Update: Prozac, Conzac – Spilling the Anxie-Tea

I was put onto Fluoxetine (Prozac, 40mg x 1 a day) about two months ago now and I thought it was about time to give you guys an update. You can view my original post here. I was prescribed Prozac to help my mild depression and moderate anxiety disorder, as in the months leading up to my prescription I had massively regressed. My attendance to Uni dropped, I stopped being social and I found it hard to find any energy at all. I cancelled my gym membership, ate a load of crap and gained hella fat. I was having regular panic attacks and could barely leave my bed some days.

Prozac takes around 6-8 weeks to fully kick in which is why I waited so long to give you guys an update. Basically- I am feeling a heck of a lot better! I have had only one mini panic attack during this time, my attendance is back up again and I have started going to the gym again (not as frequently as I like but certainly more than before). I feel generally happier and like a weight has been lifted off of me. I have been a lot more social, and have started being healthier. I don’t feel the need to binge on junk as much, and I find it easier to sleep!

Some cons are that ever since the day I started taking Prozac I have found that I have been rather drowsy 24/7. This does make sense I suppose as it is stopping my anxiety. I mentioned it to my GP and they said it was nothing to worry about and hopefully should pass. It is not as intense as the first month I was on Prozac, but I would say I am certainly feeling drowsy. Additionally, I had my first ever migraine. I am not sure if this is due to the Prozac, but I had never had one before and suddenly 2 weeks into taking Prozac I was awoken at 5am to the sensation that someone what gouging my eyes out and burning the sockets. I couldn’t open my eyes and despite having the curtains closed, lights off, under my covers with sunglasses on everything was still too bright for me. It eventually subsided and after a quick google search I found that this was fairly commonplace for people who have just started Prozac, and I have not had a migraine since.

Overall, I would say that being on Prozac has been a largely positive experience for me. My anxiety and depression have subsided (although they are of course not totally eradicated), and I am finding everyday life more manageable and enjoyable. Of course, this is my experience, and it may be different for everyone, so I would suggest talking to your doctor to see what path they think is best for you. It took me years to be prescribed Prozac, and I am so happy to now be nearly back to normal. I will give another update in a few months (or sooner if anything major happens!)

And now I give the conversation to you guys. Have any of you been put on Prozac, and if so then how was your experience? What non-medicinal methods/treatments do your recommend to me or anyone else suffering with chronic Anxiety and Depression? Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments!

 

Love from Evie x

How to cope with post-Christmas blues

I always fall into a depressive episode after Christmas is over, and it can last until about March! The lead up to Christmas is the best time of year for me as from about November onwards there is something to look forward to. I love the routine of watching christmas movie, banging out christmas songs, baking festive cakes and decorating my house! I genuinely feel really super sad when I have to take the decorations off the tree and go back to the mundaness of life for another long year. January and February are just the very worst months of the year as nothing is going on and it is cold and dark and there are exams and ugh! Fortunately, I have devised a plan for getting through this post-Christmas episode and remain fairly happy during this period.

  1. It may seem fairly obvious but not everything around Christmas is strictly Christmassy. For example, some decorations are not necessarily Christmassy, but maybe generally Wintery? And therefore they are allowed to stay up for a bit longer. Same goes for baking and certain christmas films. I say if they are not innately Christmassy, then why not keep enjoying them through winter? It makes you feel gleefully cheeky as you have found a loophole into enjoying Christmas year-long
  2. Make plans, especially for New Years. Do I actually care about New Years Eve? No. Time is a man-mad concept and I get tired of people saying “New Year, New Me!” as they begin the annual tradition of dieting and going to the gym until about January 12th and then fall back into their regular routine of eating too much and cancelling their gym membership. But I think this is why people seem to care so much about New Years: it is all we have after Christmas! Try and make plans to see your friends and have a banging night all dressed up and full of drinking! Try and make plans for the New Year to do plenty of stuff with your mates, so even though Christmas is over you can still look forward to ___.
  3. Now Christmas is over, it can be time to start getting into fitness. I know it is cliche, but now is probably the best time to get into fitness and dieting as you’ve more likely than not gained some weight over the holidays, and it will help kick the blues’s butt if you developed some abs or buns of steel. It is also a good way to distract yourself as you’ll be too busy counting calories burned to remember that there are over 300 days until next Christmas šŸ˜„
  4. Remember that, if you’re like me, Christmas celebrations start in about October. I’m not a big halloween person and we don’t have Thanksgiving in England, so I start secretly planning Christmas and get hyped about it early. I also feel a bit of glee when it’s technically “too early” to start thinking about Christmas, so you get to do it in secret. Instead of a whole year until Christmas, it is only about 9-10 months which isn’t as bad once you think about it!
  5. Get excited for the Summer! It is always good to have something to plan and look forward to. Plan a cool trip/holiday with your friends/partner during the Summer so you can spend the next few months obsessively planning it and looking forward to it. Time will fly and you will be on a nice hot sunbed in Barcelona or Skiing in the Alps before you know it!
  6. Get excited for Autumn! Autumn baking is frankly the best of all. I love Pumpkin-Spiced anything! When it reaches September try to really throw yourself into Autumnal activities such as long walks through the crunchy falling leaves, Pumpkin picking and hot chocolates while cosied up reading a book! You can find magic and whimsy in any time of year if you really try.

There are just a few tips I am hoping to use to get myself through this period. I know it may not seem necessary or perhaps even obsessive to someone who doesn’t appreciate Christmas time as much as I do, but if you are like me then you will understand the struggle. Comment below your tips on getting through post-Christmas blues!

 

Love from Evie x

Prozac, conzac – Spilling the Anxie-Tea

This term at University has been undeniably difficult and taken its toll on my anxiety. Not only am I now in second year so the modules are more challenging and require a great deal more reading and studying, but health issues concerning members of my family and my friends have caused it to go a bit haywire. Panic attacks on the daily, poor sleep, weight gain- you name it, ya girl had it. I felt like a snowglobe that had been shaken up, and even once the initial events resolved themselves, all my glittery bits of snow hadn’t quite settled yet.

Fortunately, I managed to get help from my University. They have given me an extra week to complete my essays from now until the end of my degree, allowed me to have extra time in my exams and get to do them in a small private room rather than a large exam hall, and have let all of my tutors know what is going on. All I had to do was submit a letter from my doctor as proof that I have been suffering with Anxiety for over a year (of course, most people suffer with spouts of anxiety, especially while at uni. They want to make sure that only the people suffering with the long-term condition are granted this extra help). It really has taken such a weight off of my shoulders and given me more confidence with my degree.

About 2 weeks ago I started on Prozac (Fluoxetine in the UK). I was hoping to start it sooner however my doctor warned that some people can react badly to it initially and get even more anxious so he suggested waiting until I got home to start it. I am on 20mg and I simply take one a day. My anxiety has been low since then but this may only be because it coincided with Christmas which is my favourite time of year. Prozac, different from my previous medication which only deals to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, is more of a mood stabiliser. On my other medication which I have been on for years it may stop my body from being physically anxious (high heart rate, sweating, shaking), whereas hopefully this will stop me from feeling so anxious in the first place!

There are meant to be some side effect to Prozac (hence the very clever pun in the title- thank you). It can be addictive, cause weight gain/loss, make you nauseous, increase anxiety in the first few weeks, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, etc. But I was so tired of being scared all of the time that I had to try it! Plus, the two women on the podcast I listen to (Adult Sh1t- give it a go, it is very funny and informative) are both on it and claim it is the best thing that has happened for them. The GP I had was very good and I have an appointment to see him again in a few days as he wants to check up on me before we continue with the medication, so I will give you all an update. Prozac is mean to take 6-8 weeks to fully get into your system and feel the full effects, so when I do notice anything I will let you know!

I just wanted to update you all on my little journey, and also explain why I was not able to write as much as I wanted to. If you have any questions or comments or advice for me then please do let me know! I would love to hear your experiences.

Lots of Love, Evie x