Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “Major depressive disorder

28 Days of Prozac (Fluoxetine)

After 28 days, I have noticed a significant change in my overall mood. I can’t say I am not feeling a little low, but the low is not as bad as it was 28 days ago. I noticed I have been sleeping quite a bit more. I can’t say if that is a symptom of my depression or if I am just feeling a little zonked out. I know when I was on Invega (an antipsychotic) I felt like a complete zombie. While I am no longer on that drug (now on Fanapt, a very low dose), I do feel sort of zombied out, but not as much as I did back then. I still feel emotion and I can still experience some bad lows. However, it looks like the Prozac is doing its job and prevent too many lows. They are still there, but they don’t come as often.

I have found that there are times when I still deal with some pretty bad anxiety so I can’t say that the Prozac is helping as far as that. I have gotten some questions as to other known side effects. To address each one, here is a short list and my experience with them.

 

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out; – I have felt light headed at times, but not enough to pass out. This isn’t unusual for me though. 
  • agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; – I’ve not felt overly agitated. It is normal for me to have hallucinations. I have felt significantly more nausea. Again, nausea is normal for me, but it has been more prevalent since starting Prozac. 
  • headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing (breathing may stop); – I have had some pretty bad headaches, but as with some of the other issues, headaches are normal for me. Same as the others, the headaches have been slightly more intense, but they are manageable so far. 
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling. – I’ve not experienced any of these side effects. 
  • drowsiness, yawning; – It has gotten somewhat significant. I find that I am quite tired a lot of the time, but cannot sleep. I have been using OTC sleep aids sparingly(diphenhydramine). 
  • tremors, sweating, feeling anxious or nervous; – This is normal for me. I have Klonopin to help with meltdowns from anxiety. For reference, I take the Klonopin, on average, twice a week to knock me down. I do not take it daily. 
  • dry mouth, upset stomach, mild nausea; – See above.
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams; – I’ve mentioned my sleep issues. My dreams have almost always been very strange and often lucid so this is not unusual for me. 
  • mild rash; – None so far. 
  • changes in weight or appetite; – I’ve mentioned this before as well. I am seeing what is slowly becoming a significant weight change. I first noticed I wasn’t feeling nearly as hungry about a week or so after starting Prozac. There have been days where I’ve not eaten at all. To avoid any complications, I have started scheduling my meals and setting reminders to eat. When I do eat, I am eating far less and am almost never hungry. I am eating simply so I won’t feel light headed or fatigued. I still enjoy the taste of food so when I do eat, I am usually having something I really like. I have, since my teen years, be really into pastas and high carb foods; a habit I picked up when I used to play tennis. I do have some pastas now, but as I said, I’m not eating nearly as much as I used to. I can think of only a single time in the past 3 weeks where I’ve felt a little hungry and that was at the end of the day when I’d forgotten to eat anything. In the past month, I have dropped about 15 lbs. I was working out quite a bit, but then I hurt my back (have had a bad back for years) so I stopped to let myself heal (this was before I started the Prozac). Even without the workouts, I am still dropping weight. I suspect when I start up again with my workouts, I will drop more weight which is fine with me. I have carried a lot of extra weight most of my adult life so dropping 30-40 lbs will do me some good. 
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; – I’ve not noticed any of these symptoms. 
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat. – I have had a slightly stuffy nose, but I am going to say it’s probably from my allergies. I have common seasonal allergies so that could be the reason why I get a stuffy nose from time to time.

I’ve read studies that have seen an increased proclivity to violence from people taking Prozac. I’ve not experienced anything that would suggest this happening with me. I’ve always been a very passive person though. I have never been the type to go around looking for an argument or a fight. If you have been known as someone with a short temper, make sure you tell your doctor if you find yourself a little more on edge than usual.

I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you want my diagnosis for reference, I was formally diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder (depressive type). The medications I am on right now to help with this are Prozac, Fanapt, Klonopin, and Buspar. I also take a few other medications for unrelated health issues such as Zanaflex for migraine, tension, and cluster headaches.

If you have questions, you can comment all you like and I will respond or you can use my contact information if your question is of a personal nature.

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega ...

English: Invega retard tablets Magyar: Invega retard tabletta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Amanda Todd: A Reaction

People have been talking about Amanda Todd, a 15 year old girl who took her own life from endless bullying. If you’ve read my blog before you will know I am no stranger to major depression and thoughts of suicide. While I cannot claim to have know this girl, I can attest to how she probably felt. A friend of mine posted a story about her on their Facebook page to bring the story to light for those who may not have heard about it. The following was my reaction.

“This happens to adults as well as children. We are all people and we all make bad decisions every now and then. She did and she knew she did, and for that she was cast out of society until she couldn’t take it anymore. A perfect adult example of this is what has happened and is happening with Michael Vick. The guy screwed up big time and for that, he went to jail. He repaid his debt to society, yet people still bash him and ridicule him, and sadly it will probably always be that way. It’s this sort of mentality that destroys people. A person makes one or two mistakes in their lives and they are never able to live it down. Of course, this 15 year old girl had more of an excuse than Vick, but the situations are still similar. Yes, he was a grown man and she was just a kid. Still, we are mere spectators in most of these situations and we need to stop being so judgmental. We are no one to judge others. None of us. We’ve all made mistakes in our lives. Until we can realize that everyone in one way or another is screwed up, this will continue to happen.”

I was in no way making excuses for what Michael Vick did. He knows he made a huge mistake and for that he was sent to jail and dismissed from the NFL. There is no way he can bring back the lives of the animals he took, but to assume he can never fully redeem himself is selfish on the part of society. In some people’s eyes, anything he may be doing or might do in the future to try to redeem himself will never be enough. That’s unfair. The same can be said for this little girl. She made a huge mistake by showing off her body and letting herself be photographed. Still, it was the mistake of a person with very little wisdom and no grasp on the long term repercussions of her actions. She screwed up. Everyone screws up. We all don’t do the exact same things this girl did, but we do eventually make a bad decision. Maybe we do something dumb like not keeping up with our children or maybe we start gambling away all our money. Maybe we get into drugs or start drinking too much.

If a drunk can find redemption, then so can this little girl. So can Michael Vick. I’ve had my run ins with drunks and suffice it to say, they were not the greatest of times in my life. The same can be said of those with drug problems. These people that have directly affected my life made mistakes just like Michael and Amanda did. Yet, here I am, having forgave those people for their actions.

I find it remarkably disturbing that so many people find it so hard to forgive. I find it even worse that so many people that had nothing to do with those mistakes somehow feel justified in condemning not the mistakes themselves, but the people who made them. What’s done is done. We cannot change that. There is no secret time machine where we can somehow go back into the past and correct our mistakes. Sure, the people who screwed up would surely like to do just that, but it’s simply not an option. All these people can do is seek atonement. It is up to them and if they sincerely wish to atone for their sins, we should be able to find it in our hearts to forgive them and maybe even offer them help to achieve that goal.

I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care what religion you follow, what political group to ally yourself with, or what color your skin is. Not a single one of us has any right to pass judgment on anyone else. We have all screwed up. Some more than others, but not one of us is innocent. If a person is truly remorseful for their trespass, we should do our best to let go of any hate or anger that developed from that indiscretion. As the old saying goes, hate begets hate. Anger begets anger. Forgiveness, compassion, love…well, they help to heal.

Amanda Todd – gone too soon – Rest in Peace.

Photo via Vancouversun.com