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Emerson: withdrawal from being on multiple SSRIs for 13 years


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I have been on numerous SSRIs over the last decade. While I’ve had some relief from time to time, I never have had sustained relief. I’ve been in therapy for the same amount of time I’ve been on meds. I exercise (ride my bike 100 plus miles a week) have tried mindfulness and Read up on ACT. I even got tested for sleep apnea which came back that I have mild sleep apnea so I was started on a CPAP. I’ve been on all of the following:

Celexa, lexapro, Zoloft, cymbalta, Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, buspar. I was even prescribed some ADHD meds at one point. Over the last two years I have been trying to make changes in meds and nothing has helped. The time when I felt my best was when I was started on lamictal for a diagnosis of type 2 BPD but I’ve had multiple docs tell me they don’t believe that to be true. I tried Prozac about 4 weeks ago, the side effects were awful and my doc told me to stop. I asked him if we could go up on my lamictal so we are doing so now but now I’m left with no SSRI. I feel awful and want so badly to just get off of these. The main reason I started was because of panic attacks and the one thing that I struggled with and still struggle with is depersonalization and I just don’t feel present or in tune with my body and it’s very distressing to me. The hard part is that I’m an ICU nurse and that’s when my depersonalization gets pretty bad. Has anyone else had the issue of trying multiple meds that just don’t work? And what about genetic testing? My psych said he would be willing to write an order for it but he said he doesn’t see it to be that effective And since insurance doesn’t cover it. I’m losing hope and I’m 28 and want kids and to start a family but I know at this rate I will never be able to care for a child with my anxiety and depression and I don’t want to expose them to that. I want to be able to be a good parent but I know I wouldn’t be with where I am now mentally. 

Lexapro 20-30 mg daily 2007- June 2020

Effexor 75-150 mg daily June- August 2020

Prozac 20 mg August 2020- September 2020


Currently on no SSRIs. MD ordered to stop Prozac and did not taper or switch back to something else


Have also trialed the following since 2007 with no luck and always ended back on Lexapro

  • Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin 


Lamictal 200-300 mg daily since 2014- currently taking 300 mg 

Klonopin 0.5 mg daily 2011-2013; 0.5 as needed 3-4 times a week currently 

Supplements: omega 3, magnesium, ashwagandha extract, elderberry, mens daily multivitamin

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Emerson: withdrawal from being on multiple SSRIs for 13 years
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Welcome to SA, Emerson.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


We're a site for going off drugs and helping members cope with psychiatric drug withdrawal.  If you ever want help tapering off Lamictal, we would be happy to help you.  We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link contains some members' experiences and advice regarding genetic testing.

Genetic testing: "Personalized medicine," liver enzymes ...

Since you've started and stopped many drugs, it's likely you're experiencing withdrawal.  One month's exposure to a psychiatric drug puts one at risk of withdrawal, and depersonalization, anxiety and depression are common withdrawal symptoms.  


What is withdrawal syndrome.


Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 


When we take psychiatric medications, the central nervous system responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  


These explain the healing process really well:


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


Brain Remodelling 


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


Instead of drugs, we recommend non-drug techniques to cope with life and withdrawal.  Take a look at the links in the following link to see which techniques you think might be helpful to you.


Non-drug techniques to cope


Here are some links to help with anxiety.


Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

VIDEO:  Peace from Nervous Suffering - Claire Weekes (1 hour) (http://sendvid.com/vgquc1dg)

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help …


10 minute Restorative Yoga for Relaxation | Up the wall


This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.










Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  


Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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