i need help with my 19yr old daughter. x

Posted , 5 users are following.

hi, im new on here, and looking for help,

weeks ago my daughter had a very nasty stomach virus that lasted 4 weeks, it left her crying, shaking, anxious ect.

so on Monday i took her to the GP who diagnosed depression and gave her 20 mg prozac a day.  today is day 6. she is managing to be back at work, but only just, she hasnt slept properly since being on the tablets, and is exsisting on only a few hours sleep a night, she has also had an episode where she has "seen" things. she looking in the mirror and saw smoke all a round, she blinked, and it had gone. are these normal side effects? i hate the idea that she is just putting strong chemicals in her body, and the side effects are not normal.

she also feels like her whole body is shaking, but on the PLUS side, she didnt cry yesterday, which is a huge acheivement, we take it hour by hour, it just feels such a lonely place to be, when she was such a bubbly, happy teenager.

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Karen

    You describe very precisely a few of the so called side effects of Fluoxetine and adrenaline fuelled anxiety attacks. Rest, relaxation, distraction and ride the storm which will pass and will not harm your daughter.

    It's supposed to take Fluoxetine/Prozac between six and eight weeks to work properly. Several of us posting here recently report that after three weeks  the side effects pretty much disappear and calm and peace replace them. The three weeks were not pleasant by a long way!

    With your support, caring and understanding, your daughter will be just fine - giving her space when she needs it, cuddles when she needs them, cups of tea and a lot of consideration - not forgetting that you need these tthings, too!!

    Good luck and don't worry! She has a storm to ride is all - not the last in her young life, as you well know. She'll be fine!

    Usually, thhe GP wants a follow up/check up appointment after two weeks. Is that is place? Routine to make sure your daughter is coping.

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  • Posted

    thankyou Carl for your kind words, and quick reply. Yes, she has an appointment with the Gp for next week, 10 days into the tablets. the main side effects so far are uncontrollable shaking, fast heart rate, disturbed sleep,  and today she has tummy pain. BUT the plus side is so tears this morning so far. we also have some counselling places to phone to see if that helps. her boss at work is undertstanding, as she has just had 3 weeks off with this crippling stomach virus, which seems to have triggered this depression for some reason.

    im glad her symptoms are "normal" side effects, and we realise this will be a long road, cant wait for the day i hear her singing again, and smiling. x


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  • Posted

    Hi Karen

    Sorry to hear your daughter is suffering - my son is also suffering, so know how it is to have your child feeling like this.  I'm also taking medication because it affected me so much seeing him suffer, so have first hand experience of medication side effects too, (I also had depression years ago).

    As Carl says, she will get side effects initially, which can be quite unpleasant, but they do ease off and the benefits of the medication will start to kick in.  I saw my son go through this awful time, and I just made sure I was there for him with lots of talking, tea, hugs and reassurance.

    Sleep is a problem initially on this medication, my son was given another medication to help combat this (forget the name), or you could try Kalms maybe?  Best to check with the pharmacist if starting any over the counter meds though.

    I think seeing things can happen, and an inner tremble is common too.  Keep a note of things and discuss with her doctor.

    One thing I've found is I can't discuss things with my sons doctor or check my sons appointments as we mums used to, because he's 20 and an adult, and of course data protection kicks in aaaargh!

    You're doing a grand job, and remember you're not alone.  There's many here to support you.

    Keep in touch xx

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  • Posted

    thankyou katecogs, for the reply, i took daughter to initial gp appointment, and wouldnt leave, as i knew she wouldnt say anything except cry, our normal dr was off, so we saw a new male dr, i wasnt impressed. while ever she wants me to go with her i will, and be grateful i will know whats said/suggested. yesterday day 6 wasnt so good for her, washing machine tummy, running to the toilet, anxiety, but she did force herself to go out, so thats a good result.

    i spoke to the pharmacy man, he said dont give st johns wart whilst on these meds, but kalms and rescue remedy are fine, so we got the lot to try, she is  still very weak from the tummy/bowel virus she had and has only just started being able to eat again,

    she has been with her boyfriend for years, and is now thinking about finishing it, as she isnt happy, and maybe that caused the depression, but on the other hand, maybe the depression is making her think like that, oh i have brain ache trying to work it all out, and wish i could just make it better

    today is day 7, and we have a tv afternoon planned, pyjamas on, log fire lit, and then i will be able see how she is properly, after her frazzled day yesterday.

    its nice to know there is support, and we are not so alone in what we are going through. thankyou.

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    • Posted

      I was the same with my son.  Initially I went in with him to see the doctor as he didn't say anything .... he sat there just looking shocked.  Now when he has an appointment, I go with him but he goes in on his own and then I'm asked in later.  I've gone with him to counselling too, though wait in the waiting room.

      I've told my son he can tell me anything, however silly or scary it might seem to him, I don't mind and won't be shocked.  He has opened up, and like your daughter, I believe he wasn't ready for the emotional turmoil of his first girlfriend this year, on top of that he's never been one to have many friends and does enjoy too much Xbox mmmmmmm.  It's all built up this year until his massive melt down at work and I had to go collect him.  He's not been able to work since August.  I see an improvement, and we've got him to join a few clubs and activities.  A long slow process of recovery, and fingers crossed ......... 

      Its very hard seeing your child suffer, and feel so helpless not knowing how to help them.  Being there for them and listening is what any mum would do.

      Yes you can't take St Johns Wort with this medication, as it has a similar makeup and would be harmful if taken.  Hopefully the other ie Kalms will help.

      It might be the depression making her feel like finishing with her boyfriend, but as you say it might be they're not right for each other.  Maybe she shouldn't be too rash and just let it be for now.  

      Sounds idyllic having a TV and pj day by a log fire!  We sometimes do that too, and the 2 cats come and snuggle up too.  Enjoy your day! :-)

      Keep in touch xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    My thoughts are with you. Your daughter will survive this phase much stronger than before. Those symptons (crying all the time, extreme sadness, confusion, fast hear rate, shaking) are all normal, and experienced by millions of people worldwide that have taken fluoxetine. So don't be afraid that this is a sign of something bad, because it isn't.

    On the other hand, those symptons are very unpleasant and make us suffer a lot in the initial phase of the treatment. What you might ask your GP is for propanolol. It is a beta-blocker that prevents the subjective anxiety from releasing adrenaline and make you shake/increase heart rate. I take this as needed and it helps me a lot. It is a well-tolerated medication, non-adictive and widely prescribed.

    Hope I have helped you a bit,


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  • Posted

    Here is a timetable for recovery for people taking fluoxetine (I got it from another forum). It seems to match my case and might match your daughter's:


    Week 1: This week can go either way. Some find almost immediate improvement while other see the side effects (see weeks 2-3) after the first day.

    Weeks 2,3: These are almost always the most difficult. Anxiety and depression can get worse than before the medication. Side effects kick in, these can include sleeplessness, nightmares, diarrhea, nausea, hot flashes, excessive sweating (especially at night), dry mouth, muscle twitches, overall muscle weakness and pain, zero appetite, and very negative mental outlook. My advice is, take these one day at a time and try not to get discouraged, not every day will be bad and better times are ahead!

    Weeks 4,5: Some improvement. The side effects lessen to some point, and there are moments when you start to feel normal. Typically evenings are the best and mornings the worst. Many start playing around with dosage at this point because they are told that the Prozac should be working, my advice: hold the course! 

    Weeks 6,7: More improvement. Maybe 50% to 70% better than before starting. There are often blips where you feel just terrible for a few days, but not usually over a week. Some side effects lessen, but also you may get new side effects. Hang in there, you are getting ready to turn a corner!

    Weeks 8-10: Even more improvement. There still are blips, but they are less severe and shorter, maybe 1-2 days. Not normal yet, but getting better day by day. The side effects are usually 75% or so gone. Light at the end of the tunnel!

    Weeks 10-12: Maybe this is wishful thinking for me (I'm not here yet), but this is where most see the best results. Some quotes from this time period: "best in months", "Amazing", "Feel good", "brilliant". Again, this is for the people for whom the prozac did work, not everyone, and for those who stuck to their original dosage. For some, this happens at 7 weeks, for some, 3-4 months. But, from what I have read, 10-12 weeks is the payoff time.


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  • Posted

    thankyou danilo, im not sure how much longer she will take them for though, today she feels very sick, and banging headache, even her teeth are chattering, BUT on the plus side, she managed to go out for a planned birthday meal last night, i only got a few panicked texts, but she settled.she said if these are the side effects she isnt taking them anymore, so i have some persuading to do later. she has took todays, so thats good. i cant thank everyone enough for the support, it helps me to keep making her take them, and there should be light at the end of all this. she is at the GP at the end of the week, so will get her to ask about something to calm the shakes/heartrate. x
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    • Posted

      Another advice is to start with lower dose, and build it up slowly to the smallest therapeutic dose (20 mg). There is a liquid version of fluoxetine to help with that. I whish I knew that before because I also had a really hard time with fluoxetine...
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  • Posted

    Hi karen

    It is a horrible time but hopefully people on here have given you some reassurance that although you daughter feels dreadful these are all "normal" side effects :-( make sure you tell the doc about them though so they can be monitored.

    Def worth going back to ask for propanolol, im on end wk 3 of flu and shakes got so bad I needed help and that really calmed them down although ive not found anything to ease the nausea (like your daughter I ended up on this after weeks of feeling shaky n nauseous which is enough to drag anyones system down esp not eating).

    If you can persuade your daughter to get out for a walk each day that helps,  go with her to shops or somewhere. Its good she has an understanding boss as sometime you just need to be at home but on the other hand work is a good distraction (although I know how difficult it is to be there when you feel soo ill and/or emotional as unlike any other illness people who have.not suffered really have know idea how physical and overwhelming it is, I had no clue!)

    Enough of my rambling, take care of yourself and your daughter. Accept any help offered, ive just been referred for a therapy assessment which seems to work for some so worth a try. 

    If your daughter is willing may be worth her writing on here to get some direct reassurance. Or just reading what others are going through can help stop you feeling like youre suffering alone and noone understands. We do and although we cant physically help we can offer advice and support, even just an ear when you think theres noone around who will listen.

    Not sure my jabberings are any help to you at all but just remember you're not alone. Hoping you're daughter gets through these side effects quickly and starts to feel the positive improvements. 

    Look after yourselves and get in touch even if you just want to vent or ask advice or whatever.

    Wishing you both all the best

    V x

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  • Posted

    thanks for the replies, the weekend for her was full of side effects that dragged her down, but seemed to wear off as the day went on, yesterday was day 9, and it was a good day, her mood was lifted, no tears, ate properly, and the shakes wore off after a few hours of being up, she was so happy she managed to put eyeliner on!!

    mega headaches and lack of sleep seem to be an issue, but after having a happy day yesterday, i think its reinforced to her to keep taking the tablets.

    today is day 10, lets see what today brings, thankyou. x

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    • Posted

      Aw bless her.  Glad to hear she had a good day :-)  

      Recovery seems to work like that - a good day here and there, until they get more and more - sometimes she might only get half a day feeling good. She might get some more low days, but that's normal, and the good days will come back. It's all working towards recovery.

      Hope you had a great TV and pj afternoon too!

      K xx

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  • Posted

    today is day 12 for my daughter, days 9,10, and 11 were all an improvement. yesterday she had a little meltdown at lunchtime at work, saying she needed to come home, but through text and email, i managed to help, and she stayed at work. her safe place is watching tv with mum, pj's on, and fire lit. it seems to calm her down. she had check up with the GP yesterday, and goes again in 2 weeks, he offered her sleeping pills, but she refused them for now. so,

    today her and boyfriend are off for a weekend away, thats been planned ages, she already has tummy pains, but anxiety in her belly is better than in her head i guess.

    katecogs, how is your son doing?x

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen

      Expect ups and downs, it's the way the medicine works unfortunately.  There'll be good times and bad yet to come, but the good days will start to outweigh the bad until they are no more.  Support, love, talking, TV in pj's :-) are all great for when the going gets tough ........ she'll get there.

      My son had a few melt down times, uncontrollable sobbing, hiding under his duvet etc ...... it's awful to watch.  He seems to be over the awful anxiety, and has gone back to just being flat.  These last 2 weeks he looks brighter, and is laughing more :-D  He has a works meeting next week to see if he's able to go back (been 3 months not working).  He wants to go back, but because of the nature of his work there's all manner of assessments, health & safety, their insurers etc to get through.  But .... as long as he's better, that's most important.

      ​My son has sleeping pills, because he wasn't sleeping and it was making him worse.  Hopefully the sleeping pills can be discontinued soon.

      My son went away for weekends, and I said if he feels unwell, even if he has his car, we'll go and get him, wherever he is.  We kept in touch daily by text.  All was fine :-)

      I hope your daughter is able to go for the weekend - it'll do her good.  But if she feels she isn't ready, I'm sure TV in pj's will be a great time instead.

      K xx


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    • Posted

      thanks, she did go for the weekend, we had a couple of tricky hours on sat, and i almost had a 2 hour drive to shropshire to collect her!! but she pulled through, xx
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