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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

What was your experience like while taking SSRIs?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23285 points ) January 21st, 2011

I know that this has been asked before, and I may have even mentioned that my own experience in the past was a negative one.
However, I’d like to hear the pros and cons weighed by those of you that have taken SSRIs in the past, or who are currently taking medication now for anxiety or depression.

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16 Answers

answerjill's avatar

Here are some things that I am attributing to my use of SSRI’s, but I cannot be sure: anorgasmia, heavy perspiration, weight gain – or at least difficulty in losing weight (really not sure about the last one). Worth it for now, though.

Seelix's avatar

I’ve been taking SSRIs for 6 years. Originally I started on them at my doctor’s suggestion for depression and anxiety, and now that the depression is gone, I’ve stuck with them to help manage my anxiety.

Pros: I was definitely more able to “stop and think” before automatically reacting negatively to a situation.
My appetite went out the window and I lost 30lbs (a good thing in my case as I was overweight).
I still suffer from SAD, but not nearly as badly now (although that may be due to the special lamp I now have).

Cons: I find I need more sleep now. When I first started taking them, I’d be tired and ready for bed about 12–13 hours after waking in the morning. I take naps most days now, so that’s not much of an issue.
I did find that my libido dropped noticeably, but have managed to overcome that for the most part.

Rarebear's avatar

I feel normal on them.

gasman's avatar

I started taking Prozac (fluoxetine) in 1994 after reading the book “Listening to Prozac” by Kramer, a psychiatrist who reported that patients said they felt “better than well.” I’m still taking it. It has no discernible effect in my head—nothing like euphoria or any kind of high, nor drowsiness. I did notice, however, that my periods of depression were less severe and occurring less often—so I suppose it’s working. But not so dramatic that I would describe it as making me “better than well.”

It had no effect on sexual arousal but at times (especially when first started) made me anejaculatory (a known side-effect). No effect on sleeping habits.I tried switching to Zoloft once, but it made me partially impotent. Switched back to Prozac & the problem disappeared.

Overall I think it’s improved my life—though I have no other treatment to compare it to. Of course everyone is different.

tedibear's avatar

While on Lexapro, my depression and PMS were lessened. Unfortunately, anorgasmia was a side effect. In fact, sex wasn’t really on my radar unless it was suggested to me. I’m currently taking something else for depression and I’m not having that issue.But it’s not an SSRI.

marinelife's avatar

They worked really well for my anxiety. I just felt normal.

The bad thing was the no orgasms and lessening of my sex drive. That was bad enough that I stopped taking them.

I am now taking something herbal for my anxiety which works very well and does not affect my sex life..

TexasDude's avatar

I was on Paxil for a while.

I felt “flat” a lot. It was hard to get excited about things, and I felt apathetic about things that normally would make me depressed.

Also, and this could be seen as either a pro or a con, but it gave me raging, insatiable boners all the time.

Neurotic_David's avatar

I’ve been taking Lexapro for 2 years. I’m a middle-aged man.

The good news is I don’t panic anymore in anxious situations, which was the whole point of taking the drug. The drug worked pretty quickly in that regard. 2 years into it, I’m not really having any side effects any more. But I did.

In the beginning, it destroyed my libido. For most of the first two years, it complicated achieving orgasm. For more of the first two years, it actually changed the viscosity of my semen. I tried counteracting the sexual side effects with Wellbutrin, but the Wellbutrin had no effect on me.

For most of the first two years, it also made me yawn every day around 2pm or 3pm, for about an hour or two, as if I were tired, but I wasn’t.

Hope this helps! The drug has done what I needed it to do, and it came with well-documented side effects, none of which were a surprise to anyone who knew what happens to most people when you take an SSRI.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’ve been on more SSRIs than I can count over the years. Currently, I take a small dose of Wellbutrin. It seems to work just fine.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@hawaii_jake no side effects that you’ve noticed?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie : No, I’d say it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing, which is keeping me away from the darkest regions of depression.

wundayatta's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I’m on Welbutrin, as well. I’m on a couple of other drugs, so it’s hard to know exactly where my sides come from (shaking hands). In any case, no noticeable weight gain or loss. No difficulty with sleep (it is a stimulant, after all)—at least, not attributable to the drug. I’m taking 400 mg a day. I’m thinking I want to come off it and see what happens.

JustJessica's avatar

I took Lexapro and literally wanted to jump out of a moving vehicle. I decided after fighting that urge for about a week, I was going to stop taking it.
I’m on Effexor XR now it’s not an SSRI, I love it but my sexual enjoyment has gone out the window, it’s helped with my depression , but hasn’t touched my anxiety, I might change soon.

zophu's avatar

I had been taking generic celexa for a couple of weeks. Nothing bothered me that much, which was better than being incredibly disturbed all the time I guess. There were a few instances where I was listening to some new music that I recognized was really good, but something about it was off. After a while I realized that what was “off” was me. I didn’t feel music like I used to. Which, should be a sign of depression getting worse, not better. I don’t trust these drugs. I found alternatives to drugs that worked well enough for me. Better food, better activities, better people.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Thanks to everyone for sharing. I appreciate that.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I took Zoloft about 15yrs ago and my experience was fantastic. I had minimal side effects and those were tolerable in exchange for the edge it took of me. My greatest fear was becoming zombiefied and unlike myself but everyone around me said I was me… without the rages or sudden depressions. It got me through a really difficult time, enough for me to learn some new ways of thinking, doing and living. 100% positive for me.

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