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Loss Of Imagination


Aguest

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I've decided to make a much more specific topic about my troubles with Prozac. I feel like my ability to visualize and imagine has been severely dampened by being on Prozac. Though it was only for ten days, and it has been many months now (since July 2010, actually. More info on my full experiences here: ), I do not feel like I am recovering at all. I am unable to get proper help as my mental health professionals do not seem to be able to suggest anything to fix it. I feel like I've completely lost my creativity and imagination I once had, which has ruined many hobbies of mine like reading, writing, drawing, 3D modeling and many more.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Did you ever get better? Is there any way to fix this?

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Hello Aguest, welcome back!

Indeed, your concern is a valid once and has been reported many times! Some studies do claim that ADs effect may affect a person's creativity, yet no one is sure yet on how and why! If you're not doing any good on Prozac, ever thought of switching to another AD?

r90

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Hello Aguest, welcome back!

Indeed, your concern is a valid once and has been reported many times! Some studies do claim that ADs effect may affect a person's creativity, yet no one is sure yet on how and why! If you're not doing any good on Prozac, ever thought of switching to another AD?

r90

I think this sort of thing is pretty much universal for these sorts of drugs as far as I know.

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Hello Aguest, welcome back!

Indeed, your concern is a valid once and has been reported many times! Some studies do claim that ADs effect may affect a person's creativity, yet no one is sure yet on how and why! If you're not doing any good on Prozac, ever thought of switching to another AD?

r90

I think this sort of thing is pretty much universal for these sorts of drugs as far as I know.

I think the best way to know is by asking your pdoc!

r90

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Hi Aguest,

I've not heard of this side effect before and I'm intrigued. What does it mean to lose your creativity and imagination? Have you had a number of cognitive tests to evaluate these abilities?

I've been on fluoxetine for 17 years or so and haven't noticed this.....yet.

Jon

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Hi Aguest,

I've not heard of this side effect before and I'm intrigued. What does it mean to lose your creativity and imagination? Have you had a number of cognitive tests to evaluate these abilities?

I've been on fluoxetine for 17 years or so and haven't noticed this.....yet.

Jon

No tests, no. And I simply just can't picture things in my head anymore, and what little I do see is very faint, I have difficulty coming up with ideas for what to write, what to draw, etc. Sorry if I'm not clear.

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No tests, no. And I simply just can't picture things in my head anymore, and what little I do see is very faint, I have difficulty coming up with ideas for what to write, what to draw, etc. Sorry if I'm not clear.

Aguest,

I suffer from Borderline personality disorder, I am not currently receiving any treatment, I am facing nowadays a huge writer's block, I haven't been writing poems for a month now, have you ever considered the lack of creativity to be a part from your illness symptoms and not any side effect medication? I hope this was helpful.

r90

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Hey there,

I know I cannot write if I am either on the wrong medication that is inhibiting my ability, which Zoloft did directly, as well as when I am critically depressed. I did find this to be the general rule of my use of SSRIs, but I am unsure I can blame each medication directly; since they were not abating my depression, I think it was a combination, at least, that was truly crushing things done on me. All that to say once I knew it was the direct effects of the drugs, but other time it could have been their lack of positive effect on my alleviating my depressive symptoms.

After my experience on Zololt, months passed before I felt like myself again. And then the flood gates opened and I wrote my entire creative thesis (which was book-length interconnecting short fiction) in about thee months. There is every reason to believe the medication will ultimately just be out of your body and you will gain your skills back

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No tests, no. And I simply just can't picture things in my head anymore, and what little I do see is very faint, I have difficulty coming up with ideas for what to write, what to draw, etc. Sorry if I'm not clear.

Aguest,

I suffer from Borderline personality disorder, I am not currently receiving any treatment, I am facing nowadays a huge writer's block, I haven't been writing poems for a month now, have you ever considered the lack of creativity to be a part from your illness symptoms and not any side effect medication? I hope this was helpful.

r90

Well, it was the first thing I noticed when I started taking Prozac, that it sort of was completely muted. Occasionally I'd get bursts of it again, but it's terribly short lived. I think there's a mild improvement, but not a whole lot. Before it, it used to be almost always active, which wasn't much of a problem and barely ever distracted me from anything. Day dreaming was pretty much my normal state.

Hey there,

I know I cannot write if I am either on the wrong medication that is inhibiting my ability, which Zoloft did directly, as well as when I am critically depressed. I did find this to be the general rule of my use of SSRIs, but I am unsure I can blame each medication directly; since they were not abating my depression, I think it was a combination, at least, that was truly crushing things done on me. All that to say once I knew it was the direct effects of the drugs, but other time it could have been their lack of positive effect on my alleviating my depressive symptoms.

After my experience on Zololt, months passed before I felt like myself again. And then the flood gates opened and I wrote my entire creative thesis (which was book-length interconnecting short fiction) in about thee months. There is every reason to believe the medication will ultimately just be out of your body and you will gain your skills back

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These boards are really something else. If I didn't know better and I only paid attention to the people commenting here I'd think SSRIs were poison that worked for about 20% of the population, I would be absorbing advice that is riddled with the seeds of self-fullfilling prophecy in every topic. Don't set yourself to expect a negative scenario. The side effects of SSRIs are almost always mild and harmless AND MOST, go away over time. DEPRESSION kills imagination and creativity. It also kills the motivation to create and to actively imagine and problem solve. It's one of the key symptoms of the disease. If your SSRI is working, your cognition should be improving, and that includes your creative mind. Give it time. My creativity exploded once the meds finally kicked in (and yes, it was a slow process of climbing to my appropriate dose). Don't listen to anyone but your doctor. The vast majority of advice here is non-professional and I believe people who are clincally depressed may be doing themselves more harm than good in being here. How many people just starting to seek help for depression would get a skewed view of treatment and SSRIs by the ocean of negative comments here? For the VAST MAJORITY of people THE FIRST ssri they are put on will substantially improve their lives. They work. Don't listen to people setting you up with worst case scenarios. When your depression improves, so will all of your cogntitive aspects. If they don't, my guess is that you are just one of the slow reactors, like I was.

If you are someone just reading this and are only beginning to seek help-

-Get to a doctor

-If you are diagnosed with depression it is VERY treatable

-If you are put on an anti-depressant there is the greatest probability it will work and side-effects for the VAST majority are minor and diminish quickly.

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No emotion = no creativity.

This is my opion only and probably is wrong. I know for sure that it is easy to write about some thing you feel strongly about. My best writing always has passion behind it. Crfeativity needs a mind jumping here and there and not nessarly in a streight line. Flat out Newton was a real nut case. Its those that can see beyond the accepted norm that are labeled creative and whats beyond normal? Abnormal! Seeing things from a perspective that is beyond normat is the seed of creativity. Non "normal" thinking. Its the price that is payed for creative thought. Meds are all about normal. At this time in my life I am tired of creativity and just want to be a happy normal.

Newton didnt stand on the sholders of giants, he stood on his head.

Bigd

Edited by bigd847
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DEPRESSION kills imagination and creativity.

I was not on the medication for depression, I was on it for OCD. The muted imagination, creativity, and the inability to visualize came after Prozac, and I remember similar effects when I was on Fluvoxamine for almost a decade. Unless if the Prozac is what made me depressive, apparently.

Edited by Aguest
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DEPRESSION kills imagination and creativity.

Allow me to disagree with you Giotto28, it was my mental illness who triggered my creativity, I wasn't that creative before my mental health went down, yet it is my mental state that sometimes block my imagination and creativity!

r90

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  • 2 weeks later...

Aguest:

Unfortunately, there may not be a clear answer to what you are experiencing. And it may require consultation with a professional who has experience with what you are describing.

Different people have such different responses to the medicines. For some people, the lifting of depression through a well matched anti-depressant increases creativity. For others, some of the anti-depressants do have a numbing effect. That must be very frustrating. Sometimes the numbing goes away after a time. Or sometimes the person chooses another anti-depressant. For example, I've heard from a few people that the SSNI's like Pristiq or Cymblata are more energizing for them. Same goes with Wellbutrin. And it helps with their concentration, and therefore their creativity, more than a SSRI like Prozac.

There may also be a dual diagnosis issue. Sometimes people with a bit of Attention Deficit Disorder find that the SSRI's don't help with that (though it helps greatly with the depression) or the lack of concentration is a side effect of the SSRI and so some doctors will test people for Attention Deficit and augment the anti-depressant.

It must be very frustrating for a creative person like yourself to experience a block in that creativity. After all, imagination is sometimes exactly what we need to move ahead in the recovery process from depression.

I hope you have access to a good doctor or counselor who can think through with you some of the possibilities you have to regain this part of you. There are options. But my guess is that it is going to require some careful collaboration between you and a professional medical person you trust.

Best,

Tim

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

So, it's midnight. I've been laying in bed for the last 2 hours trying to figure out what's wrong with me since taking Prozac...Why I just don't feel like me. And then it dawned on me.

I was looking at the inside of my eyelids. I tried to imagine *anything*. No images appear. Just the blackness of my closed eyes.

Try to imagine a beach, or my wife, or my car...Nothing. Dark emptyness.

So, I do what any sane person would do..I get up and Google for Prozac and Imagination ...And I find this thread.

My previous experiences: I've been on a number of different meds since November 2010, and only with Prozac have I noticed this problem.

I'm now certain that it's also what is affecting my sleep..Dreaming isn't easy without an imagination - and neither is falling asleep in the first place.

On the plus side, it's taken away the stress and worries that were the triggers of my despression. It's also stopped the constant arguements that were going around in my head, etc. However, the lack of visualization or imagination I now have is very worrying!

I work in a creative industry, so am worried what the long term affects may be, especially after reading aguest's words.

So, aguest - I don't think you're alone with this one. I don't think it's just a side effect of being depressed either. However, as with most of these types of drugs that "carpet bomb" your brain, it seems that there's a great deal of hit-and-miss, regarding if they hit the right spot in the first place, and what else they may hit too...Hence the vast amount of reports regarding effectiveness and side effects that are reported from person to person. Taking this on board, it could be that we're both suffering something else, but have come to the same conclusions..Again, who knows, when the amount of potential side effects are so varied? But the fact that I can't imagine anything..I can't visualise anything when I try to think of it with my eyes closed...I'm not liking this very much at all, no matter what's causing it.

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  • 1 month later...

So, it's midnight. I've been laying in bed for the last 2 hours trying to figure out what's wrong with me since taking Prozac...Why I just don't feel like me. And then it dawned on me.

I was looking at the inside of my eyelids. I tried to imagine *anything*. No images appear. Just the blackness of my closed eyes.

Try to imagine a beach, or my wife, or my car...Nothing. Dark emptyness.

So, I do what any sane person would do..I get up and Google for Prozac and Imagination ...And I find this thread.

My previous experiences: I've been on a number of different meds since November 2010, and only with Prozac have I noticed this problem.

I'm now certain that it's also what is affecting my sleep..Dreaming isn't easy without an imagination - and neither is falling asleep in the first place.

On the plus side, it's taken away the stress and worries that were the triggers of my despression. It's also stopped the constant arguements that were going around in my head, etc. However, the lack of visualization or imagination I now have is very worrying!

I work in a creative industry, so am worried what the long term affects may be, especially after reading aguest's words.

So, aguest - I don't think you're alone with this one. I don't think it's just a side effect of being depressed either. However, as with most of these types of drugs that "carpet bomb" your brain, it seems that there's a great deal of hit-and-miss, regarding if they hit the right spot in the first place, and what else they may hit too...Hence the vast amount of reports regarding effectiveness and side effects that are reported from person to person. Taking this on board, it could be that we're both suffering something else, but have come to the same conclusions..Again, who knows, when the amount of potential side effects are so varied? But the fact that I can't imagine anything..I can't visualise anything when I try to think of it with my eyes closed...I'm not liking this very much at all, no matter what's causing it.

Hey here. Terribly sorry for being so late to reply, I've just had this forum out of my mind for a while. It's horrible to find someone else going through the same stuff as me. Have your symptoms improved any in this month or so?

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I experienced this with prozac and also lexapro . Not immediately; after I'd been taking them some time. I quit taking it because SSRIs have never really helped me that much that I am aware of. They didn't make things worse, they just didn't really do anything. That's a good way to put it- no imagination. Senses dulled.

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hi im posting because your story is the exact as mine just about. i was put on ssris for ocd age 14-19, at 19 i decided to wean off and got off completely a month ago and am now 23. i have lost everything you said, and the ability to feel deep emotions which maybe is connected with imagination. ive taken a lot of acid but even acid cant bring it back and the images i see are so faint as well. i meditate now to heal my brain. things have gotten slightly better since i have went off the medication and compared to literally the ability to feel nothing at all. i believe that if you believe you will heal, you can. have you believed you were doomed these past years? i think the brain works with what we believe in because magic is real. let me know if things have gotten any better, at even the slightest, and hold on to that hope, and know you will get better because believing in the only way i think. id like to talk to you more as we are in the same boat and both have ocd.

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