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Halsyon: Hi, I'm Halsyon (and this is my journey to a life without SSRIs)


Halsyon

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Even though it may be because you are taking time off work, it is a very good sign that your mood has improved so significantly.  This means your nervous system is stabilizing.  

3 hours ago, Halsyon said:

I will stay on 6.5 mg for the time being, and pay close attention to how I feel when I return to work.

This sounds like a good and prudent plan.  Be sure and give yourself plenty of time before you do another reduction.  It will make things easier for you in the future.  

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • 1 month later...

It has been two months since my last reduction and I am currently not doing well and am tempted to go back to my full dose. However, I'm tired of seemingly making progress with tapering and then having to start over again. I was warned to slow down and I did, but there is a good chance tapering too quickly plus the changes I made in dosage last year has caused my brain to still be majorly trying to cope.

 

A complicating factor for me is work. It's a lot to explain, but it definitely makes trying to be mentally well a lot harder (let's just say I work in a caring profession that can be extremely toxic, and I've realized it isn't a good fit for my personality). I haven't done very well at my job this year - I wouldn't say terrible, but not great either and underperformed in several ways.

 

Recently I almost decided to re-home my pets and move back in with family so I could study something else and switch careers. I love my pets but I couldn't take them with me (I won't go into why unless someone really wants to know). The grief at the thought of giving them up was too much to bear, I was waking up in the middle of the night with sadness and anxiety in anticipation of the person interested in taking them coming to meet them. I tried to rationalize it away and convince myself I wasn't that sad, they're "just pets". It was overwhelming and I changed my mind about moving out and leaving my career.
 

I instantly felt relief that I could keep my pets, but I've job hopped a lot and am terrified I won't find another job for next year (may be let go from this one). I'm terrified I'll be unemployed and then eventually homeless and will lose my pets anyway. 
 

I have a ton of anxiety, catastrophic thinking, low mood, tearful, and just feel very dark/negative/disturbed and ruminating a lot. I'm going to try to be proactive looking for a job, forcing myself to at least go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, and do the best I can at my job despite my failings this year. 
 

I don't want to take my full dose again but I do feel quite depressed and miserably anxious and wonder how long I should hold out? Definitely not making any more dose cuts of course (that would just be foolishly working against myself right now). 

2019-2020 escitalopram 10 mg

2020 citalopram 10 mg

2021 July, citalopram 10mg first slow taper attempt (10%/month) until June 2022, reinstated full dose

2022 September, citalopram 10 mg second slow taper until about November, off citalopram

2023 approx. April, citalopram 10 mg, increased dose to 20mg in June

2023 June levothyroxine 112 mcg (have taken for years but can't remember doses and dates) 

2023 July citalopram 20 mg lowered to 10mg (was on the 20 mg for just a few months), preparing for slow taper

2022 December: 1st 10% reduction from 10 mg to 9 mg

2023 January: 2nd 10% reduction after 3 weeks to 8 mg

2023 February: 3rd 10% reduction after 3 weeks to 7.3 mg

2023 February: 4th 10% reduction after 3.5 weeks to 6.5 mg

2024 May: 5th reduction - current dose 5.8 mg

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Hi Halsyon, fellow Citalopram warrior here!  I hope you don't mind me jumping in with my two-penneth?

 

I relate to your updates, I have had/am having similar thoughts, worries and fears.  This time last year I was in a right state due to work pressures and perceived threats to the point I was thinking I'll end up jobless and homeless, me and my dog on the streets; talk about catastrophising eh!  Anyway, I linked up with a great CBT counsellor who helped me find different perspectives and it really settled my over-thinking.  Thought I'd mention it as you may like to consider looking into it, if you haven't already?

 

It sounds as though finding another job would help a lot, though the process can be challenging, what with writing CVs, applying for vacancies, interviewing, making decisions BUT, perhaps engaging with this might help you feel you're taking a bit of control?  Even if you don't find a new job right away, you'll be making some positive decisions and actions which will have a positive knock-on effect with your taper.  I also think it's all good experience, even if you don't find the right job straight away, getting more interviews under your belt improves the confidence (can you tell I work in HR 😆).


Talking of tapering, I'm a bit further down that road than yourself and I would strongly echo what others have said, and you yourself have said, take things slow.  It's tedious, it's frustrating and it's disappointing but a slow taper strategy will get you the results you're after.  I can't advise on increasing your current dose if you think it would help, I'll have to leave that to the experts here.  You might find some relief by taking magnesium and omega 3 supplements.

 

I hope things settle for you soon.

Mamgu

 

P.S. They are never 'just pets' they are family and the fact you reacted so strongly at the thought of not having them shows how much they mean to you 🙂

 

Citalopram 20mg from 2014. Spring 2016 10mg for 4 weeks then stopped May 2016. Sept 2016, 20mg; increased briefly to 30mg but felt worse and dropped back to 20mg. May 2018 15mg. July 2018 10mg. May 2019 dropped to 7.5mg (ish).  Returned to 10mg from mid-June 2019. 16th Nov 19 gradually changed to 100% dissolved tablet over 2 weeks. 

2019 28th Nov 9mg.

2020 13th Jan 8.1mg. 11th Feb 7.3mg. 29th April 2020 6.57mg. 30th May 5.90mg. 21st July 5.31mg. 17th Sept 4.8mg.

2021 7th Feb 4.3mg. 29th Mar 3.8mg. 10th May 3.42mg. 19th June 3.12mg. 29th Sept 2.83mg. 10th Nov 2.55mg.

2022 7th Jan 2.3mg. 15th Feb 2.07mg. 15th Mar 1.87mg. 7th May 1.68mg. 20th June 1.5mg. 24th Sept 1.43mg. 12th Oct 1.35mg. 12th Nov 2022 commenced Brass Monkey method (mg values are those of the fourth drop where I'll hold for a least 2 weeks): 3rd Dec 1.25mg.

2023 4th Feb 1.097mg. 27th Mar 0.988mg.  8th May 0.89mg. 19th June 0.8mg.  14th Sept 0.72mg. 

2024 (commenced lower dose drops) 1st Jan 0.71mg. 8th Jan 0.70mg. 15th Jan 0.69mg. 22nd Jan 0.68mg. 29th Jan 0.66mg. 5th Feb 0.64mg. 12th Feb 0.6mg.  19th Feb 0.56mg. 25th Mar 0.52mg. 1st Apr 0.49mg. 8th Apr 0.47mg. 15th Apr 0.44mg. 22nd Apr 0.42mg. 29th Apr 0.4mg. 27th May 0.38mg. 3rd June 0.36mg. 

 

Supplements:  Omega 3 Algae Oil, Vitamin D, Magnesium Citrate 

Non-AD prescribed drugs: Levothyroxine 200mg (since 1988), Amlodipine 5mg and Ramapril 10mg (since ~2005)

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  • Moderator
7 hours ago, Halsyon said:

It has been two months since my last reduction and I am currently not doing well and am tempted to go back to my full dose. However, I'm tired of seemingly making progress with tapering and then having to start over again. I was warned to slow down and I did, but there is a good chance tapering too quickly plus the changes I made in dosage last year has caused my brain to still be majorly trying to cope.

 

A complicating factor for me is work. It's a lot to explain, but it definitely makes trying to be mentally well a lot harder (let's just say I work in a caring profession that can be extremely toxic, and I've realized it isn't a good fit for my personality). I haven't done very well at my job this year - I wouldn't say terrible, but not great either and underperformed in several ways.

 

Recently I almost decided to re-home my pets and move back in with family so I could study something else and switch careers. I love my pets but I couldn't take them with me (I won't go into why unless someone really wants to know). The grief at the thought of giving them up was too much to bear, I was waking up in the middle of the night with sadness and anxiety in anticipation of the person interested in taking them coming to meet them. I tried to rationalize it away and convince myself I wasn't that sad, they're "just pets". It was overwhelming and I changed my mind about moving out and leaving my career.
 

I instantly felt relief that I could keep my pets, but I've job hopped a lot and am terrified I won't find another job for next year (may be let go from this one). I'm terrified I'll be unemployed and then eventually homeless and will lose my pets anyway. 
 

I have a ton of anxiety, catastrophic thinking, low mood, tearful, and just feel very dark/negative/disturbed and ruminating a lot. I'm going to try to be proactive looking for a job, forcing myself to at least go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, and do the best I can at my job despite my failings this year. 
 

I don't want to take my full dose again but I do feel quite depressed and miserably anxious and wonder how long I should hold out? Definitely not making any more dose cuts of course (that would just be foolishly working against myself right now). 

You need stability in other areas of your life before you try tapering. Obviously none of us are free from stress but you have to scale back your life in order to manage withdrawal.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.30mg  (1 June 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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2 hours ago, Erimus said:

You need stability in other areas of your life before you try tapering. Obviously none of us are free from stress but you have to scale back your life in order to manage withdrawal.


Fair 🙁 I haven't had stability in a long time. Actually can't remember the last time I was truly stable, if ever (definitely part of the story of why I ended up on SSRIs in the first place). 
 

I've already cut down on my dose to this point - would it be best to remain here for a while in your opinion rather than go back to full reinstatement?

2019-2020 escitalopram 10 mg

2020 citalopram 10 mg

2021 July, citalopram 10mg first slow taper attempt (10%/month) until June 2022, reinstated full dose

2022 September, citalopram 10 mg second slow taper until about November, off citalopram

2023 approx. April, citalopram 10 mg, increased dose to 20mg in June

2023 June levothyroxine 112 mcg (have taken for years but can't remember doses and dates) 

2023 July citalopram 20 mg lowered to 10mg (was on the 20 mg for just a few months), preparing for slow taper

2022 December: 1st 10% reduction from 10 mg to 9 mg

2023 January: 2nd 10% reduction after 3 weeks to 8 mg

2023 February: 3rd 10% reduction after 3 weeks to 7.3 mg

2023 February: 4th 10% reduction after 3.5 weeks to 6.5 mg

2024 May: 5th reduction - current dose 5.8 mg

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  • Moderator
50 minutes ago, Halsyon said:


Fair 🙁 I haven't had stability in a long time. Actually can't remember the last time I was truly stable, if ever (definitely part of the story of why I ended up on SSRIs in the first place). 
 

I've already cut down on my dose to this point - would it be best to remain here for a while in your opinion rather than go back to full reinstatement?

I would suggest staying on your current dose, and working on improving your situation outside of the medication.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.30mg  (1 June 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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  • getofflex changed the title to Halsyon: Hi, I'm Halsyon (and this is my journey to a life without SSRIs)

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