O2bhappy

O2bhappy: 9 months off Prozac - does it get any better?

382 posts in this topic

SG -

 

Thank you for the thoughts and hugs to my dog and me. It has really been a difficult time. I am blessed to still have her in my life, but it is difficult to see her without a leg. She is managing well. I think it is more difficult for me. I am hoping over time that I adjust to this new normal.

 

I do feel this is more difficult because I am in withdrawal.

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osotough-

 

Thanks for the info. I have never heard of queasy drops. I am trying to eat smaller meals throughout the day. I am also not drinking as much liquid because that seemed to make me feel more nauseous.

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Hi O2b-- I'm glad you're feeling better and that the pup is doing well.  Dogs have an amazing capacity for recovery and acceptance. In the past I have recommended people watch videos of three legged dogs playing fetch on Youtube to learn about dealing with adversity. Truly inspirational.

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brassmonkey -

 

She has been an inspiration to me. I think about all the complaining I have done because I don't feel well and then I look at my dog and think about everything she has been through and she is just as happy as anything. I can certainly learn a few things from her. Like I said I believe this is much harder on me then it is on her.

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I have noticed that I have been very anxious. I feel like the internal shaking I have is causing me to be anxious. I am not thinking or stressing about anything, besides the withdrawal symptoms. I noticed when I go out and do anything my anxiety gets worse. I am not experiencing panic attacks, it's constant anxiety. I am beginning to avoid the places that make my anxiety worse which I know is not a good thing. What would cause my anxiety and internal shaking to become worse in a store? Is this part of withdrawal?

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Yes.  Most of us have had these anxious feelings , at some point. They do get better, in time.

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i can't remember who it was who wrote that he or she could look at a coffee mug and feel anxiety  ;-)  I've had those weird body waves of anxiety, too, definitely related to withdrawal.  Helps to take a few deep breaths and say to yourself, "there goes WD again, but it will pass."

 

SG

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AliG -

 

Thank you for letting me know that this is part of withdrawal. I am glad to hear that it gets better with time.

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SG -

 

I can relate to looking at a coffee mug and feeling anxious. I stopped drinking caffeine because it makes my shaking worse. I will tell myself that this is WD and it will pass.

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Another thing that I have noticed is that when I am outside on a sunny day it seems so much brighter to me then when I was on Prozac. Is this from coming off Prozac? Is it part of withdrawal? I wear dark sunglasses and find myself squinting.

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I can definitely relate to the anxiety coming out of nowhere with no seeming reason, I've been getting it a lot too lately. I find if I step back from it and just observe the feeling, it helps my brain to recognise it's not real anxiety - sorry if that doesn't make sense, it's the only way I can think to explain it. Once I can say yes that's not related to anything it's just withdrawal, it tends to go. Still comes back at times throughout the day but it's starting to go away more quickly now, and the process of observing the anxiety and then dismissing it is becoming more subconscious in a way. I don't know if dismissing it is the right word or not, maybe more accepting it instead of fighting against it. I think it's the same as Dr Claire Weekes' 'face and float' which has been really helpful to me and is explained here: http://programs.centacare.org.au/pace/2014/01/15/learning-to-face-and-float/

You can find a lot of her videos on YouTube if you search for Claire Weekes. 

 

And yes to the sun seeming brighter, all summer I've been drawing the curtains in the house. I've found the sun seems to stimulate me too much and I can't then relax; I guess that makes sense with a sensitised nervous system. 

 

I checked last year's diary and I took my last fluoxetine capsule on 29th August 2015, 2 days after you took your last one. I think treating ourselves will definitely be in order on the anniversary day :)

 

Glad to hear your dog is doing so well too.

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keepinghope -

 

I understand observing the anxiety. I am working with my therapist on Acceptance and Commitment therapy. We talk about observing and accepting feelings and thoughts that I am having. Some days it is more difficult to accept the anxiety. Thanks for providing me with the link to Claire Weekes. I have watched one of her videos. I will have to go back and watch more. I will let you know if I am successful in observing my anxiety.

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Sunday was my one year anniversary of stopping Prozac. I feel like I should be happy and celebrating the achievement of not going back on another SSRi but it is difficult to celebrate when you are still dealing with withdrawal. I have improved over the year, which I have to keep reminding myself.

 

I still have numerous symptoms but the one that is really bothering me now is the anxiety. I feel like the internal shaking I have is causing my body to feel very anxious. I started taking Prozac for panic attacks and I am starting to feel panicky. Thankfully I haven't had any panic attacks. I find myself being nervous about going to the store, but once I get there I am okay. I am constantly comparing myself to other people. I look at them and think how lucky they are to just walk in a store and not deal with the anxiety of being in the store. I know I don't know what they could be dealing with but I am still comparing. I also look at people enjoying their lives and I sit here scared to do things. Maybe I am jealous of people living their lives while I live with fear and anxiety. I was never like this before. Is this part of withdrawal? Any suggestions on how to stop comparing?

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Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!  You should be proud of yourself!  I can relate to being jealous of how other people seem to go about their days so easily and laugh so easily...I feel that way too.  I am sorry you are still dealing with anxiety....do you take any supplements to help with that?

 

Also, if you would not mind could you list the symptoms that you feel have gotten better over the past year?  I am trying to recover from being off prozac too and am just at day 33...I have such a long way to go and sometimes think this will be a life long recovery process.

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downtongirl -

 

I do not take any supplements. I use to take a multivitamin and omega 3 but my stomach could not tolerate it. I might try again in a few months. The interesting thing about comparing myself is that I never use to do it before Prozac or even on Prozac. I think it is because I have felt bad for so long that I see everyone else as enjoying their lives and having fun.

 

My symptoms that have gotten better...I no longer have tremors, the pressure behind my eyes is better, the ringing in my ear is gone, my nausea is finally improving, my appetite is better (I still cannot eat a lot), my constant crying is much better (I still cry easily but not like before). I am sure I am leaving things out but that gives you an idea that things do improve.

 

One thing I did notice is at the third month of being off Prozac I took a turn for the worse. I read that is very common with Prozac withdrawal because of the long half life. Ever since then I have had the window and waves of withdrawal.

 

Symptoms I am currently dealing with is anxiety, internal shaking, and olfactory hallucination. I also get some weird sensations in my head/brain. I tell myself that is my brain healing itself. I also have hot flashes and night sweats, but that could be related to menopause.

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I used to feel like you after too fast taper. Crying all the time and very sensitive to any bad news and heart broken. I wish i could feel that way again... i had bad reaction to reinstatement (only 1mg) and my heart turned into stone and felt like my emotions was trapped like genie in the bottle, for a long time i couldn't cry or laught. Now I can cry but not that deep cry only sobbing. I'm sure the crying you have is healing and purifying you. Read the story of Laura Delano she was flooded with (sad)emotions after stopping all her medications(14 years on) after only six months taper.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG_tA52D-rE

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I used to feel like you after too fast taper. Crying all the time and very sensitive to any bad news and heart broken. I wish i could feel that way again... i had bad reaction to reinstatement (only 1mg) and my heart turned into stone and felt like my emotions was trapped like genie in the bottle, for a long time i couldn't cry or laught. Now I can cry but not that deep cry only sobbing. I'm sure the crying you have is healing and purifying you. Read the story of Laura Delano she was flooded with (sad)emotions after stopping all her medications(14 years on) after only six months taper.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG_tA52D-rE

And Laura has survived http://recoveringfrompsychiatry.com/

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reachingfortheatars -

 

Thank you for sharing Laura's story. I am going to have to read it.

 

I am not sure if the crying has been healing, but I guess that is a good way to look at it. It is hard to feel on the verge of crying every moment.

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I am back to feeling very sad and anxious. The sadness started up again when I found another lump on my dog. The vet isn't certain if it is the cancer returning or not. My dog is now on pain medicine and an anti-inflammatory. She seems to be doing better, but I am still very scared and worried. I don't want to leave her because I want to spend as much time as possible with her.

 

I have also noticed my anxiety has gotten much worse. Probably because of the stress with my dog. It am trying to mediate but it really hasn't help. I find myself not wanting to do anything because of the anxiety. It is consist. I am sure it would help if I had more going on in my life. All I think about is how I feel and my dog, not a very good thing when I have a family. I should be taking care of them and not be so focused on me but it is hard. Maybe if I was busy things would be better.

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I will reach my 13th month being off Prozac in two days. I find myself really struggling with the constant crying and overwhelming sadness I am feeling. I cannot find that happy median. I am either very sad and depressed or very angry. I don't feel like I am dealing with my emotions very well. I am finding I am having a hard time connecting with my family. I feel distant from them. I think that is causing me to feel more sad and hurt. I don't know how to make it better.

 

I have also been feeling very guilty about all the things I didn't do or that I let go while being on Prozac. It is a constant reminder of what that medicine did to me. I regret taking it, especially for so many years. I have no motivation to do the things that need to get done and those things I let go while being on Prozac. How can I motivate to do things I need to do when I can't even motivate to do the things I want to do.

 

I am wondering and assuming this could be a wave that I am in. I just want to be the old me, but I know the old me was someone who was drugged. I miss my happy self. The person who was outgoing and witting. How would anyone want to be around me when I don't want to be around myself.

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This is definitely wave-speak, O2B.  And as scallywag wrote, we have seen the pattern here on SA that people fall into waves around this time.  It's a matter of being kind to yourself and reminding yourself that this is the wave talking/thinking, and it will pass.  Cold turkey quits go like this, unfortunately.  

 

When in this frame of mind, it is easy to feel that this is it forever; the idea of sitting with these feelings for the next month or even week can be soul crushingly hard (not that that is how long the wave will last, just that you may fear it will).   So it can be helpful to recite a mantra at these times, something like "this is withdrawal, but it's a sign of healing and I can take one day at a time."  When I was in waves, I had such bad anxiety about the coming summer heat (disproportionate fear, really) but I did find it helpful to say to myself "I will do the best I can to take one day at a time."  Just try it. Say that to yourself 50 times or more.  Say it like you are happy about it.  It is possible to yank the mind into a better place doing so.

 

You will get through this wave, and the next one...It is all part of ongoing healing.

 

SG

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Scallywag -

 

Thanks for sharing the thread. I hate for any of us to still be dealing with this a year later.

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SG -

 

It is hard to remind yourself that this is the w/d speaking when you are in the middle of a wave. I wish I didn't cold turkey coming off Prozac but I had not choice. My body could not handle the change from one generic to the next and I figured this was my body telling me to get off the stuff.

 

I know I have gotten through waves before but this one seems bad, but I guess they are all bad. I am having a hard time not getting stuck with these thoughts I am having. I know my body is healing but I am having scary feelings that it won't get any better. I haven't had these thoughts in months. I like your idea of having a mantra. I have told myself before that what I am experiencing is withdrawal and my body is healing, I am finding that hard to say while in this wave.

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O2bhappy...sorry you are still struggling....I have been off of prozac for 8 weeks and I am starting to get some nausea....no vomiting yet...and I am getting internal vibrations and the energized feeling you describe like you have drank too much caffeine....it scares me and I have panic disorder and it makes me feel like I am loosing control....do you think this is akathisia?  If so have you tried propranolol?

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downtongirl -

 

Maybe the internal shaking is akathisia, but I am not certain. I have had it for over a year. I have noticed that any caffeine makes it worse. I have not taken any medicine for it. It does cause me to be very anxious. I also suffer from panic attacks.

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Does it cause you to be restless and have to move around?

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downtongirl -

 

Know it doesn't. It feels like I have had way too much caffeine. When Prozac stopped working for me I developed restless leg syndrome, and I was constantly moving my legs. Come to think of it I did have a time period in March/April where I felt that I couldn't sit still and I needed to walk around or bounce my leg. That is when my doctor lowered my thyroid medicine.

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O2bhappy- I'm almost 3 years off cold turkey from Prozac, I took it for a many years.

 

I remember the strange smells very well, I would suddenly get a smell that mentally took me back somewhere but I had no idea where, it wasn't a bad smell just totally indescribable. I also saw ent but that was more for the vertigo and constant tinitus, the smell has gone but the tinitus never left.

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I have tinnitus too but have had that since I started lowering my klonopin dosage in 2013.  I am having this head in a fog, thinking in slow motions, etc. and it is so frustrating....it is accompanied with slight dizziness and unsteadiness....I am able to drive and don't fall down but I stagger sometime....do ya'll experience this?

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Arcticjessy -

 

I still have the smell issue. It isn't as bad as it was months ago, but I still have it everyday. Sometimes I notice it more during stressful times. I have not come across many people coming off Prozac dealing with an olfactory hallucination.

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downtongirl -

 

" I am having this head in a fog, thinking in slow motions, etc. and it is so frustrating....it is accompanied with slight dizziness and unsteadiness"

 

I can relate to those feelings. I had the hardest time concentrating and my head felt like it was in a fog. You are very correct. It is frustrating. I can remember driving and feeling like my head was riding in the back seat. It took everything I had to focus enough to drive. I couldn't remember things and still cannot. I have to write myself reminders otherwise I forget things.

 

I also had the unsteadiness. I felt like I would fall over for no reason. I would trip over the smallest thing.

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I have noticed that I have had a lot of anger recently. It is not like something happens during the day to make me angry. I wake up this way and it last all day. At times it feels like rage. I hate this feeling. Anyone else have this? Is it withdrawal? Any suggestion on how to control the anger. I have never been an angry person so this feeling is very upsetting to me.

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ChessieCat -

 

Thank you for sharing the link with me. I could really relate to a lot of it. It certainly sounds like anger is common in withdrawal. It's awful to feel anger/rage one moment and then feel like you could start crying the next. I hate that others are suffering with these symptoms but it is comforting knowing I am not alone.

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I haven't felt rage, but I have had times of very bad irritability.  My poor cat cops it.  But no animals have been harmed ;)  I usually get annoyed with her, tell her off (she's deaf) and grab her (gently mind - she's 18 this month) and put her on the floor.  Probably a little rougher than when I'm not feeling irritable.  It like when kids drive you mad.  They keep at you and you are ignoring it and then all of a sudden you realise what is happening and then go "for goodness' sake leave me alone!"  But I love her dearly!!!

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