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   Celexa and libido
Wednesday, March 10 2010
Today was my second day on Celexa, and, because I couldn't stand what it was doing to me, it was also my final day on it. The weird hunger pangs continued, and I found myself eating about 50% more than normal. While flavorful savory food tasted unusually delicious, alcohol was noticeably less attractive than it had been before, making me feel a little like I was drinking poison. For dinner I made another vindaloo curry, this one based on kidney beans and mushrooms, and this time Gretchen was around to help me eat it. It almost never happens that I prepare dinner without being asked, so I have to assume the Celexa had something to do with it.
The vague feelings of nausea, the unpleasant obsession with food, and the further flattening of already-fairly-flat mood fluctuations would have been enough for me to stop taking Celexa, but the kicker was what it did to my libido. While it's true that libido doesn't play a huge role in a married man's life, it is nevertheless important for its contribution to identity and as a well-established route to pleasure. On Celexa, I noticed I had virtually no libido at all. I don't think I'd been so thoroughly uninterested in sex since adolescence. I'd try to masturbate, and while I had no problem getting and maintaining an erection, I had no real investment in it other than orgasm. I exhausted myself getting there, though orgasm itself was as pleasurable as always. Meanwhile, all the thoughts that in the past would have been reliably arousing had none of their usual erotic charge. Thoughts that normally would have bubbled up from my subconscious on their own had to be deliberately called forth, though now they were as inert as argon. The fetishizing, paraphilial parts of my libido were gone, but so too were the aspects any sexologist would regard as healthy.
Having had this experience, I could see prescribing Celexa as a therapeutic drug for sex offenders. Of course, it's possible that this effect on libido is a temporary one as the drug regime begins. (Gretchen reports that it affected her libido initially but has had less effect on it over time.)

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