View Full Version : SSRIs and affective flattening?

05-02-07, 07:29 AM
First, I have battled clinical depression for many years comorbid with ADHD ( especially the impulsivity is ugly ).
Especially the many years of being depressed and have to go to school, write hard class tests, projects etc. were hard, but I am still managing it with very good grades.

To the topic: I've tried several antidepressants, but without much success. Especially the SSRIs ( I have been currently on fluoxetine), were really bad. I began to develop depression with melancholic features during the fluoxetine, worried excessively etc.
But most crucially of all, fluoxetine dampened my affect. It was more a mood flattening effect, i.e. the highs and lows of life were absent. Mood was gradually melancholic.

To me, it's important for feeling ''alive'' to experience both highs as well as ( mild ) lows. I think it's necessary for optimal functioning.

Mood flattening was not enough: My libido was practically killed. I wasn't interested in sex at all, romantic love was practically absent. After a while, my girlfriend even left me cause my interest in having romantical dates with her was absent.

I think it's important for one's well-being to be sexually active and have a normal libido. Moreover, I think the diminished libido IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC OF SEVERAL TYPES OF DEPRESSION. But instead of diminishing the problem, the SSRIs EXACERBATE IT. So I kicked fluoxetine. ( unfortunately it has a long half-live)

Has anyone else has made similar experiences with serotonergic drugs? ( to my knowledge, serotonergics are mostly anti-sexual, while dopaminergics could have the reverse effect , or am I wrong ? )

05-02-07, 07:05 PM
Yes, I felt exactly the same way on Paxil, which is just an SSRI. I felt the same flat mood on Cymbalta (although I was very happy not to be completely miserable at last) but once I got up to 90mg per day, I found that I had a full range of emotions again. I'm currently on 120mg, and it's working very well except that libido is still an issue. (I think the Adderall is helping a bit with that, but it's too soon to tell.) Cymbalta works on norepinephrine (noradrenaline) as well as serotonin, so it's a different action than just an SSRI. I think that made the difference for me.