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Msho

Msho: protracted Prozac withdrawal horrible

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Msho

I'm new here. I began a (too fast) taper of 40 mg Prozac at the end of January 2018. Had been on for many years (at least 10+).  As a sidenote, I also have Lyme disease which muddies the waters of symptoms and will explain why I didn't catch that I was declining once I started tapering.

 

In looking back at texts I was writing to friends at the time, it is (now) clear to me that I was declining mentally very soon after I reduced the dose of Prozac, but I was attributing it to Lyme disease (not discontinuation of the drug), so I never connected the dots.  I started reducing Prozac end of January 2018, and took my last dose end of April 2018 because "it's easy to come off of."  During that time, my mental health declined rapidly and my sleep became awful. Again, I attributed these symptoms to Lyme and not discontinuation of the Prozac--it didn't even cross my mind.   I finally connected the dots in December 2018, but had stopped the Prozac way back in April 2018.                                                                                       

 

I still sleep only about 2 hours per night for the last 6 months and it's horrible. I used to sleep 7-8 easily before all of this. I've tried everything for sleep and nothing works, both Rx and natural. It scares me.My personality has changed, and I feel on the verge of cracking very soon.

 

In August 2018 my doc put me on Lexapro, but after 3 weeks on it I felt like it made me more anxious, so I tapered over a couple weeks and went off it.  I also tried Ambien several times (maybe 8 tablets total) from maybe Sept to November to sleep and it gives me suicidal thoughts upon waking, and never gave me much help--maybe 3 hours tops, but often just one hour of sleep.  Tried the Ambien CR, and that gave me suicidal thoughts as well and never many hours of sleep.  Mid-Novemember a doc put me on Ativan for sleep, but I hate benzos, so I took only a total of 7   .5mg tablets over a 12 day period and stopped. It always gave me at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but I was not willing to stay on it (addictive), and it exacerbates my depression as well.  Also in November I tried (for 6 days) Remeron for sleep, (7.5 mg), but it didn't help and I didn't want to stay on it, so I tapered over a couple weeks and stopped. Tapering instructions of all these drugs was given by my medical providers, so none of the tapers were probably anywhere close to what I should have done.  When I was done with this conglomeration of short-use drugs from August- November 2018, I felt like my brain was fried. I used to be a funny, silly, hilarious, fun loving person. I've become horribly depressed, anxious, and withdrawn....and often have thoughts of suicide that I cannot get out of my mind. I also am pretty convinced that my brain cannot handle psych drugs at all anymore. It's too sensitive and does not seem to rebound. I seem to be especially sensitive to benzos and the sleep meds. I am terrified to ever use another psych drug.

 

I'll add: in 2014 (while on Prozac) I went through heavy anxiety, so was referred to a psychiatrist who (from July through December 2014) put me on a slew of different antidepressants and antipsychotics-(-introducing one, while withdrawing another), none of which worked, but it ended with clonazepam. I was on a small dose of .25-.50 mg intermittently over a few (maybe 3) months, put on too fast a taper, and went through HELL withdrawal. I was bedridden for at least 6 months, and still had symptoms up until I started coming off of Prozac last January 2018. What a mess.  So this is my second time in 4 years of going through withdrawals from psych drugs, and I was never completely through with my first withdrawal episode (but was improving very very slowly).

 

I am not taking any drugs right now, BUT I am a horrid mess.  Not sleeping AT ALL (unless 2 hours per night counts as sleep); severe severe severe depression, depersonalization, feeling like I need to jump off a bridge all the time; I've become very angry and combative; I have hardly left the house in 6 months.  I have tingling and numbness all over my body and face, panic attacks often, heavy heart palpitations, my brain often feels damaged, and suicidal thoughts are ever present in my mind. I also have difficulty breathing often--like labored breathing. My anxiety is off the charts constantly. My symptoms do not wax and wane--they are always there 24/7 and never subside. And obviously I cry a lot. I grieve the full life I used to have.  I have a hard time taking care of myself: showering, eating, etc, but I manage to make it thru. I am 5 feet 1, and down to about 89 lbs (from probably 112). It's rough!!

 

Any advice for me? I feel hopeless and un-fixable.  I can't imagine that re-instating Prozac would help at all at this point, since it's been so long. What do you think?

 Feeling very very discouraged.

 

 

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Shep

Hi, Msho.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

16 hours ago, Msho said:

I still sleep only about 2 hours per night for the last 6 months and it's horrible. I used to sleep 7-8 easily before all of this. I've tried everything for sleep and nothing works, both Rx and natural.

 

Please let us now what you tried, both Rx and natural. Please list the start and stop dates and the doses you took.

 

16 hours ago, Msho said:

 I can't imagine that re-instating Prozac would help at all at this point, since it's been so long. What do you think?

 

Yes, it may be difficult to reinstate at this late stage. I'm going to give you the link on reinstatement so you can be familiar with how we approach reinstatements here on SA. And I'll ask the moderators who are more familiar with Prozac to guide you should this turn out to be an option. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

For more information on withdrawal, please see:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

You may find some helpful information to handle your symptoms here: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

  

 We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

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

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  •  Any drugs and supplements 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. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Please use this thread to document your taper and to ask plenty of questions. As you provide more information, we can better guide you going forward. 

 

Please also let us now what kind of treatment you've had for Lyme and if you're on any medication for that, as well. 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Msho.

 

It's possible a low-dose reinstatement would help. I might try 0.5mg Prozac to start, take every day in the morning. Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Prozac comes in a prescription liquid for titration or you can make your own, this topic explains how Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

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Msho

Shep and Alto,

 

I (think) I updated my drug signature, but it's not showing. Maybe it needs approval before posting. Waiting to hear back from my doc about getting some liquid Prozac to try re-instatement. Feeling nervous about that, but not sure if it's possible to feel any worse than I do now.

 

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ChessieCat

No, your drug signature is not showing up.  You have to make sure you click Save when you have finished creating it.  I think it's at the bottom of the box where you type the information in.

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Msho

😭😭😭 Well, darn. I spent a loooong time on that. I'll try again later. Thank you ChessieCat.

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Sadboy

Mate look into the keto diet for lyme disease. It also helped me tremendously during withdrawal. Greets

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BB1979

Msho,

Welcome to the site and wishing you good luck with everything.  Just letting you know you are not alone in this and what you've typed as symptoms describe the same hell I've been in since April 2018.  But here on the site I read so much about waiting and how it'll get better.  Hold on to that!  And read the success stories often.  It really fuels me when I don't have the ability to go anymore.  Good Luck!

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ChessieCat
6 hours ago, Sadboy said:

Mate look into the keto diet for lyme disease. It also helped me tremendously during withdrawal. Greets

 

Please research anything before trying it.  People can respond differently to things that work for others.  diets-that-may-cause-problems-restriction-ketosis-raw-low-carb

 

5 hours ago, BB1979 said:

And read the success stories often

 

 

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Msho

Still waiting to hear back from doc re liquid Prozac. 

 

Question: I have *no* windows of improvement (yet) since coming off too quickly from Prozac. It’s just 24/7 almost unbearable hell for over 6 months now. No relief ever. Is this normal for my situation?  I always feel like I’m ready to jump off a bridge, among other horrible symptoms. 

 

I’ll update drug signature soon. 

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ChessieCat
22 hours ago, Msho said:

Well, darn. I spent a loooong time on that.

 

I know how frustrating it is.  I have had this happen several times after typing out a long, tailored and very detailed response to a member.

 

1 hour ago, Msho said:

Still waiting to hear back from doc re liquid Prozac. 

 

Do you have any Prozac tablets?  You could make your own Prozac liquid with water until you can get the liquid Prozac.

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

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Msho

Ok, I updated my signature. My doc said he is not comfortable giving me liquid Prozac at this time (or any other psych drugs--I"m sure because of my horrible withdrawal).  It HAS been a long time since my last dose of Prozac. Still debating whether to pursue re-instatement of Prozac.

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Msho

I've been off Prozac since end April 2018 and am debating whether or not to re-instate at .5mg due to continued horrific withdrawals. Anyone have any successful re-instatement stories after being off drugs for many months? My doc will not prescribe the liquid. Or any more Prozac. I'm wondering if I should just take that as my "answer." I do know there is a risk of getting worse (I can't imagine worse than this) with a re-instatement.

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ChessieCat

did-antidepressant-reinstatement-work-for-you

 

51 minutes ago, Msho said:

My doc will not prescribe the liquid. Or any more Prozac.

 

You don't need to get the liquid.  You can make your own liquid from tablets.

 

Just tell the doctor that you think you need to go back on Prozac.  Doctors are usually quite happy to provide you with a prescription.  You don't need to tell them that you are only going to take a small dose.  Let them think you are going back on the dose they prescribe.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

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