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Hopetobehappy: Intro and Struggling with Emotional Pain


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Hi All,


I found the site when I rapidly withdrew from Lexapro.  Originally it was to swap to ANOTHER medicine but after I experienced such side effects I decided I was never ever going on antidepressants or any type of mood stabilisers again.  

I have been on these drugs for 20 years and lost my life.  The last 11 years have been a bit of a blur having a son who is intellectually and physically disabled and had a lot of hospitalisations early in life but he has stabilised so my stress levels are a little bit higher than normal but I feel like the antidepressants were numbing everything and I had a lot of paranoia with sertaline which I now look back and realise - this is an awful feeling because I can’t go back in time and say it wasn’t me it was the antidepressants.  

Nevertheless I have read so much on this site and I am having a lot of waves and some windows.  My windows are amazing getting heaps of things done and exercising.  The last couple of days it is a severe bad wave and I have severe emotional pain and I am literally bedridden - I don’t want to do anything at all.  I have even had major rage - the latest a week ago but it was close today.  I throw things and it isn’t good.  I don’t know why I throw things.    

I wonder if this is to do with my rapid withdrawal and my brain healing and I just need to be patient and hopefully this stops.  I really really don’t want to go back on anything as the withdrawal symptoms were the worst thing I have gone through and I just hate these drugs.

I know I am only two months drug free but I like others can’t see myself getting better.  I have in the last couple of months wrecked a few things because I was so sensitive and aggressive.   That has at least settled down a little bit but I still have these random periods of rage and emotional pain that just happens especially when I am frustrated.  I have a total overreaction that I can’t control - which never has been me! 

I have a partner who is so supportive but everything he does annoys me and I think this is also the withdrawal - he keeps telling me it is anyway but I can’t make sense of it all because I am so up and down.  I just can’t seem to see the positives at all when I am in a wave and I seem to just shut down and lay in bed or on the couch.  I know I need to walk, go outside, cook my own food, etc etc but I just can’t be bothered - not to mention I am so tired.  I am in so much emotional pain.  The waves are like 3 - 5 days and the windows are sometimes 1 day.  

On a positive the physical symptoms disappeared about a month ago (brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, weird skin sensation, anxiety etc).  I still have jelly legs occasionally if I try and force myself to do things I don’t feel like doing like going for a walk but it seems to subside after a little while.  The things now during a wave are being sporadically really really tired, waking up wide awake between 4-5am and worrying, bedridden, not functioning with day to day activities, intense crying, strange dreams/nightmares, attacks of rage after frustration and being overwhelmed. 

I have been trying to do read “Feeling Good” (CBT) and to try to stop the emotional spirals.  I actually see you two psychologists but to be honest I think I am the one who is trying to practically change my thoughts - they don’t have practical strategies.  

Nevertheless, I would love to hear from anybody that has severe emotional pain to the stage of rage - it also causes me to be a mess for days on end after the rage.  I want to know if this indeed will settle down as at the moment I can’t see the sunlight out of the darkness.  Should I just be kind to myself for the next month or so and realise I am in recovery and make that a decision as to what to do because at the moment I can’t live like this anymore.  It literally hurts too much. 

I hope this all makes sense.  I am just writing this for support as I really feel so alone - nobody knows I am going through this - my extended family don’t know and I don’t want them to know as they aren’t supportive.  The doctor and psychologists think I am doing good but they don’t see me all the time.  Plus I don’t explain the whole truth especially with level of rage.  To be honest I have been the worst this week probably due to just another stressor with my disabled son.  The only person I try and talk to is my partner but like I said I don’t know if he is contributing to my pain because I literally resent him and he doesn’t say the right things.  I really resent him for not helping me get off these drugs sooner as my life has been a mess for such a long time.  I also resent him for the lack of things he has done financially whilst I was numbed by being on these antidepressants which is causing us problems now.  Anyway, if someone could just touch base that would be great.  





Edited by arbor

Started Antidepressants after 10min consult with random doctor approximately in 2001.

2001 - 2018 (Sertaline, Epilum, Lexapro, Lithium, Effexor, Lamotrigue can’t remember them all - Mainly Sertaline)

2017 - 2020 (Sertaline, Agomelatine, then Lexapro)
2021 - Lexapro (Withdrawal 7/7/21 10mg to 5mg to nothing in 2 weeks under doctor supervision expecting to change to Effexor.  During withdrawal realised how toxic these drugs are decided never to go back) 

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  • arbor changed the title to Hopetobehappy: Intro and Struggling with Emotional Pain
  • Moderator Emeritus

Dear @Hopetobehappy,


I am so very sorry you're going through these classic withdrawal symptoms.  Let me assure you, you are not alone, and that people do, slowly and eventually, recover.  My experience of the rage has been that it was strongest in the early, or acute, phase.  It does back off, but quickness to anger--as well as other emotions--is part of the withdrawal pattern.  To get you started, could you summarize your medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements.  Just drugs, dates and dosages in a list format.   


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


These links can give you information about the effects of these drugs on our nervous systems, and the need for patience during withdrawal:


How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization



The fact that you do have windows is a good sign, even if they're short right now.

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

Finding support is really helpful.  In my experience, many of the self help books and CBT in general aren't equipped to recognize the intensity of what we're dealing with in withdrawal, so keeping that in mind if their suggestions are more than you can do yet, and don't blame yourself.  I encourage you to share with the therapists what you're dealing with, since talking to someone is useful, and of course, reaching out here on the site as most of us are dealing with similar questions and turmoil.


These links are good for calming our systems and coping with symptoms: 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Ways to cope with daily anxiety 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals  

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism


These two are also very useful:


"Change the channel" - dealing with cognitive symptoms

The Dr. Claire Weekes Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System



Unfortunately insomnia and cortisol spikes are typical and very difficult aspects of withdrawal.  Here are some links addressing these issues.  There are others as well.  I encourage you to browse the site further to read what people are sharing.  

Tips to help sleep: so many of us have that awful withdrawal ...

Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike ...

High Cortisol and SSRIs 


We don't suggest many supplements, but 3 that many of us find helpful are magnesium, omega-3, and melatonin. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you.   



Omega 3 Fish Oil



Although recovery can be truly challenging, we know from the success stories of others that eventually the symptoms fade away.  We can't predict how long it will take.  Each of us is different. 

Recovery Success Stories


This is your Introduction site where you can ask questions, record your experience, and connect with other members.

I'm glad you found us. 








Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 2022

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Dear @Hopetobehappy I too have just introduced myself to the forum. Also in Melbourne and completely resonate with your feelings of emotional pain - the rage and resentment. I have been feeling so angry, particularly at night.  I just want to hit something or throw something. I did actually throw my phone - an expensive move! My therapist suggested getting a load of old crockery and just letting rip.  I did recently take myself to a place where I could release some of this rage in private without fear of being heard - I roared my heart out and could hardly speak for a few days afterwards.  I have always been so contained.  Not at all someone who releases her anger.  I wonder if this is a necessary release after all the years of keeping it bottled up.  I remember reading somewhere that depression is anger turned inwards on the self.

I don't have a partner but I do feel a lot of resentment towards others from my past.  I am resentful that no-one has helped me to get off anti-depressants - quite the reverse - always encouraged me to just take the drugs. 

I thought it might help to know that you are not alone.  I am here and going through the same kind of emotional pain.  Today was tough until I managed to drag myself out of the house and move a little.  This song helped me today...




Please feel free to correspond. XXX

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21 June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time 4th Aug - 18th Aug 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off. August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

21st Nov 2021 - 25mg XR Seroquel 
24th Dec 2021 switch to straight Quertiapine (not extended release)

01/01/22 - 22mg

Probiotic, Vit C, Zinc, Magnesium & Fish Oil

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