My Prozac Journey- Path to Recovery

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Hello Everyone,

I promised myself that I would be back to provide input and support if I recover as others have helped me on this website when I was spending every day googling "How long does it take for prozac to work" "how long does a dose increase take to work" Will this ever work? Etc. 

About me: 

I have anixety, ocd , which causes some depression, but basically anxiety/ panic attack. 

 Started prozac on sep 14th 2016 - after 10mg lexapro stopped working after 2 years. When it worked, It was like I was back to normal, it took some time for it to work but once it did, i thought i am set. Then, it stopped working, and began my life of googling. I was trying to find an answer: i tried increasing went to 15mg Prozac for 8 weeks, then increased again to 20mg, and it just made me worse. I wasn’t able to sleep, got random mood swings, etc. “what if I am going crazy.  I was told by  doctors that I might need two medicine, since OCD is complicated, which made me feel even worse etc. So I switched to Prozac and for the first 3 months, it was Hell. When I Say hell, I mean hell:

 side effects I had for different weeks:

1.    Joint pain

2.    Dizziness

3.    Increased anxiety

4.    Irritability

5.    Increased depression 

6.    Fever like symptoms

7.    Sleepiness 

8.    Etc.

9.    Intrusive thoughts (ocd)

10.  Easily startled, sensitive to sound for a few days, like anxiety


Prozac Dosage:


I started at 20mg, stayed for 6 weeks, hoping it would work. Finally, went to 40mg, thinking it should be enough, again waited 6 weeks, and felt better, but not okay as dr. told me that , 60mg would be a  good dose for OCD etc. So I finally caved in, and went to 60mg, after 5 weeks on 60mg, I am good, much better, almost normal? 90% lol Each dose increase was really hard, really hard. I started worrying more, do I need more medication, etc. it was just a dark tunnel, looking back.  




So, what helped me was the following:

After I reached 60mg, I was able to function, still had anxiety, but thanks to support from family, gf, I started to walk.  As I walked with my symptoms, I felt a sense of ease I never felt before. I felt connected with nature, at peace. So I started walking every day, and It just made me feel more human. So I started looking into exercise and mental health. I have heard its good, but what does that really mean its good? So based on my research, and do your own! I found that exercise changes the brain. It makes you calmer, improves mood, and basically helps with every condition known to man. So, the more I looked into exercise, and I realized that we were meant to exercise every day, based on our hunter gatherer past etc. but last 100 years or so, we became less active. Always sitting down most of our time, which is crazy if you think about it. We are not living like humans anymore, we live like a zombie. All this energy we have built in, but we spend most days sitting, and I realized now that had an effect on me. Studies have shown, people that move vs. stay still, tend not be as depressed, or anxious. Basically, what exercise does to the body, no medicine can ever do. Just look up exercise and mental health. Your brain will adapt and change to what you give it. If you stay home all day, or don’t move, your brain literally gets smaller because it has no real use. Exercise, or moving everyday gets your body doing what it has been doing for 1000s of years, and that is just the first step of my recovery.

So, what life style changes did I make?

I exercise every day, and the 2nd part of my recovery, I eat a human diet. What is a human diet? Eat things you can pronounce and are part of nature. Not going vegan, or vegetarian here. Fast food went out, I used to eat out twice a day, weekends different restaurants, etc.  skip breakfast etc. I ate like crap because why not, it tasted really good. Now I eat egg whites or fruits for breakfast, vegetable salmon for lunch , dinner is fruits and light snacks, very little sugar, if  any and I feel like am reborn. My energy is 2x, my focus is 3x, and my relationships improved. I slowly made these changes because feeling like crap after eating can go on so long. I cringe now, when I walk by grocery store, looking at the crap I used to eat, oh lord. IF you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Take a look at the ingredients, say of pretzels and ask yourself, what is in that? Start googling them and you will learn yourself like I did lol.


So, you may realize I didn’t mention Prozac at all.  Does it help me? HECK Yes. It allowed me to get stable, but I always felt like It was out of my control until I started working out.  Do I still have bad days, Yes, or intrusive thoughts, YES! But, they come and go, and are in the background now.


My advice to you:

Please, look up exercise and mental health, and once medicine gives you some benefit start going outside. Just be outside. Then start walking, if you feel like it, else just spend time outside, and start moving. Look at diet, if it interests you, but Diet and exercise has helped me gain much more control than Prozac did, ( I still love Prozac) . Prozac helped me get through life, and exercise and diet has helped me live life. I could go on and on about how bad I felt at times, or how hopeless I felt, or life is over etc. I will be on medicine for rest of my life. Etc. I felt horrible, and I didn’t know what else to do besides hope my medicine works. Once it kind of did, I made an life style chance, that I didn’t make while on Lexapro.


Is exercise going to solve all your probems? Lol no. But should you exercise? No. you must. It is in our DNA and not doing it, is what is really effecting us in a way we won’t understand till years from now.


Anyways, how is life ? pretty good. Why? Prozac + moving  body + eating normal food again. I am now more grateful, energetic, happier.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Great post! Right in target. Finishing my 10th week on Prozac at 20mg and starting to recover. As you said the path to recovery is hell. But you have to push through and exercising is crucial.
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  • Posted

    I am now more agressive before taking i was not? I m taking 20mg ...Sudden anger outburst
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  • Posted

    Thank you for the positive post. I did get outside today and hope to continue though my anxiety is sky high...I'm trying to do something to challenge these anxious fears daily now....Sometimes I don't feel I'll survive it, but I try and make steps forward.

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  • Posted

    Hi Raiyan! Thank you for coming back to write your story, so glad you are doing okay. Just wondering.. when you say you felt good on 40mg how does that compare to the good you felt on 60mg? And did you notice the change quickly? Like you I've been building up slowly from the start of October and have been on 40mgs for 4 weeks. I'm doing okay. Some good days but a lot of average days.

    Am wondering if I should give 40mgs more time or think about going up to 60!!

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    • Posted

      i increased it based on dr. i thought 40 was working, then i had a bad week or so, so he asked me to increase, i waited for as long as i could lol. i increased from 6 weeks at 20mg, 5 weeks @ 40mg, if you are already doing okay at 40mg, track your symtoms less, and spend more time outside distreacted etc. 
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