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bffishe: Introduction


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Hi everyone. I started taking anti-depressants about five years ago after a hospitalization in October 2010. I had been seeing therapists/psychologists/psychiatrists sporadically up until that hospitalization but had always resisted taking medication. I received a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder around that time (though I wouldn't find out about that diagnosis until much later)


Most of my mental health issues stemmed from growing up in a homophobic household and school environment in South Carolina. 

There's really a lot more to this story, but this is all I can manage to get out right. 

I had dropped down my dosage to 25 mg of zoloft and 12.5 mg of lamictal about a month or six weeks ago when I decided to stop. Needless to say, I am feeling pretty awful right now. I didn't throw out the medications in case I would need them to stabilize myself. 

Overall, I think the medications have helped me in some regard but I am interested in getting off of them now that I feel like I have stabilized supports in my life. 

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  • Moderator

Hi bffishe-- welcome to the group.  I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble since you decided to make a drop.  These drugs cam be really tricky to taper off of, but it is possible to do.  The information about your background can come out in its own time if and when you feel like sharing it.  We're here to help people get off of these nasty drugs.  We do need a little more information about your med use.  How much were you on before you reduced, and how did you reduce?  Filling out a signature block will really help us understand what is going on.


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature         


There are several other threads that you should start reading too;


What is withdrawal syndrome?


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)


Tips for tapering off Lamictal (lamotrigine)


That's plenty for now, don't want to overload you,  if you have questions just ask.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017


"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello bffishe,


Glad you are here where you can get some good support.  And it's also good to hear you have built up some support in your own life.  That'll make a real difference to you as you come off these drugs. 


Once you fill in your med history the mods here can help you find a way to stabilise again.  Then once you've done that they can help you make a gentle tapering plan. 


I'm sorry it feels so bad right now.  You'll get through it - just hang in there and start stabilising.



2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 December - Now on 5 micro-beads Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops. Symptoms begin to increase.

2024 April - Updosed to 6 microbeads - immediate increase in symptoms for 4 days. Decreased to 5 microbeads.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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