anxiety, depression, ocd, oh my

So I stopped taking Prozac.

Prozac was the first medication my doctor tried for my anxiety. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was supposed to help with because when I looked it up it listed everything from anxiety and depression to OCD and eating disorders.

From the start I didn’t find it that helpful. It took nearly 6 weeks to even work at all, and when it did start working I didn’t notice much difference. Overall I gave my anxiety about a 10% decrease, but I was still hardly functioning and having panic attacks almost daily. After that she added the buspirone which has honestly been a godsend.

Buspirone worked much faster than Prozac and it has helped my anxiety so much. Like I can’t even explain how much better I’ve felt. I continued to take the Prozac as prescribed, but I was seeing side effects that were inhabiting my daily life. One extreme one was exhaustion. I was SO tired all the time. I could hardly function through the day without a nap. I would fall asleep at work and at school even on plenty of sleep AND naps.

I could hardly stay up past 2200 and had no energy to do anything. When I did sleep I got another side effect. Extremely graphic and continuous nightmares. Now I’ve struggled with nightmares for a while, likely as a result of my anxiety, but these were so intense that I would wake up shaking and scared multiple nights a week. Sometimes I was too afraid to go back asleep because of the images, and whenever I did I always had more nightmares. I would average about 3 to 5 different nightmares a night, and my sleep was super patchy as I would wake up 2 to 5 times most nights. It was agonizing to say the least.

Well recently the insurance I was on when through some issues and I lost it, so when I ran out of my Prozac prescription I decided to just stop taking it and see how I did. The difference is crazy. I’ve gotten more energy for sure, even though I’m still tired a lot I can function without daily naps and my sleep isn’t Interrupted as often (maybe once or twice a night and sometimes not at all.) I still have nightmares, but they haven’t been as constantly extreme and terrifying and I’m no longe having 5+ a night. I’ve even had a couple regular dreams.

Now although these changes are good, getting off Prozac hasn’t been all roses and puppies. My OCD has gotten worse again. The lice have been back more frequently and I’ve been dealing with compulsions more often. Little things have started to bother me again like the way things are color coated or things not being lined up correctly. I’ve also been having more obsessive thoughts lately which my anxiety of course doesn’t help.

Another thing that has come back up is my depression. It’s not back fully, and I’m still doing a lot better than I was, but I’ve noticed symptoms of it creeping back. I’m really hoping that with the anxiety mainly under control I can manage these other things on my own. As long as the depression doesn’t come back full force I should get along decently. The obsessions and compulsions are really frustrating, but my OCD isn’t nearly as debilitating or constant as someone like Lex’s or my sisters is, so I don’t feel like I even have a right to complain about it.

I’m going to continue without the Prozac and I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

Wish me luck.

– G

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