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Hi everyone. My story is as follows. I'm 58 years old and have battled panic attacks, anxiety and depression since I was diagnosed in my 20's. Through the years, I have been on all types of tricyclics, Xanax, etc. to control my symptoms. Married my HS sweetheart at age 19 and had two wonderful children. Somehow managed to function somewhat normally throughout the years. I had a bad bout of depression when I was 50 years old and was prescribed Prozac. That was eight years ago. The drug changed my personality almost immediately. At first, it was a renewed confidence in myself. I was always very introverted and became extroverted at work especially. I was suddenly able to travel long distances without my spouse and not feel anxious. I could finally go into crowded places without feeling overwhelmed. I opened up a PT business on the side and was working seven days a week between that and my career job in education. I was a new person!!! I even wondered what the heck was going on with me.


Somewhere along the way I was upped to a 40 mg daily dosage and had been taking that for about two years when suddenly I noticed that I started questioning things like "What is love?" and "Am I in love with my wife?" Basically, I was losing touch with my emotions. Didn't have the "down" times but my personality was really different. I was much more selfish and couldn't recognize when I was hurting others, especially my spouse. I was just very different. At the same time had the usual side effect of erectile dysfunction. Also, at the time, my wife begged me to get off prozac because she saw a negative change in my personality. In addition, I had a emotional relationship with someone at work and was constantly lying to my wife about it. As you can imagine, my marriage was in deep trouble and my wife and I separated after 30+ years of marriage. It came out of nowhere! After eight months we got back together, but things still were not right. I was intelligent enough to take care of some of our issues, but not all of them and I STILL DIDN'T REALIZE IT WAS THE PROZAC! So after we got back together things were okay for about 18 months but it was just smoke and mirrors. I didn't fully give up the emotional relationship and I was still a very selfish person. 


Things finally came to a head this past December when my wife had enough and told me she was asking for a divorce. My kids hated me even my own family members were upset at me. I through everything away. I guess it was the realization that I would have nothing without my family that the same evening my wife threw me out I made a half baked attempt at suicide with sleeping pills. Thank the lord I did that because it was a psychiatrist at the hospital that asked me about my prozac usage and if I had  noticed any personality changes. A light bulb went off in my head that day! The last eight years came racing past me in a blur. I had been in self-destruct mode from the time I strted taking the SSRI Prozac. I immediately talked to my doctor, my therapist and started researching these issues like a maniac. There is so much out there, it's scary. I even called Dr. Peter Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac. 


Fast forward to today to make a long story short, I reduced my dosage from 40mg to 20mg and immediately noticed a difference. My wife and I are back together and things are good. The side effects of impotence are gone and I can actually "feel" again. I am currently searching for a specialist in psychopharmacology to see if I can get completely off SSRI's or am I okay at a low dosage. Unfortunately, in my case and in the cases of a lot of others I see on this support board, people are prescribed anti-depressants by a general practitioner, often through the advice of a therapist. These people are not experts with these drugs!!! In addition, my belief is the drugs interact with peoples metabolism differently so no drug is a cure all. Both of these are good enough reasons to have your medication managed by a professional psychopharmacologist. 


So that's it. I hope my story helps at least one person in this world!

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  • Moderator

Hello, Papagaulin, and welcome to SA.  I'm glad things are better with your wife.


We are a site for helping people taper off psychiatric drugs safely.  I am going to give you some links that should be helpful to you in going off Prozac.


At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
Your taper from 40mg to 20mg was a 50% drop.  Do not be surprised if you experience withdrawal symptoms.  Here is some information on withdrawal.


When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
Please be aware that sometime withdrawal symptoms don't appear immediately after a too-fast taper.
When did you drop from 40mg to 20?  How are you feeling?
To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

I am afraid your faith in psychopharmacologists may be misplaced. They get their information from the drug companies and very few know anything about tapering or withdrawal.

Almost invariably they recommend a too-fast taper.  My psychopharmacologist recommended that I taper with every-other-day dosing, which is like playing ping-pong with your brain, which craves stability.



The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable. 


If your doctor recommend a taper faster than 10% per month or alternate day dosing, please entertain the concept the you are not in good hands.


After you have completed your signature, we can, if you wish, help you taper Prozac.


This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community. I hope you'll find the  
 information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.



Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

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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