I've been taking fluoxetine for 4 weeks now, and I don't feel a bit different

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I don't understand why is it taking so long to take effect, my anxiety and OCD is killing me.

Also I've been waiting for my repeat prescription to come through for the last week, I guess that doesn't help either?

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrew.. From what I have read on this site is that four weeks is still very early. I myself just hit the four week mark and I have had some good moments but today's been very difficult. So it is very up and down. Supposedly it's up and down for quite some time but then after around 2 months you begin to have more ups and can manage the downs better. Hopefully you see some improvement soon.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for commenting but in all seriousness I haven't felt good about myself, since I finished my first prescription of fluoxetine last week.

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrew,

    yes 4 weeks is very early, and I can confirm what pinkrozez says here...about two months is more likely to start feleing better. I am 10 weeks today and I just had very good 12 days with almost no anxiety! Today I am experiencing a blip again, but I am focusing on the fact that in recent weeks I have been mostly well!

    I started having some good anxiety free days after 6 weeks. First sort of feeling calmer in the afternoons, then having couple of good days followed by couple of bad days again. The ups and downs were making me feel so discouraged. sad But after week 8, suddenly the longer streak of good days came, so today I am little bit more accepting of my blip, although it still feels horrible and I have been very low and crying all day, but I am retaining hope that there will still be more good than bad days after all.

    With the prescription - do you mean you have not had the meds in the last week, waiting for new prescription? That is something that would not help, missing the doses...the brain needs the regular doses to start getting used to the meds and adjusting...

    All the best Andrew x

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  • Posted

    These type of meds take months to work, not weeks I'm afraid.  It takes a long time to become ill and so it'll take a long time to reverse that effect.  It also usually gets worse before it gets better.  Most people start to feel better around 3-4 months - some sooner, some longer.

    You can't hurry recovery either - whatever you do.  Dose increase won't make it happen quicker either.  It'll happen in its own time - and we're all individual.

    You need a lot of patience on these meds.  The wait is worth it though.

    They will help you though.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the great advice, also it's great to know there's some sort of light at the end of the tunnel

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    • Posted

      Kate in your experience, have you had days where you feel sort of flat? Like not sad not happy just sort of there like a robot. I am

      Doing a lot of chores and activities around home with kids but inside me there's a level of flatness whereas before when I did these same things I felt happy and accomplished... As a young mom, I wonder if my old happy go lucky nature will

      Ever return? I find that In the moments where I am

      Myself my kids get so excited and enjoy my presence ... Mostly in evenings before bedtime

      When I know the day is about to end. Just wanted to get your thoughts ....

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    • Posted

      Oh yes, absolutely!!

      The second time I started these meds I had a different experience and had months of feeling flat.  A complete 'nothingness' inside me.  No joy whatsoever.  I guessed it was depression and just kept going, and eventually it lifted.

      The first time I recovered I was like you when I felt better every evening (anxiety wore off).  That's a good sign.  For me, this slowly spread more into my day - early evening, afternoon, mornings until one day I woke up feeling great.

      Sounds like its all working for you.

      K x

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    • Posted

      You are just so encouraging. Honestly if it had not been for your words of support and constant push to wait it out I feel I may have just given up on the meds. But I do feel they're working just slow and I am ok with that as long as ultimately I can feel myself again. The fear just feeds itself right but I am trying to let it be and accept it and let it pass. Thank you again. I so appreciate it.

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    • Posted

      Many people do give up on the meds too early because they haven't been told what to expect. Yes that's it - you start feeling changes real slowly, which grow over time.

      Yes fear feeds itself. It's the powerful anxiety you fear and in turn that produces even more anxiety. You get stuck in a cycle of anxiety / fear / thoughts / anxiety etc. Fix the anxiety and all it's side effects go too.

      Don't forget you may still get blips occasionally - again let them be and they'll pass.

      One day soon this will all be behind you xx

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    • Posted

      Exactly. Doctor told me I'd feel better in two weeks. The anxiety attacks did lessen but the anxious low feeling didn't subside .. Still comes and goes. But knowing that it's expected, temporary and part of recovery does help you deal with it better. Thanks again. The support here is much needed right now. My husband is very supportive as well but having people who have gone through it is helpful. Hope you have

      A great weekend!

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    • Posted

      Unbelievable.......  I do wish doctors would be better educated in this condition, medicine, side effects, timescale ..... the whole journey.  To give people false hope is so wrong.  No wonder people become confused and despondent, then give up.

      Its great having supporting partners, but as you say, nobody fully understands unless you've suffered from it.

      K x

       

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    • Posted

      I could not agree more. GPs often lack expertise. Mine told me at 4 weeks that if I am still anxious then they are not working for me and asked me what I want to do, if I want to try different ones or stop! I told her I read on these online forums that it can take much longer than 4 weeks and people can suffer side effects for months, and she just said 'hmm I don't think so?'. Very frustrating. She left it up to me anyway, so I decided to continue, and now at 10 weeks I am feeling much better. These forums are amazing support and I wish doctors who prescribe these medicines would read them!!!

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    • Posted

      That's quite disgraceful really - that's laying with people's lives.  She could have had you hopping from one meds to another, completely delaying your treatment and probably you'd have stopped too.  Shouldn't be prescribing these type of meds if it can't be backed it up with research / knowledge about their side effects and timescale too.

      Some doctors don't like to be 'told' things I suppose - they're trained and professional ... but have never taken them.

      Hey ho.....

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    • Posted

      You guys have been very ecouraging to me.

      I took Flux about four years ago when my husband passed away suddenly. Dr. prescribed it b/c I was having anxiety attacks. After 18 months of taking it, I didn't have any relaps, so I stopped.

      2.5 years later, all of sudden it hit me again. However, I'm having many side effects this time. I'm two weeks into it and feeling anxious many times a day, that flatness feeling you are describing. I'll continue to take it, just b/c it worked before. But I don't really recall the side effect last time.

      Tired all the time but must move on. I'm a single mom now and have kids to tend too.

      Thank you all!

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    • Posted

      Hi isiao

      Glad people's posts have helped ..... and so sorry for your loss some years ago.

      Its strange how anxiety can rear its head again after being free of it.  I wonder if you've had some stress in your life recently, as anxiety is often a result of this?  Its just an overload of adrenaline that builds up over time.  

      Yes it can take a little while for the meds to get into your system again - as said above in another post, it took me much longer second time around.  Doesn't always with others, but it could do.

      And yes, if the meds worked before they will work again.  Despite the time it took me, I just knew they'd work so continued for months with the flat feeling.  Didn't get anxiety the second time around, just a total disinterest in life.

      The tiredness will pass - its often a side effect of anxiety too, as anxiety takes a lot out of your body.

      Take care xxx

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    • Posted

      Kate,

      I have been experiencing low anxiety however my tongue feels slightly sort of numb off and on.. That's also part of anxiety right? I've had a relatively better past few days However this small thing is sort of bothering me.. Comes and goes .. Almost feels like the body wants to go in anxiety mode but my medicine and my own mind is stopping it from happening. Would love to hear if you experienced this while recovering ..

      Also wishing you a blessed Mother's Day l!

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear you're having lower anxiety, though I've not come across a numb tongue before ...... its something I've had before but wouldn't have put it down to the medicine.  Worth checking with the doctor.

      Yes that's exactly what I had - my anxiety started to wear off, yet at times I felt like my body was reacting to anxiety but I didn't have it.  And I think that's exactly it ..... your body is so used to having anxiety that it goes through the motions, but there's no anxiety (or less anyway).  It'll stop eventually.

      Glad you're recovering well.

      And a happy Mothers Day too biggrin

      K x

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    • Posted

      yes, Kate. Somethind did trigger this second time around......

      My doctor did suggest to me not to get off of it so I should have listented to her. I'm mostly not getting off this time even after I start to feel great. Lesson learned.

      Thank you for helping out the "community".

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kate. If was less today .. Spoke to my aunt who's a doctor she told me not to worry about it for now and I'll bring it up to Doctor next visit if it continues... Another decent day just highs and lows all day. But learning to cope better. I feel better but still spaced out sometimes and worry of how I am gonna make it through the day even though I know I will and can. I just wish that doubtful voice stopped ..

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    • Posted

      Ah, that's usually the case.  Stress is often the cause.  Out bodies can only take so much stress before it boils over into anxiety, and then we become afraid of the anxiety which produces more adrenaline ..... and so the cycle begins.

      I took these meds for 16 years before coming off.  I intended staying on for life, but curiosity got the better of me.  I'll always return to them too if ever I feel the need to.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Yes best to check it out next time you visit your doctor.  Might be totally unrelated.

      Yes you will begin to cope better as the anxiety very slowly eases and those ups and downs start.  Your body is just levelling out.

      The doubtful voice is part of the anxiety - it'll go.  When you're anxious you will carry that negative voice around, but as the anxiety fades that negative voice slowly changes to being positive.

      Anxiety tricks you into being negative, flat, fearful, tired, emotional and conjures up weird thoughts.  When the anxiety goes, so do all the side effects of it too.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Exactly. The anxiety has definitely lessened but I have to believe that the fears and strange thoughts I still have at times must be the anxiety because never before did I experience that. I still am not sure what triggered all my anxiety but I have also stopped wondering because that made me more anxious.. Hope you are well. I am at six weeks today. Feeling improvement and waiting for more but just glad I am out of that terrible place I was when I finally broke down to the doctor ..
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    • Posted

      Hi

      Sounds like you're on the right track - with anxiety lessening already.  It really is hard to believe the fear and thoughts are a side effect of anxiety because they feel so powerful.  You may tell yourself this many times but it is hard to 'feel' the truth because anxiety tricks you into thinking something else with that negative voice.  But they most definitely are.  As your anxiety lessens even more you'll begin to notice those fears and thoughts becoming less bothersome too.

      Stress is often the cause of anxiety - and we don't see it coming either.  Its not really important to know what has caused it, as now the focus is on getting better.  Often when you're better and have a clearer mindset, can you then see the whole picture and see what did cause it.  I didn't know what had caused mine until years after I'd recovered - I could then see the whole picture and the stressful path that led me to it.  I now know how to deal with stress.

      Oh yes, I've been there too - sobbing at the doctors.  My doctor always got his box of tissues out when I walked into his surgery lol

      Its good to see improvement isn't it - however small it is.  You are in recovery and it will get better and better until you're finally back to normal.

      K x

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    • Posted

      As always thanks for the reassurance. You are so spot on about how the mind keeps thinking it's something else but I feel that once you understand and explain to yourself that it's anxiety and nothing more, the mind calms down somewhat. I used to be afraid of being alone at home with the kids thinking something would go wrong with me and they'd have no one to take care of them until my husband came home. Now I am more confident and have stopped that thought when it comes. I wasn't able to do that before. Yes no matter how small recovery is good to see it makes you realize at least something is improving. I just hope to be back to my old self completely at this time I feel I am about 60% there and the other 40 is held back from some unknown fears. I find that when I am occupied and out I am fine. It's when I am home I am afraid to be idle whereas before I could relax in idle time no problem. But one cannot be busy 24/7! So that's what I am working on lately; explaining to myself that even in those idle moments, it will be ok. Thanks again Kate.

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    • Posted

      Yes exactly ..... understanding about anxiety was a huge breakthrough for me when I was ill.  It stopped being this huge crazy jumbled mess in my head I couldn't get my head round, it stopped all the 'what ifs and whys' and though it didn't stop the fear and thoughts immediately it calmed my mind down too.  For years I thought I had a phobia, but didn't know of what - just that I felt scared all the time, and I also thought I had depression.  Nobody once told me 'its anxiety and those fears and thoughts are a side effect'.  I found this out from books. The books made sense - the psych team didn't.  It would have saved me years of suffering I'm sure if I'd known what was wrong.

      I also used to be scared of being on my own at home - I used to be full of dread.  I needed someone around just to make me feel comfortable.  Now I love it.

      As you recover more on the meds you'll be able to see anxiety even more clearly too.  As the anxiety calms more and more so too will all those unknown fears.  In time you'll return to normal, be able to enjoy your own company and be comfortable in your own skin again.  Those fears won't bother you and those thoughts won't produce anxiety anymore.

      Yes it all takes so much time and you'll find that 60% will grow little by little until you feel 100% back on top.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Yes! I loved my own company prior to all this happening. I remember when kids would take naps, that was my best time. I got to a point lately where nap time made me nervous because then I'd wonder what now what now. So it's very strange. How can someone who loved alone time become so afraid of it. I guess that's what this crazy sickness does to you. But I am glad to say it's less now. Not gone but not as extreme either. I am so amazed at how u got through those times without the help of Internet forums and support. Must have been so difficult.

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    • Posted

      Anxiety changes the way you think and feel, so its not surprising you can feel completely different about something that you once loved.  I felt so vulnerable on my own.

      I'm not sure how I got through those years either .... 16 years (with a couple of breaks in the middle). I came near to breaking point many times.  I felt very alone and didn't think for a minute there would be other people out there suffering exactly like me.  

      You'll improve more as time goes by ...... 

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