Fluoxetine: The Impact

I needed a lengthy extension on my project but lost all motivation, or even ability to complete it. The course team worked hard with me to help but it just wasn’t enough, I was asking too much from my brain. I’d already discussed deferral options with the student support team and the date was coming up fast to confirm – either continue or defer until the start of the next module. If I deferred before 31st March 2016, I’d receive 100% credit back with the choice to either bank my scores to date or start again. I was becoming extremely stressed whilst trying to decide as I saw this as a failure and really wanted to push on. I had just over one year left to go and my degree would be complete. A lot of stress would have seen me completing my assignments, although possibly exacerbating my symptoms as I was already working on the back foot, there was no way I could see how I’d be in a position to produce anything worth a grade for the exam as I’d struggled with my memory and concentration. I could take a chance and hope I’d wing it or put it on hold for a years delay. With these modules holding so much weight towards the final degree classification I had to make a choice and fast.

A friend replied to my failure rant that I wasn’t, I needed to stop being too hard on myself  and to take one step at a time, which helped a lot, more than you’d expect. I needed an outside view of what I was going through, someone to confirm that it was okay to be a little off at the moment. When I’d told my oldest friend I was on antidepressants and trying to cope with the side effects – the reply I got was ‘OMG lol Still as crazy as ever…’, this also made me smile as I wouldn’t expect anything different from him. You need friends to keep you sane when you think you’re going mad! Sometimes you need someone on the outside.

I made my decision to defer my course without banking my scores and starting again from scratch in October. By then I hope to have a brain in full working order, or at least able to concentrate, retain some information and be able to read without the need to fall into a coma. For a while I could walk a few steps and completely forget what I was doing. I’d be sidetracked into something else very easily. Even simple things such as making a drink were becoming a problem. I’d make a cup of something, pop upstairs to the toilet, come back down and walk back into the kitchen to make a drink, realising once I’d reached the counter that I’d already done that. I’m hoping I’ve reached the summit. I’m slowly on the decent but I suppose we just have to wait and see how things go. The only issue now is that I need to see my GP for a letter to confirm all the issues and problems due to my illness and medication, praying I’m allowed an extension to my degree by a year or I’ll be doubling up in October to finish it all 😳 Fingers crossed!

One of the other side effects of a double dose is super sensitive, brisk reflexes. You just need to knock my knee either above or below the knee capand it flies out. A child knocked it today whilst at school – it was only for the fact that my foot was on the floor that it didn’t fly out in reaction. Over Easter break we went to my dads for our usual family Easter egg-hunt. My husband thought I was joking when I said my reflexes were a little too brisk, he thought I was ‘making’ my leg fly out, until he decided to hit my leg at top and bottom, one after the other for a few seconds. Once he saw the reaction on my face as my leg flew out but in a confused state, not relaxing back as the feeling overpowered my senses and shock hit my face. He placed his hand over his mouth whilst trying to stifle a laugh while apologising.

“Oh you believe me now do you” I said

“Sorry, the look on your face” came the reply

Hmm, he didn’t try that again!


2 thoughts on “Fluoxetine: The Impact

  1. I remember having reflex problems and reading your article has made me realise it was a side effect to taking fluoxetine. Hope you’re back on track and enjoying your studies.

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