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ProzacNation: waiting for my wife to return

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ProzacNation
Posted (edited)

Let me start off with this:

 

My wife began exhibiting personality changes after beginning Prozac that truly concerned me that she may be bi-polar. If not for this site, and for all of you users out there sharing your experiences, my wife would be another soul lost to the world of psych "meds". From the bottom of my heart, thank you all who have shared all of the gory details of your experiences so that those of us lost in the chaos could someday stumble upon these threads and finally have that "Aha" moment while reading you explain EXACTLY what we've been going through. Word for word. You are all heroes, and I don't mean that lightly. You're saving lives, and marriages, and offering support to those who can't find it elsewhere.

 

My story:

 

My wife and I have been together for 8 years. We have always been the couple that drives others crazy, the kind that has so much chemistry it is often felt by other people. We've had less than a handful of arguments, and have ALWAYS been each others number 1. We have so much respect for each other, and trust, and love, and adoration. From the day we met, we just clicked. Well, unfortunately for my poor wife she had some heartbreaking events take place in her childhood that have created some anxiety issues in the adult years. Over the last four or five years the anxiety has steadily worsened.

  

Last year it had progressed to the point that her anxiety and symptoms were basically the topic of 80% of our discussions. I was finally able to talk her into seeing a psychiatrist in hopes that she would be able to receive coping tips for her past experiences and current anxiety. What a horror this has turned out to be. In her first appointment she was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and was prescribed 10 mg of Prozac for anxiety, and Trazadone for the "panic attacks" the doctor was "certain" my wife was having in her sleep (She had come to this conclusion because my wife told the doctor that she liked to take naps. Obviously, that meant she's in an absolute panic every night while sleeping and therefore required to take naps to make up for the lost sleep.) When my wife came home and told me what the doctor had explained to her, I remember discussing that the medication and "night terrors" sounded pretty extreme in comparison to the symptoms she was actually exhibiting. She agreed, and expressed her concerns about taking a medication like Prozac, but with it being a low dose said it would be worth giving it a shot. If she didn't like it, she would stop and try something different. After two weeks, she was asked to return for a 15 minute "check-up" appointment, at which time the doctor prescribed her an additional 90-day supply because all was fine at that point. Or so I thought.

 

At this time, we were living on the east coast and were moving to a new state in a few months. I had a bit of traveling to do for work during that gap, so she decided to come home to Texas and visit with family and friends. Her sister was also living on the west coast, and had also decided she was moving back to Texas at the same time. My wife was so excited to spend as much time with her niece and nephew as possible, and I was excited for her. For the two months I was traveling, I was back and forth to Texas in between trips. My wife had seemed herself during this time, but we had an argument that didn't make since to me, and really kind of escalated more than was necessary. But, we'd had a lot going on and I chalked it up to stress from being out of her natural routine. No big deal. Over the course of the next couple of months (March and April), this happened a few more times. She also kept making some pretty disparaging remarks towards me, that were so out of character for her I just didn't understand what was going on. Her sister, we learned, is an alcoholic. Literally, drinks all day long. Then, once drunk, digs up all of her memories of her childhood. I assumed my wifes behavior was related with having to relive her memories on a pretty regular basis while consoling her sister, so I had quite a bit of patience for her behavior. Plus, it was just so out of character for such a sweet and loving person that I knew something really had to be bothering her to take it out on me. In April we went on a family cruise, and had a blast. Reconnected. All was right in the world. Her lobido completely disappeared after this.

 

In May, things progressed. Her little jabs became downright hateful, and weren't as sparratic as before. I would be emotional about it, and she would just be annoyed by that. When hanging out with friends and having a couple of drinks, she would be just a little more energetic then usual. We started to have friction about the amount of money she was spending, and about the fact that she continuously wanted to go to a bar. I'm all about having a good time, but that's not a lifestyle either of us have lived since our teen years and had no care to revisit those days. By June, she suddenly became someone who liked to take shots and "have an adventure", and therefore became a "yes man" anytime someone wanted to make plans. It did not matter to her what those plans were. She had decided she was not leaving Texas to move to another state, and instead was going to go back to college. (Honestly, I was okay with this part. We've traveled for years for my work, and I always told her that when she was ready to be home, that's where we would be. No questions asked. Our family and friends are mostly in Houston, so I didn't oppose, I just needed to change my career path to find something here instead.) She, however, was not happy when I agreed to stay and kept telling me to go back to work out of town so she could get an apartment with her sister. Which, was odd. Every now and again, she loved me and was herself. Every now again, it felt like she hated me. Majority of the time, she just seemed distant, or kind of checked out. She said she thought it was because we weren't spending much time together, and that would all change once we moved to the side of town her sister was at, because for the last few months she had been spending about 4-5 nights a week at her sisters to help with the kids and spend time with them. Once that happened, she thought everything would line out with her behavior. I had found out that she was not not taking her medication regularly, and instead was trying to use it when she had anxiety. I, of course, thought her odd behavior was when she wasn't taking the medicine and I brought it up to her. I said she was much more moody and distant, and she said I was crazy. Prozac altered her mood in NO way whatsoever.

 

This is when things spiraled out of control at a much quicker pace. I know this is already lengthy, but I'm going to be very specific about the timeline because that is the only details hard to find on this site. Specific timelines (I'm sure it's because those medicated are writing based upon reflections, and spouses just saw gradual progression like I did at the beginning, so I get it. Fortunately, because of this site, I had a calendar and began tracking my wife and her behaviors. I highly recommend this to all spouses to track changes.) Early June had gotten a little better. She was a little distant on some days, but had otherwise seemed to be back to herself. Excited about staying in Texas, ready to talk about having kids again, loved me like she had before. June 12th, I saw an odd charge on our bank statement. It was under $10 so I didn't care about it, I just wanted to make sure it was her that made the purchase (my identity has been stolen twice).  She was "DONE" dealing with my need to control her, and she was tired of being "smothered". I thought, "Holy ****, I'm smothering you? Oh God." When she said that, I felt so bad for texting her about it because the text did seem very abrupt when I read back on it. I apologized and explained the miscommunication, and she just kept berating me. After work, I called her and explained that the back and forth texting was just being misconstrued and though she ended the conversation more irritated than usual, we talked it out. I told her that the smothering comment really bothered me, so I was going to give her some space to kind of work through things. She said it was unnecessary, and we continued on as usual.

 

June 15: We had a birthday party for her niece, and she couldn't love me more. Very affectionate, very loving. I was in heaven.

June 16: We move to the other side of town, something we were both excited about. During this week, she stayed up a little later than usual, but I figured it was normal since she had kind of had an adjusted schedule for the last several months hanging out with the kids during summer and all. What was weird, is that when she stayed up she would sit outside for hours at a time. Alone.

 

June 22-28th: Kinda sweet. Also, kind of distant. Definite insomnia. She had started a new job and was now waking up at 5 am, and staying up until 1 am and repeating every day. I knew at this point that's what it was. That weekend I had planned a quick trip with a mutual friend to kayak and hike, and she decided she wanted to join.

 

June 29: We hiked. basically separately, and mostly in silence. She cannot stand to be near me. I leaned in to give her a kiss and she asked me why I was "being needy", while literally gritting her teeth. We played a couple of games while drinking as a group, which I definitely needed at this point. Later, she had a full blown hypomanic episode followed by a panic attack. Our friend and I calm her down and discuss the effect Prozac is having on her because shes not taking it regularly, and because she shouldn't be drinking on it. Idiots.

 

June 30: We were site seeing around town when our friend needs to use the bathroom and can only find a public restroom at a bar that requires you to buy a shot or drink to get in. My wife jumps at the opportunity. The next few hours is spent following her from bar to bar. Finally, after watching this woman who I could no longer recognize interact with people in a way I had never seen before, I myself have a panic attack on the side of the street in Austin and SHE IS PISSED that I am ruining her good time and just keeps telling me I need to go back in the bar. Our friend convinces her its time to go, and she does not really speak to me until July 3.

 

July 3: We go to the lake with some family to have a fun weekend on the boat and as soon as we pulled into the campground, I got the speech. "I don't love you. I haven't loved you in a long time, but I don't know when it stopped." No tears, barely any emotion. But a few things caught my attention during this speech. She said, "I feel like I've lost myself. Nothing makes me happy anymore. Not you, not hanging out with friends, or family. I need a break from us to find myself." And then she went home the next day to isolate herself, and I spent the weekend at the lake reflecting on the last several months. Then, I started googling her symptoms.

 

July 4-17: She did not come home but maybe 1 night a week. She wouldn't talk to me when she came home to get clothes and shower. She could not get far enough away from me. If i made the mistake of asking her how her day was, it was like talking to a demon. Our 8th anniversary was on the 9th, and we spent it separated. If she Saturday at home, she stayed on the far edge of the bed keep she was literally in pain if my leg grazed her while rolling over. I was trying to give her time to let the medicine line out since she had just gotten back on it regularly and she just kept saying she needed space.

 

July 12: She again says she just needs time "Alone" with no on else around. She books a hotel and leaves the house. The next day she came by to get things and said she felt a little better after "sitting in silence" for hours. This was very very strange for this social butterfly. Then, I found this website and started reading everyone else telling my story, and it clicked.

 

July 17: She wants a divorce, she's moving out to find herself and needs at least 9-12 months with no contact with me or anyone else. She wants to be alone with no one else around.

 

July 19: Her medicine "disappears". I know, I know. I read how hard CT is from all of you, but she was scaring the hell out of me. I had no idea at the time that I could just take jewels out of the capsule to reduce the dose without them looking like they were tampered with, or I would have done that, but it's too late.

 

July 20-25- Shes still pretty agitated all the time, and complains of a headache, but not as hateful. I ask her if she'd like to have dinner and she says it's "too much like a date" and doesn't want to.

July 26- She says she has applied and been approved for an apartment, but her mood is improving.

 

July 27- I was going to a music festival and she smiled and said, "I hope you have fun!". Her agitated state completely ends after this day. Even in her text messages from now on, she's back to using exclamation points and emojis, which is totally her, but they had all disappeared in the last few months. Just monotone responses… unless she was angry.

 

July 28- She suddenly realizes that she likes our dog again. (She has always been obsessed with him, but had even cut him off in recent months)

 

July 31- She asked me to go grab a bite to eat with her. It was quick, but it was HER idea.

August 8- She comes home from work, and she's happy. She's herself. I savor every little touch of the arm and moment of closeness. She asks me to run errands and go have dinner with her. We had a pretty great evening but I leave this physical touches to her and mimick her mood.

August 12- A close friends mom passed away suddenly and I went to the funeral. She doesn't feel enough sympathy to be there for him, but checks on me later to see how everyone was. This is the first sign of empathy in weeks.

 

August 13- She tells me how happy she is that I can still be her "best friend" and we even joke a little about how great parents we would be together (something we've always been excited about), and she says she just needs to find her independence and get herself together if we're ever to have hope. I take that as a win 😉 and leave it be.

 

August 15- She moves in to her new apartment with my help. She's happy that I can still be her "best friend", I hang out for a little bit, and when I leave she hugs me goodbye.

 

August 19- She's been texting through the weekend, but decided to call me on my lunch break to see how I was doing. Confirms she's not in love with me, but I ask her to just keep her mind open to the possibility that we can make it through this, and for the first time she doesn't argue it.

August 21- She agrees to go to a concert in a couple of weeks with my sister (who was previously her best friend, but she has completely avoided and ignored for weeks) and my mom.

August 22- She wants to have dinner again.

 

Again, I know it's detailed, but I hope someone out there can find comfort in knowing an exact timeline, cause I definitely needed one. Currently, I'm still the best friend. That's all I can be. I hope and pray for things to continue to progress, and for now that's all I can do. Can anyone confirm that my hopes aren't dumfounded? I feel like we're heading in the right direction, but I don't want to have my hopes up to end in epic failure.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added space/removed triggering comment

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hi ProzacNation,

And I'm so sorry for what this has done to your marriage.

 

I've got your post(s) approved over in our Relationships forum.  They can be found in this topic now, right at the end:   Marriages destroyed by SSRI, SSNRI

 

I think it might be best if your wife, would post here, in Introductions now, if possible herself.  I see she CTed the Prozac on July 19th.

Is this a possibility?  And am wondering how she is doing now too, from her own perspective.

And yes, I think we might be able to help support her as well.  I'd like to see if she would like to work with us more directly though.

It's a tough one, huh?

 

Thank you so much for getting the signature done as well.

 

Thank you,

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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ProzacNation

I'm sorry, I saw your response on the other post and responded to it. When I looked at the post earlier it said "hidden" at the top, so I thought I messed something up and posted it again. Sorry for the duplicate!

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ProzacNation

"Thank you so much for your response!

Currently, she is not even really open to the idea that Prozac has altered her behavior in anyway. I have printed a few stories from her from both users and spouses that were pretty similar to what we've been experiencing, as well as the slow progression of SSRIs effects, and she still has yet to read it. She continues to say she "felt more alive than ever" while taking the medicine. I am very cautious in how I approach her previous symptoms in discussion now, vs when I was in panic mode trying to figure out what was wrong with her (which basically consisted of me searching all over the internet for adverse side effects and sending hers screenshots saying "this is probably why you don't feel like yourself, and your lobido is low, and emotions are flat. It's a real possibility."). I don't put pressure on it anymore. Last week i casually brought up side effects from medication that people don't usually consider to be from medicine, and she kind of laughed and said something along the lines of "that may be true, but I still didn't have all of the side effects that you think I did". I guess I'm still waiting for that moment of clarity for her to reflect on the things she's done to really be able to see. I'm really fortunate that infidelity wasn't a factor in our case, that I know of, due to her low sex drive. I attribute this to not taking it regularly, because I definitely don't trust the person she could have been taking it full time. However in the doses she did take, her inhibitions, empathy, emotions, creativity, and loving personality were gone and replaced with D/P, hypomania, excessive drinking, isolation, paranoia and severe agitation. She had gotten to a very dark place, very quickly, and I was truly very scared for her when she started taking it daily again.

 

I guess to answer your question: I have mentioned this forum, but she has little interest for now. I wish she was open, because she's usually a very open minded person who hates taking medication even for headaches, but right now she's stuck on the memories of how much fun she was having. I have also mentioned to her how much happier she seems (because she really is) and how much she seems more like herself recently, and she doesn't see that either. She says her mood has not changed at all since being off Prozac. I wasn't sure if there was any advice on what to do in the meantime that might open her up to the idea of at least reading others experiences."

 

Here is my response from the other thread.

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Altostrata

I'm moving this to the Relationships forum, it is not appropriate for our Introductions forum, which is not for commenting on relationship dynamics.

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herewego

So sorry to hear how medication has affected your marriage. In addition to getting the medication, withdrawal figured out which would definitely help, you also might consider a book that helped save my marriage. It is written from a Christian perspective but is also very practical in general. The first half of the book is for men, the second half for women. However just you reading the half for you and applying it could be enough. The book is called 'Hidden Keys to a Loving Lasting Marriage' by Gary Smalley. Best of luck to you 

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India

See Helen Fischer on YouTube and her theories about ssri’s and love.

 

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India
On 8/22/2019 at 11:17 PM, ProzacNation said:

." No tears, barely any emotion

I barely cried on higher doses of my antidepressant.. I was more detached.  

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