Do you suffer from Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction? Are you struggling with PSSD, even though, you may be exercising, eating well and doing all the so-called rights things? Do you want to discover natural ways to potentially reverse the effects of PSSD in your life?
Well, if you’re nodding “YES”, this episode of Overcome Depression + Thrive is for you!
Because, today I’m extremely pleased to inform you, that there may now be a natural, side-effect-free way to reverse your PSSD, and it’s easier than you may think!
Are you ready?
Well, lets check it out!
Press play now to listen to the Podcast Episode or watch the video below.
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READ TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Hi and welcome back! As always, it’s great to have you here.
I’m your host Marie O’Neil, Author of How To Create A Depression-Free Life and the creator of The 4-Step Formula To Reset Your Body-Mind System After Depression + Antidepressants!
Now, I’ve created this Overcome Depression + Thrive podcast to share some of my experiences and insights that I’ve discovered over the last couple of decades, which have allowed me to go from being completely suicidal and in the depths of depression to living a fulfilling life without ANY fear of depression returning.
And, I wanna show you, how you can do the same.
And, todays topic, due to popular demand is: Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction or PSSD for short.
Now, you’ve probably noticed that every piece of advice surrounding the topic of PSSD is full of fatalistic reports of no cure, it’s all doom and gloom and there’s nothing anyone can do about it!
But, is that really the truth?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re gonna be discussing today!
In this episode, you’re going to discover:
- What may be causing your PSSD?
- Why you may be experiencing PSSD even though, you stopped taking SSRIs years ago!
- How to start reversing PSSD. So, you can feel great about yourself and excited about life, once again!
Well, let’s get started!
Now, before we surge ahead and uncover the true drivers of PSSD and how we can begin to reverse them, let’s make sure we’re ‘on the same page’ when it comes to the term sexual dysfunction, in regard to PSSD.
So, throughout this episode the term: Sexual Dysfunction is going to be the ‘umbrella term’ for the likes of:
- Impotence / Erectile dysfunction
- Low / No libido (or sex drive)
- No interest in sex
- No feeling of pleasure
- Genital numbness
- No sensations felt in and around the genital area
- No feeling of stimulation
- Delayed or no ability to orgasm
Right, with that said! Let’s create a basic timeline of the 3 major stages of PSSD, so we can start ‘pulling back the curtains’ to reveal what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’ of your body-mind system, right now.
This is important, because…
Once you can see what’s happening and more importantly, WHY it’s happening, you’ll begin to see a path up and out of PSSD, with much greater clarity!
You’ll soon see, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom as reported!
There are steps we can take which may help alleviate or even, reverse the effects of PSSD.
Okay, well, first things first…
In ‘Stage 1’ of our basic timeline, we have depression. Now, we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction in this space.
STAGE 1: Depression (we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction)
Then, we move into Stage 2. This is where we start taking an antidepressant, usually in the form of an SSRIs or SNRIs.
(NOTE: If you don’t know which type of antidepressant you were prescribed, no worries! I’ve already created articles which list the various types of antidepressants on my website: SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, TCAs and Other Medications).
STAGE 2: Take SSRIs (we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction: PSSD)
So, in this Second Stage of taking SSRIs (just like in Stage 1), we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction in this space. Which would now be classed as: Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD).
STAGE 3: Stop SSRIs (we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction: PSSD)
Then, we move onto Stage 3. This is when we stop taking the SSRI drugs. And, just like the other 2 stages, we may or may not, experience Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD).
So, we can experience sexual dysfunction at any one, a combination of, or even, in all of these stages.
But, I believe the greatest confusion and frustration lies in Stage 3, after we’ve stopped taking the drugs!
Because, so many people ask me:
“If I’ve already stopped taking the drug years ago, why am I STILL suffering the effects of Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) today?”
And, it’s a really smart and logical question! (Which I get sent nearly every other week) and it’s a question that I really wanna shed some light on today.
But, before we do that…
We have to delve deeper into what’s really going on “beneath the surface” in your system, which may be contributing to your PSSD.
Only then, will we know how to start reversing it.
So, let’s check it out!
STAGE 1: Depression (we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction)
In Stage 1: We’re in depression.
By default, if we’re in a state of depression or anxiety, it means we’re operating from our Sympathetic Nervous System (the side of our Autonomic Nervous System which is commonly associated with the fight or flight response) and what I like to call: Our Survival System.
Now, I’m not going to delve into this connection between depression and your Survival System right now, because I wanna keep focussed on todays topic of PSSD and how to potentially reverse it.
But, what is key for you to be aware of today, if you’re suffering from any form of sexual dysfunction is…
When our Survival System is activated, it can lead to a temporary shutdown of our reproductive and sexual processes.
This is why many people suffer from sexual dysfunction in Depression.
What can also happens when our Survival System (Sympathetic Nervous System) is activated is that it can lead to a disruption in a nerve called your Pudendal Nerve.
Now, it’s vital you’re aware of the actions of this Pudendal Nerve.
Because, the Pudendal Nerve plays a major role in whether someone remains stuck in PSSD, or not.
Your Pudendal Nerve is one of the major nerves which is responsible for feeding your entire genital area with feeling and sensation. So, if this nerve gets affected, it’s easy to see how it can lead to an inability to feel pleasure, orgasm or experience any form of stimulation.
Which is a major factor in Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD).
But, more about that in a moment…
So, first (Stage 1) we have depression. Which may or may not lead to any obvious signs sexual dysfunction but we are vulnerable to experiencing it, in this space.
Then, we start taking SSRI’s (Stage 2).
STAGE 2: Take SSRI’s (we may or may not, experience sexual dysfunction: PSSD)
Now, this is where the real chemical imbalance begins!
It’s no secret that SSRIs can cause sexual dysfunction (PSSD).
In fact, you might be surprised to know that the sexual side-effects of SSRIs have been known for decades.
We can confirm this because SSRI’s have been used to suppress the sex drive of sexual predators in prisons and are still currently used in the treatment of premature ejaculation. , , , , 
In other words, outside the area of depression or mental health…
SSRI’s are being prescribed to suppress and diminish sex drive and ejaculation.
Now, these sexual side-effects caused by SSRIs can happen due to a variety reasons but one way sexual dysfunction can occur after taking SSRIs, is via the release of a hormone called: Prolactin.
Prolactin is usually associated with the production of milk after childbirth. However, it’s vital for reproductive and sexual health in both men and women.
The production of Prolactin takes place in the pituitary gland and for those of us who are NOT currently pregnant or breast-feeding, we should only have low levels of Prolactin in our system.
And, this is where SSRI’s start to really mess with our internal chemistry!
You see, evidence shows that Serotonin and SSRI’s can actually stimulate the release of Prolactin, . In other words, increase the levels of Prolactin in our system. And, this elevation in Prolactin can lead to a variety of physiological effects , ,  that can range from:
- Impotence / erectile dysfunction
- Decreased libido or sex drive
- A disruption in the function of the testicles, production of testosterone and sperm production.
- Infertility / Reproductive challenges
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Menstrual disturbances (irregular or absent menstrual periods)
- Menopausal symptoms (hot flashes and vaginal dryness)
- Just to name a few…
So, as we can see by simply taking an SSRI or artificially boosting our Serotonin in any way can lead to a rise in Prolactin, which can lead to Sexual Dysfunction.
But, it doesn’t stop there…
Because, when our Prolactin levels rise, this instantly alters the levels of other vitally important hormones and chemicals throughout our entire body-mind system.
For instance, as Prolactin levels rise, the levels of a hormone called: Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH), decline.
This is vital to be aware of, if you’re suffering in PSSD.
Because, not only does GnRH have a direct effect on our sex hormones, it’s also required for the production of Testosterone.
When our Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) levels decline, so do our Testosterone levels. And, testosterone is vital for normal sexual functioning, motivation and drive, in both men and women.
So, not only can we start losing our sex drive in this space but we can also lose our entire motivation and drive in life.
And, this becomes a dangerous chemical combination!
Because, it’s natural that when we cannot perform ‘adequately’ in the sexual department of our life, our self-image and self-esteem can take an almighty hit! And, if our testosterone levels are also declining at the very same time, we can quickly lose our drive and motivation.
In other words, we can easily give up on ourselves, stop looking for solutions and we quickly move into the mindset of “why bother?” and easily give up on life altogether.
But, I don’t want you to lose hope!
Even though, this looks seriously depressing – and it looks like a ‘chemical chaos’ there’s no way out of, it’s not as bad as it seems!
Because, there is a way to RESET our internal chemistry, you just need to know how!
But, more about that in a moment…
Remember, earlier I mentioned the Pudendal Nerve and how, when we’re in a state of depression we can cause a disruption to this nerve, which can lead to sexual dysfunction?
Well, SSRI’s are also said to disrupt your Pudendal Nerve!
But, what is your Pudendal Nerve exactly and why is it key to unlocking the secrets behind PSSD?
Well, let’s take a look at these diagrams… (Ladies on the left, men on the right).
You’ll see, that our Pudendal Nerve lies deep within our pelvis. It follows a path which enters around the Sacral area and later separates into 3 separate branches.
- One branch extends into the penis or clitoris.
- The second into the perineum.
- The third goes to anal-rectal area.
It’s your Pudendal Nerve and its separate branches which feed your entire genital area with feeling and sensation. It’s also involved in the processes of erection and ejaculation.
So, if this nerve gets affected in any way, let’s say; by taking SSRI’s, it’s easy to see how this can lead to difficulties in the area of sexual functioning.
Whether, that’s the actual physical functioning. As in, having difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection, or having challenges with ejaculation. Or, struggling to feel the usual sensations, orgasm or pleasure associated with a normal sexual experience.
Simply put, when SSRIs interact with the Pudendal Nerve it can lead to a restriction, a ‘cutting off’ or a ‘blunting’ of the nerves, sensations and feelings in, and around our lower pelvic and genital area.
This is why many report feeling anaesthetised as a symptom of their Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD). There’s quite literally, no sensations going in or out of this area.
A Disruption In The Pudendal Nerve May Lead To:
- Impotence / Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty getting / maintaining an erection
- Having challenges with ejaculation
- Struggling to feel the usual sensations
- Inability to orgasm
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Genital numbness / desensitised / anaesthetised
Can you see how a simple disruption to our Pudendal Nerve, could play havoc with our sexual functioning? Whether that’s to do with the mechanics of sexual functioning or the pleasure and sensation side of the equation.
So, how do we turn this all around?
Well, the great news is there’s a simple 4-Step Formula to turn this chaotic chemical storm around, so you can start to reset your entire body-mind system after depression and antidepressants!
Here’s the first two steps…
The 1st step of the 4-Step formula to start resetting your body and brain after depression and antidepressants. After safely withdrawing from SSRIs, is to:
STEP ONE: Reset Your System (Deactivate Your Survival System)
As this will shift us out of a state of depression and it’ll also start ‘releasing the handbrake’ which has been locked on at the point of our Pudendal Nerve, so we can start feeling sensation, pleasure and orgasm, once again.
Remember, our Survival System is in constant, direct communication with our Pudendal Nerve.
To show you what I mean, just take another look at this image of your Pudendal Nerve…
As you’ll see from this diagram, your Pudendal Nerve is directly connected to your Survival System (Sympathetic Nervous System).
This means, they constantly talk to each other.
And, this makes sense! Remember, our Survival System is the part of our nervous system which is connected to the ‘fight / flight response’.
So, any time our Survival System is activated, it sends signals throughout our body-mind system to shutdown any function or process which is not VITAL for our survival. Our sexual functioning is one of those systems which gets shutdown!
It makes sense, right? I mean, just imagine you’re in an emergency situation, you’re running for you life or fighting against an attacker for your survival…
In that space, you don’t need your sexual functioning! You don’t need to be having orgasms! And, as for sexual pleasure? Forget it!!! It’s irrelevant in a survival situation.
You don’t need any of your energy going to irrelevant systems. You need all your energy and all of your internal resources being sent to the areas which are VITAL for your survival, namely, your arms and legs to fight or flee for your survival.
And, this is what the Pudendal Nerve is partly responsible for. It helps shutdown your lower pelvic region, it shuts down your sexual functions, it stops sensations from reaching all those intimate areas, whilst your Survival System is activated.
But, the great news is…
If we simply start using proven methods to deactivate our Survival System, that will start sending a signal to our Pudendal Nerve to inform it that ‘all is well’.
The Pudendal Nerve can relax, it can release the brakes; allowing sensations, pleasure and functions to start flowing, once again into this lower pelvic region.
And, this is a major reason why we can remain stuck in PSSD. Here’s why…
Even though, we may have stopped taking antidepressant drugs and we may have completely removed the drugs from our system, we haven’t lifted to burden off our Pudendal Nerve.
We haven’t deactivated our Survival System, which was originally activated when we found ourselves in a state of depression!
So, as you can see by simply removing the SSRIs from our system and also calming down / deactivating our Survival System, we can start reducing the areas which may be causing or aggravating the condition of PSSD or sexual dysfunction, in our life.
But, we’re still left with this ‘chemical chaos’ over here on the right, aren’t we?
We’ve still got these unnatural levels of Prolactin, GnRH and Testosterone, which can also cause sexual dysfunction.
So, how do we reset these chemical imbalances?
Well, that’s where step #2 of the 4-Step formula to reset your body-mind system after depression and antidepressants, comes in.
STEP TWO: Reset Your Rhythm (Your Internal Body Clock)
You see, scientists have discovered that each and every one of us is driven by various internal biological rhythms which act just like “body-clocks”.
You may have already heard of the term ‘Circadian Rhythm’, as it’s commonly linked with depression. This is just one of the many internal biological rhythms or ‘body-clocks’ we are governed by.
Truth is, your internal biological rhythms (your body-clocks) are what make you tick; mentally, emotionally, and physically.
There isn’t a process, cell or chemical they don’t govern and this is key if you want to free yourself from PSSD. Here’s why…
If you want to turn around this chaotic chemical storm left behind by depression or SSRIs, you need to be aware that your body-clocks govern absolutely everything:
- From your feelings / emotions / moods
- Your performance / motivation
- Your hormone production
- Your immune system
- Your thoughts / mindset / attitude
- Your energy levels
- Your eating habits
- Your sleeping patterns
- Your reproductive system
- Your sexual functions
- Your digestive processes
Every single cell, every system, every process within your body-mind system, works to and is governed by an internal body clock.
How does knowing this, help you reverse the effects of SSRIs or PSSD?
Well, scientists have found that if you live, work and rest in alignment with your internal body-clocks, you’ll experience ultimate harmony and health, across all levels; mentally, emotionally and physically.
You’ll be like a “well-oiled” machine because your body-mind system is running like “clockwork”. Which means, you can start to free yourself from the likes of PSSD, fatigue, depression, anxiety, etc.
However, if we don’t reset our body clock after depression or Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) and we continue to unknowingly disrupt our body clocks, we’ll remain in a constant state of chemical imbalance.
Great news is…
>If we simply use proven methods to reset our internal ‘body-clocks’, we can start to turn all this chemical chaos around and start to restore our healthy internal chemistry.
Now, if you believe resetting your internal body clocks, sounds hard, it isn’t!
And, if you’re really serious about doing this…
- If you want to be given easy-to-follow, step-by-step protocols which guide you through this simple process of resetting your internal body-clocks, so you can start to reset those chemical imbalances which may be keeping you locked in a less-than optimal state…
- If you want to discover proven methods to deactivate your Survival System, so you can start releasing that ‘handbrake’ off your Pudendal Nerve…
Then, be sure to visit, overcomedepression.tv and start The 4-Step Formula To Reset Your Body-Mind System After Depression + Antidepressants today!
Start discovering how to control your internal chemistry, so it no longer controls you!
Thanks for joining me, I hope I’ve shed some light on the topic of Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD).
I hope you can now see, there is hope!
There is light at the end of the tunnel!
You CAN do this! Your body and brain CAN heal and be reset!
They just need the right tools to do it. And, that’s what the 4-Step formula is all about.
If you have any questions message me on my blog (by clicking here).
I’m sure you’ll agree, that Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) is a huge topic and I truly believe authentic conversations around PSSD need to started because there’s just too many people across the globe suffering, from a preventable condition!
So, let’s work together to get the word out! Simply like, comment, subscribe and share and hopefully as a community, we can start positively transforming the lives of so many who are negatively affected by both depression and Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD).
Okay, until next time, take care, talk soon, bye for now! 😉
ARTICLE FEATURE IMAGE: Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash