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Stabilization = Manageable misery or actually feeling good?


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I was wondering what everyone's idea of "stabilization" is.  What my husband experiences is this:

He makes a cut and experiences hell for about 20 days or so.  Really acute classic symptoms like tinnitus, extreme anxiety, depression, stomach pains, shaking, feeling like he is losing or about to lose his mind, intense morning surges etc.

After that the tinnitus goes away, and everything mellows, but he still feels pretty miserable and can make a list of symptoms as long as my arm, heavy head, nausea, still fairly anxious/depressed but he manages, has the occasional very good day but overall, pretty lousy. 

He considers this to be stabilization for him, and interprets what he's experiencing as side effects from the drug.  He is the side effect king, so I don't discount this.  The heavy headedness and general misery were the reason he decided he needed to get off of this stuff in the first place.

So I'd love to get some input from others.  Do you agree that this misery he feels after the acute phase is just a result of side effects and his body/mind not agreeing with the drug? Or is he not yet fully stabilized?  He's pretty much convinced he's not going to get any more free of symptoms until he's off the drug fully, and it's not a matter of needing to be more patient.  I'm undecided and would like to hear what others have to say. Do you actually feel good and symptom free when stabilzed?


Wife of severe benzo w/d survivor, and now dealing with w/d of remeron/mirtazipine.


My husbands history (abbreviated)

Made final jump from Ativan in June of 2012, after a far too fast taper suggested by doctor.  Now at 19 months post-jump he feels he's 90% recovered.


While in acute w/d he was hospitalized (before we understood what was going on) in July 2012 and was put on 30 mg of remeron. (He had previously been taking 7.5 mg for quite a few years.) He began tapering this around November 2012.  His basic taper method has been 5-10% cuts every 2-4 weeks.  He is now down to 4 mg of remeron. 

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Hi Mrs WD,


I'm sorry I can't advise but wanted to say hi as I see you have not posted much before and it can feel lonely. You will find some excellent support here.


Someone will be along to talk to you soon.



May 2001 - age 24 given 20 mg seroxat. Tried to reduce myself after a year. Told by GP to take on alternate days and I would be fine. FAIL. Assumed 'wrong time' due to university stress and that my 'depression' must be worse than I thought.

Increased dose to 30 mg December 2002. Tried the same technique as before to reduce- made it down to a quarter tablet but couldn't stand symptoms, had a sneaking suspicion that it was due to tablets but never considered dependency - 'depression is a diseased brain after all' (is what I was told)


Continued until October 2010 - tried to CT and managed to last five months - assumed the depression was really bad but had no understanding of the reason for awful anxiety. Ran back to GP started Prozac- went crazy thought I was going to die. Stopped Prozac after two weeks.

April 2010 Started sertraline. Stablished but felt numbed.

September 2010 Asked for seroxat again. Upped my dose to 30 after three weeks. Felt hyper, caffeinated, but functional. Glad to be over what I thought was 'depression'..

Realised it is the meds, want to be free at last - July 2012 started 10% taper from original dose and took supplements. Took suppliments sporadically and despite the temptation the taper, wanted it 'over with'. Taper took exactly six months and 10 days.

Reductions were as follows:
First 2 weeks- 27 mg
Next 2- 24mg
Next 2- 21 mg
Next 2- 18mg
Next 2 15 mg
Next 2 12 mg (held for four weeks due to house move from London back to Ireland)
Next 2 weeks- 9 mg
Next 2 weeks- 6 mg
Next 2- weeks 3 mg
Next 2 weeks 1.5 mg (held for 5 weeks as scared)
10th February 2013 Jumped to zero

Within 3 weeks sadness, led to anxiety.  Restarted suppliments - helped a bit.  Stressful move to London. A lot of fatigue and DEEP emotions. Crying LOTS. Took suppliments on and off, moved back to Ireland after being back in London for only eight weeks as felt too sad and unsettled. 


No suppliments when moved back.  Unhappy at being back, scared I wouldn't ever find happiness - deep deep sadness, anger, STUPIDLY went back to doctor and decided I must just be a 'depressive'.  Given Citalopram/Celexa 20mg.


Took it for seven days, changed my mind, decided to be 'strong' and put it behind me. (No particularly adverse effects that I recall, save for day 5 having inner vibrations in arms and legs) Still had pack of tablets however and every time emotions got hard felt I had to 'go back onto tablets'.  I did this from July until November. (On them off them on them off them) ........


Started to get body vibrations and told myself it was 'anxiety' and I was 'giving myself panic attacks.  I continued to cry as I 'started' the tablets again and again - not wanting to go back there but not sure what else to do. 


More vibrations - but didn't make the connection that I had a compromised CNS -  thought it was anxiety....chest started to pound in Sept, vibrations continued...lost weight, became anxious, sleep was awful and I tried a variety of remedies to replace the tablets and calm my anxiety and lift my mood.  I think they made things worse.


(These included, St.Johns Wort, Rescue Remedy, Homeopathic treatments, Chinese herbs, Passiflora, and suppliments from the online company who state they are experts in assisting people get off meds)


Also did the following:


Talking therapy

Human Givens Therapy


Narcotics Anonymous


October 23rd took Citalopram (20mg) for 12 days - no relief


November 6th Started Seroxat 10 mg (to be safe) stupidly upped to 20 the next day.


Stayed on 20 for 18 days, no relief, stopped for two days suddenly, relief came - short lived, vibrations and torture came after 72 hours.  Suicidal for days.  Upped to 30 thinking it would improved.  Even more suicidal.  Dropped to 20 again (December 9th) not suicidal, but not better. Started liquid 28th December reduced to 18 mg in effort to reduce and stabilise.  Don't know where to go from here.  Living with parents who are supportive beyond words.


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  • Moderator Emeritus

This discussion thread on stabilization might be helpful:



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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It sounds to me like he is going way too fast. 20 days like that sounds horrible! I'd say I'm recovered from a cut when I feel fine about the idea of going to work for the day, can sleep reasonably, and be nice to my family.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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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

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