Some overlap between PSSD, Long COVID, and post-vax

GoldenHour515 has recently released results of a survey on PSSD patients. I did a quick and dirty analysis where I tried to line up the symptoms against other patient surveys of Long COVID and post-vax.

Surveys sources:

See the Google Sheet for the data in spreadsheet format: Symptom comparison (public for sharing version, fixed) - Google Sheets

You can see that there are overlapping symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, tinnitus, dizziness, etc. Some of the symptoms probably don’t overlap that heavily. PSSD by definition requires the person to have sexual dysfunction (similar to how ME/CFS requires PEM for a diagnosis), so I would expect sexual symptoms to be much lower in LC and post-vax symptoms. (However, nobody bothers to survey those sexual symptoms or to ask about anhedonia.)

PLRC survey data shows sexual dysfunction at 14.6% for cis men and 8% for cis women.

Sex / Gender

The PSSD survey was 70% male while most Long COVID surveys are somewhere around 70% female. So it’s interesting that the situation is flipped with PSSD leaning heavily male. The u/Bubzoluck survey also found around 2/3rds male for PSSD.

What does any of this mean?

PSSD might be interesting because it’s a well-defined chronic illness where we know that the trigger is a specific drug. (For some reason, a small minority develops PSSD when they restart their SSRI.)

That you can develop chronic illness from a pharmaceutical is interesting because it suggests that there are multiple pathways to a Long COVID-esque illness: SSRIs, finasteride, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, COVID vaccines, and other vaccines may all be triggers for chronic illness. This is not a new idea, as John Chia has written about the various causes of ME/CFS (e.g. vaccines) including mold.

One commonality is the spike protein, but we know that spike protein cannot explain pre-pandemic chronic illness such as PSSD and ME/CFS. Another common denominator is that all of these things may activate the immune system and/or affect the body’s microbiome. SSRIs have some antimicrobial properties.

One angle for research is to figure out PSSD first as a stepping stone to figure out more complicated chronic illnesses.

Potential treatments for long haulers

The PSSD sufferers try some treatments that long haulers aren’t trying. Here’s a compilation of 100+ success stories: Hormones, dopamine agonists (e.g. adderall), and psychedelics are some of the popular, unusual treatments tried.

I am not recommending those treatments. Please be careful with anecdotes as some of them may be unreliable. Some of the treatments discussed are controlled substances so don’t blindly buy them off the Internet and get into trouble with the law.

Here’s a related post on what PSSD sufferers could learn from long haulers:

One interesting finding from the GoldenHour survey is that some people experienced PSSD symptoms ‘after reinstatement’. This suggests that their PSSD wasn’t mainly caused by an immutable characteristic such as genetics. Something about them must have changed which made them susceptible to PSSD.

*Technically there is a difference between post-SSRI and SSRI dysfunction.

Long COVID and post-vax - also not determined by immutable characteristics

For vaccine injury, we know that many people do not get injured on their first shot. There have been reports of people getting injured on their 2nd, 3rd, (4th), and 5th shots. (See slide 64 here.)

Many Long COVID sufferers did not develop Long COVID on their first infection.

Both types of long haulers have gone through subsequent instances of COVID infection or COVID vaccination- some get better and others get worse. There’s something weird going on where COVID infection and COVID vaccination are sometimes very harmful and sometimes very beneficial. It’s highly situational for some reason.

Both types of long haul are more likely to happen in biological females. We know that biological sex is an immutable characteristic that doesn’t change over time. So that immutable characteristic does play a role in the development of Long COVID. However, it seems that other factors play a major role in the development of long haul.