I’ve been on Prozac for two years now. It has helped me calm my anxiety and my temper. I sang its praises in a few blogs. But just like I praised it for its value when I needed it, I now praise the value of getting off of it.
A month ago I dropped my dosage from 60mg to 40mg, and I have found that just as it calmed my nerves for the past two years, it also calmed my feelings. That’s not necessarily a good thing. It calmed my anger, but it also calmed my joy. It calmed my anxiety, but it also calmed my passion. While I’ve been on it, I didn’t really notice the effects it had on the joyful parts of my life, but within the last month of having reduced my dosage, I have started to take notice. A few examples:
- I can’t stand having a dirty house.
- On Prozac – I was depressed when my house was dirty and no one was helping me clean it. Prozac helped that depression
- Prozac also took away all my motivation to actually do something about it – So while it helped my depression, it also caused it in a strange way.
- Dealing with Children.
- Pre-teen/Teen girls can be quite challenging. I needed a little help with the stress of motherhood. Prozac helped calm me down to deal with them logically.
- Prozac also calmed my joy and excitement for the little things in life that excite my children. I was no longer “Angry Mom”, but I haven’t been “Enthusiastic Mom” either.
- Ironically, my duties at work have increased ten-fold while I’ve been on Prozac. Yes Prozac helped with the stress of the increasing demands I felt at work.
- Before Prozac, I was very efficient in doing my job. On Prozac, my stress may have been reduced, but I also feel my productivity has also been reduced.
- My Weight
- When I originally started Prozac, I was warned it would make me gain weight. At first it didn’t. I wasn’t hungry, so it seemed to have more of a dieting effect. But as my dosage increased, so did my weight – probably due to my lack of motivation (and mobility).
- Will getting off this drug have the opposite effect? Only time will tell. But I hope so!
- Given my husband’s unemployment situation, I know Prozac has helped me deal with the stress of letting go of things I once thought were valuable.
- On the negative side, it also took away my “Type A Personality” that dealt with money. I was on top of our finances. While Prozac helped me let go of the part of my finances I couldn’t control, I think it also helped me lose sight of the parts that were in my control…Hence last month’s blunder of paying one credit card twice, and the other one not at all. For the first time in my life, I have a creditor calling me. *Insert Anger Here* – But they will have to deal with it until I can straighten back out. Yay.
- Positive: Prozac helped me let go of parts of my life I didn’t need.
- Negative: Prozac helped me let go of a few things I shouldn’t have let go.
Within the past month, having just reduced my dosage, I noticed the above. Today I’m happier. I’m more motivated at home. I enjoy my daughters. I have caught up months of work in the office that I didn’t ever think I would get done. And all that has taken place with just a reduced dosage!! So I continue on my quest to wean myself off this drug. NOTE: It is important to wean yourself off slowly. Even my doctor has stressed that. Otherwise, the effects can be quite detrimental.
Yes, in the past month I have felt a few moments of sadness return. But those were far outbalanced by my increased moments of joy and pleasure. I did have one anxiety attack out of the blue, and yes I did have elevated levels of caffeine that day. Apparently the Prozac offset my caffeine intake as well. So I will have to be more aware of how much caffeine I take in now – as I was originally instructed to do by my doctor anyway. I guess it’s time to listen.
Yes, I still support the use of anti-depressants when you need to sort your life out. But once you feel you have control, TAKE CONTROL! Don’t let drugs control your happiness for you. I will note, part of taking control is having a good support system of people to talk to. How do you find them? Just start talking. Those that aren’t supportive, will disappear. Those that are supportive, will appear and be there. Trust me. I couldn’t have made it through without the love and support of a few instrumental people in my life – Chris, Tina and Lori. I had other family and friends who helped a great deal, as well as a few friends on the sidelines that may not realized how much they helped – but they did. I thank all of you.
So now, please cross your fingers for me as I drop my dosage once again – down to 20mg. I am determined to do this. I am in control of my life now. Prozac served its purpose for me. Now I must continue on my own. Who knows, this may result in a few interesting blogs. We shall see!