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I am a 32 y/0 female from San Diego. I'm currently working part time in accounts receivable and getting my Masters in Education and teaching credential. My descent into the psychiatric system began when I was 15 y/o, after my parents found out I had been self-injuring. I was immediately diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder and placed on a mood stabilizer, an antidepressant, an antipsychotic and Naltrexone ( to help curtail my impulse to self injure).  A few months later I began to hallucinate, which prompted my doctors to increase my meds dramatically. I was in and out of hospitals until I received ECT at the age of 22.  ECT did nothing to improve my mood, however it did affect my ability to concentrate, form complete sentences and stay present. Since I could not remember large chunks of time I was awarded the diagnosis of "Dissociative Identity Disorder", even though I was just spaced out from the treatment. To make a long and sad story short, I decided to end my life when I turned 30. I had suffered 2 major seizures, gained 96lbs, and was a shell of a human being.  However, my plans were postponed after I witnessed a beautiful interaction between a mother and daughter. I decided I would give life one last  shot, and began pursuing IVF (with the hopes of finding happiness in being a mom). The first step was to get off all of the meds. Over a period of 6 months I deprescribed off of extremely high dosages of Seroquel, lithium, Effexor, desipramine, propranolol, and clonazepam.  As I came off each med, I lost a "symptom" that had constituted the litany of diagnoses I had collected since i was 15. The prcoess, while terrifying and painful, was empowering. My emotions returned, I lost all of the weight, and I finally felt alive. I still experience a great deal of physical pain, that I have come to understand is related to the withdrawal syndrome - but I am here. Alive. 


I am really looking for people to connect with who have been through this process. Even though I am full of gratitude for the sense of self I have gained, I find the whole ordeal to be incredibly lonely. How do you put back the pieces of a past that was torn apart? How do you talk about what happened without sounding "crazy"? How do you cope with all of these new feelings? I'm not afraid to walk down this new path, but I would really like to find others so I don't have to walk it all by myself. 


Thanks for reading this! I can't wait to have some time to check out the other posts. i hope everyone is doing well tonight. Stay safe. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to ThisIsMe: introduction
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, ThisIsMe.  Congratulations of being off all those drugs.  I think you'll find the members and moderators here very supportive.  


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.


So that you have a better idea 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) 


The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (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 


Many members have grappled with the question you ask, how do you put back the pieces of a past that was torn apart.  The following section, Finding Meaning, has many links that I think will be helpful.  The first link is especially apropos.


Finding meaning


The following link offers tips for dealing with physical withdrawal pain.


Non-drug techniques for dealing with body pain


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.


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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Hello ThisIsMe  Welcome to SA. I have only been a member here for a couple of months but have found this site to be extremely helpful.  My journey into the psych world of drugs started in 1997 after the death of my sister. I had mild depression so my OBGYN put me on Paxil. I quit that CT which (I know now) started the rest of my "crazy".  I have only been med free (still taking Ambien) for 3 mo but I already feel so much better. I do know, based on my WD history and other stories here, that I have a long road of recovery ahead me. SA is a place to find people who ,not only understand, but are living through the process of WD. 

Paxil  07/1997 - 10/1998 Quit CT  

Neurontin, topamax, trazadone,  ssri AD (don't remember which one) 12/1998 - 06/1999 CT everything

Eflexor Xanax  04/2000 -08/2000 CT  ***01/2008-05/2013 on/off lexapro, lamictalseroquelsaphris, pristiq  Start/Stop CT at intervals 

Zoloft 200 mg 07/2013  WD 04/3/20 - 04/8/20 Quit

Seroquel 800 mg 07/2013 2013 *400 mg 07/2019  *** WD 04/15/2020 - 06/19/20 Quit

Ambien 10 mg 07/2013  WD 5 mg 04/29/2020, 2.5 mg 12/24/20, 1.66 mg 01/21/2021, 1.25 mg 02/16/2021 *** 02/22/2021 Quit

Xanax  2 mg prn 07/2013 - 04/23/20 Quit CT

Lamictal 150 mg 07/2013 WD 05/06/20 -06/11/2020 Quit

Propranolol 03/21/2020 - 04/20/2020 Quit CT

Hydroxyzine  12/14/2020 - 12/27/20 Quit

Allegra 24 hr 01/11/21 Flonase Nasal Spray 01/11/21

Magnesium Glycinate 100mg x3 daily D3 5000iu daily 

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