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MrBrokenMan: Intro and employment questions....


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Hi All,

I'm new here but am looking to begin my taper this year. 

I've been on a cocktail of drugs over the last 10 years with a (mis)diagnosis of bipolar disorder type 2. 


I first started taking prozac in 2002 for around 9-10 months as a 21 year old. I was sad due a relationship breakup, but the doctors insisted I try prozac... 'it's harmless' they said. So i popped a little green/white pill and felt my depression lift. I stopped my course as I felt i no longer needed them after around 9 months.  I had no immediate withdrawal symptoms that I can recall, but slowly over a period of 6-9months I felt a creeping sense of insanity befall me. it began with social anxiety, withdrawing from friends and family, inabillty to make eye contact, racing heart beat, cripping insomnia, total lack of confidence. I had no idea that this could have been Prozac withdrawal (it wasn't even mentioned by the doctors) and was completely 'not me'.  I was always so outgoing and confident.  

This was the start of a long and fraught mental health journey that has slowly broken me over the years.  During this time I went to PDoc and was given the following diagnosis: Possible Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression.  I was prescribed Olanzapine and Mirtazapine.  This did not aleviate my symptoms (apart from insomnia) and it was only 6 months later when i placed BACK ONTO Prozac in early 2004, that my withdrawal symptoms disappeared.

However, I still did not associate all of my ailments with Prozac withdrawal and reinstatement. I carried on taking prozac for 11 years and am still on it now.  Over this period of time,i've tried to qquit prozac 3 times cold turkey only to have to go back on.

 I have developed severe anxiety and 5 years ago was prescribed Diazepam for this.  I am still on this.  I was also prescribed Pregabalin, Seroquel and again Mirtazapine to help with sleep. (these days i take Prozac, Diazepam and Seroquel only!)

I feel like a zombie and am a shadow of the man i used to be.


The most amazing this is, despite all of this happening to me i am in employment (luckily I have the ability to work from home 3 days a week) so only brace the office 2 days. I have managed to 'fake it'.  I use my diazepam as needed when my anxiety gets so bad, but i feel like I am falling apart and have suicidal thoughts daily.


I can't help but think as i read through other peoples experiences that these drugs actually CAUSE us to become more ill over a long period of time and that the brain damage may be permanent. 


I wanted to ask you all for some success stories, particularly people who have been in employment during withdrawal and whether your company was supportive or whether you actually disclosed any of your mental illness/withdrawal problems to them.

I'm also interested to hear from people who have withdrawn from Prozac AND benzos.  Should i taper both at the same time or should i do one at a time (going through withdrawal twice might kill me).

Please can people send me some experiences where they have recovered?  I feel at the moment that coming off benzo and prozac may just push me over the edge that I am already very close to.

I have a beautiful and loving wife who adores me and is sympathetic to my fragile mental state, but i'm not sure if I am strong enough to go through both withdrawals at the same time.

Looking for support from my new community.

Peace and love,


have been on 20mg of Prozac since 2004.

5mg/10mg Diazepam since 2010

Quetiapine since 2013

Trying to stay alive.....

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A quick summary of the questions as my last post was  complete ramble sorry!


1. I'd like to know if anyone has successfully tapered from Prozac (11 years or there abouts) AND Benzo's at the same time? I want OFF of ALL of my meds/poisons. Has anyone done this successfully?


2. During withdrawal what has been your experience of work? have you managed to hold down jobs? Did you explain to your employers about your mental illness/withdrawal? Did work give you time to recover?


3. Intravenous Amino Acid therapy. I understand that aminos can cause havoc to the withdrawn brain, however, as i am yet to begin my withdrawal process, i would like to hear from anyone who has used IV amino acid therapy to succesfully withdraw from benzo and ssri drugs?


have been on 20mg of Prozac since 2004.

5mg/10mg Diazepam since 2010

Quetiapine since 2013

Trying to stay alive.....

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1. Poly drugging is so common now, most people have been on multiple meds. Most people put their drug history as a signature, so you will be able to see that. As you read about this, you will learn that it is generally best to save the most sedating drug (the benzo) for last. It would be great if you could read the pinned topics at the top of each forum before you develop your strategy (unlike most of us who arrive in some sort of mess.)


2. I worked 70% of a full-time job until 4 months ago, now full-time. Generally, the less you can say, the better. I had to talk to my boss at one point when I could not look from paper directions to the computer to fill out my job self-eval without becoming totally dizzy two years ago. I'm sure she has no idea I'm still at it now. The key is to go slowly enough to not be very symptomatic. That is not always completely possible, but the goal. Brass Monkey is an example of a man who has worked a professional job through his tapering, in three years, I have missed work one day to see the doctor for an emergency dosage change, one day for a cold, one day as I had not slept all night (now my husband drives me to work if I haven't slept), and two days my daughter was sick but it turned out I was very sick those days too.


3.I have no experience with injected/infused nutrients, but I am a big supplementer. For me, I see it as treatment for my underlying problems. Going slow is the best "treatment" for withdrawing,


Good luck and welcome!

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome MrBrokenMan,

Thank you for joining us, I'm sorry for everything you have been through and I'm angered that you were given prozac for a normal human reaction to a relationship break up. But we see it here all the time, healthy, normal people end up with their lives being ruined because they are given a drug, which they either have a bad reaction to, or can't get off without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and then end up on more drugs, none of which help anything, apart from preventing the withdrawal symptoms which would start if they tried to stop taking them.


But with the information and support here, you should be able to safely taper off your medications.


Here are some topics you will find helpful:


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?


Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ


Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal


I'm glad you have found us before beginning your taper.



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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