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My name is Roy and I’m 38 and from the UK.

At the age of 22 in November 2007, I began taking Citalopram for just over three weeks to treat OCD. Within a day of taking the first tablet, I noticed genital numbness, a nearly complete loss of libido, and pleasureless orgasms. Sometime after starting Citalopram, I also observed that I was suffering from emotional numbness.

Before taking Citalopram, I had a high sex drive, normal sexual function, and experienced a full range of emotions. So, this change was very noticeable for me. Initially, I wasn't too concerned and assumed these symptoms would reverse after I discontinued the drug. However, even after stopping Citalopram, they never did.

I have now endured PSSD – (Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction) for almost 16 years, with no significant improvement in any of my symptoms, except for perhaps a slight reduction in genital numbness.

My libido and orgasm intensity are still only about 10% of what they were before PSSD, and I continue to suffer from strong genital and emotional numbness every single day.

The impact this has had on my life has been enormous, negatively affecting almost every aspect. I have lost several relationships with women due to PSSD, as sustaining a romantic relationship with this condition has proven to be very challenging. Navigating my way through my 20s and 30s with this condition has been a nightmare.

The emotional numbness has also had a profound effect on my life. I can no longer feel a whole range of emotions that I used to experience. I can't feel excited to go on holiday, to spend time with a friend, or to do a hobby; and I can't feel sad, feel romantic feelings, or empathise with others in the same way as before. I also can't enjoy music like I used to, as my emotions are too numb to enjoy the emotional effects.

I also feel that the prime of my life and my youth were ruined by this condition. I missed out on the best aspects of being a young person because I couldn't enjoy anything due to the profound sexual symptoms and emotional numbness. This has left me with regrets that I will carry for the rest of my life, as I missed out on so much and lost many years.

I also feel that I didn't develop properly as a young person in many different ways because of PSSD and emotional numbness.
Additionally, I've had to deal with a lot of disbelief and gaslighting from doctors who have refused to acknowledge this condition, contributing significantly to the trauma of living with it. There have been instances where doctors even laughed at me when I sought help for my persistent sexual symptoms, which was an unpleasant and humiliating experience.
I also feel betrayed by the medical establishment, as I was given no warning that the long-term sexual symptoms and emotional numbness could persist after discontinuing the drug. I would have never taken Citalopram if I had been informed of the risk of developing PSSD.

Every day is a struggle for me, and I feel like I am merely existing and surviving, unable to derive any enjoyment from life with this condition. I have no idea if I will ever recover or if I will have to live in this horrible state for the rest of my life.
Living with PSSD can be described as a form of prolonged mental torture, where you can't interact and function in the world as you're supposed to. My only hope is that perhaps in the future, I may somehow recover or that some treatment option may become available.”

Click here to read more accounts of stolen lives.

Roy had an extreme reaction to citalopram and is suffering 16 years later.

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