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FleeingFluoxetine

FleeingFluoxetine: Trying to get off Prozac

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FleeingFluoxetine

For sure. Sometimes I wonder why I try to get support from people who have no idea what I'm going through. The problem is that we can't just put the world on pause while we get through this. We have to keep living our lives with our friends/families/jobs, etc., and people who have no idea often say things that are incredibly destructive. I think the solution is to only speak of your troubles to people who understand and are supportive. When I had akathisia years ago and was trying not to lose my mind I had a friend come visit me (despite my pacing and tears) and she said, "You should make a list of things to accomplish today and check them off when you're done! It will give you a feeling of accomplishment." She meant nothing but good things by it, but just getting through the day and getting back to bed was enough. :)

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powerback
1 minute ago, FleeingFluoxetine said:

For sure. Sometimes I wonder why I try to get support from people who have no idea what I'm going through. The problem is that we can't just put the world on pause while we get through this. We have to keep living our lives with our friends/families/jobs, etc., and people who have no idea often say things that are incredibly destructive. I think the solution is to only speak of your troubles to people who understand and are supportive. When I had akathisia years ago and was trying not to lose my mind I had a friend come visit me (despite my pacing and tears) and she said, "You should make a list of things to accomplish today and check them off when you're done! It will give you a feeling of accomplishment." She meant nothing but good things by it, but just getting through the day and getting back to bed was enough. :)

I worded that wrong ,I meant not talking about our trouble to family and friends  .its a sensitivity thing with our nervous system I reckon.the smallest thing said in my company ,I then take that in as a character assassination ,its bonkers , im fighting everyday to control and understand it ,I think also we have to respect how confusing it must be for someone that doesn't go through this to understand ,I work hard on my diet and exercise and im constantly told but you look great :D:angry:,would you believe even my doctor said it one day to me .

I snapped yesterday at my partner ,she noticed a tiny scratch on my head and I said but inside its a car crash ,I suppose were writing the textbook on withdrawal

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, all. Has anyone come across out-of-the-blue crying spells in their reduction? My mood crashed totally out of nowhere yesterday and I thought I would just listen to some sad music to try to cry my way out of it, but it probably lasted for two hours. A friend of mine told me this isn't withdrawal but who I am at 10 mg of Prozac, but I think that's not true because I took the meds for anxiety but not for depression. I've never had depression (or crying spells of any kind) and I think that after 20 years of being on over 40 mg my brain is still struggling without the extra serotonin. I feel pretty solid today except for an unsteady morning.

 

I read online that the _average_ time it takes to get through this is three months, and I'm the middle of month three. So I should stay the course and not just jump my meds back up because of a few bad days, right? Right? (Aah, some reassurance would be great. I've honestly felt pretty good about how things are going until the past two days and this disagreement with my friend).

 

Fleeing

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ChessieCat

Here's SA's topic:  uncontrollable-crying-spells-during-and-after-withdrawal

 

To search the site for existing topics I use google.  To find this topic I typed in survivingantidepressants.org crying.

 

If you go to the main SA page http://survivingantidepressants.org/  and using the search at the top right you can find other members posts which include the word crying.

 

If you go to the Symptoms and Self Care page symptoms-and-self-care and type in crying you will find lots of other mentions within topics.

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FleeingFluoxetine

Well, I made it a week without spontaneous tears. Then I went to see Wonder Woman today. The waves of anxiety were a total rollercoaster and I even burst into tears, but I'm getting better. Slowly, slowly. :)

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, all. I have another question about waves and windows.
I'm beginning month four from dropping 15 mg to 10 mg of Prozac (I still can't believe such a small amount has had such an effect on me). I went through a phase that lasted about a month where my mood was crashing constantly and I would burst into tears for no reason. That seems to be gone now, as I haven't had a crying spell in about eight days. But now I'm getting these waves of anxiety, usually when I wake up, where I feel like a raw nerve. Then there are other days where I feel fantastic and that I can handle a drive out of the city for a change of scenery. I started taking meds for anxiety to begin with twenty years ago, so I'm not sure if this is a recurrence of my old anxiety or if this is still my meds leveling out. I'm under strict doctor's orders not to mess with my meds until I see her again in September. I've had a ton of CBT and I can't really see any cognitive reason for the anxiety. Is this likely to still be the withdrawal? Like I'm through waves and windows of sadness and now it's time for waves and windows of anxiety?

 

Cheers,

fleeing

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, all. I just wanted to thank everyone who runs this site and the people who have replied to my posts here. I'm pretty confident that I'm through my withdrawal symptoms. I feel like my old self again - finally! The waves of anxiety, crying spells, irritability, and general panic all seem to be gone. I haven't burst into tears in about two weeks now and I'm starting to put my life back together. I still have another 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Seroquel to wean off of, but that doesn't start for a few more months because my psychiatrist is on vacation. In the meantime I'm going to try to enjoy what's left of the summer.

 

This site has been a tremendous resource both for information and reassurance. I wish I had known about it ten years ago when I tried getting off my meds the first time. I'm sure I'll be on this site again once I start my next round of tapering, but I wanted to thank everyone for all they've done to help me so far. :)

 

Fleeing Fluoxetine

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hi, all. 

I think I'm mostly stable at my 10 mg of Prozac now but I can't do anything more than wait for my psychiatrist to return from her summer vacation in two weeks. 

 

I don't know if I should try to keep reducing the dose when she gets back or to raise it again to 15 mg. All of my major panic attacks, diarrhea, hypervigilance, and hypersexuality have gone away at the lower dose, but I seem now instead to have these waves of low level anxiety that are keeping me trapped in my apartment. I don't know if they're side effects from the Prozac or who I am without it. I've taken the drug for 20 years and I've been told 10 mg is so low it's not a therapeutic dose but obviously I can't spend the rest of my life in the apartment. If I raise the dose to 15 then all the hell I went through this summer will be for nothing. I guess I'm just looking for some kind of reassurance I'm doing the right thing. :(

 

fleeing fluoxetine 

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ChessieCat

It is very easy to panic when things change.  And our natural reaction is to do something.  I have found that understanding withdrawal has helped me not to panic when my symptoms change.

 

Are you taking Ativan?  How often do you take it?  This may be causing the anxiety.

 

From What is Happening in Your Brain

 

"Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made."

 

From Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

What do you mean by self-manage?

 

Dealing with this challenge requires a lot from you, the "taperer". You need to be able to

  • take responsibility for your decisions
     
  • exercise extreme patience
     
  • tolerate discomfort and uncertainty
     
  • communicate truthfully and responsibly about what is going on with you
     
  • identify when you require local, in-person support and then take real-life action to obtain it

 

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FleeingFluoxetine

I do have Ativan and it helps a lot. I try to take it as little as possible. My shrink gave me thirty pills two months ago and I've taken maybe six. I guess I just have to keep waiting. And waiting. 

 

I thought I was through the waves and windows by now but maybe not? I dropped from 15 mg to 10 back in march. : \

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ChessieCat

Waves and windows continue throughout the withdrawal process.  Our brains have a lot of work to do.  It's frustrating but the more we can accept and go with the flow the less stress we place on our system and stress slows healing because our brain has to divert its attention from healing to dealing with the stress.  Acceptance

 

I have found that taking magnesium takes the edge off my anxiety.  There have been several times when I have not taken it for a few days and the anxiety worsened, and when I started taking it again the anxiety lessened.  Magnesium

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FleeingFluoxetine

How long did it take you to get through your withdrawal?

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ChessieCat

It is not really possible to compare your own situation with anyone elses.  There are so many variables involved, the drug/s a person is taking, their inherent personality, their life skills (ie how they handle stress, discomfort etc), their life situation at a particular time.

 

That is why it is important to learn to accept.  Accept that it is what it is at this time, you can't change it.  Learn and continue to use Non-drug techniques to get you through the tough times.  You might find that what works for one thing doesn't work for another thing so you need to experiment with what might work for you for a particular time.  Sometimes it can just be saying to yourself I just have to get through today, or the next hour, and sometimes it is minute by minute.

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FleeingFluoxetine

Yeah. I guess I'm just exhausted from the struggle. :(

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, everyone. After being at 10 mg of Prozac since March 10th, my doctor gave me the go-ahead to lower the dose by one mg (10%), so I took my first dose of Liquid Prozac today.

 

Has anyone here taken the liquid form? I didn't take it with food and I've felt crummy and nauseated most of the day. I doubt this is from lowering the dose by 1 mg in a single day, so I'm wondering if it's the fact that it's a liquid that's made me feel so awful. I think maybe from now on I should be taking it after I finish eating breakfast?

 

FleeingFluoxetine

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ChessieCat

When changing from one form of a drug to another it is better to do a cross over by taking 3/4 tablet + 1/4 liquid for a few days, 1/2 + 1/2 for a few more days and then 1/4 + 3/4 for a few more and staying at the same dose and hold for a bit before making a reduction.

 

Tablets or Liquid

 

It could be a combination of both.  We recommend only one change at a time.  So changing form and reducing dose is 2 changes.  It makes it hard to know what is causing the issues.  Keep notes on paper so that you can pick up on any change than you may not be able to feel.  Keep Notes on Paper and Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

 

Some members have reported reacting to prescribed liquid.

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Kittygiggles

Hi FF,

 

I transitioned to liquid but I did it with my existing capsules and just added water. It took a while to get used to (a couple of failed attempts) but now the liquid version seems to behave exactly like its solid form. :) My successful transition was done roughly like this:

 

Week 1: 25% liquid 75% solid

Week 2: 50% liquid 50% solid

Week 3: 75% liquid 25% solid

Week 4: 100% liquid 

 

It worked quite well compared to my previous rushed attempts. You may need less or more time.

 

I have found changing manufacturer can cause symptoms. As ChessieCat stated, as you've guessed, and as I have taken a long time to learn: one change at a time and take it slowly! :P

Holding a while at 10mg once you are at 100% liquid is advisable. It gives you time to check your notes after a few weeks to see if things seem stable.

 

Like you I use CBT to manage my anxiety and it works very well. Anxiety can definitely be caused by SSRIs (both by taking them and through withdrawal). As you've said if there's no real reason for you to feel anxious, it could be that withdrawal and/or taking the SSRI is just making you anxious. It can be devastating to learn that sometimes our emotions can't be reasoned with (e.g. via CBT) but it is worth trying once and if you feel it's the drugs and/or withdrawal then as ChessieCat said acceptance is our best tool. I hit a wave today and I've got no choice but to accept it and in doing so I felt well enough to get on with my day despite it. Also, I try to remember one positive aspect of a wave, getting to choose from the vast menu in Non-drug techniques. It reminds me that there are many other people out there going through a wave and have found useful things to take the edge off or ease the symptoms significantly :)

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FleeingFluoxetine

Can I just say how much I love this website and the support it gives me? I know my doctor is doing her best but she hasn't given me any of this information or help. I couldn't stop crying last night because I'm so emotionally exhausted from all of this, but this website gives me hope again.

 

How do you know when you're through windows and waves? It's been six months since I dropped from 15 mg to 10 mg and I thought I'd be through it by now. I'm tempted to put off the transition to liquid for another six months just to give my brain more time to stabilize. 

 

How can I transition from solid to liquid when the solid capsule represents 100% of my dose? I can't cut it in half, but I guess I could break it open. 

 

And finally, can someone recommend a really great book on CBT? I've thought I knew what it was about but I'm thinking I might have just had an inkling. My shrink and I talk about it all the time but I don't know that I know what it really is. 

 

Thank you all so so much for this. I have hope again. :)

 

Fleeing

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ChessieCat

These topics might help:

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?

 

There is a lot of free CBT things on the internet.

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Dummies

 

http://www.allaboutdepression.com/workshops/CBT_Workshop/index.html

 

http://llttf.com/

 

Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 
 

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, all. I'm trying to stomach (literally) the transition from 10 mg capsule Prozac to 10 mg liquid Prozac. Is there anything wrong with taking 5 mg with breakfast and 5 mg with lunch? I seem to be okay so far, just a bit spacy. 

 

Fleeing Fluoxetine 

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Kittygiggles

Hi FF,

 

I made a post a few months ago about CBT books that helped me with anxiety (as it has many flavors), as well as the daily practice of taking notes and above all, as ChessieCat mentioned, learning acceptance. 

 

 

You can split your dose but you may then get used to it and will need time to adjust if you want to go back to taking it once daily. I think it is safer to stick to the same dosing time every day so splitting it may make that more problematic. I have noticed some withdrawal creeping in a little if I am very late (more than an hour) with a dose so I avoid that at all costs! So either way: splitting or taking it once a day are fine but you need to stick to either one I feel, and if you prefer to change to the other, give yourself time to adjust :) You may not notice any difference though from splitting compared to once daily, I am just one of those people who is sensitive to such changes. 

 

Going back to acceptance, it also applies to anxiety as well. It takes so much courage sometimes to accept our state and enact change because we can be paralyzed by anxiety. The rewards though are worth it and can come very quickly! Anyway, this thread is a fairly good read about acceptance:

 

Also, I didn't mention it before but well done for getting to 10mg. I am still at 18.2mg, so I am very jealous of you :P 

 

 

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hi, Kitty. Wow, it's great to have a conversation with someone who's been through this. I split my dose into two today and I was a bit lightheaded, but that's a lot better than being on the sofa for two hours nauseous. So that's a good step forward for me.

 

I read your signature. 100-week liquid taper is over two years, good lord. I don't know that I could last that long. My plan right now is to drop 1 mg (liquid) every month. But that might be too aggressive, I might just do 10% every month. I have to discuss it with my doctor. At this point, making the switch to liquid is enough.

 

My biggest issue (besides the windows and waves that I'm still going through) is that after 22 years of being on way too much medication, I find that I'm not really doing anything and I don't know how to get back into life. It's like my whole model is "just get through it" and suffer with years of anxiety, but now that the anxiety is gone, I don't want to do anything. I'm not sure why this is. I think it's like I've been let out of prison but I don't trust anything. My shrink said she'd sign me up for something called Accelerated Recovery, so maybe that will help? All I do these evenings is swim. And maybe that's okay? There's no question I was using the pool as a coping strategy to get through the withdrawal, but maybe it's transforming into a crutch. I dunno.

 

Either way, keep me in the loop about how you're doing! :)

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ChessieCat
32 minutes ago, FleeingFluoxetine said:

I find that I'm not really doing anything and I don't know how to get back into life. It's like my whole model is "just get through it" and suffer with years of anxiety, but now that the anxiety is gone, I don't want to do anything

 

I think it is that it is part of the healing process.  I've been through the same thing but have found that as my dose got lower I have been able introduce things GRADUALLY.

 

I started doing 1 day per week volunteering and then added a 2nd day.  I then started with another organisation and now do 3 days in a row.  By the night of the 3rd day I would fall asleep on the lounge at 7 pm and do nothing on the 4th day.  I've now been doing 3 days in a row for just over a year and am still tired by the 4th day but not the absolutely exhausted tired that I used to be, it's more that I just have take it easy on day 4.

 

38 minutes ago, FleeingFluoxetine said:

My shrink said she'd sign me up for something called Accelerated Recovery, so maybe that will help?

 

I'm not sure that accelerated anything is a good idea during withdrawal.  We need to listen to our bodies and let it guide our pace.  I would be concerned that Accelerated Recovery would cause stress and that is not good for us.

 

I'm googling at the moment and there is something called Accelerated Resolution so that might be what she mentioned.

 

From http://acceleratedresolutiontherapy.com/what-is-art/:

 

"Accelerated Resolution Therapy ART-Logo.png is a form of psychotherapy with roots in existing evidence-based therapies but shown to achieve benefits much more rapidly (usually within 1-5 sessions). Clients with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, sexual abuse and many other mental and physical conditions can experience remarkable benefits starting in the first session. ART is not hypnosis."

 

 

My personal opinion is that just as with getting off the drug/s slowing we need to be introducing new things slowly.

 

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hi, everyone. I thought I'd update people on my progress, but I guess I'm mainly posting this for support.

I dropped from 15 mg of Prozac to 10 mg of Prozac on March 10th, 2017. I realize now that was a ridiculous drop but I thought I would be okay. Instead it set off six months of tearful outbursts, pacing, crushing depression, anxiety, worry, loneliness, and fear of the future. But on the positive note, the crazy high waves of anxiety and diarrhea that have dogged me for 23 years have mostly gone away. I feel that might life would be changed if only I can get through the rest.

I've been on 9 mg of liquid Prozac for 16 days and I'm going to hold it here for another month.

 

The thing that sucks about most of this is that I feel like it's brought my life to a standstill. I've moved back in with my aging parents (at least in the evenings) because I want to have someone around. I've never struggled with loneliness in my life and I keep worrying that they're going to die before I get through the withdrawal, which is going to probably last until August 2018. I realize this is probably an irrational fear because they're both in good health, but I had a friend pass away in the summer and it's scared the hell out of me. I don't know if it's his death that's causing me so much trouble or if the withdrawal is making it all so much worse.

 

I've hired a counselor over Skype to help me with CBT to untwist my thinking, so that's a step forward. He's given me a bunch of reading to do (which I'm doing) but this current chapter is all about how there's no such thing as a "chemical imbalance" in the brain and I find it depressing because I don't know what I believe anymore. I do know that I never struggled with loneliness/fear of the future before, so I don't know if it's withdrawal or who I am at a lower dose. But I do know that at 15 mg I was relatively stable, with much less anxiety/diarrhea.

 

I guess what am asking is has anyone abandoned their taper because it's too hard? I don't really care if I have to take Prozac for the rest of my life because I've been on it over half of mine already. I'm just so tired of being so emotional and worn out. But then again, maybe tomorrow I'll be back to "normal" and stable.

 

Fleeing Fluoxetine

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baroquep

What you are experiencing is completely normal under the circumstances.  Your central nervous system was destabilized after you reduced from 15mg to 10mg which resulted in withdrawal syndrome.  Not everyone is able to make such a large reduction and unfortunately you found this out the hard way (so did I).  I'm glad that you are talking with a counsellor, that will certainly help you get through some of the more challenging days.  

One thing we learn in withdrawal is to throw away the calendar and let our body and mind tell us when we are well enough to start tapering again.  If your central nervous system wasn't quite ready to start tapering again, even a 1mg reduction could add to the stress of withdrawal and make your symptoms seem more intense.  

 

Have you read the link on neuro-emotions?  I've certainly dealt with them over the course of my taper and the emotions we experience are often exaggerated during withdrawal.  Our central nervous system is still in the midst of misfiring as it recalibrates itself back to normal, whether than emotion is fear, love, panic, etc., we in withdrawal seem to experience them at an amplified and often irrational level.  Imagine it's because antidepressants numb our feelings when we are on them and when real emotions start to surface they are somehow foreign to us.  It's unnerving but completely normal and does tend to calm down as time goes by.  I find that I need to do an extra-long hold if I find my reaction to things doesn't fit the crime and I will hold longer just to make sure that the changes that need to take place before I taper again have settled down a bit.  

 

Neuro Emotions

Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms
 

Whether you abandon your desire to discontinue this drug is entirely up to you.  And to be honest, it is a lot of work and can seem like it takes over your life.  I feel that way sometimes too, was ready to give up a couple of times but I'm determined to get this drug out of my system no matter how long it takes as I want to feel truly engaged in life.  I guess the key, and I"m still learning this myself, is to make the reductions small enough, with long enough holds, that tapering falls into the background and we get on with the business of living our life rather than focusing on tapering and withdrawal -- not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.  

Maybe hold at 9mg for the rest of the year, give yourself a change to recover a bit more from the large reduction in March.  One of the things that I use as a guidepost as to whether I'm okay to make another reduction is whether or not I'm feeling a little joy and if the answer is no, and I'm still struggling with emotions and or physical symptoms ... I'll hold and then hold some more until I find the joy creeping back in.  

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FleeingFluoxetine

Thanks for this, Baroquep. I don’t know why I didn’t get an email notification that you replied. I’ll have to check my settings. I was ready to throw in the towel on my taper today but I guess I’ll keep going. I’ve had good days and bad days but yesterday was one of the worst. 

 

I don’t know what I would do if it weren’t for people online because so few people understand what going through this is like. I’ll read the links you sent. 

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O2bhappy

FleeingFluoxetine -

 

I want to give you encouragement in your taper.  I know it is very tough getting off Prozac, but you can do it.  I have been off a little over two years.  I had to cold turkey coming off it.  I thought it might help knowing that it will get better. 

 

I still deal with withdrawal symptoms but they are not as bad. 

 

You can do it!!!

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FleeingFluoxetine
On 10/24/2017 at 11:25 AM, O2bhappy said:

FleeingFluoxetine -

 

I want to give you encouragement in your taper.  I know it is very tough getting off Prozac, but you can do it.  I have been off a little over two years.  I had to cold turkey coming off it.  I thought it might help knowing that it will get better. 

 

I still deal with withdrawal symptoms but they are not as bad. 

 

You can do it!!!

 

Thanks, Happy. It means a lot to me to know that there are other people coming off meds. What has your life been like since you got off the Prozac? I keep wondering if maybe my sweet spot would be 15 mg because I seem to have this sort of low grade anxiety with me a lot of the time that I don't remember having at the higher doses. I went on the drugs for a reason, but that was 22 years ago and I don't really remember what I felt like. I just remember the panic attacks. I guess one strategy is to keep going...

 

Fleeing

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, everyone. I thought I would post an update about my taper.

I've learned that hard way that my doctor (who I think is great) might not have that much experience when it comes to tapering patients off of meds. She suggested I drop a milligram a month of Prozac, but the drop from 10 to 9 turned me into an anxious, pacing, quasi-akathisic shell of a man for two weeks. I've finally come out of it and I've decided to drop 5% a month (maybe every six weeks?) **of my current dosage** instead. I don't care how long it takes me as long as I have a decent quality of life while I do it. I ordered a box of 100 oral syringes and matching bottle stoppers from a medical supply company so I'm well prepared. Let's do this! :D

 

Fleeing Fluoxetine

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bheb

Hi Fleeing Fluoxetine! I also have a good doctor (which seems to be rare around here) who is very patient with my requests to go slower. Her recommendations on tapering are slower than average, which is great, but still not slow enough for me either! I'm tapering off clonazepam, so it's different for sure. But anyway just thought I'd stop by and say hello and good luck with the rest of your taper...I'm glad you feel so well and motivated!

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FleeingFluoxetine

Thanks, bheb! The past six months have been some of the most trying of my life. I'm trying to put my life back together now. I'm still a bit worried that my mood will crash in two weeks, because that will be the six week mark since I dropped my meds by 1 mg, but I'm going to fight my way through it and get off my meds. :)

 

Good on you for getting off of Prozac. It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

 

Fleeing

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O2bhappy
On 10/25/2017 at 2:25 PM, FleeingFluoxetine said:

 

Thanks, Happy. It means a lot to me to know that there are other people coming off meds. What has your life been like since you got off the Prozac? I keep wondering if maybe my sweet spot would be 15 mg because I seem to have this sort of low grade anxiety with me a lot of the time that I don't remember having at the higher doses. I went on the drugs for a reason, but that was 22 years ago and I don't really remember what I felt like. I just remember the panic attacks. I guess one strategy is to keep going...

 

Fleeing

 

Fleeing -

 

I have now been off Prozac for 26 months...I still count months.  Withdrawal has been extremely difficult for me and I would also say frightening.  I tend to be one that focuses on every single symptom that I have.  Right now I am dealing with extreme itching which has caused a condition called Dermatographia.  I don't know if it is related to withdrawal but it is awful.  I am not dealing with it very well and I am not "allowing" the feelings of the itching to come and go.  I am fixated on them.

 

I also went on Prozac for panic attacks.  It helped me not have panic, but I think it was because it just numbed me.  I did not realize how drugged I felt on Prozac until I came off it.  

 

Is your goal to come off Prozac or just lowering your dosage?

 

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FleeingFluoxetine
On 10/31/2017 at 8:59 AM, O2bhappy said:

Hey, Happy. Sorry for the late reply. I think I must have notifications turned off. I'll see if I can fix that.

 

Yeah, my goal is to get off the drug completely. I haven't had any itching side effects, that must be not very pleasant. Is there anything you can do for this?

 

Fleeing

On 10/31/2017 at 8:59 AM, O2bhappy said:

Fleeing -

 

I have now been off Prozac for 26 months...I still count months.  Withdrawal has been extremely difficult for me and I would also say frightening.  I tend to be one that focuses on every single symptom that I have.  Right now I am dealing with extreme itching which has caused a condition called Dermatographia.  I don't know if it is related to withdrawal but it is awful.  I am not dealing with it very well and I am not "allowing" the feelings of the itching to come and go.  I am fixated on them.

 

I also went on Prozac for panic attacks.  It helped me not have panic, but I think it was because it just numbed me.  I did not realize how drugged I felt on Prozac until I came off it.  

 

Is your goal to come off Prozac or just lowering your dosage?

 

 

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, everyone. I thought I'd post an update about my progress here.

 

I went to see my psychiatrist on November 15th and told her how rotten my life has been with the withdrawal: the crying spells, the agitation I have to work off by pacing, the anxiety, etc., and how after 8 months of it I was starting to reach the end of my rope. She decided to double the amount of Seroquel I've already been on for ten years because it has anti-depressant / mood stabilizing effects. I could feel a difference the very next day. The crying spells seemed to vanish and the agitation that I've had to walk off almost vanished as well. I've dropped my dose of Prozac to 8.5 mg (liquid) and I've been on it since November 20th. The huge waves of anxiety/panic/diarrhea that I've been fighting as a side effect for 23 years (but didn't realize) are almost completely gone. I've been able to do things I've never been able to do before, like go Christmas shopping in huge crowds. This is all wonderful, but...

 

I keep getting depressed about the 23 years the Prozac has robbed from me. I mean, I know I didn't really "lose" them but the side effects of the drug made life so much more difficult. I keep thinking of all the experiences I lost out on because I was too anxious to participate: trips, skiing, dinners with friends, dates, jobs, etc., all because the drug either made me too anxious to participate or because there were no toilets around to relieve my chronic diarrhea. And then there's the fact that the constant waves of anxiety/diarrhea made me feel I was defective and not worthy of a girlfriend. To have it all suddenly vanish at 42 when I'm alone and single and my friends all have careers and houses and families is a very cruel trick. :(

 

I know a bit about CBT and CBT is all about using evidence to chase away depression. But I don't know how to employ it when I have all this new evidence of not being anxious. It's like I go to the mall and instead of being thrilled I"m not anxious, I get depressed that it was so unnecessarily hard for so long.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions about not being depressed about this?

 

- Fleeing Fluoxetine

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FleeingFluoxetine

Hey, everyone. I could use some advice. 

I got down to 6 mg of Prozac over a torturous 10 month taper. I felt like I was held together by tape, was very depressed, and crying at almost anything. I went to see my doctor in January 2018 and cried for an hour straight. She said this was no way to live and I agreed (I’ve been on Prozac for the past twenty years due to a different idiot doctor who put me on it). 

 

The anxiety the Prozac was causing is gone, but because of the constant tears and diurnal depression which was probably caused by being on Prozac for so long, my doctor put me on 20 mg of Cipralex and raised my Seroquel to 150 mg. 

 

The Cipralex has wiped out the ear worms that have plagued me since junior high, but it’s not enough to stop the tears. I’m not looking to get off the meds anymore. I just want my quality of life back where I’m able to function and work and date and actually feel interested in my future. I’m wondering if anyone has heard of any med combos that work for a diurnal depression. 

 

If nothing works out I can always go back to the Prozac but I’m looking for other options first. 

 

FleeingFluoxetine

 

 

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FleeingFluoxetine

Can people still suffer withdrawal from SSRI A even if they’re now taking SSRI B?

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