Fluoxetine and grief

Status
Not open for further replies.

conure_flock

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
2
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
08/2020
Country
UK
Hi everyone, new member here. I was diagnosed last year after a doctor finally sat, listened and believed me! I was going to say you have no idea of how good it felt to finally have someone believe me but I suspect I am not alone in this.
She has got me on 40mg of fluoxetine a day to help with my symptoms. For me personally they’ve held beyond belief and given me my life back. The only thing that I’m still getting to grips on with these pills is the psychological aspects. I feel like a child again accidentally blurting out swear words and having moments of just talking non stop about senseless topics.

Most recently I’ve been struggling with how to deal with grief. Yesterday we lost our family dog of 14 years. I am a huge animal lover and loved this dog and yet I struggled to shed a single tear! I work up this morning to hear a great family friend has passed away from a short and brutal battle with cancer and I’m just not upset. Like I didn’t even know her. I know that it’s incredibly sad and I should be sad but I’m not! I feel like a robot and everyone around me is looking at me wondering why I don’t seem to care about anyone but myself. I don’t know what’s happening and whether the fluoxetine is impacting it?

This is the first time I’ve lost someone close to me since being on the pills so it’s the only thing I can think of that’s changed. Anyone know if this is because of the fluoxetine or am I just becoming a robot with no feelings?!

Quite an introduction, I swear I’m reasonably normal!
 

sunkacola

Moderator
Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
2,453
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
Hi there and welcome to the forum.

First, I am so sorry about your dog. I adore my dogs and every time one dies it is a terrible grief for me. I am only willing to go through it because having had that dog for 15 or 17 years was so wonderful that it is all worth it, and I couldn't live without dogs in my life. I know what that grief is like and am sorry for your loss.

If I were taking a medication that was having that kind of impact on my emotional state I would stop taking it. But that is me, and this is your decision. I would suggest that you talk to the doctor who prescribed the medication to you and ask if you should try a lower dose, or something else altogether. All antidepressants can change your mental health in unexpected ways, and fluoxetine is known to have large side effects of various kinds, so I think it is reasonable to think that is what's causing this robotic feeling you have.

Were you depressed/anxious before starting to take it?

I take a medication for anxiety and depression because I have both of those mental health issues and it has helped to reduce my stress level which in turn helps with the fibro symptoms without any side effects (for me). There are others you could try if you have depression and/or anxiety.

There are also a lot of other things you can do to reduce your fibro symptoms, and there's a post about that pinned at the top of the General forum. :)
 

conure_flock

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
2
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
08/2020
Country
UK
Thank you for your kind words😊

I wasn’t ever diagnosed with depression or similar and personally wouldn’t say I was someone who would come under this category. Despite this, friends and family have said since taking fluoxetine I’ve been ‘friendlier’ and ‘more confident’ - part of me was offended as I didn’t realise I was seen as unfriendly!

I think I will make an appointment with her and see what she thinks. It’s strange as I’ve been taking this for 9 months and only just started experiencing this this week.

I’ve had a stressful week at work and then two losses so I’m not sure if my brain is just a bit overwhelmed at the minute. The hard part is that my family are all looking at me thinking I’m being rude as I’m not reacting as they are or as they would expect. They also don’t have time to ask me about this or worry about me as they’re dealing with their grievances too so I’m feeling a bit lost right now.
Really appreciate your response, if nothing else, it’s nice to know someone is listening to me :)
 

Mirador

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
30
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2017
Country
US
State
MI
I am not a mental health professional, but I worked for 20 years in an outpatient psychiatric facility in an administrative position. Obviously, during that time I saw many individuals who were being prescribed anti-depressants like fluoxetine (Prozac) and other medications such as SNRIs. As well, I was prescribed SNRIs (Effexor and then Cymbalta) for my own anxiety and depression for a couple of years. So I have some experience both professionally and personally with meds.

One of the issues with anti-depressants is that while they can indeed relieve some of the most extreme feelings of anxiety and depression, some people taking them find that they can result in an unexpected and undesirable "flat" emotional response, similar to what you've described. They can affect emotions to a degree that the individual taking them not only no longer feels excessive anxiety and depression, but also has a reduced response to other kinds of highs and lows in general.

Unfortunately, I was one of the individuals who had this response. My emotions felt flat. I no longer got particularly excited about happy things, nor sad about unfortunate things. And when I mentioned this in passing to one of the clinical social workers I worked with, she admitted that she had also taken an antidepressant for a time for her own issues, and she found she had the same reaction. Both she and I ultimately discontinued use of these meds, although in my own case it required a very significant weaning period due to extended withdrawal effects.

Please address your concerns to the physician who prescribed the fluoxetine. There may be alternatives that don't have this effect for you. Best of luck.
 

Affinity

Distinguished member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
176
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2014
Country
US
State
TX
I am not a mental health professional, but I worked for 20 years in an outpatient psychiatric facility in an administrative position. Obviously, during that time I saw many individuals who were being prescribed anti-depressants like fluoxetine (Prozac) and other medications such as SNRIs. As well, I was prescribed SNRIs (Effexor and then Cymbalta) for my own anxiety and depression for a couple of years. So I have some experience both professionally and personally with meds.

One of the issues with anti-depressants is that while they can indeed relieve some of the most extreme feelings of anxiety and depression, some people taking them find that they can result in an unexpected and undesirable "flat" emotional response, similar to what you've described. They can affect emotions to a degree that the individual taking them not only no longer feels excessive anxiety and depression, but also has a reduced response to other kinds of highs and lows in general.

Unfortunately, I was one of the individuals who had this response. My emotions felt flat. I no longer got particularly excited about happy things, nor sad about unfortunate things. And when I mentioned this in passing to one of the clinical social workers I worked with, she admitted that she had also taken an antidepressant for a time for her own issues, and she found she had the same reaction. Both she and I ultimately discontinued use of these meds, although in my own case it required a very significant weaning period due to extended withdrawal effects.

Please address your concerns to the physician who prescribed the fluoxetine. There may be alternatives that don't have this effect for you. Best of luck.
I haven't been on fluoxetine but have been on many other SSRI's and SSNI's and and I have always had this "flat" response. For me it was like I just didn't care about anything at all and to be honest it was worse than being depressed because I was so apathetic. I have had to stop taking these medications because I find the side effect of absolute apathy to be so bad.

They might just adjust your dosage or it might just be that we all grieve differently and in this case you are responding in an unusual way but still working through things in your own way right now.
 

Dusty1957

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
43
Reason
DX CP
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WI
Whatever you do NEVER let your doctor give you Tramadol with your prozac. It can kill you. That is how and why I had to go to emergency last October. He also gave me 80 milligrams of the 'water pill'. I could have died. It rose my blood pressure and I lost oxygen. However, I lived through it this time but I am finding out my blood pressure is down always now without the mixture of meds. I was in ICU 2 days and 3 more days in hospital, and still have my brain damaged more from the meds.
 

Dusty1957

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
43
Reason
DX CP
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WI
I forgot to tell you. Tramadol was first called Ultram and given for migraines. I was a pharm assistant
 

Jemima

Very helpful member
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
829
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
Whatever you do NEVER let your doctor give you Tramadol with your prozac. It can kill you. That is how and why I had to go to emergency last October. He also gave me 80 milligrams of the 'water pill'. I could have died. It rose my blood pressure and I lost oxygen. However, I lived through it this time but I am finding out my blood pressure is down always now without the mixture of meds. I was in ICU 2 days and 3 more days in hospital, and still have my brain damaged more from the meds.
Dusty,
That's just horrific! I'm so glad you came through it, but I'm appalled that you were put through such an ordeal. Powerful thing to share - it's so important for people to recognize that doctors are not always as informed about the medications they prescribe as they should be. It's a scary reality.
 

Mirador

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
30
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2017
Country
US
State
MI
Whatever you do NEVER let your doctor give you Tramadol with your prozac. It can kill you. That is how and why I had to go to emergency last October. He also gave me 80 milligrams of the 'water pill'. I could have died. It rose my blood pressure and I lost oxygen. However, I lived through it this time but I am finding out my blood pressure is down always now without the mixture of meds. I was in ICU 2 days and 3 more days in hospital, and still have my brain damaged more from the meds.
Sounds like you had serotonin syndrome. A very dangerous interaction for sure! Sorry you had to go through that. The same doctor prescribed both meds to you? I hope you got a new doctor! All the best for your future health!
 

Edit

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
40
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
03/2020
Country
AU
State
SA
I am so sorry for your loss. I understand your grief, because we just lost our beautiful old 15 years old border collie last Friday. Even we have another beautiful young sheepdog we so much miss our lovely old Molly. every night I wake up cry, and this grief and stress make my symptoms much worst. I wish you the best and try to think about the lovely time what you had with your beloved dog together.🐶🌹
 

JayCS

Legendary member
Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
2,175
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
conure_flock: My feeling is the same as the others, that it fits to what we hear/experience from antidepressants (altho I myself didn't see that as one of my many side effects of amitriptyline in low dose).
Also it may be a part of your own condition at the moment, maybe the pain, sleep, needy yourself, mourning for your old life etc.
My main take tho is the coping aspect: How best to cope with your seeming lack of sadness and praps resulting bad conscience, bewilderment etc. I bet you know all this, but I'll just mention it to recall it for you:
Firstly, with or without meds people mourn differently. (A good friend of ours died last year and we hardly ever saw her very emotional girls of 8 and 11 crying or even sad. Maybe arguing a bit more...)
Secondly, every mourning situation may be inexplicably different.
Thirdly, mourning comes in different stages, e.g. denial, not recognizing the loss etc. Who knows what you're in and what's still to come and when.
Fourthly, not being sad in this situation doesn't mean you are never sad, doesn't mean you are unemotional, and doesn't make you a bad person.
Fifthly, you could try exploring, and if need be nurturing your emotions, concentrating on those flocks of people and wonderful conures around you that are alive. You really do seem normal, and not unemotional there at all, if I may take a guess... :cool:
Sixthly, you can show your respect and love and kindness for your beloved family dog with symbols in your own way, which may be very different from what others or you yourself expect. That's why I used 'respect' first - you said you loved her, praps you still do, and your heart or something else is speaking, just not your teardrops... and if not, you may be able to cherish her, revere her, honour her, be thankful for the kindness and character she graced you and your family with, whatever you find you can, in your own way in this own situation at this time, and that may well change, or not.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top