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jaycee Prozac withdrawal, depression relapse? help pls


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hello all, I come here seeking support and some guidance. I am a 17 year old girl, and I have been on Prozac since maybe may 2013, at a dose of 30mg. I tapered down to 10mg and stayed at that dose for probably 4 months before ultimately stopping the drug in late June 2015. I should probably additionally mention i used psilocybin mushrooms at a low dose 3 times during the month of July, each trip being about a week apart from each other. I found the experience to be extremely spiritual and connecting to those with me, as most people experience on mushrooms. afterwards, I continued to be happy, peaceful, content, and loving life with a renewed sense of acceptance, purpose and self. this carried on with me for quite some time, my spirit was crushed primarily by the start of a new school year. now it is November and I am hurting. I am having symptoms of depression such as insomnia, irritability, withdrawal from social situations, extreme bouts of loneliness, insecurity and being over emotional.

is this withdrawal, relapse, normal? negative side edffects I had while on Prozac have decreased such as constant dry mouth, constant feeling of chilliness. I feel in the past 6 months my memory has been awful. I don't know what is best for me right now. my symptoms of anxiety and depression urge me to try Prozac again, but I do not know if this will help or hurt. My psychiatrist told me I "have a prescription" for it should I decide I want to take it again. I have never liked him and I am in the process of finding s new one. what do you all think of my situation. what are my options and what do they entail as side effects and what not? I feel scared and alone in this and I continue to read negative things about SSRIs on the adolescent brain. what do you all think? I thank you in advance ????

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The first time that I went off prozac, I also experienced that: being overly emotional, depression, anxiety, overworrying, urges to being alone, etc.


For those symptoms I decided to come back on prozac and it didn't work nearly as well as it did the first time;

it took more than 2 months to reduce the anxiety and in those 2 months the anxiety and depression actually got worse. After that, it left me completely flat; I sort of lost my personality, I became completely detached, stopped to care about anything(when before prozac I was the kind of person who cared too much).


So I stopped prozac again (July 2015) and the emotional flatness, apathy, anhedonia that started while on prozac is very persistent, it has improved only like 20% since I stopped it...


So be careful with going back on an ssri... if I were you I will give it a little bit of time and try to manage anxiety and depression in much safer ways (meditation, exercise, therapy, or just time) ... I wish I had done that.


Also I am 22, not much older than you.

About me ------------------------ College student with a history of anxiety, excessive worrying and health anxiety.

April 2014 - May 2015----------    Prozac 20mg On and Off.  Second time on it I developed apathy, changes in personality, asexuality.

May 2015  -   July 2015-----------------  Tappering off prozac. Still no feelings,anhedonia, apathy, no libido, asexuality.

Current symptoms--------  pssd (asexuality in my case). Anxiety and depression developed some months afer stopping prozac, could have been caused by obsessing and beating myself up too much when I found myself unable to like girls again. The best thing to do with pssd (which in my case is asexuality) is accept it and move on.

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Yes up to you but it reminds me of when I first went on ssri at 17. Went on it and was not too bad in functioning and could enjoy a lot of life. Enter unrecognised withdrawal after I came off at 18 that was so severe I don't think I could not have medicated it but was also under a lot of pressure and believed I need the meds..I'm now 32 and have been in hell on and off for 8 years in out of unrecognised withdrawal. Just kept being put back on the med that could not tolerate well and then severe withdrawal vicious circle off. So if you can bear it it would be nice if you could walk away from this. :). Very good indeed. But you must do what is right for you and if that means going back on but now having the knowledge and support here on how to withdraw properly then that is what you must do.


Anyway, I'm wishing you well and very very pleased you've found this place as young as you have.

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!


On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.


Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.



Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi jaycee , welcome to the site.

It sounds like you are experiencing protracted withdrawal syndrome . . . where the symptoms of withdrawal

from ssri's kick in weeks or months after stopping the drug.


Your options are 1. to wait the withdrawal out or 2. reinstate a small amount (1-2mg) of prozac and see if

this provides some relief of your symptoms.

No one is able to say how long it will take for you to recover unfortunately. If you're able to get through the

next 12 months without resorting to medication , it sets you up well for the future.

I think that because you started the ssri's so young , your recovery after tapering so fast may be quite harsh.

It's just that your brain hasn't had a chance to "go it alone" and has become used to functioning with support

(prozac).   It may be a kinder , more gentle and functional recovery if you try reinstating and get stable , then

taper very slowly after that.


Try reading  





Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, jaycee.


Since you went off Prozac, have these symptoms gotten better or worse? When did the insomnia start?


My personal opinion is that you should act on the hypothesis that you are a normal teenager, with a lot of angst and ups and downs, and not enroll in a life-long career as a psychiatric patient.


Although you may know many people your age on psychiatric drugs, learning how to take care of yourself -- doing things that make you feel calm, happy, and healthy -- is a much more sustainable lifestyle.


Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Jaycee,


I think you've shown some pretty good instincts by recognising that SSRIs are not a good thing for you.  And while it's important to know why (bad effects on brains etc) make sure you balance that with all the good stories too.  There are great talks on you-tube about neuro-plasticity which explain how our brains can heal and grow throughout our lives.  Very positive and reassuring.  


It is also known that alcohol slows down brain development - not sure if you drink, but if you do that's worth considering.  


The others have given you some good advice - have a read of those links and come back with any questions.  You could also have a read of http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/  which has a lot of practical ideas for looking after yourself and managing depression etc without using drugs.  It's my favourite topic on this whole site - full of good stuff to help you strengthen and stabilise. 


I think you will be fine - you're getting out at such an early stage, and before you get caught in a cycle.




2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 Now on 7 micro-beads of Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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thank you all for the love and support ???? I appreciate it and already feel a bit more relieved when I think about this daunting process. thank you all for sharing your stories as wel

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  • 3 months later...

Jaycee any updates?

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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