Taking Fluoxetine To Treat Eating Disorders: Tula's Story

Are you struggling with an eating disorder and wondering if medication might help? Here’s Tula’s experience of taking Fluoxetine.

In response to a serious case of anorexia and obsessive exercising, attention was drawn to my mental and physical health.

My main focus was to gain body mass and receive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help me deal with the vast lifestyle changes I had to make that were imperative to my wellbeing.

Dealing with all the changes to my body caused me mental turmoil and deep depressive and anxious episodes.

My mood had become heavily dependent upon a great deal of exercise, so taking that away, alongside the trauma of finally processing what had been happening, made coping extremely difficult for me. I was finally admitted to see an eating disorders specialist who prescribed me with Fluoxetine.

I felt like I was finally being heard.

The aim was to level out my moods, make me less inclined to fall into bulimic tendencies, and to be able to deal with them more calmly if they did occur.

I felt very hopeful when being prescribed my medication because I felt like I was finally being heard. I felt reassured by the knowledge that I didn't have to fully rely upon myself to get better. I had medication to do some of the work for me.

I began taking one tablet every other day for two weeks to ease myself in, and then a tablet a day after that. I felt better instantly. I can't say if this was partly finally being diagnosed leaving me feeling much more optimistic. But I was feeling better, and that was all that mattered.

Fluoxetine does give me a sort of 'high' or state of euphoria, but it prevents me from getting so down. This is great because it leaves me feeling still human, still me, just inside a world which is a little easier than before, when everything felt so hideous.

It leaves me feeling still human, still me.

The only downfall to the medication for me was the side effect of a dry mouth. For a while my bulimia simply disappeared, as did the dry mouth.

After a couple of months I hit a particularly stressful time in my life, during which my bulimic tendencies crept back. I was thrown, thinking before that Fluoxetine had cured me. As my health got worse, my Fluoxetine dosage was increased.

It has not offered any magic solution to my disordered eating, but it certainly makes my recovery a lot easier to handle. I have felt that taking the medication has had little downfalls. Drinking alcohol along with antidepressants is not a good idea and I do think this has affected my social life. I have felt alienated from the party landscape. This has not just been a result of taking the medication however; when I have been depressed there would be no chance of catching me on the dance floor.

Feeling better should be prioritised before anything else.

It is really important for me to remember that feeling better should be prioritised before anything else. I would recommend informing close friends and family that you are taking medication, so that they understand why you are perhaps less social than before, and can make an effort to see you in alcohol-free environments.

A positive result of this has been being motivated to meet friends to spend quality time with, rather than simply socialising through mindless partying. My illness has separated me from some people, but drawn me closer to others. In times of hardship, you will truly see who the best people are to surround yourself with.

Questions about mental health medication?

Our guide on medication covers the different types of mental health medication you could be prescribed, how they help and what the side-effects could be. 

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