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Hi - new here so I'm not even sure how to go about this.  I began to taper off Escitalopram January last 2024 on my own.  I'd tried two years previously trying to wean myself off Stilnocht but without success, I'm back to 10 mg a night. So I thought I'd try this SSRI.  I went from 15 mg a day and then dropped from 2.5 mg to 0 mg.  I've since listened to Mark Horowitz about tapering. He said that dropping from 2.5 mg to 0 mg is like dropping off a cliff!  I started in January and here we are in June. My last pill at 2.5 mg was 11th April.  It hit me first with insomnia but I'd had that virtually all the time while trying to cut back on Stilnoct.  I'm having a horrible time, feeling so down, crying fits (wasn't able to cry all the time I was on the anti-depressants), panic that comes in waves, a feeling of disorientation, balance is off, it's been going on for weeks.  There is no liquid version of the anti-depressant where I live.  When I read in various places that it can take 4 years I was horrified!  I'm 68 now. When I asked my doctor for something to take the edge off - I'd suggested Xanax she flatly refused. After reading about Xanax I realised she is right. But just suggested going back on them and stay on them for the rest of my life.  I'm in the process of changing doctor which takes time where I am.  I'm dreading how that is going to go but 26th June when I register I will find out!   In the meantime can anyone advise on how to cope?  Do I go back on a low dose again?  Or should I just ride this awful storm out? Does it really take about 3/4 years to feel "normal" again.  What are the indicators that I have rounded a corner?  Anyone with experience of this journey any advice please?  I rue the day I went on these things - they were for panic attacks originally.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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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.

 

Given your age and long-term use of antidepressants I would be considering a small reinstatement of escitalopram. We can assist you with that, but you will need a doctor to provide the prescription to you. We often observe that even a small reinstatement of around 0.5mg is enough to settle your nervous system down. You would need to prepare your own liquid, but this is easy to do. You will need an oral syringe, preferrably a few different sizes, and a vessel to measure water. Here are some instructions to prepare a suspension:

 

  1. Measure out 50ml of water and pour into a suitable container.
  2. Drop your 5mg tablet of escitalopram into the water and wait for it to dissolve (it won't completely dissolve but you should be left with a suspension with lots of tiny bits floating in the water).
  3. This will give you a suspension of 5mg/50ml = 0.1mg/ml
  4. Using an appropriate syringe, stir the suspension and draw up 5ml from the middle of the container.
  5. Add this to a glass to mix with water, or squirt it straight into your mouth.
  6. Drink the solution, then add some more water to the glass, and drink again (to ensure you get all the drug).

 

Are you still taking the sleeping pills? If so please add the drug and dose to your signature. Edit your signature here.

 

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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  • Moderator

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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Thanks so much for this. I don't feel so alone. Just ordered a prescription.  Here's praying that this works for me. How should I proceed?  Do I stay on this 0.5 for a month or two or is there a time frame?  Then down to 0.2?  And back up again if it's too fast?  I certainly went way too fast and have been suffering badly. But thanks again. 

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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2 hours ago, Bawneen said:

Thanks so much for this. I don't feel so alone. Just ordered a prescription.  Here's praying that this works for me. How should I proceed?  Do I stay on this 0.5 for a month or two or is there a time frame?  Then down to 0.2?  And back up again if it's too fast?  I certainly went way too fast and have been suffering badly. But thanks again. 

Just stay on 0.5mg for at least a week and see how you feel. After a couple of weeks you may need to increase the dose, it all depends how you respond to reinstatement.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment

thanks, but I'm not sure if you're saying I might need to go back to original dosage or just re-instate and then taper again to zero mg?  

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
48 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

thanks, but I'm not sure if you're saying I might need to go back to original dosage or just re-instate and then taper again to zero mg?  

Reinstate at 0.5mg, see how symptoms progress. You might need to increase further up in increments of 0.5mg. I wouldn't expect you need to return to your "original" dosage. Once you have stabilised you can taper off using the guidelines we suggest here.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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@Bawneen Hello and welcome to the forum. I haven’t much to offer but just wanted to say that I think you are in the right place to get help. A lot of great people and good advice here. I too am in a similar position to you, just going on 66 and living in Dublin. So I know how the system works here and what our doctors can be like around medication. I just started my first taper a week ago and am feeling hopeful, taking it slowly and using the guidelines on the site. I too am looking at years to taper off a cocktail of 3 medications, which is a difficult prospect at our sort of age, but I feel that having started I am at least going in the right direction and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just stay with it, take it steady and be patient with yourself. And stay connected here, asking any questions you need to or just checking in with how you are doing.
 

Wishing you all the very best on your journey and please know that you are not alone in this brave endeavour. 

December 2020 Mirtazapine 30 mg, raised to 40 mg August 2021, reduced to 15 mg around August 2022.

August 2021 Olanzapine 2.5 mg, fast taper over 2 week period August 2023, back to 2.5 mg shortly after.

December 2022 Venlafaxine low dose gradually increased to 150 mg. 

Currently on 15 mg Mirtazapine, 2.5 mg Olanzapine and 150 mg Venlafaxine.

End of May 2024: Reduced Olanzapine dose by 10% by filing and weighing tablets. End June 2024: further reduction of 10% off previous dose.

 

Supplements: Omega 3, Vitamins C, D and alternating phases of B/B12 (as I'm a vegan) with Spirulina. Early May 2024 started taking Zerochol / other cholesterol-lowering supplements.  

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Ah thanks so much - even being able to discuss this is so helpful.  I've been feeling alone and at times I've felt I'm going crazy. Over-whelming feelings. It'll take a couple of days before I can start to reinstate. Ireland is way behind about these issues.  Thanks again.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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15 hours ago, Bawneen said:

Ireland is way behind about these issues.  Thanks again.

 

We certainly are! You are most welcome.

December 2020 Mirtazapine 30 mg, raised to 40 mg August 2021, reduced to 15 mg around August 2022.

August 2021 Olanzapine 2.5 mg, fast taper over 2 week period August 2023, back to 2.5 mg shortly after.

December 2022 Venlafaxine low dose gradually increased to 150 mg. 

Currently on 15 mg Mirtazapine, 2.5 mg Olanzapine and 150 mg Venlafaxine.

End of May 2024: Reduced Olanzapine dose by 10% by filing and weighing tablets. End June 2024: further reduction of 10% off previous dose.

 

Supplements: Omega 3, Vitamins C, D and alternating phases of B/B12 (as I'm a vegan) with Spirulina. Early May 2024 started taking Zerochol / other cholesterol-lowering supplements.  

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On 6/5/2024 at 4:14 PM, Musiclover said:

 

We certainly are! You are most welcome.

Today is the first day of tapering for me, fingers crossed.  I'd love to hear the experiences from older people on this subject in general?  The low mood that suddenly hits is just awful.  I only experienced one brain zap, but hitting troughs of lows and weepiness is just horrible. I was put on these awful pills in my 20s and no one even told me they were anti-depressants!  I only discovered many years later when I returned to them because of panic attacks. I was so naive and trusted the medical profession. But they are too happy to prescribe.  I began in late '22 to come off Stilnocht and found it impossible to go from 2.5 mg to zero.  So then I thought I'd try quitting Escitalopram and it was relatively fine until i hit 0mg from 2.5 mg. I've since read Mark Horowitz's about doing that and he likened it to falling off a cliff!  Thanks to this website I've discovered how to wean off them. So today is Day 1.  The testimonies I've read her is the recovery timeframe is from 4-7 years.  If this doesn't work should I just remain at the 5 mg dose as I'm now 68 years of age?  If the tapering does work - happy days.  Wondering what other golden oldies think?  And any advice from those with vast experiences of tapering would be much appreciated. Thanks

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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49 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

Today is the first day of tapering for me, fingers crossed.  I'd love to hear the experiences from older people on this subject in general?  The low mood that suddenly hits is just awful.  I only experienced one brain zap, but hitting troughs of lows and weepiness is just horrible. I was put on these awful pills in my 20s and no one even told me they were anti-depressants!  I only discovered many years later when I returned to them because of panic attacks. I was so naive and trusted the medical profession. But they are too happy to prescribe.  I began in late '22 to come off Stilnocht and found it impossible to go from 2.5 mg to zero.  So then I thought I'd try quitting Escitalopram and it was relatively fine until i hit 0mg from 2.5 mg. I've since read Mark Horowitz's about doing that and he likened it to falling off a cliff!  Thanks to this website I've discovered how to wean off them. So today is Day 1.  The testimonies I've read her is the recovery timeframe is from 4-7 years.  If this doesn't work should I just remain at the 5 mg dose as I'm now 68 years of age?  If the tapering does work - happy days.  Wondering what other golden oldies think?  And any advice from those with vast experiences of tapering would be much appreciated. Thanks

I'm confused about what is going on here. Are you reinstating at 0.5mg like we suggested, or 5mg, as you've written above?

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
5 hours ago, Erimus said:

I'm confused about what is going on here. Are you reinstating at 0.5mg like we suggested, or 5mg, as you've written above?

Hi.  Sorry if it sounded mixed up. Have I got this wrong.  5 mg of Escitalopram  into glass of water, dissolved and then syringed up 5 ml and put in small amount of water and took it? Then washed it down with tiny amount of water to make sure I'd got it all.  

Thanks.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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Just now, Bawneen said:

Hi.  Sorry if it sounded mixed up. Have I got this wrong.  5 mg of Escitalopram  into glass of water, dissolved and then syringed up 5 ml and put in small amount of water and took it? Then washed it down with tiny amount of water to make sure I'd got it all.  

Thanks.

 

IMG_4198.JPG

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
7 hours ago, Bawneen said:

If this doesn't work should I just remain at the 5 mg dose as I'm now 68 years of age?

I'm assuming you mean 5ml here, not 5mg of drug. I think that's where we have become lost.

 

42 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

Hi.  Sorry if it sounded mixed up. Have I got this wrong.  5 mg of Escitalopram  into glass of water, dissolved and then syringed up 5 ml and put in small amount of water and took it? Then washed it down with tiny amount of water to make sure I'd got it all.  

Thanks.

Yes, that is fine, as long as you're dissolving the tablet in the measured volume of water.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, Erimus said:

I'm assuming you mean 5ml here, not 5mg of drug. I think that's where we have become lost.

 

Yes, that is fine, as long as you're dissolving the tablet in the measured volume of water.

Thanks for your quick response.  When I tell you that I have an awful head for numbers I am not kidding!. 

 

So 5 mg tablet into 50 ml of water, dissolve, stir and draw up 5 ml of that either into mouth or into small amount of water? 

I am reinstating after 57 days of zero mg and it's just been dreadful on and off for some time. 

 

I appreciate your time.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

So 5 mg tablet into 50 ml of water, dissolve, stir and draw up 5 ml of that either into mouth or into small amount of water? 

This is correct.

 

You might have to crush the tablet in a fine powder before adding 50ml of water to make it easier.

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bawneen said:

Thanks for your quick response.  When I tell you that I have an awful head for numbers I am not kidding!. 

 

So 5 mg tablet into 50 ml of water, dissolve, stir and draw up 5 ml of that either into mouth or into small amount of water? 

I am reinstating after 57 days of zero mg and it's just been dreadful on and off for some time. 

 

I appreciate your time.

Yes, that is good. As long as you are consistent with your daily preparation you will be fine! The tablet may take around 20 mins to dissolve.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • Moderator
52 minutes ago, Tweed9674 said:

This is correct.

 

You might have to crush the tablet in a fine powder before adding 50ml of water to make it easier.

If you're doing this it would be advised to weigh the powder, as you will lose some in the crushing and moving process. For beginners I would advise just waiting for it to dissolve as much as possible, as not to complicate the process.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Tweed9674 said:

This is correct.

 

You might have to crush the tablet in a fine powder before adding 50ml of water to make it easier.

Thanks for prompt reply.  Much appreciated.  

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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2 hours ago, Erimus said:

If you're doing this it would be advised to weigh the powder, as you will lose some in the crushing and moving process. For beginners I would advise just waiting for it to dissolve as much as possible, as not to complicate the process.

Hi Erimus, I'll let it dissolve - thanks, easier that way for me to deal with.  Discovering this place has already been a god-send. I was really feeling isolated and had no idea how to proceed. Thanks

 

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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21 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

Discovering this place has already been a god-send. I was really feeling isolated and had no idea how to proceed. Thanks

 

 

Great to hear and great that you are getting some excellent, clear advice. Go well.

December 2020 Mirtazapine 30 mg, raised to 40 mg August 2021, reduced to 15 mg around August 2022.

August 2021 Olanzapine 2.5 mg, fast taper over 2 week period August 2023, back to 2.5 mg shortly after.

December 2022 Venlafaxine low dose gradually increased to 150 mg. 

Currently on 15 mg Mirtazapine, 2.5 mg Olanzapine and 150 mg Venlafaxine.

End of May 2024: Reduced Olanzapine dose by 10% by filing and weighing tablets. End June 2024: further reduction of 10% off previous dose.

 

Supplements: Omega 3, Vitamins C, D and alternating phases of B/B12 (as I'm a vegan) with Spirulina. Early May 2024 started taking Zerochol / other cholesterol-lowering supplements.  

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1 hour ago, Musiclover said:

 

Great to hear and great that you are getting some excellent, clear advice. Go well.

thanks,

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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Hi. 

 

I need advice.  I decided last January to come off Escitalopram 15 mg and began lowering the dose.   When I got to 2.5 mg I had no idea about tapering off extremely slowly towards the end.  I went from 2.5 mg to 0 mg and felt like I'd dropped off a cliff (Mark Horowitz quote).

 

The withdrawal symptoms hit me like a train, I'm not exaggerating. So many here know exactly what I'm talking about. Severe moments of panic/anxiety, depression, one brain zap, feeling a horrible hopelessness, imbalance etc.  I then read about hyperbolic tapering and began with lower the dose but it's just been truly awful. So I've reinstated and now back at 5 mg daily.

 

The problem is I'm 68 and the time frames I'm continually reading about are 4/7 years before people feeling something like "normal" again.  So I could be 72/75 before I see a difference.  I'm wondering if I should just go back on them and resign myself to life on anti-depressants?  The idea of feeling this way for the next 7 years terrifies me.

 

Are there any older people who've gone through the same thought process or just returned to taking these pills?  Much appreciated. 

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
8 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

Hi. 

 

I need advice.  I decided last January to come off Escitalopram 15 mg and began lowering the dose.   When I got to 2.5 mg I had no idea about tapering off extremely slowly towards the end.  I went from 2.5 mg to 0 mg and felt like I'd dropped off a cliff (Mark Horowitz quote).

 

The withdrawal symptoms hit me like a train, I'm not exaggerating. So many here know exactly what I'm talking about. Severe moments of panic/anxiety, depression, one brain zap, feeling a horrible hopelessness, imbalance etc.  I then read about hyperbolic tapering and began with lower the dose but it's just been truly awful. So I've reinstated and now back at 5 mg daily.

 

The problem is I'm 68 and the time frames I'm continually reading about are 4/7 years before people feeling something like "normal" again.  So I could be 72/75 before I see a difference.  I'm wondering if I should just go back on them and resign myself to life on anti-depressants?  The idea of feeling this way for the next 7 years terrifies me.

 

Are there any older people who've gone through the same thought process or just returned to taking these pills?  Much appreciated. 

Hi @Bawneen- I'm so sorry you're struggling with these difficult questions.  

 

The idea with hyperbolic tapering is to minimize the withdrawal symptoms.  You will not be able to eliminate them completely, but you can get through it in a state where you can function and enjoy your life- 'Withdrawal normal' is the goal.  You are suffering as much as you are now because of the rapid taper, and it will take some time to stabilize now that you've reinstated.  I can assure you- you will not feel this awful for the next seven years.  You will stabilize, and then you can taper slowly to keep your symptoms under control.  

 

That being said, no one can tell you whether or not you should just resign yourself to taking these meds forever.  That is a decision only you can make.  You have to consider why you are tapering in the first place, and what you hope will be on the other side of this journey.  For me, I have had serious health consequences from taking these drugs for the better part of 30 years, and I don't think I've benefited from them in the way I was led to believe I would.  I am concerned about my future health, as these drugs have driven my cholesterol and liver enzymes up.  And I'm only 51.  I have also not really been able to experience normal human emotion for 30 years.  I want to be able to FEEL things again!  So, that's some serious motivation!  I understand what I am undertaking, and I'm not only willing to do it, but I'm excited to see who comes out on the other side.  

 

My personal story is MINE though- only you can decide what is best for you.  Understanding the physical and emotional health consequences of these medications, and weighing them against the time and energy it will take to taper off of them safely is something only you can do. 

 

I have had this very conversation recently with @KateH- you may want to check out her thread.  She had a cold turkey stop of gabapentin, and has now decided not to taper her antidepressants at this time.  She is older as well, so you would likely be able to relate to her story.  Best wishes to you!

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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24 minutes ago, Catwoman73 said:

Hi @Bawneen- I'm so sorry you're struggling with these difficult questions.  

 

The idea with hyperbolic tapering is to minimize the withdrawal symptoms.  You will not be able to eliminate them completely, but you can get through it in a state where you can function and enjoy your life- 'Withdrawal normal' is the goal.  You are suffering as much as you are now because of the rapid taper, and it will take some time to stabilize now that you've reinstated.  I can assure you- you will not feel this awful for the next seven years.  You will stabilize, and then you can taper slowly to keep your symptoms under control.  

 

That being said, no one can tell you whether or not you should just resign yourself to taking these meds forever.  That is a decision only you can make.  You have to consider why you are tapering in the first place, and what you hope will be on the other side of this journey.  For me, I have had serious health consequences from taking these drugs for the better part of 30 years, and I don't think I've benefited from them in the way I was led to believe I would.  I am concerned about my future health, as these drugs have driven my cholesterol and liver enzymes up.  And I'm only 51.  I have also not really been able to experience normal human emotion for 30 years.  I want to be able to FEEL things again!  So, that's some serious motivation!  I understand what I am undertaking, and I'm not only willing to do it, but I'm excited to see who comes out on the other side.  

 

My personal story is MINE though- only you can decide what is best for you.  Understanding the physical and emotional health consequences of these medications, and weighing them against the time and energy it will take to taper off of them safely is something only you can do. 

 

I have had this very conversation recently with @KateH- you may want to check out her thread.  She had a cold turkey stop of gabapentin, and has now decided not to taper her antidepressants at this time.  She is older as well, so you would likely be able to relate to her story.  Best wishes to you!

thanks so much for reply, I'll check out @Kate

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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46 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

thanks so much for reply, I'll check out @Kate

I just read some of @Kate's conversation.  She talked about being back at "baseline" - I'm not sure what that term means. Is it the original dosage? 

 

I've an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning. She's not too sympathetic so it'll be interesting to see if she has heard of withdrawal symptoms or tapering.  But I need to get a prescription - I need it if I want to go back up to 10 mg or the original 15 mg I was on for years.  I've noticed that you guys talk about napping and sleep.  I wish I had that - insomnia has been awful for me over the past while and that is while taking sleeping tablets, 10mg nightly of Stilnocht.

  

I'm a visual artist and art has sustained me throughout my 68 years. It has been a constant all my life and this year, while tapering, I've had little connection with it, which is strange.  I'm weepy all the time but for years I couldn't cry, now I want to cry all the time and can't make art.

 

At least I've found this forum via a young Irish woman who discovered it and wrote about it on our national broadcaster online site.

 

 

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
11 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

I just read some of @Kate's conversation.  She talked about being back at "baseline" - I'm not sure what that term means. Is it the original dosage? 

By back at baseline, Kate is saying that she feels like she is back to her normal- the way she felt before she was forced to stop her gabapentin cold turkey.  I thought you might be interested in our discussion about her trying to figure out if she wants to spend her retirement years tapering, since you seem to be struggling with the same decision.  She had no real observable side effects driving her to taper her other psychiatric meds, so she's decided to put it on hold for now.  And that's ok!  We're all walking our own path, and need to do what's best for us. 

 

14 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

I've an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning. She's not too sympathetic so it'll be interesting to see if she has heard of withdrawal symptoms or tapering. 

 

Sadly, most doctors are completely unaware of how terrible withdrawal from these drugs can be, and continue to advise rapid tapers and cold turkey stops.  We have to learn to fight for what we want and need on this journey.  

 

17 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

II've noticed that you guys talk about napping and sleep.  I wish I had that - insomnia has been awful for me over the past while and that is while taking sleeping tablets, 10mg nightly of Stilnocht.

 

Insomnia is such a common symptom in withdrawal, we could almost rename the site surviving insomnia!  Click here to read more about how to optimize your sleep while withdrawing. 

 

20 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

I'm a visual artist and art has sustained me throughout my 68 years. It has been a constant all my life and this year, while tapering, I've had little connection with it, which is strange.  I'm weepy all the time but for years I couldn't cry, now I want to cry all the time and can't make art.

This sounds like depersonalization/ derealization to me, and is another extremely common symptom of withdrawal. There's a whole thread about it, but this comment is particularly helpful.  I struggle with this as well.  Dance is my art form of choice.  As long as I taper slowly, I can get my head in the game, but I do occasionally struggle with feeling disconnected and not in my own body. 

 

25 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

At least I've found this forum via a young Irish woman who discovered it and wrote about it on our national broadcaster online site.

We're glad you're here... and glad for the publicity!  Everyone deserves to be able to make informed choices.  That's what this site is all about- helping people find the information they need to advocate for themselves. ❤️

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

Link to comment
36 minutes ago, Catwoman73 said:

By back at baseline, Kate is saying that she feels like she is back to her normal- the way she felt before she was forced to stop her gabapentin cold turkey.  I thought you might be interested in our discussion about her trying to figure out if she wants to spend her retirement years tapering, since you seem to be struggling with the same decision.  She had no real observable side effects driving her to taper her other psychiatric meds, so she's decided to put it on hold for now.  And that's ok!  We're all walking our own path, and need to do what's best for us. 

 

Sadly, most doctors are completely unaware of how terrible withdrawal from these drugs can be, and continue to advise rapid tapers and cold turkey stops.  We have to learn to fight for what we want and need on this journey.  

 

Insomnia is such a common symptom in withdrawal, we could almost rename the site surviving insomnia!  Click here to read more about how to optimize your sleep while withdrawing. 

 

This sounds like depersonalization/ derealization to me, and is another extremely common symptom of withdrawal. There's a whole thread about it, but this comment is particularly helpful.  I struggle with this as well.  Dance is my art form of choice.  As long as I taper slowly, I can get my head in the game, but I do occasionally struggle with feeling disconnected and not in my own body. 

 

We're glad you're here... and glad for the publicity!  Everyone deserves to be able to make informed choices.  That's what this site is all about- helping people find the information they need to advocate for themselves. ❤️

I understand the panic in the comments about depersonalization but as I'm alone with no kids or close family I'm actually making myself go out and engage with people, I've joined a knitting group just to be around company, being alone all the time is making me over-think every tiny thing and the days seem endless, then night time comes and the panic builds because I get anxious about whether or not I will be able to sleep.  The panic element I can totally relate to as are the feelings I might just go insane.  This is just an awful way to feel isn't it?

 

I suppose for me I've to think about putting myself through this hell (that's what it feels like) at this late stage in my life or trying to continue to taper.  I've had to reinstate from 0 mg to 5 mg and on the 5 mg yesterday was grand but today I felt panicky and low.  Big pharma has a lot to answer for, that's for sure.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
16 hours ago, Bawneen said:

I'm actually making myself go out and engage with people, I've joined a knitting group just to be around company, being alone all the time is making me over-think every tiny thing and the days seem endless, then night time comes and the panic builds because I get anxious about whether or not I will be able to sleep.  The panic element I can totally relate to as are the feelings I might just go insane.  This is just an awful way to feel isn't it?

This is wonderful- distraction is one of my favourite ways to cope with withdrawal.  If distraction works well for you, and you seem to struggle with panic in the evenings, perhaps you could find some distraction you can engage in at that time to help you avoid obsessing about sleep.  Personally, I take my dance classes in the evening, or in summer, go for a swim- there's absolutely no time to focus on anything but the task at hand when doing something physically active.  I also find calming music to be very helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety/panic.

 

Panic is an awful way to feel.  If you haven't read the thread on non-drug methods of coping, or meditation, you may wish to read through these links, and try to adopt some of these habits to help you through. 

 

16 hours ago, Bawneen said:

Big pharma has a lot to answer for, that's for sure.

Why yes they do!!!  Hopefully we'll get to a place someday where there is more awareness of what these drugs can really do to us.  But in the meantime, we have each other! ❤️

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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4 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

This is wonderful- distraction is one of my favourite ways to cope with withdrawal.  If distraction works well for you, and you seem to struggle with panic in the evenings, perhaps you could find some distraction you can engage in at that time to help you avoid obsessing about sleep.  Personally, I take my dance classes in the evening, or in summer, go for a swim- there's absolutely no time to focus on anything but the task at hand when doing something physically active.  I also find calming music to be very helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety/panic.

 

Panic is an awful way to feel.  If you haven't read the thread on non-drug methods of coping, or meditation, you may wish to read through these links, and try to adopt some of these habits to help you through. 

 

Why yes they do!!!  Hopefully we'll get to a place someday where there is more awareness of what these drugs can really do to us.  But in the meantime, we have each other! ❤️

Thank you.  Had a bad, gloomy day today but went to a knitting group, just back and feel a bit better.  Distraction is the key but sometimes the motivation is just not there.  When it gets bad in the evening it's coming up to bedtime which I can't do before 1 am and that's with sleeping pills.  I'll have a look at your links now.  It's great to be able to share with somebody so thank you.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
21 hours ago, Bawneen said:

Thank you.  Had a bad, gloomy day today but went to a knitting group, just back and feel a bit better.  Distraction is the key but sometimes the motivation is just not there.  When it gets bad in the evening it's coming up to bedtime which I can't do before 1 am and that's with sleeping pills.  I'll have a look at your links now.  It's great to be able to share with somebody so thank you.

I know what you mean.  Motivation to do ANYTHING has been a huge challenge for me as well.  Every time I'm debating whether or not to get up and do something, I ask myself if I will regret it if I DON'T do it.  Just as an example- yesterday was my daughter's birthday, and I was not having a great day.  She wanted to go to Starbucks after school, and then go out for dinner.  I definitely did NOT want to do either of those things lol.  But I asked myself if I would regret it if I said no to her.  And the answer was yes, I would regret it- it's her birthday!  She should be a bit spoiled!  So I got off my butt and took her to Starbucks, and then we went out for dinner.  We had a nice time, and now I have no regrets.  So that's how I deal with motivation issues.

 

That being said, some things I'm not very motivated to do MUST be done, like paying bills.  In those cases, I just repeat the mantra DON'T THINK!  JUST DO IT!  And I get myself moving.  If I think too much about it, it's waaaay too easy to procrastinate, or say I can just do it tomorrow.  And then tasks pile up, and I end up feeling overwhelmed.  And that leads to an emotional spiral, which is never a good thing.  

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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2 minutes ago, Catwoman73 said:

I know what you mean.  Motivation to do ANYTHING has been a huge challenge for me as well.  Every time I'm debating whether or not to get up and do something, I ask myself if I will regret it if I DON'T do it.  Just as an example- yesterday was my daughter's birthday, and I was not having a great day.  She wanted to go to Starbucks after school, and then go out for dinner.  I definitely did NOT want to do either of those things lol.  But I asked myself if I would regret it if I said no to her.  And the answer was yes, I would regret it- it's her birthday!  She should be a bit spoiled!  So I got off my butt and took her to Starbucks, and then we went out for dinner.  We had a nice time, and now I have no regrets.  So that's how I deal with motivation issues.

 

That being said, some things I'm not very motivated to do MUST be done, like paying bills.  In those cases, I just repeat the mantra DON'T THINK!  JUST DO IT!  And I get myself moving.  If I think too much about it, it's waaaay too easy to procrastinate, or say I can just do it tomorrow.  And then tasks pile up, and I end up feeling overwhelmed.  And that leads to an emotional spiral, which is never a good thing.  

Ah procrastination - the enemy of anyone with depression and/or anxiety.  You're right but it can be so hard sometimes so I try a firm NO to my brain.  This morning I reinstated to 10 mg and had a lousy morning, a total feeling of hopelessness but this afternoon I forced myself out and drove out to the country and feel better as a result. I feel bad, like I've failed but I'd to consider how long it takes people to feel "normal" and factor in my age and make a decision, so I just need to take it very, very slow. Glad you had a good time with your daughter. 

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator
13 minutes ago, Bawneen said:

Ah procrastination - the enemy of anyone with depression and/or anxiety.  You're right but it can be so hard sometimes so I try a firm NO to my brain.  This morning I reinstated to 10 mg and had a lousy morning, a total feeling of hopelessness but this afternoon I forced myself out and drove out to the country and feel better as a result. I feel bad, like I've failed but I'd to consider how long it takes people to feel "normal" and factor in my age and make a decision, so I just need to take it very, very slow. Glad you had a good time with your daughter. 

10mg is an big dose for reinstatement- I think @Erimus recommended starting slower, with a 0.5mg start.  The concern is that some people have bad reactions when reinstating too high, and thereby further destabilize their nervous system.  Please keep us posted on how you are feeling- if you develop any new/different symptoms, and if they are intolerable, you may need to try an emergency reduction of your dosage.  I'm not trying to scare you- just warn you that the dosage that was well tolerated prior to withdrawal may not be a dosage that is well tolerated after a rapid taper and the development of withdrawal symptoms.  

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

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3 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

10mg is an big dose for reinstatement- I think @Erimus recommended starting slower, with a 0.5mg start.  The concern is that some people have bad reactions when reinstating too high, and thereby further destabilize their nervous system.  Please keep us posted on how you are feeling- if you develop any new/different symptoms, and if they are intolerable, you may need to try an emergency reduction of your dosage.  I'm not trying to scare you- just warn you that the dosage that was well tolerated prior to withdrawal may not be a dosage that is well tolerated after a rapid taper and the development of withdrawal symptoms.  

oh god, now I feel scared. I went from 0 mg to 5 mg and have felt absolutely awful. Doc said to increase to 10 mg. When I mentioned withdrawal symptoms she grimaced but said nothing.

 

I'm lousy on the measurements so any help on literal numbers:  how much water? Is is always 10 ml.  If it's 5 mg of powered pill how much should be drawn up in syringe. If it's 10 mg of powdered pill how much should be drawn up and what % of water?  Numbers confound me.  But this has panicked me I have to be honest.

 

Two decades on anti-depressants 15 mg.  Stilnocht 10 mg for last decade.

15 mg Escitalopram.  Started taper myself last January.  Worst decision ever.  7.5 mg 4th January 2024.   5 mg 23rd January.  2.5 mg 23rd March.  0 mg 12th April.   After approx. 47+ days symptoms began: anger, irritability, weeping outbursts, anxiety, palpitations, panic sensations, headaches and top of skull sore to touch, chronic insomnia (even while still taking sleeping pills), hopelessness.

Advice from SA:  5 mg in 50 ml of water; draw up 5 ml (0.5 mg). 7th-10th June 2024.  Reinstated (myself) 5 mg for 2 days 11/12th June 2024.  Doctor instructed 10 mg on day 14th June 2024 - one day only. Terrible advice/decision!  15th June 2024 reinstated to 0.5 mg.  Symptoms: headaches, palpitations, anxiety/panic, feeling gloomy.  26th June 2024  - increased dosage to 1 mg/10 ml of Escitalopram 5mg (dissolved in 50 ml water).  Symptoms: much longer windows, headache/palpitations.  13th July 2024 drop to 0.9 mg. Symptoms: headache most of day, palpitations intermittently, a few moments of low level anxiety, feeling light-headed/dizzy sometimes.  

 

10 mg Stilnocht nightly. 1 tablet 200 mg ibuprofen nightly. (Arthritic foot pain)

Supplements:  Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Quercetin Complex  

 

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  • Moderator

Are you following the instructions I gave you?

 

Measure up 50ml of water.

Add 5mg escitalopram tablet.

Draw up 5ml.

 

Taking a 10mg tablet is far too much of a shock to your system. If you are struggling to make the dose as I've described, can you ask your doctor to be prescribed the liquid?

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

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: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Fish oils, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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