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Floating

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Hello Everyone,

I am 25 years old and have just been diagnosed with clinical depression for which I have been given Prozac. I have noticed that I get a dull like feeling headache most days since I started taking the medication, is there any other side effects I should watch out for?

I have suffered from depression for several years and after the recent death of a family member it has become too much for me to deal with alone.

As a young child I was subjected to a lot of violence which continued into my teens, as my father is a violent alcoholic, and was abused by another person out with the family. I find it difficult to make friends and enter into relationships as I struggle to trust people, especially men.

Over the past three months I have spent most of my time alone other than when I'm at work. I feel like I have lost the few close friends that I had, but I guess I have pushed them away, they live in the same building as me but I hardly ever see anyone anymore.

If anyone has any advise for me please help.

Thank You
 

ThatLady

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Here's a link with some information on Prozac, which includes side effects that can be expected and are not serious, and those which should be reported immediately:

http://www.drugs.com/Prozac/

As to your distancing of your friends since your recent loss, this isn't all that uncommon, hon. Many people withdraw after a loss such as this. It's a part of the grieving process for them.

I'm sure, if you reach out and explain to your friends why you withdrew and how you were feeling after the death of your family member, they will understand and be willing to help you begin to bring your life back to normal. So often, when friends know that someone has lost a loved one, those friends don't know what to say or do. They will wait and take their cue from the one who is bereaved. I'm betting that if you reach out to them they will still be there for you.

Hugs, and I'm deeply sorry for your loss.
 

David Baxter

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You indicate that you have "just been diagnosed" so I assume you've also recently started the prozac. Is that correct? What dose? Is this the first antidepressant medication that you've tried?
 

Floating

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Hello David,

Yes I have just started taking Prozac, the dose I've been given is 20mg once daily in the mornings. It is the first antidepressant medication I have tried. I have been on the medication for one week and my doctor wants to see me again in another two weeks.

Thanks
 

David Baxter

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If it's only been a week the headaches may yet pass. If you haven't experienced any other side effects by now, you probably won't.

If you continue to experience headaches, make sure you talk to your doctor about it. They may or may not be related to the medication - if may be a stress reaction, sleep deprivation/disruption, or something else.

Do the headaches start soon after taking the prozac and then go away? or are they there all day?
 

Floating

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Hello David,

The headaches start about an hour or so after I take the Prozac and last between three and five hours. It may be the lack of sleep that is causing them too, I find it difficult to get to sleep and waken frequently, but that was happening before I started taking the medication.
 

David Baxter

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Hmmm... I think I'd be suggesting you call your doctor and talk to him/her about this if it's been more than 5 days and the headaches aren't diminishing and are still lasting 3-5 hours.

An alternative is to try switching to taking your prozac at night just before bed. Prozac has a very long half-life so when you take it isn't critical - if you've been taking it in the morning, then skip it tomorrow morning and take it tomorrow night instead. Now, some people find prozac will energize tham so it might keep you awake - but if that doesn't happen for you, there's a reasonable chance you'd sleep through the headache.

Maybe ask your doctyor what s/he thinks about this - s/he knows your medical history. But do remember there are lots of other choices - there's no reason for you to suffer like this.
 

zeborah

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I know that it takes three weeks for the full effects of an antidepressant to kick in. I would however talk to your doctor about the headaches. He can either assure you that it will pass or find a reason why your having the headaches. Bug your doctor as often as you want. That's what he's there for. Starting a new medication is hard and it's the doctor's job to listen to your symptoms and diagnose them. Hang in there, I know taking new medicine is difficult, but hopefully you'll start to feel better soon. Also, when you do start to feel better try not to say, "Hey, I feel better, I think I'll stop taking these meds." This is a common mistake that many of us make. Good Luck!
 

Floating

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Thank you very much for all your replies. Just knowing that there are people like all of you in this world that are willing to offer advise and support makes my battle with depression easier some how. I will talk to my doctor about the headaces, and carry on surfing the net for more information about depression and the medication. This site was very helpful to me http://www.drugs.com/Prozac/ if I find any sites myself that are helpful I will post them here in the hope that they can help others too.


Thank You Again
 

Floating

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Feeling really low today, what with a bad day at work and I still dont know how to approch my old friends to find out if they still are my friends. How do I tell them what I am feelling to let them understand? I'm frightened they will reject me totally, then I will be completely alone with no one to spend time with and start trying to rebuild my life. I feel the longer I'm alone the weaker I'm getting.....
 

Floating

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I just dont understand my own thoughts anymore, nothing is making sense to me. I feel that my whole world is in pieces and dont know how to fix any of it. People just have to look at me the wrong way and I can feel the tears welling up and I just cant stop myself from crying. My concentration is so bad that I'm making silly mistakes at work and at home, also I dont trust my own judgement of people and situations alike. All of the "spare" time I have out of work I'm still spending alone, I keep aksing myself the close friends I had, if they cared, they would make contact and they are not. Does this mean they don't care? Because that is the way it makes me feel.
 

ThatLady

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Often, the reason old friends don't make contact is that they don't know what to say. They don't understand why you've pulled away from them. They feel you've shut them out because they don't know what you're going through. Once they understand, if they are really your friends, they'll appreciate the opportunity to help, as well as the trust you're placing in them. It's never easy to bare your soul, and you don't have to bare all of it. However, if you let them know you're having problems and are seeking help to get past them, it's my guess they'll jump into your corner like fleas jumping on a hound dog. ;)
 

Eunoia

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I keep aksing myself the close friends I had, if they cared, they would make contact and they are not. Does this mean they don't care? Because that is the way it makes me feel.
Hey Floating! as That Lady said, they may just not understand why you've withdrawn. So they may not know how to react or respond to your depression but they also just may not know what's going on w/ you at all... if you're generally good at keeping up an image and are known to be a busy person etc. people often attribute your withdrawing w/ just "being busy" on your part. They may be busy themselves and think you're in the same boat, even thinking you may want some alone time after the recent death of one of your family members. I've played this "game" since years, where I wouldn't call my friends to see when they would call me, b/c if they really cared, in my mind they should call, right? wrong. see the reasons listed above. Every single one of them actually cared, I just wouldn't let myself see it. I used to think people should just "know" and I thought that if I were in their position I would call up my friend, so I expected the same of them. But often we build our own barriers, if this makes any sense. Try calling one long standing friend who you intellectually know you can trust from past experiences.... start w/ a few things, give examples, don't just sum things up w/ "things have been 'bad'"- this doesn't allow for much conversation or information for them to work w/ on their part. If they truly are your friends, any friend would be glad to be trusted enough to have you tell them about what's been going on w/ you. I know it's difficult, but so worth it once you take that initial step.
 

Floating

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I feel as though I'm trapped in my own body, looking out through my eyes into a long dark tunnel. My "life" is just an existance in which i get up in the morning go to work, come home, sometimes eat and then go to bed again. I am working around 60 hours a week just so that I am not home alone, my contract is only 40 hours per week but I'm doing a lot of overtime. Even at work I spend at least half of that time on my own because I work shifts in an office, but I prefer to be there than at home. Although I find it very difficult to consentrate and remember things I'd rather try to keep occupied.

I have told one friend about what has been going on with me and how I'm feeling, I don't meant that I was looking for a reaction from her, infact I really didn't and don't know what to expect from people if I tell them, but she didn't seem to be bothered. She did ask a couple of questions, how long had I felt like this and am I on meds. Is this the sort of response I should expect from people?
 

Eunoia

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that feeling of being trapped and seeing things in a "long, dark tunnel" is often part of feeling depressed... from the outside your life seems very competent, very "together" so to say. I find myself in those routines too, going from school to work to other things I have to do, trying to stuff away the negative feelings by concentrating on everything but my emotions. It works for so long, but as you can see, soon it just feels like an "existence" of some sort. And I agree, this isn't really "living", it's existing... hopefully w/ starting on Prozac & maybe going to therapy you'll be able to learn to live again... (are you actually seeing a therapist? or just taking the antidepressant?)

Aren't you exhausted from your busy schedule? It sounds exhausting hun. You had also mentioned before that you're having a hard time concentrating... and as much effort as you put into your work, it won't just magically make everything else go away.. what if you were to schedule something else into your days so that you would still be busy but could do something else instead of work? for example, you could take up an exercise class (exercise is supposed to elevate mood too) or a _____ class (fill in whatever interests you) and then maybe you'd even get to know some new people? You wouldnt' have to be at your house alone but you'd still be out, now only doing something good for yourself, and not just working away in an empty office, totally exhausting yourself... it's worth a try, it might seem scarry but isn't there something you've always wanted to do, learn, take and just never had the time to do so? here's your chance!

I think all that you can expect from people is for them to listen to you and try to be empathetic... if your friend who you told asked you things like how long this has been going on and whether you're on meds, it does sound like she cares. yes, her day may have continued as before and maybe she didn't give you an extreme reaction, but maybe in her mind this is all she knew how to do... and it was someone to listen, right? she didn't judge you. she asked questions to gain a better understanding. At least now she knows, so in the future you can talk to her in more details, not having to worry about her not knowing b/c you know she understands. It's tough though- opening up. I can relate though as I'm sure many other people can too... you feel like you're offering such a big part of yourself, something either very secret or just painful or both, and "all" you get in return is a few lines... but it's the entire process that counts, the fact that you were able to open up, express your emotions, have someone to listen too, hopefully will have someone to listen to in the future, and who knows, maybe your friend understands more than you know and will be a great support... people tend to open up themselves if they know what you're going through as well.
 

Floating

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I guess I am exhausted from all the hours I'm doing at work, today for example was 11 hours and thinking back I've not had a day off for 5 weeks. For me I generally enjoy my job, although I do not see eye to eye with a collegue in my department. Stress levels are getting high. As we all know only too well Christmas is getting very close, and as a member of Management, I am trying to juggle my own department, two other deparments and duty management of the establishment. Also I am in training to be an operator and trainer for a new computer system, on which we "go live" next Monday the 12th Dec. Not good timing I know but that decision was not mine!

When I went to my doctor 2 and a half weeks ago, she asked me if I felt I needed time off work, I said no, again the reason being not wanting to be at home alone, and also not being able to be off due to training commitments etc.

Yes Eunoia you are probably right attending a night class or the likes would most likely be a good idea, but the thought of being somewhere I know no one scares me, and there is also the cost of such classes to consider. At the moment I struggle with the cost of a basic lifestyle.

I am not seeing a therapist at the moment, but I do want to "see someone". I have to go back next week to see my doctor and will ask her what my options are, as I am unsure what they are. Where I live is all private health care.

There are one or two other friends that I want to tell about whats been happening and how I'm feeling, but so far I haven't found the right time, so to speak. One in particular I now think may be there for me once they know, but I get so distressed when I try to talk about everything, and I just don't want them to see me like that.
 

Eunoia

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do you need to work all those hours, overseeing your own department and the other departments etc? people won't ask you to take less on or if you need a break if you keep on saying yes to all their requests... why should they? you're willingly taking on the work. I understand why though but I just mean that if you are stressed w/ working so much (which honestly can't be healthy) you're going to have to stand up and reevaluate how much work is realistic so that you can function well at work and in your personal life. I meant taking any kind of class, not necessarily at a college or university.... cooking, exercise, a language, stress management, pottery... anything really. What if you were to ask one of your friends to take a class w/ you, this way you'd meet new people but wouldn't be alone going there and you and your friend could become even closer, and you would be doing something good for you, not just working 24/7. Not all classes are a lot of $, some run only a few x's or say once/mth so the costs are spread out... it'd be something to do besides work.

your doctor clearly realizes you're under a lot of stress, could you take time off after the training is done? it doesn't have to mean that you're "sittign at home alone", you could take this time to do a combination of other things, catch up w/ old friends, family, taka a vacation, explore new paths, find a new hobby, go to therapy... whatever makes the most sense to you.

trying to find the "right time" is crucial... I can totally relate... there's nothing worse than wanting to talk to someone but the moment just isn't right. could you take your friend(s) out to dinner? go for a coffee? ask to meet up for a walk etc? just some place where it's clear you want to meet up but won't be distracted w/ other people or other plans interfering... I know you don't want them to see you "like that" but what do you want them to see? happiness that isn't really there? a great employee? or a friend who's human, which means you have your good and bad days and if those bad days are the majority of the time, you could use their support... and I'm sure they'd be willing to give it to you (if they knew how).
 

Floating

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Today is a really bad day, it's 20 years ago today, I witnessed the very messy break up of my parents marriage. I have had counsolling several times to help me deal with what I saw, and what I was subjected to that night, but the memories are still very vivid. I try to put it to the back of my mind a lot of the time but I will probably re live that night again tonight, as I have done every 18th Dec for as long as I can remember, I guess the last 18 or so years. I wake up shaking and crying from the "nightmare", then lie in my bed almost frozen with fear, it seems like forever until I work out where I am, and that my father is not anywhere near me. Is councelling my only option to try and deal with this or would it be worth me trying hypnosis?

I am still working all the hours God sends, but have managed to tell one friend who I would say is the closes friend I have. I would trust him with my life and he has been very good with me since I told him 3 days ago. He was very shocked by what I told him and asked me if there was anything he could do for me, I replied to him with not really, please just be here for me. He has said he will alway be here for me, to which I said thank you so much, its hard for me to explain a lot of what I feel but if there is something you want to know, ask me, if I can give you an answer I will. Just knowing that there is someone here for me now that may not understand fully, but is willing to try and help me through this means so much. It is also a bit stange for me because he is one of the only a few men I know that I actually feel safe with, that I feel I can trust.

It takes me along time to trust people, both male and female because I have been so badly hurt in the past. I fear that if I open up too much to people they will be able to hurt me, so I build walls around myself to try and keep the chances of being hurt low. Does any of this make sense to anyone? I know I must tell people how I am feeling in order to try and beat my depression, but I just don't know if I am going about it the right way. How do I know who I should trust and who I shouldn't? My judgement of people is very cloudy, and I'm not totally sure if I can trust my own instinct.
 

Eunoia

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what you're going through remidns me of a thread in the grief forum on grieving someone's loss... just like you're grieving the loss of your parent's marriage. it's still a loss one way or another. I don't think people really get to a point where they just stop remembering what happened on that day but I think it is possible to get to a point where that particular day isn't necessarily going to set everything off and be perceived as this dreaded event bound to crash down on you... I know that that's what it feels like and maybe on this one day in a year it will feel like this but it doesn't necessarily have to. You can still remember what happened, grieve its loss, but not completeyly feel like you're falling apart, if that makes any sense. But it is quite common for people to feel anxious, sad, at unrest around 'these dates'.

I'm so happy for you that you were able to tell one of your friends. That's all that it takes sometimes, knowing that someone out there knows and cares.

I have been so badly hurt in the past. I fear that if I open up too much to people they will be able to hurt me, so I build walls around myself to try and keep the chances of being hurt low. Does any of this make sense to anyone?
this makes a lot of sense, you're not alone there. the fact that you've been hurt in the past makes the whole concept of opening up and being honest so much more challenging, and so to try and protect yourself it almost seems easier not to even put yourself in that position of ever opening up, thinking if you don't ever open up you can't get hurt, right? there is always the potential of people hurting us but it's worth taking that leap of faith and trust in yourself to make that decision and if it backfires, it is not your fault, but sometimes everyone is going to be hurt... following your instincts is usually a pretty good way, I mean something made you tust this friend enough to open up, right? also, opening up doesn't mean you have to go out there and tell everyone you know. start w/ this one person and go from there. it's not an all or none thing, take it one at a time and with each experience you will learn more about what seems right and what doesn't.... I'm still confused about this, are you only on antidepressants or are you also seeing a therapist? the latter may help w/ trust issues etc too.....
 

Floating

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Mmmm I hadn't thought of the beakup of my parent's marriage as a loss, yes my mum brought me up alone but she always did her best for me and still does. For that I am eternally greatful to my mum and love her dearly. I guess I missed out on some of the bonding with a father figure, but as he was, and still is to a degree, a danger to me and my mum I never really looked at being away from him as a lose but more as a gain. To an extent myself and my mum regained freedom of a sort ( even although we spent a long time under Police survaylance for our own saftey.

My mum is a very strong person, or at least that is how she appears to me, and she is always there for me, but unfortunatley we do not see each other very often as we live about 800 miles apart.

As yet I have not seen a thearapist since I started taking the Prozac, but I do have an appointment to see one at the start of the new year. As I previously mentioned I have had thearapy in the past, it does not scare me. In fact almost the opposite I am looking forward to it in a way, because thearapy is another angle of help for me, someone who is imparcial and isn't going to judge me.

The friend I have told, I have known for about 4 years so my trust has had time to grow, but others I am still unsure about as they are "newer friends" and the though of being judged is scarry. I also don't want anyone to think I have let them down, I used to spend a lot of time being a pillar of strenght for others, as I found it easier to worry about and help others and forget about myself.
 

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