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Goldfish:intro


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Hello all, 

Grateful for this site and forum even though this is my first post.

I am an 38 year old male and have been on meds since my early 20s i have had severe OCD anxiety and depressions. 2005 I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and put on Lithium and Citalopram 20 mg which i have been eating the longest, about 13 years

 

In 2016 after a seperation my depressive symptoms emerged again. The medicine stopped working. I had lots of therapy and some medicinal changes that i dont really remember.

I quit ALL meds in 2019 feeling frustrated that nothing worked. In 2020 i relapsed in severe depression and was given ECT Anafranil 150 mg And the lithium. Things picked up and I had two good years.

 

Then I decided to do without the anafranil.

I started tapering anafranil going down steady under 6 months ( sorry no exact timeline or dosages here. Just from 150 mg down to nil during 6 months, it was before i discovered this forum)

Stopped completley Aug 2023

I had some kind of flulike symptom but nothing else that says withrawal.

During winter i have been seeing mood changes, mainly irritability/anger

a sense of doom and hopelessness.

During spring i have had lapses of drinking (had dry years 2021-2023)

And at last suicidal thoughts.

 

I have been trying to ”muscle through” the signs as i really want to be free from the meds. 
But it seems as if it is getting worse.

Should i return to Anafranil?

 

And big thanks for being there and doing the work you do.

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

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  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

Your first task is to create a drug signature, with the following:

 

  • All current medication you take, the dose you take, when you started the drug, and when you made dose changes
  • All current supplements you take
  • An accurate history of recent drugs, taken in the last 12-24 months
  • Dates for recent should be written as 7 Oct 2023, or Oct 7 2023, or early Oct 2023, or mid Oct 2023
  • A history of drugs taken 24 months ago and beyond - if applicable
  • Dates for historical drugs can simply be listed as start and stop years
  • Please do not use 07/10/23 // 10/07/23 as this is intepreted differently around the world

 

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. See my signature for example of clear and concise information.

 

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: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Previous drugs taken

 

Citalopram 2008-2019

Risperdal 2005

Venlaflaxin cant remember when

Olanzapine may 2020 -june 2020

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
7 minutes ago, Goldfish said:

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Previous drugs taken

 

Citalopram 2008-2019

Risperdal 2005

Venlaflaxin cant remember when

Olanzapine may 2020 -june 2020

Please add to your signature using the link in red above.

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: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Hi @Goldfish,

 

here is a thread about Anafranil. It can help you to learn handling and dosing the drug (especially how to obtain small doses):

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forums/topic/19509-tips-for-tapering-off-clomipramine-anafranil/#comment-396440

 

this is a thread about reinstating, i.e. it deals with the question whether and how you should retake you medication:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forums/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/?tab=comments#comment-33809

 

I also found this, saying that 10mg clomipramine are actually already quite a lot:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12695316/

 

There are a lot of other resources on this website that are worth reading. Maybe you spent some time reading through all the articles displayed on the landing page. You could also enter anafranil/clomipramine in the search bar and find threads of other members that struggled/struggle with the same drug.

 

I am no medical expert and I am giving no medical advice. I am dependent on Venlafaxine and trying to find and give peer support in this community.

One thing you could think about and discuss with other members here (or your doctors) is whether you simply try to take a very small dose of clomipramine, e.g. 1mg, for 10 days and see how that works out. If you tolerate this or even feel relief, you could slowly! and gradually! updose until you stabilize. If you don't tolerate it, it should be relatively easy to quit again.

 

Personally I think stabilization should be your priority right now. I don't think its good to "muscle through" withdrawal or any other severe problem, because you cannot know how long it will take. A lot of people need years to get off their drugs and this means that you have to do it in a way that you can sustain for years if necessary.

 

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

Link to comment

Thank you for the articles , and the advice. I ll read the ones i haven t already. i am making a booking with my doctor to discuss reinstating. Thank you for your quick reply 🙂

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
21 minutes ago, Goldfish said:

Thank you for the articles , and the advice. I ll read the ones i haven t already. i am making a booking with my doctor to discuss reinstating. Thank you for your quick reply 🙂

Reinstatement is best done within the first month or so of cessation. Given that you stopped the drug in August 2023 I would be very cautious about starting it again. Which symptoms are you currently experiencing?

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: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

Well ihave, over the year experienced irritation/anger cathatstrophic thinking . later on hopelessness and suicidal thinking

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Goldfish said:

Well ihave, over the year experienced irritation/anger cathatstrophic thinking . later on hopelessness and suicidal thinking

Reinstatement at 9 months out is a gamble, and I would only suggest it in the most severe of situations. Are these feelings you experience constant, or do you have periods where they are less intense? How is your sleep?

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: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

I have moments of less intensity yes. And spring is the worst time for me, and usually july august is better still it feels a great setback for me to have these thoughts resurface.

My sleep is generally good, i eat well. This weekend i drank a lot however. Another setback as ive managed to stay sober for 2 years.

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Goldfish said:

I have moments of less intensity yes. And spring is the worst time for me, and usually july august is better still it feels a great setback for me to have these thoughts resurface.

My sleep is generally good, i eat well. This weekend i drank a lot however. Another setback as ive managed to stay sober for 2 years.

You need to abstain from alcohol completely if you are to be succesful in tapering off psychiatric drugs. Each time you drink your are poking the receptors in your brain, which have already been sensitised from abrupt cessation of medication.

 

Based on what you have described to me I would not be looking at a reinstatement of anafranil. Instead I would be focusing on cleaning up your lifestyle, holding your other medication at the same dose, and allowing your mind and body many months of stability before making more changes. The brain has definitely made changes in the 9 months off the drug.

Edited by Erimus

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: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

Yes of course i realize drinking is not good. I have had a couple of relapses this year. It is a result of coming of the meds i suspect. Still i try.

 

As for ”cleaning up my lifestyle” im not sure what you mean. I exercise almost every day. Eat healthy homecooked food. Meditate. And try to stay in contact with friends and family as mostley I can. 

 

Is there any evidence for the changes in the brain after 9 months? Is there any similar stories with anafranil? Ive searched but found little on just that drug

 

 

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Goldfish said:

As for ”cleaning up my lifestyle” im not sure what you mean

Not drinking alcohol.

 

2 hours ago, Goldfish said:

Is there any evidence for the changes in the brain after 9 months?

The brain is always making changes.

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: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

Hi @Goldfish

 

Welcome to SA. 

I'm sorry you're dealing with complications and consequences of psych drugs. 

 

Erimus has already given you excellent advice. 

 

I just want to chime in about the importance of abstaining from alcohol. Alcohol during withdrawal (WD) has never done anyone any favors, and almost inevitably causes problems. Countless members experience significant setbacks after drinking even modest amounts of alcohol. Your best bet is to completely eliminate alcohol for the duration of WD and for some time afterward. 

 

You may already know this, and it bears repeating: alcohol is a potent neurotoxin that affects brain cell function as well as the central nervous system. This fact applies to everyone, whether or not someone is in WD. However, for those of us healing from iatrogenic harm from psych drugs, our brains and nervous systems are in a highly sensitized state as a result of the trauma of chemical injury. We become hypersensitive, i.e. hyper-reactive, to a wide variety of chemicals, which may include other prescription medications, street drugs, nutritional supplements, certain foods, and alcohol; and we may find that, in WD, we can no longer tolerate something we were able to tolerate before, and that it can have adverse effects. 

 

It is very common in WD to be unable to tolerate caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar (and more) even in small quantities. 

 

Here's a relevant quote from one of SA's topics on hypersensitivity: 

 

Going on and off drugs and taking doses inconsistently can cause nervous system destabilization and hypersensitivity. This predispose someone to kindling, an adverse reaction when increasing the dosage or taking another drug, even a drug that caused no problems before.

 

In this context, consider alcohol a drug. 

 

This help topic might be of interest: 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil blend w/ morning meal (incl. vit. A+D+E); calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Yes, thank you.

 

Of course i know it is not good to drink in general when going through mental struggles. 

It is not like I opened up a bottle the first months of going without meds but after more and more symptoms came back I at last fell down so to say. 

To my great disapointment.

 

Also was wondering if there is similar stories with anafranil as i seem to get just some articles. Maybe its not that widely used.

Medication :

1 ) Lithium

252 mg july 2020-present

 

2) Anafranil

150 mg july 2020-start tapering early feb 2023, last dose late aug 2023

 

Supplements:

 

Omega 3

 

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