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MoonElf - Off meds, looking for support


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I was put on medication as a teenager against my own choice.  I've been on lots of different medications and med cocktails through the years.  I was considered treatment resistant.  The medication never seemed to work so they'd shuffle me to the next one.  I stopped taking medication on my own lots of times because I hated the side effects and didn't feel like they were working.  I had two awful, unexplained periods of time with neurological issues.


The last thing I was on was Depakote at 1,200 mg and Abilify had just been added on when I found out I was pregnant.  I went cold-turkey with the Abilify.  I cut back my Depakote dosage and went completely off it in about one week.  The withdrawal was awful of course but I did not want to stay on medication while I was pregnant.  I stayed off medication in order to breastfeed.


During my pregnancy, and afterward while nursing, almost all of my neurological symptoms seem to have disappeared.  I also became more interested in clean eating, nutrition, and alternative ways to deal with health issues.  I decided that since medication obviously hasn't helped me in the 13 years I've tried to do it "their way", and I seem to have gotten worse in many ways while on meds, I'm not going to do it any more.  I'm on disability so all these meds obviously aren't working to make me better.  After 13 years I think it's also safe to say that trying yet another "new and better" medication is not the solution either.


I've been off all psych medication for almost 4 years.  Most of my neurological issues have resolved with time.  I have back to back panic attacks when I try to leave my house by myself.  I was having multiple panic attacks every day while I was on medication, even in my house, so I guess it's an improvement but it's still discouraging.  The panic attacks started out being afraid to drive in one particular area after I had my first panic attack driving there.  My therapist at the time pushed me into driving there afterward in the hope that I'd get past it.  Instead it progressed to panic attacks over driving at all and then panic attacks about leaving my house.  I can leave the house without panic attacks now if I'm with someone I trust (my parents or boyfriend) but not by myself.  Since I've been kind of stuck at home like this for years now I have slowly lost all of my friends.  I want to work out some kind of plan for dealing with the panic attacks so I can leave the house again.  That's my goal.  I could use some support though.  I want to keep moving forward and I feel frustratingly stuck where I am with no idea how to continue making progress from where I am.

Medications I've been on and off over a 13 year period include Risperdal, Welbutrin, Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, Seroquel, Neurontin, Clonazepam, Ativan, Depakote, and Abilify.  At one point I was on a med cocktail of Neurontin, Resperidol, and Zoloft.  I have also been on a combination of Zoloft, Seroquel, Clonazepam, and Neurontin.  The last medications I was on was Depakote and Abilify.  I went off them cold-turkey when I found out I was pregnant in 2011.  My diagnosis progressed through the years from major depression, to depression with psychotic features, to bipolar with panic disorder and OCD tendencies.  After 9 years of being on and off medications I was diagnosed with pseudoseizures by a doctor that wanted to put me in the hospital psych ward.  Subsequent doctors discovered that I actually have neurological damage.  None of the doctors were able to give me a diagnosis or cause of the seizure-like episodes and various neurological issues (clonus, Horner's syndrome, muscle cramps and spasms, spasticity in my right leg, paresthesia, episodes of being conscious with uncontrolled body spasms that effected breathing).  All of the neurological issues, except the permanent nerve damage to my legs, seem to have resolved over time after going off medication.  I still limp and my legs start to give out if I walk to far.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Moonelf, Welcome to SA.  I'm sorry that you are still experiencing some symptoms of withdrawal.

We have other members who have had the same distressing symptoms as yourself  and it is good to see 

that yours have improved.   We have lots of topics in the symptoms and self care forum, a good one 

to look through is help for emotional problems .




Personally I found this to be very helpful and helped me a lot with my anxieties. I was housebound before I 

started to taper effexor and lost most of my friends  because I just couldn't cope with seeing people. It is UK based

but anyone can access it and it is free. http://llttf.com/


I hope that you can start to build confidence and get your life back, you are almost there. You are among people

who understand and can support you while you go through the final stages of healing. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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Just wanted to say Hi and well done for being off the meds for 4 years and attempting to do things now without them.  I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, although I have only been off for 8 months, the panic attacks and agoraphobia have come back and I am having similar trouble with driving etc.  I have bought quite a few CBT self help books over the years so I am working my way through those at the moment (mostly gradual exposure and altering negative thinking etc) and I particularly like the writings of Claire Weekes.   This week I have been setting myself small, achievable goals, like driving a certain distance and going into a certain shop and really hope I can desensitize my panic response this way.  I am also going to find a CBT therapist locally if I can to help push me a bit so I keep moving forward.  Good luck, hope you are feeling some improvements soon!

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.


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I'm new here, but this is a great place. I come here everyday. You will get lots of great information and emotional support. Hang in there.

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