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  1. This is my first time posting in a forum because my psychiatrist told me three months is generally the end of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were on a low dose like I was. Yet I'm still having bad symptoms. I was on Lexapro for about 15 months at 5mg with one month trying 10mg only to drop back down because of bad side effects. Now after nearly four months off the main thing I have is severe anxiety around my period. Two-three days before and lasting through the week after. I get shaky, anxious, panicky, have pressure and pain in my head and face, sore throat. Is this a normal reaction? It seems extreme for four months off of only 5mg, but since I couldn't up to 10mg maybe I'm more sensitive to this type of med? I know this can't last forever but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm literally incapacitated for almost two weeks per month.
  2. Hi, I'm running out of what to read, who to ask and soon what to say. Ready for this? 1. I am consciously normal and functional 2. and only 2 I have a brain and body that is not cooperating. I feel guilty, or fake. When i'm at work and talking well - in my head I'm like "Who are you? You were never smart"... < probably my childhood echos > Once a major mistake occurred 6 years ago - I fell to the ground mentally - not able to let it go, no matter how many angles and closures I sought. 5 years this misery lasted to where I did get a human validation, but quickly was influenced into something else that made me question my "healing" - and now those 5 years of misery was much easier. To add to my pain - just months after ground 0, my Dad went to jail, my mom move in with me, my cat died weeks after that... Symptoms since: Head tension, Tinnitus, Neck tension, Dizziness, Anticipatory Anxiety, Feeling like I have a tumor in my head (pressure), Depersonalization moments / Derealization moments (Rare but terrible). Had a bout of agoraphobia. I think it's rooting in excessive guilt that I'm putting myself in mental prison. Now I lost my job in July and been on unemployment - and fearing getting a new one... not sure if I can mentally handle it. I feel total burnout. Medication History > After years of CBT - it was suggested I get on medication. Prozac - by day 22 I wanted to die (literally) but gladly i'm too afraid to and go off it when the Dr. kept pushing me to "Give it more time" Celexa & Paxil - gave me an intense panick attack. Paxil sent me to the hospital (One Pill did that) Zoloft & Lexapro - These numbed my brain, but I lost all emotions - that was my first de-realization and very scary Anafranil - this felt like someone poured mercury in my head - zips and zaps Buspar - These gave me brown outs of the brain Xanax - I put this last but I was on it for 6 years... it was great! BUT ... in time .25 didn't work, .5 gave me a hangover... 1mg wouldn't work if I was really scared - like going in an MRI Machine. When I tried to come off - my brain EXPLODED in Withdrawl. I tried many courses - as my DR just told me "stop it - it's ok"... That was when the Tinnitus and Pressure started (4/2016) along with the agoraphobia. I suffered through a water taper I came up with and it worked to a point and was too hard. My Dr. humored me giving me Valium to taper. It SORT of Worked but he gave me only 2 weeks and low dose. I pushed through and now I'm 9 weeks off (i did cheat on a 0.125 two weeks ago). Finally I'm trying St. John's Wort I followed an online suggestion ... but I did it wrong... by end of week 2 I got a massive Burnout feeling, brain buzzing and a STOP EVERYTHING cry in my sub-conscious mind... never had this happen. I dropped my cleaning tools and went to bed. I have not felt good since. I cut down to ONE 300 pill per day... but i'm all over the place. I now wonder if I even have a Serotonin issue? How do I know it's not an Acetylcholine issue? Or just a lack of GABA & Dopamine? (I took up a study of Neuro-Science among other medical classes... of course it's all theory) I'm just not happy, I can't play guitar or do anything I love... I don't care to eat. Thank you all for whatever input you have -Rob
  3. Hi all, I'm a 24-year-old female who has been on some kind of antidepressant since I was 17. 1. Zoloft, 1 year (2011) 2. Wellbutrin, 2-3 months (end of 2011 in conjunction with Zoloft) 3. Viibryd, 6 months (2012) 4. Buspar, 2-3 months (2012) 5. Lexapro, 1 year (late 2012 to late 2013) 5. Prozac, 3ish years (late 2013 to mid 2017) I started tapering off of Prozac this April, going down by 10mg a month for 7 months. I was on an 80mg per day dose for at least 2.5 years. I finished tapering at the end of October 2017. I didn't have any particularly bothersome symptoms until the last 10mg and these have persisted or gotten worse in the last two months. My biggest issue right now seems to be irritability. I feel like I go through multiple mood swings per day and sometimes I can't even describe how I'm feeling. My anxiety has also increased - fears about my loved ones dying or that I'm going to get into a car accident on the highway, that kind of thing. I know it's still soon, being only 2 months since I completely stopped taking Prozac, but are these all withdrawal symptoms and if so, how long can I expect them to last? Sometimes I wonder if I even remember was normal feels like anymore, since I've been on antidepressants since before I was even an adult. I felt pretty good on Prozac moodwise, but disliked the weight gain that resulted (65 pounds!) and I worried about the long term effects on being on it.
  4. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  5. Hi guys, I'm a 24 year old french guy suffering from what I believe to be PSSD. Here's my story: Late 2012 - I was diagnosed with depression and went on citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. The meds slightly numbed my penis, even after discontinuation. 2013 - I went on different meds that made no impact on my depression nor sex drive, as they don't target serotonin (Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian, Wellbutrin, Lamictal). Only spent a handful of weeks on any given one of these. My penis was still slightly numbed by mid-2013, from the initial S(N)RIs. I then took an old MAOI antidepressant called Marsilid(Iproniazid) for around 4 months. The numbness in my penis got noticeably worse. I still had a libido but orgasms were very weak, it was harder to maintain an erection. I decided to quit psychiatric meds in december 2013. April 2014 - the penile numbness was still there and orgasms were still weak, no sign of improvement. ENTER THE THYROID MEDS. I took some thyroid meds (Armour thyroid) without a doctor's consent to see if it would help with my depression, although I had no thyroid problem. Looking back it was stupid, but I was depressed and desperate, plus I had read somewhere that T3 hormones were sometimes given as treatment for depression.That's when my libido took a massive dive, along with my ability to achieve erections, feel pleasure in life, and focus on mental tasks. I only stayed 6 weeks on the thyroid pills. Since discontinuation of everything around 18 months ago, the PSSD hasn't gotten better. I had to drop out of a prestigious university program because of my lack of an ability to focus on mentally-demanding tasks 9 months ago. I used to be an intelligent student with a great memory, but now I feel dumbed down. Paying attention to what people say during a conversation has become a little challenge in itself. Dropping out was devastating for my self-esteem. Concerning the sexual SEs, I am unable to be turned on by naked women like I used to be. I require heavy physical stimulation to even start feeling a little tingle of pleasure. Orgasms are pleasureless, and I've lost all ejaculatory strength. The semen just seems to slowly come out and dribble nowadays, whereas it used to to be propelled with great strength before. The numbness is crazy - I have a harder time even just feeling my own urine flowing inside my penis when I take a leak. Concerning erections, I am unable to keep them up during sex. As for pleasure in life in general, it's like it has been turned down. Watching movies used to make me thrilled, but now I no longer feel any sense of amazement during cool action sequences. Music doesn't move me like it used to. The touch of a woman no longer excites me, as if my skin had become less sensitive. I saw some PSSD posters on some website mentioning their skin felt like "rubber" and I think I get the feeling. I did some blood tests to see if my hormones (thyroid, testosterone, DHEA, and other stuff) were out of balance, but the results came back just fine. My theory is that the serotonergic side of the thyroid meds, on top of the previous SSRIs and MAOI screwed something in my brain, and I will need time to recover. I've seen a couple hormone specialists that have told me that thyroid meds don't bring these nasty effects on their own, and whatever effect they bring should disappear upon treatment discontinuation. I saw the Admin Altostrata mentioning time and time again that experimenting with meds to cure PSSD was dangerous and could potentially make matters worse, so I'll stick to taking nothing. Plus, the fact that thyroid meds made me a lot worse can serve as an example to illustrate the argument. Anyways, the past is the past. I hope I will get better, and will post every once in a while to update my progress (or lack thereof).
  6. Hi All I'm relieved to find a forum out there that fits my situation. The doctors say withdrawal symptoms should stop a month or two after stopping ssri's but I think they are wrong and I'm sure many of you agree. Thanks for listening to my story, I'll try to keep it brief. 13 years ago at age 25 my anxiety got the better of me I developed social phobia in the form of constant blushing and shaking when interacting with people. It psychologically crippled me. I lost my job and could barely leave my house. I left it a year before I went to a doctor by which time I was a complete mess. The doc prescribed me 20mg citalopram and that drug worked wonders! It stopped me blushing 95% of the time and meant I could lead a normal life again plus it made me cheerful and carefree. Amazing! But, every time I tried to come off it my blushing would return so I ended up staying on it for 11 years. I didn't really have any side effects until after 8 years when I started getting tinnitus and night sweats. These got worse and worse, I would lay in bed with my ears ringing so loud it was like I'd been to a nightclub! And the night sweats became unbearable, I would wake up 4 times a night soaked to the skin, freezing cold, need to change my clothes, bedding, take a shower I got so tired from bad sleep. So I went to doc and she put me on beta blockers which are working great and I don't need to take them that often as my blushing is nowhere near as bad now I'm 38. Great news BUT the side effects/withdrawal of coming off citalopram has been sooooo tough. Ive been off 8 months now. For the first 3 months I was so depressed, I wanted to cry all day and even felt suicidal at times. For the second 3 months I had terrible anxiety and would get to almost having panic attacks. For the last 2 months I feel a little better but have little interest in people, people just get on my nerves and I feel distant from everyone, I have a 'don't care' attitude and my marriage is suffering because of it as I'm moody and quick to anger Plus throughout the 8 months I still have those damn night sweats combined with bad insomnia! It's been 8 months but I still wake up soaked to the skin and even when I'm not sweating I just can't sleep! I don't know how I'm functioning normally as I slept better when my kids were newborns!! Some nights I just lay in bed with my eyes shut but awake for hours and hours looking at the clock every so often and thinking 'I can't believe it's 4:30am, I havent slept yet and I need to get up for work at 7am!' Has anyone else been in this situation? How long do the sweats last? My doc says they should have gone after a month or so and has booked me blood tests to check for early menopause, but I know it's due to citalopram use. How about the insomnia? Have I somehow damaged my nervous system and it's going to take years to repair itself, if ever?? I'd never have stayed on citalopram that long if I'd known it's legacy would be so long lasting. Thank you for reading my history. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling like I am 'surviving' antidepressants. I have no one to talk to as I'm a private person and none of my friends know about my history and my husband lost interest a long time ago. Any advice is welcome xxx
  7. Anyone here who got with Mast cell activation disorder after SSRI use ? (Allergies? Gastro intestinal issues ? Respiratory issues? Pain in joints etc?) Anyone here who has EDS ( Ehlers-Danlos syndrom ) ? Grateful to all replies! /Trying to survive
  8. Hey there. This is my first post, but I have a success story that I’d like to share. I’d like to preface by saying I had been on 75mg of sertraline (Zoloft) for approximately 7 months. I quit last year and have successfully made it through the withdrawals! I see more horror stories than success stories on SSRI discontinuation. My hypothesis for this discrepancy is that people who successfully quit the drug don’t really have that much of an incentive to post their stories, while people dealing with the terrible side effects are more likely to seek out information. I knew there were millions of people on SSRIs, and I refused to believe that my discontinuation symptoms would be permanent. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I found out quickly how unhealthy it was to hold this mentality of permanence. I tapered off a too quickly (~2 weeks). I believed that since I had only been on the medication for a few months, I could get away with tapering off at that rate. Consequently, I ended up having over 6 weeks of hellish withdrawals. The first 2 weeks had the most powerful physical symptoms: brain zaps, fatigue, nausea, etc. These symptoms seemed to go away around week 3, but then came another wave of symptoms: anxiety, paranoia, depression, and a lot of overthinking. I didn’t realize it till week 5, but these feelings were more powerful than when I had them before starting sertraline. Week 5 was the worst; all these terrible feelings went into overdrive. I remember a few specific days of this week were particularly dreadful. I had been reading up on SSRI discontinuation online and freaking myself out reading people’s horror stories. I was afraid that I permanently removed what it was to be human. I was terrified I’d never feel joy, sexual desire, or ambition in my life ever again. I was angry at myself that my choice to try anti-depressants fucked up the rest of my life. I was broken, and I just wanted to be normal again. These are unhealthy thoughts, and I was wrong. My life did start coming back. I slowly felt what it was like to be “me” again. Small steps every day reminded me. One day something would make me laugh. Another day I’d notice a cute girl. I appreciated and cherished every step throughout the way. And slowly but surely, old joys started coming back to me: I started feeling ambition, I was looking forward to future plans, I was dreaming again (I could sleep well again!), and I was feeling love again, both for myself and others. I believe there is a strong psychosomatic component during these withdrawals. It’s difficult because your brain doesn’t allow you get past these negative thoughts while its readjusting, but you have to keep moving. There isn’t a quick solution, but your brain is powerful and adjusts to your current circumstances. That’s why exercise, a healthy diet, a support network, and a positive outlook are so important; you want your brain to re-adjust in an ideal setting. So, don’t blame yourself or hold a grudge for trying SSRIs; you actively did something to confront your inner demons. From one stranger to another, you will survive this. Good luck.
  9. Hello friends, its nice to find a safe place where we can talk about our problems with antidepressants. I'm 25 years old, male, live in Brazil, my story is long and painful, but to make things short, I was diagnosed with IBS in 2016 and I have to use SSRI'S or else I suffer super strong chronic abdominal pain and all kinds of weird symptoms that would make a grown ass man cry. I tried most SSRI'S and "all" of then make me feel "stupid" I can't focus properly, They have different side effects but the lack of focus is common place for me. Anyone tried using another drug (maybe adhd drugs) to cope with the side effect ? My brain just doesn't work "right" if you know what I mean. I just can't make quick "connections" my thought is slow and dragged, my focus is blurred. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm desperate, thank you. I can make normal activities like working, typing, reading "bad". I don't have depression, never had. I am a bit anxious, been all my life but never used medication. I always use the lower dosage, because if the doctor increases I start to feel "numb" and weird, I am super sensitive to side effects. Currently I am using 20 mg "half" Pristiq the best so far. If I stop using ssris, my brain returns to normal and I can focus, work, and study properly again but then the pain symptoms in my gut and discomfort starts all over again after a month or two. I tried: Amitriptyline/Nortriptiline (don't work) Sertraline - Zoloft (makes me feel great but can't study) Fluoxetine - Prozac (don't work make me dumb) Citalopran (don't work make me dumb) Escitalopran - Lexapro (don't work make me dumb) Desvenlafaxine - Pristiq (make me feel great but can't study)
  10. Hi all, I want to share my experience with SSRI's and hope that anyone can relate to my story and can give me some advice. Back in 2015 I started having panic attacks after a few stressfull months. As they did not stop naturally, the doctor perscribed Cipralexa (Escitalopram). However, a few days after taking 10 mg/day of them, my panic attacks got worse and ultimately lasted 24/7. I got depersonalisation, heat upwellings, red rashes and was hyperventilating chronically. Deep inside I knew this was not normal, but the doctor told me that the first weeks on a new SSRI can be tough, but that it all will settle down eventually. Only, it didn't. After 2 weeks on the drug, it was so bad I had to be taken into a psychiatric department of the hospital. There they decided to stop Cipralexa and try Zoloft. However, my reactions to that were even worse, with insomnia, constant stressed feeling, diziness, brain zaps and some kind of uncontrollable muscle spasms. Sometimes it even felt like I was having some kind of seizure. When I showed the rash, which had shown up again with Zoloft, to the doctor and explained my symptoms, they took me off all SSRI's, and in a rage, I quit the hospital myself. Ever since I feel like I'm recovering. There hasn't been a day since 2015 that I felt healthy. I have depression, anxiety, hyperventilation episodes, chronic headaches, ticks of the muscles of the neck/head, and rapid heart beat. Now, I'm on 100 mg/day Amitryptiline (Elavil) and 5mg/day Bisoprolol. Luckily, I do not have the adverse reaction to Elavil and it helps me somewhat to cope and get through the day. Now I am wondering: what has happened? Did I have an allergic reaction? Is this even possible for SSRI's and what test can I order to proof this? Was the doctor wrong to not stop the medication immediately? Did anyone else have these kind of reactions and did they ever recover? What is different between modern SSRI and tricyclic ones for which I do not have these reactions? I hope someone can clarify these issues. Thanks in advance for answering!
  11. Hi, I'm recently divorced. My ex wife used to be a very solid, hones, intelligent and honorable woman who paid attention to detail and had high levels of empathy. She has been taking Zoloft and Ambien and I think before Zoloft she took Prozac. This has been going on for 3 or 4 years. At 48 years old when menopause began, she suddenly started dating another man. She began lying and deceiving me about their meeting. 3 months after meeting him, she filed for divorce and moved out and committed adultery with this other man. I'm sure all this sounds normal for a bad person but here comes the part that makes no sense. In the 4 months it took the divorce to run through the court system, about every other week, she proactively talked to me about ending the adulterous affair and coming back to me. About 5 weeks AFTER she filed for divorce, she offered to be intimate with me, which I accepted. 2 days after being intimate with me, she was intimate with the other man. She took this man out into public as an adulterous partner with our common friends and showed no shame. She had no shame for constantly lying to me and deceiving me about things. She had no shame about being introduced to this man's sons as a girlfriend even though she was still married. NONE of this is the woman I married. 4 days before the divorce finalized she told me she was strongly thinking about getting saved (with Jesus), cutting off the affair, stopping the divorce and coming back to her family (we have a 5 year old daughter). However, she let the divorce finalize and she cried for 20 minutes in the courtroom. The day after the divorce finalized, she came to my house and started talking about us getting back together. (YES THE DAY AFTER). A couple weeks later, she said she would start "tapering things off" with her boyfriend and come back home to work on our marriage (I told her I would forgive adultery and everything). She said it would take 3 weeks to taper it off. At the end of 3 weeks, she had penned an "it's over" letter to the boyfriend but never sent it to him. All through this process, I noticed she was much less attentive to our daughter and very unempathetic toward the pain I was going through and the negative effects of the separation on our daughter and all the financial damage that was caused, even to herself. She ended up MUCH poorer after the property settlement than she was when we were married. But, she didn't seem to care. After the divorce finalized, her health insurance expired and she just left it that way (Definitely not her), she kept her apartment a mess, she didn't work, she would dump our daughter off with me so that she could go off for a weekend with her boyfriend and not even call to see how our daughter was doing. Again, not her. I think the Zoloft is the root cause of her reduction in empathy, and increase in apathy and confusion about life in general. But, I'm having a hard time google searching for current information, 2015 and later, on how Zoloft and other SSRI's can cause divorce and families to break up. Can someone please point me to some medical studies on this topic? I would like to fix her and try to put our family back together if I can just find some information to show her to get her into a medical professional that specializes in SSRI's and antidepressants. Thanks!
  12. This initiative (described below) is similar to this site, but focusing on helping people find each other in person, where they live. Additional great info on tapering and withdrawal. ****Announcing the Launch of Inner Compass Initiative and ICI’s The Withdrawal Project!**** Inner Compass Initiative (ICI) is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides information and resources to help people make more informed choices regarding all things “mental health” and to support people who wish to leave, bypass, or build community beyond the mental health system. Its first major effort, The Withdrawal Project (TWP), is a comprehensive online hub for safer psychiatric drug withdrawal. The resources on the ICI and TWP websites include a detailed layperson’s “Companion Guide” to safer tapering from psychiatric medications; mini-booklets that provide detailed, critical information about psychiatric drugs, psychiatric diagnoses, and the mental health industry; and two networking platforms to help people who are thinking critically about the mental health system or seeking support for psychiatric drug withdrawal to find each other in their local communities. Visit ICI at www.theinnercompass.org Visit TWP at withdrawal.theinnercompass.org
  13. Last summer, after I quit the last antidepressant (after 7 years of antidepressants and anxiolytics) under the guidance of my former psychiatrist, I started rapidly to develop old and new symptoms. I tried to resist but in two months time I fell into the abyss of withdrawal, without knowing what was happening to me. I went back to my psychiatrist who not only did not recognize or mention the withdrawal status, but prescribed new drugs that didn't help and made things worse, like paroxetine. I was lost and fearfully sick, I lost 3 kilos in one week, then I contacted another psychiatrist who still didn't say a word about withrdrawal but prescribed benzodiazepines that immediately reduced the symptoms. Then he added two antidepressants and diagnosed "major depression, relapse". I was in shock. I tried to explain that my initial and main problem were anxiety and panic but he said thet it was all part of the depressive state. As soon as we tried to reduce anxiolytics the symptoms burst out again. That's when something clicked in my head. I searched the Internet for weeks to find someone who could help me out of the maze, and fortunately I did. Now I'm following a program to eliminate antidepressants under strict medical a psychological control, and I feel confident. Psychiatrists in Italy never talk about the risk of withdrawal symptoms, turning people into lifetime patients. I was lucky enough, being a psychologist and speaking English to be able to find the help I needed, but most people go on taking more and more drugs that work less and less. The site people can refer to in Italy is: https://www.smettereglipsicofarmaci.unifi.it/index.php (University of Florence).
  14. Hi all. Don't normally do this sort of thing but I've been helped a fair bit by reading through this site, so I thought maybe my input could help others. I've always had a bit of anxiety and neurotic behaviour, but I was originally placed on 10mg Lexapro at ~25 years old due to a cancer scare that knocked my anxiety up a notch. Stayed on it for a few years with pretty good success. No negative symptoms - no ED, no sexual dysfunction, I needed LESS sleep, ended up putting on no weight at all. Pretty perfect. In my stupidity, I decided I didn't need it anymore after a year or two (and my mum was pretty against me using them). Came off them by snapping the 10mg in half to 5mg for a couple of months, and then just cold turkeyed the rest of the way. No real withdrawal besides those horrible brain zaps. A few years later during my masters, I was having a bit of trouble so doctor suggested I went back on them. Fine. 10mg again, exact same situation - no negative affects (after the first couple of weeks while it built up in my system). Still felt a bit average a few months later, so I took my doctor's advice and went up to 20mg and everything was fine. I really did feel pretty good and normal on it, it never stopped working and nothing bad happened. Fast forward to this year. I turned 30 and decided that I would try to come off the ol' Lexapro. Split my 20mg to half doses of 10mg in about June, then by ~21st of July just ditched them entirely. Cue the standard brain zaps and a horrendous bout of flu-like symptoms (that I perhaps wrongfully attributed to the flu travelling through my office). They both disappeared by mid September and silly me thought 'right, I'm all good'. Randomly, on the 4th of November, I had a horrendous panic attack thinking about death, just from reading the news. Now I've had panic attacks before, but that was during the cancer scare and I was reading about my chances (what a dumb idea). Anyway, that went away and I went out on a night of heavy drinking after work. Saturday, I experienced the general malaise following heavy drinking, but Sunday I began to suffer inordinate anxiety, the likes of which I've never really experienced. It wasn't until then that I started reading about SSRI withdrawal symptoms appearing sometimes months afterwards. Looking back I can see that my symptoms started about 3.5 months after I abruptly stopped from 10mg doses. In addition to that, my GP had always told me that 10mg was a pretty small dose, so I never considered the possibly of needing to taper any further. 6/11 I started experiencing massive DP/DR, and gave myself panic attacks reading about the damn Fermi paradox at night (girlfriend: why do you care what an old Italian mathematician says?). Decided the smart move was to keep a journal so I could see any progression. 7-11/11 Was terrible. Felt like dying, and was so close to going back on the lexapro but, somehow, I restrained myself. I can barely remember any of these days, as the brain fog was compounded by intense existential anxiety. At some point I started taking St. John's Wort every night. 12/11 suffered a complete breakdown, sobbing and crying in my girlfriend's arms for no real reason. Needed a break so I (perhaps stupidly) took 1/2 a 5mg valium. I know this is advised against but I don't regret it, I really needed it. Calmed me down a lot. Still no appetite and sleep wouldn't come. 13/11 Dead and apathetic all day. Forced myself to exercise, which definitely improved my mood from 2/10 to 3 or 4/10. Still not appetite, even after pretty intense exercise. Felt pretty good after the exercise, but had another minor breakdown at night, but not anxious related, just down. Have a holiday planned for next year that I was previously SO EXCITED for, but now...just don't really care? Horrible feeling. At about 8pm I took 3x fish oil pills (1000mg) and one B2 vitamin and BLAM, a massive improvement all of a sudden to 6/10. I was actually happy. Still not excited for the future, but happy in a way? Continued all night. Took the St John's Wort and a Valerian tablet at night and slept really well. 14/11 woke up exhausted, but mood was ok. I have avoided caffeine since Sunday, mood was sitting at about 5/10. Apathy and brain fog still readily apparent.Mid morning, my irritability exploded, apathy also became so much worse. Here my diary gets a bit dark so I won't include any of it. Come 4pm, I decided to have a plain black tea and a window of good opened until 6.30pm, at which point it dropped to about 4 or 5/10. Went home and just planted myself in front of the tv. At some point, I noticed that I didn't feel so crap anything at about 7.30pm. I actually went and cooked dinner. This continued until 10.30, when I realised that I might have over-pronounced how I felt - still improved but not as pronounced. Definite general apathy and lack of excitement for the future, but no horrific anxiety/dread like I've had before. Baselined at 5/10 before bed, took 1xfish oil, 1xSJW and 1xValerian before bed. 15/11 Good sleep but truly exhausted. 1xfish oil and 1xB2 before work. Anxiety seems lower, brain fog and depression at the forefront. Have noticed that despite all these withdrawal effects, I still have entire sexual function and only slightly lower desire (that I would attribute to the depression and anxious feelings). Mid morning I had a minor sobbing breakdown in the toilet, but went back to neutral after that. Around midday I felt an ever-so-slightly-there tinge of excitement about the holiday next year...maybe? I'm not sure yet, possibly wishful thinking but that's what I need. Forced myself to exercise at lunch time, not as much of an endorphin rush as Monday, but better. Still mostly apathetic though. Pretty hard to care. And that brings me to right now, as I write this. Happy to accept any insight on offer, or answer any questions anyone has, or even continue updating the thread if it helps anyone. Just want to add that, whilst I might be imagining it (and it seems likely given the short time period), I THINK I am feeling better than I did when I first cracked on the 4/11. In summary, symptoms experienced so far: anxiety/dread, depression, brain fog, apathy, no physical symptoms besides sleeping a lot, no appetite, no sexual dysfunction. Thanks everyone for being so open and honest on this site. I'm sure there are a ton of people who don't end up posting on here that have been helped by it.
  15. I started taking Paroxetine 20mg in 2012. Prescribed by my GP for what was then mild anxiety and low mood. I decided to come off of the paroxetine in Januay 2016. Had enough of being an asexual zombie. The drugs did little for me anyways. Started a slow taper and got down to 10mg once weekly by September 2017. If I didn't dose for longer than a week I would get agitated and angry. 10mg was enough to make me calm for a week or so.... On 24th September 2017 I decided complete withdrawal would be impossible and that maybe I would be better off going back on the paroxetine full-time. I started taking 10mg daily without a doctor's supervision. Five days later I became suicidal for the first time in my life...bearing in mind before this I had always been pretty much emotionally stable. I went to A & E suffering severe agitation/depersonalisation and several other worrying symptoms such as intrusive thoughts about attacking loved ones (something which I would never do or ever think about before). I was given diazepam to get me through the next few days. I vowed never to touch SSRIs again. I have not taken any paroxetine since the crisis on 29th September. The last 2 weeks have been the worst 2 weeks of my life. I went to see a psychiatrist privately - he diagnosed me with bi-polar and prescribed me Seroquel (quetiapine). I am NOT bi-polar, my brain has been destroyed by paroxetine. My daily symptoms are: psychomotor agitation, intrusive thoughts about violence, feeling empty, no emotion at all, electric shock sensations all through my body, panic, crying etc I know the sensible thing would probably be to go on prozac for a while, but after almost throwing myself in front of a bus after just a few days on paroxetine, to me, it's not worth the risk. I just want to ride this out and hopefully get better. I want to be in control of my thoughts and emotions again. At the moment my thoughts and emotions are controlling me. This is not a problem I had before paroxetine. I'm just worried that I'll remain this nervous wreck forever. Can anyone relate to this? Especially the intrusive thoughts, which is what worries me most. Does it get better? Regards, Clearmind
  16. When I was 15, 2005, I started to have some insomnia and mild depression, it was winter time in Montana so not too much sun, I was diagnosed with SAD. I was started on Lexapro 10 mg and I remember it helped. When summer came around, I think I remember trying to taper off slowly but then having some bad depression. Doctor said I likely had a chemical imbalance and that I would need to stay on the medication for the rest of my life. I was told there weren't long term effects from taking the medication. At some point a few years later, I must have struggled because I was switched to Citalopram 5 mg and after 6 months, went to 10 mg of Citalopram. I don't really remember this point all that well. In 2008 I went on to college and had a successful couple years, grades were good and I had a girlfriend. During the summer I started to experience some major depression and anxiety, I didn't want to get out of bed, I felt scared. After a few days, we decided to go to the doctor and I was switched to Sertraline 50 mg and then a few months later increased to 100 mg. I remained on this dose for almost 7 years. I had graduated college and landed a great job in 2013. I moved away from family for work and when my fiancé finished college in 2014, I moved her down with me, unfortunately, she ended up leaving me suddenly with no warning shortly after and moved away. I was devastated. I remember being hysterical and then very suddenly, felt no emotion at all. At first I was glad that I didn't have to feel the pain, but I didn't feel any joy either. I took two weeks off of work and mainly stayed home alone. The emotions eventually came back and I got better. Since then I have dated a little but nothing serious. I currently live alone In 2017, I started to have some pretty severe depressive episodes, I decided to find a therapist and a psychiatrist and deal with my mental health the 'intelligent' way. Therapy was not too bad, but I really felt like the medication was not working anymore. The psychiatrist decided to start me on bupropion xl 150 mg. I transitioned from Sertraline 100 mg to bupropion xl 300 mg over the course of 2 months. I remember feeling OK, but looking back, I started to feel more and more trapped, afraid of making mistakes, thinking that if I did anything wrong, I was worthless etc. I got my prescription refilled right around Christmas time. I noticed the pills looked different but I wasn't worried about it, I saw it was still the same medication, just a different generic supplier. I started taking that pill Christmas day, within a few days, I started to get very depressed, even though I was working out, eating well and socializing. On that Friday, 5 days later, in the middle of a sprint on my treadmill, I broke down in tears. I was really depressed. I wrote in my journal that night, I was thinking it was all in my head. The next day, I got up early and worked out first thing, I made a list of things to go shopping for and went to the store. I remember taking a long time in the store and feeling very anxious about making the 'wrong' choice on everything. After an hour and a half, I bought what I had and went home. I broke down in tears again. I asked myself what the heck I was thinking about that was making me feel this way. I had been dabbling with journaling and mindfulness. I wrote down a lot of things like "I think I am completely worthless", "I don't know anything", "I'm no good" etc. I wrote down evidence for and against for each item and was able to prove all those negative thoughts false and I felt better. I thought I had found negative core beliefs I held about myself and that challenging them would make me feel better. Unfortunately it didn't turn out that way. The rest of that weekend I was mainly confined to my bed and chair, feeling very anxious and depressed to the extreme. I was talking on the phone with family and my Mom thought the medication wasn't working right. I was thinking it would be weird for the medication to work for months and then suddenly start going haywire. I thought my mood was due to questioning core beliefs I had about myself and my life. After suffering through the New Years weekend and a night of very little sleep, I forced myself to go to work. The morning was awful but as the day went on, I felt better and better. I was able to go and see my psychiatrist that day and explained about the issues and my "mental breakthrough". He was very concerned about my symptoms and prescribed me venlafaxine xr 150 mg and told to switch. As the day went on, I almost felt euphoric. I decided to not switch and just continue the bupropion xl 300 mg. Over the next two weeks, I had some very depressed mornings that lifted to nice afternoons and better evenings. The second weekend, I woke up at 6 am, very anxious and realized something was wrong. I remembered my pills had changed, I researched if people had struggled with supplier changes and found quite a few in fact did. I also found that several years ago, the FDA actually pulled a generic supplier of bupropion off the market due to not being bioequivalent. I was furious. I found a way to report what happened to me to the FDA. I did not take that pill again and switched to the venlafaxine. I took it Sunday, and then Monday but then I thought to myself that I potentially had just gone through cold turkey withdrawal from bupropion and that maybe the worst of it was over. I was thinking maybe I had an opportunity to stay off of antidepressants, so I did not take anymore pills after Monday, January 8th 2018. At some point I found this site, and although it was helpful to find I was not alone, I was also terrified of potentially struggling for multiple years! I started taking fish oil, magnesium, turmeric, COQ10, D3, a multivitamin and eventually added a probiotic. I have had very little physical symptoms, its been mainly mental and emotional. I have experienced windows and waves daily, with a progression to having a couple good days in a row. During the waves, I am depressed, anxious, and cognitive abilities are reduced, my memory is not great, I can't seem to make decisions as quickly or as easily as I used to and I can't seem to be an active participant in most conversations. During the windows, I feel very good. My brain is firing on all cylinders. I am positive and optimistic about the future, I have confidence and good self esteem. I feel like "I can do this". Recently though, this past week, I have had more lows and deeper lows (not as low as the first two weeks). I am terrified. I know others have had it worse but I don't know what to do. I exercise almost every day. I have been journaling, praying, meditating, seeing a psychologist weekly, I eat well and I sleep well most of the time. I occasionally wake up around 5 am with some anxiety. I have so far been able to keep working full time. Its been 7 weeks since I stopped medications cold turkey, 9 weeks since my last effective pill, and 6 months since my SSRI. I believe I am definitely low on serotonin from the many years of being on SSRI's. I am struggling pretty bad lately with the depression. I am not getting any joy out of anything. I struggle to get out of bed. I am starting to lose hope that it will get better. The thought has crossed my mind to reinstate a low dose of sertraline, but its been out of my system for 6 months and from reading the forums it seems like it may not work or make things worse. The other thing I think I want to try, even though some have recommended not to, is l-tryptophan. If my thinking is correct, it could really help me. At least provide my body the materials it needs to be able to make serotonin on its own. I wish I would have never taken an antidepressant but I just didn't know and I trusted my doctors. I don't want to make my situation worse, but I don't know If I can keep going the way it is. Please, has anyone had success with l-tryptophan. Has anyone had success re-instating an SSRI after 6 months?
  17. I was recently referred to benzo buddies http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=89.0for more success stories. I found tons success stories just for the year of 2017, and most are from much shorter tapering (less than a year). Wow, so we who are on ssri are in the worst hit of all, in the order of street drugs, benzo, SSirs with increasing difficulty in withdrawal???!!! This new awareness is very heart hardening.
  18. Hey there. Anyone else noticed drugs like alcohol and weed lost its glow when ending ssri. Weed made me very euphoric on paxil(never tried it before meds) but when ending it started going downhill, highs became worse and worse month after month. The drugs not working isnt my biggest problem right now and nothing i should do when healing but it really scares me to not be able to feel pretty much anything when smoking or drinking.
  19. Hi everyone! If you have taken an SSRI or an SNRI such as Zoloft, prozac, luvox, and you still experience sexual dysfunction after coming off the drug (in the form of genital numbness, reduced pleasure response, inability to orgasm, erectile dysfunction, etc) please fill this form out to help us end PSSD for good! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc4NixcXLN_sRV-4jSIWeDAYvQ1V96F-8B0MR8GuDpbjbD3rg/viewform
  20. potions

    PSSD Lawsuit

    Hi everyone! If you have taken an SSRI or an SNRI such as Zoloft, prozac, luvox, and you still experience sexual dysfunction after coming off the drug (in the form of genital numbness, reduced pleasure response, inability to orgasm, erectile dysfunction, etc) please fill this form out to help us end PSSD for good! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc4NixcXLN_sRV-4jSIWeDAYvQ1V96F-8B0MR8GuDpbjbD3rg/viewform
  21. I've been actively tapering klonopin for over a year now. I have been taking benzodiazepines for the last 26 years...yeah. About five years ago, I tried zoloft. It was amazing, and it helped my anxiety a lot. It helped it so much, that I realized how little tranquilizers were doing for me. Well, I switched because of side effect and for the last year I have been taking Pristiq, with pretty good effects. Last week, I took some migraine medication, called maxalt, and basically caused a mild seretonin syndrome. I stopped the pristiq for a day and my seretonin syndrome symptoms went away, but a whole new bunch of stuff started, which I realized was pristiq withdrawal. I didn't really want to come off the pristiq until I was done getting off the klonopin, but this is how it is going down now. So I've been breaking my pristiq pill up with a pill cutter into fourths, and I now take 1/4th a pill 3X a day. I feel better when I have just taken a dosage and dizziness, nausea, and a loss of balance are my biggest symptoms to date of pristiq withdrawal. I'm really only five days in, so I'm not sure how much worse this may get.
  22. Hi all I've been taking one or another type of SSRI for 14 years for treatment of anxiety and depression that started when I was a student at university. In this time, I've only experienced a few relatively short periods (i.e. a couple of months) off the drugs before having what felt like a relapse and consequently re-starting or switching to a new drug. For the past few years I've been taking Sertraline. I was originally proscribed 100mg; a reduced this to 50mg I can't remember when. For the last 9 months - 1 year I have been chopping tablets up in order to take 25mg a couple of times a week / when I remembered to take it. This was mainly to stave off the on-set of physical side effects, particularly the 'electric shocks' and feeling dizzy. Emotionally I felt fine, but was never in a rush to come off the meds as I wasn't bothered about taking a low dose if it made me feel okay. About 3 weeks ago I realised that I'd forgotten to take any medication for several weeks and wasn't experiencing any physical side effects, so I decided to continue not taking the drug. I'm now 5-6 weeks without any medication. For the past week I have been feeling increasingly depressed, which is worrying me a lot as I have quite a full-on job. I have run regularly for many years - something I initially started to help improve my mental health. Despite running increasingly long distances this week, it seems to be doing less and less to improve my emotional state, which is a real concern for me. I'm hoping that what I'm experiencing is late-onset emotional withdrawal as the drug leaves my brain / body. I'd be very grateful for any advice / shared experiences from people who have been on Sertraline (or any SSRI!) for periods of several years. I'm guessing my brain is very used to having these drugs around. Should I go back on a lower dose? I could go hunting for 50mg / 25mg tablets to break up further. Or should I just ride this out? I'm extremely pleased that a site like this exists, and thank you in advance for any advice you might be able to share!
  23. Hello Everyone, I am very glad to have found this forum. As you will see in my signature, I am a 28 year old female with a long history for Sertraline use. I began taking Sertraline at age 15 for severe OCD/anxiety and have been on it ever since then. At one point, probably around 18 or so, I maxed out at 200 mg/day of Sertraline and stayed on that does to about age 25. Around age 25 I was able to taper from 200 mg to 100 mg successfully without really any symptoms of withdrawl that I can recall. I have worked extremely hard to overcome my illness, and am finally at a point in life where I feel I have amassed enough tools through therapy and support to try to come off of Sertraline completely, especially because we would like to have children within the next 5 years. With the support of my doctor, I am tapering down to 75 mg from 100 mg. It has been about a week and a half since I began the reduced dose and the past few days I have experienced very serious dizziness, headaches, nausea, and fatigue. I have joined this forum with hopes that someone may be able to provide me with tips for dealing with these uncomfortable symptoms. It is so bad that I really should not be driving and had to stay home from work today. My understanding is that pain relievers such as advil and aleve can make SSRIs less effective, so I don't want to take any pain relievers for the headache if it will make the situation worse. I am determined to get off of this medication though it seems it will be a difficult journey. *I would just like to mention that perhaps there is one confounding factor in my situation - I began Gabapentin about 3 weeks ago to help with numbness/tingling in my forearm from cubital tunnel neuropathies. I know this is also a neuro drug, so I figured I would mention it as well. Any tips, support, or encouragement that you can provide would be a huge help! Thank you in advanced! Mademoiselle
  24. "This Prize is part of a two-pronged attack on the unwillingness of the medical and regulatory establishments to listen to people with adverse events in general – not just the sexual dysfunctions mentioned here. The second front in the attack will be unveiled in a few weeks’ time.""The prizeWe are following in the footsteps of the method that led to a solution to the famous Longitude problem in instituting a Prize.The first step is to raise $100,000 toward a Prize for a Cure. We would like as many people as possible who are affected or related to someone who is affected to make a donation of $200 towards a target fund of $100,000.As mentioned, solving this problem will likely make a major contribution to solving the enduring withdrawal syndromes that affect anyone taking antidepressants and antipsychotics. Five per cent of the populations of North America and Europe, and anywhere else where antidepressants are used on the same scale, are unable to get off treatment because of withdrawal problems – that is 50 million people in North America and Europe alone. Fifty million cents would be $500,000 – so a target of $100,000 seems more than reachable.The Prize will be offered to anyone who finds a cure for PSSD, PFS or PRSD. This could be a doctor, a scientist, a drug company, a member of the public – anyone. There are no restrictions.RxISK has several sufferers from each of these syndromes who have convincing enduring conditions. The Prize will be given if someone can bring about a restoration to normal, or very close to it, that endures in our volunteers.There are several reasons why we chose to make this initiative about sexual dysfunction rather than other problems such as antidepressant withdrawal. Mainly because the time is right, and there is already a strong basis to build upon. As more than one type of drug is involved, there is also potentially a larger group of people to approach the problem from different angles."https://rxisk.org/launching-the-rxisk-prize/We need to donate to the poolLets do this people!
  25. I was on Prozac for around 6 and a half years, 50 percent of the time i was on two 20mg tablets and the other 50 percent i was on one 20mg tablet. I self tapered for around a month and a half by taking one every other day, then every 2nd day, then every 3rd day...etc and eventually i was off them. I took my last pill nearly a month ago. I am feeling withdrawals. Bloating, bad skin, rosacea-like symptoms, irritable, anger, aches and pains, negative thoughts. Its very uncomfortable and debilitating BUT i would be able to stick it through if i knew i was on the right path. I'm just worried that i messed up because of how fast i tapered. I don't know wether to keep going or if i should start taking prozac again and taper more slowly?
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