Just started Fluoxetine

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Hello everyone.

I have suffered on and off (Mainly on) with Very severe Panic attacks and Nervous problems since @1984.

I had no idea that Panic attacks even existed, and my feelings of anxiety increased bit by bit over time. I also suffered with Terrible insomnia ( Iknow realise this was mainly caused by my panics), and began taking time off work over it ( when I was at work ( ACar factory) I received NO HELP at all with my agitated state, so eventually saw a GP ( first of many) about why i was feeling so drained and agitated and Anxious. To cut a long story short, I have never received any proper treatment that Really worked since, and have just panicked my way through life, mainly using Alcohol as a "Crutch", which helped for a few hours in the short term, but the panics and anxiety and insomnia have never really went away. I could feel all those old feelings starting to build up massively over the last few weeks, and, 5 days ago, I made a GP Appointment.

I almost had a complete nervous breakdown in his surgery as I explained my fears, and, to his credit, he listened Carefully. He suggest a course of 20mg Fluoxetine Daily.I am now on day 5, and can already begin to feel a slight change in my moods and attitude. I hope this continues, and can i say I am so glad that I found this website, as, reading through others comments and advice, I feel, will be of Incredible benefit to me Thank You for that.

I finally feel, after so long without adequate treatment, that I have been given something that actually will help...I know it is far too early to say, but even my partner has noticed a change in my behaviour...for the better!!,,,Fingers crossed I have found the help I Needed!!

4 likes, 89 replies


89 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi David

    so glad you found this site i started on fluoxetine about 7 months ago and i cant tell you how its changed my life i hope it does for you too good luck keep in touch sharon xx

  • Posted

    Hiya David, thankyou for your post, makes very interesting reading to someone just starting out on the fluoxitine recovery path (so I'm hoping) I should perhaps have sought help ages ago but kidded myself on that all would be well in the morning, and it never was.One day @ a time mon ami
  • Posted

    Hi David

    You've certainly come to the right place! There are loads of us just starting our Flu journey and loads of support and reassurance from others who have been on it for much longer.

    I'm in my third week and feeling better - not brilliant, but better by a good distance. There is space between me and anxiety and when it starts to flood me, I use distraction and slow breathing. It's too much adrenaline pumping into our systems, so calm thoughts and behaviour really help. Sometimes, anyway.

    Stick with it and do a day at a time - advice I found here and am taking myself.

  • Posted

    Hi David you're not alone mate...my story is very similar and it's an illness just like a virus, gout or bronchitis.

    its because there's been a stigma attached to mental health for so long (particularly for blokes) but help is out there from things you can do your self and from your GP and local mental health team

    heres my advice but I'm no expert and certainly not medically trained just someone who's going through similar.

    - firstly well done for starting recovery by seeing your gp

    - there's usually a root cause to all types of anxiety - try to pinpoint what that is and resolve to face it through talking therapy or cbt. One to one counselling is comforting but if you're anxiety is deep rooted you may need to actively address the negative feelings through cbt classes and good old fashioned practice

    - good that the fluoxetine is having an effect but don't be deterred if you feel it works more days than others OR if you find it increases your anxiety, this can be a normal side effect in the early weeks.

    - sounds like your partner is on side which is great just be honest and positive with your nearest and dearest - this is not your fault you are human and the mind needs treatment just like a broken bone

    - sleep issues - I'm not an expert but know of a lady who is - check out the effortless sleep method by Sasha Stephens on Amazon. It's written by a woman who knows about it, you'll see if you read the reviews

    - be patient as lapses will happen and are normal

    - if you feel you need more help ask your GP to be referred to your local mental health team they know more about these conditions and can prescribe if necessary

    - another book I read was 'self help for your nerves' by dr. Claire weeks - a very simple but reassuring book think I paid 3 quid off amazon

    - don't want to lecture but cut back on the booze or eliminate it- it makes it worse and I did the same but learned to cut down.

    hope this helps as I'm going through similar..

    best wishes

    • Posted

      Great post, David!

      Stigma! I'm my own worst critic for being "weak" - actually, it's my internalised step-father at work in my head. At last I'm beginning to be gentle on myself, to accept I have this problem, this illness and I need help - like with a broken bone.

      Being here with people who also have depression and anxiety, who accept and understand is a great help.

  • Posted

    Thank you everyone for your support and kind wishes!

    ( I cannot "Scroll" up whilst typing to comment on everyones posts, so I will try to add a bit more info.)...

    My Anxietys Main Cause is Insomnia, and a terror of not getting "Enough" sleep.

    I lived in a very noisy house back when it began to become a problem, and i worked night/day shifts. Sleeping properly through the day became a massive problem, and, to try and settle my nerves, i would drink a few pints in the nearest pub...this eventually became a few pints and a couple of Brandys....but the noise at home did not stop....Then, When changing to Day shift, my nerves would Kick in, and the slightest sound through the night (especially when trying to Nod off, would Make me suddeny wide awake and alert), and, without realising, I was lying awake for most of the night using up energy by being tense and fidgeting, and worrying. This started to make me lose days at work through Extreme exhaustion, and i eventually made an appt with my GP. I was immediately diagnosed as an Alcoholic, and the treatment offered was for that. I was desperate by now, so didn't argue...

    I DID get some advice from various Councellors/Therapy groups, But the situation at home got even worse. I moved to my own flat, and slowly started to feel better, and my sleep patterns improved...

    I began to then get "Threats" from the car factory about my attendance record, which agian increased my Anxiety and PanicsI got NO help at all from them, just threats of them sacking me.......I eventually left the factory in 1992, as I was STILL getting threats, even though my attendance had Vastly improved..Their medical department was useless....since then I have felt Good on some days/weeks, but still had the Odd anxiety attack....Recently, there has been some Major Upheaval at my new home ( Including a Flood whilst a new bathromm was being fitted, which also took a week or so longer than expected, and some "Family" problems..

    I sought help this week as i realised i was reverting to My initial Breakdown symptoms ( and, I Had begun drinking drinking heavily again to "Calm Down")....I am determined to Drastically cut down the alcohol, and have already started to significantly reduce it.....However, as of typing, I feel I am having a "Tremors" attack, and I KNOW, in the short term, a few pints would help, But I am determined NOT to go the pub today,as i REALLY want to give the Flu a decent chance to work. Thank you all SO much for your kind reponses, and i am sorry for waffling on!!

    • Posted

      Hi David - just a quick reply but seriously consider:

      - buying 'self help for your nerves' by Dr. Claire Weekes

      - buying the 'effortless sleeping method' by Sasha Stephens

      - Consider asking the GP for some additional short term medication while the fluoxetine kicks in - I see a psychiatrist privately and although it costs he takes care of my prescriptions and is far more help than my GP

      There's people on here who can help so just keep asking for advice.

    • Posted

      Hello David,

      Thank you for taking the trouble to contact me!

      I have already ordered the Self Help for nerves book...Thank you for the reccomendation! I have also ordered the Ear-plugs that another person mentioned ( Could have done with them last night with all the Fireworks ) smile But had a great nights sleep anyway!!

      If the insomnia gets any worse, I'll go and see the GP about additional short-term sleeping pills or something.

      I have been feeling a LOT better today, than i have for weeks...I Just wish someone would have prescribed Flu 30 years ago!

      Thanks again. All and any advice is MUCH appreciated!

  • Posted

    Hi David

    I've suffered from anxiety and depression since 1979, and it was only in 1997 after years of other medication that I was changed onto this medication that I began to get better, and have been well ever since.

    I also used to work in a car factory (office) and so did my husband.  When he lost his mum his grief hit him hard and with a difficult boss he had to take time off for months - the company hounded him and even questioned why he had gone away on holiday!  Obviously for peace and quiet.

    Its a shame there's such a stigma to this illness, but I believe it's getting less over time.  When I was first ill I felt embarrassed and made to feel 'weird' by the medical professionals I saw.  I've cried many times at the doctors, desperate to stop whatever was happening to me.  Probably why I was ill for so long before I got better.

    My son had a melt down 2 months ago and has exactly the same as I did all those years ago.  I feel blessed I'm able to understand and help him through his difficult journey .... maybe my illness was meant to be so I could help others.

    I agree that the books by Dr Claire Weeks are a tremendous help.  She explains it so well and it seems to unravel the mystery of this illness, and she gives good sound advice.  I wish her methods were adopted by our medical professionals today.

    During my illness I told nobody, only my husband.  I hid it from everyone, even family, for fear of being thought of as odd.  Only in the last few years have I been able to talk about my experience, especially since finding my sister, nephew and now my son all have this too.

    This illness needs speaking about more ..... it's not being weak, weird or anything.  It hits anyone, whatever their nationality, gender, wealth .......

    I wish you well in your recovery.  You'll get there xx

  • Posted

    Thanks Katecoggs!

    I laso had terrible GPs during my early panics, who I feel, utterly mis-diagnosed my mental state. I also Had NO help whatsoever from any of my family, they all just "Put their head in the sand" and walked away from me when I was having a bad time ( During my first breakdown, I voluntarily attended a clinic for drinking problems for four weeks ( part of the "Treatment was total abstinence during my Stay, which i found easy to do...I was also free to leave at anytime, but the peace and quiet ( and even some of the Talking Therapy) Helped me greatly.

    However, when I returned to work soon after, I was greeted with cheers of "Watch out!!! The Psycho's Back" and suchlike by my ( So Called) Colleagues, because my OWN (Older) Brother had told/Bragged to the workforce that i Had been "Sectioned" in a certain Local mental health hospital ( Rain Hill, merseyside). Now THAT is exactly the support you need from family!!! smile (PS,He never once visited me during my four week stay either...)

    ...Even my friends at the time became distant, as they too did not have any understanding of what i was going through..and avoidance became their way of dealing with me...

    • Posted

      Oh I'm so sorry to hear that.  Unfortunately people don't really understand 'mental health' problems and tend to lump everyone in the same 'psycho' category, and don't realise that words can be so detrimental to your well being.  Often people don't know how to cope with it either when a friend or family member becomes ill, so joking about is something they think is fine.  I'm sure they wouldn't joke and name call if you'd come back after cancer treatment or similar!

      It's often the same with bereavement - people don't know what to say and often avoid someone.

      I notice on TV programmes sometimes when a character has had a breakdown or something, they always portray the character as 'cookie' and seem to take delight in poking fun at the person.  I often wonder what reaction the programme would get if they did the same with a disabled person or someone who had a brain injury or cancer treatment.  There'd be an outcry!

      Alcohol is all too often a crutch we lean towards when get bad.  It makes you feel relaxed and dulls feelings and pain, but of course it's addictive.  I've often had a good drink in the past when things got real tough, but only occasionally.

      I'm not surprised people turn towards other things to help if treatment, support isn't readily available.  There's much more acceptance today about this condition, and more people are talking about it openly - and famous people too.

      I hope you find support here, as it's good to talk about experiences.

      K xx

  • Posted

    With brothers, friends and coleagues like that - well, who needs machismo at any time? What price a kind and accepting word instead?

    But - you are here now and on the way to recovery. I was told that alcohol and Flu don't mix which would mean self-medicating at the pub would have to stop. I gave up alcohol over seventeen years ago and it was the beginning of turning my life around. I couldn't cope without the ability to think clearly nowadays - especially when Flu side effects are lurking about.

    I bought the two recommended books and look forward to reading them. It was quite a self-admission, buying them - I might benefit from them, books about nerves and sleep! Who? Me? Well yes, actually!

    • Posted

      Hi Carl - no shame in helping your self at all - you'd do the same if another body part was giving you grief. I do really recommend both - I know there are thousands of similar books out there but these two really help because they are written by people have been there :-) not just worked with these conditions and illnesses.

      Also David 44006 - I use 'Bio Ears' for ear plugs at night - they are the best you can get for blocking out noise smile - you can get them from Boots or Amazon is cheaper.

    • Posted

      It's weird, how different we are! I play 'go to sleep' music under my pillow to help stop my mind thinking so hard, especially about stuff that makes me anxious.

      Not the same as other people's noise, I'll admit - that drives me crazy. Drunks going home on a Friday and Saturday night can be a real problem!

  • Posted

    Day 7 Now, and feeling MUCH calmer!!....The only side effect That is showing strongly are the forementioned "Tremors"...I feel very shaky for most of the day, but it calms down later on. ( I also had some funny experiences with my Lips and Tongue, when trying to speak....It just felt to me like I was in a Badly -Dubbed Kung Fu movie!!...but that has now passed).

    A friend I was talking to ( Yup..in The pub....BUT....Drinking sensibly...) also gave me some Great but simple Advice, which may be of help to others...

    He used to suffer from Anxiety and Depression (he still does, but has it now under control), and he told me a good way to relax in bed was, instead of constantly Thinking about the past, and all of its difficulties, I should try instead to turn my thinking around, and "Point" it towards future events ( Christmas/Birthdays etc), and try to think about how to plan and enjoy them...I have been sleeping much better with this in mind, and, I had the first REAL good nights sleep last night...even with Fireworks going off way into the night!! smile


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