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Ellie: on meds since teens, now in my 30s, want off Luvox and Wellbutrin


Ellie

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Hi everyone, my name is Ellie and I'd like to introduce myself. I've been on antidepressants since I was 17 and antipsychotics since I was 21. I would say the majority of my depression is trauma based and that is the origin of it. I am now 34 years old. My depression officially started at 12 but waxed and waned. Now it is constant.

 

At 17, after having gone through a really bad experience I felt suicidal and was put on Wellbutrin. I stayed on it until 19 when I went cold turkey at the insistence of my father (I used to live with my mother before then). I experienced depression and having weird thoughts but didn't think anything of them.

 

At 21 I had a frightening event happen which gave me PTSD. I had a psychotic break because of it and was put on antipsychotics (Risperdal). It was awful for me and even though I was on it a few months everything was a complete blur.

 

From 2008-early 2010's I was on Cymbalta and Invega. I eventually got off invega due to the side effects (increased prolactin) and it took a year to get off Cymbalta (on it for fibromyalgia and depression). Over the next few years I was put on random meds including Zoloft, Lithium, Valium etc. Each doctor I saw gave me a different diagnosis.

 

The closest diagnosis that sounds like it might be right is that I have a form of schizoaffective disorder or OCD w/psychosis. Either way, anxiety seems to trigger the symptoms.

 

I am decreasing and eliminating my antidepressants because over the past ten years my memory has suffered horribly. I have extensive memory loss of short term and long term memory to the point it's scaring me.

 

I also have been waking up everyday for the past 2-3 years feeling as irritated as humanly possible. This is NOT normal. Whatever my sex drive was has been completely shut off this entire time too (throughout my teens and 20's) and I had 0 libido.

 

During October of 2021 at the encouragement of a friend, I attempted to get off all three of my medicines in the span of a few months. It turned out horribly. I was on 300 mg of Luvox, 100 mg of Wellbutrin and 15 mg of Abilify.

 

I never would of realized the libido thing had I not gotten off of them. Anyway, it was an awful experience coming off of them so quickly and I had to quit my job because of the severe mood swings and suicidal feelings that came up. I couldn't focus on anything at all. :(

 

I want to attempt to get off of my antidepressants. I believe they have brain damaged me in some way, ESPECIALLY with my memory and cognitive function. I struggle to do basic things like read or do math. It's completely embarrassing.

 

A few months ago I quit taking Wellbutrin. Nothing much happened. Then I decreased the Luvox by 100 mg. Stuff got weird.

 

I'm now month 2-3 of decreased Luvox and it has been weird. Number one effect I've been experiencing is MOOD SWINGS! On one hand, I can feel happy and ok, and optimistic and my depersonalization is lessened....on the other I feel suicidal feelings and depression more intensely.

 

Something I've noticed is that the intensity of the down times (feeling suicidal, angry etc) is balancing out. I am starting to feel more coherent.

 

I read about how to come off antidepressants very VERY slowly and am doing that. My nurse practitioner that I see wanted to increase all of my meds and put me on a new one!!! No thank you! Nobody has listened to me over the years and I'm afraid the meds are causing me memory loss, irritability, high blood pressure and causing psychosis. Since I've reduced my antidepressants my psychotic symptoms have subsided about 60-70%.  My depersonalization has also lessened some (maybe 30%).

 

I'd rather feel feelings again than go through many more years of this crap. My plan is to step the Luvox down in 6-12 months by 100 mg again. Then half a year to a year after that, get off of it.

 

I do not have any plans to come off my antipsychotic Abilify. I want to see what life is like w/o antidepressants first then move in that direction. I will also be trying Ketamine infusion therapy (at a clinic) over the next couple of months. I hope it works out.

 

I want my brain and my memory back and I will do what it takes to achieve that! Thank you for reading. I will update this with more insight as time goes on. I wish you all luck and safe planning in your journeys ❤️

 

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I have been on Wellbutrin and Cymbalta the majority of my life. I think over time I've developed a tolerance to them and nothing truly works. I'm actually feeling LESS DEPRESSED being off of them and tapering. Sure I feel some intense depression in the mood swings but it's not as constant (like a low mood that never leaves - that is what i usually feel). Ugh it's so frustrating sometimes. But I hope to go very very slow to help my brain recover and balance out what's happening.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ellie: on meds since teens, now in my 30's, want off Luvox and Wellbutrin
  • Moderator

Hi @Ellie

welcome to SA. I am glad you found your way to us. What a history! I am so sorry you have had such a difficult time in life and with these drugs. Your history is quite complicated and I don't dare offer much other than advice on tapering. 

 

First off, can you please give more detail in your signature - i.e. when did you stop Wellbutrin  -  was the last dose in 2009? What dosage of the drugs are you/were you taking. We care most about the last two years - if you can report days/months that would be great.

 

How to List Drug History in Signature - Introductions and updates - Surviving Antidepressants

 

We recommend that you don't drop large doses of your drugs, especially as you get to the lower doses. 

The substantial improvement could be because these drugs were really causing adverse effects for you or because you are going through a honeymoon effect where things will crash in a couple of months. We see both and can't tell which camp you would be in. It is hard to tell and because of that we recommend a very slow taper - no more than 10% of your previous dose (so drops get exponentially smaller) every four weeks.  Since you have dropped by a high percentage we would advise that you stay on this dose for a good while and then start tapering slowly. People who have had a lot of drug changes or have been on the drugs for a long time need to be a bit more cautious as our system can be sensitized. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

I would also have a look at this topic: 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Because it has been a few months since you have cut your dose, I would suggest that you ride it out if your symptoms are bearable. but reinstatement or updosing is an option if things get tough. This would be a small increase in your current dose. 

 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

The following links help you understand what to expect during withdrawal. 

Are We There Yet? How Long Is Withdrawal Going To Take? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

What is happening in your brain? - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

We recommend that you don't take any other psychoactive substances during withdrawal as our nervous systems get sensitized

and as such can react unpredictably to new introductions. This includes supplements such as St John's Wort, Sam-e, etc. even vits B and D tend to be activating (keep you on edge/anxious), steroids and some antibiotics. The worst though is usually alcohol. Pot and street drugs can have similar effects. Ketamine infusions can also be problematic. Here are experiences of members in withdrawal who tried it 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7981-ketamine-and-esketamine-treatment/#comment-12204

 

 

 

Many of our members do find magnesium and Omega-3 helpful, however. If you do decide to try them, do so at a low dose and one at a time so you can gauge your reaction quickly and stop if needed. 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Please take some time to look over the links that I have posted. There is a lot of information there. It is based on many years of learning from people like you and me and I hope it is helpful. 


OMW

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Omw, thank you for the links - I need to finish checking them out. I don't know exact doses/dates from the past few years. Just recent fluvoxamine which was at 300mg. I'll try and update the signature when I can. I'm still at 200mg fluvoxamine (Luvox) and 15 mg abilify and doing fine. My depression has lifted a LOT and I am not in a funk of constant depression. I do not have suicidal thoughts and things do not seem hopeless. I have added .1mg of Clonidine to help with nightmares. I think they are related to PTSD. Besides sleeping 9 hours (i used to wake up after four hours and sleep about 6-7) nothing has changed which is good. Not feeling crappy! 

 

My living situation has also changed for the better so that has a part with this transition. Memory/attention span is still poor but I am finding a little bit of enjoyment in some things I used to do (like drawing). I also kind of recognized myself a little in the mirror which is a big improvement in my DP/DR since I don't really identify with my reflection/feel a connection. Definitely feeling better overall.

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  • 1 month later...

Since a few months ago my depression is lifting! I attribute this to the fact I changed my environment and am staying with a friend. My depression has been cut in about half. I don't suffer the hopelessness or suicidal feelings I used to feel so often.

 

There was one day actually, for an hour, I felt not depressed. I felt like how I did before I got depression (at age 12). I felt happy and normal. I was watching  a documentary and afterwards felt so positive and upbeat. I haven't felt that way in at least two decades. This feeling lasted about an hour but it was a shock to see that's what life was like before depression (I still remembered it!).

 

I'm very worried (and scared) the hopeless, severe depression will return. The absence of it has made me realize how severe it was. I'm terrified that it will come back and I won't be strong enough to fight it off. =( I don't want to feel that again. It's been years and years and years of feeling like the future was bleak, like I had no hope and that life was pointless. That kind of depression has traumatized me I think. I'm anxious it will come back, just as strong, and I won't be able to fight it off. =(

 

But there is the possibility it might stay away. My NP wants to increase my Luvox again by 50mg to combat this anxiety. I don't want to take an increased dose even though I feel kind of fragile. =(

 

Oddly enough my weird symptoms of mild delusional thoughts have almost gone away and that vicious inner monologue I used to deal with all of the time has almost completely disappeared. It makes me wonder if the meds were aggravating whatever was going on =/ (Can psych meds cause psychosis?)

 

I've been trying to practice mindfulness techniques which have helped more than anything! I focus on my breathing every now and then, and right before bedtime spend 15 minutes if I can focusing on breathing. It has helped SO MUCH. It lets me step back from negative thoughts and observe them instead of accept or judge them. When I catch myself observing a negative thought I replace it. It is so freeing and so wonderful to learn this. I highly recommend anyone to try mindfulness exercises or look into them.

 

It's so weird to be affected by depression in this way. Scared it will return, scared by the absence of it. It's traumatic. I didn't even know someone could feel this way about depression lifting.

 

Other than that sleep has been good, appetite normal and life has been going well. My anxiety has increased quite a bit since I reduced my dosage but I'd rather deal with that than feel hopeless all of the time. 

 

So yeah, good things for the most part but I am feeling more fragile/emotional than usual.

 

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ellie: on meds since teens, now in my 30s, want off Luvox and Wellbutrin
  • 3 weeks later...

So for two weeks my depression came back strong, had a few bleak thoughts but then it subsided. Most of my depression has still not returned which is nice. I'm wondering how much was caused by my environment. NP wanted to increase my Luvox because of my anxiety which I haven't done. =/

 

My memory loss is getting worse and worse. I can barely remember what happens during the week. My mind is blank a lot which scares me. =/

 

It looks like I might have dissociative amnesia but idk. My strange thoughts have returned in which I catastrophize things through my imagination. Again, I believe this is anxiety and that the clinic does not have my best interests at heart.

 

Still feeling better regarding depression and do not hear the inner monologue hardly. I do have intrusive thoughts which turn into loops/cycles and that drives me nuts. Ugh =(

 

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Hey if you ever want to talk about what Luvox is like or if you just want a friend I’m sending you support and good healing vibes 💜 you are more powerful than you know

2007-Prozac then off replaced with Zoloft 

2008- Off Zoloft replaced with Fluvoxamine 

2008-2009 50mg Fluvoxamine 

2009-2020 150mg Fluvoxamine 

2013-14 addition of Lexapro and Zyprexa

2015 back to only Fluvoxamine 

2019-2021 additional 150mg Wellbutrin 

2020-present taper off Fluvoxamine and Wellbutrin 

2022 - mid-February - last dose 25 mg Wellbutrin

July 2021 25 (12.5 twice a day) mg Fluvoxamine hold

switch to compounded XR 12.5 mg Fluvoxamine capsules twice a day mid July 2022

Magnesium, Fish Oil, microdose CBD 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/12/2022 at 10:24 PM, Mdawg said:

Hey if you ever want to talk about what Luvox is like or if you just want a friend I’m sending you support and good healing vibes 💜 you are more powerful than you know

 

Thank you Mdawg you are so kind! Your words really helped me through this time period :)

 

So, an update! I have reduced both the Luvox and Abilify to 0. Luvox was dropped to 100mg for a week and then I just stopped. 

 

The reason for this is actually pretty funny. In my state some forms of hemp and hemp gummies are legal. I started taking them (the gummies) for my extreme back pain (which helps so much), but at the same time I didn't want anything conflicting so I gradually slowed my meds and then took them every other day for two-three weeks.

 

Since I have done this, and use the gummies once a day, I have noticed:

 

1. No psychotic symptoms. Makes me wonder if I've been misdiagnosed or if the psych meds were causing psychotic symptoms. Inner monologue, intrusive thoughts and all that crap are gone for the moment(!!). 

 

2. I think I might have PTSD primarily instead of the other diagnoses (or anxiety that causes psychosis?). Because I've read horror stories about how hemp/cannabis causes psychosis/schizophrenia I was hesitant to try it but so far everything is...fine? Actually really good. Nothing has gotten worse, only better.

 

3. I feel way better than I ever did on antidepressants. I don't notice depression that much right now.

 

Note, I am not endorsing taking hemp/cannabis. But I am shocked about how helpful it is (at least for me).

 

On the other hand I did experience a panic attack a few months ago. I'm scheduled to take ketamine treatments for depression soon. I will not be using the gummies for at least a week before I go.

 

So outside of anxiety attacks a few months ago I've been doing better. I did have a couple brief suicidal thoughts back in August/September I remember (pre-gummies) but I got through them. My living situation changed again and things have improved. I don't feel depression as strongly but when it does come its very strong and very brief. I can only describe it as unbearable when it happens. Which I'm not as depressed for the most part.

 

If I am still suffering depression after ketamine treatments I won't know what to do.  Maybe TMS therapy or psychedelics (in Oregon?) or something experimental. It's hard to explain how desperate I am to get rid of this depression (when it rears its head). People who don't have that kind of depression won't understand....a person would do anything to get rid of it.

 

But for now I'm doing great and fine. The real test will be when I stop taking the gummies for the treatments. Then I'll be able to see how things really are, unaltered. I will report back to let you all know how things go.

 

Thanks to those reading and following =)

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there Ellie, @Ellie

We do still have your most recent posts.  And I'm sorry that you felt such neuroemotions.

 

We don't work with the ketamine trials here, or any of the ?psychedelics( ?horse tranquilizing drugs).  And so do not promote them or other newish treatments.

Ketamine and esketamine treatment

^ is our topic discussing ketamine, again it's not something we endorse for WD.

 

I know it must be just awful for you, or was, or you would not have tried another experimental treatment.   And I am sorry for your long haul now on seeking wellness.

Personally, I have not seen, or heard......... any reports of good or great long term outcomes with ketamine as yet.  I realize you must have been at the point where you would try anything to feel better.

And I am sorry.

 

This will provide guidance on:

If you wish to close or delete your account

You basically just stop posting.

 

Do remember your password and user name, just in case you do wish to taper(we do deal with AD's, AP's, "mood stabilizers", and benzo's frequently) or want WD support at a later date.

 

Meantime you are welcome to peruse the site, while signed in or out.  And you can post, if/when you would like.

 

I wish you the best for your healing and ultimate recovery.

 

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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