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My name is Rebekah, I’m from the UK and I suffer from PSSD. When I was 15 I was prescribed (Zoloft) sertraline, an SSRI antidepressant for anxiety and OCD. My doctor told me it had an excellent safety profile and that the worst thing that could happen is that I may experience nausea for a few weeks. Later that night I would be permanently chemically castrated.

A few hours after taking my first pill my genitals were completely numb and I had lost all libido. I wasn't worried about this at the time however as I thought it was temporary and that things would go back to normal when I discontinued the medication.

I stayed on SSRIs for a year and half before deciding to quit age 17 so I could get my sexuality back before I started university. A week after stopping the meds I began to realise that things weren’t going back to normal. My genitals were still completely numb and I still had no libido.
I noticed that I was also starting to develop emotional numbness and the inability to enjoy things that I previously did. My mood was extremely low in a way I had never experienced before taking the meds. I had been really excited to start university but now I had no interest in what I was studying and was now suffering from cognitive dysfunction from the SSRI making it extremely difficult to be able to study at all.
I tried reinstating the sertraline and trying several different antidepressants but nothing helped. I have been off SSRIs for years but sexual, emotional and cognitive dysfunction still remain.

This January I decided to take the antidepressant bupropion as I thought it may help me as it has a different mechanism of action to ssris. However this severely worsened my pssd to the point that I wouldn’t psychically wouldn’t be able to have sex if I tried. My emotionally blunting also became extremely severe. I can’t even feel anger or grief for what has happened to me. I have never once in my life felt sex. I have never been in love.

I had to drop out of uni because of cognitive decline. Sertraline stole my identity. I am now an empty shell of a person. I was given an SSRI at the age of 15 with no informed consent about the potentially permanent and devastating effects they can have, I never got to grow into the person I should have been.

I am 23 now but feel frozen at 15 years old when I started taking antidepressants. PSSD has destroyed my life.

Click here to read more accounts of stolen lives.

Rebekah has PSSD after being prescribed antidepressants as a teenager

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