Medication

Part of the reason I have not been updating is that I have not been doing well.  It was fun to post when things were going well.  But things have not been well for awhile and so I haven’t really felt like sharing.  I should anyway, but I haven’t.

I haven’t been doing my therapy homework.  I haven’t wanted to.  I haven’t wanted to do much of anything.  I have just been giving in to OCD and feeling really helpless.  I just don’t feel like I am making any progress.  When I look at where I was when I started therapy in June and then look at where I am now, I see there is progress. But it’s so little and so slow that it’s less than encouraging.

Anyway, so I had a therapy session today and I told my therapist how I have been feeling.  She asked how I felt about trying medication.  I have been against taking medication, so  I related my past experience with OCD meds to her.

When I was diagnosed about 11 years ago, I tried Paxil and Celexa (not simultaneously).  I hated both of them, especially Paxil.  There were too many bad side effects.  At the time, my OCD was not so bad that I couldn’t manage it on my own, so I decided to forgo medication.

But now I am having trouble dealing on my own.  Medication would help me make better and faster progress in therapy.  It would take a bit of the load off of my back.  I always thought I could manage on my own, but it has gotten so much harder over the years.  I thought I could do therapy without medication, but I had no idea how hard or how slow it would be.  It can be difficult not to get down on myself on a regular basis.  I am tired of feeling like a failure.

So I have decided to give medication another try.  My therapist said the ones I tried when I was 12 years old are no longer prescribed for OCD because of the side effects.  She wants me to try Prozac.  She said it should not negatively affect my schoolwork.  She thinks it will, instead, make school less stressful.  The only side effect she thinks I should look out for is sleep problems.  This makes me nervous because I have had trouble sleeping for years, on and off.  But I’m going to give it a try.  She wants me to start at a really low dose, 10 mg.

Part of me feels like I’m giving up.  Part of me feels like this is just another form of failure.  I am trying not to think like that, though, because it’s not defeat.  I just need help.  And that’s ok, right?  Hopefully I will feel better about this decision.  Hopefully it will help.  I’m just afraid.

So we’ll see.  I will try to write more once I start taking it.  I will have a lot to process.  So I hope to be around here more.  I have to go get a prescription this week.  I hope this is not a mistake.

Have any of you OCDers taken Prozac in the past or do you take it now?  If so, what do you think of it?  How has it worked (or not) for you?

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28 thoughts on “Medication

  1. I take Prozac for my OCD and Anxiety. I’m on a much higher dose than you – 60mg a day. I’ve been on it since June and my dosage has gradually been increased because at first it didn’t work. It has helped my OCD to a certain extent but mostly my panic attacks and anxiety when I’m not at home. I can now go to a shopping centre and do my shopping without having a meltdown. My psych wanted to increase my dosage to 80mg last month but I didn’t get the script filled and stayed on 60mg. The side effects I’ve had have been bad sleep patterns. I’ve become nocturnal and can never get to sleep before 1am at earliest. Then I usually sleep until 11am or midday. I’ve also put on a lot of weight. It’s affected my appetite in a weird way. The psych told me it would help with weight loss because I’d feel less hungry and I do. I’m hardly hungry at all but when I do feel like eating all I feel like is sugary food. I crave it which I never used to at all. I’ve put on 14kg in 7 months. That’s why i don’t want to take a higher dose too. I know this sounds like a not very positive account but if I forget the weight and sleep then it’s been the best medication I’ve been on in terms of my OCD and Anxiety.

    1. If Prozac works for me, eventually I’ll be on a much higher dose. I’m glad to be starting small, but my therapist warned me that such a small dose may have no effects either way.

      My therapist also told me that weight gain would not be an issue. I hope it won’t be.

      I’m glad to hear, though, that in spite of the side effects, it is still a positive medication for you. That gives me hope.

  2. bless your heart…

    let me say this first… i don’t have OCD. i cannot imagine what it is like for you…

    but what i want to say is this:

    don’t think of starting meds as failure. it’s not failure. you are going to be trying a new path to getting better. it doesn’t mean that you aren’t strong, or that you can’t do it. it just is a way to help you reach your goals…. you are not a failure, your progress proves that.

    i’m glad to hear you’ve decided to give it a go and see what happens… maybe it will out wonderfully for you… maybe not. but you won’t know without trying it… good luck!

    1. Thank you so much! I am trying to think that way. I’m getting there. It’s just tough. I have always been the person who wants to do everything on her own without help from others. But I’m human, so that is unreasonable. I am stubborn, though, so learning to ask for and be ok with help has been difficult.

  3. No feedback on Prozac, sorry. My doc said that it could possibly make me aggressive and I just didn’t need that on top of everything else.

    Please don’t feel bad about the medication. Would you feel bad if you had high blood pressure and took meds for it or had diabetes and took insulin? It is an illness. I wish society could get past thinking it’s something you can think yourself out of.

    Please be kind to yourself. Be patient. No negative self-talk. Hope that it will help. And don’t you dare feel like a failure because you are wise enough to take a chance for yourself. You deserve to be happy and if there is something that can help you find that peace and happiness then go for it.

    Lots of support and good wishes coming your way.

    1. Aggression does not sound like fun! Hopefully I won’t experience that! I’ll keep an eye out for it, though.

      You make a good point. I have a mental illness, which I frequently argue is just as serious as any physical illness. It’s silly to think of it differently, but I guess I still do in some ways. I take medicine for other illnesses, why not for OCD?

      Thank you! You are always so sweet!!

  4. In mid-2007, I was diagnosed with moderate (later major) depression and OCD.

    To combat these problems, I was prescribed Prozac (at first one capsule a day, and later two) in conjunction with weekly visits to my psychiatrist.

    Fortunately, Prozac (which is classified as a light anti-depressant) has worked very well for me.

    When I began taking Prozac, my psychiatrist advised that it would take about a month before it would begin to have any effect. Four weeks later, along with my therapy, I began feeling much more calm and much less stressed.

    Ever since then, overall I have felt much more at ease with myself and the outside world.

    One of the most visible signs in which Prozac and therapy has helped with my OCD is that because I became less stressed, I was able to put a big brake on one of my worst life-long habits – biting my fingernails.

    1. I’m glad to hear it has worked so well for you! I appreciate your sharing this. It’s good to hear that this medicine–which terrifies me–can be a really wonderful thing. And oh, to get relief from picking at my fingernails!

  5. I haven’t been on Prozac, but I’ve been on virtually everything. Luvox and Welbutrin are what I’m on. I’m far from not being anxious, but it takes the edge off. I sincerely doubt I will ever try to get off meds again, I just can’t cope.

    1. I took Welbutrin in high school and hated it. It was too much for me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if any of the medications worked for everyone? But we all seem to respond quite differently to these medications. I just hope to find one that works without having to go through anymore that do not.

  6. Hi Elly, I’ve been on Paxil for a year and a half for my depression and anxiety (not 100% sure if it’s OCD though, I’ll get diagnosed soon) issues. I didn’t want to take them because I thought I would have felt like a failure if I had taken them. I had thoughts like: “One day, my children will know I took antidepressants, I feel like a failure.” My symptoms were severe at the time, and one day I decided to start taking meds, and I definitely don’t regret it now. They help me function better. If I didn’t start taking them, I would still obsess all day long in my bed.

    Emma

    1. It’s good to hear that you do not regret your decision! That is one of my fears. I so regret the medications I took when I was younger. I just hope that this one works. I’m to the point where I definitely need something to work.

  7. Hello,

    I raad you poting and feel for you. I have been in treatment for a OCD and Bipolar for over 20 years at a university hospital.
    I was on 80 MG of Prozac for some time. But it was screwing with the Bipoar, so I am tryin to come off of it.

    There is a book that you might look into, its heped some people. I did not like it all that much, but you might. Its called “The Imp of the mind”. Its rather short. But not all that bad.

    I am 48 now, and been in treatment for most my life. It will not go away. I will be honest with you. But, as yuou get older, you learn to work aroud it. I know that the thoughts are no fun, and can cause gret distress. For a long time, I thought that surely no one else can have thought like these. But, they do.

    Just try and find someone that you can talk with that understands the illness, and you can freey talk with. That might take some time. But its worth it.

    Pleae take care of yourself. And never give up.

    Rob

    1. Thank you. I am in therapy and have a support group, so I already have lots of people who understand the illness to whom I can talk. It definitely helps me stay strong!

  8. i started prozac awhile ago a very low dose and it didnt do much for me. mainly because my doctor had taken a leave and i wasnt able to see her to up my doseage so i didnt have enough time to even see if it would work for me.
    now i am pregnant..with horrible ocd and im 26 almost 27 weeks along and my ocd is getting worse and worse by the day and im scared it will be worse when the baby comes.
    i stopped the prozac when i got pregnant because i didnt know if it was safe, but now my ob wants me to start taking it again.
    i am hoping it works
    and i hope it will work for you as well
    ocd is so hard to live with and i feel your pain. its even harder because alot of people that dont have it dont understand it and take it as a joke.
    i hope you get better 🙂

    1. I am so sorry to hear that things are getting worse while you’re pregnant. I know that’s common and can only imagine how frustrating and difficult it is. I, too, hope that Prozac helps you, too. Keep me posted! And good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

  9. try it! I am on prozac. I started 6 months ago and what a difference! I staryed at 10 mg and went to 20 after a few weeks. I’ve been fighting OCD since I was 10 years old (I’m now 37) it’s the only thing that’s ever helped. Good luck to you!

    1. Thank you! My therapist also told me that I would dream more and that they would last longer. I don’t mind dreaming. The only thing that worries me is that I have, in the past, had problems with excessive nightmares. I just hope that Prozac does not bring them back. And I’m glad to hear it has not caused you any trouble sleeping. I hope to have a similar experience with it!

  10. I’ve been on Prozac (20 mg) two different times. For me, it helps get me over my low level depression to a point where I can push forward on exposures.

    I have had side effects, annoying but not terrible. I do think it makes me hungrier, although that might just be “winter hibernation” I haven’t gained weight.

    For sure it messes with my sleep, making me require about 9 hours a night to feel rested, but also making it difficult to get and stay asleep. To combat this, I often take Benedryl (1/2 to 1 pill) and that puts me right to sleep. It annoys me to have to take a pill to combat another pill, but oh, well.

    I plan to take the Prozac seasonally- my depression tends to hit in November and last a month or two.

    I struggled with the decision, but once I was on it, it was helpful enough, I don’t consider it a failure- clearly I needed it.

    1. I think I can handle annoying side effects. We’ll see. I hate the idea of a pill to combat another pill, too, but I’m glad Benadryl helps you sleep. I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

  11. Just one more thing…I actually got the prescription for Prozac 2 years ago. I was so afraid to be reliant on a medication that I carried it around in my purse for a year and a half before giving in. I was so worth it!!!

    1. i suffer really bad wit ocd cant control the thoughts. im about to give birth and feel like a failure if i have to take tablets again.. wish i could just reassure myself

      1. I wish I’d reassured you when you posted this. I hope things are going better for you. Medication isn’t failure. I’ve learned that. We often can’t do this on our own.

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