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Krisah375 - New and Withdrawing from Prozac


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Hi everyone,


I'm new and looking for some guidance (or just comfort!).


I am 26 years old and have been on and off antidepressants since junior year of high school. First was on Zoloft in high school thru college, and came off for whatever reason (a terrible withdrawal experience, I might add). 


I took a short break from antidepressants after college, until my first real full-time job, when I started Prozac. I'm shy and it was hard to integrate with my colleagues, so I wanted something to help with my anxiety and loneliness.

I liked it. It did seem to help with my social anxiety, and also kept me on an even-keel with emotions. I was always sort of 'happy' or vaguely satisfied with any situation under the influence of Prozac. I excelled at work and my personal life. However, I also felt numb, and I didn't like that. My dad recently died and I could barely cry about it (and I'm the type to cry at the drop of a hat). I wanted to experience real emotions again, good and bad. I felt that after my dad died that maybe I wasn't mourning in a healthy way. Also my sex drive was very low (a common side effect of Prozac) and I wanted to feel sexual desire again. So I made the decision to come off of Prozac.


It's been almost 2 months since I stopped cold turkey from 10 mg. Because of the long half-life of Prozac, I believe it just truly left my system recently, and I'm just now starting to feel the effects. I cry over EVERYTHING - even commercials. I feel social anxiety again - even when speaking with long time friends. I'll be telling a story and feel the wash of "oh no oh no" and feel like I can't continue the story, and my face starts turning red. It's like the soft buffer that Prozac gave me is gone.


I'm so afraid that the Prozac made me into a more enjoyable, fun person to be around, and now that personality has dissipated. I can't be funny when I'm worrying about what people think. I'm afraid that my close friend at work will no longer want to be my friend, and that my boyfriend will leave me. Both relationships were formed while I was on Prozac and had a different personality - and now that person is gone.  Why would they want to stick around if the person they were attracted to is no longer there?


On the positive side of things, I can feel real emotions for things. Music gives me goosebumps again. But honestly, feeling emotions doesn't make up for losing relationships.


I hope that this is part of the withdrawal period and maybe after it's done, I can "adopt" my Prozac personality again. I really don't want to go back on the Prozac; I would rather deal with things in a natural way. Also was wondering if anyone has recommendations for a supplement (vitamin or herb) that could help with my social anxiety.


Any guidance or advice is much appreciated.


Thank you!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Going off any antidepressant cold turkey is a very bad idea.  What you're experiencing now is antidepressant withdrawal syndrome and it can get worse. There are no guarantees, but I'm guessing that you might do well to reinstate a small amount of Prozac, perhaps 1 or 2 mg., stabilize, and then taper off slowly. Here is our topic on tapering off Prozac and also on reinstating antidepressants in general:


Tips for Tapering Off Prozac


About Reinstating and Stabilizing


I don't know of any cure for ordinary shyness, natural or not, but I don't think most people find it unattractive.  Considering how brash and rude many people are these days, shyness could be quite appealing.  And one thing you'll find in antidepressant withdrawal is that your emotions are all over the board, mostly on the negative side.  We've even coined a term for this, neuroemotions, and there's a topic about it in the Symptoms discussion (Neuro-emotion).


Welcome to the forum, Krisah.  You'll find lots of good information here and friendly, gentle support.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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  • Administrator

Welcome, krisah.


Your feelings may have been normal in those new situations, not deserving of being treated as a mental disorder. You might find talking to a supportive therapist helps you gain confidence in social settings.


Recovering from drug withdrawal, many people do well with fish oil and magnesium supplements, seehttp://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you both for that information. I'm not sure that I want to reinstate the Prozac at this point, even though it's probably a good idea. Do you know how long it will take for the drug to completely leave my system?

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  • Administrator

Most likely it's out of your system by now. But you don't have withdrawal symptoms because the drug is still in your system, you get withdrawal symptoms from the drug leaving your system too quickly.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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