ZERO sex drive: yet another sign of my recurring depression? (long)

Some background:

I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression three times so far, and have gone on meds each time, and the first two times, was able to go off after a while. The last diagnosis was four years ago, this time with generalized anxiety disorder and occasional panic attacks. So I’ve been on a cocktail of meds since then: antidepressants, benzos (which I DON’T abuse, and which saved my life before the ADs kicked in), and trazodone for occasional insomnia. The ADs I’ve been on this time around are Serzone, then Paxil, then Wellbutrin, and now Celexa for two years.

It’s well-known that ADs can “poop out” after a period of time. Well, the Celexa very slowly started pooping out last year, and has been rapidly losing its steam over the past four months or so. Yes, I have good days, even stretches of them (today was a good day and I felt great, but this after a bad two weeks), but lately it’s gotten quite bad. I’m trying to do things that pick me up, such as going to Dopefests and generally being with friends more often (I’m an urban hermit - go figure). But my day-to-day is just… blah.

I had a breakup in January that took me an inordinate amount of time to get over, probably because I was already starting to feel more depressed. (I’m fine about it now, and get along very well with the guy in question, in case you’re wondering.)

My appetite has been decreasing to the point where some days I’m not even hungry enough to have lunch at work, or if I do, I only eat half of it. Today was the first day all week I managed to finish lunch (as I said above, it was one of those rare “good” days). I’m tired all the time, in all senses.

And all of this is affecting my work. I have trouble thinking strai- er, clearly :stuck_out_tongue: and it takes a huge effort to get my job done right. Given the uncertain situation at my company, now’s not the time to start fucking up (well I was for a while, actually, but I’m doing better now) - that could land me on a “potential layoff list.”

A couple of days ago I realized it’s been months since I’ve even wanted to have sex. Even the last time I did, I just wasn’t into it. Then I realized that I can’t remember the last time I had an erection, with the obvious exception of involuntary ones during sleep. And this from a gayboy who’s surrounded by cute young engineers at work.

So there you go: all of the classic symptoms. The Celexa has pooped out. I either need a higher dose, or to switch meds. What sucks is that my PDoc has left Montreal forever. He gave me the number of another gay doctor (a GP, not a shrink) so I can at least get meds and have someone to follow me.

I’ll finally cut to the chase: have any of you had “antidepressant poop-out” as well?

Must call the new doctor. This has gone on too long, and I deserve to feel better than this.

Thanks for reading.

Evil man the meds can affect sex drive immensely as well, don’t forget (pesky side effects).

But without meds I’ve gone through similar phases during depressive periods (usually “despairing anxiety”) and it does indeed affect my libido and my weight. Couldn’t care in the least about sex. Don’t get hungry either.

During one “anxiously depressed” phase I lost heaps of weight because I just don’t get hungry. You may remember me and my smallish size – you met me after I’d gained back 20 healthy pounds lbs – so you can imagine that I was pretty frigtheningly scrawny before I felt good enough to have an appetite again. (I suspect my weight may have actually dropped to just under 100 lbs – that idea is rather scary and I’d rather not think about it).

Never been on meds, so never have had them quit on me. Since I moved to the big city, my moods have been on an even keel (in a good way, really!) I’ve been able to keep my moods stable through alternatives to meds (no meds for me – long story). For a lot of people though ADs can save lives.

Hopefully they can sort you out on a new one, and hopefully your sex drive will soon return with a vengence (wouldn’t want to deprive the Montreal queer boys of such a hottie!)

{{{{{{{HUGS SCOTT}}}}}}}}}

Hey scott. I’ve been on Paxil for three years now due to generalized anxiety with panic attacks. I think my Paxil is starting to poop out on me- I’m getting these symptoms again, which, while not panic attacks, are definitely lead-ins to them. I have a major case of hypochondria, brought on by my anxiety, and those worries are starting to come back. I’m scared- Paxil saved my life. I know I’m not strong enough to go without the meds, but what if I don’t find anything else that works for me? I tried Zoloft when first diagnosed, and I was a walking train wreck from practically the first week I was on it.

About the libido- well, I never really had one in the first place, so it’s not like I miss it. It’s caused a few problems in relationships, sure, but if the other person is understanding, which fortunately my SO is, it can be worked through. Of course, I’m female- it’s a little easier for me to fake it, human anatomy being what it is. But sexual side-effects are so common with SSRI’s, maybe your trouble is not due to depression at all?

The only real advice I can give you is to talk to your doctor. But I can {{{{scott}}}}}, and let you know that you’re not alone in your struggle. If you ever want to talk, please e-mail me. I’m hoping for the best for you.

I was on Prozac when I was 16. It pooped out after about 2 months. I took Paxil spring of '01 and it pooped out after a month. I’m not dangerously depressed, though, so I’ve just stopped taking drugs. Prozac didn’t affect my libido; Paxil practically made me numb down there. It seems that the more depressed I get (without drugs) the hornier I am. Hey, works for me. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Scott. Just thought I’d throw in some added suggestions.

I recently added another shrink to my long list, and he told me that (I am on Celexa and experience a lot of the same problems) adding Wellbutrin to an SSRI has been shown to help with 50% of people suffering from sexual side effects.

I have been on SSRI’s since I was 17. (I am now 30). They do cycle out. And there is a lot of information on it on the web. It is especially true if you take one, stop it and take it again.

Personally, for me, medication has never been the end all, be all it is supposed to be. It basically keeps me out of those evil dark depths of despair.

There is also a new form of Celexa to be released Sept. 5. Some say it is just a marketing ploy, while other studies say it has less sexual side effects, and is quicker to act on depression. It is also rumored to be more effective in smaller doses than the original.

Finally, if you are worried about your loss of appetite, (the one for FOOD) there are other AD’s that do not kill it as much. I think Remeron? is one.

Hope this helps.

P.S. I have a question for you. How is trazadone working for you. I also have it for insomnia. However, the first and only time I took it, I slept forever.

No, no, no, it’s not Celexa killing my sex drive. In fact, Celexa is the only SSRI I’ve been on that has had absolutely NO effect in that area. I’ve been on it for two years now and have had a normal sex drive the whole time up until a while back. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s pooping out on me.

I’m just going to go to the new doctor and explain this to him, and see what he says. I have a feeling he might first want to try upping my dose to 40 mg qd, and if that doesn’t work, trying another med… which would mean tapering off, getting the “brain shocks” and all that… UGH. But if in the end I feel normal again, it’s worth it.

Oh, and CMC regarding trazodone - try taking a smaller dose and a little bit earlier. How much do you take? I take 50 mg about 20-30 minutes before bed. I have to make sure my tummy’s full, though, because trazodone gives me the munchies akin to being stoned on pot. :eek:

IANADoctor, obviously. But my Dad is. An Evil one at that. :smiley:

Scott, what’s keeping you from trying out this new GP guy?

I’ve never been depressed to the point where anyone thought meds were a good idea for me, but I sure as hell have experienced loved ones with depression issues, and it sure does sound like your drugs aren’t working for you anymore. When’s the last time you saw a doc for a check-in? Even a GP, or maybe even especially a GP? Who knows, maybe there’s other stuff going on with your mind and body in addition to the depression issues, and if it’s been even a few months since you saw someone, perhaps a tune-up is in order.

I’m of the firm belief that anyone with ongoing health issues should always have both a GP available with whom one has an established relationship, and possibly also a specialist who knows one’s history to deal with any flare-ups of any ongoing issues.

So if you’ll accept a virtual hug from a complete stranger, I’m happy to provide one, and please go see a doc!

Thanks, Eva. Much appreciated.

I didn’t want this to affect my work, but eventually it did, and my manager is well aware of it. I’ve picked up a bit of late, if only in terms of work, because I know I have to, lest I get put on some lay-off list. They can’t fire me for being depressed, but they can fire me if my work sucks, so I make an inhuman effort every day to do a good job. But I should have to make that effort every day. It should be inherent. I know my job - complicated and technical and often boring as it may be - inside-out. To screw up on little things is not something that goes unnoticed.

I’m going to make an appointment with the new doc next week. I’ll have to bring my prescription bottles with me so I won’t look like a pill-grabber. (“Yeah, hi, you’ve never met me, but I need antidepressants and more tranquilizers.” At least I’ll have proof that I’m on this cocktail. Plus, the new doc knows my old PDoc.)

At any rate, I’m OK right now. I haven’t had suicidal ideations for a bit (not when you consider doing it, but the idea crosses your mind) so I should be fine until I see the new doc.

Thanks, all.