things would never get better for me. I think the best thing I did for myself was to think about it less. I don’t want to say it was all in my head because I know for a FACT that it wasn’t. I would still say I’m on the lower end of normal functioning right now. I will however admit that my negative thinking DEFINITELY didn’t make my symptoms any better, and being so stuck on the fact that I was broken made me even more broken, or at least that is just my theory on it. As I started college, I found myself focusing less and less on my condition. Right now I have a 100 average in my first year engineering class, and I plan on trying to keep it that way if I can. The days I have spent focusing on school rather than what is wrong with me have helped me get away from the negativity inside of my own head. Having something to do has helped me tremendously. I feel like that in a sense has helped me heal. I feel like some of the side effects of the medicine still linger and I don’t feel 100% back to normal, but I would say I’m probably about 85-90% there. I honestly can’t remember how I functioned before all of this, which is kind of sad because it hasn’t been that long. I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m going to be stamping this a part of my life that I’ve managed to get through. I’m still going to be visiting the forum when I can so I can see how everyone is doing. I never really got to get to know many of you but I want everyone to know that it isn’t worth giving up and that with time you’ll make the progress that you want to make. No one deserves to have this happen to them and I hope everyone can see their way out of it someday. One of my favorite sayings is the deeper the trench the higher the peak. I’d like to think that it is a true saying and I just wanted to bring a positive post to the table. I think I can finally say I’ve found some light and I’m nearly out. Feel free to message me if you ever want to talk and I’ll get back to you when I can. I care about all of you.


#16

:slight_smile: it’s a nice one. I always liked the darker the night, the brighter the stars. From my favourite book.

I am very pleased to hear you’re improving. All the best and I hope it continues.


#17

Congrats Tenacity !

First year student myself too, good on you re that 100 average.

Feel free to pop back on here whenever you’d like, but if you feel like you’re past this don’t feel obligated to visit frequently.

Once again, really happy for you and hope everything works out.

Borax


#18

I plan on continuing to visit both websites as frequently as I can because I want to help in any way that I can. Thank you!


#19

I just wanted to stop by and see how everyone is doing and give a little update. I’m still sitting at what is now a 70-90% recovery mark with only mild erectile dysfunction and no real cognitive symptoms. My progression does seem to have taken a halt and I’m considering getting back to taking L-arginine and Ginkgo because of how much it kickstarted progression. There was really no reason to stop taking it. I just got really caught up in my classes. I’m ending my first semester of college with what looks like will be anywhere from a 3.58 to a 3.75. I’m just waiting for my last grade to be posted. I’m really proud of myself for pushing through despite all of this and I know everyone else can too. Love you guys.


#20

Congrats man! Did you ever redo test levels by any chance ?