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    Thread: Prozac Causing "Nightmares?"

    1. #1
      Member GoliathTheWulf's Avatar
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      Question Prozac Causing "Nightmares?"

      I was prescribed Prozac by my doc because of Depression. While I was on it (I just got off), I experienced very vivid dreams, or as my doc dubs them, "nightmares." Apparently a "nightmare" is an overly vivid dream- it doesn't have to be bad or scary. I had dreams that were so incredibly vivid that I will certainly miss being on Prozac. I would have dreams that had ongoing story-lines (I similarly dubbed them "Story Dreams") that seemed to "time lapse" over several days and sometimes weeks. In these dreams I was lucid sometimes, but most of the time it was sort of like a movie and things somehow hopped from one scene to the next. The plots were full of detail and actually made sense as one event led up to the next. I once had such a dream where I was in a high school in a theatre, program and made a few friends, and enemies as well. In one scene, we were in the auditorium rehearsing and chatting. In another scene, it was the next day and we were outside at lunch where I was invited to sit at my friends' table. In different scene, I completely told some guy off while in my home kitchen. I'm not sure what that scene was about, but I remember when I got really steamed and started yelling at this guy, taunting him to "try me," everyone else's voices became fuzzy and drowned out. It's as if I became so enraged that I had a strange moment where all I could hear and feel was that momentary anger. It's hard to explain. Anyway, there was another dream where I would actually kill myself (I've been dealing with a grueling depression for over a year now) very vividly. I'm not going to describe it, but it was reoccurring and much more vivid while on Prozac.

      Does anyone else have similar experiences while on Prozac?

      -GTW
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      Tell your doctor you want a different kind of medication for depression, there has been lots of bad happenings when people were on Prozac, like almost suicidal behaviors. Maybe you should read up Prozac's reviews online or what people experienced while on Prozac. I don't know if it depends on the people who takes them, but i suggest you do some research online for it. A friend of mine told me horror stories about their sister cutting herself up and got worse, she had to stop taking them and actually got better.

      http://harvardmagazine.com/2000/05/t...of-prozac.html I suggest you reading this article and the comments below that readers and real Prozac users tell everyone the downside about Prozac. Hope this helps.
      Last edited by hathor28; 07-19-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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      That's so weird because while on Prozac I almost cut myself as I felt compelled to (but never did). I couldn't do it. I've never done it. I am no longer on Prozac at the moment. Thanks!
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      At the moment, I actually am on Prozac, ten milligrams in the morning. I have never experienced these dreams or the behaviours you are describing. Probably due in part that Prozac in my case, was perscribed because of agitation and me being overly anxious.

      I have not had any very vivid dreams, although they are a bit more off than they usually are. I'll start reading up on Prozac more. This topic intrests me deeply.
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      The effects will start after using them for more than 1 year. If you are just starting to use it, then it won't happen until you continually use it for 1 year.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ryartran View Post
      At the moment, I actually am on Prozac, ten milligrams in the morning. I have never experienced these dreams or the behaviours you are describing. Probably due in part that Prozac in my case, was perscribed because of agitation and me being overly anxious.

      I have not had any very vivid dreams, although they are a bit more off than they usually are. I'll start reading up on Prozac more. This topic intrests me deeply.

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      That's actually not true. I was only on it (10mg once a day) for a few months and I experienced a huge difference in dreams and other stuff.
      "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."
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      Did you have it in the morning? Or the afternoon/night?
      Dreams open up doors to places of your wildest imagination. But first, you have to find the Key to the Lock of Your Subconcious.
      Spoiler for Click Me!:

      WILD [0] DILD [0] OTHER [0]

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      Morning. You?
      "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."
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      Wow that is not good at all, i read some users started feeling a change after a year or so and that it gotten worse and out of their control. And what i mean is full out of control, not in small things. But ya it doesn't look good once you are using this for a few months and already having such side effects.
      Quote Originally Posted by GoliathTheWulf View Post
      That's actually not true. I was only on it (10mg once a day) for a few months and I experienced a huge difference in dreams and other stuff.

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      I agree. I also happen to be extremely chemical sensitive.
      "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."
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      It's currently believed that a large part of the antidepressant activity of SSRIs may be attributed to increased concentrations of the endogenous chemical N-acetylserotonin which starts really building up right around the time the "therapeutic lag" ends (the reason you need to dose for a week or two to get effects at the beginning). N-acetylserotonin binds to melatonin receptors and in fact metabolizes into melatonin, and I'd say that's more than likely why you were getting very vivid dreams. If you miss the vividness, maybe try taking some melatonin?
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      For those who really need an anti-depressant, prozac has two large pros in its favor. First, it is a stimulant, where celexa and paxil are sedating, expecially celexa (and lexapro, which is just a cleaned up version of celexa). Second, if they have no insurance, it is dirt cheap. It can be very effective at lifting people out of deep dangerous depressions. It does have some down sides that seriously limit its use. It has a high rate of sexual disfunction. It can cause aggressive behavior, and impulsive behavior. The suicidal issue can be easily misunderstood. It has not been shown to cause suicidal actions. It was found by assking patients to answer questionaires, that teens on SSRI's were more likely to think about suicide. The leading theory being that depression makes people want to do nothing, even dream up ways to kill themselves. The risk happens when prozac stimulates and aggitates them, before they are feeling less depressed.

      I do recommend chemical treatment for many people who have depression that honestly impacts their life. Side effects are small, compared to someone loosing their job, wife or hating life. I also think too many people take them just because they feel they should get to allways feel good, and do not want to deal with normal depression.

      Yes, SSRIs do effect peoples dreams. This is something to warn new patients about. The effect on dreams seems to lesson after the two week period Alyzarin mentioned. The effect on dreams can not be predicted, but are normal described as aggitated or strange dreams.

      SSRIs are cheap and effective, but have a fairly large side effect profile. A drug that is not in this class is welbutrin. It has many fewer and less intense side effects, but is still somewhat expensive. It still has the same effect on dreams. Prozac and welbutrin are both stimulants, so are not recommended for people who have trouble with aggitation.

      Hope any of that helps. Thank you Hathor for the interesting link. I however feel it is a good drug, if the person is truely at risk of messing up their life or faces a life of deep dark depression, and can not afford welbutrin. If anyone has a question about this kind of thing, I will be glad to help out.
      Last edited by sivason; 07-23-2012 at 05:42 AM.
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      Hi Sivason.

      I tried Welbutrin briefly and immediately experienced a blatant side-effect and needed to switch medications. That's when I went on Prozac. See, I have Tourette's, and the Welbutrin is known to cause tics in some people. Well, it made mine substantially worse. I heard it's a good drug because it also helps with ADD / ADHD, which I have as well.
      On another note, I've always been having suicide and other self-harm dreams even before I was on Prozac. When on Prozac, the dreams became more frequent and much more vivid.
      i also have tried Elavil (I've been dealing with a case of chronic depression) and nearly killed myself on the stuff, so I got off of it. Not too long after being completely sober, I wound up in a psychiatric hospital because I was suicidal. Just recently I've been facing a new and very difficult issue. I've been having stronger urges to cut and for the first time gave into that urge a few days ago. I wound up breaking down to my brother and he's helping me cope. I'm not on Prozac anymore and it's not withdrawl because I was on a very low dosage. What can I do concerning fighting this urge when I'm very depressed and/or anxious?
      "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."
      -Yoda

    14. #14
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      First, does your doctor know you stopped prozac? It does sound like some medication is in order. Make sure you work with your doctor. Zoloft is another good med similar to welbutrin, it may be an option. Second, people now days seem to ignore the old approach of counseling. If you find the right person to help, it may make some differance.
      I also suggest learning meditation and stress relieving mental practices. One suggestion, that I have is not from the medical books, that is to set up some way to physically exert yourself in a violent manner when this urge to cut hits you. If you set it up right, you will not even upset your family or neighbors. In martial arts they have wooden practice swords and often set up a simple rubber tire to beat on. You just hang it from a branch or bolt it to a log. Then when the urge hits you, go out and beat the tar out of the tire until you exaust yourself. You can pretend that you are just getting a work out and no one will know you are kind of freaking out. This allows for a violent and extreme release, with out any level of self harm.
      Last edited by sivason; 07-23-2012 at 07:39 AM.
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      Yes, it was his idea for me to stop because of side-effects. I was actually prescribed Zoloft but there's an issue with my parents filling it (not going to get into that- point is, at the moment it's difficult). I was also prescribed a small dosage of Ativan for anxiety episodes but there's the same problem with that being filled. See... it's a little more complicated that just getting violence out or freaking out. It's a coping mechanism for some reason. I still want to do it because it's temporarily calming in a way and as I have researched, it makes you feel "in control." There wouldn't be the same effect if I just beat the crap out of a punching bag or something. It's also partially because I'm mad at myself (a sort of self-loathing thing...) I guess. I've only done it once and honestly I want to do it again and I just don't know why. I just.. want to do it. Let me rephrase that: I need to do it, or at least I feel like I need to when I'm really depressed/anxious. It's miserable. I wish I was happy but it feels like that's not possible anymore. I should make a thread in the "Help!" sub-forum because I'm miserable.
      "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."
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      On topic, I have also had weirder/more vivid dreams when on certain antidepressants. But I can't tell you which ones because I've taken about a million. I think I read somewhere that SNRIs work better with males for depression, but I'm not sure if this is true. And idk if you tried Effexor, and obviously not everyone will have the same side effects, but missing a dose and getting off the stuff was one of the most awful experiences of my life. For about two weeks. And that's not even nearly as bad as some of the stories I've heard from other people.

      Anyways, with what you were saying:

      I totally get it. I cut for nine years before I finally quit, and I still get the urge to sometimes. It's really difficult to stop, but it's possible. I was on medication at the time, but I found that after I hadn't cut for a while, my moods were actually a lot more stable and better, though I was still depressed. What I did was start a stream-of-consciousness journal where I would write everything I was thinking and feeling, which really helped get the emotions out and tucker me out so I wouldn't want to as much. It helped calm me down, and later on it was nice to see the progress I had made. For a while it was triggering though, just a warning.

      Some people say you can't get addicted to it, but you can. How I dealt with that was that I just put it off. I'd get the urge, then I'd try to wait five minutes. Then five more. Etc. At first I could only do this for a minute, but worked my way up to hours, until I could put it off until the next day. Usually a good sleep helped put things in perspective too.

      Having people who have gone through it that you can talk to is great too. The organization To Write Love On Her Arms is great, and they have a huge facebook group and tons of people give support there.
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      Quote Originally Posted by NewArtemis View Post
      On topic, I have also had weirder/more vivid dreams when on certain antidepressants. But I can't tell you which ones because I've taken about a million. I think I read somewhere that SNRIs work better with males for depression, but I'm not sure if this is true. And idk if you tried Effexor, and obviously not everyone will have the same side effects, but missing a dose and getting off the stuff was one of the most awful experiences of my life. For about two weeks. And that's not even nearly as bad as some of the stories I've heard from other people.
      SSRI's have a high rate of men developing erectile disfunction. They can hurt a ladies sex drive too. SNRIs like Welbutrin are much less likely to cause that.

      Anti-depressants ARE physically addicting. I think that is ok however. It is not like being addicted to an illegal drug. Simply, you should not suddenly stop them or you may feel sick and emotionally devistated. It takes about 2 weeks to remove anti-depressant from someone. You either lower the dose in steps, or you can change them short term to prozac. Prozac oddly enough is not addicting in the same way. That is because prozac takes days to leave your system, so the taper can be completed in only about 3 or 4 days. Totally off topic, I know, but medications are my thing.
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    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      SSRI's have a high rate of men developing erectile disfunction. They can hurt a ladies sex drive too. SNRIs like Welbutrin are much less likely to cause that.

      It takes about 2 weeks to remove anti-depressant from someone. You either lower the dose in steps, or you can change them short term to prozac. Prozac oddly enough is not addicting in the same way. That is because prozac takes days to leave your system, so the taper can be completed in only about 3 or 4 days. Totally off topic, I know, but medications are my thing.
      Cool, I'm kind of interested in that area. I meant 2 weeks after I had finished tapering (which I did over a few weeks). Prozac didn't do anything for me at all when I tried it. Or when I got off it. Most didn't do anything when I got off them. But venlafaxine made me unable to eat, unable to move without getting nauseated, I felt horribly depressed, threw up a few times I felt so awful, was really hot and really cold all the time, and I couldn't stand up without almost falling over, and couldn't pick up smaller objects because my hands kept shaking. All this during finals.

      And I meant like a higher rate of helping with depression than SSRIs, not sex/libido problems.

      Anyways. Oh, more on topic, I did have nightmares at that time. Yay effexor.
      Last edited by NewArtemis; 11-07-2012 at 09:17 PM.

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      @NewArtemis: I have heard of that organization and I participated in its national suicide-prevention day this year! It was so encouraging to see everyone's thoughts on the subject and their good wishes to all who are suffering. I admire you greatly for your feats and give you my utmost gratitude for your response on this thread. In fact, I have tried Effexor ONCE in a psychiatric hospital during one of my crisis'. I had a very bad reaction to t after one mere dose. A while after taking it I started to feel strange and depressed, so I took a nap. I woke up feeling delusional (I am familiar with the feeling because I've had the Flu more than once) and required an Ativan to help calm me down. I was basically in a lucid trance, just sitting there on my bed staring into nowhere, kind of shaking. My roommates had to call a nurse because I didn't respond to them (I knew they were talking but something within me didn't want to respond, while I could have).
      "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is."
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      i have been having extreme nightmares after missing a dosage of prozac or stopping it. The dreams are so scarey,i watch horror movies and i dont have nightmares.The dreams i have are always about me protecting my children and been stuck in some crazy peoples house like texas chainsaw massacres and having to hide my children in the house as in order to kill these people i have to cut their heads off bc its the only thing that will work.when i wake up i feel like i have really been doing these things.another one is about the beach/ocean with tsunami waves and it really coming to life at night,in the dream me and my children and two of my bros exs girlfriends and their kids went on the beach at like 3 o'clock in the morning no real lights shining and one of his exs runs and goes into the water and so do the kids and as im looking out i can see sharks fins everywhere in the water ,although i dont try to get them out! but i look over to the right where the kids where and i see a huge shark that is like jaws come flying out of the water and get either my daughter or one of the other children. my dreams almost look like they would if u have been taking acid or something and are tripping ! im done with prozac. i think...

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      I'm surprised Prozac is still being prescribed at all, other than to extremely depressed patients.

      I researched the subject last year. The reason Prozac got FDA approval is because the undesirable physical side effects are so noticeably that in the double blind tests those taking the real thing knew it, and hence experienced increased placebo effect.

      One article I read pointed out that doctors are in a bind because, despite the harmful side effects of the drug, if they inform the patient of the fact it works by placebo effect, the benefits of the placebo effect will be lost. The docs were also concerned that some of their patients may not realize that coming off the drug, after becoming addicted to it, can be tough and would try to do it without medical supervision.

      That Prozac is basically a scam is not new news.

      Prozac, used by 40m people, does not work say scientists | Society | The Guardian
      Last edited by Nailler; 12-28-2013 at 12:24 AM.

    22. #22
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      I've been taking Prozac for 5 years very successfully with no side effects, I feel it isn't valid to say definitively it is a scam. I am not extremely depressed, it has however been very successful in treating my social anxiety. I think that the guardian may have done some good reporting but I can site as many sources that would say that Prozac is a wonderful drug. I really feel that it simply comes down to personal experience, for me the extra Seritonin it created helped me walk into a busy class and ask questions instead of feel like I was drowning in a sea of stress and worry. I'm not sure that the Prozac is what caused the nightmares, I'm sure I've never experienced that as a result of taking my daily dose. I haven't had a real nightmare since I have been able to become Lucid and take control. I am sure sorry to hear you had this awful experience, I'm just wondering if perhaps the nightmares and the missed Prozac weren't just a coincidence and perhaps the nightmares are more of a manifestation of your fears and stresses carried over from the day. Or perhaps you are right and your mind wasn't able to successfully cope with stress when the medication was skipped because you were experiencing a low supply of Seritonin. I'd ask your MD. They would know the side effects better than we might. - Interestingly the one change i did notice in my dreaming while I was on Prozac was that it seemed to dull or mute the colors.
      Researchers Learn How Prozac Works | Psych Central News

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