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Ruby - reached 9 months off of meds


ruby

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Hi everyone,

 

I've been following this forum every day for the past year. I have to celebrate the fact that I've been completely off of SSRI's for 9 months.

My history on meds is way longer than it should have been: 20 years of use (It's hard to believe and I'm angry about this). I'm 35 years old and was put on prozac (20mg) at 15 years old for 10 years and then switched to zoloft for the next years (10mg). Even though these are so called low doses, they felt quite high to me since I was tired, apathetic, low libido most of the time. During the past 10 years I felt like I had chronic fatigue, major apathy, irritable bowel syndrome, memory problems, increased anxiety and depression. My doctor said I needed to take SSRIs for the rest of my life since I had a chemical imbalance. Now I know better not to blindly trust doctors. There is a lot of grieving to do for losing so many years to these drugs; years to develop my true adult self with real feelings, passion and interests. There are many pieces missing to my adult development due to meds and complex-trauma, but I'm slowly constructing a life now that is congruent to who I am. My anger about all of this is burning inside me.

 

Withdrawing from meds has been such a lonely experience. My doctors don't know because they have no clue about withdrawal. During the past 9 months off drugs, I went to see a body therapist who helped me release and express my emotions. He didn't pathologize me in any way and I confided in him that I was off of SSRIs. He supported me even though he did not know anything about the kind of symptoms I was experiencing. It was a relief to tell someone. I've taken a break from therapy because the sessions were becoming too emotionally intense while being hypersensitive. My relationship to my family is weak (due to childhood trauma) so they don't know and I've only told one friend who has showed some empathy, but has no idea what I'm going through.

 

The first 5 months of withdrawal I was hypersensitive to light, sound, stress and my cognitive abilities regressed a lot. I couldn't focus while reading anything. Also it was difficult to sleep so I used 0.5mg of melatonin which worked wonders. I work part-time in a stressful job. There's no way I could work full time right now.

 

What has worked for me? Working only part-time, going to the sauna several times a week, restorative yoga class, going dancing at least once a week because it gives me so much joy to connect and have fun with other people even though I feel exhausted the next day, acupuncture once-a-week, journalling every day, walking a lot. I don't tolerate any supplements other than melatonin. Caffeine, cocoa, sugar, gluten, dairy, processed foods are lethal to me.

 

The past 3 months my memory has improved a lot, and I can think more creatively. I am no longer depressed and less anxious. I can deal with stress better as well. I can sleep during the evening without any aid.

 

Now what is causing me a lot of distress is that I have major digestive problems. I've been following the SCD diet for 3 months, but I'm still experiencing a lot of gas, diarrhea, noisy embarrassing digestion that increases my anxiety level. It's so frustrating since these symptoms started 10 years ago, but they've gotten a lot worse during withdrawal. It's incredible what we have to go through to heal! Symptom after symptom. I feel pessimistic about my gut ever healing.

 

There is so much more to say, but I'll keep it to this for now.

 

It's a miracle that I made it through these past 9 months med-free. I am happy to join all of you on this path to fully heal on our own accord.

1993-2003 Prozac 20mg
2003-2010 Zoloft 10mg
2010-2012 Zoloft 10mg to 1mg (taper)

July 2012 - Drug free!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Ruby

 

Welcome to the forum. You've really been on a journey and have done incredibly well to get this far. Shows a lot of determination and courage. Those things will hold you in good stead on the next part of your journey, resolving the stomache issues. I haven't experienced theses issues so I can't offer and advice but I do encourage you to hold out hope that things will be different.

 

Here is a link to a discussion on gut health Gut health

 

I'm sure other members will chip in with support/advice

 

Good luck

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Ruby

Thank you for sharing your story with us, so sad that you feel so much of your life has been wasted on these drugs from such a young age, I've come across others like yourself who were put on a drug at 13/14/15. You're such a strong person to reconstruct your life in this way.

strawberry

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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Thanks for the support dalsaan and strawberry17. It took me several tries to finally quit zoloft and this time it took around 1-2 years to taper off. I tried a fast taper of several weeks a few years ago, and it was a nightmare. I learned a lot from reading the Beyond Meds blog daily for the past three years - thanks GiaK (You saved my life! I would be clueless without your blog). Now my mission is to heal my unhappy, oversensitized gut...

1993-2003 Prozac 20mg
2003-2010 Zoloft 10mg
2010-2012 Zoloft 10mg to 1mg (taper)

July 2012 - Drug free!

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good to hear Ruby...glad you're drug free...

 

healing the gut is truly possible...I healed over 20 years of chronic and acute IBS...

 

congrats on your drug freedom...if you can do that you can figure out your gut issues too :)

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Ruby, and thank you for posting. I'm tempted to move your post to 'Success Stories' because you've gotten off the drugs on your own and are moving ahead and building a life for yourself. It's so good to see this happening.

 

Please continue posting and let us know how you're doing from time to time.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thanks Jemima! Although I don't feel like a success story yet since my impaired digestive system really inhibits me from having a "normal" life. It's definitely a work-in-progress. So many people ask me, "why do you only eat those healthy foods?" If only they knew the deeper reasons. No one gets it except the people who visit this forum.

 

My depression of 20 years is gone since I stopped taking the meds. Even in the winter months when it's cold and dark, I feel more alive than before. This is a rebirth, seeing the world with new eyes. I've changed and learned so much since this withdrawal process. Now I'm discovering who I am day by day along with all the neuro emotions (holy cow). I get offended quite easily lately because I've repressed decades of legitimate anger. All of the buried feelings are coming to the surface. I almost ended two friendships in the past few weeks, but they sincerely apologized to me for their behaviour. In the past I allowed people to cross my boundaries and I would never say or do anything because I feared conflict. Somehow I can't stay silent anymore when someone offends me or does something inappropriate towards me. I believe this is a good change.

1993-2003 Prozac 20mg
2003-2010 Zoloft 10mg
2010-2012 Zoloft 10mg to 1mg (taper)

July 2012 - Drug free!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, Ruby, I know what you're saying. Withdrawal from Lexapro has been a horror, and yet I feel that I've grown tremendously from the experience. I've developed more empathy for other people who are suffering - from any sort of medical problem - and I believe I've become more patient. I also cry a lot more easily than before, but I think that may be a good thing since I often went for years without crying, even when I had every reason to cut it loose. There are other positive things I could mention, but I don't want to go on and on about myself in your thread.

 

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you've come out of this awful experience the better for it. There always seems to be a reason for even the worst things that happen to us.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • 9 months later...

Hey Ruby.

 

How are you feeling today?

 

I wish you all luck in life and hope you have recovered some more from these dangerous drugs!

2007 - 2013: was on citalopram (tried to quit a few times, never worked, always went back on. max dose 40mg)

2012-2013: was tapering my citalopram all down to 2,5 mg then quit.
2013/aug: Took  my last pill 

W/D hit me bad after a few weeks off my medicine.

2014/August: 12 months off (much improved)

2015/April: 20months off. ( much improved, still some symtoms comes in waves, but not so intense.)

2015/june: 22months off. FELT different than before, all shakings suddenly stopped, feel much better. a fantastic feeling!

2016/Feb : 2 years and 6 months off, END of my suffering. I feel perfectly fine and back to normal. 
2018/Oct: Iam still feeling great. It is hard to believe my own story when I read back, what I went through!

 

 

 

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Hi Bellisimo,

 

Thanks for the encouragement! Today I was wishing to talk to someone about this withdrawal since I feel so alone in this process.

 

I'm 18 months off of Zoloft, and it's been a long haul. Still adapting to a new way of being. My gut is still in repair; can only eat meat, steamed veggies and nuts. This really frustrates me, the bloating and not being able to eat out with people. I have less anxiety and need to manage stress carefully. I'm not sure when I can work full-time but I will need to soon to make more income and find a better home for myself. I have more energy now so I signed up for an art class to take in the evenings. The challenging phase now is figuring out who I am and building healthy relationships. I need to still remember that I'm in withdrawal and not do too much or else I get bedridden. This life and time we are in is crazy. How I managed to get this far is beyond me.

1993-2003 Prozac 20mg
2003-2010 Zoloft 10mg
2010-2012 Zoloft 10mg to 1mg (taper)

July 2012 - Drug free!

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I hadn't been to the gym for 6 months but rejoined today to take restorative yoga class and use the sauna. The sauna made me feel so refreshed and relaxed. It may not be good for those in acute withdrawal, but the sauna has been really beneficial to my recovery so far especially during the cold winter months. I still go to acupuncture once a week for the gut and entire nervous system, but I think I've reached a plateau with it. And over the past month I've been able to walk up stairwells and not get so tired, in the past it exhausted me and I avoided them and took escalators instead.

 

Still dealing with neuro-emotion and avoiding highly triggering situations/people. I would say I'm making progress little by little; the pieces of me are realigning and coming back together. 

 

I really appreciate this forum for peer support as I have no faith in psychiatry and doctors anymore. 

1993-2003 Prozac 20mg
2003-2010 Zoloft 10mg
2010-2012 Zoloft 10mg to 1mg (taper)

July 2012 - Drug free!

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So proud of you, you've come along way.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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  • Administrator

Very good to hear you're doing better, ruby. Thank you for sharing your tips for healing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you Lexy & Altostrata. I feel less alone in this knowing that people here can relate to the many painful layers of withdrawal. 

1993-2003 Prozac 20mg
2003-2010 Zoloft 10mg
2010-2012 Zoloft 10mg to 1mg (taper)

July 2012 - Drug free!

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