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headup: introduction and question concerning pressure headaches and brain fog


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Hey everybody,

even though i've been snooping around for quiet a long time - this is my first post on the forum

so, in a nutshell (i will post an introduction soon) i am 8 months into protracted withdrawal from paxil (which i only took for 4 months, but still reacted in a severely negative way to the drug, from day 1)


on the positive side - alot of my symptoms diminished or went away. including derealization, night time hallucinations, panic attacks, mild insomnia, brain zaps, weird spasms and overall i've seen a great improvement of the mental symptoms (anxiety, DP, weird thoughts etc'). i hope this will encourage some of you. i know that during the peak of the symptoms it helped me to read stuff like that.


on the negative side i'm still suffering from 3 persistent and major problems  : 1. cognitive problems (Bad brain fog, memory problems, concentrations problems ) 2. Pressure headaches which i feel 24\7 3. Tinnitus -  whooshing sound all day , all the time. i do have amazing (and short) windows. but these are my most persistent and debilitating symptoms. also it's important to add that each day i wake up with a terrible headache, stuffed nose and bad mood :(  (these lessen in intensity during the day). sometimes (more rare these days) i wake up with a cortisol spike at sunshine.


So. i have a couple questions for you guys :

1. it would be nice just to hear from people that share my symptoms (and mostly people who have healed from them) :)

2. did any body find a correlation between nutrition, food sensitivities etc' - and the symptoms i mentioned ? (brain fog, headaches , tinnitus)

i have cut gluten, sugar, dairy and high histamine foods from my diet. because , overall i am healing - i don't know what's helping and what not.

3. if anybody has any advice on healing and treating those symptoms - please share . it's been so hard... the cognitive problems are the worst. i just wish i could function normally :rolleyes:


and i've been meaning to write this a long time ago , but it's really important for me too really thank all of the members of this forum , and especially the moderators and veterans of this forum - for forming a haven for us people dealing with this bizarre problem. 50 % of the hardship i've been feeling along the way concerns the lack of acceptance and understanding for this thing called ssri withdrawal that i'm going through. at times i even doubted myself that there is such a thing (not anymore of course). so what i mean to say is that this forum gave me a sence of community which helped alot during my way. even during writing these words i'm getting so sentimental..... wow, it's been a way. thanks.


much love and healing to everybody. 




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  • ChessieCat changed the title to headup: Introduction and question concerning pressure headaches and brain fog
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Headup,


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), I am really glad that you finally joined!  Firstly, I want to assure you that you will recover but you will need to practise extreme patience and self-care.  Withdrawal syndrome is very real despite what most in the medical community would like everyone to believe and this site is testament to just how many people deal with the very real issues surrounding withdrawal from SSRIs (as well as other drugs).  Antidepressants can and do cause damage to the central nervous system when not discontinued properly.


It sounds like you have done a lot of reading about anti-depressant withdrawal and that is amazing to see.  In my opinion, the more you know about what to expect and what you can do to help alleviate your symptoms, the better prepared you will be to ride this out.  It is good to hear that most of your symptoms have resolved, and in due time the severity of your remaining symptoms should also slowly start to resolve.  


It is going to know that you are interested in learning more, so I am attaching a few links with discussion around nutrition, tinnitus and some of the other symptoms you are still dealing with.  I hope that you find the information here useful and glad that you are open to connecting with other members in the community.  SA has very supportive members who know what you are going through and are here to help.  Please feel free to connect with other members, it would be great if you could share your experience as well as look for ways to help you to find different ways of managing the symptoms you are still dealing with. 


Tinnitus - What does all that noise mean?
Migraines, Headaches, Neck Ache Pain & Head Pressure


We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature



Edited by baroquep

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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  • 5 months later...

(Excuse me for my english , it's not my native language)


So it's been 13 months since i quit paxil - and i just feel like i need to ventilate a bit. i hope it will be interesting for you to read.


An important change occurred for me recently:  a certain loss of naivety. i mean it in a good way and in bad way as well. (i'll explain)

only recently have i fully understood the magnitude of the immense journey i'm going through... and only recently have i understood that the journey is still long. in loss of naivety i mean, stoping to look for a definite end or closure for the symptoms i'm experiencing and a deep acceptance and realization of what is happening to me. in the early stages of withdrawal, as i was still educating myself about what is going on , every time i would set up a new "finish line", thinking to myself "ok so it takes 3 months to heal", "ok so , maybe it takes 6 months", "in a year i would surely be healed..." etc. but something changed in the one year mark - there is no new "finish line" , only a deep acceptance that there is no "going back" to who i was and that this journey is part of the new me, for better or worse. 

it's important to say that my embrace  of this  new attitude of acceptance is based on a couple of things : 


1. that i have educated myself so i could live in a kind of manageable base line (including healthy diet, no sugar , gluten , msg , alchohol , caffeine etc ,  exercise regularly , never go to sleep after 12 pm and wake up after 8 am)

2. that my symptoms , though still very present and debilitating , have lost there edge in a sense. withdrawal rarely "Swallows" ( it's a saying in my language , i hope it's clear) me anymore . by saying that, i mean that 98% precent of the time i feel that i am in control, even if i have a wave of anxiety, weird emotions etc' - i can watch it and know it as it is - a withdrawal symptom. thinking back on these early stages , when i was "washed" by  these crazy waves of ocd, derealization , weird thoughts , panic , thinking that i have gone completely mad - makes me very happy that i have made alot of progress. on the other hand , the memory of the mental states that i have suffered because of withdrawal - frightens me. this experience was surely traumatic - in the most clinical way. i would be happy to hear your opinions on this issue. do these scars heal with time ? i feel that some things that i have suffered will stay with me for a long time...


well, back to my point - loss of naivety and acceptance. another thing that has happened recently (two months ago) is that i  stoped to try to cure myself. well, it sounds bad - but it's far from that. in the early stages of withdrawal i've tried it all - vitamin b6, fish oil, gaba  , low histamine diet, acupuncture, carnio sacral therapy, homeopathic medicine etc' etc' (there's like a thousand more things)  but slowly , as my acceptance grew and i had fully realised what is the journey that i am facing , i have stoped to obsess about trying to find that "magic pill" that would end it all. and , for me , that's very important and  big step up. for me , out of all the medical treatments \ supplements etc' - only magnesium before going to sleep , has really proved itself  (other than that i've stoped it all) . the lesson is - only time and , unfortunately, alot of time. alot more than i have ever thought. but this isn't supposed to be a pessimistic idea , far from it. since stoping to try to cure myself with "magic pills" of sorts  - i continued to heal as usual. 


and this brings me to another point. speculation. as humans , i mean, as seekers of causation and meaning, we speculate all the time. especially us , those suffering  with the weirdest undiagnosed phenomena in the world (it really is:rolleyes: )  -we hunt for every piece of causation , every piece of information. now look, maybe 13 months out isn't that much, but for me , the acceptance also comes with a lessening of constant obsessive speculation . thinking maybe it's histamines causing my brain fog , or is it lack of vitamin b , is my head pressure because of bruxism or because of allergies... it's endless. don't get me wrong , as i said , i have learned which conditions have helped me to keep a sustainable base line. but other than that, there's something in me that is just tired of speculation. it doesn't really matter if i eat that piece of cheese or not. the wave \ or window will come any way - at there own time. and healing , and suffering, will take their own course as well. there's something beautiful in  true acceptance... like a stance of  monk, a mixture of feeling of accepting things as they are , stoping to try to fight them , but in the same time also harnessing a spirit of a warrior in the face of the journey you are walking.


it's very important for me too say , that's only my thoughts , and maybe that is not very  responsible to say....  because maybe somebody will really suffer more from eating a piece of cheese (:lol: i mean that maybe understanding  some causations is important) ... . for me , if i could see obvious correlations in different things.. i would pursue speculations - and i just didn't.  waves  and windows  just come and go.


to sum it up - there's something hard in accepting . it's hard to glance at the magnitude of all this. i mean, this is big. :) it's such a hard process . and it's alone and without recognition. so bizarre and infuriating... 

but the acceptance and loss of naivety have their beautiful side as well. there's something liberating to stop fighting . in an ironic way, when you stop fighting you harness your inner warrior and you tell a deeper , more honest story about yourself, as a warrior , waking through a long journey... this is who i am 


ok before i finish ,  i guess that this is important information :


symptoms i have had  and do not get any more (or extremely rarley) 

* panic \ extreme anxiety

* derealization  ֿ\ depersonalisation 

* ocd thoughts

* morning cortisol spikes

* nights sweats 

* extreme nighttime hallucinations 

* vivid dreaming and nightmares

* brain zaps (very distant memory)

* crying spells 

* vertigo


----- all of these i did not experience for at least 2 months. (some of them much more) but who knows what a new wave will bring :blink:


symptoms i still have

* head pressure (alot better- yay)

* memory impairment (better)

* tinnitus... unfortunately getting worse 

* tingling in hands (new)

* nausea and loss of apetite (new and pretty rare)

* flu with allergic reaction (periodically happens every two weeks)

* numbness of feeling (somedays better than others)

* morning depression (better)



for those early in withdrawal that are reading this and are getting discouraged  - don't. well it's hard to explain .. this post is pretty bittersweet. yes u have to get ready for a long journey , and the sooner you do, the better. but , and that's an important but , today more than every , i know i will heal. because i feel i have a wide enough perspective to know that. i'm improving all the time, and each day is an improvement. now i'm allot better than  a month ago, and surely better than two months ago.life is not simple at all - but i maintain a steady job and an academic career etc' ... just felt important to say that...


much love and healing to everybody

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved your new topic to your Introduction topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  Please bookmark or click Follow at the top right so you can find it again.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/27/2018 at 5:05 PM, headup said:

it doesn't really matter if i eat that piece of cheese or not. the wave \ or window will come any way - at there own time. and healing , and suffering, will take their own course as well. there's something beautiful in  true acceptance... like a stance of  monk, a mixture of feeling of accepting things as they are , stoping to try to fight them , but in the same time also harnessing a spirit of a warrior in the face of the journey you are walking.

Hi headup,

I'm so impressed with the way you explain your process of acceptance.  I feel I am in that process as well although I am still early in the journey!  The first acceptance I experienced was the realization that no psychiatric medications could help me.  I was finished believing the chemical imbalance theory.  They were only damaging me.

I constantly look for techniques that will help me in the withdrawal recovery process, and I have found many here on this forum.  It's not the only place I look for answers, but it is the main one.

I just wanted to mention that someone told me he found diet to be a very important aspect of dealing with tinnitus (sorry I can't remember his name.  Will try to find it).  I have eliminated salt, nitrates (JanCarol pointed this out), tomatoes, sugar, flour, aspartame, all soda including diet and club.  I cut down on caffeine and dairy.  I try little bits of certain foods to test out whether they affect the level of noise.  I'm learning different techniques to help me with habituation.  I have had some windows where the noise doesn't drive me completely berserk which gives me hope.

You said so much in your post that I'm sure I will go back and read it some more.  Good luck with your tapering and healing, and thank you for your good ideas, especially on acceptance.





Alcohol periodic excessive 1963-1976, Valium sporadic 1964-1973,  Imipramine off & on 1982-1985, Fluoxetine 10mg-80 mg. Oct., 1995-Jan., 2014; Cymbalta, other ADs 1/2014-3/2014; Abilify 5 mg. 3/2014 - 8/8/17; Trintellix 20 mg. 3/2014 - 9/2017; Propranolol 60-80 mg. sporadically Sept-Oct, 2017; Seroquel few days Sept 2017 (c/t); Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sept, 2017 updosed to 300 mg. few days till c/t Oct 8, 2017, fish oil, vitD, vitE Oct 16, 2017-pres. Lipoflavonoid 4/2017-pres.  Fluoxetine 10 mg. Sept-Oct 8, 2017, 20 mg. 10/9- 10/15; 10 mg. 10/16 - 12/29;  9 mg. 12/30 - 2/9; 2 mL liquid (8.1mg) 2/10 - 3/7; 1.8 mL (7.29 mg) 3/8 -3/20; 1.6 mL (6.561mg) 3/20-4/2; 1.4 mL (5.9 mg) 4/3-4/14; 1mL (4 mg.) 4/15-4/22; .9mL (3.6mg) 4/23-5/1; .81mL (3.24 mg) 5/2-5/24; .73mL (2.916mg.) 5/25-6/8; .65mL 6/9-6/23; .6mL 6/24-7/17; .58mL 7/18-7/28; .525mL 7/29-8/13; .5 mL 8/14-21; .45mL 8/22-31; .4mL 9/2-21; .35mL 9/22-10/4; .3mL 10/5-28; .25mL 10/28-11/10; .2mL 11/11-11/24; .18mL 11/25-12/3; .1mL 12/4-12/18. Zero-12/19/18-present.

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interesting post. 


2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily


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  • 9 months later...

i'm 22 months drug free , and it's time for an update.


well... there's bad news and good news.


on the good side, since the last time i posted i had the biggest and most significant window that i had since the start of my withdrawal.


for a couple of months i almost did not deal with anhedonia, derealization, anxiety and brain fog at all ! -  i felt that my time has come and i was eventually showing signs of true healing.


i had my feeling and confidence back !!! my brain worked ! it was amazing. i did really great at work.


as u can expect  the window ended about two months ago and since then i've had    a pretty rough wave .


but this time the wave seems around 85% as strong as it was before....and it seems to me that when a symptom takes hold, i feel it intensely for around 2-4 days and then it subsides a bit... but comes back in a newer and weirder way after some time... and the whole wave is characterized by cycles of symptoms coming for a short time , staying in an intense way and then leaving.


which leaves me feeling generally pretty bad , but with more ups and down 


does this make any sense to anybody ?  does any body relate with such a pattern ? 


this wave brought back a lot of things that i thought were long gone..... cortisol wake ups, nightmares, anhedonia and my personal worst : brain fog and memory problems. 


it is especially very discouraging because my brain worked so well for  such a long time... i really thought that this symptom was over.


but if my  brain worked before it can come back again, which is a good thought.


but then again, if such an intense wave (already two months) can get me at 22 months out... so there's still a  lot of healing ahead of me. and it's a hard thought... i just feel there's a huge brick wall between me and reality , that is preventing me to be myself... the lack of feelings , motivation and brain power are so hard... i feel i can't be myself. i really want my creativity and happiness to come back again.


i wanna finish with some questions :


so pretty much 70% of my suffering in withdrawal now is concentrated around nighttime and morning. the symptoms vary abit but i do suffer almost every night and especially every morning. it can be nightmares, a bit of insomnia,  cortisol wakeups , intense head pressure at night or during sleeping , morning depression and dread etc - these come and go, but there's always  symptoms present , mostly during the mornings. ah , and also i always  have running nose in the morning a-l-w-a-y-s ! and  i fill a bit sick ,  so, as though i did feel a bit better during my window , the nasty mornings are always with me. this really worries me. will i ever heal from this ?


does anybody share simliar symptoms around the mornings especially and also at nighttime ?


it's just, like , a part of me that  i can't even  imagine healing from this....


i would really love some advice. 


another question : i didn't have a drink of alcohol for about a year and half. and i know that this forum usually recommend abstaining from alcohol but hey... it's been 22 months and i would really love some beer or wine. but of-course i am really afraid because of the horror stories cycling here about alcohol.... but then again , at one stage or another we should start living normally again, and generally my food sensitivities have really improved. so maybe my main question is what is the maximum risk of drinking some beer ? can i do substantial harm ? like taking me back to acute ? do you think i can try some ?  


 i know that it is better not to drink alcohol but from the people that are far in withdrawal , can anybody tell me when did you re-introduce alcohol ? is it possible at all ?


last question : did any off you feel that their brain fog and memory problems disappear for a long time ( for me it was around 3 months) and then come back ? can u please share your expriences ?


thanks ! 


i would really love some advice about the things i wrote.



Edited by ChessieCat
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  • 5 months later...

it's time for the 27 month update.

first of  all it's important to say that my posts are very much influenced  by wether i am in a wave or window. now i'm in wave  so i guess it is going to reflect in this post... as always there's good new and bad news.

the good news is that i think i'm having more windows recently ... but still i assess that i'm in a window only about 30-35% of the time. and although it's supposedly  good news, the fact that 27 months later i'm still suffering so much... is really hard and frustrating for me .sometime i (still) just can't believe it.... and i guess it's going to take much more time than i thought to heal (especially after reading that post about people who stoped cold turkey and are still suffering after 5 years...i stoped paxil and xanax cold turkey...) more in good news : my recent waves have brought with them a lot of emotions that i didn't feel for a long time, which means that the anhedonia is really improving. when i get a strong wave of emotions, i tell myself that it is possible to feel love and  feel excited - and i should remember these waves just to know that it is possible to feel completely again. Other than that, symptoms like constants flu and fatigue have really  improved ! and for a couple of months i did not have them at all ! and mental symptoms like anxiety, derealization etc' have  almost completely vanished.  also , not sure if it's good news, but waves and windows do change a lot faster , i mean i can be hit by  a strong wave but it usually doesn't  last more than 3-4 days.  a year ago a wave could stay for 3-4 months... so somethings is  something is happening i guess.

as for the bad news, my main debilitating symptoms all have to do with my head. head pressure, head aches, tinnitus, cognitive and memory  problems, head burning sensations, head tension, brain fog etc' . it's so hard... i can't work a lot of the time , and i just go around all day with this heaviness in my head , which sometime is somewhat  painful, and  the cognitive problems also... i feel stupid, can't recollect anything... bad memory., can't think of complicated sentences.. sometimes i feel like my head is on fire or i have an infection inside my brain. 

ah,  and i  also have a weird symptom  which i did not see discussed here.  i  work  as dj sometimes, and after being exposed to loud noises for  a long time, the symptoms really increase  and i really feel that my  brain is melting from the inside. the correlation here is 100%. did anybody suffer  from  this ? any suggestions  ? the head pressure even prevents me  from  sleeping after around 7-8, because  i  just  wake up from the head tension and headache. if it's a night that i djed at, i  can't count on more than 3-4 hours  of sleep, and i really suffer the whole next day.

the symptoms of course are much worse in the morning and some evening i fell  completely fine...

of course  any advice on this would really help... did any of you suffer with head problems this far ? does it  ever heal ?

i  have tried e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g ,  and i don't even have the time to list it all... in the past couple of month i am on a ket diet, which seems to help with food sensitivities and general concentration... but not so much with  the head problems.

on a final note... as time moves on, even though things are improving generally, i find coping with withdrawal is harder because it is really really really frustrating at this point .. and also if i could convince people previously that what is happening to me is due to withdrawal, after more than  27 months it is hard to do so... people just find it strange and unbelievable. (which i agree with😁 haha, i don't think  i would have believed myself if i haven't gone through this)

i think that's it.

if any of you have  advice on the things i'm suffering with, i'd love to hear. and also if some thing resonated with you, please share.

love and healing for all.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi headup and thank you for coming back to update us.


6 minutes ago, headup said:

 i  work  as dj sometimes, and after being exposed to loud noises for  a long time, the symptoms really increase


This sounds like your system is being over stimulated and you probably get an increase in adrenaline which causes the sleep issues.


You might consider wearing earplugs (possibly drummer earplugs?) to help with this.  If there are bright/flashing lights in the venue that may contribute to the over stimulation as well.  Gaming/blue light glasses might help.  I wear them at work when using the computer under fluorescent lighting, and one office I work in has a wall which is all glass windows, and I find it cuts down the glare.


Have you seen these written by BrassMonkey?  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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hi chessiecat thanks  for the advice, yeah i bought very expensive headphones that isolate sound and function as earplugs as well, and that really helped. i'll try wearing dark glasses as well  - even though i don't think bright light effects my symptoms that  much, but i don't have what to lose by trying. 


on another note  - i forgot another symptom that i have , and maybe someone will have some advice - i suffer from a herniated disk in my lower back. sometimes  when i do a bad movement and my  back really hurts i suffer from an infection in my lower back - i think this causes a lot more cortisol at night and in the mornings. when my back hurts i feel pumped with cortisol and then anxiety and derealization come back....i use curcumin tablets to help with infection and it usually takes 3-4 days to pass. if anybody has advice about this particular problem i will be happy to hear.




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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Mentor

@headup, thanks for the update. I quit zoloft/sertraline essentially cold turkey and can only come here in small doses as the thought of suffering 5 years out is terrifying. I had an 11-day window at 21 months -- it was awesome to have my brain and "hope" back again. The head pressure and headaches really get to me. I've found that acupuncture helps it a little bit. I also take aspirin. Realized that while I never thought of myself as someone with "insomnia" that I have irregular sleep and often need to nap during the day.


Anyways, just glad to see your post as we are about on the same timeline.

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga


"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols


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  • ChessieCat changed the title to headup: introduction and question concerning pressure headaches and brain fog

Hi @headup I really appreciate your story and although I imagine it's really hard to still be having symptoms after the amount of time you have been off, I find your story really inspiring and hopeful, so thank you.


I also have a lot of head/mental symptoms, and can relate to feeling frustrated by this. I miss my quick wit and the way my mind used to work. I also have the brain on fire feeling... not like a headache, but just like a burning. So strange. These awful drugs.


Anyway, I don't have too much advice for you. Sometimes I take a cold pack from the freezer and put it on my head and get some relief that way. For morning cortisol, I have also found some relief from taking a supplement called Seriphos (which contains phosphotidyl serine). There are some threads on it here on this site (with varying experiences), and I learned about it here: https://www.juliarosscures.com/identifying-and-correcting-elevated-cortisol-levels/


I was so glad to hear that you have been having significant windows of feeling emotion and of the anhedonia moving... these are the symptoms that I find the absolute worst and devastating-- I simply cannot be told enough that they can change. I'd be lost without trying to hold onto that hope.


Wish you well!

- 2003 to 2015: celexa, 20 mg, ~12 years

- 2015: easy switch off celexa and onto cymbalta, 30mg

     (over a decade of fantastic years in here, with one anxiety/depressive episode brought on by a breakup, which I got through with therapy, tools, etc)

- 2017: Nov/December: tapered off cymbalta, 20mg --> 0, over 1.5 mo. in conjunction with my (former) psychiatrist. Zero date: 12/15/17

     (I was just sort of curious to try being off meds after so many (great) years. I wondered the degree to which meds may have been affecting my sex drive/orgasm/access to deeper emotions. After going off was ok for about 3 mo... then: horrible anxiety, panic attacks (first time in 14 years and way stronger than I ever had before), agitation, suicidal depression, crushing physical sensation, anhedonia, dp/dr, emotional numbness. Horrible.)

- 2018, July 21: Tried going back on celexa, 5mg

    (HORRIBLE adverse reaction, discontinued after 10 days, stopped 7/31/18, thought I would need to be hospitalized)

- 2018, Aug 3: Tried remeron, got up to 15mg for 14 days, then tapered back down to 3.5 mg/d (super sedating, couldn't think and could feel even less)

- 2018, Sept 7 - Oct: Restarted Cymbalta, ~4mg (sept 9, stopped the 3.5 mg of remeron). Went up to 13 mg Cymbalta, then right back down to 4.5mg.

    (Now see it as withdrawal and am wanting to get off and heal.)


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hey @MMMM,

thanks for the  advice, actually i ordered seriphos online about a year ago , and tried it for a bit  , i can't even remember if it helped or not (i've  tried so many supplements....) maybe i'll give it  another try... about six months ago i had this urge to  suddenly stop  all supplements and just let m my body do the work the natural way, i don't know if it's smart, it's just what my intuition told me to do :)  i even stopped taking magnesium after more than 2 years .


about the anhedonia... i know what you mean, this symptom is horrible - i think at one time i had it for at least 6-7 months without any windows. i coudn't enjoy movies or music... i even didn't feel love for my wife and family (which caused also a lot of hardship for those surrounding me). i used to yearn to feel pleasure and enjoy beauty but i just couldn't. i thought i was damaged for ever.   but very very slowly things started to change and without me even noticing it, in the past couple of months the feeling came back , i once more enjoy beauty an feel love for those surrounding me, so don't lose hope !

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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