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Woody1981: withdrawals from 10 years of multiple medications


woody1981

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  Hi everyone, 

 

After many months of reading and gaining some hope and encouragement from the stories here I decided to join your great forum. Sorry, but this is a very long story. 

 

Im a 39 year old male from Australia and I have been taking ssri’s for GAD for the last 10 years. I started on Paxil 20mg for around 18 months and was switched to lexapro 10mg due to weight gain, sexual dysfunction and fatigue. 

 

Lexapro was a little better but I really didn’t feel like it was doing much apart from keeping the weight up and the motivation down. I am 6’2 and was always skinny, I never could bulk up. Paxil took me from 78kg and healthy to 100kg and always sweaty in around 12 months. 

 

I tried a few times to simply stop the meds but had no idea about withdrawal or tapering and always ended up reinstating due to awful side effects (rage, crying spells etc). The drs always said thats just how you are off the meds...... keep taking them for the rest of your life. They also upped my dosage a few times but I quickly went back to 10mg. 

 

In 2017 I felt lexapro wasn’t being effective so the dr straight swapped me to Valdoxan for a few weeks and I felt awful. They then straight swapped me to Prozac and around 4 days into taking that I woke in the middle of the night to terrible ringing in my ears. This was my first introduction to tinnitus. 

 

I freaked out and asked to be put back on lexapro. I reinstated at 10mg again and everything calmed down after about 7-8 weeks of hell. The tinnitus that was in both ears and the middle of my head reduced to a tiny amount only in my left ear. I now know this was likely my last chance at reinstatement working for me..... more on that soon. 

 

So another few years went past and the side effects of weight gain, heat intolerance, sexual dysfunction and the general feeling of “blah” were just too much for me to handle. 

 

I began a taper in January of 2019 and went from 10mg to 7.5mg for 4 weeks. I then went to 5mg for 4 weeks and finally 2.5mg for 4 weeks. I felt okay during the taper, my tinnitus was a little bit louder but not enough to bother me, I was more irritable and I had brain zaps. The real “fun” began around 12 weeks after the taper off the medication...... 

 

I had a panic attack and fell into one of the episodes that put me on meds in the first place. These were purely anxiety driven and I never felt depressed. I’ve had them since about 13 years of age and I always recovered from them and they lasted from 1 to 3 months usually. They would encompass intrusive thoughts, shakes and shivers, anxiety and panic only. 

 

So I decided to jump straight back on the lexapro 10mg thinking all these drs are right and I’m doomed to be on meds for the rest of my life. But something happened that didn’t happen before..... they didn’t work. 

 

After a few weeks I felt worse and my ears started to really scream, I had awful insomnia and a really bad eczema rash appeared on my chest and legs. 

 

I now know this as a severe reaction to the meds after too fast a taper and too fast of a reinstatement. If I had not jumped straight back on the meds I likely would have had to deal with wd symptoms only and not so many physical ones as well. 

 

So after 6 weeks of hell my dr upped my dose to 20mg and I waited another 5 weeks. That didn’t work either, just got worse. 

My dr referred me to a psychiatrist at this point and things got really bad. He upped my dose to 40mg lexapro, I stuck this out for another 5-6 weeks and it made me no better, actually worse. He then said ssri’s don’t seem to work for you now so let’s try Effexor. We cross tapered that with the lexapro over only a two week period and then all the way to 150mg of Effexor in only 3 weeks. I was desperate and wanted the pain and suffering to just stop. I did consider suicide a lot during this period and I had never been like this before when taking medication. My beautiful partner kept me here with her love and grace. 

 

I stuck with the Effexor for 7 weeks and it was just hell, dizziness, insomnia and mini seizure type things were a daily occurrence. I was couch bound and I still had tinnitus screaming away every day. He wanted to up the dose more but by this stage I knew that my body was not accepting any of these meds, I even said to him I think I am having a reaction to these meds. His answer was always that they just make you feel worse before better and that we can keep upping the dose...... 

 

That was the last time I saw him, I went back to my GP and asked to try Zoloft in a last ditch attempt to gain some stability and sanity. She cross tapered me to Zoloft and it seemed to calm things down a tiny bit but I was still so, so sick. I made it up to 100mg and was on Zoloft for 3 months before massive amounts of diarrhoea hit me (colitis) plus I was still struggling with SI, tinnitus and now bad depression for the first time in my life. All the fun stuff that comes along with bad reactions to these meds. My Dr CT’d me off the Zoloft and started me on Remeron 30mg..... this one was ok for my sleep issues but made me irritable as hell and didn’t have any effect on the SI, depression and tinnitus. I lasted 6 weeks on it before breaking down again and seeing the Dr. She mentioned Paxil...... like I said, I was desperate and since it worked 10 years ago maybe it would pull me out of this living hell I was in. 

 

Since the first episode after WD in June of 2019 and the living hell my life has been, I started Paxil 20mg in April 2020..... this lasted all of 12 weeks and I CT’d the Paxil in July 2020 due to all the above still happening. 

 

I happened to come across the SA website in June this year After desperately searching for answers. I’ve read and learnt a lot from everyone and now understand what has happened to me the last 12 months. How I should have tapered waaayyyy slower, how I should have reinstated waaayyy slower and how screwed up our medical system and the makers of these drugs are. 

 

I have been med free for 9 weeks and even though I still have loud tinnitus, depression and a host of other Awful symptoms, I have improved more then any time I was on meds. I’m bloody scared of what’s ahead but I will NEVER touch another psych med again in my life. I assume reinstatement is beyond my body now after what it has endured. I hope to be able to vent a little here on my bad days and keep reading the encouraging stories of success whilst pushing on with my life and the healing process. Thanks for taking the time to read my book.... 😂 And thanks to the creators of such a great site. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
resized font and added paragraph spacing

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Woody1981: withdrawals from 10 years of multiple medications
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Woody1981.

 

You've analyzed your situation well: a combination of withdrawal, adverse reaction and too large a reinstatement.  Given your situation, I wouldn't recommend another reinstatement. You will heal but it will take some time. 

 

Withdrawal and adverse reaction have very similar symptom patterns.  So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some

information on withdrawal and the healing process.

 

 

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

 

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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Hi Gridley,


Thanks for the information and kind words.
 

Yep, I realised after learning from info on this site that I was just a passenger on the medicine merry go round.
 

The drugs were making me so much worse. I’m finding the SI and intrusive thoughts are slowly diminishing the longer I’m off them. 
 

Thanks again. 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
25 minutes ago, woody1981 said:

I’m finding the SI and intrusive thoughts are slowly diminishing the longer I’m off them. 
 

That's great news, woody, and a very encouraging sign of healing.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Read your introduction Woody and understand your reluctance to reinstate.

Welcome aboard and please let us know how we might best guide you now. 

Make some friends!  Support the other members too! 

We've got moderators, mentors, and members all wanting and willing to help each other.

 

I'll go ahead and approve your post to Cocopuffz now, for when they next come around.

 

Best from me, and welcome again.

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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1 hour ago, manymoretodays said:

Read your introduction Woody and understand your reluctance to reinstate.

Welcome aboard and please let us know how we might best guide you now. 

Make some friends!  Support the other members too! 

We've got moderators, mentors, and members all wanting and willing to help each other.

 

I'll go ahead and approve your post to Cocopuffz now, for when they next come around.

 

Best from me, and welcome again.

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

Thank you mmt,

 

I really do appreciate the kind words. If anyone else is reading this and has any questions or is going through a similar situation please feel free to ask any questions about my situation. It is cathartic to just talk and know others have been where we currently are. 
 

As everyone here would know It’s hard to put into words how lost and just plain broken you feel when going through WD or an adverse reaction. Even more so when your Dr’s assure you that it’s nothing to do with the medication.

 

Its early days for me but I’m hoping the last 12 months of the medicine go round, multiple breakdowns and mental instability may have encompassed an amount of withdrawal time I would have otherwise experienced had I not tried to reinstate. Trying to put a positive spin on it 🤪

 

thank you again for the warm welcome. 
 

Woody 

 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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Hi @woody1981, you'll get better ! Don't worry much about your symptoms otherwise they'll get worse. I took my last dose of Lexapro 5 months ago and I feel way better compared to the beginning. My main symptoms are brainfog and intrusive thoughts. When I try to think, I have a blank mind and when I want to stay focused, I get intrusive thoughts... My mind talks when I want it to shut and it doesn't talk when I want it to talk...I get lots of random memories without any trigger so it's a little bit scary because it keeps racing (at work, at home, when I'm having dinner, when I am watching TV...). What will help you is acceptance, it means just let things how they are without trying to control your internal experience, you can't change your emotions anyways. Become the observer of your own experience and with time, you can and WILL only get better.

 

 

 

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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14 hours ago, christianjw12 said:

Hi @woody1981, you'll get better ! Don't worry much about your symptoms otherwise they'll get worse. I took my last dose of Lexapro 5 months ago and I feel way better compared to the beginning. My main symptoms are brainfog and intrusive thoughts. When I try to think, I have a blank mind and when I want to stay focused, I get intrusive thoughts... My mind talks when I want it to shut and it doesn't talk when I want it to talk...I get lots of random memories without any trigger so it's a little bit scary because it keeps racing (at work, at home, when I'm having dinner, when I am watching TV...). What will help you is acceptance, it means just let things how they are without trying to control your internal experience, you can't change your emotions anyways. Become the observer of your own experience and with time, you can and WILL only get better.

 

 

 

Hi @christianjw12,

 

Thanks for the advice and kind words. I try to use mindfulness and have improved at it over the years. 
I think your right when it comes to Accepting thoughts and physical symptoms, like tinnitus. You have to accept it is there and let it run its course. I know it can reduce in volume as I have quiet days where it’s still there but doesn’t bother me much. Then I have the wave days and it really hammers me. 
Just knowing others experience the same

pattern and symptoms keeps me much more at ease. Before finding this site I thought I was the only one feeling my particular symptoms but there is people who have been through much worse and have recovered. 
Cheers mate and have a good day 👍🏼

 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

I am looking for a little feedback in regards to reinstatement. I have been off all meds for 10 weeks now after the initial problems I outlined in my introduction. 

 

I am having one or two good days every two weeks or so. During these windows my tinnitus quietens and so do my other symptoms (this gives me hope it will go). During the other days I feel extreme fatigue, doubt about recovery and more depression then anxiety, which is the opposite of why I took meds in the first place. Funny how Sometimes we seem to suffer the opposite mental spectrum in withdrawal. 

Anyway, I’m wondering what people’s opinions are on reinstatement this far out from no meds?

 

I want to regain some semblance of life due to work commitments etc like I’m sure we all have. 
If it’s strongly recommended that I just tough it out, I will. But if there is a chance to introduce a tiny amount of something to take the edge off then I may weigh up my options. 

 

If I did reinstate and it caused adverse effects would that put me back at square one? If you have time to offer any thoughts or personal experiences that would be appreciated.

 

Woody 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, woody.

 

You've been on and off drugs many times, with severe withdrawal symptoms. It is likely your system is very sensitive to drugs now.

 

Fortunately, you've seen some improvement, which is good. But it's likely it's going to be very slow, gradual, and frustrating for a long time.

 

Before you try reinstatement, you might want to try something milder. Many people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

If you want to reinstate, you might try perhaps 0.5mg liquid citalopram, escitalopram's milder sibling.

 

What do you think?

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Altostrata,


Thank you for the help and advice. 

 

I will try the supplements for now. I will pick up some magnesium chelate and fish oil today. I will start with a low dose and probably just one of them to begin with.  
 

I know I have reached out regarding reinstating meds by I’m not sure I could even bring myself to swallow them if I decided to..... they have done nothing but make me worse via the doses I was prescribed. 

I guess it’s the frustration coming to the surface at the moment. I know all the information is here on the site but for some reason withdrawal makes you feel like you need to ask for yourself. The reassurance you all provide is what keeps me going through the wave days. Thanks again, Woody. 


 


 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
19 hours ago, woody1981 said:

I will pick up some magnesium chelate

 

Some magnesium supplements contain B6 and/or calcium.  B6 can be activating, and to get the calming effort of magnesium, magnesium and calcium should be taken 2 hours apart.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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11 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Some magnesium supplements contain B6 and/or calcium.  B6 can be activating, and to get the calming effort of magnesium, magnesium and calcium should be taken 2 hours apart.

Thanks ChessieCat,


The Magnesium I bought states magnesium amino acid chelate as it’s only ingredient. I assume this one is safe in that regard? 
 

I will start with small doses at dinner so my stomach doesn’t go too crazy. I now have issues with my digestion and bowls which I 100% attribute to the adverse drug reactions & withdrawal. I guess the massive amounts of stress it’s caused doesn’t help either. 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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Hi everyone,
I Just wanted to ask how long it is thought to take for magnesium supplements to be fully effective? I’m guessing it takes a while to build up to a therapeutic level? 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Administrator

How are you taking the magnesium? How often?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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5 hours ago, Altostrata said:

How are you taking the magnesium? How often?


Hi,

Its pill form and I am taking it nightly with meals. Magnesium Chelate

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, woody1981 said:

 I am taking it nightly

 

From Post #1 of the magnesium topic:

 

On 10/8/2011 at 6:22 AM, Altostrata said:

 

NOTE: Magnesium is more effective taken in divided doses throughout the day. There's no need to take one large daily dose, you'll absorb it poorly. You might find you can take 50mg or 100mg magnesium 4 times a day or so and it will help you relax. Build up slowly.

 

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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Thanks. I will take it at multiple times throughout the day. 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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Hi Woody. I have been of Lexapro ( used for eight years) for over one year, and also used Paxil and Paroxetine for many years. Have had Tinnitus for many years, and for me the best help has been Acupuncture, Meditation and Yoga. Helps to quiet down the stress in the body. There is a anti stress treatment in Acupuncture that has been very good for me, and doing meditation and breath work to find peace has helped me a lot. I have also focused on a healthy diet withe little sugar and prosessed food. The last ting that has been good for me is walking in nature. 

 

For insomnia I have used liquid melatonin from a health food store. 

 

Sending good energy to the other side of the world. 

 

Be patient and know that you have a lot more strenght than you think :)

 

Sten from Norway

Surmontil ( Paxil) from 1981 and on and off for 10 years. Can not remember dose. Seroxat from 1992 to 2000. Think it was 10 mg.  Tapered slowly down 6 months.

No drugs until 2012 when started with 10 mg Cipralex ( Lexapro). Tapered down over 4 months in 2016, but started again late 2016. 

Tapered down from march 2019 to 24. sept 2019.  No meds since 24. sept 2019.

 

Supplements and support:

 

Acupuncture - everyday in the worst period

Ashwagandha 300 mg - 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening

Vit D - 40 ug. Gingko Biloba 100 mg 1 +1.Vit B Complex. Milk Thistle.Fish Oil

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On 10/6/2020 at 7:12 PM, Sten said:

Hi Woody. I have been of Lexapro ( used for eight years) for over one year, and also used Paxil and Paroxetine for many years. Have had Tinnitus for many years, and for me the best help has been Acupuncture, Meditation and Yoga. Helps to quiet down the stress in the body. There is a anti stress treatment in Acupuncture that has been very good for me, and doing meditation and breath work to find peace has helped me a lot. I have also focused on a healthy diet withe little sugar and prosessed food. The last ting that has been good for me is walking in nature. 

 

For insomnia I have used liquid melatonin from a health food store. 

 

Sending good energy to the other side of the world. 

 

Be patient and know that you have a lot more strenght than you think :)

 

Sten from Norway

Hey Sten,

 

Thanks for the well wishes my friend. I appreciate the help, it’s bloody hard dealing with all of this and dragging myself off to work most days......... the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do I’d say. Withdrawal symptoms consume every part of my life at the moment. 
 

Im only 11 weeks drug free so I have a long way to go. I’m hoping the ears will settle into a lower noise level once my cns calms down. I have days where it’s quieter and I’ve been told that’s a good sign and indicates it will slowly lower. 

 

It’s slow, excruciating and beyond frustrating but I will keep pushing forward. I truly believe that our bodies can balance themselves out in time. 
 

Thanks again for the kind words mate 👍🏼


 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone,

 

Just wanted to ask for some reassurance and update my progress. I have been experiencing the waves and windows the last few months. 
 

I can go from extreme depression with crying jags (never had depression before ad’s) and loud 24/7 tinnitus to days where I can get out and feel better about the future and my tinnitus is quieter, not gone but much more in the background. Also getting really bad joint pain in my fingers and knees.... weird. 
 

the last few weeks have been pretty brutal. I am really wanting to know if anyone out there has had their tinnitus resolve? Or at least go to the pint of not noticing it all the time? I never had tinnitus before ad’s and now I’m worried it’s never going to go and this cycle will continue. 
 

I’m hoping as the windows get longer the ears and brain will quiet down so I can habituate? My tinnitus seems to come from the middle

of my head on the bad days and I can hear it over everything else..... very distressing. Anyways, I hope anyone who has been there and done that can offer some reassurance and that this is all normal for withdrawal, I’m only 4 months into it. Thanks SA fam 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There are many existing topics on SA.  I like to use a search engine and add site:survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.  It is helpful to look up to see if there is a topic where members discuss their symptoms.

 

My tinnitus was very bad when I was on 100mg Pristiq which caused mild serotonin syndrome and increased diastolic blood pressure.  During my taper I've had periods when it has hardly been there and times when it gets much worse.  I don't always notice when it lessens but when it worsens I realise that it hadn't been around as much.

 

The frustrating thing with tinnitus is that there are many causes for it.

 

I find that most of the time now, even when it worsens that I tend to cut off from it.  I think the more you let it bother you the worse it is/seems.  It's like other withdrawal symptoms, acknowledge it and then try to distract from it.  When you do this I think your brain learns to not take as much notice of it.

 

tinnitus-what-does-all-that-noise-mean

 

 

 

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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@ChessieCat Thanks for the heads up. I have done a lot of reading on the topics on here about tinnitus. I hope and guess that most people who recover from it move on with their lives and adapt. I guess it’s one of those symptoms that will really rear it’s head when I’m in a wave? It seems even a slight lift in mood correlates with less intrusive tinnitus. When it’s loud it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. 
 

I understand the patterns you describe about your recovery and I will try to roll with the bad days as best I can.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It could possibly be that when we are stressed or we exert ourselves that our blood pressure rises and the tinnitus worsens.  The reason I think this is because of my increased blood pressure mentioned above.

 

I've just done a regular internet search and some of the hits mention exercise and stress making it worse so I might be right, or partially right.

 

Search term I used:  does tinnitus get worse during exercise stress

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to update my situation and also ask for some advice. 

It has been 4.5 months since I stopped meds. I am really struggling with depression, it felt like it was ok for the first few months but has been much worse the last 3 weeks. I took meds for anxiety and never experienced depression before. This is unlike anything I have experienced, the ruminating thoughts and SI are just brutal. Not to mention the fatigue and feeling of utter hopelessness. 

 

I have had to stop work as well. I was not well on the medicine after reinstating the first time last year, but I was better then I am now. I had tinnitus, depression and anxiety while on the meds that was manageable to an extent. I know I had a reaction to the large reinstatement I did a year ago and then was fed 5 different meds by the dr. But I never tried a small reinstatement of citalopram like suggested by @Altostrata to actually stabilise and I never truly gave any of the other meds enough time to stabilise my system either as I believe doses were too large. 
 

So now I’m looking to get a semblance of

life back. I was bad before but now I’m awful and it’s getting to a point of desperation. However I’m also aware that I may ruin the four months of progress I have already under my belt. I know no one here can actually tell me what to do but if others have reinstated a small amount and had a reprieve of symptoms, even slightly, that would be great to hear. Or is this par for the course and I need to accept my life will be on hold and hard for the next year or longer? Which devastates me. 

If I do reinstate a tiny amount what should I look out for? Any particular symptoms or anything else to keep an eye on? 

 

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some input. 
Woody 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello @woody1981 - I am so sorry that you are struggling. I have read your thread and see hope in the windows you have had over the last four months. And it sounds like you have developed some good coping skills, like mindfulness. For me, meditation and positive visualizations can help soften my symptoms. I also get outside and at least walk my dogs every day. It helps me to accomplish things - like cooking and cleaning when I can. And finally, I have had to limit my time here since I tend to obsessively compare my journey to others, something Baylissa Frederick says can hinder your recovery.

 

I wish I would have been aware of this community before I reinstated too high. So for me at least, reinstatement has been pretty challenging. But everyone is different and you have the benefit of all the years of experience and wisdom here if you do decide to take that approach.

 

I am quietly cheering for you and hoping you are in a window now. Sending healing hugs, Cigale

2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT without issues
Feb 2 - July 24, 2019 - restarted Lexapro 5 mg for insomnia

July 25 - Nov 19, 2019 - Lexapro 10 mg, resulted in increased anxiety and depression
Nov 20 - Dec 11, 2019 - 3-week FT from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 - Feb 4, 2020 - drug-free and feeling good until horrible WD hit
Feb 5 - Feb 16, 2020 - Paxil 10 mg, adverse reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - reinstated Lexapro 5 mg

Nov 22 - Dec 12, 2020 - transition from pill to homemade liquid

Dec 13, 2020 - 4.7 mg; Jan 3, 2021 - 4.5 mg; Jan 24 - 4.3 mg; Feb 14 - 4.2 mg; March 7 - 4.1 mg

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; CBT & ACT therapy

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@Cigale

Thank you for the support, it means a lot to me right now. It’s such a awful situation to be in.... no person on earth can give me the answer I so desperately want and the outcome is purely based on luck... it sucks so bad.

Anyway, I hope you are feeling well today, I am using the coping skills and tools to the best of my ability easing symptoms. Thank you for the kind words and I hope your day has been great, woody. 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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On 11/12/2020 at 5:28 PM, woody1981 said:

Hi everyone,

 

Just wanted to ask for some reassurance and update my progress. I have been experiencing the waves and windows the last few months. 
 

I can go from extreme depression with crying jags (never had depression before ad’s) and loud 24/7 tinnitus to days where I can get out and feel better about the future and my tinnitus is quieter, not gone but much more in the background. Also getting really bad joint pain in my fingers and knees.... weird. 
 

the last few weeks have been pretty brutal. I am really wanting to know if anyone out there has had their tinnitus resolve? Or at least go to the pint of not noticing it all the time? I never had tinnitus before ad’s and now I’m worried it’s never going to go and this cycle will continue. 
 

I’m hoping as the windows get longer the ears and brain will quiet down so I can habituate? My tinnitus seems to come from the middle

of my head on the bad days and I can hear it over everything else..... very distressing. Anyways, I hope anyone who has been there and done that can offer some reassurance and that this is all normal for withdrawal, I’m only 4 months into it. Thanks SA fam 


woody,

 

I read through your thread and really feel for you. The medication carousel you went through should never happen to anyone. 
 

I suffer from tinnitus as well. Although I do not believe it was caused by Sertraline use (it was likely caused by another medical issue) we are in the same boat.

 

In terms of loudness my tinnitus is classified as “loud” — left ear / center of head, mostly, some in the right ear. The sound can be heard even in louder situations like listening to music or even in the shower. 
 

At first it was distressing. Over time I realized that this symptom of whatever dysfunction my brain is going through is not harmful. Annoying? Yes. Harmful? No.

 

One of my favorite simple pleasures in life was sitting in a quiet living room on a Saturday morning with a hot cup of coffee.. enjoying just the silence. While that specific treat is no longer available to me because of the tinnitus I still enjoy it from time to time.

 

My tinnitus has likely been around for about a year at this point. There may have been mild improvement, but I cannot be sure. What I will say is that it is 95% less distressing than it was before. At this point my acknowledgment of it is just that. It’s there; it’s not harmful. 

With that said, I do notice that activating substances such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, etc increase the perceived loudness, as does WD, lack of sleep/poor sleep, and stress.

 

As a reminder, I do not believe mine was caused by AD or WD but rather another medical issue. Others on this site have noted relief over time. I hope that yours diminishes with time.

Feb 2012 - Sertraline 25mg

Mid 2012 - Sertraline 100mg

6-8wk taper of Sertraline approx. Dec 2018

Feb/March 2020 Re-instatement of Sertraline 100mg

July/August 2020 Sertraline 50mg

September 2020 Sertraline 25mg->12.5mg

 

Tried to "jump off" after ~2wk on 12.5mg.

 

Oct 2020:Re-instated approx. 6.25mg 

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@gdtrfb

Thanks for the positive thoughts. I’m sorry you have to deal with tinnitus as well, it’s not a pleasant experience. 
 

The spikes in my physical symptoms are directly related to my windows and waves right now. I feel like once I get to a point that the waves aren’t so bad my body will adjust to the physical symptoms and hopefully they diminish and heal. 
 

The bad days definitely spike all the symptoms from tinnitus to joint pain. I’m 39 years old and my finger joints feel like they belong to a 90 year old. I can’t even be bothered to see a dr regarding symptoms now as I know they will not link it to the withdrawal even if I spell it out in black and white that it started with the cessation of drugs. 

Hope you have a great day today,

Woody 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello @woody1981 - I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you are able to find some peace this holiday season. Sending healing hugs your way. 

2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT without issues
Feb 2 - July 24, 2019 - restarted Lexapro 5 mg for insomnia

July 25 - Nov 19, 2019 - Lexapro 10 mg, resulted in increased anxiety and depression
Nov 20 - Dec 11, 2019 - 3-week FT from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 - Feb 4, 2020 - drug-free and feeling good until horrible WD hit
Feb 5 - Feb 16, 2020 - Paxil 10 mg, adverse reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - reinstated Lexapro 5 mg

Nov 22 - Dec 12, 2020 - transition from pill to homemade liquid

Dec 13, 2020 - 4.7 mg; Jan 3, 2021 - 4.5 mg; Jan 24 - 4.3 mg; Feb 14 - 4.2 mg; March 7 - 4.1 mg

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; CBT & ACT therapy

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Hi Woody,

I’m so sorry it’s so tough at the moment for you. This will probably be the most challenging time of your life but you will get through. Baylissa Frederick has so much experience supporting people through this and she is adamant that we all heal eventually. This helps me get through the tough times. 

 

I too went went up to 40mgs of Lexapro and whilst I thought I was slowly tapering,  I did in fact do the equivalence of a 20mg Cold Turkey. I decided iIt was too late for me to reinstate by the time I found this site. I’m coming up to the 2 year mark  now. When I was at 5 months like you I would read this site and be terrified that I would be in this mess for years, literally terrified in a heightened state of agitation and panic so I think I can really identify where you are at.

What actually has happened is that changing my attitude to my symptoms really helped. It was slow but gradually each symptom became a way of life and because of that the symptoms actually became far less intense. I’ll use insomnia as a perfect example, in the early days I would toss and turn, changing my positioning in bed, worrying about how I would cope at work with no sleep. I’d listen to numerous sleep meditation, try to do breathing exercises, drink sleep teas in the middle of the night. I lay awake for hours worrying about laying awake for hours. Now I make an extra cup of sleep tea that is next to my bed and I drink it cold when I awake. I then do sudoku or send emails ( blue light off) . I do this in a calm collected manner, then I eventually feel tired again and I go back to sleep,  it’s a way of life now.  I know from experience I can make it through a day at work. I sleep when I can and when I can’t ‘Ho hum’ I can’t. I never thought I’d be able to cope with insomnia but I do and it really seems to be far less intense now, I really don’t give it a second thought.

 

Insomnia has been easier to accept SI and ruminating has been much harder but I seek support at these times, talk to family and friends, if in a panic I wash my face with ice cold water and accept that this is a difficult moment and it will pass and when it does pass it’s one less SI experience ticked off the list before I heal.  In addition I try to walk daily, meditate when I’m calmer, engage in the household when I can. 

 

A big change happened for me when I finally made the reinstate/ not decision. That was a really tough time, I still wobble with this one every so often but I know for me deep down I couldn’t bear the risk of getting worse for even a short period for the possible long term gain. For me I didn’t want to take the risk. Ask lots of advice from moderators so that you can make as educated a decision as possible. 

Good luck, not sure where you are but I hope your Covid restrictions are not too intense for you now. 

Take care K

 

 

Lexapro Fast Track/ Cold Turkey

Last dose end Dec 2018 

Tapered 1/2 a daily dose a week (20mg) for  14 weeks, last dose was a 20 mg pill!!  

 3.5 times slower than Psychiatrist recommended, I felt proud of myself!! Little did I know!!!!Got too scared to reinstate because I’d left it too long.

On ADs for 20 years (Prozac approx 10 years/ Pristiq approx 3 years/ Citalipram approx 2 years/. Lexapro a approx  5 years/. Last two years 40mgs Lexapro day.

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@Cigale  @Katy398

Thank you for the kind words. I hope you both had a good Christmas. I have been quiet here as I try not to allow too much info into my head at the moment. The ruminating and SI seem to feed off the paths I go down on other peoples threads. I mainly read success stories and try to only glance at the other stuff. 

 

After experiencing the last 5 months off meds I now realise that although I wasn’t great back on the meds I was able to function, now I’m not able to work or do much at all.
 

When I tried to reinstate last year and had adverse reactions I assumed this is as bad as it gets? But now after a fast tapering / cold turkey of the last med, Paxil, I realise it can and does get much worse.... Maybe I should try a Small reinstatement as I haven’t tried that and I’m worried for my well being right now. 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • 3 months later...

I wanted to write a quick update for general information and to keep my journey documented in some way. I’m over 8 months off meds now. 
 

I just noticed my last post ended rather intensely & triggering. I apologise for that, however I think it’s understandable when you are dealing with constant SI and intrusive thoughts for months on end, to be desperate at times. It’s an awful situation to be in for all of us and I don’t want what I have written here to be a burden or trigger for anyone else who comes along and maybe reads my story. All I can say is It passes, it always has and always will, keep going. 
 

The more I read here and the more I progress with my WD I find myself “digging in” and weathering the brutal days a tiny bit better??? I’m not sure how else to describe it other then like mentioned in the windows and waves.....  a little better, but different?  


Tinnitus, depression, akathisia and some digestive issues are still around but I’m coping and that gives me hope which is all I want right now. Plus the help from members and their stories are always amazing and gratefully received. 

 


 


 

 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Woody, thanks for the update. Looks like we're both around the same time off meds. Tomorrow is my 7 months off mark. 

February - March 2019: Escitalopram 20mg (from 5mg to 10mg to 20mg over the course of 5 days), Zopiclone for sleep, 0.5mg Clonazepam
March -April 2019: Added Abilify 4mg. Discontinued the Clonazepam and Zopiclone.
Stayed on the Escitalopram 20mg and Abilify 4mg until April 2020. Discontinued Abilify slowly - 1mg per month. Felt totally fine after discontinuing.
July 2020: 15 mg escitalopram
August 2020: 10 mg escitalopram
September 2020: 5 mg escitalopram
October 2020: 0 mg escitalopram

June 2021: Effexor 37.5 for 3 days. Horrible reaction. Stopped immediately after 3 days. 

Currently: 0.5mg Lorazepam when needed. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

@VivaLaVida Hi, congrats on 7 months, close to 8 as I write this. It’s not a pleasant journey but we will get there. I’m reading the success stories again today as I feel like absolute rubbish with most symptoms kicking my arse. But I did just do 13 days straight of work, I’m a tradesman and specialise in shut down work that is time sensitive. Not looking for sympathy but I still don’t know how I do it feeling like I do..... just grind it out I suppose. Gotta work and pay the bills unfortunately. Keep pushing and remember why your going to get through, for me it’s my family. I feel like I have to remove myself from the reason why I need to recover, make It a greater reason then just ‘me’. I feel withdrawal feeds on and targets us as individuals to the absolute hellish maximum we can personally tolerate. Separating myself from that kinda helps? Dunno, I just keep on swimming..... hope your feeling better. 

2009 - Paxil 20mg for GAD, OCD

2010 - straight swap to lexapro 10-20mg

2017 - straight swap to Prozac 20mg adverse reaction - developed tinnitus, insomnia, OCD, GAD symptoms, 

Reinstated lexapro 10mg symptoms improve. Slight tinnitus remains.  
Jan 2019 - Attempted “slower” taper for 3 months,  med free for 11 weeks and felt ok.

June 2019 - WD symptoms struck. 

Reinstated Lexapro 10mg Immediate adverse reaction 
July 2019-July 2020 multiple meds from psychiatrist inc:

Diazepam 5mg for 12 weeks, lexapro up to 40mg for 12 weeks (tinnitus worsens, seizure type symptoms, intrusive thoughts etc) Effexor up to 150mg for 7-8 weeks, Zoloft up to 100mg for 12 weeks, Remeron 6 weeks, Paxil to 20mg for 12 weeks 

Quick taper CT Paxil in 4 weeks and drug free since July 19, 2020. 

 

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Thank you! Yes, day by day. I don't know how I am doing it either, but we are. Personally the emotional stuff has gotten better (I have been working on it), but the physical stuff is still so intense. I have moments everyday where I think that this will go on forever and there is no way my brain/body will regulate... But I just say "maybe!" and I engage in whatever activity I am trying to do. I have tried the "most people get better, I can't be the exception" etc, but that just feeds into my intrusive thoughts and I end up going down the rabbit hole, so now I just dismiss the thoughts with a "maybe!", and go on with life as best as I can. It is very difficult, but we keep doing it. I have also made a list of reasons to keep going forward, for me it is my husband, and my hope for starting a family once I feel better. Stay strong!

February - March 2019: Escitalopram 20mg (from 5mg to 10mg to 20mg over the course of 5 days), Zopiclone for sleep, 0.5mg Clonazepam
March -April 2019: Added Abilify 4mg. Discontinued the Clonazepam and Zopiclone.
Stayed on the Escitalopram 20mg and Abilify 4mg until April 2020. Discontinued Abilify slowly - 1mg per month. Felt totally fine after discontinuing.
July 2020: 15 mg escitalopram
August 2020: 10 mg escitalopram
September 2020: 5 mg escitalopram
October 2020: 0 mg escitalopram

June 2021: Effexor 37.5 for 3 days. Horrible reaction. Stopped immediately after 3 days. 

Currently: 0.5mg Lorazepam when needed. 

 

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