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Binkyd: Pleased ta meet ya


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I had an unfortunate childhood which left me with severe performance anxiety ( not the sexual kind) cuz fear of rejection - you know, the old story of "95%?!  Why didn't you get a hundred?". I also grew up in Canada, England, Ireland, Canada, Ireland, England, USA - 8 schools and 10 houses between age 4 and 17.  I was always the new kid that talked funny etc, etc. couldn't play the local sports and stuff.  Not whining anymore, just the facts, ma'am.


By the 80s I had given up and had settled for the relatively stressless job of driving a cab in a major city.  Trust me, I enjoyed it and learned a huge amount of patience, and to this day driving is how I relax.  But then the depression hit. Suicidal to say the least, but this time i didn't give up.

Anyhow, in 1991 a doctor at a walk-in clinic in Toronto put me on prozac, 20mg.  Well, everything the drug companies promised was for real, I responded in 3 days, not 3 weeks, and was fully myself, for 2 years, then the doc, following the Western idea of bigger, better, doubled the dose and almost instantly brought about "Prozac Poop-out."  Fast track to the 2000s, by 2004 had had 2 total breakdowns, fortunately loved ones kept me out of the hospital. and I started on Celexa.  Just for fun, the witch doctors added Zyprexa, and I instantly gained 70 lbs. Got off that, and they loaded me up with 4 mg of Risperidone and 300 mg of Wellbutrin.  Didn't do a thing for my head, but major screw-ups to body. Went on disablilty for 10 years, and the absence of those levels of stress brought me back to functional, but unable to socialize or work.  Grim.


In 2013 I learned about possible effects of diet on my issues - I stopped eating sugar, processed foods including most wheat, and no food with more than 5 ingredients, and I had to recognize those.  Amazing results - I dropped the 70 lbs, and have kept it off still, I only eat real food, like meat fish, veg, eggs, some dairy and lots of nuts. And beer. No other alcohol, but for me over the years it's been a beer or 2 that kept me going - I owe it my life, literally, and wow do doctors hate to hear that.  Anyway, what happened next was wonderful - I'm an atheist, but I had a day that most people would call a miracle - a 5 second spell of sound, visuals and joy, and the depression and anxiety were gone. Like that.

 First, I weaned myself off the risperidone over almost a year, but that actually wasn't too bad.  But now, with a new, younger and more open Fam. Doc., not a psychiatrist, I spent 8 months weaning off the citalopram, and theunpleasantness started.


Terrible insomnia - on a good night I'll get 2 or 3  sessions of 60-90 min sleep. Constant headaches, such that I sometimes have to try to sleep sitting up cuz it hurts too much to put my head on a pillow,  There's also the little 'can't ignore' itches and creepy-crawly feelings when trying to sleep.  There's nearly uncontrollable rages, not just anger, my body's thermostat is out of whack - I can be freezing and overheating in different places at the same time.  It's downright insane.


But the depression and anxiety are still gone. Recent reading leads me to believe that the diet change is totally responsible.


So here I am, struggling with citalopram withdrawal, and not looking forward to Wellbutrin withdrawal when it's time.


By the way, I fired the psychiatrist when I asked her about weed for anxiety, and she came back with the schoolyard pusher leading to heroin addiction crap Harry Ansperger would have been proud of  -  not promoting weed here, just showing how incompetent this doctor is.


So - pleased ta meet ya, my first chance to unload.


"Evil" is spelled "drug company" for me forever.

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Hi, binkyd. 


Welcome to SA. I'm glad you found us for information and support.


I think many of us here share your experience with an "unfortunate childhood" and I really think that plays into our experiences with depression and anxiety as adults. But as we come off these drugs and learn new ways of dealing with depression and anxiety, life does get good again. For many of us, even better than before the drugs. 


Here are some links to get you started:


Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)


Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


What is withdrawal syndrome? 


The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


This is a really great resource for non-drug ways of coping with withdrawal. Many of us find that learning these kinds of skills prepare us for a much better life during withdrawal and well into the future. 


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia


I have to add a caution about the use of alcohol during this process. Alcohol affects the CNS and may cause problems if your CNS is already destabilized (or becomes more destabilized) as you continue withdrawing from your meds. Also, alcohol can cause poor sleep. There's evidence that increasing serotonin can actually cause a "craving" for alcohol. I wish I had been able to connect the dots and realized some of my "addictive" behaviors were actually created by these kinds of prescription drugs. So this is something to be mindful of as you continue this journey.


This is the list of drugs I was able to get from your narrative:


  • Prozac - 1991 - 1993 at 20 mg 
  • Celexa and Zyprex - 2004 (?)
  • Risperidone at 4 mg and Wellbutrin at 300 mg 
  • citalopram


I'm a bit unclear as to which drugs you are currently taking. It sounds like you are off of everything but Wellbutrin. Please let us know more about the timeline of your previous meds, especially when you came off, along with which drugs you are currently still taking. 


Please fill out a signature with your current meds. Here is how:


Please put your withdrawal history in signature


I enjoyed reading your narrative. Even though you're struggling, you sound like you're in a good place to withdrawal from these drugs and find better ways of coping. 


This thread is your place to post updates, list symptoms, and ask plenty of questions.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Binkyd -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)! I live in Toronto as well.


Congratulations on your successful risperidone taper! That can be a tough one. Sorry to hear that citalopram (Celexa) withdrawal is plaguing you. One of our members is using the word "Celexit" to describe her taper off the same drug.


Your sleep, though neither optimal nor what you want, isn't that bad; it's common to have disrupted sleep or insomnia during post-discontinuation recovery. The other symptoms are fairly common as well.


When was your last dose of citalopram and, if you recall, what was the dosage? (Shep asked about this above, too.)


Shep has got you started with lots of information to read and absorb. Have a look at the linked topics and come back here to post your questions and observations.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hey binkyd


I see you are up and online.  I went off Zoloft and zyprexa in feb 2014 and also have horrible issues with my sleep since then.  I cut out sugar and started walking 5-10 miles a day after my cold turkey wd and lost 45 lbs. in three months.  I had gained 70 lbs in 14 years on the pills.  Now if I can't walk I have a hard time sleeping at all and I developed arthritis in my big toe so I am sidelined quite a bit.  to make up for it I sometimes grab a couple pints to help me drift off or sometimes I pull the pud.  As gross as that sounds, I actually get deeper sleeps then I normally have had in wd and can often take a nap the next day which is pretty rare for me.  I hope you see some improvement in the sleep department.  I am still having plenty of lousy days 2 1/2 years out.  You call "evil" drug companies and I call psychiatrists "neuro-Nazis".   Best of Luck to you as you go forward in all this wd madness.    



Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.


On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 


Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.





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OK. I think I'm making a breakthrough here.

Ever since my diet change, I've been able to return to the attitude that I used to quit smoking 25 years ago, it goes like this:


Who's in charge here?  I'm in charge, and I don't do that anymore.


That approach had me off cigarettes right away, I had no withdrawal at all.  But for some reason with most drugs I seem to be non-addictive.  Let me explain.


Dentists always had to double Novacaine doses to freeze my mouth. Tried cocaine several times - nothing.  I basically grew up in the 60's, and I did everything. And for extended periods.  I can't count the number of times I dropped speed/crystal/methedrine. I smoked tons of opium, even shot heroin once, (pretty effin stupid, eh?)  once went on a 6 week canoe trip in Northern Ontario with a buddy, a 1/4 lb of hash and 30 hits of Orange Sunshine Acid. I lived in Rochdale College in Toronto, which was once featured in Time magazine as "there's more drugs in a 6 block radius than there is in the rest of North America".  Believe me, I know all about "recreational drugs'.  And there's a huge, unacknowledged difference between recreational drugs and prescription drugs.  For some reason, I seem to be special with the "fun drugs"


For me, stopping things seems to be a matter of how I express it to myself, and the mantra "I don't do that anymore"  seems to have, in the last couple of days, beaten down the absolutely amazing rage from the Citalopram. But I have to say' that was then, this is now.  But just describing all this has made a huge difference, but I do figure that my power over this issue only comes from the gut changes my diet has brought about.


My history with drugs, which I have only just now put to paper(sic), tells me that addiction is physical only,  and the right state of mind defeats the physical issues - "I'm in charge."


We'll see if this puts the citalopram in it's place,  then we'll go for beating the Wellbutrin.


I firmly believe withdrawal is beaten by a state of mind, as opposed to fictitious "willpower", as does Keith Richards in his autobiography when he very graphically describes heroin cold-turkey.


So now I'm going to wait out the citalopram withdrawal,  and then I'm going to stick the expected Wellbutrin withdrawal "where the sun don't shine"


Thank you all for giving me a place to sort this out - but I truly believe it's all a matter of attitude - no matter how bad it gets, "I'm in charge and I don't do that any more"


Absolutely amazing how powerful words and affirmation are.  Consider the power that ancient or primitive cultures attribute the naming of things.


WOW.  Where did all that come from?  But you know what?  I'm ready and these mind-f**king drugs are going to lose.  I'm in charge here.

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Sorry, people.  This is probably now in the wrong forum. But I need to say it.


It's the diet that makes the difference, but it's different for everybody.  These people who sell diet books are despicable parasites living off other peoples pain.  here's how it works, for free, and you can confirm it for yourselves:


everybody's gut is different, but there are some basic rules:


added sugar is a no-no

sugar without associated fiber is a no-no (this means oranges, but not orange juice)

commercial wheat is bad, find a local bakery that uses locally produced wheat

meat must be antibiotic free, but it's way harder to find and costs more, but it's the single most important change you can make - bigger than cutting out sugar, because antibiotics are  absolutely devastating to your gut bacteria

any veggie is good, but we need a variety to get all the good stuff- fiber is essential

rice and potatoes - if you let them get cold after cooking, and then reheat and eat, your gut will be cheering you on and holding parades, because "resistant" starch is one of your gut's favorite foods

fish is wonderful - well, has anyone ever wondered why smoked salmon or fresh-caught pickerel cheeks are the best tasting food ever?  (don't get me started on pickerel)

nuts are amazing - with all their oil and fat, they are directly associated with weight loss

use bacon fat or butter to cook with, and cold-pressed olive oil for everything else- vegetable oil, canola oil etc are so "processed' that they are virtually poisonous (check it out- it's called due diligence)

fruit is wonderful, but contrary to popular knowledge, too much fruit is actually counter-productive - we evolved with fruit as a "sometimes' thing

at all costs avoid high-fructose corn syrup - if you're eating that you're half-way to your grave already


There's lots of other ways to fix your diet - it's going to depend on what's available for you and what works


the above is pretty much what worked for me; it also worked to a degree for my wife, but while all her medical test numbers are really impressive, she's not lost the weight that I have. - perhaps our gut biota are a little bit sexist? (joke)


Believe me, people; every country in the world that adopts our classic Western diet sees increases in tons of illnesses, but especially depression and anxiety - remember those? the big money-makers for the drug companies?


Don't take my word for it- you'd be idiotic if you did.  But now you have the info to follow up and do your own 'DUE DILIGENCE"


Note:  after more than 30 years of depression and anxiety, this is what worked for me.  It is also letting me give the finger to anti-depressant withdrawal - it's uncomfortable, but "I'm in charge and I can deal with it."


OK, now you can chastise if I've broken forum rules.  I'll go quietly.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Binky, food is an incredibly powerful remedy. It's wonderful that your diet is allowing you withstand the re-ordering of your CNS (central nervous system) during w/d. 


You're a tougher cat than I. I find it very challenging to make all those changes at once and am working slowly to implement these changes one by one.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Binky - I was always the "new kid" in town, too - but I only moved state, not country.  I can't imagine what it would have been with lingo and accent changes, too.


You sound remarkably intact for what you have been through, and it looks like you've done the roughest ones first.  While Wellbutrin has withdrawal issues of its own, it is not the "worst of the bad boys," like citalopram can be.


It's awesome that you lined up your diet before your tapers, and probably made your tapers more bearable.


What would you say are your lingering symptoms from the Citalopram withdrawal?  We need to make sure you are thoroughly free of that one before going on to the next taper.


While "mind over matter" works for most things - opiates, even cigarettes - these psych drug chemicals affect the very mind that is supposed to "be in charge" in the "mind over matter" equation.  Sometimes, the withdrawal throws the mind out of the window.  Your positive attitude is AWESOME, but in case withdrawal hits you hard again - just know that it's not your fault.  AD withdrawal is not something you can "bootstrap" through, or "tough it out."


I agree with Shep - alcohol can throw you more deeply into the Waves in the natural Waves and Windows cycle of recovery - additionally, symptoms can be delayed - but as much as 6-12 months or even more.  Sometimes the symptoms lay in wait for the next "stress" or crisis or change, and sometimes you can walk away an not see a symptom again.  Cannabis, too, can throw you into states of mind (even though you are Experienced) which are more uncomfortable in withdrawal.  It becomes important to be able to choose your medicinal strains, and street cannabis does not really allow for that.  Ideally, raw juicing of cannabis (no heat at all) is the best healing potion which can be made from the whole plant, but most governments discourage the growing of the stuff.


Your dietary rules are very similar to what many of us follow here.  We have no choice - 95% of your body's serotonin is in the gut, and IBS and gut symptoms are huge symptoms in withdrawal from these drugs.  Fixing the diet becomes a necessity.


So I understand that you are only on Wellbutrin now?

What was the date of your last dose of Citalopram?  And you tapered down from what dose, over 8 months?


Please complete your signature, and let us know what your symptoms are (a sample set can be found here):  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/


When we have that information, it will be easier for us to suggest how much longer you should wait before your first taper of Wellbutrin.


Always, always, we recommend tapering by 10% of last dose.  There is an option to go faster, but the risk of symptoms is so high, and so horrible - it's always easier to start slow, and then adjust according to how well it is going for you.


Welcome to SA!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/



I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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