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I feel stuck - Giovanxia's story


Giovanxia

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Hello, this is so hard to type as I feel like I have entered this new world which is so foggy and distressing.

 

It has been two months since I quit Prozac as I felt like I could deal with life now. I was being treated for anxiety and was prescribed 10 mg. I only took 10mg!! I refused to up my dose when my doctor told me and I am glad I did because just this is a huge nightmare.

 

I only took it for 2-3 months. I had some issues such as agitation and irritability but it went away and then the worst (I thought at the moment came) which was anhedonia one month after I weaned off. I had a complete lack of emotions and tried to carry on with life, I honestly don't know what I did, if I ignored it but by 2-3 weeks it went away. I was so happy and free and I thought it was over but last week I had something that I feel like has been ruining me and I don't know if this is withdrawal or something else.

 

I am experiencing derealization, I look at my parents I just see their faces moving. Everything feels odd and bizarre. I've tried doing the same thing but mixing this with anxiety and depression has led me to suicidal ideation because If the whole world is unreal then what is the point of me being here. I find myself not caring about whether If I die or not. I have emotions but I'm constantly questioning if they are real. I wish I never took that Prozac if the whole world really is an illusion than I would rather be ignorant about it like I was before this. The worst part is that I feel so alone. Even when I'm telling my parents and they hug me and try to confront me I just don't feel like it is real. I am honestly so tired and spaced out. I probably won't take my life only because it will happen to me regardless so I guess I'd just rather wait it out and see what happens even though I honestly don't think this mindset will change. Even this textpost feels unreal.

 

I don't know what I need. I need these memories to go away of questioning everything. I have hope that maybe in a few decades they will invent something where they can choose which memories to wipe out and create new ones or wake up and just carry on with life. This state is a nightmare I would not wish it on anyone.
All of the derealization started after immense anxiety and stress for a few days when I was sick then I started to freak out about the fact that I haven't had my period for 3 months (another symptom btw), panic attacks and more anxiety and questioning reality led me to this state now.

 

I just don't care anymore. Yes I have had time where I have felt happier during this as you all have described it as Windows during these days where I get motivated to feel better and get some sense of relief but I still see everything as odd and I have a wicked headache.

Oh and the best thing...
I am only 17 years old

I feel like a zombie. Help me.
Stuck in this odd world

Edited by scallywag
Added white space (ChessieCat); tags added (scallywag)

Took Prozac from March - mid-June 2016 for Anxiety

Began to wean off from June and finished weaning off on July.

Symptoms:

Anhedonia (1 month after weaning off) it has gone away.

Anxiety (tired but wired feeling) slightly manageable, yet I still have my hiccups

Fatigue (moderate for now) enhanced with stress and anxiety

Headache (usually when PMS)

Nausea (before or during period)

OCD (my biggest issue)

Derealization (slowly trying to manage it)

I have had windows and waves. I cannot wait until I am fully recovered!

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Giovinnia,

 

I'm so sorry that you are feeling the way you do.  One of the senior mods will be better able to discuss your situation with you but I wanted to let you know that your post has been received and to tell you that you can get the support you need from people who understand what you are going through.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Giovannia.
 
(Is there a typo in your screen name?)
 
Emotional anesthesia is a very common side effect of antidepressants. It can take some time, maybe many months, for this to go away.
 
Same with depersonalization or derealization -- the sense you're not really present -- which is a common withdrawal symptom.

 

Paradoxically, withdrawal syndrome magnifies negative feelings such as fear, worry, anxiety, etc. Your nervous system is not managing this very well and needs to settle down.
 
Read

What is withdrawal syndrome?

Neuro emotions

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. Let us know how you're doing.

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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Hi Giovannia,

 

I experienced derealization due to Prozac too. Your eloquent description of what is happening to you seems absolutely real to me. Whether my reply seems real to you though is something I guess I can't convince you of. Derealization was very distressing when it first happened to me but with distraction (doing things I used to enjoy) and patience, it went away. Sometimes it comes back but I have found mindfulness and CBT very useful in dealing with it. One thing I found useful is to try to accept it and not question it, now it just doesn't bother me anymore. I acknowledge it and move on; almost like saying "oh, here's derealization again, anyway, back to what I was doing". 

 

Coping with bad memories is difficult and I'm sorry you've gone through this alone. Many people here have felt derealization and I bet that many people who have ever taken an SSRI have experienced derealization. It's very common, so if you find this memory tough in the future, chances are there is someone (often it can be those we least expect) who can relate to it. Although you may not feel like it now, you may get so bored with derealization that it becomes trivial and meaningless. I believe that with enough time you may never experience it again because of your freedom from Prozac. 

 

Anyway, whether you feel real or not now, your experience matters! 

 

Wishing you some relief today.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Administrator

 

 

I am experiencing derealization, I look at my parents I just see their faces moving. Everything feels odd and bizarre. I've tried doing the same thing but mixing this with anxiety and depression has led me to suicidal ideation because If the whole world is unreal then what is the point of me being here. I find myself not caring about whether If I die or not. I have emotions but I'm constantly questioning if they are real. I wish I never took that Prozac if the whole world really is an illusion than I would rather be ignorant about it like I was before this. The worst part is that I feel so alone. Even when I'm telling my parents and they hug me and try to confront me I just don't feel like it is real. I am honestly so tired and spaced out. I probably won't take my life only because it will happen to me regardless so I guess I'd just rather wait it out and see what happens even though I honestly don't think this mindset will change. Even this textpost feels unreal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the forum from me, too. I'm sorry you are suffering so much, especially at 17.  That was the age I was put on psych drugs and that was 30 years ago. I'm happy to say that I'm off everything and healing slowly. You will heal, too. 

 

Depersonalization and derealization are two of my worst symptoms. I found this post to be very helpful in helping me understand it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1766-derealization-or-depersonalization/?p=7949

 

Mindfulness can be very helpful when you're in this unwordly state. Ask yourself, what do I feel, taste, hear, see, smell? Be very specific. I "feel" my warm sweater, I "taste" my peppermint gum, I "hear" the traffic outside my window, I "see" the blue rug, I "smell" the coffee that's brewing. 

 

This helps "ground" you and bring all of your senses together. It makes the confusing reality a little bit more concrete. Plus it's a good distraction to keep you from worrying.

 

If this doesn't work and your thoughts start getting in a panic because this is a very distressing symptom, try the techniques listed here:

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

I'm so glad you found us for information and support. Please let us know if you have any questions.

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hello thank you so much for all of the sweet replies. I don't know if I feel better or not, as I am still pretty depressed and anxious but I have been more calm and dealing with it better.

What I have come into terms and has really helped me is this post that I read.

Life is whatever you make out of it. So whether you feel like a random chair is the most important thing in the whole world, that is just how you feel.

I apologize for yesterday's post for being so blehhh...

I have realized that whether life is an illusion or not (now I believe that it is very real) I do not want to spend the rest of it questioning if it is or not, I want to dive into it and enjoy it as much as possible.

I am not cured. But I believe that if I keep saying these things like laughing off at these thoughts that I have I will probably forget about it after a certain amount of time. Yesterday actually I was like what the hell and just danced with my aunt and it made me feel warm and giggly and that is what I want to feel. Regardless of whether this world or people are actually real (I believe we all are) but I want to enjoy this illusion.

Again I don't know for sure, but I BELIEVE in it. And that is all that I need in this lifetime. I just need to believe in it and maybe possibly I will just be my old ignorant self.

I also believe in reincarnation and souls I have been reading alot about reincarnation and descartes philosophy it makes me feel much more at peace, not so much happy but at peace.

I find that even in some hours my mindset completely changes I used to have anxiety (never depression) over my health but whenever I was reassured I would feel better, but now after quitting Prozac it is like everything has been amplified and I feel it conStanly which only confirms the fact that these withdrawals and Prozac is messing with my mind and it will take some time to heal.

I have bad physical symptoms: nausea and vomiting sometimes, brain fog, back pain and no period.

Took Prozac from March - mid-June 2016 for Anxiety

Began to wean off from June and finished weaning off on July.

Symptoms:

Anhedonia (1 month after weaning off) it has gone away.

Anxiety (tired but wired feeling) slightly manageable, yet I still have my hiccups

Fatigue (moderate for now) enhanced with stress and anxiety

Headache (usually when PMS)

Nausea (before or during period)

OCD (my biggest issue)

Derealization (slowly trying to manage it)

I have had windows and waves. I cannot wait until I am fully recovered!

 

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  • Administrator

Hi again, Giovannia. 

 

Thanks for giving us more details about your symptoms. Have you had a doctor's checkup to rule out any other factors regarding your period stopping?  Did that stop right when you went on Prozac? Some girls and women are misguidedly placed on SSRIs for PMS, so I'm wondering whether you were having problems that led to you being placed on Prozac. 

 

It will help us if you can be very specific with your symptoms:

 

  • How many hours are you sleeping?
  • Are you able to function well enough to go to school?
  • How is your appetite? Are you eating at least 3 times a day? Blood sugar fluctuation is very common during withdrawal, and the symptoms of low blood sugar can mimic some withdrawal symptoms. 

Once we have a better idea of your daily symptom pattern, we'll be able to help with more specific advice.

 

Please also fill out your signature. Here's information on how to do this:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in signature

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I am planning on scheduling a doctor's appointment, regarding my period because I also suspect I might have pcos.

I sleep around 7-8 hours, but I am still tired and have a bad headache yet I push through it at school.

I am having trouble eating because I am always nauseous. I also take a multivitamin.

Took Prozac from March - mid-June 2016 for Anxiety

Began to wean off from June and finished weaning off on July.

Symptoms:

Anhedonia (1 month after weaning off) it has gone away.

Anxiety (tired but wired feeling) slightly manageable, yet I still have my hiccups

Fatigue (moderate for now) enhanced with stress and anxiety

Headache (usually when PMS)

Nausea (before or during period)

OCD (my biggest issue)

Derealization (slowly trying to manage it)

I have had windows and waves. I cannot wait until I am fully recovered!

 

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  • Administrator

I'm glad you're sleeping well. This thread is about dealing with GI problems during withdrawal:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3413-digestive-problems-nausea-diarrhea-bloating-gerd/

 

Unfortunately, GI problems are very common, as these drugs affect serotonin, most of which is located in the gut. I found peppermint and ginger teas to help with nausea, and that thread will give you other ideas. 

 

How is your diet? Are you getting enough Omega 3 (fish oil) and magnesium? A word of caution about multivitamins - many of us become very sensitive to B vitamins that can ramp up symptoms. Omega 3 and magnesium have a "calming" effect on the CNS. Please research all supplements and only add one in at a time and at a low dose. Here is some information to get you started:

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

I found that Omega 3 helps with fatigue. I can't handle supplements yet, but I do eat fish throughout the week. 

 

I'm wondering if your headaches may be from low blood sugar, if you are not eating regularly. Withdrawal can cause blood sugar fluctuations, so it's important to eat several small meals throughout the day, if you're able to manage. 

 

Please let us know how your doctor's appointment goes. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

Hi, again.

 

It would be good to have a clear timeline of your symptoms, Giavonia. 

 

Did your period stop before or after your went on Prozac? Prozac can cause endocrine problems, so it's really important to know if your period stopped before you went on the drug. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hi Giovannia,

 

Just sending you hugs and to let you know that you will heal and get better.

Take care, Hopefull.

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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Hello all. Thank you so much for all of the sweet replies. 

Shep my period was always longer than usual as a teen (45 days average) and it runs in the family, alongside PCOS and Ovarian cancer so I was planning on doing a regular checkup around this age anyway. I will only get to go to the doctors in the next month, because I want to wait for my mother who is coming back at the end of the month to the United States. 

Good news!

I do not want to jinx anything, but it seems like the derealiztion has lessened bit by bit or I have just not paid any attention to it, like many people online have said and I THINK it is working. I also practice constant mental reassurance and change my thought patterns so that I don't think or dwell about it too much. Mine truly is anxiety based, that is why in the morning when I wake up I usually have more anxiety and derealization and in the evening I feel good, almost symptom free.

I had no idea that Vitamin B could overstimulate it. I actually thought the opposite, that must be why after a few days of taking a multivitamin I was feeling so jittery. 

My multivitamin does have some magnesium and omega 3's but not a lot. I will change my diet to try and include those supplements. 

My physical symptoms such as nausea and headache come and go, but it is manageable.

Any advice on dealing with OCD, that is my main issue that i THINK has been fueling my DR and anxiety.

I get thoughts such as "I am alone, I will die alone... This isn't real... life is so weird... are my parents even real... do they feel. what is my body... why is my subconscious in this body... what is my purpose"

I feel like EVERYONE goes through these times in their lives where they question their purpose and meaning of life. But if I could somehow tone mine down because of the OCD I could stop ruminating so much about it and actually go and enjoy my life. 

These thoughts are also very distressing for anyone really. It comes and goes and because my period might be coming soon, it is really amplified. I get moments too where I suddenly realize that I am alive and it scares me for a bit.

To be honest, I am not looking to completely get rid of them, It is somewhat who I am. I am someone who likes to think outside of the box, but I also want to enjoy life and laugh, rather than contemplate 24/7. 

 

Thank you again!! ;)

I am not cured, but I am getting there. Hopefully!

Took Prozac from March - mid-June 2016 for Anxiety

Began to wean off from June and finished weaning off on July.

Symptoms:

Anhedonia (1 month after weaning off) it has gone away.

Anxiety (tired but wired feeling) slightly manageable, yet I still have my hiccups

Fatigue (moderate for now) enhanced with stress and anxiety

Headache (usually when PMS)

Nausea (before or during period)

OCD (my biggest issue)

Derealization (slowly trying to manage it)

I have had windows and waves. I cannot wait until I am fully recovered!

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to hear that you are noticing improvements. Sometimes they last and sometimes the symptoms return for a bit, a "wave".

 

OCD: obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Giovanxia,

 

I hope you are coping better now. Don't feel embarrassed by what you wrote in your first post about derealization, it is nothing to be ashamed of! As for OCD, I recommend visiting http://www.ocdforums.org/which is a charity that can help you immensely with OCD. I wouldn't seek advice from SA or its members about OCD as it is a very delicate state of mind that requires expert advice to treat it. I made a good recovery with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Exposure Response Prevention (i.e. CBT with ERP). You can get this from a therapist that specialises in CBT, or if you can manage it from this book: Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis. 

 

Hopefully your OCD is iatrogenic and not too distressing (i.e. doesn't cause too much anxiety). I still recommend treating it as if you have the disorder proper. The more you learn about OCD the weaker the bully gets - fact! 

 

Best wishes,

 

Joy.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Joy, you stated:  "SA isn't the place to find help with OCD, even if your OCD is iatrogenic."

 

However, I think it would be better for you to state it as my opinion is that SA isn't the place etc, rather than what comes across as a statement of fact.

 

You state:  "even if your OCD is iatrogenic".  When a person is suffering withdrawal their CNS is destabilised and undertaking CBT Exposure and Response Prevention may not be suitable for them during this time.  Members who are suffering WD induced agoraphobia are in a similar situation.  Treatment which may be suitable for someone with agoraphobia whose CNS isn't destabilised may not be suitable for someone whose CNS is destabilised.

Edited by ChessieCat
Removed reference to hidden post

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Administrator

Cognitive Behavior Therapy and other non-drug therapies, including meditation, can indeed be helpful for OCD. I don't believe anyone her disputes that, or draws any distinction between OCD caused by withdrawal syndrome or pre-existing.

 

CBT and other non-drug therapies may not be very helpful for other symptoms neurologically based symptoms of withdrawal syndrome. Not all withdrawal symptoms are caused by habits of thinking.

 

If you're a person who is prone to health anxiety, where a discomfort triggers escalating, catastrophic worries, you don't need to label it OCD to find non-drug ways to cope with it.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy may help.

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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