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HeyPretty - I'm new


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Okay well I'm 30 and I was put on Paxil when I was 13 for a suicide attempt. Since then I've been on many many ADs and last year I even tried ECT for 3 months (I think it was 3 months, but I don't know, I can't remember a damn thing anymore.)


I read an article a month ago about the link between long-term antidepressant use and cognitive brain damage. Well I was just shocked. I knew that long-term drug use (e.g. coke, meth, heroin) caused brain damage but these drugs my doctors have prescribed me for 17 years? Blasphemy. But the evidence was too conclusive. I've had memory problems for a long, long time but the ECT treatment I had exacerbated the problem. I can't remember what jobs I've had without looking at my resume, I can't remember boyfriends I've dated, I can't remember books, tv shows, and movies I've seen.


I'm a pretty smart girl; I work in the computer industry and I feel like my mind is my most prized asset. But I cry at the thought of what I would be like if I hadn't been drugged for the last 17 years. I've battled MDD for so long. I knew it was a "death sentence" when I first got diagnosed and eventually came to terms with the fact that I would be medicated for the rest of my life. (That was an ugly period of time.) I mourned the fact that if I had children, I might pass on the genes for depression to them and I couldn't bear the thought of subjectgating a child to the life I've had to live. You always think, "well in the future, they'll know how to treat it better. Maybe there will be generetrovirus theraphy." But since I can't seem to get stable on medication, I decided to postpone having children.


Like I said, I'm 30 now. My emotional unstability has caused me to avoid dating completely and my depression is still bad enough that over the past 2 years I've put on 100lbs. And obesity is not a good thing when you're looking for a husband. Obesity plus *crazy* is a relationship death sentence to any relationship. So I'm 30, crazy, fat and lonely.


So a month ago I started weaning myself off of my latest cocktail. I was on max doses of lithium, lamictalbuproprion, and effexor. I've "ramped up" on meds often enough so I just reversed that procedure and decreased dosage over two weeks. Oh I know I should have gone slower (and oh my god, I didn't think to go as slow as 10%/week) and I probably shouldn't have decreased all meds at the same time but I was anxious to get off of them as soon as safely possible. I've been on meds so long (and I took them religiously, never missing more than 3 days at a time), I no longer know who I am. I don't think I've ever known who I am. I started taking them at 13 and no mind/personality is formed at that age.


I want to rediscover myself (as odd as that sounds.) I want to know who I am. My PDoc asks me questions relating to my depression but the questions... they set to compare your current feelings/mood as to when you weren't Depressed/Anxious/Unstable. I can't answer those questions because I have no f*cking clue as to how I was before I had problems.


What I hope to achieve is complete withdrawal from my meds. Recovery of the mental facilities that I've lost and learning how to be me. I also need to find ways to cope with stress that don't involve eyeing a bottle of pills or a kitchen knife. I often feel so overwhelmed and while I have a superb mother who is very aware of my issues, I just can't bear to lay all my problems on her. It's not fair and she's showing signs of being unable to cope anymore. She has a 30 year old daughter with the emotional age of a 13 year old and having me still being very dependent on her is asking too much.


Well, I'm glad I found you guys and hope to learn a lot. Thanks for your time.

Medications started age 13. I've been on meds consistently for the past 17 years. I'm 30 now.


Paxil, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Buproprion, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Effexor, Seroquel, Lithium, Lamictal


ECT Treatment last year @3 times a week for 2 months.


I was on a cocktail of 5 meds when I decided to quit them.


Sober: Aug 1, 2013 age 30.


Here's to getting on with my life and remembering what happened to me last week.  :unsure:

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi HeyPretty,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story, I'm sorry you have been through so much.


I'm a little confused though, are you off all your medication now?  How are you feeling, are you having any withdrawal symptoms?


You will get a lot of friendly advice and support here as you recover and rediscover who you really are.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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Hello Petu, yes I'm off of my meds now. It's been two weeks since I took my last decreased dose. I haven't had a lot of side effects or withdrawal effects like it seems most people have. I'm a lot more irritable now and I really don't like it. I wish I knew how to stop being so angry.

Medications started age 13. I've been on meds consistently for the past 17 years. I'm 30 now.


Paxil, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Buproprion, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Effexor, Seroquel, Lithium, Lamictal


ECT Treatment last year @3 times a week for 2 months.


I was on a cocktail of 5 meds when I decided to quit them.


Sober: Aug 1, 2013 age 30.


Here's to getting on with my life and remembering what happened to me last week.  :unsure:

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  • Administrator

Hi HeyPretty,


Welcome to the community.  I see you have been completely off of drugs for 2 weeks - how fast did you come off your meds and what was the last med your were on?


Irritability is a withdrawal symptom.  Some people can come off of these drugs without problems, but the ones we tend to see here start with a symptom like irritability and then they tend to get worse.  I encourage you to monitor your systems and if they start to get worse think about reinstating a very small amount of the last med you were on.  The window for re-instatement to be successful is limited to about 2 months and after that you pretty much have to deal with whatever the uncomfortable systems are.


You can still heal and find out who you are now ... we all change over the years with or without medications.  I am a very different person than I was 10 years ago and frankly I like me better.  But I am still slowly weaning off my AD.


Here is some general information about our philosphy about coming off these meds http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/


Have a look around - post your questions to this thread and please keep us updated on your progress.







I encourage you to monitor your systems and if they start to get worse think about reintating a very small amount of the last med you were on.

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg; 12/17 - 75mg; 8/17 - 45 mg; 10/16 40 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 ; 10/16 40mg;

1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Not to bum you out, but given your history I am concerned that you are in for some tough withdrawal times ahead. Please read through as much of this forum as you can, and please open your mind to the possibility that you might benefit from a partial reinstatement of some of your meds followed by a much more reasonable rate of taper.


It is possible for someone with a history like yours to get off all meds, but it is generally not something that can be done quickly. If you came off everything in a month--well, please be prepared, it's not going to be pretty. It's not too late to correct course.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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