just starting and worried

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Hi all,

Ive found this group after being given 'flu' by my GP today. Im not sure if its what i need but to be honest I will try anything to pick me up out of the crazy hole I seem to have fallen in to. Its so nice to read all the posts and see that maybe I am normal and am not alone.

At the moment i feel like Im on pause and everything is going on around me but I cant join in.

I havent told anyone about feeling like I want to die or feeling crazy as I dont want to get judged. If you knew me would would never guess, like lots of you I feel like I have this big dark secret.

Im an out going person with am amazing life, loads of friends and a lovely boyfriend. I snapped this weekend whilst at a party again i felt as if it was going on around me so just drunk and drunk. I ended up worrying that my boyfriend was cheating on me and being very rude to one of is friend. He told me I was being rude and stupid (so true) and I could not stop crying.

Since then if I have thought of anything other than work Ive wanted to cry. Ive apologise to the friend and my boyfrend said its all fine but I cant forgive myself for once again screwing things up.

Its funny how everyone around you thinks they know you and you can glaze a smile.

If I ever get low I have just told people Im tired or could do ith a holiday but all I really want is for this emptyness to fade.

Ive been feeling low for months but after this weekend stupidity I decidede that if Im not going to die I will screw my life up if I dont get help.

What I need to know is- is it going to get worse before it gets better? Im worries about all the side effects as Im already very very fragile and if it gets worse people will see the cracks. My boyfriend says he feels like Im made of glass littl does he know how true this is!

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  • Posted

    Hello Supergirl,

    and welcome!

    I have been on flu for over a month now and suffered some side effects. I was fine the first 2 weeks, just a little nausea every now and again, from week 3 my mood got better, much better, the pain I used to carry around with me all the time disappeared. However, my body kind of gave up. No energy at all.

    It's been like this for the past 3 weeks. I managed to go to work half of the time, but today I went to the doctor and she suggested some blood tests. I just feel so much better, but I can't control my body.

    What I recommend is that you stick to it, like I am doing, becasue, although you will suffer some side effects, you will also feel the benefits.

    I told my doctor that maybe I am suffering some kind of breakdown, since before I used to be driven by my anxiety, now that it's gone my body feels shattered. Hopefully this is what it is, and if that's the case, I will feel better.

    All the best smile

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  • Posted

    It was almost a year ago when I was put on flu. The first couple of weeks on it were not very pleasant. A month later a bit better, and three months alter a lot better. But it can take six months for the drug to take its full effect. I was on it for six months and went from someone at the beginning who felt empty inside, worthless, depressed with generalised anxiety to completely normal again. Fluoxetine over time resets the chemistry of the central nervous system, including your brain, back to normal levels. The chemistry in your brain has locked onto what is called sub-optimal homeostasis. Your brain, or the automatic chemical / mood balancing system called the hypothalamus always tries to balance all the complex chemicals in your brain. The amount and proportions of these chemicals in your brain dictate your mood. These chemicals result in ALL of the emotions you feel - happiness, confidence, sadness, love, everything. Over time, due to stress or other factors in your life, the hypothalamus sets the wrong levels of chemicals – a bit like a faulty thermostat (the good news is that with a little help it can easily fix itself). It then gets stuck in maintaining these wrong levels of chemicals. This makes you feel emotionally bad, which only serves to make the hypothalamus get things wrong even more. Don’t worry, this part of your brain is not YOU – think of it as your emotional autopilot. You are fine, it is just your emotional autopilot just needs some maintenance to get it back on track. Fluoxetine, over time will gradually up-regulate your hypothalamus (your emotional thermostat) back to normal levels. Whilst flu is doing this you will feel a little all over the place emotionally. This is good! This means that flu is doing its job. One word of advice, I would not take alcohol during the early stages of flu. Alcohol is a natural depressant on your brain and will only serve to make you feel worse. Flu is trying to boost an important neurotransmitter called 5-HT (serotonin) in your brain to stabilise your emotions. Alcohol on the other hand reduces this important chemical. Your liver also has to do quite a bit of work to process flu and taking alcohol with flu puts your poor liver under a lot of stress, resulting in lots of nasty toxins hanging around in your body (and brain) longer than should be. These toxins are poisons to your brain and only make you feel emotionally worse.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hiya, I meant to say. Those bad thoughts that go through your head are not you going mad. Low levels of important chemicals in you brain makes bits of the brain go a bit hyper. We sense this as impulsive bad thoughts, racing thoughts, etc. Over time flu will help raise the good (inhibitory) chemicals in your brain and those bad impulsive thoughts will go away. I know I've been there myself and now am 100% fine.
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  • Posted

    hi all

    thanks, its god to hear that eventually I may be able to come off flu, I just hope it works first.

    I too feel very tired all the time Im having my tyroide levels checked next week as my doc said they could be wrong and that could be why i feel so rubbish all the time.

    I hope my brain does reset its self as i realy hate this feeling of emptness. Do you all feel so empty its almost like your so bored with life. I feel a bit like a shell just going through the motions but its all very boring for me. I realy dont see the point in it all if its like this hence why i think I need help.

    I went to the Doc yesterday as she just wanted to check I was alive I think, she says it should be 2 weeks before I feel an improvement.

    As for side effects ive had a tiny head ache but I think thats more stress than anything.

    I had one drink last night and have felt very low today im not sure if that is because Im having a low day or the drink.

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  • Posted


    There are many reasons for depression. A low (hypothyroidism) thyroid function can result in lack of energy, being tired all of the time, sleeping a lot, weight gain, lack of motivation, loss of interest in things that normally interest you, poor libido, etc. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidsim) can lead to restlessness, poor sleep, over sensitivity to stress, anxiety and panic attacks. In both cases, if undiagnosed, can eventually lead to depression.

    Your Doctor should test for thyroid function and liver function - a poorly performing liver can also in some cases lead to depression. Your liver is your body's chemical factory and it is an important link in the creation of the chemicals your brain needs to function correctly (why drinking alcohol is not a good idea in the early stages of treatment).

    Also worth checking insulin tolerance levels as blood sugar imbalances may also lead to the symptoms you are feeling – although this is rarer cause of depression, it can be a contributing factor.

    You need to give Fluoxetine a month or so before you decide whether it is making a difference. There are other types of antidepressant medications out there, such as MAO inhibitors (older class of antidepressants), tricyclics (older class of antidepressants) and SNRIs (the newest class of antidepressants). However, flu is the best tolerated and has the least side effects, with minimal cessation (withdrawal) symptoms.

    When I started flu (a SSRI class antidepressant) the first two weeks were hell and I almost gave up. I’m glad I took advice from this site and stuck with it, for a year on I am 100% well again. You will have got into the state you are in over a long period of time – many months if not years. So it can take a little time to “reset” your brain chemistry back to normal levels. However, most people see a big difference in the first 3 to 4 weeks of taking flu.

    Nearly all the chemical reactions in your brain require the assistance of three critical chemicals – they are called co-factors in neurochemistry. These are Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex and EPA/DHA (refined fish oil). Low levels of these can cause severe problems in the synthesis of the chemicals your brain needs to work properly. Supplementing with these Vitamins can help, and there are no recorded bad interactions with Fluoxetine. In fact they may improve the effectiveness of Fluoxetine. Speak to your Doctor if you are unsure.

    And keep of the booze ;-) this really does not help in so many ways in the early stages of treatment – I know I have been there are tried it.

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  • Posted

    hi Garch

    thanks for the info you seem to know your stuff! I have been checked to see if i was diabetic earlier this year as I was very thirsty and tired and again very low, blood came back with nothing.

    I have had theses highs and lows for years but have always managed to pull myself out of them. but this time I cant shake it.

    Ill take everyones advice and stay off the drink (althouh this is hard being a very social 28yr at xmas time) plus how do I get around the fact I cant drink when friends are used to me doing so. I havent told anyone not even the boyfriend Im on flu. to be honest I think many people would be so surprised as everyone seems to think I live a perfect life.

    Its so nice to hear that this numbness may go. Im seeing the doc again at the end of the week.

    thank you all for your support. although I do have people around me i do feel a bit crazy and its nice to really say how i feel and chat to people going through the same thing...and to hear it might just get better

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  • Posted


    When I decided to lay off the beers, I told my friends and work colleagues that I had stomach flu. They seemed to buy that as a reason for me not drinking. After a month on flu I found that the odd drink here and there was ok and didn’t seem to have any bad effects. In fact, the longer I was on flu the less bad effects alcohol had. So I think it’s just a bit of time your body needs to adjust to the effects of flu.

    Because I was scared of what was going on in my head, my way (and everyone is different) of coping was to research the subject. I wasn’t so bad in as much as it was just old plain vanilla moderate depression with generalised anxiety. So I started a part-time foundation course in psychiatric medicine and pharmacology. Once I understood that the way I was feeling was just a physical thing (ie I wasn’t going mad) I became a lot calmer about what was going on. What happens is that the chemical thermostat in the brain sometimes goes a bit wonky which as a result generates emotions such as fear, apathy, withdrawal, boredom, lack of interest in things, bad thoughts, etc without any reason. The “intelligence” part of the brain desperately tries to find a reason for these emotions. When it can find no good reason you feel like you’re going a bit mad. The part of the brain that regulates emotions is very ancient indeed and was designed for our lifestyle 5 million years ago. Modern day living is so so different that it confuses this emotional thermostat (through prolonged exposure to stress, bad diet, pollution, plastics, toxic metals, drugs, etc) that it is no wonder that it gets it wrong in the lifestyle we live today.

    You are clearly a strong person as you have the courage to discuss it with others here. That takes some doing just to discuss as this type of thing is still so taboo in society today. Which is daft as it is just another physical illness that just happens to affect the brain. You just need to be strong for a little while longer and let flu do its work. It would help if you could find someone to talk to, who can support you – like your parents, a very good friend etc. They may not understand what it is like – I remember being told to snap out of it by my girlfriend – but at least they can be there for you when you feel emotionally fragile and vulnerable. Remember that almost one third of people go through this at some point in their life, so you are not alone – and it is more common than people realise.

    I’m sure flu will work for you. I was frightened to leave my house a year ago (and I was, up to that point, a very confident extrovert person who loved going out and talking to people) and now I am finding it hard to remember and feel what those horrible pre-flu emotions felt like. That’s just ten month on and so much has got better.

    Just don’t push yourself to hard in the next few weeks. You need to keep all stressful situations to an absolute minimum - and try and watch films etc that are uplifting or funny. You may not find them funny or uplifting at the moment but over time they have a very positive effect on your mind. Don’t watch bad things on the news, don’t read bad news, don’t watch sad films. It sounds silly but medical research has shown that it does have an effect on your mind – especially when your emotional thermostat has gone a bit wonky (the ancient part of the brain hasn’t yet adapted to a world with TV and Cinema so it subconsciously reacts like it is real).

    If you have had not so good things happen in your past that counselling might be helpful. The brain is an amazing thing and bad events in the past can be helped with things such as CBT and NLP. In fact CBT and Flu together has a very very high success rate. CBT teaches the subconscious part of the brain strategies for coping in a modern world for which is was not designed – and Flu gives an emotional cushion.

    And remember, when you get through this you will be a stronger better person . You will learn much about yo

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  • Posted


    Hhanks for the advice (Ive told work Im on antbiotics so thats got me out of the xmas party drinks!). Im going to just tell my boyfriend im having some tests done re thyroid and let him in gently.

    Your right aout the stigma surrounding depression and I think for many it makes it worse as they fee they cant express how they feel. I would say Im pretty mild as I feel Ive just got to start thinking on the positive and hope these bad thoughts of life is pointless go away as I know they are not right.

    The doctor has given he the number of some one to talk to which I may ring this week.

    Im taking it easy and trying not to feel guilty for soending time on myself rather than rushing round.

    Ill keep you posted asto how this week goes.

    Thanks for the info its made me feel much happier.

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  • Posted

    Hello Supergirl and Garch,

    I have gained a whole lot of information from here, thank you. I have depression and coming off of lofepramine and introducing fluoxetine. It is now day 19 on them. I do have some mild side effects but it is probably due to the medication swap.

    I have been off from work for a month now and work colleages are beginning to as questions. I feel too scared to tell them (or my family) the whole truth and not knowing how they will react or what label they will give me. My work place has not been that supportive, hence my fears and medical leave.

    I have only told one very good friend at work the whole truth, who has been very supportive and a great help to me. It really does help have someone to talk to and being able to talk things over with. It was with the help from my wife and this good friend that I got the courage up and went to seek help/advice from a therapist/counsellor. They both knew I was not right but did not know how to help me until I let them into my world. It seemed a very scary thing to do, to open up and be so honest and frank to a complete stranger. I felt so much better after talking on the phone and to make my first appointment. I had found someone who understands and knows all the feelings, I was not mad but normal. I started back in February and have weekly sessions. I will admit it can be tough at times talking about personal difficult subjects but it does get easier and sometimes we have a good laugh, the good belly laugh that makes you feel good. Each issue I manage to unravel/understand/resolve I feel a little bit stronger and better inside. For me it is an amazing journey of discovery and learning. I now begin to not only understand myself better but also other people. My only regret is that I did not do something earlier instead of suffering in silence for many years using a smile to hide behind. I used to think I was weak for not being able to cope/deal with the intense feelings. I now think that it is a strong person that stands up and asks for help. I would recommend anybody to have a chat to a professional, the tablets help to cushion the emotions but the cause needs to be found and dealt with to get a long term solution.

    This is a really condensed overview of my situation and what has worked and is working for me. I hope it makes some kind of sense? I hope it helps you? I wish I knew of this site back when I felt very scared and alone as it was what I was looking for. I wish you all the best and the courage to keep taking steps forward no matter how small they feel. They soon add up on the journey of recovery and you will soon realise how far forward you have come.

    Look forward to hearing from you all and take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi guys,

    Yes the stigma only makes it worse. So always good to have someone who you can confide in. I wish they’d scrap the words “mental illness” as it is daft and misleading. All illnesses are physiological and physical in nature. It’s just the brain swaps physical moving parts (e.g. like the heart, lungs, muscles, etc) for electrical and chemical “moving” parts. If people have a heart attack then their work / office would fully understand. Why should it be different just because it is the chemistry that affects the contents of our heads, rather than our hearts!!! Low levels of calcium increases the risk of heart attack, low levels of 5-HT makes us feel emotionally poor. Why do people sympathise with one deficiency and not the other – even though over a lifetime the proportion of people that suffer from depression related illnesses are the same in proportions as those with heart related illnesses (about one in three).

    It is always better to seek medical advice ASAP. Prolonged levels of exposure to the stress hormones (released by depression and anxiety) physically damages important components of the brain – such as the hypothalamus and endocrine system. PET scans can identify this because these regions of the brain actually shrink. The GOOD news is that it is reversible. It has been shown that Flu (as well as some other psychotropic medications) actually stimulates chemicals that stimulate HGH, that in turn boosts the number of brain cells, and actually undoes much of the damage. Not only that, but it also increases the cross-linking of the neurons – which is another possible great benefit (intelligence and creativity seems to be linked to the number of cross-links between neurons). Some medical studies are even looking at using flu in an “off-label” way to undo the damage caused by aging and strokes.

    So the quicker you are seen to, the quicker will be the recovery. Growing new neurons takes time ;-)

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  • Posted

    Hi Supergirl,

    Yes you need to absolutely spoil yourself rotten over the next 4 - 6 weeks; so

    Rule (1) Fix youself first,

    Rule (2) Fix yourself first,

    Rule (3) Worry about others.

    For a short six weeks do only exactly what you want to do, not what others want you to do, and not what you think others want you to do. If you said to your pals / boyfriend that you'd go out, but when the night comes you'd rather stay in and have a bath and watch Desperate Housewives, DO THAT. If you fancy a huge bar of 1000 calorie chocolate then DO THAT. If your moms is moaning at you to go over and you feel your just too busy, JUST SAY NO.

    Once you fix yourself, you can help others around you. Be completely selfish for just 6 weeks. Go get your nails done, go look at some nice shoes and bags, go for a massage. Just keep yourself away from stressful situations. This will spped up the theraputic effects of flu.


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  • Posted

    Fruit Loop,

    When people asked me what was up with me last year, I just told them what is was. I just said I had an acute 5-HT deficiency with D1 receptor hyperstimulation. After all that is what is was. And although they didn't have a clue what it meant they took it on board that it was not trivial. If I had said I have depression with generalised anxiety they would have reacted differently I'm sure. If you make it sound medical then people seem to take it on-board more readily, rather than use the \"mental ilness\" words that seem to scare people. Stupid idiots.

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  • Posted


    how are all of you?

    Thought Id sign in with an update. Ive had blood tests and am now waiting for results they should be back next Wed. Im seeing the Doc tomorrow for more tablets, but my doctor is now off sick so Im seeing someone else which I am not looking forward to. Ive decided not to talk to whoever the other person is and just get the tablets.

    Ive had a really bad week and have been in tears the last 2 days for no real reasons other than I feel so empty, alone and bored with life. I dont think its helped that Ive had a bad cold thing this week so not been feeling myself anyway.

    I told my mum this morning I think she kind of understands except she keeps saying I feel like this because of past events and I always get down when its not the summer. When I told her I was not just down but I feel like dying she said tat the family would never get over that...once again living my life for everyone else, i just told her they would get over it and that I wouldnot ruin xmas for them.

    I havent seen my boyfriend for 2 weeks and have no idea how to tell him with out freaking him out but at the moment Im thinking of just ending it with him as he doesnt need all this crap.

    Im hoping Im just having a bad few days and tomorrow Ill be happier. Im going to stick with it for a few more weeks as I know you all say it takes around 4 weeks to feel better.

    Sorry to be all moody on you all but I just needed to get it off my chest.

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  • Posted

    Hiya supergirl,

    Don’t be too hard on yourself now. You’ve only been on Flu for a week or so I think. I remember being all over the place emotionally during my first 2 weeks on Flu. In fact I was worse that I was before I started on Flu during the first week or two. People who haven’t been through this don’t, and will never understand. Flu (as are all prescription antidepressants) is a powerful mind-modifying psychotropic drug – and unless you’ve be on it you will just not get it. People who have not had a clinical form of depression always think that there is a real world reason for depressive feelings – ie it must be because of this thing in the past, things that are happening now. Although this may be a contributing factor, the reasons in fact are clinical – ie chemical.

    Just to illustrate – if a perfectly healthy person were to purposely omit all sources of the Vitamin Bs and Vitamin C from their diet, they would eventually likely develop clinical depressive symptoms, followed by anxiety and panic disorders, compulsive obsessive behaviour, then epileptic seizures and muscular fits, psychosis and eventual mortality.

    Point is that the world around you can be just great, but if you are deficient in one or more critical chemicals all sorts of things start to go wrong with body and mind. Sorting out the chemical (via Fluoxetine) and the behavioural (talking to a counsellor) attacks the issue from both directions and DOES HAVE AN EXCELLENT SUCCESS RATE.

    All the things you feel now I felt just over a year ago – maybe worse as I had generalised anxiety too with minor obsessive compulsive thoughts (bad thoughts about not wanting to carry on). All that is gone now. Completely! But it took a month or so before things started to get better. You just need to hold yourself together for a wee while longer and it will get better. Like me, in a year time I’m sure you will look back and find it hard to remember the emotions you are going through now. I know it is hard to believe, but if you look back at my postings a year ago you will see how bad I was.

    I don’t want to get too technical but the feelings of boredom, lethargy, can’t be bothered, what is the point of it all, etc are ALL a result of chemical deficiencies. The great thing about Flu is that is seems to act the ”excitory” regions of the brain to give you a renewed zest for life, as well as the “inhibitory” to calm your brain and central nervous system.

    If you feel worse in the winter (like me) then a contributing factor might be S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Your brain regulates the chemicals that make you feel happy and motivated use daylight to regulate their levels in the brain. This has been clinically proven. Your eyes are directly linked to a region of the brain that regulates these chemicals. During the winter this mechanism sometimes does not work properly (especially in sensitive individuals) because there are not enough hours of sunlight. Human beings emerged from the equatorial regions of the Earth millions of year ago with 12hrs of daylight and 12hrs of darkness. Our brains have not yet adapted to the fact that we no longer live near to the middle of the Earth with 12hrs of sunlight every day. This disrupts the daily circadian cycle (our internal clock) which means in winter we don’t generate enough of the chemicals our brain’s require. In the Northern Hemisphere there is a peak of patients reporting depressive symptoms in February – the lowest level of reported depressive symptoms in August.

    You can buy (or your doctor can prescribe) a special medical-class daylight SAD lamp that you can use once a day to correct for this winter daylight deficiency. In fact, as I sit here in my office, I have my SAD lamp on beside me. The light contains no ultraviolet so it is safe for your eyes and skin.

    Take each day as it comes and try and not worry about what other people might think, or what you are going to tell them, etc. This will j

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  • Posted


    How was everyones xmas?

    Garch thank you so much for all your info and advice its been so helpfull and I have used much of it to explain whats going on with me to others.

    I am starting to feel better and now do not feel so low every day. So for thoses of you who want to stop keep going there is a light! The second week was very emotional for me but I think that was me more than the tablets as I have many high and low times. At the mo though I seem far more relaxed and just feel happier (like the feeling you get when something good has just happened)

    I still cant cope with any stressfull situations and am hoping that in time the hole they put me in will feel less deep. I also feel like I cant deal with big crowds for a long time as feel a little out of the link.

    As for telling people you all may be surprised as to how much support you get. I told my best friends who said they are not surprised that this would happen as Ive been through a lot over the last 2 years. They made me feel more human and in fact one of there husbands has been on prozac.

    I would say to all dont drink to much I find i can have the odd glass and a half of wine but any more and I feel terrible, and Im sure like you all I want to get better so eat more chocolate and drink less wine!

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