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Can we talk about Prozac?

My shrink recently prescribed it, but I haven't started taking it. I'm apprehensive about it, and want to hear others' experiences.

And I'm not interested in hearing over-the-top, tinhat bullshit about how antidepressants are terrible, don't work, or how people who take them are weak-minded, etc. So kindly start your own thread with that shit.

So, who's actually taken it? What were the side effects? Did it help?

by Anonymousreply 14511/22/2012

I took it for a number of years. I still don't know if it worked. I think my depression was always more situational than chemical but it didn't make me worse anyway. You have to be vigilant because I've heard some people get suicidal. Make sure you have a good (MD) who you can talk to about your concerns.

by Anonymousreply 111/08/2012

Shrinks need to be kept on a tight leash, OP. YOU have to suggest medications to them. I tried Prozac for anxiety and it was ineffective although I didn't know that at the time. I regret wasting my time with it and its' side effects. I now take Seroquel and Xanax which works for me.

by Anonymousreply 211/08/2012

I've been on several SSRIs already, and really don't want to take another one. They all cause anorgasmia for me, and I can't stand it. Plus, they are hell to get off of.

I was on Wellbutrin for a while, but aside from suppressing my appetite and making me horny as hell (both good things), I was never sure if it did much.

by Anonymousreply 311/08/2012

I still haven't started taking it, and I'm not sure I'm going to. I've been trying to taper off Luvox for months now, and finally decided to just stop about a week ago.


Lightheaded, sleepy, no energy, extremely agitated, and I feel like I can hardly draw a breath half the time. This shit is as awful to get off of as Zoloft was. And this motherfucking shrink wants to put me on another SSRI? I don't think so.

by Anonymousreply 411/12/2012

Why don't they give you loratab for depression? I take one and I'm always in a good mood...

by Anonymousreply 511/12/2012

OP? I'm on nefazodone(used to be Serzone), which is NOT an SSRI, and I love it. It's best for people who have problems sleeping, because it virtually knocks you out at night. I've been on it for about 12 years with no problems.

by Anonymousreply 611/12/2012

r6, wasn't serzone was taken off market due to liver toxicity risks?

OP i haven't taken prozac but know at least 2 people who have. One woman killed herself -- her parents think that though she was depressed the drug kind of wigged her out. we'll never know. this was when it was pretty new, around 1989.

The guy i know who took it said it worked ok but he also had trouble with inability to orgasm. He was depressed because he didn't have a BF but the drug made him more self conscious.

OP do you know why your depressed? Prozac may or may not help you deal with whatever it is.

by Anonymousreply 711/12/2012

There's one class of drugs that interacts badly with SSRIs, might be Serzone. In any case, a switch might require a lengthy waiting period.

by Anonymousreply 811/12/2012

Well, if you're worried about having trouble getting off of Prozac, that shouldn't be a concern. It has the longest half-life of any of the SSRIs so stopping taking it is not often a problem. In fact, it's often cross-tapered with other SSRIs when people are getting off of them.

by Anonymousreply 911/12/2012

My 86 yr old mother with cancer was on Prozac for a long time, and it really helped her. However, once she ran out and didn't tell anyone (maybe didn't notice) and the side effect of stopping suddenly was an attack that we thought was a stroke. After a night in the ER she was better and we figured out what had caused it. Totally confused, grasping for words, etc.

So be careful to taper off if you do try it!

by Anonymousreply 1011/12/2012

wow r10 that's scary. Could they say for sure the sudden stopping of prozac triggered the stroke? At that age stroke isn't uncommon.

by Anonymousreply 1111/12/2012

I just started Celexa. Anybody on that?

by Anonymousreply 1211/12/2012

Again, Pozac is by far the easiest SSRI to come off of. The half-life is so long that your body basically naturally tapers off of it if you stop taking it even abruptly (not that I would suggest that). I suspect r10's mother had something like a panic attack.

by Anonymousreply 1311/12/2012

R12 I took celexa briefly. It did nnothing for me.

by Anonymousreply 1411/12/2012

Took Prozac and it did nothing for my major depressive disorder. Zoloft was amazing though.

by Anonymousreply 1511/12/2012

It wasn't actually a stroke, we just were afraid it was. She didn't have, for example, any loss of movement on one side of her face. But she was totally out of it.

Anyway, the doctor confirmed that the sudden abandonment of prozac was the cause. She was always very sensitive to meds, so perhaps her case was unusual, but I think you can find those symptoms in the literature on prozac.

It did make for a scary Christmas!

by Anonymousreply 1611/12/2012

R12 - I took Celexa for about a year. It's the only SSRI I've ever taken, so I can't compare it to anything else. I took it mainly for anxiety. It did help take a bit of the edge off. I kind of felt it just made me feel 'ho-hum' most of the time. It was like, "what, a burning child? Oh, that's nice. I just won a million dollars? Oh, that's nice." My emotions and emotional response just sort of flatlined. What I learned about coming off Celexa, though, is that a bit of anxiety isn't a bad thing, and it's also nice to feel a bit of emotion once in awhile. I think you have to gauge how much you really need it. Some people need it more than others. If you're going to take something, then don't expect it to completely be the answer to your problems - take it, but also look for tangible ways to make yourself happy. If you're coming off any SSRI, never quit cold turkey - you'll more than likely go through hell with sweats, brain zaps and sleeplessness. I quit cold turkey and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

by Anonymousreply 1711/12/2012

There's a book called Prozac Nation or something and it deals with the issue of Prozac poop-out. Sometimes it stops working and can send people into a tailspin. Isn't it made from the seratonin in rat's brains? Re: psychiatrists-most people that go into to this field are crazy themselves and are just trying to figure themselves out. They're playing guessing games with your medications. Finding a stable personality in a psychiatrist is rare. Most of them are damaged souls with a God complex. Never forget this when you are seeking their care and always go with your gut instinct because the reality of it all is, quite simply, THEY are crazy themselves and/or playing big pharma games at your expense.

by Anonymousreply 1811/12/2012

I've been taking 10 mg of Prozac (fluoxetine), off and on, for about 11 years now.

I was prescribed it after some PTSD anxiety related to an incredibly awful and at one point seizure-inducing migraine that had sent me to the emergency room when I was 19 and had just started taking birth control pills.

When I first went on the drug (at the time it was marketed as Serafem, but I later learned it was just Prozac at mark-up price) I found myself become something of a social butterfly for the first time in my life when I had been a very brooding, loner sort of girl for much of my life to that point. I felt more confident and talkative and open to things, but at the same time I found it kind of hard to cry and lost some of my sex drive for a while. This isn't the case though now.

When I had an insurance change post-college I went off the Prozac for a couple of years but decided to start taking it again after having a random panic attack during a night of drinking where I decided to go to the E.R. to get checked out. I was prescribed Ativan to use as-needed in addition to going back to the regular Prozac dosage but I haven't really needed the Ativan and haven't had any anxiety episodes since going back on Prozac, even with adding huge stress to my life in quitting my job and going to law school.

So far I've stayed on the same 10 mg dose the entire time I've been on Prozac and while I think I might benefit from an increased dosage, it hasn't been imperative that I go up in the amount.

by Anonymousreply 1911/12/2012

Perhaps you haven't gone up on your dose R19, but just try getting off of it.

They ARE terrible, they don't work, etc., etc., simply because they don't address the cause of depression -- all they do is RECYCLE what little serotonin you may have left.

by Anonymousreply 2011/12/2012

Prozac helped me . I took it for 4 months. No side effects.

by Anonymousreply 2111/12/2012

I took it from 1996 until 2011. Was fine taking it but wanted to get off of meds. Twice I tried cold turkey. Big mistake, I ended up in the mental ward with a psychotic break on a 5150. I finally took 2 years and weaned off veerrrry slowly. Now I take vitamins and herbs that help my mood. Theanine-L being the main one.

Take it at your own risk. If you're truly miserable, take it. But expect to be on it a long time unless you're willing to wean off it very very slowly. Weaning off for me meant electrical "snaps" in the head, migranes, nervousness, more anxiety, malaise, pretty much the entire withdrawal symptom list. I was miserable but determined to get off it.

Years back my doctor said to expect to be on meds for the rest of my life, I'm not. And I'm doing fine now too.

by Anonymousreply 2311/12/2012

good for you, r23. I think it's terrible for docs to tell patients they need to be on meds for a lifetime. Having been on the marketing side of pharma, i know that idea is coming from pharma salespeople. It's not coming from medical research.

by Anonymousreply 2411/12/2012

Meh. Made me feel sort of blank, I didn't feel too much. No tears but no real laughs or joy either, felt a bit numb. I had problems with delayed ejaculation. My MD said it was helpful for anxiety too but I didn't necessarily find that be true, at least in my case. I found the old tricyclics much better for anxiety (and sleeping) but didn't want the weight gain, dry mouth and dizziness.

I'm on Wellbutrin now, I have loads of energy and no sexual side effects. Drugs work different for people, Prozac might be right for you even if it wasn't right for me.

by Anonymousreply 2511/12/2012

Fuck you. Try more!

by Anonymousreply 2611/12/2012


by Anonymousreply 2811/12/2012

r27 I thought prozac was one of the few that did show efficacy at slightly higher rates than placebo.

by Anonymousreply 2911/12/2012

Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa are all SSRIs, but they are completely different molecules and have different secondary neurotransmission effects on various receptors. This is why some people respond to one or another very differently, even though they all share the serotonin reuptake inhibition effect.

In general, patients with a high mixed anxiety-depression state, or obsessional qualities, will respond best to an SSRI. People who have severe depression with melancholic features may respond better to Cymbalta or Effexor XR, although many psychiatrists will try an SSRI first. Wellbutrin is hit or miss and often a third choice.

No one should be wasting time with a third trial of an SSRI if you have been on it for at least six to eight weeks at an effective dose. In fact, most patients will respond within two weeks if it's going to work at all.

And yes, antidepressants do not work for everyone, but they are usually very effective in severe depression with anxiety.

by Anonymousreply 3111/12/2012

My sister has done very well for years on Prozac. It did nothing for me except give my major panic attacks.

Zoloft has worked great for me though.

by Anonymousreply 3311/12/2012

The problem with Irving Kirsch, et. al, is their conclusions are based on meta-analysis of numerous trials of various antidepressants that were not "apples to apples" comparisons. Some were shorter, some were longer, some had inadequate controls, some may not have blinded, some were not dose-optimized, etc.

It is not a secret that most pharma drug trials for antidepressants are too short and the pool of patients is unreliable. As more and more people have entered treatment in the last twenty years, it is more difficult to assemble a group of truly depressed patients that may respond to the drug. Instead, the testing centers recruit people who are mildly to moderately depressed, which responds strongly to the care provided, the clinical setting and the passage of time. As a result, these study patients are not representative of the average outpatient seen in a psychiatrist's office.

There is no question that some people do not respond to antidepressants, while others only partially respond. But many people who are properly diagnosed by a psychiatrist do get better over time, especially if combined with effective psychotherapy.

There are a lot of axes being ground in this debate and the nuances of what is being said is difficult for the general public to understand. It's not a black or white conclusion.

by Anonymousreply 3911/12/2012

I cry.

by Anonymousreply 4011/12/2012

[quote]There are a lot of axes being ground in this debate and the nuances of what is being said is difficult for the general public to understand. It's not a black or white conclusion.

Yes, but ... We should be erring on the side of caution, and science, and protecting people from drugs that are neither safe nor effective. In justifying the status quo you seem to be arguing that we should continue to err on the side of maintaining market share.

Apart from the clinical implications are the financial ones: the billions spent (much of it tax money) on drugs that might be no more effective than placebo.

Or maybe it's the financial ones that drive the clinical ones. That seems to be the case now.

by Anonymousreply 4211/12/2012

Erring on the side of caution should be followed by every clinican, whether an MD or not, R42. Whether we use drugs, psychotherapy or some combination thereof, none is a cure-all for depression.

The fact remains these drugs can be very effective, even life-saving, when appropriately prescribed after reaching a reasonable diagnosis. To paint them as "placebos" or "ineffective" is inaccurate and smacks of axe-grinding when there are 50 years of research showing antidepressants do work.

The idea they cause dangerous side effects is pure nonsense. Any drug can cause unusual side effects, but the vast majority of patients take them with minimal to no side effects. That said, patients must be carefully monitored and given proper follow-up and they shouldn't be handed out like candy.

by Anonymousreply 4311/12/2012

Prozac is amazing.

For me, I had TERRIBLE generalized anxiety that made me feel depressed.

I couldn't get on a plane, I worried endlessly - it sucked.

Prozac really helped.

And if you're a woman, and get PMS, it helps with that too.

by Anonymousreply 4411/12/2012

r43 have you read the side effects described here? Brain zaps?

Nobody disputes that they work. The issue is: Do they work better than placebo? The more we learn about the studies whose results the drug companies discarded the more it looks like the answer is: They don't work better than placebo in a clinically significant way.

There's no ax grinding here. You conveniently leave out the multibillion dollar interests that don't want any of us to pay any attention to the man behind the curtain. That is a huge part of the equation.

by Anonymousreply 4511/12/2012

Brain zaps are not a serious side effect and are the result of patients stopping the drug cold turkey or weaning off too quickly. The withdrawal syndrome is easily managed by prescribing Prozac for two weeks and allowing a natural taper of the serotonin reuptake effect.

The drugs are meant to be prescribed to people experiencing severe depression that interferes with their functioning, not mild to moderate depression, which often responds to placebo. Not everyone who is depressed needs medication and psychotherapy is very important.

by Anonymousreply 4611/13/2012

But they are prescribing these drugs to people with mild to moderate depression, R46.

by Anonymousreply 4711/13/2012

Primary care physicians are doing most of the overprescribing, not psychiatrists. There are not enough psychiatrists to treat mild to moderate depression and most don't want to.

Internists are not trained adequately nor do they have the time to treat mental illness. That's why we have social workers and psychologists.

by Anonymousreply 4811/13/2012

I was prescribed Prozac for OCD, and eventually worked up to a 100mg/day dose. Effective for my OCD, but I never felt a natural emotion for the 3 years I was on it

by Anonymousreply 4911/13/2012

I also had it for OCD in the 90s .At that time it was the only thing that worked with me

by Anonymousreply 5011/13/2012

Brain zaps are not a serious side effect? WTF?

I'm pretty sure 'brain zaps' aren't listed as a possible side effect even though it seems like a significant percentage of people experience them.

r46, do you work for a drug company?

by Anonymousreply 5111/13/2012

[quote]The drugs are meant to be prescribed to people experiencing severe depression that interferes with their functioning, not mild to moderate depression

This is simply not true. 'Meant' by whom? Certainly not the drug companies.

Have you seen the zoloft ads with the bouncing bubble? They are clearly targeting people with mild or dysthymic depression. ALL the drug ads do this. They want the largest market possible.

by Anonymousreply 5211/13/2012

The drugs work for people under appropriate circumstances.

An individual should be self-educated about their treatment as well as working with a provider whom they trust.

One size does not fit all in these cases.

I wonder about the person who (incessantly) tries to make this so.

by Anonymousreply 5311/13/2012

[quote]The drugs work for people under appropriate circumstances.

That is not in dispute, r53. That they do work,for some people, in some circumstances, is something everyone agrees on.

The issue is: Do they work better than placebo? The more we learn the more it appears they don't.

If these drugs can't stand up to scientific scrutiny though, they have no business being sold (and they are not cheap). That is the issue.

A lot of us (gay people) are/have been diagnosed with depression (me included) and we deserve better.

by Anonymousreply 5511/13/2012

R55, you are confusing what is measured as a statistical signal in a controlled study versus clinical practice in the real world. The conclusion that antidepressants are no better than a placebo is valid in many cases for the newer drugs in various trials. The question is why.

In the real world of practice, there is absolutely no doubt among most clinicians, both medical and non-medical, that the drugs work. Do they work for everyone? Do they do what the marketing reps promise all the time? No. But that is true of any drug.

To make a statement that antidepressants do not stand up to scientific scrutiny because of poorly designed studies that fail to show sufficient power over placebo is intellectually dishonest and ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 5611/13/2012

"In the real world of practice" where "there is absolutely no doubt" ... how many patients were given placebo and also improved? And were fully convinced it was the pill that did it?

That's the key question.

What is "intellectually dishonest" and "ridiculous" is telling people they have a chemical imbalance and they "need" to be on medication, maybe for life.

No doctor can say what chemicals in the brain are "imbalanced". No doctor can say "You have a deficiency of substance X in your brain. If you had X% more, you'd be fine. This medication will give you that X%".

That's the pretense. That's what they want depressed people to believe. There's only one problem: It's a marketing statement. It's has no scientific basis at all; it's just a theory.

Until the science catches up with the pill marketing, the chemical imbalance message is what is intellectually dishonest and ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 5711/13/2012

Apprehensive about anti-anxiety drugs too?

by Anonymousreply 5811/13/2012

Who says patients have a chemical imbalance? I've never heard of a psychiatrist telling anyone that. An honest statement is a particular drug may relieve symptoms and help someone function better. No is claiming any psychiatric medication is a cure.

There are some people who have a high risk of relapse and poor functioning over the long-term that should remain on medication for life. This is a very small percentage of most patients. Standard practice with depression is six to nine months at an effective dose for a first episode, then wean off.

Most people who choose to stay on the drug have a long history of anxiety and depression that interferred with their ability to function at times. If the drug is helping them stay well and is not causing any serious side effects, it may be a wise decision for these folks to stay on the medication.

It sounds like you have an axe to grind based on your personal experience with depression or another condition. There are many reasons people become depressed and not all of those reasons are solved by taking a pill.

by Anonymousreply 5911/13/2012

The mechanism of anti-anxiety drugs is much better understood. They also test clearly better than placebo. Problem is most are addictive.

by Anonymousreply 6011/13/2012

The mechanism of antidepressants has been understood since the mid-50s. The newer drugs act on the same neurotransmitters the old tricyclics did, but with less action on numerous other receptors that caused most of the side effects with the old drugs. This is why they are not more effective, just much more easier to tolerate.

What is not known is how exactly the effect on receptors translates to antidepressant action. There are lots of theories, but none have been proven. Depression is a complex set of symptoms that can encompass many conditions and psychological states, making it harder to define than simple anxiety.

by Anonymousreply 6111/13/2012

r59, what 'axe to grind'? Ad hominem remarks don't solve anything. I'm saying stick to the science and what we know about the placebo effect, and you're saying i have an axe to grind.

If you haven't heard the 'chemical imbalance' idea then you're not paying attention. It is the major metaphor used to sell drugs (and hopefully make lifelong customers).

The only 'axe to grind' i have is against fraud. I've been on the marketing side of big pharma and see how powerful they are and how ruthlessly they pursue market share. I think DTC drug ads should be illegal but that's another story.

The other 'axe' is that we (gay) people deal with a lot of hostility and hatred and THIS is what makes most of us depressed. Not a chemical imbalance.

by Anonymousreply 6211/13/2012

I took Prozac for a while. It really didn't do anything for me, except give me headaches and I couldn't get erect. Also, it kinda made me jittery. I got dizzy spells when I'd forget to drop one, too. Oh yeah, it also gave me EXTREME DIARRHEA all the time, which, as you might imagine screwed up my sex life!

There are reports that it and other drugs like it cause brain cancer.

Be careful. Just smoke weed when you're upset or feeling like you want to kill.

by Anonymousreply 6311/13/2012

The bottom line is some people benefit tremendously from antidepressants, while others do fine without it. One size doesn't fit all.

Antidepressants do work when appropriately prescribed with a correct diagnosis. They do not work on personality disorders, life problems or past unresolved drama.

by Anonymousreply 6511/13/2012

r65, the bottom line is some people benefit tremendously from antidepressants -- in roughly the same proportion that people benefit from placebo.

This is a question that deserves more rigourous research and testing instead of "one size doesn't fit all" bromides defending the status quo.

by Anonymousreply 6611/13/2012

I'm on Celexa, and it's really turned my life around. I know longer dread every challenge.

On the minus side, if I want to have an orgasm, I have to set aside most of the afternoon to achieve it.

by Anonymousreply 6811/13/2012

Prozac made me feel worse, but it's about finding the right med if you feel meds are right for you. I take paroxetine, and have done for over ten years. Everyone is different, but for me, it makes me able to cope- I deal with plenty of crap and that's fine. The meds stop me from being crippled. I do the rest.

by Anonymousreply 7111/13/2012

The reason placebo rates are high in the trials for newer antidepressants is the pool of patients are not severely depressed. They also exclude many other comorbid conditions, especially anxiety or OCD, in order to assemble a "pure" sample of depressed people.

Since the vast majority of patients who present have anxiety mixed with major depression, is it any wonder these results do not correspond to what happens in clinical practice? They also exclude "suicidal" patients, which means the vast majority of people suffering from melancholic, severe depression are not in the studies.

It's not a big mystery or conspiracy.

by Anonymousreply 7311/13/2012

It causes some people to lose weight. It's one of the older ones, so it has been tested for a long time. Zoloft is another old one but I've never heard of it making anyone lose weight. All are addictive, so you have to come off them slowly.

by Anonymousreply 7711/13/2012

[quote] it's natural and it works

Many of the most deadly substances are 'natural'. Invalid qualifier!

by Anonymousreply 7811/13/2012

With the exception of Wellbutrin, all the antidepressants cause weight gain over time. Some people do better on one versus another, but they all have the potential to do it.

Paxil is generally the worst, followed by Lexapro/Celexa. Zoloft tends to be neutral, while Prozac may cause slight weight loss. But everyone is different and your experience could be the opposite.

by Anonymousreply 8011/13/2012

LOL, R81!

by Anonymousreply 8411/13/2012

[quote]Since the vast majority of patients who present have anxiety mixed with major depression, is it any wonder these results do not correspond to what happens in clinical practice?

How do you know the results don't correspond to what is seen in clinical practice?

Unless you are giving some patients placebo -- which would be highly unethical -- you have no way of knowing which patients are getting better from the drug vs the placebo effect.

All you know is the drugs seem highly successful because everyone says they feel better on them.

Please stop deliberately confusing the issues.

by Anonymousreply 8511/13/2012

[quote]All you know is the drugs seem highly successful because everyone says they feel better on them.

Except for when they don't.

And then they try another drug, and they do.

The drugs can be effective beyond placebo. This is a fact, whether you choose to believe it or not.

by Anonymousreply 8611/13/2012

r81 i hope you're joking but now the drug companies are selling people the idea that if your antidepressant doesn't work, maybe you should take an anti-psychotic (Abilify) as a 'boost'.

If brain zaps were a drag, wait until you get tardive dyskinesia.

Advertising drugs to consumers should be illegal, like it is in Canada.

by Anonymousreply 8711/13/2012

[quote]The drugs can be effective beyond placebo. This is a fact, whether you choose to believe it or not.

they 'can be', but it's not what the studies suggest, when you include the studies the drug companies didn't want anyone to ever see, and only were uncovered only because of a FOIA request.

A fact, because you said so.

Nothing you have said contradicts the idea that most of the benefit from antidepressants may in fact be due to the placebo effect.

Why you find this so threatening is an interesting mystery.

by Anonymousreply 8811/13/2012

The studies are six to eight weeks in duration for most trials, which is far too short to show anything but a response, whether from the drug or placebo. Very few patients will recover from an episode of severe depression bedore six months.

Studies are flawed and not some holy grail of indisputable results.

by Anonymousreply 8911/13/2012

I hardly find it threatening, R88.

You, on the other hand, seem obsessed.

Is anyone forcing you to take a drug against your will. Perhaps in the past?

by Anonymousreply 9011/13/2012

Interesting you resort to another ad hominem, implying I was drugged against my will in my past, ie mentally ill. Sorry to disappoint, in your cruel attempt at humor, but I've never been drugged against my will.

You still avoid addressing my main point: Nothing you have said contradicts the idea that most of the benefit from antidepressants may in fact be due to the placebo effect.

by Anonymousreply 9111/13/2012

R91 I believe you are confusing posters.

In any case, placebo affect can be used to challenge the efficacy of any drug on the planet. Your hyper-focus is irrelevant and misplaced. You're certainly not helping OP (remember him?). Re-read his post. This is not about you.

Get some sleep.

by Anonymousreply 9211/13/2012

[quote]placebo affect can be used to challenge the efficacy of any drug on the planet

And when they do, and drugs are deemed no better than placebo, they can no longer be marketed as 'drugs'.

Still resorting to ad hominems, still avoiding the main point: Nothing you have said contradicts the idea that most of the benefit from antidepressants may in fact be due to the placebo effect.

This has everything to do with OP's original post.

by Anonymousreply 9311/13/2012

And yet Prozac continues to be marketed as a drug....How's that for contradiction?

And no, OP specifically asked that tinhats start their own thread and yet here you are. Another contradiction!

by Anonymousreply 9411/13/2012

Intool Elavis, Prozac and ceexa at different times one of them caused me to have the most amazing sleep disturbances. I forgot which one, but I was on it for years and years.

by Anonymousreply 9511/13/2012

I did a six month course of Prozac in 2003. I was having suicidal thoughts at the time and I felt like it did give me the space to make some sense of what was making me depressed (hated my job and where I was living). The side effects did suck though - really tough to get and sustain a boner and I gained about 20 pounds.

If I had it to do over again I would have spoken up about the sexual side effects and asked to try something different.

by Anonymousreply 9711/14/2012

"My shrink recently prescribed it, but I haven't started taking it. I'm apprehensive about it."

Oh, the irony...

by Anonymousreply 9811/14/2012

How ridiculous, R99. No one is brainwashed and taking antidepressants is not like popping Xanax or Valium. There is no immediate relief or euphoria and the side effects are difficult in the first few weeks.

If they were so useless, then why do the SSRIs remain the most prescribed antidepressants? Because everyone is getting high on them?

by Anonymousreply 10011/14/2012

[quote]If they were so useless, then why do the SSRIs remain the most prescribed antidepressants? Because everyone is getting high on them?

Because a lot of people are depressed, and the government approved them to treat depression.

It's not a difficult equation.

by Anonymousreply 10211/14/2012

Right, R102. So everyone is popping them like robots and putting up with various side effects because they don't work, right?

These anti-psychiatry arguments are nonsense.

by Anonymousreply 10311/14/2012

It saved my life. I am happy to be alive and productive today not because I just took prozac, but because it gave me enough sense of well-being and control that I was able to go into therapy and make real progress.

I know many think it's garbage, but for some of us, it worked.

by Anonymousreply 10411/14/2012

what anti-psychiatry arguments r103?

And just to beat a dead horse: For many people the pills do work. Whether they work better than placebo is the question.

The real nonsense is that people keep refuting the above statement with: "Well I know they work, because they worked for me. I'm proof the pills work, they're not useless."

There seems to be a basic misunderstanding of the placebo effect. Also a basic misunderstanding of why drugs are tested and why we have an FDA.

by Anonymousreply 10511/14/2012

I am currently taking paroxetine/paxil and have used prozac, zoloft, and wellbutrin in the past. Paxil is by far my favourite: I was feeling so good at one point that I thought I was cured of my depression (big mistake trying to go off it). I also have mild OCD and paxil helps best with obsessive thoughts imo.

by Anonymousreply 10611/14/2012

It's worked very well for my anxiety. After a couple years for depression, not so much.

by Anonymousreply 10711/14/2012

R108, I hope you encourage your partner to discuss this decision with his doctor and to commit to a very slow weaning process if he does decide to stop. It is very important not to stop antidepressants suddenly or too quickly, especially after 19 years of continuous treatment.

Sometimes people stay on the medication for fear of "rocking the boat". The only way to know for sure if you still need them is to wean off, but it must be done slowly under medical supervision.

by Anonymousreply 10911/14/2012

thanks for the compliment r108.

FWIW it helped me a lot to realize that being depressed is a healthy reaction if you're gay. 'Healthy' meaning there's nothing wrong with your brain that needs 'fixing'. It sucks feeling down about yourself, but the solution is to not internalize all the constant negativity you face.

good luck to you and your partner.

by Anonymousreply 11111/15/2012

"Feeling down about yourself" is not the same as being clinically depressed. Depression is a distinct condition. It has criteria. It is not always treated with medication. In some cases medication is extremely effective (beyond placebo). Studies show a combination of medication and psychotherapy being the most effective course of treatment. Often psychotherapy is effective without medication.

by Anonymousreply 11211/15/2012

{quote]"Feeling down about yourself" is not the same as being clinically depressed.

Neither are they mutually exclusive. Depression as a 'distinct condition' doesn't mean that someone's external circumstances don't play a role. Psychiatrists/psychotherapists all seemed trained to focus on parents as one's most formative influences. They seem to downplay the influence of culture and other social factors.

by Anonymousreply 11311/15/2012

[quote]They seem to downplay the influence of culture and other social factors.

This is completely ludicrous. Where do you get your information? Are you posting from the 1950s?

The days of single-focused pscyhodynamic therapy have long passed. Most therapists today practice at least some form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which includes examination of culture and social factors--any or all factors which might contribute to negative thinking. Any therapist who would not address societal stigma and its influence on feelings and behavior would not be worth his salt.

by Anonymousreply 11411/15/2012

I took prozac as my first antidepressant and it worked well but I gained ten pounds pretty quickly and the sexual side effects were not so fun.

I later switched to a combo of effexor and wellbutrin which I didn't like so much. I really didn't like effexor as I always really felt like I was on something. For a while I took wellbutrin alone which always felt rather speedy.

Effexor is also the worst to come off of. I tapered very slowly and it was still a bitch.

I've been on lexapro for years since and it's been great. Sexual side effects are minimum at first and they subsided.

by Anonymousreply 11511/15/2012

r114, your points would be better made without the ad hominem remarks. (I'm the person you made fun of by presuming i'd been drugged against my will in an institution. Classy.)

I should have said "in my experience" therapists tend to want to zero in on parents, because that's how they seem to be trained. I've had good experience with CBT but the woman i saw also downplayed anti-gay influences, probably because she was not gay herself and just had no idea.

by Anonymousreply 11611/15/2012

First of all R116, this is the DL--you have to expect a certain level of snark (but I never used the word "institution"--a Freudian slip, perhaps?. Also, you have been addressed by other posters besides myself.

Secondly, I think my points have been aptly made. Again, I'm really not trying to convince you, personally, of anything. OP asked for information, and others on this thread benefit from objective information. Sharing personal experience is fine---making sweeping generalizations is irresponsible and can be dangerous for those in need of help.

by Anonymousreply 11711/15/2012

You didn't have to use the word r117, when you 'joked' that i was drugged against my will. I know there are no sacred cows here, but making fun of mental illness on a thread about depression speaks volumes about you.

OP to answer your original question: good friend was on prozac for years, switched to something else due to sexual side effects. He also said when he would complain it didn't seem to be working, they'd just up the dose.

by Anonymousreply 11811/15/2012

Which is standard practice. He chose to get off Prozac due to side effects and switch to another drug, which may not work as well. Getting the right dose is part of the process to see if the medication has been optimized before dropping it and trying something else.

Antidepressant treatment is trial and error for most patients. Unfortunately, there is no way to know in advance which drug is going to work with the least amount of side effects. Sometimes a drug is effective at relieving symptoms, but the side effects are burdensome. At that point, a decision has to be made based on risk/benefit and whether to try something else.

There is no perfect solution, but again, that doesn't mean the drugs don't work for people for whom they are appropriately prescribed.

by Anonymousreply 11911/15/2012

R118 I joked about you, not mental illness. Again, delicate flowers have no place on the DL.

Thank you R119, for that succinct and appropriate post.

by Anonymousreply 12011/15/2012

I talked about Celexa in a previous post...Here are some other things.

I tried Prozac and Wellbutrin in previous years...I disliked both of them.

It seemed counter-productive at first to take Celexa for anxiety, since anxiety is one of the side effects, at least at first. Once that faded, it's been working great.

I've lost weight on it, although that could be because I'm not drinking.

It improves my creativity, and it's never turned me into a zombie.

My main worry: Is this something I'm going to have to take for the rest of my life?

by Anonymousreply 12111/15/2012

hold on, that webMD article says 10% of americans are on an antidepressant?

I had no idea it was that high.

by Anonymousreply 12711/15/2012

Oh, the irony....

by Anonymousreply 12811/15/2012

[quote]My main worry: Is this something I'm going to have to take for the rest of my life?

Not necessarily, R121.

Be sure to discuss this with your provider.

by Anonymousreply 13011/15/2012

What irony?

That 10% of the population is taking drugs that might be ineffective and have side effects?

by Anonymousreply 13211/15/2012

What did I say in the first post?

[quote]And I'm not interested in hearing over-the-top, tinhat bullshit about how antidepressants are terrible, don't work, or how people who take them are weak-minded, etc. So kindly start your own thread with that shit.

by Anonymousreply 13311/15/2012

Irving is biased and his conclusions were thoroughly debunked by his peers, many of whom have spent 30 years or more designing and conducting randomized control trials of many different types of psychiatric drugs.

He used arbitrary and unusual trials from the 70s and 80s that were widely thought to be flawed. The effect sizes he assigned to the differences between drug or placebo and the significance of those sizes were widely disputed and not accepted by other researchers and statisticians.

Give it a rest!

by Anonymousreply 13511/15/2012

R136, please take you're trolling somewhere else. You are exactly the kind of idiot I specifically stated I did not want to hear from.

by Anonymousreply 13711/15/2012

So you are the OP - why did you start this thread? I believe you are a PR flack for pharma in here to get gay men to start trapped into a drug they don't need.

by Anonymousreply 13811/15/2012

OP do you have reasons for why you're depressed? do you have access to a therapist in addition to drugs?

by Anonymousreply 13911/15/2012

I feel so godamn low now

by Anonymousreply 14011/15/2012

[quote] I believe you are a PR flack for pharma in here to get gay men to start trapped into a drug they don't need.

And I believe you are Mrs Patrick Campbell.

by Anonymousreply 14111/15/2012

R136 has a personality disorder that wasn't solved by antidepressants and has created his own world whereas his anger at life is caused by evil pharma and being gay.

Please seek help immediately.

by Anonymousreply 14211/15/2012

r135 your argument is basically: Don't listen to Irving! Nobody likes him!

What do you think of Marcia Angell?

by Anonymousreply 14311/15/2012

Thank you, R142!

by Anonymousreply 14411/17/2012

Here's the fucking truth.

If you feel like absolute shit, if you spend all your time worrying about the bad things in life (people eventually dying, "unloyal friends," job shit, stress, money shit) and very very little time enjoying the day-to-day of life, then you OWE it to YOURSELF and those you LOVE to work at feeling better.

You definitely owe it to at least try Prozac. It has helped thousands of people.

Now it's very true that if you, say, sweated 20 mins a day in a cardio session, you might get a similar effect.

But that is very hard to commence when you feel horrible.

I just think of my life before Prozac and after it.

That feeling of fear -- I was afraid to fly, I'd obsessively call my parents worried something bad was gonna happen to them, I agonized over every work decision - was no way to live.

Since I started Prozac a few years ago, I realized that I love cooking healthy meals and visiting gardens and watching stand-up comedy. I find those activities interesting and fun and rewarding.

If you're reading this and the thought of giving a flying fuck about things like cooking or garden is completely insane to you, and you spend your days wallowing in misery and anxiety, you should try a low dose of Prozac.

by Anonymousreply 14511/22/2012
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