Prozac for eight years. What now?

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Joined this forum last night; stayed a little later at work because I didn't want to share a lift to the car park with the others who were leaving at the same time.

Read a few of the messages on here. Then sat in my car and cried before driving home.

Now, I've not done that [cried] for a good while. This morning, I have done the same [cried] three times.

I just forgot [stopped] taking my 60mgs of fluoxetine during the two weeks I had off work recently. I didn't need these any more did I? What do they do anyway? I've nothing to be 'depressed' about any more. Young family, good job. Why do I need them? Let's get off them after eight years [longer than this on and off] and perhaps go for some herbal remedies if needed and some exercise [As if! I have three kids!].

But it's not that easy is it. Anger crept back in and, when I started back to work - an environment outside of my home where I have to socially interact - I clam up. I cannot bring myself to make eye contact and can barely speak to people. 

In short, I am rude, ill-mannered, uninterested, angry, miserable. I cannot operate 'normally'.

Is this the umbrella of 'depression' or am I simply arrogant, ignorant, poorly educated and, indeed, bloody rude? 

When I increased from 40mg to 60mg a while ago, I never felt more confident in my own ability; belief I have never had or lacked for what feels like a lifetime and more.

So this morning I took three 20mg prozac pills. What does it matter if I continue to take them, if I can be 'normal', operate on a level playing field with 'the others' in the future...


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  • Posted

    Hi, I've been taking anti-depressants for nearly 20 years and fluoxetine for the past few years. I was on 20mg and after doing an nhs time to talk counselling course I was advised that as I kept relapsing on 20mg that I should increase my dose. I had to slowly increase by taking 30mg for some time and then 40mg. I've been taking 40mg for about a year now and still keep relapsing. I'm now trying to slowly increase to 60mg. I've struggled with side effects and trying to work at the same time. I feel I could've increased quicker if I hadn't been working. I feel your symptoms are and umbrella of depression and NO you are not arrogant, ignoranat, poorly educated and bloody rude. When I've been off meds or on lower doses I have felt the same way. The main issue I have with depression/anxiety is extreme fatigue, which can easily cause all of the above symptoms. I have to say I now take the same view as you and I would rather feel a bit 'normal' and operate on a level playing field with the others. As you say what does it matter! If you had a physical illness you wouldn't think twice about taking the necessary medication. I also have a lovely family, several good friends, a lovely home, a job and my lovely dog to keep me company when I'm at home ...... so like you I have no reason to be depressed and it is very frustrating but I have to look at it as the physical lack of serotonin in the brain that causes my issues. I wish you all the best for the future and in my view just keep taking the meds. Why feel miserable if you don't have to,

    Take Care, H

  • Posted

    Hi GC03

    First of all let me tell you - you have an illness and are suffering from its nasty symptoms.  Im sure you don't mean to come over as rude etc., but you can't help how you feel at the moment.

    When you're suffering from depression you'll probably have low levels of Serotonin, our happy hormones.  Without Serotonin, or low levels of it, you won't be able to function properly and you'll feel tired, depressed, emotional, angry, unsociable, think inwardly, negative thoughts and a whole host of other things and just feel absolutely awful.  Taking Prozac, or any other SSRI hangs onto our Serotonin before it is reabsorbed into the brain, making us feel happier, able to function normally etc.

    I take it you've come off Prozac?  You shouldn't just stop taking it as it can make you feel quite unwell.  There is nothing wrong in having to take medication if needed, and these can be taken for life.  Some people have to take meds for epilepsy, diabetes etc and depression is just another illness that often has to be maintained.

    I've taken SSRI's for about 18 years, as without them I can't function and suffer from depression - almost what you've described.  I was on 20mg of Citalopram initially but eventually found I could maintain my wellness on 10mg, and eventually 5mg.  If you don't want to take Prozac may I suggest the following:

    When you're off SSRI's try a natural SSRI called 5-HTP which needs to be taken with l-tyrosine.  Both can be bought from Holland & Barrett (if you're in the UK) and you need to take them both.  Read a book called 5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity by Michael T Murray ........ it's a really interesting read.

    You need to be off SSRI's completely before starting 5-HTP as they must not be taken together.

    I came off my meds over a year ago and have had great success with them, though I did have to restart Citalopram due to family illness which stressed me out, but am back down to 5mg and will come off next year and back onto 5-HTP.

    I would however go see your doctor as I cant recommend which meds you take.  Obviously your doctor will look more favourably towards Prozac or similar type.

    5-HTP is only for when you don't want to be on meds anymore.

    It might be worth buying the book though as it tells you a lot about serotonin and its affect on your body.

    Remember, you're not well, and though you may beat yourself up about it all at the moment, you will get back up on top.

    I need to always take meds, as without them I feel unwell.

    You will be yourself again.  xx


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