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Fox

Hello everyone. I have been a silent follower of this site for many months but decided today to share my story.

 

I was prescribed Prozac 10mg  for PMD in March of 2015. My GP said I could take it everyday instead of just the 2 weeks out of the month and I  agreed. I could tell a huge difference in my moods before my cycles. I went to my 6 month follow up and when asked how it was working I told him great but I would still feel a little edgy around that time of month. So he said to move it up to 20 mg since that was the usual starting dose. I also have Hoshimoto's (hypothyroid) and at this time my Synthroid dose was also lowered due to TSH level elevated.

 

And that my friends is when my hell started.

 

Three weeks after this dose increase, I was walking in a grocery store with my kids and everything looked as though I was walking up side down. I felt as  though I was going to pass out but didn't. Got really hot, skin tingling, and anxiety through the roof. Made it home, took a shower and felt 100% normal. I work for an MD so I had him check my ears thinking fluid or something and he said probably just benign positional vertigo. I went with it and was fine until Thanksgiving, about a month later. Woke up, so dizzy, depressed, anxiety, fear of leaving my bedroom, you name it I felt it. I had a house full of guests but all I could do was lay in bed. I really thought I was going crazy.

 

Finally made it to my GP the following week and told him what was going on. He ran a full lab on my thyroid and they were crazy high so he sends me to an endo out of town. They lower my Synthroid once again and it was there that I realized that the increased Prozac is what set all of this off. Now it was a matter of getting off this drug and getting my TSH levels back to normal.

 

Started weaning off the Prozac in January 2015 through March 2015. Last Prozac was March 14, 2016. I would have waves and windows while tapering and there after. IT was and still is a living nightmare. The waves are shorter and less intense, but still there non the less.

 

Fast forward to present. It is 17 weeks today since I took Prozac and the anxiety and dizziness is still present! October 2015 I was on 250mcg of Synthroid and now on 162mcg (that is a HUGE difference in that amount of time) (Was on 150 until last week, was reducing now increasing). I was doing so well for the month of June and then the dizziness and anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks out of no where. Not sure if it is related to the thyroid issue or not. I do know that I am ready  to get off of this merry go round and feel normal again.

 

Curious if any other members that have thyroid issues can relate and if there is a link between the SSRI and the thyroid levels. I know my Endo states that The SSRI can effect how the body metabolizes the thyroid medications.

Edited by Petunia
added detail to title

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scallywag

Hi Fox! -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)!

 

Thanks for taking time to pop out of lurking to post. I'm sorry you had such a strong and disturbing endocrine reaction to the increased Prozac dose last fall. Yikes! If there ever was a sign that these drugs do affect more than the brain's neurotransmitter systems, that was it.

 

Your story will be informative for people looking to taper Prozac and for those with thyroid concerns. After your fast taper of 20 mg Prozac in 3 months, it's also good to hear that your waves of symptoms are decreasing in duration, frequency and intensity.  :D

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SquirrellyGirl

You might find GiaK's post interesting:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6370-wow-i’m-thrilled…lab-work-proves-i’m-doing-it-right-httpwpmep5nnb-arn/

 

Yes, many here have had endo/exocrine systems impacted by the meds and by withdrawal from the meds.  Do a google search with "survivingantidepressants.org thyroid" or "hypothyroidism" or such and you will get lots of hits.

 

SG

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MMarie

Hi Fox,

 

I have Hashi's/Hypothyroidism and I am also up to my neck in perimenopause. I think this tapering process has complicated those issues and vice-versa. I also have low cortisol in the morning and early afternoon and that has gotten worse, too. It's a horrific experience all around. I hope you feel better, soon.

 

Marie

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O2bhappy

Fox -

 

I also have Hoshimoto's hypothyroidism.  Before I went off Prozac in August 2015 I was taking 100 mcg of Synthroid.  Over the past ten months my TSH levels have gone from the Hypo range, to normal, to hyper and now finally back to normal.  I am now on 75 mcg of Synthroid.  My GP said she had no clue why my TSH levels were all over the place.  I told her I thought it had something to do with coming off Prozac.  She said she thought it had something to do with my weight loss.  I have loss 50 pounds since coming off Prozac.  One of my withdrawal symptoms is nausea and no appetite.  Good times...not!

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Fox

Thank you for the replies everyone. It is so reassuring to know I am not alone! O2bhappy your story sounds just like mine. What withdrawal symptoms are you still having? I will have to go ready your posts :-)

 

Today has been yet another set back as the anxiety is through the roof. I would have thought this would be over by now :-(

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O2bhappy

Fox -

 

When my TSH level started dropping I was very surprised.  When I was on Prozac my TSH levels were always going up and so was my weight. 

 

I should add my withdrawal symptoms to my signature. 

 

I have nausea, no appetite, internal shaking, uncontrollable crying, olfactory hallucinations, anxiety, what if thinking and depression.  I am in a bad wave right now and I am scared these symptoms will not go away.  I think that is what makes withdrawal so hard.  I hate being scared.  I know it could be much worse, but it is still difficult. 

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Fox

I too am in a wave. My main problems are the dizziness and anxiety. I have the what if thinking at times as well. Like you said, it could be worse but it could be better too. Im just ready to feel normal again.

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O2bhappy

Fox -

 

It would be wonderful to feel normal again.  I get tired of fighting the good fight every day and struggling with withdrawal.  After being on Prozac for 12 years and having all my feelings and emotions mask it is now very hard to learn to live with these feelings and emotions.  When I was on Prozac I never worried about the future, I just liked my happy go lucky life.  I know being on antidepressants long term is not the answer.  I just I wish I knew how to get rid of these scary feelings I have.  I think what scares me is that my parents are elderly and I am very scared about them dying.  I am so blessed to have them still in my life but I worry how I will live without them. 

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SquirrellyGirl

Fox -

 

It would be wonderful to feel normal again.  I get tired of fighting the good fight every day and struggling with withdrawal.  After being on Prozac for 12 years and having all my feelings and emotions mask it is now very hard to learn to live with these feelings and emotions.  When I was on Prozac I never worried about the future, I just liked my happy go lucky life.  I know being on antidepressants long term is not the answer.  I just I wish I knew how to get rid of these scary feelings I have.  I think what scares me is that my parents are elderly and I am very scared about them dying.  I am so blessed to have them still in my life but I worry how I will live without them. 

 

I am with you, O2bhappy - 20 years of drugs blunted such worrying, though I know I still engaged in it probably relative to reducing dosages over the years.  When I am in a wave, that what-if thinking comes back, and I can get caught up in the fear about losing my parents, too.  In withdrawal those emotions come on very strong and are hard to deal with, take on a life of their own.

 

Since you have been off Prozac for nearly a year, have you had any windows where that level of emotions has settled down?  

 

SG

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O2bhappy

SG -

 

I have had times when my level of fear and anxiety have settled down. In the beginning of withdrawal, I would wake with bad anxiety and fear and that slowly went away. Then a couple of weeks ago I was hit with it really bad, it came out of nowhere. It is a constant feeling of fear and anxiety. It is awful.

 

I have also had a lot of uncontrollable crying and that right now isn't too bad. When I cry now it is because I feel so sick. I am so nauseous that I can hardly eat. I developed delayed gastric emptying while in withdrawal. I have been nauseous for a year. I have lost 50 pounds. Have you heard of anyone having nausea for a year in withdrawal or is this part of the delayed gastric emptying?

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Fox

Just wanted to check in with every one. I am still having bouts of dizziness and anxiety and wondering if it will ever go away. This site is my rock and my go to when I start doubting and having the what if thoughts.

 

Hoping every one is doing well in their recovery!

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KarenB

They will slowly diminish.  No calendar-watching though!  It's different for everybody, but they do go away as your Central Nervous System heals.  Here's my fave page on this whole site, and it's got good ideas for anxiety:  https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=surviving+antidepressants+non+drug+emotional&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&ei=2AuHV5vMEsnN8gftmbCABQ

 

EDIT:  Sorry, that should be http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

Keep going...

Karen

Edited by KarenB
added correct link

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Fox

Thanks, Karen! Will go check it out now!

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Fox

Another update.....

 

Hope everyone is doing well. I am still in my window, trying to embrace it and not worry when the next wave will be. The dizziness and anxiety have subsided tremendously and I couldn't be more happy. It is time for my monthly cycle and it always seems to bring on my symptoms more so we shall see how it plays out.

 

Will update more soon. Moving forward :-)

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Fox

Also wanted to say that I have been keeping a journal and rating my symptoms one daily basis since this journey and this helps me a great deal. It is always reassuring to go back and read what my worst days were like and see just how far I've come. Every time I hit a wave and feel defeated it always makes me feel better to remind myself it could be worse and what I'm feeling isn't permanent.

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Fox

Well as of last night my wonderful window came to an end. Was laying on my bed and BAM, the dizziness over came me and it was INTENSE. And of course the anxiety followed. Took a hot shower (baths and showers are my go to, at my worst I would take up to 10 baths a day!) and it helped a little. Because it was 10:30 at night I tried to lay down and the heart palps came and went. After rubbing my feet  back and forth (another strange coping technique I have come up with) for about an hour I was able to fall asleep. Woke up this am feeling a little better but anxiety still resent. Almost as if I have a hangover, weird I know.

 

Another thing I would like to note that I didn't think was relevant in withdrawal until now. About a month ago I woke up with what I thought was crick in my neck from perhaps sleeping the wrong way as this is not unusual for me to do from time to time. But this pain has never went away completely, only for a day or two and has since penetrated to my upper arm which makes me think I have a pinched nerve. Only because it has been going on for so long do I think it may have something to do with the WD. And after reading a few posts on here I see that it is common for people to experience muscle pain/tension in WD. I could be just over thinking things but wanted to share to see if any one can relate.

 

Today marks 19 WEEKS NO PROZAC for me and I have to remind myself often of where I was when I started this journey. One thing I have learned is to try to stay positive, even in the worst of times and remember, this too shall pass!

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KarenB

Nice work getting yourself through the beginning of the wave, and getting straight to your self-care tools. 

 

I have a very sore neck since being in w/d.  It wants to click and grind and move constantly.  I tried an osteopath who has usually been very helpful to me, but it didn't work at all.  It's gone on for a year now, so recently I tried a chiropractor (who I've known for years and has often helped me) and I do seem to be finding some easing of the tightness.  I'm also applying heat and gentle rubbing at home.

 

I'd suggest getting it checked, because even when it's caused by w/d (or as in my case, an old injury stirred up by w/d) you may be able to find some relief.    

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Fox

Nice work getting yourself through the beginning of the wave, and getting straight to your self-care tools. 

 

I have a very sore neck since being in w/d.  It wants to click and grind and move constantly.  I tried an osteopath who has usually been very helpful to me, but it didn't work at all.  It's gone on for a year now, so recently I tried a chiropractor (who I've known for years and has often helped me) and I do seem to be finding some easing of the tightness.  I'm also applying heat and gentle rubbing at home.

 

I'd suggest getting it checked, because even when it's caused by w/d (or as in my case, an old injury stirred up by w/d) you may be able to find some relief.    

Thanks Karen! I was considering seeing a chiropractor but was apprehensive that it would stir something up and do more harm than good. Especially with  the dizziness. I will get it checked if it persist the way that is has been.

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KarenB

When I saw my chiropractor, I explained about being in w/d and that it was important to to have an activating sort of treatment.  She seemed to take it on board. 

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Fox

When I saw my chiropractor, I explained about being in w/d and that it was important to to have an activating sort of treatment.  She seemed to take it on board.

 

 

Okay well that makes me feel better. Sometimes I don't even like bringing up the fact that I am in WD because I get tired of the "oh you can't be serious look" or the "after that amount of time it should be gone" answers. My endo seems to be the only understanding medical professional I have seen during all of this. I went to my OBGYN today and didn't even bring it up for these reasons.

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KarenB

The trick is to put yourself firmly in the shoes of the professional.  Speak like you've been involved for years in the latest research, and that there is no question about it.  Speak as if you expect them to know what you're talking about.  For instance, 'I'll need a non-activating treatment today, since there is this underlying w/d to consider - and you know what'll happen if we set that off...'  

 

Then they're much more likely to nod and say yes.  ;)

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Fox

The trick is to put yourself firmly in the shoes of the professional.  Speak like you've been involved for years in the latest research, and that there is no question about it.  Speak as if you expect them to know what you're talking about.  For instance, 'I'll need a non-activating treatment today, since there is this underlying w/d to consider - and you know what'll happen if we set that off...'  

 

Then they're much more likely to nod and say yes.  ;)

 

 

Thank you!!!

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Fox

Just an update....hopefully not too soon to say this but I think a new window is in sight. Today was the first day since 25 of July 16 that my dizziness and anxiety were not notable. Praise God!!! I am also finishing my monthly cycle and this is becoming more prominent around that time. This wave I have experienced not just the anxiety and dizziness, but the depression, anger, and racing thoughts which is something that I haven't had that much of since the beginning of my WD.

 

I really wish there were support groups or something of that nature in my area. Anyone know of anything like this? Or is any one in my area willing to become "buddies" so to speak for support?

 

I want to create a chart of some sort to track my progress, I think I remember Alto posting one some where....will have to look for that.

 

Hope every one is well.

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Fox

Another update. Anxiety and dizziness very faint still, however last night I had an encounter with the nasty depression/gloominess with the racing thoughts. It eventually subsided today but man that was scary.

 

I wouldn't say suicidal thoughts as I wasn't obsessing over actually killing mysel, more like just being better off dead. Pretty dark place and I'm glad it's gone.

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Swede

Hi Fox! I'm also having big problems with my thyroid and gut in this long recoveryjourney. Going away for a couple of hours but will write more about it later.

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AliG

Fox. You will most likely experience many " windows and waves" during the next few months. I had the dizziness too , but it's gone now. It took a while but one day it just disappeared. The best thing you can do now is to look through Symptoms and Self- Care and find some protocols that resonate with you . It could be Yoga and/ or meditation . Perhaps a supplement - Magnesium/ fish oil  or some CBT. If you can find something to latch on to that helps a little, then it will be easier to navigate this process down the track.

The more tools you have under your belt at this time - the better.

Ali

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Fox

Hi Fox! I'm also having big problems with my thyroid and gut in this long recoveryjourney. Going away for a couple of hours but will write more about it later.

Swede, can't wait to hear about your journey!!

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Fox

Fox. You will most likely experience many " windows and waves" during the next few months. I had the dizziness too , but it's gone now. It took a while but one day it just disappeared. The best thing you can do now is to look through Symptoms and Self- Care and find some protocols that resonate with you . It could be Yoga and/ or meditation . Perhaps a supplement - Magnesium/ fish oil  or some CBT. If you can find something to latch on to that helps a little, then it will be easier to navigate this process down the track.

The more tools you have under your belt at this time - the better.

Ali

Ali, thanks for the response. I know everyone is different, but do you remember how long before the dizziness went away? As of right now my go to has been hot baths and showers. And thankfully I have been able to function this far and it has worked so far. I know some people have it a lot worse. I have been able to maintain my job through all of this, some people are to so fortunate. It has been really hard for my kids and husband however.

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Swede

Hello Fox! I can relate to many of your symptoms during this wild ride.

 

Symptoms come and go in intensity, i had brainzaps for about two month and then never again. This time around last year i was feeling extreme stress and had a hard time to be still, standing in a line or waiting for the elevator was very very hard. That part has also become much calmer even though i still find it very hard to plan things, appointments and such.

 

For me the worst symptoms are, panicattacks, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, low blood sugar-thing and for the moment hard sleeping problems and waking up in panicmode.

 

Many small symptoms have just disapeared and i dont even remember What they were about.

 

Unfortunately the hardest symptoms above are also the most frequent. They Come and go during the Whole day, and every single time they seem to be permanent. But they are not, just as sure they will come, they will also go away, thats the process.

 

I still find it hard to believe that after 1 million intrusive thoughts, 1 million panicattacks and 1 million anxietyattacks i still get very very scared every single time.... It shouldnt work that way...

 

The last three weeks has probably been the worst ones yet.

I thought it was the latest phase to suffer through and it got worse and worse. Mixed with b vitamins, bad idea , changed diet, bad idea. Just happened to read about taking too high dose of levaxin for my low metabolism. After a labtest my tsh had gone up way too much and causing hell x 10... Thought this was it... Thinking about it, been feeling worse and worse since i last increased my levaxindose in june but never really realized it could be because of that.

 

From now on i will be extreamly careful and hesitent if my dr wants me to raise my dose. I will "feel" if that is necessary and be skeptical about labreports.

 

Read the other day about nasalspray that ive been using nightime and i know ive been overusing it but wasnt aware they could bring serious symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, anxiety and more.

Must find an alternative!

 

I wish i could give you some advice but since youve been here for awhile you know how this withdrawal and healing process works.

 

Take care and if you have any questions, shoot!

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O2bhappy

Fox -

 

I have been off Prozac for almost a year now and my withdrawal symptoms continue to change. It is easier to deal with the symptoms when you are not in a wave. I had the same sadness/depression that you recently had and it wasn't pleasant. It was really just time passing that made it better. I have been doing mediation and that has helped some. I also listen to relaxing music before I fall asleep and that has helped my sleep. Withdrawal is certainly hard on the whole family.

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AliG

Hi Fox. To answer your question about the dizziness , I honestly couldn't say but it was in the first 12 months I think . Everyone is different and times vary but most of the symptoms do tend to recede with time. It was lovely when it went as it used to stop me from doing certain things that I enjoyed.

 

I'm lucky in that my kids are older, but it's been difficult for my husband as well. If you can talk about it with your husband and let him know what is happening with you , it might help. I found that made a positive difference for me as well as watching a few documentaries together on the subject and reading parts of " Anatomy Of An Epidemic" by Robert Whittaker. ( Also You Tube).

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Fox

Hello Fox! I can relate to many of your symptoms during this wild ride.

Symptoms come and go in intensity, i had brainzaps for about two month and then never again. This time around last year i was feeling extreme stress and had a hard time to be still, standing in a line or waiting for the elevator was very very hard. That part has also become much calmer even though i still find it very hard to plan things, appointments and such.

For me the worst symptoms are, panicattacks, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, low blood sugar-thing and for the moment hard sleeping problems and waking up in panicmode.

Many small symptoms have just disapeared and i dont even remember What they were about.

Unfortunately the hardest symptoms above are also the most frequent. They Come and go during the Whole day, and every single time they seem to be permanent. But they are not, just as sure they will come, they will also go away, thats the process.

I still find it hard to believe that after 1 million intrusive thoughts, 1 million panicattacks and 1 million anxietyattacks i still get very very scared every single time.... It shouldnt work that way...

The last three weeks has probably been the worst ones yet.

I thought it was the latest phase to suffer through and it got worse and worse. Mixed with b vitamins, bad idea , changed diet, bad idea. Just happened to read about taking too high dose of levaxin for my low metabolism. After a labtest my tsh had gone up way too much and causing hell x 10... Thought this was it... Thinking about it, been feeling worse and worse since i last increased my levaxindose in june but never really realized it could be because of that.

From now on i will be extreamly careful and hesitent if my dr wants me to raise my dose. I will "feel" if that is necessary and be skeptical about labreports.

Read the other day about nasalspray that ive been using nightime and i know ive been overusing it but wasnt aware they could bring serious symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, anxiety and more.

Must find an alternative!

I wish i could give you some advice but since youve been here for awhile you know how this withdrawal and healing process works.

Take care and if you have any questions, shoot!

 

Swede,

 

I too am having a hard time standing or sitting still. I'm Constantly moving something! Waiting In Line is the worst and I totally avoid elevators because of my dizziness and fear of it making it worse. We recently went on vacation and the stress of leaving town was bad but do you know how hard it was to find a hotel that had a first floor available?! LOL it's crazy triggers like that that I am so ready to be done with. But like you it is getting better, 3 months ago I couldn't imagine leaving far from home which is mt safe place.

 

Like you, every time the symptoms come in the wave, you question if they are permanent and your voice of reason is thrown out the window and the fear never goes away. And you are right, it shouldn't work that way!!!

 

I have my thyroid labs next week and am curious what they will show. Thanks for sharing your journey with me and I'll be in touch!

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Fox

Fox -

I have been off Prozac for almost a year now and my withdrawal symptoms continue to change. It is easier to deal with the symptoms when you are not in a wave. I had the same sadness/depression that you recently had and it wasn't pleasant. It was really just time passing that made it better. I have been doing mediation and that has helped some. I also listen to relaxing music before I fall asleep and that has helped my sleep. Withdrawal is certainly hard on the whole family.

O2bhappy,

 

Thank you for giving me hope!!!

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