Let’s Hear it for Prozac

I’ve talked here before about how I’ve been taking prozac and other anti-depressants for years and how it’s really helped me with my tendency towards depression. Sometimes when someone would ask me why I was depressed it just seemed like the answer was, “Because that’s what I do.” When I’m upset or otherwise unhappy I tend to get depressed. That’s where the pressure and negativity show up.

I started taking the pills back in the nineties but within the last year or so I’ve wondered what life would be like without them. I’m way better off in all respects and much stronger than I was back then, so with my doctor’s supervision I’ve been weaning off them and am now just on a tiny amount each week and will probably be off the drugs completely in a month or two. It’s generally been going pretty well, though I have my occasional bad days still. In fact, even when I was taking prozac I would have many days where I was still depressed, which is something I need to remember. Because now that I’m heading off them, whenever I have a bad day emotionally I make myself kind of crazy thinking, “Is this because I’m no longer on the Good Stuff?” I’ve got a huge talent for self torment when I’m in that mood.

It’s funny, I’ve had friends make different comments. Some have said, if you’re feeling good and the drugs work, why go off them? It’s not like it’s bad to take them, which I agree. I’m very thankful that the medication is available. Others have said, just go cold turkey and be done with it! My main desire is that I just want to see how life is without them. Plus they do have some minor side-effects like dampening my libido, and I’d rather be un-dampened if possible. And it’s just been a really really long time that I’ve been taking this stuff. I wonder about the long-term effects. Of course, if in six months I find that I just don’t function that well without anti-depressants, I think I would be open to reconsidering it if I felt I needed to. There’s obviously still stigma attached to mental illness, which is one reason I try not to hide my experiences. With my website I have a tiny bit of exposure on the internet (in a very specific niche) and I hope that maybe by being open about my own struggles with depression that it might help someone else to get help if they need it. It really sucks to be miserable and isolated.

3 thoughts on “Let’s Hear it for Prozac”

  1. Hi Sandra

    I take Lexapro for depression and it has really helped me. In my case, I have had bouts of depression over having heart disease and (most recently) tinnitus. I think Lexapro is an SSRI-type antidepressant like Prozac. So it is good to know that you can get off it, even after a long time. I hope you continue to do well as you taper off. I love your blog and web site.



  2. Thanks for the comment, Rob! I’ve been doing well and hope you are too. I’ve heard tinnitus can be really stressful. Other things that have helped me with depression are cognitive therapy, such as in David Burn’s book “Feeling Good.” The Landmark Forum was a real eye opener too that I would definitely recommend.

    One thing I realized from it is I have this tendency to tell myself I’m a “depressive” and that “I’m all alone,” (which isn’t true but it’s easy to think that when I’m feeling bad.) And those kinds of inner messages tend to bum me out even more and just make things worse – so it’s something I need to watch and be aware of. Simple stuff like that has made a big difference for me. It hasn’t made it all go away but it’s been a big help.

  3. Hi Sandra. Couldn’t help but notice this thread on your blog. Even though I’ve been medicine free for nearly 2 years I still see my therapist which helps big time. I know what it’s like to feel alone and isolated. And I still have “dark” periods in which I shut myself off from everyone. It’s very difficult. But when I see all you’ve accomplished in spite of your depression it gives me the strength to try and do better too. Hang in there and please write me if you ever need to reach out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *