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Roses

Roses: Prozac withdrawal

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Roses

Hello, I will run through my history as quickly as possible. In my early 20s after having moved for probably the 15th to 20th time with my parents I was having a lot of stress and crying fits. I started on Prozac which I took for a year or two and then stopped taking it for a few months. Unfortunately I had anxiety after doing so and fearing a relapse (I didn't know this could be a withdrawal symptom) started on it again. 

 

I began to feel like my skin was numb and it wasn't working so I was switched to Paxil. The Paxil gave me the worst headaches if I didn't take it exactly on time and I ended up switching about a year ago to Lexapro. Lexapro made me very constipated and I felt my anxiety get far worse. The last few months I switched off the 20 mg of Lexapro to 20 mg Prozac. I've been back on just Prozac for 2 weeks. It wasn't hard during the switching process but my first period on just Prozac was extremely hard. I was crying for the last few days nearly 10 times a day and feeling very anxious. I did cave two days ago and took Xanax after panicking all day just to sleep. 

 

My goal is to not increase my Prozac dosage because I specifically went onto it so I might have an easier withdrawal. I plan to stick to this dosage for another few weeks and try to slowly withdraw. I'm having a lot of trouble even going outside or getting out of bed without panicking. I am not sure why it is like this now when Prozac was generally effective for me before. 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Roses.

 

How long have you been taking 20mg Prozac? Have you been feeling better or worse since you started it?

 

It's possible that since you've been on and off drugs so many times, your nervous system is hypersensitive and 20mg Prozac is too much for you. Do you feel overstimulated?

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Roses
8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Welcome, Roses.

 

How long have you been taking 20mg Prozac? Have you been feeling better or worse since you started it?

 

It's possible that since you've been on and off drugs so many times, your nervous system is hypersensitive and 20mg Prozac is too much for you. Do you feel overstimulated?

Hello! The middle of October is when I started this dosage while tapering Lexapro and the middle of November is when I got off lexapro completely with this dosage. 

 

My panic is beginning to decrease a bit finally but emotionally I feel so blunted beyond that. A few hours before I take my dose my anxiety increases. I definitely think my brain/body/nervous system has been endlessly taxed especially since within the course of the last 18 months I've switched from paxil to lexapro to prozac (all generics) and also had a near death experience with an ectopic pregnancy. I noticed that this year I am highly sensitive to caffeine suddenly and have to really avoid it or it drives me into panic. 

 

But this is not swaying me from going off it. Just giving myself some weeks to stabilize. 

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Altostrata

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages?

 

How's your sleep? Has it gotten better or worse since you restarted 20mg Prozac?

 

What are you thinking before you take Prozac every day? Are you worrying about it? How do you feel for a couple of hours afterward?

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Roses
On 12/7/2018 at 4:09 PM, Altostrata said:

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages?

 

How's your sleep? Has it gotten better or worse since you restarted 20mg Prozac?

 

What are you thinking before you take Prozac every day? Are you worrying about it? How do you feel for a couple of hours afterward?

I take 20 mg prozac daily at 6 PM. I get so tired by about 8 PM and feel like I just can't stay awake. So now I go to sleep from 8 to 9 PM, which is weird because I'm used to sleeping around midnight. I am sleeping heavier than before which is good since I have a history with insomnia. 

 

I'm usually distracting myself with tv or reading. The problem is lately I have been thinking a lot about what 10 years on SSRIs has done for me. I doubled my weight (lost 50 lbs in the last year but have 100 to lose still), worsened my panic attacks, made myself a hermit in my house, still had suicidal thoughts, still have crying fits, etc. Yes I got through school and haven't attempted suicide or needed mental hospitalization but the things I wanted from SSRIs are not what I got. So I guess a lot of my thoughts are negative these days because I'm frustrated. 

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Roses

Updates regarding this year. This has been the worst year of life so far. I have done 5 stays at inpatient psychiatric units, totaling 10 weeks. They have put me on countless medications this year and I have a list of the major ones:

 

Depression - Zoloft, Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq, and Prozac

Mood - Lamictal

Sleep - Seroquel, Ambien, Prasozin

Anxiety - Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Buspar, Vistaril

 

The antidepressants have all failed me and Pristiq in particular made me obsessed with death to the point I purposely withdrew at the hospital because I was sure I was going to kill myself staying home. The withdrawal was very intense with vertigo, sensitivity to light/sound/smell, shakiness, and throbbing. I couldn't walk straight for a few days. They decided to put me on a low dose of prozac (5 mg liquid and then 10 mg pill because the liquid was disgusting) to deal with the symptoms from Pristiq withdrawal. Took me a week to get through it. 

 

Now I am home and trying to withdraw from the 10 mg of Prozac. It's been 9 days of physical and emotional hell especially since I had my lower back muscles seize up last week and couldn't walk for another few days. I've been stuck in bed shaky, in pain, no appetite, ringing in my ears, having crying fits, and generally feeling awful. I regret this whole year and ever starting medication at all. 

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Altostrata

Hello, Roses. In December 2018, it seemed you were settling on 20mg Prozac. What caused you to change that?

 

One thing we know is that if you go to the hospital with anything that can be interpreted as a psychiatric problem, you will come out on more drugs.

 

How do you feel on 10mg Prozac and why do you want to come off it now? It's likely your nervous system would do better if it could rest from drug changes.

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Roses

Honestly the Prozac was just not helping me in feeling less depressed or anxious. The psychiatric care I was getting was frustrating me at the time and I just wanted to withdraw off it. Unfortunately I was in the ER often because the panic attacks were making me feel extremely suicidal and my husband didn't really know how else to react to me except by taking me to the hospital. After having an ectopic pregnancy (which was a near death experience for me) last June, I feel like something in me fractured. No medication seems to keep me level for more than a week since then. 

 

I felt anxious and shaky on the 10 mg Prozac, which I feel withdrawing off of it as well. I never wanted to be back on it but the psychiatrists didn't seem to know how to get me feeling even a little bit better. They put me on it and it just happened to work well enough for me to stay stable for a few days. It seems like they have no real plan and just make random decisions that toy with my life. All the stays seem to be similar in this way; they don't know how to help so they throw meds at me.  I feel at a total loss in how to move forward at this point beyond just letting the Prozac drain out of my system. 

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TriD

Just wondering do you have access to counselling? Are you able to talk with someone for a long time who understands the mental and phsycial stress you have gone through and still going through? Will this help a bit just to get it out? Just as temporary relief.. not a solution. My drs tend to listen to my distress for 10mins and just up my dose. My therapist psychologist listens to me for 1hr when im able to express my distress to someone who understands and is willing to listen.

 

The physical symptoms are distressing, from my own experience i was on 25mg lexapro a high dose but despite that i was at such a point of distress that even the panic attacks went through.. it was only when i allowed the stressor that was plauging my mind day and night to leave and the ruminating fearful thoughts to go that i managed to calm down. I dont personally think the doctors have the tools to magically get rid of high distress when it is extreme. Sometimes we can help ourselves by therapy and also let some of our bad and frightening thoughts out to reduce some anxiety.. it can be a viscous cycle especially when you are sensitised and also have physical symptoms from medications.

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Altostrata

That sure would be nice for all our members, TriD -- to be able to talk to someone who understands! Few and far between.

 

Roses, do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

This will help determine whether you're having a bad reaction to Prozac.

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ChessieCat
22 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

This is an example of what Alto requires:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

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