Week 4 of Fluoxetine and getting a spike

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi all,

I started to take 20mg of Fluoxetine nearly 4 weeks ago due to high anxiety following loss of a job, loneliness and feelings of guilt.

For me, the second week was absolutely terrible, had to call an emergency service mental health line one night.

But then things calmed down and I started to feel good, great even. Better than I'd felt in years. Actually thinking this is who I'm supposed to be, this is the better person that I was before.

I had believed this was all due to the Fluoxetine resetting my anxiety levels to normal levels that others experience.

But then yesterday, out of nowhere, I started to have anxiety build up through the day to the point where last night I could not sleep. It wasn't as bad as what I'd experienced during my second week, but I'm disappointed because I thought I had turned a corner and I had a bright new future now to look forward too.

Have others had similar experiences please?

Thank you.

2 likes, 26 replies

26 Replies

  • Edited

    I am only a week and a bit ahead of you, so obviously I'm no expert but my experience has been very similar, although not quite so intense.

    Between 14th - 30th January, I had 17 days that were either OK or Very Good, and 5 of the VG ones felt "normal", though only 2 of them consecutively. Then a poor (but not dreadful) day, and then 2 days with ok bits mixed with poor bits.

    From all I read - and I spend a ludicrous amount of time reading and re-reading posts on here for reassurance! - both your and my pattern seems par for the course for a few weeks more yet. All we can do is keep on, and try to be reassured that "normal" is possible: I don't know about you but I didn't believe normal could ever be refound. Clearly it can.

    Here's hoping we get an up phase soon.

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply.

      As you say, it is reassuring to read messages from you and others who have experienced similar things.

      I just hope at the end, it just does what I want, calm me down so I can live and enjoy a life without such high levels of anxiety.

      It was just that I thought I was coming out the other side after the third week, but this has kind of got me worried if it will work in the end.

  • Edited

    Hi Calum

    4 weeks is too early for meds to balance in your body, it will take up to 12 weeks or more sometimes. Recovery on meds is not liner, it has ups and downs until its fully settles. What are you going through its normal. Its not magic pill, its long process of ups and downs.

    So its ok, be patient, it takes time

    • Edited

      Hi, Nataliya.

      That reassurance is so good to hear, thank you!

  • Edited

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    It means a lot to know that this is normal and to be expected, that in itself helps to ease the anxiety.

    I will continue on my journey and will hopefully find some long term peace in some weeks time.

    • Edited

      i have been on this forum since October 2022 - thats when i start my medication. It was long painful road - you can read my posts- it took me a year to get where i am now. Believe me , if i was able to do it - you will too.

      Just dont put timeframe on recovery - it happens for every one of us differently, we are not the same. Dont compare your recovery to anybody's. Because you setting up expectations, time frame on someone else recovery and if it is not happening for you the same you will start to get even more anxious, will run to doctor - and doctor has only one answer - increase or change meds. Yes maybe someone will need to change meds but before quiting give it a time to work, give time to your body and brain to accept it. Compare your recovery on monthly basis to your previous month, not to someone's. Write the diary - and you will see shifts and changes, sometimes they are so minor that we not considering as recovery - your appetite might get better, you might start sleep better, you made a joke or felt as yourself for few minutes... Its all progress, its recovery, and by the way you describe it - its happening to you i can tell.

      Patience, time and self care. You will get there as i did even though i never believed i will. But support on this forum helped me enormously.

      You are not alone and there is amazing days ahead, trust me

    • Posted

      Thank you so much once again for your words of encouragement.

      It was just that I thought I'd turned a corner that I got disappointed that I now feel like I'm back to where I was at the beginning (though not as bad as where I was at the end of week 1), but I can see that there are always ups and downs with this medication and with life too. In many ways it is leading me to live a better life than I was previously, and for that I am grateful.

      I think the key is probably not allowing myself to get down too much when the anxiety starts, and be reassured it's just a trough I will come out of soon.

      I have been writing a diary since I started on the meds and rate how I feel at the end of each day. Last week for example I felt positive nearly every day.

      I will take a look at your other posts in this forum.

      As you say, this is a very supportive forum, full of lovely and encouraging people and stories.

    • Edited

      Those downs, we calling them "blips" are part of the recovery. And when they happen we feel like we back to square one, but its not true, this process is like 3 steps forward than 2 steps back.. Its normal..

      Those blips will happen but they will get lighter every time and than they will stop. Just be patient. Blips are very good time to practice acceptance. When you going through this blip try to live every day as you would usually do when you are anxiety free. It wont be easy but this the way to train tour brain that there is no danger, that everything is ok. But when we are reacting to the blip by trying to get rid of it - breathing, meditating, diging through internet - all this sending signal to brain that something wrong and you trying to fix it. Dont try to fix it. Just go ahead with your day as you would usually do. Acceptance and medication will help you and soon all this will be just a memory.

      try to find book called "untangle your anxiety" it will give you so much useful information about anxiety.

    • Posted

      Thank you once again, that is very good advice.

      Today I am actually doing what I normally would and I do and I believe it is helping. It's only when I stop and let my mind think that it gets worse.

      I think keeping busy is a good thing, it makes me feel worthwhile and gives me positive feelings, even though there have been days when the anxiety can feel so debilitating.

      This "blip" is in no way as bad as the one I had a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully any future ones will be less impactful, and less frequent, but as you say it will take time and requires patience.

      I think once if I can have some anxiety free days again soon, like I had last week, that will help reassure me personally. It's probably very easy to think when you're in a "blip" that this feeling isn't going to change.

      Thank you for the advice on the book, I will take a look.

    • Edited

      I am sure you will be fine, even better than fine. I remember those moments when i was scared of not been busy... but it will pass, and you will again enjoy quiet morning with cap of coffee just sitting and enjoying surrounding..

      Moments when you feel anxious dont try to jump and start doing anything - its avoiding - telling your brain its danger and i need to do something about it. Instead just slow down and keep going whatever you were doing.

      Blips are scary because they make us think we are turning for a worse or meds not working and fear to stuck line that forever.

      Scary thoughts getting glued to our mind.

      But all that will pass in time.

      Stay strong and positive. I am here anytime you want to talk

    • Posted

      Thank you again for your kind words of support.

      I think once the anxiety ball starts rolling it can be difficult to stop it at times to the point of catastrophising.

      I did actually calm down by the end of yesterday to nearly normal proportions, but this morning kinda back to where I was.

      I had a follow up appointment with my doctor this morning to see how things are going. He asked if I wanted to double the dose to 40mg (as it turns out 20mg is quite low, 60mg is average apparently), so as I was feeling rather anxious at the time I said yes to it.

      I am actually not feeling too bad right now, so am going to just see how things go for the rest of today before I commit to 40mg.

      Thank you for saying you're here to talk to, you are very generous and it means a lot.

    • Posted

      Just did some googling and 60mg seems to be the max so maybe should try to stick with 20mg. Will see how things go, but right now, I'm okay.

    • Posted

      its not even 4 weeks.. Its very very early, even doctors advise to give 8-12weeks..

      Dont rush

    • Posted

      Okay, will do.

      I'm feeling okay right now.

      It's a strange one anxiety, just thinking about it can bring it on. The mind is a crazy ole thing really.

      Just as an aside, I've noticed my eye sight has got worse since I started on it.

    • Edited

      trust me nothing wrong with your sight - remember what i told you - you still might have side effects, blurry vision, dry eyes and anxiety magnifies all sensations making you think something wrong with you. I had all that, every few days my anxiety was concentrating on something different - hart too fast, hart too slow, shaky hands ( i was sure its Parkinson) and etc.

      You are ok. Anxiety will lessen and all those sensations and thoughts will go away, trust me

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your supportive and reassuring words.

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