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thecowisback: wondering why I'm giving up Prozac

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thecowisback

😥i have to keep telling myself i can do this without the drugs. i wish i'd managed to do it alone 20 years ago but there was less help around back then for ocd. i saw a news article about the wonders of prozac for treating ocd and went and asked my doctor for it. i wish i never had now, yet still the lure of the meds is strong. my daughter has just had her sertraline increased and i'm terrified for her as i know the higher the dosage, the longer she will have to taper off it, and it doesn't even seem to help her. 

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thecowisback

my depression is so bad today. i can't seem to find any joy in anything. my daughter has finished school today for the summer holidays and i'm usually really happy that the holidays have started but i've just been crying all afternoon. i can't see anything to look forward to. nothing at all. no hopes, no dreams, nothing. i just feel dead inside. this seems to be my life now. i either feel dead and hopeless or i'm terrified of everything 24/7. just checking my bank account sets off my anxiety, opening mail sets it off, seeing something on the news can set it off, thinking about things i need to do around the house or places i have to visit set me off. 

i miss the prozac so much. i miss not caring about anything, just doing it. i hadn't worked for years before i took prozac and within a couple of months of starting it i'd found the confidence to go out and get a job. i moved house many times over the years and never stressed about it. i never spent the days worrying about my parents dying or something bad happening to my kids. i never spent days and nights crying about not being able to turn back the clock and put right things i did wrong, which is what i spend my time doing now. 

i seem to have a stark choice in front of me - live like this which is not living at all, just existing, or take a toxic chemical that takes away my most extreme emotions but also allows me to live my life as a near-normal person. 

i don't even know if ssri's will even work now - i've read so many stories about people going back on them and finding they don't work anymore and then i'll have to go through withdrawals all over again. 

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DrugfreeProf

Dear The Cow is Back,

Just offering my sympathy and support. 

I was on Prozac for 8 years or so after the death of my 20 year old daughter (due to suicide probably induced by ADs). I have to say, at least at the beginning, it really did seem to help. I was one of those people who responded to ADs almost immediately. I did not rely on the ADs to get a handle on my grief, though--I mean, it helped but not THAT much--so I meditated, exercised, read inspirational material, took supplements, took self-help techniques, and especially, worked to find meaning and purpose in what had happened.  I am one of those people who, without seeing it first-hand, might not have understood what people suffering from protracted AD WD were talking about.  That was because I was somehow able to get off the prozac without doing a long slow taper and without suffering unbearable side effects. It wasn't easy of course, but it was do-able. I think the difference between people who get PAWS and those who don't must be something genetic. I cannot explain it.

I think about the process of recovering from deep grief as similar to recovering from WD.   In my recovery, I had to take it a moment at a time. I had to learn to live in the moment, keep returning to this moment, and assuring myself that I was ok at this moment. I think of it as having to keep vigilant guard over my mind to keep the negativity from seeping in. It was practicing radical acceptance, over and over again.  Practicing gratitude. Learning to connect with my daughter spiritually.  I survived. I moved on. I made my tragedy somehow work for me (I do a lot of grief therapy these days that I otherwise wouldn't have touched with a 10 foot pole).

When my daughter went into severe protracted AD WD two years ago, I began to really study these ADs and read many, many threads here and books and articles that told the truth about these poisons. It has changed the way I practice as a therapist and what I teach as a psych professor. Accompanying my daughter through WD is also something like going through WD itself as well as being similar to the grief process I went through after the death of my older daughter.  Staying in the moment. 

All of this is to say, please don't give up on yourself. Things do get better. I saw that from my recovery from the death of my child. People will tell you, "you will never get past this," and perhaps they are trying to be helpful, but what they are telling you is like mental and emotional poison. The same applies to when you tell yourself, "I will never get better." You are feeding yourself mental emotional poison when you dwell on those thoughts. EVERYONE at one time or another thinks, while in WD, "I will never get better."  Yes, you will get better; yes, you will recover, although you cannot predict when. 

I can completely understand your longing to go back on Prozac. I well know its numbing effect, its making everything seem not very important. 

But IMHO, I don't think it's worth the risk you would take going back on it.

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thecowisback

thankyou so much for your reply. i don't know how anyone deals with the death of child - i can't imagine anything worse 😓 

it's that numbing effect that i both hate and miss so much. i'm so torn right now over what to do. 

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thecowisback

i'm still dithering over using 5htp -  if it raises seratonin then that is surely better than going back on ssri's? or is it a bad thing? 

i don't want to jeopardize my recovery but i'm at the point now where i am willing to try just about anything to stop what's going on in my head. i've read through just about every post on the site about it and people either seem to think it's wonderful or a terrible thing to take. 

years ago i would have just popped the pills and waited to see what happened, but i'm on a whole new level of cautiousness since coming off prozac 😯

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dj2010
13 minutes ago, thecowisback said:

i'm still dithering over using 5htp -  if it raises seratonin then that is surely better than going back on ssri's? or is it a bad thing? 

i don't want to jeopardize my recovery but i'm at the point now where i am willing to try just about anything to stop what's going on in my head. i've read through just about every post on the site about it and people either seem to think it's wonderful or a terrible thing to take. 

years ago i would have just popped the pills and waited to see what happened, but i'm on a whole new level of cautiousness since coming off prozac 😯

 

5htp is risky, I tried it in the early months of withdrawal when i knew no better and it made me very agitated and I had to stop on the 2nd day of using it, I doubt it will help with withdrawals from prozac, best waiting for advice from a mod, if do try then start with a tiny amount, 

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thecowisback

i tried it a while ago but found it made me really high as if i'd taken codeine, but that was a 400mg dose so far too high. 

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dj2010
2 hours ago, thecowisback said:

i tried it a while ago but found it made me really high as if i'd taken codeine, but that was a 400mg dose so far too high. 

 

yes 400mg is extremely high,

 

I know you are desperate to try something to get some relief but if have a adverse reaction to another AD then you will probably be left in a worse position than you are in now, 

 

I hope you get some relief soon,

 

take care

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thecowisback

thankyou 

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jonnypeters1234567

how are you now?

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thecowisback

after 3 blissful days in a window last week i'm at rock bottom again, crying most of the time but ploughing through it all xxx 

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thecowisback

I'm at the point where i feel i have to go and see the doctor to tomorrow and get a new script for prozac. My family can't take any more of my constant fear and anger. I,ve tried so hard to do without the drugs but i can't take any more of this fear. I need to live, i need to be able to function every day and i cannot do it without the meds. People keep telling me if i was diabetic i wouldn't deny myself insulin, so why deny myself antidepressants when my body clearly needs them to function? I used to think that was a stupid statement as you will die without insulin if you are diabetic but i'm now starting to see some sense in it as i feel suicidal most days since coming off prozac. I'm throwing in the towel. the drug manufacturers have won - they'll have yet another patient for life.

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jonnypeters1234567

Im sorry that you are not finding any releif. How was your first year of withdrawal compared to your second?

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thecowisback

first year started with physical withdrawals. then came the anger - angry at everyone and everything. road rage. shouting at people in the street for dropping litter etc. constantly shouting at my family for no reason. that gave way to anxiety which is still a problem. i would wake up terrified in the morning then it would gradually fade throughout the day. now it comes and goes throughout the day with no pattern. it's very rare i wake up terrified any more. by last winter the insomnia started - waking up earlier and earlier in the morning until i was only getting an hour or two of sleep. that has also improved a lot, i think because i'm taking magnesium. last winter the depression appeared too and that is getting worse and worse. each time i have a window it is always followed by depression. days like today i just want to crawl in a hole and die. i've argued with my husband again today. i took a long long walk to try to calm down but came home feeling lower than ever. it feels like i'm sinking in quicksand. i just want something to take all the depression and anxiety away. i just want to feel normal. i want to enjoy life like i see other people around me doing. i took my daughter to the beach two days ago and spent an hour and a half in the sea with her, but i was just crying the whole time. what should have been lovely quality time with her was wasted on me bawling my eyes out and her constantly asking what was wrong. the sun was out, the sea was warm, the beach was full of happy laughing people and in my head all i wanted to do was keep swimming towards the horizon and never come back.......

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jonnypeters1234567

Sounds like alot like me

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thecowisback

are you getting any windows? 

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jonnypeters1234567

kind of, but full of dread of what is to come next

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thecowisback

😪 it's a horrible feeling. i dread having to go to bed when i'm having a window as i know i'll probably wake up the next day full of despair all over again. my husband says it's a self-fulfilling prophecy as i'm expecting to wake up depressed or anxious but i have no control over it. the best run i've had for a window is one fabulous day followed by two lesser ones and then BANG the depression and anxiety are back with a vengeance. i keep trying to tell myself another window will be along soon but it's almost as if my mind is taunting me with the good days as if it's showing me the kind of life i could be having, but can't until i've got through all this and god knows how many years that will take. that's why i'm seriously considering taking the prozac again. i need to feel normal most days, not just a snatched day of happiness here and there. this is no way to live. my kids are growing up way too fast and i've already lost out on the past 17 months. last christmas came and went and i never even got excited once. christmas day felt just like any other day (worse in fact as our freezer packed up and we had to throw away all the christmas food we couldn't cook). i'm already dreading winter coming this year with the darker nights and shorter days and having to pretend to be happy with the kids while they celebrate all the birthdays coming up, halloween and christmas. i know i sound like a right miserable old bag but that's how my mind is working right now and i just want an end to this eternal fear and gloom. 

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jonnypeters1234567

understand completely

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NewMorning

I just wanted to say, I'm sorry you're feeling so awful. No one should have the feel that way all the time, life is too short. I'm 1 year, 6.5 months off of ssris, and I have become nearly dysfunctional, I had such high hopes of becoming a wonderful new drug free person, but I've only gotten much much worse.

 

I also wanted to put in my two cents (at the risk of it possibly not being a popular opinion on here), that there is absolutely no shame in looking at lots of different ways of feeling better, from many different angles, with a open mind. I think many things we do in life is a way to alter our consciousness in some way, from natural supplements, to even a phone call to a friend, all ways of feeling different and ideally 'better'. If a lab created molecule helps one to enjoy life more, be more productive and content, and the unwanted effects are don't hugely outweigh the positive, then it's something that should be looked at. Then again, my mind changes on that nearly every day, so go figure. I just think that radically accepting one side, refusing to be open to another way of seeing it, is sometimes just as close-minded as radically accepting western psychopharmacology. There is no question they are pushed on far too many people, but if for some they are life saving, then that's wonderful. That's just my opinion, there are lots out there, feel free to shame me.

 

I hope you begin to feel better, and I've come to understand personally that even through extreme adversity, you really do learn, grow, and become stronger, although it almost never feels like it.

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thecowisback

❤️

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Carmie
On 8/7/2018 at 3:56 AM, thecowisback said:

😪 it's a horrible feeling. i dread having to go to bed when i'm having a window as i know i'll probably wake up the next day full of despair all over again. 

 

Hi thecowisback, 

 

That certainly is a real feeling n it can be devastating, but all we can do is live a moment at a time. No amount of worry changes anything. This fight is soooo hard but we will eventually get there in the end. I think I’ll be fighting on for another ten years or so the way I’m going but I just try n live in the moment. 

 

It can feel like life is passing you by but there are still many blessings. You sound like you have a lovely family. 

 

Hang in there, Sending hugs🤗

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thecowisback

thankyou - they have put up with a hell of a lot from me since i stopped the pills. i was having 10 ten days or so between windows but i haven't had one for a couple of weeks now which is frustrating. i've got up this morning, full of hope for what i'll get done today, but ended up crying my eyes out instead and my husband just doesn't know what to do to help when i'm like this. 

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thecowisback

my anxiety is so bad right at this moment. i've just finished checking the bank account, a weekly task i dread. my husband always managed the finances before his illness and i'm rubbish with money. i have to balance the books each week now and while we are fine i've always got a deep seated fear that i've done it all wrong and we're going to be penniless. it's just another part of my anxiety, the same as meeting people (even friends) which i find excruciating, having to leave the house (which i do several times a day but it's always really hard to do)and dealing with the kids (i worry non-stop about them and their futures, even having nightmares about them at night). 

it has to end sometime. it has to. i've resisted going to the doctors this week. i'm going to stick it out for another week and see how i go. hopefully i'll get another window soon. 

today i have to drive to a nearby town where i had an accident a few months ago so maybe that's why i'm so upset this morning. 

 

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peng
On 7/24/2018 at 6:02 PM, DrugfreeProf said:

I think the difference between people who get PAWS and those who don't must be something genetic. I cannot explain it.

Harrowing read, your thread, thecowisback.

I so feel for you.

After 2 years of things going well in downtapering my AD to a quarter of my original dose, religiously following all the rules on SA, I have had to updose after a serious relapse.

 

(See the latter part of my thread for my thoughts on my past traumas then my functional life on ADs and the one of suffering in recent weeks.)

 

Bear in mind, though, that I am 73 so it is kindof late in the day, and my family are all grown and working.  It is different for you with your children and disabled husband - hugely different, it has to be said.  Maybe you can taper off in a few years when your family are in a more secure position?

l

Clearly, as hinted at by DrugfreeProf, withdrawal is not for absolutely everyone and each of us has to make the big choice. (I believe my brain may have been remapped over half a century ago when I was a little boy and heard my father in agony, breathing his last in our house.)

 

I have made that choice, and am feeling a bit better.

Yes, I know it may not last, but if possible, I do not want my last few years to be in purgatory & suffering.  I took my wonderful wife into consideration, too.  Trying to make things fairer for her, too.

 

Love & best wishes for you whatever road you take.

 

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thecowisback

thankyou  xx

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thecowisback

apologies if this info is on the site somewhere. i've read through loads of posts but can't find an answer to this question. 

what are the consequences of taking a new drug, after being off another one for a long time. 

i've been off prozac for 17 months and having a bad time with depression, anxiety and ocd. if i were to introduce a low dose of sertraline now what could happen? i know no-one has a definitive answer but i wondering if it could help me or is it more likely to hinder in the long run? 

i'm struggling really badly with my moods and my family are begging me to go back on meds but i don't want to 'waste' the 17 months i've already been through. does anyone ever get success from going back on a different  med? 

 

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jonnypeters1234567

Did you try one earlier in your withdrawal?

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thecowisback

i tried one sertraline pill and i made me really ill. my daughter suggests i try again with half a pill. 

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Iatrogenesis

I guess it depends on whether what you're experiencing is withdrawal related? Also, aren't you afraid of getting addicted again? I've had plenty of success going back on different meds, but that was when I was seriously messed up by WD from the previous ones.

 

You mean you tried one pill after having quit Prozac or during the process?

 

Oh - Zoloft is way harder to quit than Prozac, by the way.

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thecowisback

i've never had depression before in my life so i guess it is from the withdrawals. i am afraid of getting addicted again and having to spend many months or years withdrawing from whatever drug i take. that's why i'm in a such a quandry. i'm at rock bottom right now - crying all the time, considering suicide a lot, especially when things go wrong, and i have no interest in anything in life. 

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Iatrogenesis

I'm so sorry... DON'T consider suicide, things can improve and you can find a lot of happiness, but ending things will deprive you of all that future happiness...

I've read your story... You did taper rather quickly, but you have decided to hold it out... It's your choice, people do improve over time, apparently (I have no experience with that and I understand it can be really tough).

Whatever you decide though, definitely DON'T do Zoloft, as I said in my edit, it's way harder to quit than Prozac.

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thecowisback

i don't think i'd actually do anything - just the thoughts are continually there whenever something goes wrong. i can see it all playing out in my mind - how i'll do it etc, but then i imagine my family finding me and that horrifies me so no, i don't think i'd ever do anything. 

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Iatrogenesis

I'm glad to hear that. Also, effectively getting killed by Big Pharma is a bad way to die.

That one Zoloft pill, did you take it during your withdrawal or afterwards?

And how many mg was it?

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thecowisback

during withdrawal. it was 50 mg. 

 

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Iatrogenesis

Oh, I don't think that can help your withdrawal process? It's the same drug class, so it's like suddenly taking a larger dose one day, confusing for the nervous system. I've done that with Prozac, by the way (accidentally took 20mg more one day) and I had a horrible headache for a week and felt badly "poisoned".

 

To answer your original question though, I don't think going on another med would ever be a good idea. Prozac IS the easiest antidepressant drug to quit by far and what you're experiencing is withdrawal disorder from that particular drug. So IF you decided to go back on a med, I think Prozac would be the best choice, because it can stop the WD best and is the easiest to quit.

 

You may want to read this, too:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/?tab=comments#comment-33809

 

According to this, some people can't even reinstate to stop WD. I've never experienced that, I've always been able to reinstate, even after a year spent in WD - I guess I'm lucky. The post says some people have to wait months to get relief from their WD symptoms, again not my experience, they always would disappear almost immediately for me. Well, at least the most severe symptoms, maybe some residual damage lingered on a bit longer. So IF you wanted to reinstate, I would definitely do Prozac but quit it quickly if it wasn't helping, before you can get "readdicted".

 

I'm really sorry you're having such a hard time recovering from the drug.

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