I was prescribed Sertraline (Zoloft) in 1998 when I had postnatal depression. I was told to take it for a year to 18 months. I went from deep depression/anxiety to euphoria in the space of about two weeks, I felt pretty damned fantastic, there was nothing I couldn’t handle. As time went on I continued to feel well but my emotions were dampened down, so I was functioning well, no depression, but no “joy” either. After a few months of feeling well I decided I didn’t want to be on Sertraline anymore, didn’t read the patient information leaflet or talk to a doctor, not that that would have helped anyway. I just stopped taking them. My head felt terrible, it began to feel water logged, if I turned my head there was a time lag between my eye balls catching up with the fact that my head had turned, so dizzy, gradually intense sadness would kick in, really really intense sadness and anxiety, oh the anxiety, pumping adrenaline and nerves shot to bits. I went back on the Sertraline.
The doctor told me to do the alternate day thing, alternate days for a fortnight,then every third day for a fortnight, then one tablet a week, I did this various times over the next few years to no avail. I tried a pill cutter and halving the tablet, it wouldn’t break down easily without crumbling so that was unsuccessful. Every time I tried something, I ended up in worse shape than the time before, it was all getting steadily worse. I tried meditation, healing, exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling, fish oil capsules, NOTHING touched it. I pressured my surgery to refer me to a psychiatrist for advice,but the psychiatrist had no clue and could only recommend switching to another drug. I did switch to Citalopram for a while, and Mirtzapine, I felt constant fatigue on Mirtzapine, and then back to Sertraline. Yet another psychiatrist recommended halving my dose of Sertraline and taking diazepam to mitigate the withdrawals, so replace one powerful drug with an even more powerful addictive drug.
This is my description of how withdrawal felt from my blog, I only recently found out that what was happening had a name,akathisia:

“5am and for about the 3rd night in a row I’ve barely slept, I can’t stop the adrenaline pumping round my body, my stomach is tightly knotted, I’ve barely been able to eat properly it makes me feel sick. I’m clammy, sweating and crying and P is trying to reassure me, but he has to go to work. I get up and drag myself through all the motions of the day and making sure boys get to school, I feel like the living dead, I make sure they get fed and make sure they and no one else is aware of what’s going on, I don’t hang around at the school gates. Oh I do kind of tell a few people I’m not really feeling right but I play it down.
The constant adrenaline is tormenting me on the inside and I can’t stop it.It’s been building up over a period of months and I’ve been fighting and fighting the feelings but it seems to have reached a peak of exquisite torture.It’s like being at the top of a roller coaster that never stops. Someone else mentioned birdsong, and it was a funny thing, the torture was worse in the mornings and over the summer months while it was slowly building, birdsong in the morning outside the window had become a kind of torture as well. I had to go to work only 2 days a week and God only knows how I managed it. I had taken
my last Sertraline tablet months ago, and come off it as per the doctors instructions, and now my depression/anxiety was back tenfold to punish me for daring to presume I could stop taking it. I must be wired up wrong, no one else feels like this do they? What is wrong with me? Maybe I really am insane, maybe I just can’t cope with life without my tablets, how come everyone else can cope with life, and I can’t? There must be something fundamentally wrong with me. By now the Orwell Bridge was beginning to look a bit attractive and I just wanted to escape the adrenaline surges torturing me, my nerves were in shreds”.
This was 2003,at the end of 2003 I gave in and went back on the sertraline.

In 2006 I attempted another withdrawal, but at the same time we found ourselves going through a stressful life event, I tried to tough it out but ended up back on the Sertraline again.
So here I was, several years later and no further forward, and not for wont of trying! Everytime I went in a book shop or library I would try and find anything I could about antidepressants and depression, but nothing really enlightened me. I rummaged around on the internet but couldn’t find the answers. Until one day, I was browsing around Waterstones, and “Coming off Antidepressants” by Joseph Glenmullen jumped out at me, I read it avidly, and discovered TAPERING!!! But, all the examples in the book referred to liquid Seroxat or Prozac, I was really upset to find Sertraline was not available in liquid form. Armed with my new information about the simple concept of tapering, further digging led me to Dr Healy’s protocol of switching to the equivalent dose of liquid Prozac. These two pieces of information became my secret hope, I latched onto them. I decided to take a leap of faith and switch to liquid Prozac. At the beginning of 2007 I marked up my calendar with a schedule, I was going to go down from 5ml to 4.90ml the first week, 4.80ml the next week and so on, as my sons would say “epic fail”. By about mid February the nightmare was unfolding again and I had to give in and go back to the top of my Prozac dose, I was devastated.
Still I hadn’t given up hope, P was sympathetic but he couldn’t understand why I didn’t just give it up and accept I “needed” the drugs like a diabetic needs insulin. After lots more research, and P having interesting and enlightening conversations with a client who was a pharmacist about my problem, I started my taper again in May 2008, this time much much slower and here I am four years later down to 1ml liquid Prozac and still sucessfully tapering. It has needed a lot of self-discipline. I kept this blog/diary of my progress; I’ve been amazed to meet a few others who have been tapering longer than me. Nowadays my withdrawals are fairly benign, but I still feel a bit scarred from the experience,the akathisia has left me still feeling like my nerves are quite raw and very close to the surface but I can live with that now.
There is a huge assumption that these drugs are benign and harmless, they are not; they can cause extreme agitation and internal torture. They are dished out like smarties and people left to deal with the results. Starting them is like playing a game of Russian Roulette, you might be a lucky one who can take them and come off them with ease, or you might not. My understanding was that they were meant to be taken for only a year or so after you feel “well” but many many people are stuck on them for years or forever, I know many people who’ve given up hope of coming off SSRI’s and I hear many people say “oh I’ll be on these the rest of my life”. There is NO support or advice in place through doctors or psychiatrists on how to taper safely off the drugs.....if anyone does find any help in the UK, please let me know, although it’s a bit too late for me now as I’ve almost done it myself, but I know a lot of other people who might like to know!

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year (from somone who hates new year!)

Yes Happy New Year, even though I hate it and hate January and February and don't believe in making New Years resolutions, after all you're just setting yourself up for failure, and if you're ready to do something that time will happen at any time in the year and not the 1st January. Ba humbug! Roll on Easter LOL

OK regardless of the above, my hopes for 2012 are that by next new year I hope I will be off of Prozac if I play my cards right this year (but what will I do with this blog at that point? It will have fulfilled it's purpose? carry on blogging the issues? or wrap it up and just support others in the cause?).

I want to see my oldest son settled and happy and following a particular path in life.

I want to see my younger son continue to do well at school despite his dyslexia.

I want our business to really really grow this year.

I want to make time to enjoy my piano more.

I want my friend who has had a really crap 2011 have a fantastic 2012 where everything comes right for her.

I want all my loved ones and friends to have a good 2012.

I want to meet a particular friend in person who I've been talking to on Facebook for sometime now, and have a really good chat about the ishoos and share (Abilify Danger). I hope to strengthen my friendship with others who I've met through my blog as well.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Skool Playground

So I was chatting to another Mum in the school playground, she was a very gregarious, extrovert personality, I can’t even remember how the conversation started or what it was about originally but it must have been quite personal, I confessed that I was on antidepressants, I thought I was probably the only person in the playground who’d had to resort to the shame of using antidepressants. Oh no, she soon put me straight, she was as well, and see so and so over there? She’s on them! And that one over there? and such a body you know, so and so’s Mum...



You could’ve knocked me down with a feather, I’m not sure what shocked me more, finding out that so many other people in the playground were also on antidepressants or the fact that she knew they all were, and how long before everyone in the playground would know I was as well?





My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!!

(Maybe this time next year I will be celebrating a Prozac & Lustral free Christmas :)  )


Prozac Reduction Timeline

Sunday, 18 December 2011

1.30ml - for Christmas

So today I am going to 1.30ml, just over 5 weeks since I went to 1.40ml.
If I don't do it now it could be ages, given that I hate January and the long winter months after Christmas. Got to keep moving on though!

Already pondering what I'll do when I get to 1ml and how to proceed at that point.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

My Prozac Tapering Timeline vs MHRA SSRI Learning Module Advice on Withdrawal

It seemed quite timely to post my timeline as a blog post, I already have it as a seperate page on here which I keep updated.
The MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) have recently published updated guidelines for UK doctors and health care professionals on SSRI's.
SSRI Learning Module: Withdrawal (discontinuation) Effects
One of the things the learning module says is that antidepressants can be withdrawn quite easily and gradual withdrawal can be staged over 4 weeks?!?! 4 weeks, it's taking me 4 freaking years!!!! It also says that people with severe problems can seek specialist advice, where is the specialist advice?? the specialist advice I got was my doctor writing to a psychiatrist for me and getting a letter back advising patient to halve her Prozac and be given Temazepan to mitigate the withdrawals I was suffering, so that's great, substitute one powerful addictive drug with ANOTHER powerful addictive drug. I resorted to getting my specialist advice from books and the internet. I think the doctors think I'm a freak, but it's no wonder if this is the advice they are being given, the sad thing is there are loads of us out there who have struggled with getting off SSRI's and loads of people who don't know they are struggling with a powerful drug because they think the problem is theirs and their mental health and not the drug. It really is a head f***.

My friend Mr Fiddaman has been posting extensively and writing to the MHRA about these issues here: Seroxat Sufferers Stand Up and Be Counted go take a look.

The other issue is that a lot of people want to get off the drug so fast, I fell into that trap numerous times, you just want it out of your system as fast as possible. I learned the hard way that it really isn't worth rushing it, if you're feeling bad, hold at that dose for as long as it takes to feel well again before making another reduction, you can see my timeline below is really haphazard, I threw out the calendar and schedules, just didn't work for me, listen to your body and head, play the long game if you have to, be the tortoise and not the hare!!

I'm at a stage now where my dose is so low it would be really tempting to just drop it totally, go straight from 1.40ml to 0 but I don't want to risk throwing away all my hard work and ending up back at square one because I know I am sensitive to withdrawal.








 25th May 2008 4.90ml


10th June 2008 4.80ml

14th July 2008 4.70ml


14th Aug 2008 4.60ml


14th Oct 2008 4.50ml

25th Nov 2008 6 months

3rd Dec 2008 4.40ml

24th Jan 2009 4.25ml

11th April 2009 4.10ml

18th April 2009 3.90ml

17th May 2009 3.80ml

25th May 2009 1 Year

6th July 2009 3.60ml

22nd Aug 2009 3.50ml

2nd Oct 2009 3.30ml

14th Nov 2009 3.20ml

25th Nov 2009 18 Months

24th Dec 2009 3.10ml

31st Jan 2010 2.90ml

6th March 2010 2.70ml

10th April 2010 2.60ml

25th May 2010 2 Years

5th June 2010 2.50ml

3rd July 2010 2.40ml

7th Aug 2010 2.30ml

18th Sep 2010 2.20ml

23rd Oct 2010 2.00ml

25th Nov 2010 2 Years 6 months

18th Dec 2010 1.90ml

2nd March 2011 1.80ml

28th April 2011 1.70ml

25th May 2011 3 Years

10th June 2011 1.60ml

23rd July 2011 1.50ml

10th Nov 2011 1.40ml

25th Nov 2011 3 Years 6 Months





















Sunday, 27 November 2011

Positive Comments Mean so Much

I've had some really encouraging, positive and supportive comments lately from people about my progress, on here, by e mail, through Facebook and in person and I just wanted to say that the positive encouragement means far more to me than you probably realise. It makes me feel really positive about my progress. I've also made some great new friends.




Prozac Reduction Timeline

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Dizzy

So I've been feeling a bit like this today:















But it's a walk in the park compared to feeling like:






















Sunday, 13 November 2011

We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver (we need to talk about Prozac)




I haven’t seen the film yet, I’m going to see it with my oldest son who is the same age as the fictional Kevin, he’s interested in the book and film as well, but I have read the book twice now. This second time I’ve read it from a different angle, I was interested in reading it from the Prozac and antidepressants angle and the connection with teenagers being prescribed antidepressants and the increasing correlation between SSRI use in teenagers (and adults) and violence and suicide. In the book however it is clear that Kevin has done his research and cynically starts taking Prozac to use it as a defence for his horrific crime. The book is really about the nature/nurture debate and Kevin is every parents worst nightmare.


Whilst it is an excellent book and one that I couldn’t put down, it’s a shame especially now that it’s been turned into a film that it has a negative impact on the debate surrounding the link between SSRI’s and violence and suicide. At the same time I was reading “We Need to Talk About Kevin” this article landed in my mail box about a case where there was a landmark legal confirmation of the fact that the newer antidepressants like Prozac can cause violence and even murder.

Link to this article

Judge confirms Prozac caused teen to murder based on Peter Breggin M.D.'s court report and testimony to the Provincial Court of Manitoba, Canada. Boy sentenced and to be released in 10 months


Peter R. Breggin, MD


"This is a landmark legal confirmation of the scientific fact that the newer antidepressants like Prozac, including the SSRI and SNRI antidepressants, can cause violence and even murder." ~ Peter R. Breggin MD


(PRWEB) November 08, 2011


Final sentencing for the teenager who inexplicably murdered his friend while on Prozac occurred November 4, 2011. The case involved a Winnipeg, Canada teenage high school student with no prior history of violence who, while chatting in his home with two friends, abruptly stabbed one of them to death with a single wound to the chest according to court documents. Provincial Court Judge Robert Heinrichs based his decision upon psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, M.D.'s report and formal testimony to the court according to the Judge's Opinion.


In the case of “Her Majesty the Queen and C.J.P” (Citation #2011 MBPC 62), in the Provincial Court of Manitoba, Canada, Judge Robert Heinrichs gave the boy a three-year sentence, less time already served, so that he has only 10 months remaining in jail. The judge additionally required community supervision for four years.


Psychiatrist and expert witness for the defense Peter R. Breggin, M.D. said, "This is a landmark legal confirmation of the scientific fact that the newer antidepressants like Prozac, including the SSRI and SNRI antidepressants, can cause violence and even murder."



Dr. Breggin testified that the boy’s primary care physician and his parents alerted the prescribing psychiatric clinic to his deteriorating condition, which included agitation, anger and mood swings. But the clinic continued the Prozac and then doubled it. Seventeen days later, the teen knifed his friend to death, according to court documents.


Provincial court judge Robert Heinrichs read Dr. Breggin’s report and listened to his expert testimony in court. In his written opinion, Judge Heinrichs found “Dr. Breggin's explanation of the effect Prozac was having on C.J.P.'s behaviour both before that day and in committing an impulsive, inexplicable violent act that day corresponds with the evidence; as Dr. Breggin states in his report, there was no significant deliberation or organization by C.J.P. that afternoon.”


Earlier in the year on September 16, 2011 Judge Hendrichs issued his opinion that the sixteen-year-old should be tried as a youth instead of an adult. The judge found that “his mental deterioration and resulting violence would not have taken place without exposure to Prozac." Also confirming Dr. Breggin’s lengthy report and testimony, the judge found , "He has none of the characteristics of a perpetrator of violence. The prospects for rehabilitation are good."


In his report and testimony, Dr. Breggin found that the boy's symptoms were consistent with a Prozac (fluoxetine) Induced Mood Disorder with Manic Features and that he would not have committed the violence if he had not been given the antidepressant. He also testified that the teen had improved dramatically when removed from the Prozac after a few months in jail and that he was no longer a danger to himself or others. He brought numerous independent scientific studies to court confirming that a large percentage of youth exposed to the newer antidepressants will develop these hazardous adverse drug reactions. He also noted that the observations and even the wording of his own earlier scientific publications had been included into the information now found in the official FDA-approved labels. Dr. Breggin’s scientific articles concerning antidepressants can be found on his website at: http://breggin.com.


The defense attorney in the case was Greg Brodsky of Manitoba.


Peter R. Breggin, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in Ithaca, New York, and the author of dozens of scientific articles and more than twenty scientific and popular books. His two most recent books deal with medication induced violence: Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Second Edition, and Medication Madness: the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime. Dr. Breggin's home website is http://www.breggin.com where many of his scientific reports on antidepressants and other subjects can be retrieved. On April 13-15, 2012 in Syracuse, New York, the annual conference of Dr. Breggin's 501c3 nonprofit international organization,the Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, will be held. The conference will include a panel of lawyers, experts, survivors and families concerning antidepressant-induced violence, suicide, and crime


It’s great though that someone like Peter Hitchens has written about this book and the need to talk about antidepressants and I suppose I’ve more or less duplicated what Peter Hitchens has written.

Link to Peter Hitchens article

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Stigma - Or You Wouldn't Know it to Look at her Would you?

Or maybe I’m flattering myself and you did always suspect there was something? So I’m not clinically depressed now but it’s always “there” lurking in the background.


I’ve been thinking a lot about stigma lately because it came to my attention again this week that I still find it really difficult to talk about depression/PND to people in real life who don’t know about it. The irony is that I actually find it quite easy to share on a blog with strangers and potentially the whole wide world. How ironic is that?
Why is it so easy socially to say “I’m diabetic” or “I have asthma” but nearly impossible to say “I have post natal depression” or “depression” or “anxiety”?

It feels so excruciatingly uncomfortable so the easiest option is to batten down the hatches so no one can see and take yourself off to the doctor for some pills to fix it. Far easier than explaining to people around you that you’re depressed and would really appreciate some help and support, and risk them telling you to “pull yourself together” and “what have you got to be unhappy about?” or “it’s all in the head”, like you would actually CHOOSE depression as a lifestyle choice. Once you are taking the pills, if you do have to tell someone you can explain it away by saying “I have a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs correcting, much like a diabetic needs insulin...”, sounds better than saying ”Without them I feel like life isn’t worth living, and falling asleep and not waking up again actually seems like an attractive option”. Or “I can’t cope with my anxiety levels”

There’s a feeling that you’re somehow letting the side down, with PND or depression, it just wasn’t in the script, it happens to other people doesn’t it? It leaves you with a feeling that you are somehow fundamentally flawed, weak. Other people are strong and you are weak. Other people cope with life and you don’t. Other mum’s are coping with new motherhood and you are not. Other people don’t need pills to cope with life and you do. Except maybe, they do as well and you just don’t know it....


Friends

Peter had his 3.5 hour Diploma exam today and I was his scribe, it was very intense, and we were being watched on CCTV. Then over a very late lunch I broached the subject of my next reduction and we agreed to go ahead.
When I got home later Carol had left loads of messages on my web site and my bestest friend Shazz had also left something on my Facebook wall as had Carol and they were so timely and made me really appreciate my friends. Shazz has been my bestest friend for about 16+ years and we have been through many of life's ups and downs together and we both continue to support each other although our paths are very different in some ways.
 This one was from Shazz.




























This one was from Carol who writes this:Everyone's Gran Blogspot



Prozac Reduction Timeline

1.40ml at last!

OK so we have agreed that I am going down to 1.40ml tomorrow, it's been a good 3 months I think since the last reduction, I think I will go to about 1.30ml at Christmas, and you never know, by this time next year I might be all the way off! So it's back to the small syringe to measure 1ml and then .40ml every morning:
















Prozac Reduction Timeline

Saturday, 29 October 2011

So we have reached an impasse - 1.50ml (6mg)

So it was our youngest son’s 13th birthday this week, which also marks the 13th anniversary of my being on and off (mostly on obviously) Lustral/Zoloft or Prozac.

So anyway, I, or we’ve reached a bit of an impasse with my withdrawal plan. I’ve been tapering slowly and steadily every 5 or 6 weeks for the past 3+ years. I am now stuck at 1.5ml.

1.50mls!! have you thought about how teeny tiny that dose is every morning? At this stage of the game it would be SO easy and tempting for me to just stop dead, but I know from past experience that that way madness truly lies (and I don’t mean “The House of Fun”) and my current healthy mental state would unravel with the withdrawal. I proved countless times in the past that I am obviously very sensitive to SSRI reductions. It’s crazy how powerful this tiny drop of liquid is.

In many ways I am amazed that I ever got as far as I have, a few years ago I thought I was on Prozac for life, I thought that it wasn’t physically possible for me to cope with life without it, but deep down I could never truly accept that I would be on it for life, because of the side effects I’ve always had a very strong inner drive or compulsion to get myself off this stuff, it refused to go away no matter how much I tried to convince myself to stay on it. Some inner voice I couldn’t ignore kept telling me I needed to get off the pills and kept driving me on, and still does. I like to think I could be happy sticking with a low low dose but deep down I know I’m not really.

So anyway, after 3 months at this dose I am feeling that I would like to now proceed with another reduction, I am now very stable. Peter is very ambivalent about this and I think it’s the first time we’ve disagreed on this issue. I understand his point of view, we have been and still are under financial pressure and both working hard. He also has the pressure/burden of an industry exam to pass. He is also the one who has to cope with me when a withdrawal hits. The last time it happened I am embarrassed to admit I burst into tears in his office and I couldn’t stop, and there was no obvious reason, it was a withdrawal pure and simple, but I just couldn’t stop crying.

So there we are....an impasse.

Any comments welcome.





Prozac reduction timeline

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Silent Tuesday ;)

Confessions of an RX Drug Pusher

I just finished this book:

Before I read it though I had to google "rx" because although I'd seen the term I wasn't sure what it meant. This was the definition I found: Rx: A medical prescription. The symbol "Rx" is usually said to stand for the Latin word "recipe" meaning "to take." It is customarily part of the superscription (heading) of a prescription.
Gwen Olsen has had an amazingly interesting life. She spent more than a decade as a sales rep in the pharmaceutical industry, the whole book is fascinating but her insight into the decadence, power and corruption of the drugs giants, the political shenanigans and her own experience as one of those reps who wined and dined doctors and showered them with freebies in order to sell the drugs and up the prescriptions, and the hard sell was the part I found most interesting. What a brave woman to whistle blow on the industry she had worked for.
Gwen also has personal insight into mental illness and the "catastrophic consequences that lurk in medicine cabinets", with a family background of mental health problems and a 19 year old niece who committed suicide as a result of being a victim of the adverse affects of prescription drugs.


Marketing antipsychotics.

I won't go into the politics too much of Big Pharma because there are other blogs and web sites who do that far better than I ever could, it is something that interests me and I have a list of books on my hit list:

Anatomy of an Epidemic - Robert Whitaker
Mad in America - Robert Whitaker
Prozac: Panacea or Pandora - Ann Blake Tracy.

The one I'm reading next though is We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver

Some sights that go into the politics in depth:








Saturday, 15 October 2011

Antidepressants and sex: A doomed romance?

A great article sent to me by a friend.
Link to this article
Antidepressants and sex: A doomed romance?

As a libido-friendly "happy pill" gets FDA approval, we talk to people who've endured other drugs' bad side effects.




 
It sounds like an absurd deal with the devil, the sort fairy tales are built around: You can get back your zest for life — all you have to do is surrender your desire for sex. Feeling depressed, isolated and lonely? Just take these pills that will make you lose interest in one of the most powerful ways that humans achieve connection and intimacy!
Extreme, perhaps, but that’s a common trade-off made by going on antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Of course there are other potential side effects, but dry mouth and insomnia are bearable insults compared to sacrificing your libido, erections and orgasms; and these sexual snags are a significant reason people discontinue treatment, according to experts. So when news broke this week that the FDA had approved Viibryd, a so-called sexy-friendly antidepressant, it caused quite a stir. Far too often, people are forced to choose between their mental and sexual health — as though these were entirely separate categories.
A 25-year-old photographer living in Florida tells me that his libido plummeted when he went on antidepressants. “I would have chosen a bowl of ice cream over the sexiest woman alive,” he said. “I stopped taking the medicine because it wasn’t worth the side effects.” It’s an interesting contradiction: He lost his libido but not the strong desire to have a sex drive. Now, he says, “I’m horny 24/7″ — which is just the way he likes it.
A 28-year-old married man tells me that he had trouble getting and staying hard while on Effexor. “I also had trouble reaching climax.” But he didn’t stop taking the medication: “Even though the side effects caused marital problems, not taking it caused the depression to act up, and the mood swings to get really bad. I just couldn’t handle some things without the meds.” A 51-year-old man tells me that he was already struggling with erectile problems when he went on citalopram. “The ED and depression are a chicken and egg thing, don’t know which came first, but each was making the other worse,” he said. “When I was able to get hard enough for sex, I would often not be able to come for a very long time, if at all.” Eventually, his doctor switched him to bupropion, which he says helped with his depression and lessened the sexual side effects.
At least women don’t have to worry about getting and maintaining an erection to have sex, right? Only, it seems they are far more vocal than men about the sexual costs of antidepressants. A 28-year-old woman tells me that before going on Celexa, she would have sex several times a week, and masturbate alone just as often, without any trouble climaxing. “After about a month on Celexa, I stopped masturbating entirely and lost interest in sex with my partner. I couldn’t climax — by hand or vibrator — and I didn’t have the same sexual drive to even try. Looking back, I’m not sure how I made it! It was so frustrating!”
It wasn’t just frustrating for her, either. “My partner complained about my lack of interest and noticed that I was going through the motions of sex, in addition to skipping my personal pleasure time. I couldn’t climax and I rejected a lot of her efforts,” she said. “I was tired of not feeling like myself in and out of the bedroom. My lack of sex drive hurt my self-esteem and my partner’s. We just didn’t feel like we were connecting like we used to.” So, she went off the drug and she reports that she’s “climaxing again and back to my old bedroom ways!” (She isn’t alone: Last year, Ada Calhoun wrote for Salon about how going off Celexa turned her into a bit of a nympho.)
“Jessica,” a 31-year-old living in New York, says she “had plenty of good sex” while on Zoloft, but it took tremendous time and effort for her to climax. “I was emotionally numbed out,” she said. “It was like I couldn’t access that part of me, emotionally, that would allow me to let go. At the time I thought it was trust issues. I’d read about oxytocin and bonding, and I thought maybe I was subconsciously protecting myself from getting hurt, because being in my early 20s, I was getting hurt a lot!” After several years on the drug, she went off and “the orgasms came back almost immediately.” She had harbored suspicions that the Zoloft was to blame for her lack of orgasms, “but it really only all became clear to me once I got off it — they came right back, without any context change.”
When my friend Elissa, 26, went on Lexapro, she “noticed it look at least 45 minutes to get one orgasm, and the orgasm was basically a tiny blip that was more struggle and irritation than anything,” she said. “So I stopped masturbating. I didn’t mind not having orgasms because I was happy.” But then she found someone else was frustrated by her medication: her boyfriend. He wanted to be able to make her climax, so she went off the drug, but, funnily enough, she still couldn’t have an orgasm with the guy (although it was no problem on her own). That’s a reminder that sexual relationships are mysterious and frustrating, even without the obfuscation of medication.
Anyone who decides to go on meds has to wrestle with these riddles all the time: Which part is the drugs, which part is me, which part is the side effects? (For that matter, anyone in a relationship is familiar with that dilemma as well: What’s me and what’s the other person?) Psychiatrists and social critics might cringe at the idea of people going on and off their meds to chase their orgasms, but that clearly happens quite a bit. Michelle, 38, says her libido and her orgasms disappeared on Prozac, but she was terrified that she would “go off the rails” if she stopped taking the medication. Ultimately, she says, “I just could not envision living life with that big piece” — the sex piece — “of the puzzle missing,” she said. As it happens, she didn’t go off the rails.
From all the media hype this week you would think Viibryd had flipped the pharmaceutical industry upside down — but that doesn’t seem to be the expert opinion in the medical community. Andrew Francis Leuchter, a professor at UCLA’s Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, said the drug’s data looks solid, but he wasn’t ready to call it a game-changer. There are already antidepressants on the market that boast low sexual side effects, and doctors commonly layer drugs to avoid killing a patient’s libido. The problem is that antidepressants aren’t one size fits all. “Whichever medication we pick, it is only going to get patients well about a third of the time,” he said. “We have yet to find a drug that gets most of the patients well right out of the gate.” Better drugs with fewer side effects — sexual and otherwise — are crucial, he says, but it’s important to develop better ways of predicting which drug will work for individual patients to avoid the trial and error approach.
Antidepressants can make life more bearable — they can save lives — but, for many people, a sexless life isn’t much of a life at all. That people are willing to risk this trade speaks to the level of desperation that can lead to antidepressants; and that many find the trade unbearable certainly speaks to the power of sex.

Close.Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter. More Tracy Clark-Flory



Monday, 10 October 2011

World Mental Health Day

Something plopped into my mailbox today that reminded me that 10th October is World Mental Health Day. In reality we should be aware of mental health issues every day, not just one day a year. The idea though is to raise public awareness of mental health issues and promote discussion. Apparently 1 in 4 of us are affected at some point in our life.
I am no longer ashamed to admit that I have suffered with depression and anxiety and that I had post natal depression twice, I am still occaisionally chased by the black dog.  I have felt the stigma and still do, and in my own small way I hope this blog will help contribute to bringing the subject out in the open. It's not a very sexy subject but it is part of the human condition for many people.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Chill Pill


A conversation with a friend who is in exactly the same boat as me tapering off prozac, made me realise that yes I am feeling a consistent low level anxiety (bordering on depression) the past few weeks. The big positive thing about being on Prozac full dose is that it really is like taking a chill pill, it makes you so you really don’t give a damn. That was the only thing I DID like about it, and it’s STILL not enough to make me ever want to go back to the full dose because I don’t want the unwanted side effects that go with the “don’t give a damn feeling.

Lately however I have been noticing like I said this consistent low level anxiety which is sometimes hard to shake, we are under a lot of pressure in our life at the moment and so it is hard for me to unravel this feeling, is it the “real me” how I am anyway without Prozac? Is it purely circumstantial and if the pressures we’re under at the moment disappear in time will my low level anxiety also disappear? This is the really confusing thing about having been on Prozac so long, you never really know what the “real you” is, you forget and you never know if what you are feeling is “you” or “Prozac you” or a mixture of both. I suppose the only way I may ever find out is when I eventually get off it completely, but even then my brain chemistry may have altered from years of Prozac so that I never know what the “real me” ever was or is. Confused? So am I LOL

I’m finding it really hard because I feel like I am constantly chasing my tail, never quite on top of things, and like I am doing lots of things “ok” and in a bodgy way when I’d rather be doing less things but doing them well and completing them, I sometimes feel like the boys are being short changed because I don’t give them as much undivided attention as I’d like, and I wish there was more time to cook decent healthy meals. Housework gets me down, that’s the thing I find hard to keep on top of, so I just concentrate on laundry and food and the rest I have to try and let go, but I find it really really hard to turn a blind eye to dust piling up and a bathroom that needs cleaning. That’s when I really wish I could take a chill pill and just not give a damn. That’s maybe one of the reasons why I was prone to depression/anxiety in the first place because I find it hard to “chill” and let things go. I’m always having to tick that list off.

So any tips on how to chill and not sweat the small stuff will be gratefully received.

Perhaps I should just not wear my contact lenses anymore then I won’t “see” the dust!




Prozac Reduction Timeline

Monday, 26 September 2011

Struggling with the Elephant in the Room

David guest posted my essay about Bob Fiddamans book "The Evidence However is Clear" on his blog:
Struggling with the Elephant in the Room
It will be interesting to see if it raises some debate. I enjoy David's eloquent writing about his situation.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Chased by the Black Dog


A good friend who reads this calls it “being chased by the black dog”. I think Winston Churchill used the expression “black dog” to describe his depression. I’ve had a mahusive mother of all anxiety attacks, luckily it doesn’t happen often and as I look back over my blog archive it really isn’t too often, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I think lots of different stressers in my life at the moment culminated in triggering something big in me, I spent about the past week feeling really quite depressed and anxious generally and just not myself. The last couple of days I felt pretty bad, and I could feel adrenaline pumping and stomach tightening. It finally culminated in not being able to sleep last night, and we all know how everything seems far worse in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep than in the cold light of day. I spent all day today feeling shattered, exhausted but all the anxiety slowly subsiding and flowing away from me, like a fever had broken. I know I’m on the mend now (apart from a cold)

I don’t know if it’s some kind of withdrawal, or the “real me” surfacing and I have to learn how to deal with the” real me” when this happens. At least I know it passes.

All this resulted in a conversation with P in which we went through all these things and neither of us could conclude what caused it specifically, Prozac withdrawal or real me, but I did realise again what an absolutely fantastic, supportive and encouraging husband I have and appreciated how lucky I am.

Some phrases that help me through the nasty patches:

This too will pass.

If you’re going through hell, keep going – (Winston Churchill (also a friends blog title))

Ships in safe harbour are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for

The best way out is always through (Helen Keller)

I’m not a failure if I don’t make it...I’m a success because I tried

A Mums Madness

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Why are more women depressed? Is this a real epidemic - or the result of cynical marketing by drug giants?

This was in the Daily Mail newspaper and website today (don't normally read the Mail I prefer The Sun & Dear Deidre early in the morning but it was already taken)

Link to the article in Daily Mail

Why are more women depressed? Is this a real epidemic - or the result of cynical marketing by drug giants?


By John Naish





One in three of women polled had taken antidepressants during her lifetime
More women than ever are reaching for the happy pills, it was revealed last week. New research suggests there has been a massive increase in the number of women with depression.
Women are twice as likely to suffer from the illness than they were 40 years ago, and as many as one in seven will be affected by the condition at some point in their lives — more than double the number of men, according to a study published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.
And the result of these soaring depression levels is becoming all too clear — a massive rise in prescriptions for antidepressant drugs.
Newly released figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more than four times as many prescriptions for drugs such as Prozac and Cipramil were dispensed in England in 2009 than 18 years before.
Women are twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants than men — around two-thirds of all NHS antidepressant drugs are prescribed to women. The scale of these increases, over a comparatively short period of time, is breathtaking. So what’s behind the rise?
The German researchers for the European study blame one factor: modern life. Professor Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, in charge of the research, says the pressure of trying to cope with having a family and pursuing a career is leaving women with a ‘tremendous burden’.
More...Kathleen thought she had the flu. In fact, it was meningitis - and it cost her both legs
Why take your backache to the doctor when you can relieve your pain at home?
But is it really so simple? Go back 40 years and British women were hardly basking in leisure. They had grown up during the Blitz, suffered severe rationing, shortages and poverty wages. They were the victims of demoralisingly blatant sex discrimination and still had to haul in the coal.
Meanwhile, modern-day men are suffering unprecedented job losses, their role as the head of the family is disappearing and their lives are also getting more hectic and harried. But men’s depression rates have not climbed nearly so high.
In fact, one of the main reasons behind this astonishing rise in antidepressant use is that women are increasingly being parked on these powerful and potentially dangerous drugs for want of anything else to help them with the emotional distress that led them to visit their doctor.
This was echoed in a poll of 2,000 women released in June by the women’s campaign group Platform 51 (formerly the Young Women’s Christian Association, YWCA).
Women are twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants than men
One in three of the women polled had taken antidepressants during her lifetime. More than half of these were not offered any alternatives to drugs. And a quarter were left on the drugs for more than a year without having their prescriptions reviewed.
This is despite the fact that guidelines from the health watchdog NICE say that ‘talking therapies’ such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) should be the first-line therapy for patients with mild depression.
Treatment for patients who have moderate to severe depression should be a combination of talking therapy and antidepressants.
‘Women and girls don’t want to take these drugs for a long time and would prefer GPs to discuss with them why they are down in the first place,’ says Platform 51’s director of policy, Rebecca Gill. ‘They can feel no one is interested in their story.’
But many GPs say they feel forced to prescribe women antidepressants because it is difficult to organise alternative support such as psychotherapy.
Dr Peter Kandela, a former correspondent for The Lancet and a GP with a special interest in depression, says: ‘Theoretically, it would be better to give many of them counselling or CBT than antidepressants.
‘I would love to do it. But you have to fill in so many forms and contact so many people.’
Dr Kandela, who has a practice in Ashford, Middlesex, adds: ‘When the appointment finally comes, it is often too late to be of help.’ He says that arranging therapy can take three months.
‘This happened recently with a distressed patient. She gave up waiting and went to another doctor, who put her on antidepressants.’
The drugs carry the potential risk of serious side-effects, ranging from anxiety and loss of appetite and libido to convulsions and mania.
For this reason, the Royal College of General Practitioners advises that antidepressants be prescribed for only limited periods, up to a few months.
However, there is another factor affecting the judgment of hard-pressed doctors: women who are having emotional problems are far easier to spot than depressed men.
‘Men might not have their symptoms recognised so easily as women,’ says Bridget O’Connell, head of information at mental health charity Mind.
‘Evidence from our survey that compares 1,000 men and 1,000 women shows women may describe classic symptoms such as feeling down, tearful or anxious.
‘Men are more likely to act out their distress through drinking too much or being hostile and withdrawn, or they may have physical symptoms such as feeling nauseous or suffering from headaches.’
On top of that, there is the oft-quoted fact that men are much less likely than women to visit a doctor about emotional issues. This has traditionally been put down to the fact that men are too scared or incapable to describe their feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness.
But a new study of nearly 2,000 children and adolescents has found a rather different answer — many males simply can’t be bothered with such thoughts.
‘When we asked young people how talking about their problems would make them feel, boys didn’t express angst or distress about discussing problems any more than girls,’ says Amanda Rose, a psychology professor at the University of Missouri, who was in charge of the research.
‘Instead, the boys’ responses suggest they just don’t see talking about problems to be particularly useful. It would make them feel as if they were wasting time.’
Antidepressants carry the potential risk of serious side-effects, ranging from anxiety and loss of appetite and libido to convulsions and mania
That still leaves us with the question: Are women really more depressed than ever?
Professor David Healey, director of psychological medicine at Cardiff University, thinks this is unlikely. Instead, he says, the leap in prescriptions for antidepressants may be seen as a triumph for drug company sales departments.
Professor Healey, the author of Let Them Eat Prozac, has argued that antidepressants are today’s ‘mother’s little helpers’ — the new incarnation of tranquillising drugs such as Valium.
‘In the Sixties and through to the end of the Eighties, companies marketed tranquillisers and had to persuade people they were anxious,’ he says.
When Valium-type drugs fell from favour in the Eighties because of their addictiveness, drug companies developed a different class of drugs: antidepressants.
‘In order to market antidepressants you have to persuade people they are depressed,’ says Professor Healey.
‘It is a case of labelling. People are as stressed as they were. The reason they view the problem as depression is down to marketing.’
Drug companies certainly do continue to push antidepressants on to women — even if the women are not suffering from a mood disorder.
Pharmaceutical firms are always keen to find new uses for their existing drugs because they do not have to take them through another highly expensive round of trials to prove they are considered safe enough for human consumption.
Furthermore, it may well be that so many women take antidepressants that it seems normal and acceptable to be given them — for whatever use.
For example, an American study in June declared that the antidepressant drug escitalopram can ease hot flushes in healthy, non-depressed women.
The study concluded that 55 per cent of women who took the drug, which acts on the brain’s feelgood chemical serotonin, had at least 50 per cent fewer hot flushes. But since when were hot flushes a problem to be medicalised and drugged?
Antidepressants have also frequently been prescribed to women with menstrual problems. The practice has been criticised by Claudine Domoney, a consultant gynaecologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.
‘Doctors should always explore other avenues before handing out antidepressants for premenstrual syndrome.
‘It shouldn’t be first-line treatment,’ she says. ‘Why give a young woman a drug with potentially serious side-effects when it might not be necessary?’
Meanwhile, there is a dearth of well-funded research or support for alternative forms of treatment for women suffering from emotional problems.


Women are twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants than men




Research by five mental health charities found depressed patients were having to wait for six to 18 months for an appointment with an NHS counsellor, with many being forced to go private.
Other alternatives which show promise in small-scale trials include acupuncture and light therapy.
A study of 27 depressed mothers-to-be in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in April found that after five weeks of full- spectrum light therapy, of the type given to people with seasonal affective disorder, 13 of the women had at least a 50 per cent improvement in their symptoms and 11 were no longer depressed.
Clearly, we do need alternative forms of support and treatment for women who experience emotional problems.
It may be true that life is more hurried, but it is also true that women have always experienced mood problems as part of the natural highs and lows of life.
In the past, they would have been supported by large, close families. Nowadays, they may need to turn to their family doctors for help.
But the answer, surely, cannot be to prescribe ever more mind-numbing antidepressant pills.






Monday, 12 September 2011

Syndicating to Facebook

I’ve been wrestling with myself for ages about whether to syndicate this blog to facebook. It’s been out there on the internet for years, and now it’s linked up to various other sites, and I’ve loved how it’s helped some people and I’ve made new friends through it, and yet it’s somehow been a bit anonymous. But facebook.....that’s really close to home and I’ve really agonised about it. One or two friends and most of my family have seen my blog and know my “ishoos” already. Most haven’t.


I think there is a silent epidemic of people “stuck” on SSRI medication, unable to stop taking them and suffering side effects. There is still so much stigma around depression/anxiety, it’s easier to go to the doctor and pop pills than seek any other therapies or help. If we break down the stigma of depression & anxiety hopefully, in the long run people will seek other ways to help themselves and SSRI’s will be the LAST resort and not the FIRST resort, So this is my little contribution to breaking down the stigma and “coming out”.













Prozac Withdrawal Timeline

The Evidence, However, Is Clear - The Seroxat Scandal - Bob Fiddaman

I’ve been following Seroxat Sufferers - Stand Up and Be Counted For a little while and I cottoned onto the fact that the author, Bob had written the book "The Evidence, However, Is Clear" so I sent off for it and read it in one day, that’s pretty fast for me nowadays.


Bob was prescribed Seroxat (an SSRI in the same family as Prozac/Lustral) for depression due to work related problems, what followed was a journey that took him through a tapering process of, what he believes to be, a highly addictive antidepressant. Following almost two years of withdrawal, Fiddaman’s new battle with the manufacturer of the drug (GlaxoSmithKline) and the UK Medicines Regulator (MHRA) took him on a more frustrating journey than he could ever have imagined. (This bit is from the blurb on the back of the book). I understand from Bob’s website/blog/book that he is an activist and winner of two Human Rights Awards and lives in a council flat in Birmingham.

I am really so much in awe of Bob and I learned a lot from his book, about how the pharmaceutical industry has cynically marketed SSRI’s, how the MHRA is hand in glove with the manufacturers of SSRI’s (and other drugs) and not detached as it should be. How they have suppressed information that these drugs are extremely difficult to get off of, and kept the medical profession in the dark about how to get people off SSRI’s properly. I learned how the drug companies peddled the myth of a “Chemical Imbalance in the Brain” which I fell for and believed myself until the penny slowly dropped after 10 years of failure to get myself off Lustral. It’s a shocking read but I wasn’t surprised by anything I read, I’d kind of realised for myself a long while ago that someone must be making a lot money out of all these people who are hooked on and struggle to get off SSRI’s , and believe they have a chemical imbalance. There is a silent epidemic of people who have been put on SSRI’s and haven’t realised they can’t get off them, who think they are on them for life because they have “a chemical imbalance”, and of course I’m horrified that they are increasingly prescribed to children and teenagers around the world with sometimes devastating consequences.

Where I struggle is that I know many people who feel they have benefited from antidepressants as well, and feel they have improved their quality of life, I find myself avoiding discussion forums on mental health on certain web sites now for fear of upsetting people who are on SSRI’s with what I now know. I don’t want to cause additional depression and anxiety for people who are already depressed and anxious and probably wouldn’t want to listen anyway, and there is a place for SSRI’s in some situations for some people (Bob would disagree I’m sure LOL) but SSRI’s should be the LAST resort of the medical profession and not the FIRST resort.

What I really have a problem with is how lightly they are dished out with no warnings. The first time I had Post Natal Depression I soldiered on without drugs, I really struggled, because I didn’t tell anyone, the stigma and shame was crippling in itself, and it took me a good year to really come out the other side, I’m glad I did though and I’m glad I didn’t go into a second pregnancy on SSRI’s and the worry about the effect of SSRI’s on my second baby. After I gave birth the second time I thought I had got away with it, but then I felt the blackness wash over me a couple of weeks after, worse than the first time. This time I decided I wasn’t going to keep it to myself, I was going to fess up, I told Peter and my health visitor, together we went to talk to the doctor, the doctor suggested antidepressants, I was desperate to feel “normal” but my overriding concern was that I would become addicted like the people I’d vaguely heard about who got addicted to valium, and that was the first question I asked, I was reassured that no these were a new class of drug and they were not addictive, I could take them for six months to a year and then come off them..........the rest is history.

I often wonder, if my doctor had said, there is a drug that can help you feel better, but they do have side effects; they can make you feel numb, if you stop them suddenly or come off too fast they can make you feel sick, desperate, and suicidal, they can be extremely difficult to get off, and worse case scenario it could take you as long as 3-5 years to taper off them, I wonder what I would have decided then? If I hadn’t felt the stigma and shame of being depressed and had felt able to ask for support from others instead of running to the doctor as the first port of call I wonder how it would have turned out.
The Evidence, However, Is Clear



Prozac Withdrawal Timeline

Friday, 9 September 2011

I have to admit to really struggling this week


Yes I have to admit this week has been quite testing for me. We have had a really bad week, P was involved in a car collision with our neighbours, which I won't go into the details, but it turned pretty nasty with the neighbours, and there is nothing worse than falling out with neighbours. I am pretty piss poor at confrontation and it's something I tend to run a mile from, but I was really proud of myself because I was assertive and calm and I stuck to my guns with the neighbours, while P was really wound up/angry, the neighbours wife was wound up, and the neighbour was displaying a very distinct nervous twitch, I was pleased to note.

As well I can't go into details but we are awaiting a big decision that will mean a lot to our business about how we proceed with it, and the waiting is killing us.

It's my line managers last day today, I have worked with her for 20 years, she is taking redundancy/early retirement, I'm really going to miss her.

The result is that  all in all I have been feeling very flat, blah and mildly depressed this week, and it's a timely warning to me to be ever mindful and protective of my mental health and never take it for granted.



Prozac Reduction Timeline

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The reduction that didn't happen

I had set my heart on going down to 1.40ml today, but after discussion with P, we decided to hold off a bit, work issues which we hope to have resolved soon mean that he is feeling stressed to the hilt, and me having a withdrawal meltdown could be too much for him to cope with, fair comment, so I reluctantly decided to hold off for another week or fortnight.
My prozac Reduction Timeline

A Mum's Madness - Sharing the Blog Love

Thank you to Amy for mentioning me on her blog this week, I am following her blog as well.
Mum's Madness - Sharing the Blog Love
So many blogs, so little time (sigh)

My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Occaisional Wallflower - August Blog Carnival Mental Health Personal Journey


My blog was included in Occaisional Wallflowers Aug blog carnival about journeys in mental health. I was thrilled to be included, although my story is nowhere near as profound or powerful as the others, it's still been a journey of sorts.
Occaisional Wallflowers Blog Carnival




My Prozac Reduction Timeline (my journey)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Addiction, how was it for me? (aka "Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome")

I wanted to put on here how withdrawal felt for me; partly just to remind myself of just how dire it could be so I could remind myself of how far I’ve come and how much better things are now.


When I used to withdraw by the alternate day method, on the doctor’s advice, after a few days I would become aware that I felt really dizzy and fuzzy headed, sort of like having water sloshing round your head sometimes, other times you would turn your head and it was as though it took a few seconds for your eyes to catch up with your head turning, then after a while I would get a feeling of sadness which would increase in intensity as the days passed, almost like grieving for something but not knowing what, then eventually a difficult situation would act as a trigger to tip me into intense anxiety as well as the intense sadness. As time went on I would find in the mornings I would wake up early with excruciating anxiety, if I still persevered with getting off the drugs for weeks and months the anxiety would increase in unbearable intensity so I wouldn’t know where to put myself and couldn't escape it, it would eventually became all consuming, it would become 24/7 adrenaline pumping through my system and I would become unable to sleep as well for nights at a time, if I kept on long enough I would almost feel suicidal just to escape the torture of the crushing all consuming sadness and anxiety, and I would become more and more reclusive and not socialize because it was just too damned hard to disguise. It was like being tortured by a monster inside my head that I couldn’t defeat. The longest I ever kept this up for was a whole year in 2003.

Eli Lilly who manufacture Prozac call it “Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome”

Sooner or later I would always have to give it up and go back on the drug. Now try and tell me that’s not addiction?


My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

NOT feeling like the Duracell bunny

The past three days I have been so tired, drained and tired, like my battery has gone flat. I actually could have fallen asleep quite easily at my desk, even though I had seeminly had a good night sleep on Monday.  I never know whether this is linked to withdrawal or just part of the human condition, it's so easy to blame everything on Prozac withdrawal. I've also been feeling a bit flat, I think it's the time of year, summer drawing to a close and boys back to school.


My Prozac withdrawal timeline

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Numb Documentary - Here are the Trailers

I mailed Phil Lawrence and he very kindly let me post the trailers on here, it's all positive publicity for the documentary.


The Numb Documentary






Hell yeah I've felt all those things in the trailers :(

The Numb Documentary

I stumbled on this Numb Documentary last night, and saw a trailer on another blog, I was so moved by the trailer I have e mailed them and asked if I can post a link to said trailer on my blog. It's amazing that someone has made a film about this subject, and I can't wait to see it. It made me realise that although my blog seems quite lighthearted, lots of cartoons etc, it is actually a very grim subject and it reminded me of just how grim it is when you withdraw too fast or go cold turkey, it reminded me of how I felt so grim I didn't know where to put myself and how close I felt to jumping off a bridge because I couldn't cope with how I was feeling. It's hard to put into words and Phil is much more articulate in his trailer than I am. The way he describes the numbness of being on the drug as well. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb


My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Forgot to take my Prozac!!

Standards are definately slipping since I discovered the world of blogs and Twatter Twitter, I actually forgot to take my Prozac early this morning!


Prozac Reduction Timeline

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Real SuperMum Blog


A big thanks to Emma who guest blogged one of my posts on her blog The Real Supermum, got loads of comments and I'm really chuffed to get my blog out there at last, the whole point of my blog is I hope to help enlighten other people stuck on the bewildering antidepressant catch 22.
The Real SuperMum Blog Suddenly Stopping Antidepressants
Go and take a look at the link and Emma's brilliant blog as well.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Pimping my Blog

    I've had some annual leave and in that time I've been exploring the world of blogs as well as pimping my own blog, something I've been meaning to do for a long time, I've had a lot of fun looking it other blogs and getting ideas, and now I've tarted this one up and put it on some blogger networks. Bit like Pimp my ride. I've even added twatter twitter!
Seriously though, I wish all this internet lark had been around when I had my first baby, I've been thinking a lot about the isolation of post natal depression and mean to write about my experience of that when I'm ready. But I wish the internet, blogs and parenting forums had been available to me 1994 living in an isolated village, trapped, lonely, isolated, depressed and struggling with a newborn etc. Oh I went to the NCT coffee mornings but everyone else seemed to have perfect babies and coping beautifuly (competitive parenting?), there were lots of little Alfie's, Hugo's, Arthur's, Maximillians, Theodore's, and then there was me and Alex, don't think we quite fitted in.


Prozac Withdrawal Timeline

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Pushing a boulder up a hill

P was right, a few days after reducing my prozac, I go a bit hyper, then he knows I'm going to have a bit of a crash, I tell him that he blames me/the prozac for any little mood change as it suits him, but we had quite an in depth discussion about it in which he said that he has been a very close observer of me and knows me inside out, and he gets fed up when I accuse him of blaming a mood change on a prozac reduction.

It's Sunday now and I'm feeling a lot better now, I now have two weeks off my SCC job, still working odd days with P but I'll have a bit of time off with the boys.

Prozac reduction timeline