From Dud to Stud: Medication, Sex and Adult ADHD

Note to the Reader: The following is purely anecdotal and not meant to be a scientific survey or study. However, everything written here is true.

“Does the Wellbutrin cause problems with sex?”

“No. It has no effect on that,” the psychiatrist assured me.

‘Okay, my age must be catching up with me,’ I thought to myself. No more raging hard-ons in the morning. No more unexpected erections in the middle of the day.

I remember when it changed. It was like someone flipped a switch. There were certainly some benefits to it. My mind wasn’t consumed with sex because my sexual organ was playing unfamiliar tunes (Hmmm…The Limp Man March…I never heard it before). I became so worried about the change – it seemed I was too young to have this problem – that I went to my medical doctor who, I should add, is female, which made it a wee bit more difficult to discuss. But she checked things out (NOT that way, you filthy pig!) and couldn’t see any problems. Cholesterol, fine. Blood circulation, fine. Heart rate, fine. Too much body hair…shouldn’t have any effect. She couldn’t find any reason why there would be a bedroom issue but, there I was, me and my limp bizkit.

Since I work from home I listen to talk radio all day long and much of the morning is filled with “health” shows. I like these shows. There isn’t a single disease or ailment that can’t be cured with some vitamin or mineral or tea or herb or combination thereof. And the names for these herbs and stuff are so imaginative, like, who would have thought that the very name of the herb that helps you with your bedroom performance would be named horny goat weed? I’m surprised that some of the herbs didn’t have names like “hooter grower” or “elong dong weed” or something like that. But I tried one of those remedies and, I gotta tell you, that horny goat works fine, up to a point.

During my horny goat period I was also taking Vyvanse. I read somewhere on the Internet that Vyvanse might interfere with your pecker power. The horny goat did a great job battling against the Vyvanse and it brought about a change, but not a lasting one. Again my psychiatrist assured me that there are no problems associated with Vyvanse and “keeping your woman satisfied.” (Just in case, I started archiving emails that, with a single mouse click (and $49.95) would help me keep her begging for more while also fixing my credit report.) So you can imagine my surprise that, now that I’ve been off the medication for at least a month, that my inner teenager has come back. I wake up in the morning and, gosh darned, he is already awake. And when it’s time to do the horizontal mambo I no longer hear the Limp Man March. It has been replaced with Semper Fidelis.

The problem now, is, what incentive do I have to go back on my medication?

Post Script

I thought, after writing the first draft of this post, that my increased physical activity might be the explanation for this rebirth. But if mowing the lawn and doing more household repairs can help you with erectile issues then I would think that this discovery would have been made quite some time ago. No, my theory is that too many doctors still use a one-size-fits-all methodology (no pun intended here) so that when I complained about my bedroom issues to my psychiatrist, asking if there was any possible link between medication and erectile issues, he gave me the quintessential psychiatric answer, “Nope. It couldn’t be. It’s all in your head.” (Pun intended!)
(This is post no. 413 in the series of posts documenting the life of an Adult ADHDer.)

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  • LewMills

    Interesting that your doc thought there could be no effect. That’s nonsense. In fact it has often been noted that Wellbutrin has the effect of increasing libido. One story says that a woman took it and had spontaneous orgasms while going about her daily errands. (The punchline was that she never complained to her doctor about it.) And we always know that if a drug has a side-effect, it can easily have its opposite. Yes, a person can get hypochondriacal about side-effects. But you know your own body… 

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I’m a typical man, meaning, I don’t run to a doctor unless a limb has been cut off and I can’t reattach it with duct tape (“Don’t worry, honey, the nerves will regenerate”)  or I’m dead on the floor and someone else decides to get a doctor. This shrink seemed to always have a problem with dialogue. He wrote prescriptions. That’s all he did. Believe me, I was (and I am still!) quite surprised by the difference “off” the medication. And right now, it’s likely I will stay off medication for a while and see how I survive.

      I’m working hard at controlling my anger over this accidental discovery caused by the medication because, I have to tell you, I had some serious depressive episodes over this issue, and to think that a change of medication could have cured the problem, well, its unconscionable that the shrink did not take it seriously. I do have to say, though, I understand fully the distrust of psychiatrists, especially those who dispense drugs.

  • Gina Bina

    Very interesting!

    I guess you have to decide if regulating your “pecker power” is a good thing or not.  

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I think the answer is obvious. For me the bigger question is, what do I do about medication? And I’m also trying to figure out how to incorporate into my mental map, so to speak, this discovery about the effects of a drug and how I was assured that my problem could not be related, at all, to the drug. In some respects, this is no different than all the psychiatric misdiagnoses I was getting for much of my life. And, again, one more reason why people do not trust psychiatrists. I’m working very hard at allowing the “logical” part of me to be in control so that I don’t jump into the anti-psychiatry/anti-pharma camp. But I’ll tell you, I understand why and how it can happen. It’s one thing if a physicist f**ks up in the lab…sure…the spinning boson is upset but no one’s life is screwed up…but when a psychiatrist f**ks up there are serious repercussions.

      • Katy Rollins

        Meh, just try another one, you’ll be fine :) You should know from reading my blog that sometimes people have to try like 800 meds and dosages sometimes to find the “right” one or the right combo, lol…

        • Jeffs ADD Mind

          Absolutely! I’m looking for a different doctor and, this time, the doctor will get quite an interrogation from me.

  • Bushwacker

    Take Good Care of you “Famous North American ONE-EYED Trouser Snake”

  • Katy Rollins

    It is definitely possible for a variety of medications to mess with your mojo. However, I would like to note that during a time when my husband was taking a medication that was pretty much guaranteed to be doing just that…it had no effect whatsoever. I’m not saying that Mr. Rollins is Superman, only cautioning that even when drugs have the potential to have that effect, it doesn’t mean that every individual that takes it is going to have that effect. Also doesn’t mean that if ONE of them curses you with that effect that all of the others will. I know you know this Jeff. I’m just writing this for the people who read stuff like this, freak out, and forget to apply their critical thinking skills.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      Katy, thanks for raising this critical point. Side effects vary and sometimes…there can be no side effects at all. The bigger issue here was that the psychiatrist let me think, FOR SEVERAL YEARS!!, that the problem could not be related to the medication. So my regular doctor (G.P.) had me take blood tests, prostate exams, vascular tests, etc. to figure out what was wrong and she could not find anything wrong which, in retrospect, is no surprise because nothing was wrong.

      • Katy Rollins

        I think your doc was smoking crack. And as Whitney says “crack is whack”.

  • Sidney

    Interesting stuff, Jeff. Mental note to self: stay away from Vyvanse…

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      Sorry for the late reply…I was on vacation! (Yeah!) The lesson, I think, is to be very much aware of changes that may take place after taking some new medication and if your doctor doubts the possibility of a causal link…you need to question the doctor or find a new one.

  • Anonymous

    I too have experiendced symptoms from medication and told they were all in my head. I trusted for awhile and thought they might wear off. Then my friends began to notice things were off. Stopped taking and changed docs. Always an adventure. still not on meds, doing ok.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      Don’t discount the positive role of meds. You may have to keep searching for the right one. The thing that, so far, I like about Adderall is that it doesn’t linger in my system for umpteen hours.

  • Augie Weiss

    Prozac is my nemesis. A little I feel nothing, too much I’m out of juice. Never affected my desire or ability to stand at attention. Paying attention is another matter. 
    I can’t remember when it started. My wife informed me we had enough kids, so I got the snip snip about the same time I started the prozac. Now I wonder if I had gotten the prozac first I might have more kids. ;-/

  • Jonathan Roberts

    I’ll bet ya if a man went to a doctor and said, ‘hey, doc. I’m tired of fucking all the time. My wife wants it too much. I’m just plain sick of it all. Say, doc – can you give me something that’ll make me go limp so I don’t have to fuck her anymore?” I’ll bet ya anything the doctor puts him on something that gives him the biggest hard-on he’s ever had in his entire life. 
    And don’t forget to pay that bill, mother fucker!

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I wish that was my problem. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Try ADDerall

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      You’re 400% correct! That was the solution to the problem!

      • Anonymous

        Well, there u go.

  • mark

    ok if your hdhd can you take horny goat weed

  • JunkMan

    I’ve been on 70mgs of Vyvance for almost 3 years; and I’ve had no issues with ‘standing at attention’. For about a year I was also on 100mgs of Luvox for a co-morbid depression/anxiety and THAT had an interesting side effect. I leaned that it’s also used to treat pre-mature ejaculation and, oh yeah, things took a lot longer to reach a conclusion… still not real sure if my wife preferred the before or after.

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I learned later that it was likely the Wellbutrin that caused the issue.

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