Horrible Thoughts & Topsy Turvy days

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Having read posts by other Fluoxetine takers it is somewhat reassuring to hear how other people are having similar feelings and thoughts to me......at first I felt like I was alone in all this but just reading a post that describes my actions is a real comfort smile

I have been suffering from depression for around 20 weeks and been taking Fluoxetine for the last 9-10 weeks. At first I had side effects that I could handle: no appetite, dodgy stomach and inability to sleep. I lost almost 2 stones in weight as a consequence of the stress caused by depression and have since gained some back.

However, I learnt the hard way that it is a terrible idea to drink alcohol while taking these tablets. I awoke the next day having missed my tablet and had the hangover from hell……this is when the first suicidal and harming thoughts came into my head. It was as though my brain was looking for a way to escape the pain. I locked myself in my bedroom so as to prevent myself from doing anything I may regret or harming those I love. That was around the 27th of December 2008, I have not touched alcohol (nor will I again) until I feel the time is right and I can handle the outcome.

The main problem that I have noticed is that no two days are the same, one day I will wake up on a high and bounce around the office like im on ecstasy, the next day I might sit at my desk with my iPod on and not talk to a soul through fear of what they might say or ask me to do. Suicidal thoughts have entered my head on several occasions (at home and at work), somehow I have managed to push them from my mind so as to not give in to them and do something drastic.

I have avoided public places, feared public transport and switched from a happy-go-lucky socialite to a recluse who rarely sees his friends and avoids family frequently.

I now realise that this is somewhat normal and as hard as that is to accept, I simply do.

I tried on so many occasions to explain it to my fiancée how I thought and felt but it seemed to go straight over her head and she stared blankly at me. Certain family members have simply responded with \"oh snap out of it, there are people far worse off than you in the world\"....this has only made me worse.

My fiancée has since been researching more and found a website that helps her to understand me better and therefore help me get through this positively. For those of you who haven't seen it, its depression.com

The main point I wish to emphasise is that as hard as this is to deal with, I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With counselling and support from close friends and family, I will get through this and make life worth living once more – I hope other sufferers feel the same.

But now I feel so much better that there are wonderful people such as yourselves out there willing to share their feelings with me and hope this continues so that we all get to see the same result – happiness and peace with ourselves.

0 likes, 28 replies


28 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Hightower

    I know what you mean regarding alcohol. I checked with the doc and he said that if it made me 'happy' then to try it and if i had adverse affects, then leave it for a while. I had horrible after effects, so i'm leaving well alone for now-it is a depressant after all.

    Am on week 5 + 3 days. Given up on work for the rest of this week on my boss's advice. Lost the plot yesterday, a tad embarrassing.

    Those that say 'snap out of it' are just ignorant.

    Like you, i have some understanding friends and family and although they say it will get better (difficult to believe sometimes) those who have gone through the illness and come out the other side are proof that flu will eventually work.

    Thanks for the info re: website. I'll have a look.

    Chin up and good luck.

  • Posted

    Hey Meganpooch,

    Good idea with the alcohol - its best left alone...like you say, its a depressant and can make things worse.

    Week 5 +3 days, im not sure how you are feeling right now but i recall i kept getting extremely impatient with people. The simplest things would make me snap and get angry - not matter how trivial. I am really hoping that you havent had any horrid thoughts enter your head as yet and that it never happens.

    I haven't been away from work yet as my current employer isnt aware of my depression, one person I work with knows but that is it. If i feel an anxiety attack or \"bad time\" approaching then i go for a short walk just to clear my head. I am sort of still slightly in denial I guess - I cant bring myself to tell my boss whats happening as im only in a temporary position and can walk away with a weeks notice.

    Have you found it hard to tell certain people or been quite open about it?

    I just get the impression people either dont want to know or dont know how to react to it so I refrain from saying anything unless they notice something different about me.

    Take Care


  • Posted

    Hi again Hightower

    I find, at the moment i'm more irritated with people (often well meaning people) than impatient. I have an extremely low tolerance level. I used to be the most easy going relaxed person so this is a bit of a shock.

    I know it sounds sick but i joked about suicide to my boss. I said i was 15 miles from a cliff and 6 miles from a railway bridge. She was not amused. But seriously, at 17, i did attempt to take my life and will never go there again 30 years on (i hope).

    I have been at my place of work for 3 years and my understanding boss said i should tell certain people i work closely with as they would certainly notice a difference in me. Some are understanding and know that if i'm very quiet, to leave me alone. Others ask if i'm ok which usually sends me into a 'wobble'. I'm a smoker so it's handy to just pop outside (rather hurriedly sometimes!). I personally find it easier to be open and tell people. Obviously everyone's circumstances are different, there is still a stigma attached to mental illness which is what depression is. I find the more people that know, the less awkward questions are asked but i know this is not always possible to do.

    I'll be glad when the yo yo effect becomes a little less extreme. Have had weird reality dreams at week four. Do you still have these? Have your highs and lows become less pronounced as you are a few weeks ahead of me? Everyone's reaction will be different but it would be interesting to know what to expect.

    Excuse me for rambling on.

    Best wishes


  • Posted

    Hi Meganpooch again.

    Trouble with this condition is that my memory is dreadful. I meant to ask - are you taking a B vitamin complex? This is meant to help with the imbalance of chemicals in the brain.

    Also i've found a herbal tea that doesn't taste like dishwater called Sleep Easy by Clipper (in a purple box) that has chamomile and valerian in it (good for sleep). I find taking this an hour before bed helps me get to sleep. Most supermarkets sell it.

    Worth a try if you still have problems in that area.

  • Posted

    Hey Meganpooch,

    I can totally relate to being laid back and easy going...I work in finance and in my previous employment would be the only person at month end who was chilled out, not a care in the world while the others were running around like headless chickens! Now I am the opposite - worried about month end more than anyone else and generally anxious to see what my day has in store.

    I agree it does sound a bit sick but im sure you didn’t mean any harm by it. Wow, an attempt at 17. Must have been very scary - do you think this depression may have stemmed from that?

    The yo-yo effects were horrid and it took a lot of \"sorrys\" to get my family to understand when I snapped at them or took out my anger verbally. But now I am a lot more controlled and can almost sense when a low is coming and usually find eating (not comfort eating) or having a relaxing drink really sorts me out. At week 6/7 you should hopefully also have these senses, I find im either hungry, thirsty or in need of a change of atmosphere helps.

    I have dreams every night on the evening when I don’t take Zopiclone (prescribed sleeping tablets). I find that everything I speak to people about the previous day makes its way into my dreams - my counsellor says that it’s a good thing as it is the sub-conscious trying to process it but I find it a pain in the back side because all I want is a good night’s sleep :x

    I enjoy the ramblings - it’s a relief to find someone with similar feelings as I have felt so alone on this. My family find it hard to understand that I am not choosing to feel like this.

    Take care


  • Posted

    Hi HT

    I really look forward to receiving replies to postings but yours has been the only one today.

    I'm really sorry about the suicide comments. I realise now, on a not particularly good day, that these comments were insensitive and inappropriate, sorry again.

    I don't think the depression stems from 17. My mother, who i was very close to, died suddenly just over two years ago. That, combined with 4 other issues set me on this path. I'll spare you the details.

    I too can sense when a bad day is coming on, it's the odd hour episodes that catch me out.

    I am so very grateful for your advise on what may happen in the future. There are not many people on this forum who are at my stage or further on. You have to have goals to achieve, so week 6/7 will hopefully be one of those goals.

    I have only had 3 consecutive nights of reality dreams so far (at week 4) although, frankly, i don't want any more, they verged on night terrors.

    I have counselling booked for mid February through the NHS.

    Please keep in touch as i find your (and evryone else's) experiences invaluable.

    Best wishes

  • Posted

    Me again

    I noticed on your posting to Krazykat you said you take a multivitamin.

    Mine is not a multivitamin. On the advice of a work colleague who has had depression and come out the other side, he said a vitamin B complex was essential rather than a multivitamin.

    I have researched this on the internet and the website www.vitaminuk.com contains all the information you may need. There is a useful sub section on depression also. If you type vitamin b complex into the search box on google it will be the 8th entry and will take you to the correct page.

    Like vitamin C tablets, the percentage dose for B vitamins are over 100% of the daily dose but these vitamins are water soluble so the body only retains what it needs.

    I hope this is useful. Knowledge is power (i think).

    Take care

  • Posted

    Hey Megan,

    I have been checking this site every few hours now and find it really helps talking to fellow flu takers about the effects and issues. Its goot to get them off your chest i find.

    Dont apologise about the suicide comments, they meant no harm and im certainly not going to judge you on them one bit.

    I see that you have had some severe unhappy times over the past few years, these will have certainly contributed to this path. So many things can make the path slippery, i feel mine is mainly my own doing but outside factors always have an influence.

    So week 6 is approcahing you now, are you feeling positive or are the feelings of depression still really apparent?

    My worst phobias have been whilst driving to work - felt like i want in control of the car and could swerve into on-coming traffic at any moment...scary but thankfully it hasnt happened.

    Ive found that there are lots of people on here that are suffering on flu - im glad its not just been me.

    oh by the way, i forgot to say that yes I do take a multi-vitamin and find this helps immensely.

  • Posted

    Hi to you both.

    It is nice to see some similar experiences. I have drunk alcohol while on Fluox and been ok, it does seem to make me drunk faster and also makes me feel a bit sick after only a few so I dont tend to drink much while on them unless I am on a rare outing to a pub!

    My memory is also dreadful now, and am finding after 3-4months (cant remember how long exactly!) of taking fluox I am still having difficulty with things. It seemed to work well just before Xmas but now I am all over the place again. I am still at work but somedays find it too hard and so call in sick. My boss is aware of the situation as are the rest of my workmates so thats good really. I like being honest but sometimes its hard because people dont really understand as much as you would like them to unless they have been through it themselves. And people who dont understand make you feel worse.

    I have started with a private therapist (NHS are slow and you only get 6 sessions) and it is bringing out so many things its hard to deal with but its good in the end I think. I have realised I have had depression on and off since I was 15 (now 25) and perhaps I am just a depressive type... not sure still, but there are triggers I know that.

    Anyway, thats my ramble. Would be good to hear both your thoughts.

  • Posted

    Hi NC,

    I drank alcohol initially when i was on Flu but after one really bad experience ive not touched it again. I guess i could try it but im feeling good atm so will stay off a bit longer.

    I found that my memory was slipping away before i started Flu...i forgot things id been told only hours before and soon started writing things down as i was told them. It was the only way i could remember anything. This is when i realised things were more serious.

    I have been getting counselling for 6 weeks now, i use a really good local service which is almost free, its called \"Open Door Project\" and its run by volunteers and costs £5 per session. I have been really positive each time ive been and this is probably my downfall as im out of touch with my emotions and havent \"opened up\" fully. I am hoping this will happen soon as ive got my 7th session tonight.

    I have also read a really good book titled \"How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable about Anything: Yes Anything!\" by Dr Albert Ellis which i found at my local library - it helped me to get my brain on track and my memory is getting better now.

    Im not sure if you feel like reading self-help books but i have found myself wanting to learn more about depression and feel its helping me to avoid negative situations and try more positive things.

    Anyway, sorry if i ramble on but once i start its hard to stop!!

  • Posted

    Thanks for replying so soon HT (i'll reply to 'no celebration' shortly)

    Despite my username i am a bloke. Was getting desparate when registering as all other names i put in were already taken.

    Thank you for your kind comments re suicide. I won't beat myself up over it now.

    I find driving is my only pleasure at the moment. I suppose it's a freedom thing and i always enjoyed it. Unfortunately my car accelerates a little too quickly and with concentration levels rather low at the moment i have to watch my speed!

    I've sent a post regarding B vitamin complex rather than multivitamins but as it contained a web address it has been forwarded to 'the moderators' for clearance. Hopefully this should be posted today. It's a very useful site.

    Yesterday was a numb and neutral day (which is good). Today, i knew was not going to be a particularly good one as i didn't go to bed until 2am and was still awake at 3am. Woke up with the shakes. It happens some days but not all. Am probably expecting too much at this time. Resigned to the fact that this is not going to be a quick fix. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. But is it the Dartford tunnel or one of those long ones in the Swiss Alps?

    There is another complication i was not expecting. My post 'up and down like a yo yo' explains. I will have to return to work on Monday as being on my own for the short term is ok but need to be around people.

    There is one person i'm going to have difficulty dealing with. Before all this we were really good friends but now it really upsets me to even look at her. Will have to see how it goes. Think Sunday, therefore will be an atrocious day.

    I look forward to your next posting.

    Take care.

  • Posted

    Hi no celebration

    It's good to find another person who has been taking flu for a lot longer than me.

    Like you, my memory is dreadful. I even have to write down pointers for replying to posts as i forget within minutes what people have asked or said. Don't know if that is the flu or the depression. Memory used to be so good so it's frustrating. I keep losing things at home, some of which i still haven't found. It would be amusing if it wasn't so annoying.

    I tried the booze at week 3. 1st couple of times were ok then it really wasn't so i've knocked it on the head. Will try again at 3 months. I'm approaching week 6 in 3 days. Something to look forward to maybe. It's ironic, cause i only started drinking in July after not touching the stuff for over 10 years (it used to react with my system).

    I find well meaning people who don't understand, tricky to deal with. If they are willing to share experiences of life situations that border on depression - that's ok, but people that say 'things could be worse' or 'snap out of it' (who fortunately are few and far between) are just ignorant and i give them short thrift.

    What i find at the moment is when people say (with just concern) 'are you ok?', this sends me into an emotional wobble. I have to leave the room for 10 minutes. Is this just me?

    My appetite has fallen through the floor. Did this happen to you at my stage?

    Please keep in touch.

    Best wishes

  • Posted

    Hi Megan(man)pooch,

    No, I am eating more than normal (comfort eating I guess) but I was doing that before I started the meds, the depression was making me eat more rather than less. Someone else I know who takes Fluox had the 'hardly eating at all' for a little while, it only lasted a week and has returned to normal appetitie now so dont worry, hopefully you will feel normal foodwise soon.

    I am also going to stear clear of the alcohol for a bit. Not hard as I am not really going out much except to work, and I don't drink at home.

    As to the \"are you ok?\" question, I get that alot, and have started to ignore it, answering with another question, like how are you, or what have you been up to. I just cannot answer, I am a terrible liar but I am fed up of telling people (who look at me and think I am ok) that I am not ok, seeing their reaction, having to explain, having the attention. I am not sur eeveryone is convinced by this but at least it makes them realise that I dont want to answer. . .

  • Posted

    Hi again no celebration.

    Your opener re my site name made me laugh, something that doesn't happen a lot at the moment. Thanks for invaluable advice re appetite. Just going to have lunch. Well, it is a topsy turvy day.

    the 'are you ok?' thing has also given me a few more ideas on dealing with people. Most of my work colleagues know about my depression so that's one less awkwardness (is that a word?). All i have to do is remember what you said as my memory is awful.

    Thanks again. One day i'll work out how to get the emoticons on to my postings!

    Keep in touch and best wishes

  • Posted

    Dear HT,

    Thanks for replying. I have tried nhs CBT course for stress before and some self help books along the same lines. I can see how they help people and can allieviate symptoms in the short term, but I am concerned that they dont tackle the root of the problem. But thats just my opinion, and experience though. I hope it works for you.

    £5 is a bargin, I am paying £50 a session with my therapist.



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