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Thread: Personality Change

  1. #1

    Personality Change

    I was proscribed 20mg fluoxetine in August 2016 and immediately noticed a change in character. It was as if my prefrontal cortex sprang to life. I was quickly able to learn some German and basic Arabic, I found myself with regular work bonuses, and overall read more and became much more rational. I became more patient, forgiving and calm with others.

    The downside? I lost control of my drinking, put on a lot of weight and my lifelong passion of music abruptly became realised as self-indulgence.

    I got a little unwell and bad dreams and depressive thoughts ensued and on May 3rd I made the decision to stop drinking and stop taking Prozac. My doctor told me that my dosage was small enough to be able to do so.

    After 3 weeks of painful gastritis, I was a third person. I retained all of those positive qualities and Prefrontal Cortex control and the depressive thoughts just passed. I went from zero excercise to running up to 13 Miles and looked and felt great. Now 3 months into sobriety I'm back to my original self.

    The downsides: My tolerance before anger is noticeably lower, no more work bonuses owing to lower concentration and in general I'm back to being ruled by Limbic function. The excercise has stopped, I struggle to learn again and am gradually finding it harder to manage stressful situations.

    I could take the fluoxetine again. However, it's that drive and concentration to learn that ridded me of the depression. Stressful situations simply stopped being that significant.

    I am very much aware of the risks of longterm antidepressant use so would love to look at other options, provided they are backed up by medical study.

    Lastly, thanks for your time!!

    Lindsay

  2. #2
    SuperWoman Stella180's Avatar
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    Risks of long term antidepressant use??? Please feel free to enlighten me with these risks that after using ADs for over a decade are clearly something to worry about....or not seeing as no doctor has EVER informed me that using ADs for a long period of time is likely to carry any risk.
    ‘The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.'
    J. M. Barrie

  3. #3
    Not "nagging" really... Suzi's Avatar
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    Hi there and welcome to DWD. I've known many people who are on anti d's for a long time because they need them to help stabilise their moods. I'm not actively aware of any serious long term issues with using them if needed.

    I'm glad you've seen sobriety and remained sober. Alcohol is a depressant as well as having other huge implications for your health. I would advocate you going and discussing all your concerns with your GP.
    “You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
    - Jon Kabat-Zinn

  4. #4
    Thank you for the warm welcome. Feels really pleasant that you cared enough to reply. I will take your advice and see a GP. Being sober is something I'll definitely thank myself for. The two doctors I have had both seemed not to encourage SSRIs alone for longterm use. The figure two years was what was put to me alongside weaning off the drug and CBT.

    There are some studies which question whether increased onset of Parkinson's in patients with depression could have a link with SSRIs. To be honest working on a recent film called Letters from Generation RX hasn't served to calm my concerns over my own welfare.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701616/

    Antidepressants are a very powerful medication which undoubtedly save a lot of lives. My own experience of acute personality changes whilst taking them were certainly not expected or prewarned. We all have different ailments and reactions and right now I am very keen to find the treatments which best suit me.

    Thanks all

  5. #5
    Not "nagging" really... Suzi's Avatar
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    I think the biggest thing to remember is that no one totally understands the way that the brain works. I don't know two people who have had the same diagnosis and had the same meds work for both of them in the same way with the same side effects. It is trial and error until you find the right one/combination..
    “You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
    - Jon Kabat-Zinn

  6. #6
    SuperWoman Stella180's Avatar
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    You are saying that the antidepressants caused changes to your personality but I think you are wrong. The introduction of alcohol however is more likely to have made changes. Maybe you should try the meds again now that you are no longer drinking and see how you get on. Hopefully you will get all the benefits without the downside.
    ‘The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.'
    J. M. Barrie

  7. #7
    Thanks guys! You're not wrong there Suzi. That's the magic of it, taking prozac encouraged me to read so much more about the mind. It certainly has been enlightening.

    Thanks for your advice Stella. I get the feeling that the medication might not be for me. It looks like seeing a doctor will help weigh up options.

    The joy of me reading more and enjoying practical things and having more patience I would truly love to take credit for rather than being an effect of a drug. Would be great if can harness that self-believe with other treatments!

    I really appreciate being able to open up about this so thank you all.

  8. #8
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    I do think that almost every medication can be bad for someone, just as they can be life savers for others.. precisely because we don't know enough about how the brain works. SSRIs for example, are not some magic to make depression go away.. they block the receptors in synapses in the brain so that the brain cannot read correctly the amount of serotonin there. That is all they are designed to do.. further depends on the individual and how there body responds to this inhibiting action.

    Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and when the brain doesn't think it has enough of it it will start to produce extra.. When you have extra serotonin some aspects of brain function are improved. Serotonin is naturally produced during sleep. When I was on SSRIs it was like always having a good night's sleep. But coming off them or on them or changing dose can have precisely the opposite effect for a few days or weeks before the change kicks in because your body does not make the adjustment smoothly. These are risk times as you can have worsening of impulses or depressive symptoms. So you have to keep talking to the doctor about symptoms and side effects.

    Sometimes anti depressants work perfectly. Sometimes the side effects are not a worry, other times they can be so bad it is not worth taking the medication. Sometimes an anti depressant simply doesn't work for someone. You can try different ones of course, but there will always be some people that do not respond positively to any medication. There have also been studies done that show that where anti depressants are only effective with a certain percent of people, exercise almost always improves depression symptoms and is consistently more reliable than all anti depressants. No reason why you can't use both of course.. and then there are a lot of people who are unable to exercise for one reason or another.

    I think medication is a great tool that works brilliantly for some people and not for others. For me in past depressive periods sertraline was very effective. Just now I have a more complex diagnosis and unless certain symptoms becoming much worse I have decided not to use medication for now but after seeing how I do with some therapy I will consider the use of a mood stabilising tricyclic drug if I don't see rapid improvement. That is my plan. But my point for telling you is that I worked all this out in discussion with a psychiatrist. It is good to read about how the brain works, but I think it is important not to make decisions alone, but with a professional you can trust.

    I think it is really important for us all to have helpful professionals to suggest things and explain things to us. But also to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the various medications that are out there. And that they are not the only answer. There is also therapy, alternative therapies, mindfulness, exercise etc etc. lots of ways to adjust lifestyle to help improve mental health symptoms. It is usually a combo of different things that gives someone a recovery. When medication is the right thing, it won't be the only thing to do to get better.

  9. #9
    Amaya, I can't thank you enough for your time! That's amazing. Whilst understanding brain function won't cure us, I find your information provides so much needed context. I have seen my doctor. Overall, as my negative outlook has affected my work, I decided it best to take medication again for a while. What you have written about excercise I absolutely concur with. Excercise gave me so much more confidence and relieved my anger. I will heed your advice and try to go running again.

    All the best

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to thehypnoticeye For This Useful Post:

    Amaya (16-08-17),magie06 (14-08-17)

  11. #10
    Princess Sparkles Paula's Avatar
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    I don't think I've said hi so, hi . Well done for talking to your dr and taking your Drs advice. I hope the meds soon start to help
    I believe if you wear enough pretty lipstick, sparkly jewellery and great shoes, no one will notice the size of your ass

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