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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm writing cause I'm very curious about SSRI's and depersonalisation. I am curious as I have recently experienced 3 months of moderate to severe depersonalisation due to taking an SSRI (fluoxetine/Prozac). I won't go into to details about the story, but it was a series of mistakes made by doctors failing to listen and understand that got me into that situation. Thankfully since stopping the medication the symptoms have been dissipating over the last month. Obviously, DP was a million times worse than the initial anxiety that was having and was not worth the DP to cure. I am very glad that the DP is going away slowly but this whole experience has left me quite scared of SSRIs. I have used them in the past and they helped to cope with the anxiety and stop it limiting my life. I would like to take an SSRI or some other medication for anxiety, but I never want to go back to that place again (depersonalisation) and not be able to get out. I have read several stories of people on here that claim an SSRI caused their DP and it never went away. So, my question is, is this a reasonable fear?

I can find no scientific literature on SSRI's causing permanent DP and the other medications that cause DP such as Minocyline, the symptoms resolve themselves slowly on cessation of the medication, as in my case. I want to understand what people are experiencing when they claim that the SSRI caused their DP? Is this actually a real thing? SSRIs have been on the market since the 1980s and millions of prescriptions are written each year and there is no published evidence that they are linked to permanent depersonalisation. If anyone who has any insight/personal experience or knows anything I could read that might help me understand this, it would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone know about other medications causing DP could they please let me know.

Thanks
 

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I wouldn't get yourself worried about this being permanent for you. Your symptoms have improved since stopping the meds which is a great sign.

You can google anything and find someone who had it. It does happen it seems but is very rare, and I would still say for some of those people it is more likely a sign of anxiety. And then because they don't see a health professional who can reassure or explain it to them this makes the anxiety worse. And you have the anxiety > symptoms feedback loop and then the symptoms become the stressor and people get stuck.

Just focus on relaxing and not seeing the symptoms as a threat. Just a sign of a tired body/mind that needs some rest. I am sure it will continue to pass with time for you
 

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I got dp/dr from STOPPING ssri meds too ABRUPTLY

I did the mistake 3 times

I am taking effexor right now

in my opinion you shouldnt take anything since your dp got better . you should just do a therapy and do things in life which will help anxiety . I wish I would have never taken medication tbh. . I am aiming to be med free in the next 1-2 years or so .

if you feel like you cant cope with your anxiety no more then maybe you could try a new ssri but should talk to your doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you get DP as part of SSRI withdrawal? Could you please explain? How long have you had DP and how did you make the mistake 3 times?

Thanks
 

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Ive heard of a few people getting dp due to taking ssris. Whether they were telling the whole truth or were disregarding other factors (or werent aware of them) I cant know for sure but I do remember at least one person who swore up and down that an ssri gave him chronic dp. This was awhile back and it actually wasnt on this site. Dont know if he ever got better.
 

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Did you get DP as part of SSRI withdrawal? Could you please explain? How long have you had DP and how did you make the mistake 3 times?

Thanks
allright mate so this is my experience . I tried to make it as specific as I could . it is a long read :

yes from withdrawal

I have dp since about 3.5 years now

I started taking medication again (I took it for a while when I was 19 too) when I was about 26 or so . my phyisian gave it to me (not psychiatrist) because I was so depressive and had anxiety . citalopram (celexa) was the med

I took it for a while and felt better

after a while my physician decided to only accept patients with a private medical insurance . so he couldnt be my doc anymore . when I didnt have meds anymore I didnt bother to go and ask for more ....I was like "meh whatever I will just stop taking them" . big mistake . I felt like shit not long aftetr ....I didnt have dp/dr I just felt shit

then I went to a psychiatrist some while after ....lets call this doc "doctor B" because he will be relevant later again . he gave me effexor and I felt really good ! ...the problem was that I was partying and drinking alcohol while on the med so I didnt feel that good anymore after a certain time . I thought it is because I am bipolar so I asked doctor B for a mood stabilizer ....he gave me seroquel . man .....I became so fat on that med . I took it for a year or so and then I told him I am very unhappy with it so we stopped it ....oh and in the meanwhile I switched from effexor to lexapro . so I quit seroquel and took lexapro for some time . then all of a sudden I decided to not go to doctor B anymore because I was so dissapointed that he gave me seroquel since I told him I have problems with eating habits and weight to begin with so he shall not give me something that makes me fat . I just didnt want to see him anymore and decided to stop lexapro by myself and I did it in a very short amount like 2-3 weeks or so

THEN .....man ....

I felt horrible ...and derealisation started . I didnt know what to do . so I asked a friend of mine whose father is a psychiatrist if he can help me and he made a date for me with a doc he worked together for years

she gave me prozac . and well I did feel better again but something was "off" . I felt weird the whole time on it somehow and had some disassociation effects the whole time still . a big mistake of me was also that I didnt seek a therapist even though the docs said I should . anyway another big problem was that this doc made my anxiety worse the whole time while I was seeing her . when I told her something (often also some private stuff) she reacted in weird way ...as if she is shocked ....as if she never heard such things etc. ...I was like wtf ?

after like a year and a half or so I told her that I want to stop the medication . she was against it first but I talked to her and convinced her . I said I just dont feel like myself anymore and that I think that I will be fine without meds

well ....the first 3 months without it I was pretty ok ....then I did something very stupid and weird . you might find it very weird but I will tell it anyway :

since I have gained so much weight from the seroquel and since I have often weight issues in general I decided to go on a diet . the problem is that I have motivation problems and often problems to either start or stay on track with a diet regime . so what did I idiot do ? ....I made a swear ...I sweared that I will do a specific diet (slow carb diet) for 1 months without a break otherwise god (I believe in god) shall punish the ones I love . I did that so that I stick to the diet for real . well ....big mistake . the big issue was that I stopped medication AND now I had to go on a diet that prohibits carbohydrates (except legumes) which I have to stick to now ....I had no energy but not because of the diet necessarily but because of the stress I did on myself . after a few days I woke up and was actually in pretty good mood ....then my sister and mom argued about money ....and I couldnt take it and flipped out and yelled at them etc. ...I literally freaked out so much that I went berserk . well......I was already weak from dieting and then this flipping out caused me to get a panic attack where I thought I am having a heart attack . and this was when the real problems started . at this point every day was a fight ....horrible dr/dp , horrible healthy anxiety , horrible panic disorder etc. . I also thought that I died on the panic attack

when I told my psychiatrist (the woman who gave me prozac) that I feel as if I died she said "well maybe you think you have a psyosis but I think this is just the anxiety .....she made a big mistake to say the word "psychosis" ....because a few days (or weeks) later when I was at home watching tv I had that "I am dead" feeling very strongly and then the word "pschosis" which the doc mentioned was burnt in my head and this lead me to suffer a panic attack or rather "panic hours" because I thought I am going insane . I called my current physician who is still a young dude and we are a bit like buds when we talk and him and the team likes me and my family so they said I can go to him . when I went to him he was like wtf .....because I couldnt sit still and was in full panic mode . he gave me half an ativan which calmed me down and called on the emergency physiactric place and told them I will come . I went there and told the doc there everything and he told me I shall start prozac again . well I didnt because I just didnt want to start prozac again

a few days later when the ativan was out of my body I had the WORST days of my entire life . worst intrusive thoughts ever ...I can not even tell them because you would think I am nuts . worst anxiety ever and worst dr/dp ever . I actually think it was not only dp/dr anymore at that point but psychotic stuff . let me give you an example of what I had in one of those days . I was looking for a post in a forum where I hanged out often and I couldnt find the post anymore .....I flipped out ....I thought that I was only dreaming that I made that post and that my whole life is a lie . I thought I am going crazy again .....I literally looked for that post half an hour or so I dont remember ...maybe it was just minutes but it felt like eternity . when I finally found the post I cried :D lol

I landed 2 times more in the emergency in the following months . they didnt want to take me in the hospital to stay . they actually treated me very badly . I am very dissapointed from the hospital

then I was basically helpless and called my old psychiatrist (Doctor B) again and told the secretary there while I was a patient of doctor b before and that I stopped seeing him and stopped medication by myself and that my situation is horrible and that I dont know what to do . I was also crying while I told her this and the woman said I shall come the next day . man this was so fortunate . I went to my doc the next day and told him everything . he put me on perazine and solian and some weeks later also on effexor again . and now I am feeling better .

this is my story . I still have dp/dr and still weird thoughts . I am happy to have doctor b again . I saw him 2 days ago and we decided together that I will take 50mg sulpiride sometimes when I need it . when the "feeling dead" or intrusive thoughts are too bad . I took 50mg supiride 2 days ago and feel pretty okay right now . there is still a long way to go of course and I think I also should do a therapy but I am happy that the worst days are over . 2018 was the worst year for me

and btw. ....today is my birthday :) I turn 33 today
 

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Yes, this happens in rare occasions. Some people get it as a WITHDRAWAL symptom from psychiatric meds, and some get it WHILE or BECAUSE of taking the meds. I've been on psychiatric meds including SSRIs for 6 yrs and when I came off of them, I experienced very intense dp/dr.

I tried Lamictal and it lessened my dp a bit, however SSRIs/SNRIs intensified it this second time around even though they help with my anxiety issues! Without meds, my dp gets less but my anxiety becomes unbearable together with mood and cognitive problems. This indicates to me that it's not the anxiety causing dp (in my case). You should consider yourself lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, this happens in rare occasions. Some people get it as a WITHDRAWAL symptom from psychiatric meds, and some get it WHILE or BECAUSE of taking the meds. I've been on psychiatric meds including SSRIs for 6 yrs and when I came off of them, I experienced very intense dp/dr.

I tried Lamictal and it lessened my dp a bit, however SSRIs/SNRIs intensified it this second time around even though they help with my anxiety issues! Without meds, my dp gets less but my anxiety becomes unbearable together with mood and cognitive problems. This indicates to me that it's not the anxiety causing dp (in my case). You should consider yourself lucky.
What do you mean when you while or because? Obviously it is a side a effect of the medication that is well documented. When you say because of... what do you mean?

Also did you start to experience DP for the first time when you came off your SSRI?
 

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Hi all,

I'm writing cause I'm very curious about SSRI's and depersonalisation. I am curious as I have recently experienced 3 months of moderate to severe depersonalisation due to taking an SSRI (fluoxetine/Prozac). I won't go into to details about the story, but it was a series of mistakes made by doctors failing to listen and understand that got me into that situation. Thankfully since stopping the medication the symptoms have been dissipating over the last month. Obviously, DP was a million times worse than the initial anxiety that was having and was not worth the DP to cure. I am very glad that the DP is going away slowly but this whole experience has left me quite scared of SSRIs. I have used them in the past and they helped to cope with the anxiety and stop it limiting my life. I would like to take an SSRI or some other medication for anxiety, but I never want to go back to that place again (depersonalisation) and not be able to get out. I have read several stories of people on here that claim an SSRI caused their DP and it never went away. So, my question is, is this a reasonable fear?

I can find no scientific literature on SSRI's causing permanent DP and the other medications that cause DP such as Minocyline, the symptoms resolve themselves slowly on cessation of the medication, as in my case. I want to understand what people are experiencing when they claim that the SSRI caused their DP? Is this actually a real thing? SSRIs have been on the market since the 1980s and millions of prescriptions are written each year and there is no published evidence that they are linked to permanent depersonalisation. If anyone who has any insight/personal experience or knows anything I could read that might help me understand this, it would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone know about other medications causing DP could they please let me know.

Thanks
EVERYBODY reacts differently to different meds....Not just psychiatric meds....I mean the allergy medicine I take works wonders for me in the summer but makes my mother worse and literally knocks her out but yet we both have the same allergies....

Its totally an individual thing....There is no one size fits all with any medication....And everybody will experience different side affects....Alot of people experience no side affects at all......

Take what you read on the internet with a big pinch of salt....while it can be full of factual stuff its also riddled with hear say crap.....The very first thing anybody is going to do when they have a bad experience with something is literally thrash it....But yet when people have good experiences with either meds or say for instance a new coffee machine they rarely want to sit down and rant about it....

Personal experience is priceless in my opinion...And my experience of anti depressants and anti psychotics has been good...Life saving in fact....
 

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My own personal theory on people developing DP as a result of an SSRI is that maybe they stopped it too quick without proper supervision...When it comes to stopping any psychiatric medicine it needs to be a slow professionally supervised process.....

Just look what happens to addicts when they try to withdraw from illicit drugs cold turkey...Not exactly a nice experience huh ?

(Disclaimer) ....Thats just my own theory though....Dont quote me on this....
 

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What do you mean when you while or because? Obviously it is a side a effect of the medication that is well documented. When you say because of... what do you mean?

Also did you start to experience DP for the first time when you came off your SSRI?
By 'while', I meant it's a side effect and it goes away once quitting the offending drug. By 'because', I meant as in those drugs being the trigger. The side effect doesn't abate with ceased use.

Yes, the first time I ever experienced dp was when I came off of them. I thought if I go back on them, it'll go away. I was wrong. What about you?

I'm on an antidepressant still (Pristiq). I'm feeling dissociated and numb, but what can I do? Without it, I'm totally dysfunctional a nervous wreck. :(
 

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My own personal theory on people developing DP as a result of an SSRI is that maybe they stopped it too quick without proper supervision...When it comes to stopping any psychiatric medicine it needs to be a slow professionally supervised process.....

Just look what happens to addicts when they try to withdraw from illicit drugs cold turkey...Not exactly a nice experience huh ?

(Disclaimer) ....Thats just my own theory though....Dont quote me on this....
Not necessarily. DP is one of PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) symptoms. The only difference quitting too quick or too slow makes, is the severity of these symptoms. I don't recommend people to follow pdoc's tapering protocol as it's still too quick of a taper (less than a month).
 

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Not necessarily. DP is one of PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) symptoms. The only difference quitting too quick or too slow makes, is the severity of these symptoms. I don't recommend people to follow pdoc's tapering protocol as it's still too quick of a taper (less than a month).
I totally agree with tapering off very very very slowly small bt by small bit.....Lets face it most doctors are just advising from the pages of a book.......Personal experience will tell an individual how much to reduce a med by and also how often to step down....

You will know when youve moved to fast or reduced the dose too much.....You will feel more ill than you need to be....
 

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I got severe dp after being on sertraline (Zoloft) for about 5 days. I was already in a very anxious state and the ssri raised my anxiety levels beyond a level my brain/body could cope with and the DP switch was turned on. I haven't been myself since then and it's been almost 4 years now. I don't mean this to be a scare story. I still think the right ssri can help a lot and be a life changer, in a positive sense. I think they should be given alongside a benzo or some kind of sedative in the first few weeks of taking though in cases where people already have extreme levels of anxiety.
 
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