Above & Beyond


Hey so I'm a female and 18 in 2 weeks,

I've just been given my first course of Prozac... I've been hearing some mixed reviews on it and I want to know how you have dealt with Prozac if you had tried it/use it.

I'm a bit worried about it as I've never taken meds for depression just counselling so far... I don't want to harm my body further but if my DR prescribed he must have done so for good reason!

I heard it can increase your suicidal desires when you first start off on it... and other side effects. I don't want to feel alone if these side effects are extreme with me and I was hoping I could have some support from this forum.

I'm so glad to have finally stepped out of my shell to ask for help because I knew suicide wasn't an option and I was desperate to be my old happy self again.

7 Replies

Hi, first of all well done you sound like a very mature young lady who is trying to take the right steps to stay mentally healthy.

With regards to prozac I speak from my experience of using it for 4 years from the age of 22-26. I was taking 20mg of prozac a day and it really helped lift my mood. I was only taking prescription drug up until 2011. The thing with me was when I felt well I would try to come off of it and felt ok for a few months but slowly felt myself returning to the low horrible mood. In 2011 alonside the prozac I was having person centered counselling once a week for an hohour and attending the gym up to three times a week. I would say 2011 was the best year for my mental health.

I was conbining medication, counselling and exercise together and this combination really worked well for me. One last thing I like you was worried about the side effects however I thought to myself nothing can be worse than the way I feel already. We are all individuals and our bodies are made up of different chemistry so how one person reacts to prozac will be completely different to another.

Any other questions please feel free to ask.

Sharleen. A survivor of recurrent depression xxx


Thank you for answering my question on Prozac, I know it takes weeks until it really starts to work and it's only been my second day on it. I'm actually wanting the weeks to go by quicker now I'm on it because I really want to see the good effects of it, it's a vital time for me to get my health back up - exams and general preparation for university.

There has been a lot that has triggered my depression, school has been a major cause of it which then lead onto problems back home which then lead onto relationships of all sorts, especially the relationship with myself. So fr I've only told my 3 best friends about me starting up on meds now. I have nothing to worry about because I know I have a strong support network. I'm really trying to have a positive outlook on this.

I know i said I was 18 but I'm actually 18 in a few days... The thing I'm worrying about right now is how everyone is going to react to me rejecting alcohol. I've been told I should stay away from alcohol whilst on Prozac, is there a lot of danger combining the two? Thinking about it, what happens if I need to stay on Prozac throughout uni or get back on it during my time there if I decide to stop it at one point. I want to be able to drink a bit but not make it obvious to everyone else that there is a slight problem with me, I know it's not anyone's business but being in halls - building up friendships etc means because of the closeness they're going to know what's up sooner or later.

I also haven't told my family about this, partly because we're not close in a way we can talk about 'deep' topics. So not too sure how I would deal with that.

Laura xx


Well done for taking the first step. I agree with Sharleen - medication and counselling can both help. It is a good idea to keep a note of the number of the Samaritans and any other helplines just in case, as a part of depression, you get suicidal thoughts.


Thank you for replying :)

My timetable is so full at the moment so I haven't been seeing a counsellor this academic year but last year I went for a good year but I felt like I wasn't progressing.

I know it's good to talk about things but perhaps I need a different approach to it, my dr is wiling to refer me to a psychiatrist and then he mentioned something about CBT which I don't know much about... I know what it is of course but I don't understand it's methods.

Now my closest friends are aware of what's been going on in my life I hope and think that I have a fairly supportive network. Suicidal thoughts have been hard to deal with but when I feel like I'm thinking too much about it I'll surround myself with my friends/ people in general so I won't do something crazy and keep my act together.

It's still pretty hard for me to keep my moods under control especially at breaking point because of stressing for exams. Being depressed has really ruined my focus on work and well, I only have one shot at these exams for once I want to feel so good about myself and achieve something for myself.

Laura xx


Lol Uni seems like such a long time for me. I can understand ur social alcohol dilema. You are very self aware which is great. My experience is that alcohol and venlafaxine dnt mix with my body. I drank very weak alcohol on xmas day and I didn't feel happy I just felt very tired. And feel into a deep sleep for at leAst 3 hours while everyone else was enjoyong the xmas festivites. You may react different you won't know until you try (I'm not advising you to though). Hope u make the right decision for you


Hi Laura, Well done for getting help, that initial conversation with your GP is so difficult. I would definitely look into the councelling too as sometimes we forget the meds don't necessaily 'fix us' so now you've taken the bull by the horns and taken the lead in getting some help for yourself run with it - seek all the help you think you need to get better. I started taking P 20mg back in Oct last year, i stayed with a friend for the first week but she became ill at the very end of that week and i decided i had to go home (had to, not want to). I definitely got worse during the two weeks its SO important you communicate with the people around you. I told my 'friends' but only one of them understood (the one i stayed with, she's a work friend) the others (from high school) have always been pretty useless despite my best efforts. I didnt / havnt told my family either, we just don't have that sort of relationship, i really wouldnt consider it (i have told one of my sisters who doesnt live that close just so someone knows really, i figured someone in the family shoudl know the rough outline, she can help take the pressure off when we all meet up too - thankfully the convo was all over text, phew!) So yes, week one i stayed at a friend and week two i was at home, i had a few panic attacks, one of which was so bad it led to me taking my medication and my car keys and driving to a friends house at 2am with no phone (i had lost it a week or so before) and in my PJs with boots over the top. I don't remember actually leaving the house, getting in my car or actually driving to my friends. I do remember sitting in the porchway of her flat in my PJs crying hysterically and hoping she'd answer her buzzer to a strange bumbling mess outside at 2am (she also has a little boy asleep in bed!) I couldnt get my breathing sorted, i just knew i needed to be with someone. Although she looked shocked and frightened as she didnt know what to do i did explain that i was so sorry but just being with someone will help and after a little while it did, i managed to calm down and regualte my breathing. She also had a vicious kitty who goes for your eyes when you're in bed (doenst know any better, very young, cmpletely uninetntional) and bless the little ball of fluff ive never seen him so gentle, he saw me crying and shaking and just came and swirled around my knees and nessled into my arms and then fell asleep half the night on my chest under my chin, and half the night on top of my head! Honestly so cute, animals are so intuative! Week three was SOOOO much better, although i suddenly coudlnt cry any more which i personally found quite frustrating as i knew i wanted to but nothing happened and as i spent all of my time crying before i wasnt quite sure what to do with myself. It took more to get crying but once i was off i was off epically. Everything levelled out eventually and although both myself and my GP think i could double my dose (as im not sure its helping much now) i have decided not to as i get too tired as it is and id rather see how i get on at therapy which took quite a few months to arrange (they didnt know what to do with me!)

ANYWAY i didnt mean to make this about me but i thought id give you my personal experience as i dont find many people also on Prozac here. The above sounds a bit scary but alot of it may have been me, not the meds, who knows!? Also without the meds id still be having panic attacks (im not now) and im able to go to work (i woudlnt otherwise) so they are definitely helping me, i just know i need a little more help so im looking forward to the next 4 months in therapy... as wierd as that may sound!

Best of luck to you sweetie, feel free to contact me at ANY time with any questions about the drug, we wont have the same experience im sure (no two people would) but im happy to share my thoughts. Keep your friends close and keep talking to them, and make sure you tell your GP of any effects the meds are having, they will be able to put your mind at ease. Also i found the info on NHS Choices fab - nhs.uk/medicine-guides/page...

With love xx


Ah also - alcohol. So...

I know a few people who have taken ADs at some point in their lives and they drank too, they said its fine. I think thats terrible advise! Your GP says don't drink, the meds say don't drink, so don't drink. DEFINITELY not for a few months anyway. I didnt even have a sip from Oct 15th up until Dec 25th. I had two elderflower ciders on Christmas Day (i was around family, it had been a few months, plently of distraction aroudn from my thoughts, busy helping out etc., chose a very 'light' drink and only one or two of them) and i was ok. Just pour half the bottle (save the rest, ie two bottles becomes 4 drinks) and drink slowly so it always looks like you have a drink, plus its nice and light, doenst taste or smell like alcohol, yummy! I felt ok, but i think i was sensible with it, i woudlnt have given it ago if it was earlier in my meds, or wasnt with family, or i was out of the house. I was relieved i didnt have to explain a non drinking Christmas and i say i'd drive Boxing Day so that got me out of that day too! Then there way NYE, id gone to a friend of friends house and within the hour everyone wanted to play ring of fire. To be honest i was ill before i went, almost didnt go but coudlnt bear the throught of spending NYE alone and i was going with the girl i had stayed with in my first week so i knew i was in very good company and didnt have to explain myself to her. I took my own drinks, elderflower cider again (tried and tested!) and meant it looked like i was drinking wine or champers when i wasnt (i wouldnt even go there for a trial!) and i took Malibu, very light spirit, not very alcoholic, no one can tell how little i put in and its been my drink for so long i think i might be immune! Ha. So, i joined in, now that was a massive mistake but mostly because i was super ill already, when the mucus and headache and other flu meds worse off i was feeling awful, thankfully my friend and her hubby wanted to leave early anyway so we left by 1am. Bit pathetic but hey ho. I won't be drinking unless there is a proper ocassion, im in charge of what i drink and im in a 'safe' place with at least one person who knows my situation. I LOVE drinking socially but i HATE the way my life has turned out and the way i feel because of it so for me its just not worth it. Im not myself anyway so i have no interest in it really. It did really worry me at the start but i really want things to be better so it doenst worry me so much now. Don't worry about the future just yet, just worry about the present and getting yourself in a better place. Freshers are to busy getting themselves drunk to know if you're lagging behind trust me! Just avoid ring of fire ey! xx


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