5

votes

Hack my prozac prescription

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 07, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Hi, I know some of you have been urging me to go back to the doctor and I have. This is quite a long post sorry. I'm looking for general thoughts on antidepressants and my situation, thanks

Ok so I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for at least 7 years on and off and despite my aversion to antidepressants I think I'm gonna go with the nhs on this one

Some interesting things the doctor said, Fluoxetine (prozac) was tested over a long period and was found to be safer than st.john's wort, basically she was saying they are really not dangerous. She said that I should stay on the pills for 6 months then wean myself off and practice CBT to stop myself slipping back into a depressive state. Anxiety is a biological disorder as much as a mental one because it wakes you up early in the morning and affects you physiologically (fatigue, gut problems etc) and I believe it's a chicken and egg situation, am i depressed because of gut problems or do I have gut problems because I'm depressed? I think both, just not sure which one came first

I feel like I need a helping hand to pull me out of the muck and dust me off. I know some people have purported to being cured of depression by the 'panacea' that is paleo but I believe that the gut/skin/fatigue/anxiety problems I'm experiencing plus the psychological need to self medicate with food can only be broken by some kind of drug assistance. I know that people say drugs are bad (like mr mackey) but I'm just going to run the course and ignore the naysayers (only people who are frustrated by medication are the ones likely to disparage it online and look for solutions, there must be thousands for whom it has worked who didn't come online to say how effective it was (though some do)) Also my dad came to see me at university and told me that he was on antidepressants a few years ago after a double dose of bad news and they got him back on track, plus my mum suffers from depression so I've definitely got some predisposed genes!

I think all my problems can be traced back to some kind of anxiety disorder so I'm going to give this a real go along with attempting to implement as much of a paleo diet as I can before eventually going fully. I think I'm self-medicating with food, I know it's cyclical and damaging but I can't seem to break it

I guess what I'm really asking is is there any reason why I can't try paleo + antidepressants + exercise + CBT to try and kick my depression/anxiety's ass? Is there any reason the two couldn't go together?

cheers

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 07, 2012
at 06:43 PM

My doctor called Effexor "Side-effexor." Scary side affects! I'm glad you found something that worked for you.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on June 07, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Thanks Karen :)

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:23 PM

Depression & anxiety is never "simple" in my experience.DBT has a very wide range of effective application actually.Chronic mood disorders & eating disorders included.Lots of research too-DBT skills are great! Yes, I believe its useful to rule out some of the most common causes.Methylation defects of folate are a common cause of depression which is why big pharma makes a product (Deplin).Most docs don't actually test it, they just Rx the drug. Perhaps I am having an easier time than others getting the blood tests that are useful.My lithium was Zero. 20mg of natural Li (orotate) has helped me.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:10 PM

IMO the combination of all of those along with sunlight & good sleep practices are the way to go. Meds keep me sane. Adding paleo, exercise and sun let me thrive. They are all part of the puzzle. I'm really glad to hear that you are working with a professional too. – Best wishes. It gets better. (-:

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Best wishes. It gets better.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:07 PM

IMO the combination of all of those along with sunlight & good sleep practices are the way to go. Meds keep me sane. Adding paleo, exercise and sun let me thrive. They are all part of the puzzle. I'm really glad to hear that you are working with a professional too.

E4f858a9178422502c42b9719690e52c

(603)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:07 PM

DBT's only used for borderling personality disorder in the UK. Lithium & copper levels, 5mthfr gene defect (seriously?) testing would be expensive and pointless for simple depression and anxiety.

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6 Answers

5
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on June 07, 2012
at 04:39 PM

I was on antidepressants for about 9 years, all through college and until I was almost 30. I needed them in college, and it made a big difference in my life. One piece of advice: if Prozac doesn't work for you, don't assume it's a problem with you. I tried Prozac, and it did nothing. I tried Effexor, and my sex drive completely disappeared, plus the depression only mildly improved. I tried some other SSRI, and my weight ballooned by 25 pounds. The only thing I found that worked for me was Wellbutrin XL, and I stayed on it for nearly 6 years.

I'm glad that you're also working with the diet, activity level, and therapy. I was finally able to wean myself from the Wellbutrin when I started eating meat after 18 years as a vegetarian. I kick myself now, when I think of how I used to starve my brain of fats and amino acids. I might have had a very different life if I had realized how vegetarianism (and soy, which I seem to have a reaction to, but used to eat all the time) affected me. Keep experimenting with your diet and sleep, and don't accept antidepressants that don't work for you. If you aren't seeing what you want after about three weeks, tell your doctor you want a change. Don't give up!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 07, 2012
at 06:43 PM

My doctor called Effexor "Side-effexor." Scary side affects! I'm glad you found something that worked for you.

5
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 07, 2012
at 03:07 PM

I think you're right to do what you need to in order to help yourself. You've done your best with Paleo and it's only gotten you so far. I think even those of us who are generally against pharmaceuticals will acknowledge that there very well can be a time and place when they're helpful. It sounds like you might be at that time and place.

But I'm glad to hear your logic on it -- use the drug as one of a variety of tools to help yourself come back to balance. It can be a useful adjunct on top of diet and CBT. And I'm also glad to hear that you intend not to take it for life. There's no reason you should need to.

Even though we don't want to use medication, sometimes it serves a helpful purpose as a kind of bridge that keeps us going and feeling okay while we tinker with other things and work at getting to what's truly underlying our imbalances.

Be kind to yourself, HB. Going on meds isn't a weakness or a failure. It's you recognizing that you could only do so much on your own, for now. But do keep digging for answers and solutions. {{Hugs}}

3
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on June 07, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Agree with everything said above. Been there, done that. Like you, I seem to have a familial component also. Paleo has helped a lot but it isn't a cure all. So far I've been off meds for about 9 months. However, I wouldn't hesitate (well, maybe a little bit) to go back on if I really thought they could be of benefit and neither should you. It won't be forever. Remember, how you feel and how you are able to function is what is most important so do what you need to do to get there. Good luck to you!

2
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on June 07, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Do whatever you need to do in order to be healthy and happy.

Re exercise: I'd stay away from any high-intensity exercise (HIIT, weights) until you're feeling better to minimize cortisol release. For most of us, 20 minutes of moderate cardio 2-3 times a week is an excellent mood-elevator.

2
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on June 07, 2012
at 02:52 PM

No. There is no reason and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Do what you need to do to feel better. Use the Prozac then wean off it like you said. Perhaps replace it with some 5htp (which increases serotonin rather than just keeping it in the synapse longer). Also a product called PharmaGaba is great for anxiety. My biggest concern about the long term use of any SSRIs is that they are known to desensitize the nerve cells (which is why people often need more and more). Its a known phenomenon and docs even have a name for it - "Prozac Poop Out".
5htp can really really help and it because it doesn't block the re-uptake of serotonin, rather it gives you more serotonin, this desensitization doesn't occur.

I hope you have ruled out some physical things as well, the usual suspects: low thyroid hormones, sex hormone imbalances, low lithium level, low iron level, too high copper level, 5mthfr gene defect, to name a few.

A specific type of CBT called DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) can be very helpful for people who suffer from chronic depression. All the best to you.
Do what you know you need to do. You already have the answer.

E4f858a9178422502c42b9719690e52c

(603)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:07 PM

DBT's only used for borderling personality disorder in the UK. Lithium & copper levels, 5mthfr gene defect (seriously?) testing would be expensive and pointless for simple depression and anxiety.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on June 07, 2012
at 04:23 PM

Depression & anxiety is never "simple" in my experience.DBT has a very wide range of effective application actually.Chronic mood disorders & eating disorders included.Lots of research too-DBT skills are great! Yes, I believe its useful to rule out some of the most common causes.Methylation defects of folate are a common cause of depression which is why big pharma makes a product (Deplin).Most docs don't actually test it, they just Rx the drug. Perhaps I am having an easier time than others getting the blood tests that are useful.My lithium was Zero. 20mg of natural Li (orotate) has helped me.

1
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 07, 2012
at 02:37 PM

Not everything can be fixed by diet. Depression is not something to mess around with and you have tried "the natural" route and are still struggling.

That being said, I was put on Prozac 5 years ago, but it made matters worse. I would literally sleep for 6 hours and then be wide awake, completely unable to go back to sleep. I would need a nap around 8AM, the time I would usually begin teaching. Give it some time, but definitely keep a journal of any changes you make in diet/routine, as well as changes in your mood/body/attitude.

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