Fluoxetine and Depression
My personal experience with an SSRI medication
Why I began taking Fluoxetine
I began taking Fluoxetine, an SSRI medication, in the early spring of 2021. The symptom that brought me to the doctor’s office was relentless anhedonia that only got worse with time. It was shocking how tenacious it was. My eyes felt sunken and heavy on my face and my will to do anything was null. If I did experience emotion, it would be brief bursts of frustration or annoyance (which were so out of proportion and place that even I could recognize how ridiculous they were)1. I slept at least 14 hours a day - something like 10 hours at night and 4 hours during the day. I slept deeply, with, strangely enough, vivid and emotionally charged dreams.
I am not a fan of pharmaceutical medications as a first resort, and so I first took my health into my own hands, reflecting on my diet, exercise, sleep and interaction with others. I stopped drinking alcohol, and cut out carbohydrates and sugars from my diet, keeping a close eye on my electrolytes (which incidentally did yield great, if unrelated, results, but I will write about this in another post). I like to run, and so I would make an effort to do so around every second day. Sleep was difficult to reconcile because I already slept well (the only silver lining) and my fatigue was too convincing. These efforts helped to a certain degree, but the anhedonia was particularly tenacious. It’s ironically a very uncomfortable symptom.
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