Fluoxetine help

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Could someone please help. I started taking this med 4 months ago. The side effect were horrendous so i cut down without telling gp. Then it came back worse so i started taking tabs again. I dont know what to do. I feel so much worse. Than ive ever done. Im so angry. Distant and tired . I dont know what to do. Sorry.

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  • Posted

    I took it for a month and stopped after experiencing horrible side effects...worse anxiety than I had to start with; turnip brain...didn't want to do anything at all; feeling like I wasn't in my body; tired all the time...People say to stick with it, but I just couldn't. I read that these meds only work for about 30% of people, so it may just not be a good fit for you.....I tried 4 different types and none worked. All of them had me feeling worse. I'm not taking anything now and it's better than being on those meds. I wanted something to make me feel 'better', but it didn't happen.

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  • Posted

    These meds are no overnight fix and can take many months before you see any results, and if you keep starting / stopping meds or changing doses too often it'll only add to the side effects unfortunately.  Starting meds you'll get side effects and every time you increase you'll get them too, stopping or reducing you'll get withdrawal effects, so if you keep upping / lowering you'll get a mix of both so your body won't know if its coming or going.  You should stay on one continuous dose for a long, long time.  Its is hard for many as the meds heighten your symptoms initially, but they do settle.

    Many people spend a long time chasing recovery, but you need so much patience whether on these meds or recovering naturally.  Lots of people don't see instant results on these and therefore change to a similar medication, and so repeat this over and over, believing these type of meds won't work for them.  If you don't give them time then you won't see any results.  They really need a long, long time and much perseverance.  

    It took my son 9 months on these meds to fully recover, and I've taken Citalopram before (another SSRI) which took me 6 months - also fully recovered.

    I'll pm you with a really useful link.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Needing some positive vibes!I went from 25 to 30 mg 7 days ago and just yesterday feeling more anxiety and nervous and I have been taking these since November.I was on 25 the last three weeks and twenty for three weeks before that,I also feel distracted a lot and don't focus during the day and at night don't want to move or do anything!

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    • Posted

      Hi Monica

      Everytime you increase your dose you do get side effects again, but they will wear off.  I suspect that's whats happened?

      When you feel heightened anxiety it does make you feel distracted and you'll find yourself concentrating on yourself and how you feel a lot, so focussing on other things can seem difficult.  Once the new dose settles in the anxiety will ease and you'll be able to focus better.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Katecogs,

      Wow, I first want to thank you for being so accessible to so many people during their journey through taking ssris. This is the first time I've ever responded to a forum online but I wanted to be sure you knew how appreciated you are two people working through recovery. Next, I wanted to ask a question of you since it sounds like your journey took you through 6 months for yourself and 9 for your son.

      I have been struggling with anxiety since college and always just seemed to come to a place of peace eventually through my spirituality and different mechanisms I'd learned over the years by reading. I've recently been taken off birth control after being on it since a late teenager which threw me into perimenopause at 46 years old. Out of nowhere I had the worst anxiety I've had in my lifetime and I think it was coupled with the fact that I lost my father last year. I finally agreed to go on Fluoxetine and went through all the side effects discussed in this and other forums. About the 6th week I began feeling a noticeable positive difference and by 8 weeks my heart was soaring with joy. This lasted for about 15 days then 2 days ago (at 2.5 mos in), after an exceptionally tough day at work, I felt that out-of-control feeling associated with anxiety again. You know the one that takes your breath away because it affects your whole body and releases all the cortisone in your stomach that leads to diarrhea and anxiousness (TMI sorry!). Having gone 2.5 months on the medication by this time I was shocked at the huge blip that also made my head feel like it was burning in the back as if it was being rewired, and some intrusive thoughts started coming through again-- mostly associated with the fear of the meds not working and since I've had some insomnia lately, not sleeping. I have read on a few sites where you have reassured people that this will pass and the meds will get better and better over time. It's very reassuring to hear that but I wanted to get a little specific in terms of time frames if you don't mind. Did you have setbacks off and on up until 6 months or was it mostly just going through the initial side effects? I feel I am past those except for not sleeping well so I'm curious if I should be considering an increase in dosage or just wait it out because this happens from time to time while the medicine is getting into my system? I'm happy to wait it out because I definitely don't want to switch if I don't have to. I have not read any blogs other than yours that state you go through setbacks overtime but my thoughts are the people that started feeling the great effects of the medication never came back to the forums to report the progress. That's why you are so special to so many people- hearing a success story gives the most hope of all.

      A second question I have for you concerns insomnia. Did you ever go through it a time where you couldn't sleep and had to take a sleeping aid? I have never had a problem sleeping so I know it's the meds and I'm taking trazodone at night which helps but leaves me feeling a little groggy the next day. Would love to get back to normal sleeping!

      Last, upon your recovery did you find the intrusive thoughts head ceased completely and you able to focus 100%? Would just love to hear a little more about how the meds worked over time for your mind and body.

      I do hope you receive this message and again want to thank you so much for your time. I hope you and your family are doing well.

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    • Posted

      Hi jojo

      Oooh that's strange as I've been chatting to another jojo and was confused for a moment as the conversation was different biggrin

      Thanks so much for your kind words - I'm just trying to do my bit xx.

      Sometimes we tick along being able to cope with mild anxiety, soothing it, finding calm with various techniques we've learnt over time which is brilliant ....... and occasionally we can be confronted with a huge panic that just needs that little bit more help.

      I'm sorry to hear you lost your father last year.  I know that pain, having lost both my parents too.  A very difficult time to go through.  Yes the huge anxiety feeling could well be connected to your loss.

      Anxiety is usually brought on by stress, whether built up over time or as a shock.  We each can only deal with so much stress before it builds up and often results in anxiety which can feel quite frightening.  Its at this point that we can become afraid of that feeling, which then in turn produces more anxiety and you can get stuck in an anxiety cycle - anxiety / fear / anxiety etc.  Anxiety produces many side effects which can be strange thoughts, racing heart, headaches, nausea, aches / pains, depersonalisation etc etc which the sufferer can become afraid of too, especially the thoughts.  Being afraid of these produces even more anxiety - the very thing you're already afraid of.  All this adds to the anxiety / fear / anxiety pot.

      Starting medication can also be difficult as it usually makes the symptoms worse to start with, and you don't just get better like you would on other prescriptions meds, but instead go through wave after wave of anxiety mixed with feeling good making the sufferer very confused.  The meds are very good though - if you can stick with them.

      2.5 months is quite early still  Feeling as you have done is perfectly normal and shows the meds are working.  Having those 15 days feeling great followed by anxiety is exactly how the meds work throughout recovery.  Yes I've had such bad anxiety bouts that its affect my stomach too - really not nice.

      So yes - you will get setbacks all the way through recovery, and sometime afterwards ..... but they get easier.  I based my recovery time on the time when I stopped waking up with anxiety - the first I woke up feeling good was 6 months from the start of taking meds.  I still had setbacks from there on but they were nothing by then and coped fine with them as by that time you're having weeks and weeks of feeling good and the setbacks are mild.  They do eventually stop altogether.

      Recovery seems to be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back all the way.  You will get these waves anxiety hit you every so often mixed with period of feeling well.  Don't worry as this is perfectly normal, and seems to be the way the meds work.  The setbacks are awful and they completely change the way you think, because thats a side effect of anxiety.  It will go - the thoughts will go too.

      No, many people who go on to feeling really well don't return to the forums.  Its good so many recover biggrin  Some return for various reasons and often find some I know.

      Yes there was a time when I couldn't sleep - thats a side effect from the medication too, and sometime the anxiety.  I didn't take any sleeping aids though know some people do.  This side effect usually wears off though.  Something else to help is to not use a phone, tablet, laptop, computer a few hours before bed as the light emitted interferes with our sleep hormone.  Even a Kindle can disturb sleep.  I know even now if I've used my laptop too much before bed, I wired and lay awake for hours and watch each hour go by on the clock eek

      Yes when I recovered the intrusive thoughts stopped completely.  They are a side effect of anxiety - that all (hard to believe I know as they dominated my life at one time).  When you're suffering with anxiety you will be intrusive thoughts, and as you recover and the anxiety starts to ease, so too will those thoughts.  When the anxiety is no longer present neither are those thoughts.  I can think of the thoughts that used to bother me and they no longer have that hold over me that they once did.  They don't produce anxiety, don't frighten me.

      When you're better everything gets put back into perspective.

      I'll private message you too.

      K x

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    • Posted

      K,

      Thank you so much for your prompt and thorough reply!  This is great information and I'm so thrilled to hear that the anxiety should soon subside altogether over time.  I'm a very patient person--just stubborn at times lol

      So sorry for your losses.  I, too, have lost both my parents and miss them dearly.  My 4 year old keeps me laughing and on my toes though so she has helped fill the void.  I also have a 102 year old grandmother who can still share stories with me about my childhood (and hers).  She is a true blessing to have.  God is good!

      Don't laugh but I'm not sure what private messaging is.  Where do I go to find it?

      One more question, why did you decide to come off of the medication?  My doctor said it is safe to take long-term if I need to but did mention we would discuss coming off of it after menopause in a few years if I want to.  My understanding is some of us are pre-wired to be anxious thus curious if anxiety actually has the capacity to "go away" forever.  In your studies, what have you learned and are you happy with your decision to come off of it?  Also, how is your son doing now that he has been off the medication? 

      Thanks so much!  J x

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    • Posted

      Hi jojo

      Yes the anxiety does subside though everyone takes different times.  I also found understanding anxiety was one of the biggest things to help me too.  You sound like me - patient and stubborn biggrin

      Wow a grandmother at 102.  That's amazing - what a grand age!!!  I miss recounting childhood stories with my parents - many tales I heard time after time, but there was occasionally something new that cropped up.

      Haha no worries - private messaging is just a personal message between two people so nobody on this forum can see.  I speak to many via private messaging as you can't post links on these posts and can only do so through the private messaging.  If you go to the top of this page you'll find your name on the top right hand side - underneath you'll see Messages.  Click on it and you'll find a link that I sent you.

      I took medication for 16 years and intended to stay on it for life.  I had been ill on and off for around16 years and never wanted to be back in that dark place again.  However, after I recovered I reduced my meds to a lower dose and found I was still fine on that and continued like that for many years.  Curiosity got the better of me though and I began to wonder if I could cope without them.  I found a natural alternative bought over the counter - 5-HTP and l-tyrosine and read up on it a lot and decided to give it a go.  I weaned off (had withdrawal effects) and took the 5-HTP etc for a year with great results.  When my son became ill it affected me a lot and decided to return to prescription SSRI's before I slipped too far into a dark hole.  I didn't need to be coping with myself when my son needed me.  After he recovered I decided to withdraw again after I'd been on them around 12 - 18 months - this took about a year to withdraw (no side effects at all this time as I did it slower) and I went back onto 5-HTP etc again which I stayed on for a year with great results again.  I started getting indigestion a lot so stopped these about 2 months ago and still feel great.

      Through my reading and understanding about anxiety its that which has helped me stay anxiety free now.  I didn't understand it before and if I felt it coming on I'd do the wrong thing.  I now know how to deal with it and I don't actually fear it coming anymore.  If though at any time I felt I was slipping I wouldn't hesitate at all in returning to prescription medication again.

      My son stayed on meds for about 18 months and came off last year (I think) and is doing really great too.  

      Everyone gets anxiety, but the anxiety we're talking about is different to what 'normal' people feel, and yes the anxiety we become ill with can certainly go away forever.  Understanding it certainly was the key for me - it took away the mystery of it, took away the jumbled mess, answered my questions, I understand how it can start and how to treat it myself without meds (touch wood / fingers crossed / turn around 3 times and touch the floor ....... so far) ........ cheesygrin.  This is something I never, ever thought in a million years I'd ever be able to do remembering the terrible long dark years I went through.  I never thought I'd recover - that only happened to other people - I thought it would be with me for life.  Understanding anxiety was the best thing ever - it is not the complex condition it once seemed.

      Recovery is there for everyone. wink

      K x

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    • Posted

      What techniques do you use to get through the anxiety Kate?

      I'm week 12 on flu and dipping again.

      Sleep still not great too.

      I was on paxil 3 years before this one and after 4 months on nothing the anxiety and depression came back hugely. I've had it on and off all my life.

      I'm on 20mg and not sure what to do.

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    • Posted

      Hi Vamypbear (great name by the way) biggrin

      12 weeks on Fluoxetine is quite early still - throughout recovery on these meds you will get those dips where the anxiety comes back, and it seems no matter what dose you're on, you'll get them.  They seem to be a necessary part of recovery.

      There is no switch turn to turn off the anxiety immediately, but I found that by relaxing towards all feelings is the best way.  This doesn't mean sitting down and slumping, it means to let the body go, stop holding the muscles tight as we do against anxiety, don't clench the jaw, and release the tension in the stomach.  You'll be surprised if you look at your body and see how much you do tense - we're usually unaware of it.  That is the fight against anxiety ........ which is the wrong thing to do.  Letting those feelings just be there and relaxing towards them as you move about during the day is the right way to address anxiety.  Anxiety thrives on stress and tension, so take it away and don't give it fuel to fire up on.

      Whilst you also wait for the medicine to kick in, I found going out for a daily walk was therapeutic.  I didn't really enjoy it or take note of anything around me, but just being outside felt ok.  Exercise is good for the body too as it raises the endorphins ... our feel good hormones.

      Eating a good diet too - give the body and brain good nourishment - just as you'd put the best fuel into the engine of a car.  Better to use premium fuel than junk wink

      Sleep ....... this can be difficult for many, especially in the beginning as insomnia is often a side effect of the meds.  But try and get as much sleep as you can with early nights, no computers, tablets or phones before bed as the light disrupts sleep.

      Read 'At Last A Life' too ....... I can't praise this enough.

      I know its difficult getting those dips, but treat them as part of recovery.  It shows the meds are working.

      Did you feel recovered on Paxil?

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Vamypbear (great name by the way)  [biggrin]

      12 weeks on Fluoxetine is quite early still - throughout recovery on these meds you will get those dips where the anxiety comes back, and it seems no matter what dose you're on, you'll get them.  They seem to be a necessary part of recovery.

      There is no switch turn to turn off the anxiety immediately, but I found that by relaxing towards all feelings is the best way.  This doesn't mean sitting down and slumping, it means to let the body go, stop holding the muscles tight as we do against anxiety, don't clench the jaw, and release the tension in the stomach.  You'll be surprised if you look at your body and see how much you do tense - we're usually unaware of it.  That is the fight against anxiety ........ which is the wrong thing to do.  Letting those feelings just be there and relaxing towards them as you move about during the day is the right way to address anxiety.  Anxiety thrives on stress and tension, so take it away and don't give it fuel to fire up on.

      Whilst you also wait for the medicine to kick in, I found going out for a daily walk was therapeutic.  I didn't really enjoy it or take note of anything around me, but just being outside felt ok.  Exercise is good for the body too as it raises the endorphins ... our feel good hormones.

      Eating a good diet too - give the body and brain good nourishment - just as you'd put the best fuel into the engine of a car.  Better to use premium fuel than junk  [wink]

      Sleep ....... this can be difficult for many, especially in the beginning as insomnia is often a side effect of the meds.  But try and get as much sleep as you can with early nights, no computers, tablets or phones before bed as the light disrupts sleep.

      I'll send you a book title to read ....... I can't praise this enough.  I did mention the title but my post got deleted so I'll message it to you.

      I know its difficult getting those dips, but treat them as part of recovery.  It shows the meds are working.

      Did you feel recovered on Paxil?

      ?

      K x

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    • Posted

      K, thanks for the link you sent me.  Great information!!!  It's nice to know others understand what you've been going through and are now even better than they expected.  Positive reinforcement is so important.  Have a great day!

      Jo

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    • Posted

      Hiya Thanks

      Yeah I've got that book and it's good!

      Paxil worked and I never ever had a side effect even at the start so this one has been a shock as I've had all the effects on the leaflet and it's so up and down.

      Paxil was only awful when I tried to get off it. During it I did put on weight but didn't have anxiety or low thoughts.

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    • Posted

      That link is just the best - its so true what he writes.  Nobody but a past / present sufferer know of what anyone goes through - its something you can't begin to described to a non sufferer.  You can recover from this ..... I never believed it would happen, but it did.  You can too wink xx

       

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    • Posted

      Yes that book is brilliant.

      Mmmmm I've read Paxil is difficult to come off as they can be addictive.  

      Fluoxetine is good but can take many months to start working.  There'll be many dips along the way too - just dig in (gently) and keep going.  The wait is worth it.

      K x

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