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  1. Hi all Last June I stopped 20mg of Citalopram that I had been taking on and off for 8 years. My doctor advised me to taper over 2 weeks! Months 0-3 were bad but not too bad. 3-6 were bad, some very severe waves and really bad OCD, which Ive never normally had. 7-9 waves started decreasing. 9-11 windows have been more clearer but still getting bad waves My windows seem to be getting progressively better. I keep thinking I'm back to my normal self and then get hit with a wave and come back feeling more normal. Recently Ive been getting more intrusive thoughts. My nervous system and physical symptoms seem to have got worse recently. I had some MSG on friday which messed me up. Im still getting physical sweats now. This wave has been the most severe Ive had for a long time. Has anyone noticed their nervous system get worse? Thanks
  2. Moderator note: link to Waterfall's members-only benzo thread - Waterfall: What dose to try now: Taking Clonazepam on AD withdrawal Wow. I feel nervous. Like I've just stepped out onto a big stage. With big lights. And the crowd beyond the edge, of the lights, of the stage, is all fuzzy and indistinct, sitting out there in the dark. Is this microphone on? I chose Waterfall for my name, because it's one of those things that can be seen from so many different perspectives. A waterfall can be seen as a wonderful thing of beauty. It can also be seen as destructive, a changing force. It can be a small trickle. I can also be a torrent. They can bring life sustaining water, or they can bring a flood. Some of the greatest waterfalls are considered some of natures greatest wonders. But close up they can also be noisy and wet. It's all in how you look at it. And which waterfall you meet. Anyway. Me. Who am I? Well. A waterfall. Pretty in my own way. And also messy. Changed by the floods and droughts of life. I'm also philosophical, apparently. And I talk a lot. Especially when I am nervous. I've struggled with anxiety since I was 5, or so I'm told. It's been there as long as I can remember. The details blur over the years, but I think the first time I also struggled with depression, that I'm aware of, was in my teens. I've always struggled. Always wondered why I felt so broken compared to everyone else. And why everything seemed extra hard for me. I was first prescribed Wellbutrin as a teen. I no longer remember what I told that doctor. Whether it was more about anxiety. Or depression. But I didn't take it. I was next prescribed Prozac when I was pregnant with my first child, at 21. I didn't take it then either. I first actually took something when I was in my twenties, I took Wellbutrin for 6-9 months. I no longer remember exactly. But other than feeling euphoric about doing something, when I first started it, I never noticed any other change. And since I wasn't supposed to take it and be pregnant, I quit, cold turkey, to become pregnant with my second child in 2010. I have always thought that I felt no symptoms after stopping. None. But now I wonder. I started a downturn in my health mid-pregnancy, beginning a sudden flare up of something akin to eczema or atopic dermatitis, in response to a cream that I had previously never reacted to. In the following months, I reacted to just about everything. Ever soap or cream or perfume I touched. I continued to struggle with general feelings of ill health, for the next several years, until I was pregnant with my 4th in 2014. The whole pregnancy was really tough. I had been pregnant three times before, but this... this time was complete misery. I told myself to survive until the baby was born. And he was. And I crashed. Hard. Really hard. I panicked. And couldn't sleep. And couldn't stay calm. And I was weak. And shaky. And so after a bit of trial and error, they put me on Clonazapam and Citalopram near the end of the year. I used the Clonazapam for a few weeks while they slowly upped the Citalopram to 40 mg. And there I stayed. It was still a struggle for quite some time, but I slowly improved. In 2016, I moved. Spring 2017, I felt like I was slipping again. Slowly feeling worse and worse, and afraid, because I was already on drugs, what would I do if I crashed now? So I went to see a different doctor. She started me on Gaba. And a few other supplements to help with sleep and general health. And then, oh, clever me, I stopped citalopram. In June. Cold turkey. Stupid. I know. I don't know anymore what I was thinking. I only remember that I thought it was a really good idea at the time. And it wasn't a planned thing. I'd missed renewing my prescription, so I hadn't taken it for about a week, so I consulted with this new doctor, and asked her if it made sense to just keep not taking it. She agreed. Gave me a prescription anyway, in case I needed some again, or if I couldn't handle it. I never took any. After that I had a decent summer. I thought all was well. I still struggled, but considering that I can't remember not struggling. Ever. I thought on the whole I was doing pretty good. Kept busy, for me anyway. I've never been able to be as busy as most people seem to be. But we went to the beach a few times. Visits to the splash pad. Some quiet days at home. Somewhere in there the new doctor started me on something called MoodRx that apparently has St. John's Wort in it. Apparently couldn't start that until I had been long enough off of the citalopram. Spent the end of the summer getting lots of veggies and berries into the freezer. Started to get a bit stressed about a visit from the in-laws. Turned my house upside-down in anticipation of their visit. And they came. And all was going well. I felt on top of the world. And then. And then I crashed. Hard. Again. Sept 18. I was spending the day with the kids and my in-laws. First I felt a bit off. But I soldiered on. I panicked in the grocery store. Felt super nauseated. But I calmed down again. Struggled off and on throughout the day until school pick-up for the kids off the bus. Then I lost it. Panicked. And couldn't calm down. Felt absolutely horrible. And I've been struggling hard ever since. Sometimes I think I'm starting to feel better. Other times I think I feel worse than ever. When it first happened, I went to the doctor a lot. We stopped the St. John's Wort stuff. Still not sure if I was having a bad reaction to it, or not. I also stopped, over time, taking everything else. At this point, the only thing I'm taking is 0.25mg of citalopram each morning, just to help me to survive. And I'm starting to try to take some vitamins and minerals again, in the hopes that it will help with some of the symptoms. At this point what makes the most sense to me, particularly in light of what I have read on this site, is that I'm suffering from withdrawal from the citalopram that I stopped back in June. And possibly made worse by a reaction to the St. John's Wort. But I really don't know what' going on. I'm scared. And I just wish I knew what was going on, and what the right thing to do was. One of the biggest things I struggle with is the fear and panic. My biggest trigger is health and physical symptoms. If I had read this site first, maybe I'd have done things differently. I like to think I would have. I also periodically have crying binges, where I just can't seem to help crying, and crying, and crying. And I'm not one who normally cries a lot. But once I've cried for a while, it seems to pass again. I've had some of the darkest, most depressed thoughts. About everything being hopeless. And pointless. Sometimes I just get irritable. One of the other major symptoms is a chest pain I have. They've already listened to my heart. Checked my blood pressure. I've had a general blood work-up twice in the last year. Once this past spring, and once last fall. Nothing came up. My iron isn't low. My blood sugar level is fine. My heart enzymes are good. But my chest hurts. This last week, my heart has started a sort of swoony/weird/almost like a flutter but not really kinda feeling. And this morning I woke up with pain in my back and neck and arm and chest. The worst I've had yet. I could barely get up this morning and I almost couldn't turn my neck. Sometimes when I did, it felt like someone was stabbing in my ear, or in my throat or chest bone. I also struggle with lot of numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. And sometimes my muscles all hurt. And sometimes my joints hurt. And I feel weak. And sometimes shaky. And did I mention panicky? And emotional? Sometimes my vision seems a little funny. Or my hearing. But it comes and then goes quickly. And is gone again. I've developed a cough, and I'm scared because I had bronchitis and strep throat 2 or 3 times last year. And that was still on the meds. And how could I forget the heart pounding? Oh, I have lots of heart pounding. Sometimes I do things, and nothing happens. But so often when I stand up. Or go up the stairs. Or wake up in the morning. Or lie down at night, my heart pounds. And pounds. I don'y know what's causing what. I just want to feel better. I've seen several different doctors. I've also seen a couple different therapists. Mostly they say there is nothing at all wrong with me, except in my head. One told me maybe it was lyme disease. Or maybe not. My main doctor wants me back on more drugs. The second lady I saw recently also wanteed me back on citalopram. I tried. I can't. If I take it. Even one 10mg pill, no matter what time of day, I wake up the following morning, early, panicking, and burning/tingling from head to toe. So my main doctor wants me to try another antidepressant. I don't want more drugs, but I'm not sure I can do without them. I just don't know what to do. Today was one of the roughest days yet. I'm in pain, and I'm panicky, and depressed and it all feels so hopeless. Since 2014, when I saw someone who gave me, for the first time, a diagnosis, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and prescription, after which I improved, my husband now believes that's the answer. My brain is broken, and I need drugs. Don't I see it? That's the only answer. So he's always pushing me to take more drugs. Take more of the clonazapam. Go back on citalopram. Get a new prescription. Just take something already! But I don't want to. Most days i can make it through with only the one Clonzapam. And that's it. But I am having a tough time. I've tried different diet options. I've tired a few different supplements. I just don't know what else to do. I don't know who's ideology to follow. So like I said. Right now, I'm taking 0.25mg Clonazapam every morning. Just to survive the day. And I don't eat dairy, or use any perfume, in order to keep the reactions in my skin to a minimum. I'm trying to take a multivitamin , plus vitamin D, a vitamin B complex, and a multi mineral. I'm most afraid of this chest/neck/back/arm pain right now. I could really use some encouragement and some help deciding which course of action to take. I've done some reading on here already and found some helpful stuff. I'm just wondering what people might have to say that's specific to my case. Feel free to point out specific threads on here that people have already written that may be helpful. And in advance, thank you. Whatever you have to offer, thank you. It's been really tough, and I can use every little bit of help I can get. And to all of you who have struggled and are struggling, I wish you all the best. I wish you health and strength. Some of you are amazing, what you've been through, or are going through, and still making it through the day, I applaud you. Some of the stuff you've dealt with sounds so much worse than what I'm dealing with. I only wish I could be half as tough as some of you are. Keep on keeping on.
  3. Hi, so I am about to start my journey of slow withdrawal. I aim to contact my GP tomorrow to make an appointment to ask him for some support. Firstly I need him to take me seriously about the severity of two previous attempts at withdrawal and secondly I need him to be able to provide me with liquid form citalopram which is doubt more difficult to get. Any support and advice is greatly appreciated. I’m desperate and also determined.
  4. Hello everyone, I am another who was previously at another forum which has closed down. I'm very grateful that there is another good AD forum as I really don't want to be doing this alone. I already know a lot of other members here. My history in summary: 2001 Had a baby, a few days later got hit with severe anxiety and insomnia, diagnosed with post partum distress, anxiety, and hyperventilation syndrome. A psychiatrist prescribed Aropax (paroxetine), Mellaril (thioridazine - an anti-psychotic used as an anxiolytic at lower doses to cover the SSRI start-up) and zopiclone for sleep short-term. Stayed on Aropax for about six months then tapered off over a couple of months, with just a few mild withdrawal symptoms. 2003 Had second baby, repeat of above process but with Cipramil(citalopram) and midazolam for sleep. 2004 Had just got off citalopram when a very stressful situation occurred at my workplace (company was bought by two other companies and split, our part then integrated with one of the two buying companies). Spent a huge amount of energy and effort job-hunting and not coping well with the situation. Eight months of unrelenting stress later had a breakdown, similar symptoms to before, decided to go back on Aropax since it had worked well before (stupid, stupid). 2005-2006 Work situation still stressful, kept trying to taper dose down but couldn't cope below 10mg. 2007 Crashed at around 5mg, straight back to 20mg. A few months later searched the internet and found information about slow tapering. Began a slow taper which went well initially. 2008 Crashed around April after dropping from 5mg to 4.5mg. Went straight back to 5mg which didn't help. Went through a couple of months of pure hell (stupidly did not updose). Couldn't sleep, eat or keep still. Off-the-scale akathisia, didn't sleep for a whole week, couldn't keep anything down, spent my days and nights pacing around until my feet hurt and I couldn't even wear shoes. Began relaxation exercises which calmed things down enough to struggle through for a while but unable to work to support my family. Lots of pressure to get back to work. Updosed back to 10mg in June and 20mg in July. GP prescribed zopiclone for sleep, then psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel to switch over to from the zopiclone. Nasty drug, gave me big muscle twitches in my legs. Restabilised by October, tapered off Seroquel fairly quickly. Began tapering paroxetine again in December. 2009-2014 Tapered at a glacial pace, some years hardly dropped at all due to instability for months. Eventually was doing only 0.1mg drops and for a while 0.05mg drops which sound so tiny as to be ridiculous but I felt every drop. Was afraid of crashing again at 4.5mg but got through it and am now down to 3.45mg. Last drop was 0.15mg instead of 0.1mg as drops seem to be getting a little easier recently. Still very afraid of crashing. In 2011 decided I had to get out of my stressful job/career, felt like I would never get off meds as long as I stayed. The lower my dose got the more toxic the environment felt. I think the meds had helped me stay in the job by numbing me out somewhat. April 2011 was offered and took paid redundancy, 2012 back to uni to retrain as teacher, 2013-2014 unsuccessful job hunting, bits and pieces of part-time work, feeling mostly happy apart from worry about lack of income. No regrets about tossing old career in spite of not really having a new one. All in all, far too many years of having these meds in my life, rather over the whole thing by now. If you actually read all of this, you deserve a chocolate fish.
  5. I think I’ve made an awful mistake. I did a too fast taper off of Citalopram in Jan/ Feb and have been having awful withdrawal symptoms for about a month now. I thought the symptoms would resolve themselves after a few weeks, but they haven’t and I fear that I may have now permanently damaged my brain. I was prescribed 20mg paroxetine in 2001 for depression and anxiety. It worked really well. Life was wonderful and I felt fantastic for about a year. Then the Paroxetine lost it’s effectiveness. I took it for another year before deciding that it wasn’t doing anything and that I was cured so could just stop taking it. I relapsed six months later and was put on 20mg Citalopram in 2003. Over the years I have made three attempts at withdrawing from Citalopram. I had very little help from my doctor who told me that I could just stop cold turkey and then go back on them if the depression/ anxiety returned, which it always did. My last attempt to withdraw was in 2011. It was disastrous, I ended up a quivering wreck and was convinced I was going to die. Went back on citalopram and was told I would probably need to stay on SSRI’s for life. Stabilised after a couple of months, but didn’t feel quite right so was put on 10mg Ecitalopram. Over the last few years I made some significant lifestyle changes; moved into a new house, started getting some regular exercise, improved diet, reduced alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Nov 2014 - was switched back to citalopram 20mg. No explanation as to why, I went to collect the repeat prescription and it contained citalopram with a note saying this was a new course. Anyway, i took what I was given and assumed the doctor knew what he was doing. 15 Jan 2015 - Life seemed more positive and i once again felt the urge to quit the anti-depressants and be free of the side effects (agoraphobia, emotional numbness, twitching muscles, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, tiredness). I took 10mg for 2 weeks, then 5mg for two weeks and 2.5mg for a further two weeks, before jumping off. Mar 2015 - I had two weeks of feeling really good. I had tons of energy, was getting out more, was starting to make plans for the future, my emotions were coming back, best of all, I was starting to feel like me again. I had a few brain zaps and headaches, but nothing that I couldn't cope with. I felt that this time things would be different and that I would finally be free of these drugs. Then I crashed. I woke up very early one morning with a feeling of dread, terror and loneliness. Everything had changed overnight. I had severe anxiety, a tight chest, knotted stomach, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. The world seemed unreal. Everything had suddenly become a huge effort. I was unable to spend any time alone and was worrying about the most ridiculous things. In hindsight, it was at this point that I should have reinstated, but I was determined to be A.D. free, so I put up some blackout curtains to help with the early waking, stopped drinking coffee and tried to distract myself by keeping busy. April 2015 - I discovered this site and learnt about withdrawal symptoms, windows and waves, supplements and tapering. The information gave me some relief as I now knew what was happening to me. I have been taking supplements for a few weeks (300mg magnesium, 1300mg omega 3 and 25mg diphenhydramine) which I feel has eased some of the symptoms. However, I have been reluctant to reinstate because I had a window that lasted for two days and thought I was making progress. That was a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling awful again now. It is becoming clear that I’m probably sensitised to SSRI’s after long term use and that I might have to suffer a protracted withdrawal. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a new doctor. Im going to ask her for a low dose of citalopram and something to help me get a proper night’s sleep. I just hope that I haven’t left it too late to reinstate, stabilise and conduct a very slow taper. I really wish I had found this site back in January and had not had to suffer this cold turkey hell.
  6. Hi, I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and ask for some advice I have been on various ssris for 11years and about 7 months ago I decided to wean myself off celexa which I had been on for the last 5 years at 40mg. I weaned of to fast over the course of about 3 months and was off for a total of 1 month when I crased hard with anxiety, fear and depression. I went back on 40mg of celexa after being off for a month but got panic attacks and weird sensations in head. After 2 weeks the doc than got me off that and put me on Paxil for 2 weeks which only made things worse with bad anxiety and feeling dissacated with everything and my cns was all messed up. They than put me on celexa at 20 mg and a low dose of remeron for 3 weeks but no relief and was getting electrical sensations and burning sensation in body. I than checked myself into the hospital where the cold turkeyed me off the celexa and put me on neurontin. I was off celexa again for a week but I gave up all other medications and put myself back on 5mg of celexa for the last 3 weeks and have also been on .05 a day of klonopin now for 2 months. My current symptoms are. Severe anxiety Inability to concentrate Muscle tension Akathesia Tremor Burning sensation in chest and pain from time to time Vision problems Brain fog Some anadonia Some nausea And sensitive to sounds and some foods and vitimins My questions is what do I do from here? Man this is no fun just looking for some words of encougement if nothing else.
  7. Hello. My name is A and up until 2007, I was a happy well adjusted individual (loving, caring and with a huge amount of empathy for others) with a young family, who was very content with life. Due to an situation at work, I became anxious, and this anxiety did not subside. I visited my doctor, who immediately prescribed Citalopram (Citalex) - will hereafter refer to as C). My doctor did not suggest getting off these as soon as possible, instead recommending I stay on them in case I had a relapse (do they recommend cancer drugs to patients in remission). The possible consequences of this course of action were never explained to me. I have been on them pretty much ever since (and when they were working they worked fine), but I have had several attempts to get off them, with no success. I instead became depressed and was put back onto C. My most recent attempt was in mid-December 2016, and initially things appeared to be going OK, in that is I was functioning as would be expected, but without the medication. Unfortunately, my mood deteriorated. I was again signed off sick from work, and despite a further prescription of C (which I have discovered I can now not tolerate - instead it gave me severe headaches and made me confused) I am now totally anhedonic. The question I would like replies to address is whether this state is likely to be permanent, and if so, how do those in a similar sad situation cope with never feeling any pleasure whatsoever. I know I love my family, but there is no "warm fuzzy" feeling inside, just this deadness, whereas before there was love and empathy. What do other forum members feel has been the cause of their depression - life in general (with its ups and downs) or the fact that they have been on an antidepressant for a long time without which, ultimately, their body could not function, i.e. it was the drug itself that led to a depressive state?
  8. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  9. Aria's recovery from poly drugs. I had no idea when I walked into a psychiatrist's office 25 yrs ago the horrible labyrinth I'd entered. Slam dunked at a point in my life when I was feeling low and the loss of future possibilities taken away. Being told I was mentally ill, would never function again, needed to be on disability and poly drugged for the rest of my life repeatedly took it's toll. All this impacted my relationships with family, friends and enjoying life. The pdoc constantly added new psych drugs, changed doses and took me off the old drugs at an alarming rate. I became a morbidly obese woman who mumbled or talked rapidly and it was obvious to everyone but the pdoc I was totally messed up on something. I had Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis that landed me in the hospital for quite awhile and my pdoc put in my open med chart I was crazy. I didn't know this till later but ill as I was I did notice some of my physicians were treating me oddly. One good thing about being so ill was I referred to a neurologist for chronic pain and found out my problem was profound drug induced Akathsia. This neurologist actually screamed at me, these psych drugs are killing you, they're killing you. I knew I had to get off these drugs not matter what it took and reclaim my life. At my next appointment I asked my psychiatrist why he was drugging me like this and he looked directly at me (probably for the first time in years he saw "me"). He started sobbing, loudly sobbing, "Oh God what have I done to you", over and over. I'm sitting there thinking oh crap, I don't need this. Our 15 minute med check was up and this guy calmly goes to the front desk to get the next patient and proceeds without any other fanfare. He's robot. A robot. All this in itself was mind boggling. Hell, closure?? No way. I found out I had Tardive Dyskinesia and a few other psych drug induced issues. My face was a road map with twitches and jerking that yelled hey, I'm on massive psychiatric drugs. Will my face be like this forever?? The TD has mostly gone away and I'm so grateful (the pdoc adamantly said I did not have Tardive Dyskinesia from psych drugs). Well, guess what?? The psychiatrist was wrong...horribly wrong. Other doctors, psychiatrist, therapists said you're not mentally ill and never had been. The sad but very scarey part is I'm labeled as profoundly mentally ill and that info is in my medical charts. One pdoc did this...one. I've gone through the gambit of emotions dealing with this. I will probably always be mad at this jerk for what he did to me and for what he still does to others. It affected years of my life and he was wrong. I'm a Success Story because I'm psych drug free and have been for several years. My journey was extremely difficult and I did it on my own hit or miss tapering off numerous psychiatric drugs. I endured drug withdrawals that paralyzed me month after month. Was it worth the hell of tapering? Yes, very much yes. My reward was my clarity of mind, my passions for life returned and I have hopes for my future. I mended fences with family and have made new friends. I strive everyday to be productive. I'm me but a different me because no one could go through all this and not be changed by it. (for more in-depth conversations about my struggles, coping and self awareness with surviving psychiatry please visit my ongoing thread Aria's Psych Journey http://survivinganti...psych-journey/)
  10. Hello everyone, Another one joining the ranks of survivalists. I've been looking and reading hundreds of posts on this site for a few months now and I've finally decided to join the community. I've read a lot about people's experiences and suffering, which is not easy to read. So I guess I'll get into what brought me here. It was in my late 20's I started suffering from crippling panic attacks and GAD, as well as having a low lingering depression due to always being anxious. I have no idea why all of a sudden I had my first panic attack, I did smoke some weed in my early 20's, something I really regret and wish I had never done, but like SSRI use, I can't take back. I've heard that can cause people to suffer all kinds of mental disorders later in life. I'm really not sure of what caused it. But I had it and finally after years went to the doctors when I was 30. They gave me the whole chemical imbalance explanation, said I have low serotonin and started me on 10mg of Citalopram, this within a month was increased to 20mg. I never knew about the dangers of these drugs, or withdrawal, Like everyone else, I was never warned other than stating I'll suffer some initial side effects whichvwill wear off after a few weeks. I was on Citalopram 10mg for about a month before being boosted up to 20mg. The initial side effects were uncomfortable but did subside after about 3 weeks. I was on it about 6 years and to be honest, Placebo or not, I did help rid me of most of my anxiety, I still sometimes got anxious but it was greatly reduced. I was honestly quite happy, I didn't feel like a zombie and I still had my emotions and life was pretty good. I could go to sleep relaxed and wake up relaxed, not the gripping a pillow mornings I had prior to the Citalopram. In fact I was doing too good which led to a bone headed decision I'm now paying for but that was not straight away. So I decided to just come off, yep, CT'd. I moved town and in the process ran out of Citalopram, this is before I knew about withdrawal and the dangers. Looking back I was actually incredibly lucky at first, for a few weeks I had head zaps and then, nothing. No anxiety returning, no anything. I felt normal like I hadn't come off anything. 7 months passed and all was well. But then I got a bad appraisal at work, something I had been working very hard on. I quickly spiralled into depression but not so much anxiety. It was there but manageable. I felt awful but just in a depressive way, I'm not sure it was a protracted withdrawal symptom or not as apart from feeling really depressed, there was no other symptoms. But it felt bad enough for me to go see the doctors. This was in early December 2017. Now I want to blame the Doctor but I asked to be put back on Citalopram as it worked well before. I had no idea about what reinstatement was, or kindling effect, or withdrawal, any of that. So They put me back on 10mg. That was 8 days of hell, shaking in the morning, nausea, restless leg heightened anxiety, my body jolting as I tried to sleep, insomnia, I felt highly agitated, I anxiety was so bad I was pacing around the house because i was just so uncomfortable. I called The doctor and they told me to stop the medication. I did, after about a month, the shaking stopped and the constant jolts, as well as the restless leg but the bad anxiety remained and the broken sleep insomnia. I also experienced pretty intense de-realization which thankfully has gone. But some other symptoms developed and have persisted. 3 months on from the 8 days of Citalopram 10mg, I have the following symptoms: High anxiety, but luckily no panic attacks Insomnia, I normally have no trouble getting to sleep but I have trouble staying asleep. Although some days are better than others Really bad brain frog, and slow cognition, which has been the most frightening symptom so far, when brain fog is bad, I can't remember details and I stumble over my words. This scares the hell out of me because online everybody says that's brain damage. I work in VFX Film, so it's absolutely devastating to my career, I find it hard to retain new information. Depression, I'm sure this is because of my symptoms. Morning Anxiety, the worst, I'm gripping my pillow every morning. I'm sensitive to noise , like a heightened sensitivity My brain feels light, like a weird buzzing lightheadedness crying spells, I think mostly to the suffering, self pity, blaming myself anger, mostly at myself, I have a wife and I can't believe she now has a husband who is not functional. That's the hardest part. tinnitus which is just the icing on the cake I've read a lot on this site, so I know about the sensitised nervous system, there is a lot to digest. I want to believe I'll get better but I read about Dr Stuart Shipko's views which pretty much states I'm screwed no matter how many years I hold onto the hope of recovery. i honestly wish I had never read that. I guess I feel fear, really badly, like, how am I going to live with this, I have no choice. I'm back to the doctors on Tuesday, they will probably try to get me back on an SSRI stating I didn't give it long enough for the side effects to subside.or to try another which is something I understand is a bad idea. The problem I have is, I don't know if those 8 days of side effects would have went, or did I not hang in long enough. I know I most likely will not be able to stabilise trying to go back but I've read waiting it out might not work either, so the choices aren't great. I think living with the emotional regret, and the fear of everything happening is the hardest to thing living with this. I know people will say, it get's better, this is a forum of hope, but I'm far off believing that. I want to, but it's hard. I feel bad for my wife, we really are soulmates, only now her life partner is a broken shell of a man, that's what kills me. So that's it for now. Thanks Everyone
  11. I have been on citalopram since 2009 then it stopped working. The Dr put me on citalopram and mirtazapine combination which worked for a while then that stopped working. The Dr then put me on mirtazapine and Venlafaxine 150mg XL combination which workes for a while again ans then stopped working. The Dr put me on amitriptyline 50mg saying thay would be the best drug for me while i took 8 months to slowly remove each bead from Venlafaxine capsule to come off it. As soon as I took my last beed i went into crazy angry depression. The dr increased my dosage of amitriptyline from 50mg to 150mg but the side effects were horrible and at this point i got sick of these meds and decided to quit CT. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms and i started acting like a child and not being able to walk, had balance problems. I reinstated back to 50mg amitriptyline since april 2018 and i have been getting worse. I cannot sleep. My vision is so badly affected that i have grainy vision and floaters have increased dramatically . I see after images and it's as if the lights have been turned off. When i begin to fall asleep, i start to have dreams before i actually fall asleep and my brain keep. Waking up just before i am about to sleep. I cannot follow conversations, I mishear things all the time. I am totally dependant on others and i feel people think i have gone crazy. I don't know what to do i am getting worse and worse. I often trip, lose my balance. I hardly have any short term memory and cannot do simplest of things. I cannot even watch anything on TV as i cannot follow.it I'm having major concentration problems. I don't know how. I'm writing this. I cannot work or drive. Please you have no idea how i am putting these sentences together. I need urgent help. Please advice. I have no energy, no appetite. If I'm posting this in the wrong place, please accept my appology as I can hardly read and understand things. P
  12. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  13. Hi, I found this website from someone's post who seemed to be going through the same as what I am. Sorry if this is long but I'm not sure which info is necessary! I was taking Citolapram for alittle over 2 years, mostly 20mg but I upped to 30mg near the end. I weened off them within a week but after almost a month I went back of them (20mg). I only stayed on them for a week and then came off them cold turkey. About 7 or more weeks since, I randomly woke up one day with PGAD. It's a horrible, progressive, non-curable disorder that makes your genitals feel constantly aroused, sometimes stabbing, burning, feeling the need to pee, zap feelings and a lot of throbbing. I've had this for a month now and feels worse these past 2 days (coincidentally I was pescribed Amitriptyline 10mg but after 2 days of taking them I decided I don't want to go back to ADs - apparently PGAD is mostly caused by withdrawing from ADs) I've had so many breakdowns because of this and there is no way I can live with it, especially because it can cause spontaneous orgasms and a lot of pain which I haven't got yet. I'm so scared and my doctors have no idea about the disorder and just try to convince me it's in my head which despite my obvious symptoms and causes I'm hoping it is. My history of OCD could explain it too. Before taking ADs I had a fear of farting in public which as stupid as it sounds, kept me house-bound for years. It went away after I took ADs and started college. Then a year later I had a bad sickness bug which led me to a fear of throwing up, with that I felt sick literally every single day and not always just mildly. I had tests but nothing explained it. Then I started hearing alot about PGAD just before mine started, once mine started my sickness has completely gone (so all this time it must have been in my head which is crazy because I almost threw up it was so bad). And now I'm getting all these symptoms of PGAD constantly. But I'm still not convinced it's all in my head because it is a fact that withdrawing from ADs too fast can cause it, plus I think I have some damage in my pelvice since I went on an exercise bike during my 2nd withdrawals. This gave me what I thought was piles in my perineum which went away after a week and then came back with my PGAD. I have a huge skin tag in my perineum which fills and becomes solid if I'm too active and I start getting a pain around it (in my legs/butt cheeks). I'm thinking I've damaged my pelvic floor and that these things could be connected? Although the PGAD didn't start straight away? I'm sorry this was so long but I am so so terrified of having this disorder, it is honestly such a horrible, embarrassing, painful and hopeless thing to live with and has always been my biggest fear since I learnt about it. I have so many things that could have caused it which makes me think that maybe it isn't just in my head. It's driving me crazy and if anyone has any hope or experience like this I would really love to hear from you. Sorry again for the long post.
  14. Hi all, here is my story. I started with dizziness about 10 months ago. My doctor thought it was Vestibular migraine and put me on Celexa 20 mg for two months. Did nothing. They then weaned be off over 10 days before putting me on nortriptyline, getting up to 30 mg over three months. It started to affect me by giving me panic attacks so I weaned off of that over another month. While weaning off of the nortriptyline, once I got down to 15 mg, the doctor started me on Effexor. I started at a quarter of a 37.5 mg tablet and worked up to 37.5 mg over three weeks. I was then on 37.5 mg for two weeks and had awful side effects so started tapering off over a three-week period. Basically, I was on and off of Effexor a total of seven weeks. Then, the doctor put me on Klonopin for two weeks to try to help me come off of the Effexor. I refused to take it for more than two weeks. However, I am now 45 days off all of the medication and I'm having really bad muscle twitches, unsteadiness still, sensations of the floor feeling squishy beneath my feet and a constant feeling of like my brain is cracking. Not to mention emotional upheaval Has anyone here noticed significant improvement in recovery after short term use of these drugs? I'm terrified they permanently altered me and I won't get back to homeostasis.
  15. Hi, I would be very grateful for some advice. I have been taking citalopram for 4 weeks. I tend to be sensitive to medication so I took 2.5 mg for two weeks and 5 mg for two weeks. I have had lots of side effects and after reading about long term effects and withdrawals I want to stop and look into other methods. Would it be safe to stop after being on low doses for a short time or do I need to do a 10% taper? Thank you.
  16. So I've been on Seroqoil nightly for about 3-4 months. I started on 100mg and that only lasted one night. Went to 75mg and that lasted for a couple of weeks then 50mg. Last month I went down to 25mg. And about 4 wks ago I've been on 12-14mg (cutting the 50 in 1/2 then the half in 1/2.) I'm also taking Lunesta 3mg at no hr and about once a week ill need Klonopin.25 bc I have a hard time falling asleep. I've also started Celexa for anxiety during the day. So question and problem! How do I get off this Seroqoil?!? Like is aid I haven't even taking it long to begin with and I've taped to 12-14mg fine but it seems to mess with my sleep when I try and cut that in half. Don't believe I have the EXtended tablet. Help!!! If it messes with my sleep, is it only temp? I don't want to switch this to get hooked on Klonopin bc that's a nasty drug too!
  17. I was on Citalopram for 2 years - first year was 20mg, second year was 40mg. I basically cold turkey'd by going from 40mg to 0mg in 4 weeks in August 2015. My withdrawals were somewhat delayed and unusual. Just one night I experienced a sharp shooting pain in my head (about a month after stopping) and that made me panic (never felt anything like this before). All was fine thereafter until at night time I started to experience this very strange restlessness in my leg, which one iterate from one leg to the other over a space of a month. Only at night. Then I was fine for a month until the shooting pains started to come back along with this bright white dot that would fly across my vision in a split second - went to the optician to get checked up and all was fine. Then I never had a symptom up until a few months later (5 months off) after a heavy night of drinking alcohol, I woke up still drunk - no biggie, I've had that before from drinking too much - I sat down, had a cup of coffee along with a bun (my diet is usually strict, this is a one off) - I then had a sudden urge to go to the toilet, then I found blood... I then had an immediate panic attack along with a dropping sensation whilst on the toilet. The panic just got worse and worse and I couldn't breathe. I rang the ambulance and the took me to hospital. Whilst I was waiting to be seen, my most horrific symptom started there - this rocking/swaying boat sensation. I also felt very sick to my stomach. That lasted for a while, until I left... then I was fine. For 2 days I was quite nauseous. Then the swaying struck again a few days later in a parked car, I got out and ran to the middle of the carpark not knowing what to do - I honestly had this terrible fear inside me that I was about to die... but I didn't. I kept getting hypnic jerks everytime I tried to sleep thereafter. Long story short, my symptoms all got much worse and my doctors diagnosed me with an inner ear infection (which I believe at the time), then they told me its normal to have anxiety with it, which would explain all the other symptoms. It will be my 1 year anniversary since my symptoms all began and nearly 1.5 years since finishing the drug. During that time though, they tried to put me back on Citalopram (one doctor thought it to be withdrawal) he gave me the top dose I was originally on, 40mg and that near killed me - sent me straight to hospital. They didn't know what was wrong with me, but did every test under the sun for my heart rate was all over the place and temperature was very high. That took weeks to recovery from, it made me feel like I was walking on trampolines! Then they tried Sertraline, similar affect but not as bad. Then they tried an anti-vertigo med Prochlorperazine which I trialed for a few days and I felt very cold and sicky on that. Little did I know I was doing myself big big damage. I got a Brain MRI and everything which was clear, then they diagnosed me with Lyme disease. BUT THEN THE PENNY DROPPED! IT'S WITHDRAWAL! I'm better than I was and most symptoms are gone, and my anxiety has definitely subsided. However, considering all the reinstatements and bad reactions - will I be recovering for years? Not many people seem to have that internal rocking/swaying sensation I have... Mostly Benzo people do. Do we know anyone that has been cured completely of this? Because its by far my worst! PS. I also get burning/prickling on the tops of my hands sometimes after eating turkey or chicken. Its hard to tell. I also get pins and needles VERY easily. Anyone on the same boat?
  18. Hello. Here's my story: I have general anxiety disorder (GAD--self diagnosed), though I may also be bi-polar. I had a tough time in my teen years--panic attacks, confusion, fear of people, etc., never happy. My father was an alcoholic; my youngest brother died of alcoholism a year ago. I've had my own battles with alcohol, too, but I never became the two six-packs, plus a bottle of whiskey that my father consumed every day. I quit drinking four years ago. For the past year and a half I have used medical cannabis (in a legal state with a doc's evaluation), which helps with anxiety and worry, and is the best sleep aid I know. In my late thirties (I'm now 57) I started taking Prozac--in 1997 (I think)--using a bottle I got from a friend (his mother had a scrip but she didn't take it). I liked it. It took a lot of my anxiety away, and I ceased having panic attacks. I only had a month's supply so I went to my doc, talked to him about my use and he was happy to write a scrip for me--20 mg. of Paxil (my insurance did not cover Prozac). He said to me then that anti-depressants/SSRI's are to sad/anxious people what insulin is to diabetics. I know now that that line came straight from a drug rep's play book. I know now that it was wrong and, at least from the drug company's perspective, a lie. Paxil agreed with me and I continued taking it daily (20 mg.) until about two years ago. I had tried to quit it several times over the years--both cold turkey and by tapering—mostly because I had gained up to thirty pounds on it and could not, no matter how hard I tried, lose that weight (I have been a frequent aerobic exerciser since long before I started Paxil—I continue to exercise, but not as much as before). Trying to stop Paxil altogether was hell. While doing so I felt a profound depression; I cried a lot, spent time in bed during the day on weekends, was twitchy, anxious, fearful, panicky—just not myself; I even began thinking vague thoughts about suicide. I had never felt these symptoms to such an extreme before beginning anti-depressants. Long ago, before beginning Paxil, I had been sad/depressed, I'd had panic attacks and problems with social anxiety, etc., but none of these symptoms were as debilitating as what I was feeling off Paxil. Shortly after getting down to about 10 mg. of Paxil (I had been using an emory board to taper down--for about six months) I couldn't stand it any more and spoke to my psych doc. She put me on Wellbutrin (which made me too hyper, despite taking it in the morning) along with Prozac (which gave me akathisia [pacing constantly]). I gave up both after about a month or so and went on Celexa, which my wife and daughter had been on successfully. I've been taking 20 mg. of Celexa for the last two and half years. About six months ago (or so--could be less) I started to taper off Celexa, this time using sandpaper. I'd read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and it scared me into trying to quit again. About a month and half ago I jumped from about 13 to 14 milligrams of sandpapered Celexa to ten by simply breaking the Celexa tab in half. It was easier than using the sandpaper, etc. I'd been feeling a bit odd before then, though nothing too bad, but then I began feeling the old, horrible symptoms mentioned above. They weren't that intense, really, but I'd been worrying a lot about my son going back to college (smart kid, good school, but he has emotional issues—I'm afraid of him failing), and anticipating my return to work—my job is beyond stressful (I'm a teacher). These and other stressorrs convinced me that I needed to be back on the medication. So, as of last Monday, a week ago, I've been taking my full dose again of Celexa, 20 mg., and I have felt better the last few days. BUT today I've felt horrible--two or three panic attacks, crying, a "buzzing" anxiety, a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel worse today on 20 mg of Celexa than I felt a week ago on 10 mg. of Celexa. I've imagined that I somehow forgot to fill my pill pack with Celexa for Sunday morning (today), but I don't think that was the case. Just an hour ago I took an additional ten mg of Celexa (my wife encouraged me) to get me back up to a therapeutic dose. But it scares me what I've been feeling today. As far as I know I should be feeling my old self, the self I've known for years on Paxil/Celexa. I'm scared that my long-term use of SSRI's have damaged my brain to the point that I can't return to even the me on an SSRI, much less the me pre-SSRI. I hope that this forum can help. I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, too, and I emphathise and wish you well. Perhaps I can help, too. Thank you for reading this. I hope I've been clear; if you have any questions or suggestions, please post.
  19. After successfully being on 20mg citaloprom having become depressed after the sudden death of my mother for about 8 years it pooped out sending me into dizziness,panic attacks etc for a couple of weeks then I felt fine. That was about 2 years ago. Three months later developed rash on face and diarrhoea, sleep disturbances, cramps and bruising on arms. Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to. Sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed cipralex in drop form to build up slowly and then my hell for the past two and a half years started. From the onset of taking the drug increasing by one drop every third day I would have 24 hour panic/anxiety no appetite nausea fatigue. This went on for about three months and then what I now know as a window appeared for about a week only to plunge straight down again. That is how my life has been until last summer my gp told me I needed to see a psychologist as still suffering badly. Rang my psychiatrist to ask him and he said he felt my problems were not in the head but probably systemic so to see an endocrinologist. After various tests for adrenal thyroid etc he said all fine but felt steroid inhaler I had been on for about 4 years could be causing problems. Looked up side effects of inhaler and yes skin rash anxiety etc all matched. September last year came off the rash, cramps etc all disappeared and even put on a few of the 10 pounds weight I had lost since this started. Felt fine for a couple of weeks then crash back into another wave and that is how it has been ever since with severe waves of anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue. Then paid privately to see a gp in the hope he would help. His decision was the cipralex was aggravating me and to stop the eight drops a day immediately. I dropped a drop every two days and felt brilliant for five weeks apart from the brain zaps, nightmares,insomnia, dizziness then back came the raging anxiety, extreme fatigue, panic, nausea, loss of appetite. I have given in this morning and taken two drops of cipralex I don't know if I have done a stupid thing or not, whether it is too little or I should have just suffered for longer. Since this first started I seem incapable of taking any drugs or antibiotics without severe reaction Can anyone help?
  20. Hi everybody. I never joined a forum before but now it's time. I've been on AD's for about 20 years now. Always resistant to staying on them, because of flat affect and just a lot of fear of side effects. Started on maprotiline (yeah, nobody's heard of it) a tetracyclic, then tried St John's Wort, SAMe, TCM, before getting prescribed Celexa. My pattern was to stay on until I felt OK, than go off, probabl;y way too fast for my sensitive system, and crash. Aside from sadness and lack of energy/motivation, my main symptom was horrible insomnia -- I have atypical PTSD symptoms from a major trauma that included pretty much not sleeping for three weeks. Sleep is a big deal, not sleeping gives me really bad anxiety. So I went up and down on Celexa at the advice of my GP, pretty much staying below 20mg, and at one point on 5mg for quite a while and doing well. Used lorazepam periodically for sleep, and went off that really slowly without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, when I decided to go off Celexa (at the advice of a TCM doc who was supposed to be brilliant and said I didn't need it) I ran into a major stressful life event (my 19 yr old learning disabled daughter got pregnant and decided to have her baby) and crashed. In addition to the stress, it was again probably a mistake to stop 5mg cold. I didn't know. After a few weeks of hell and lots of acupuncture, I went back on but it took too long to start having an effect and... I eventually went to the ER, and was advised by the doc who advised not to go to the psych ward, and prescribed more lorazepam. Two days later I saw a PDoc for the first time. She prescribed a small dose od Zyprexa to "augment" the Celexa, and help me sleep. Which it did -- three days later I felt better and could function again. 20mg Celexa and 1.25 Zyprexa. A couple of months later when I was still up and down she added 50mg of lamictal to help me with "stability". So now on three drugs, sleeping, relatively stable. Over the next couple of years, I was able to bring the Zyprexa down to about .35mg, but couldn't get off without crashing. My PDoc called it a "homeopathic dose" and didn't try to get me off. REALLY sensitive to this stuff. Three years into this, a year ago, I had another stressful stretch, and incrreased to 1mg Zyprexa. Then I developed a tremor in my right hand. I freaked -- my dad had Parkinson's. After being in denial for 4-5 months, I finally went to a neurologist and after several tests told me it could be Parkinson's or it could be the Zyprexa. She suggested I try to switch to Seroquel that is supposedly less likely to have this side effect. Oh my, here comes the really bad part -- my PDoc said I could just do a switch of Zyprexa for Seroquel at "equivalent" doses. She knows how sensitive I am and this was a BIG mistake. I switched, and totally crashed. I was supposed to then increase the Seroquel until I felt better. That lasted about two weeks when I developed akathisia. Was given Cogentin and UGH, I couldn't think, my hands trembled, I couldn't have a normal conversation and my memory went downhill. PDoc said switch back to Zyprexa so I did but now at a higher "equivalent" dose (2.5mg). Akathisia didn't go away. Tried to drop Zyprexa to 2mg and BOOM, more depression. Back up, more akathisia. My PDoc then gave up and passed me on to another PDoc (not a bad thing at this point, but I felt abandoned). Since then, I'm titrating down on Zyprexa by .05mg per week. At 2mg now and akathisia is somewhat better but I still can't relax at all, and I still don't know if the tremor is drug induced or Parkinson's. I get the 10% per month and I plan to follow that as closely as I can. I've had enough of these meds. It makes me really sad that I know it's a long road ahead to get back to a semblance of normal. I wake up every morning trembling and depressed. I eat really healthy and walk 6-9 miles a day. By mid-day I feel a bit better but can't stop obsessing about the tremor. Can't concentrate much or I get really tired. Afraid to go outside my routine because it's more stressful and the symptoms get worse. I'm looking into TMS as a way to support this process. Whoever reads this thanks for listening, it gets really lonely sometimes, I'f you're here, I'm sure you know.
  21. Hey, I don't post much on here. I used to be a member on PaxilProgress. I thought I would start a topic to post some updates. I will post my original story and 3 year update below. The short version is that I took 10mg citalopram for situational depression (I had dropped out of college) for about 6 months and then I stopped. Ever since I stopped I went into hell and experienced some very debilitating symptoms. I am now just over 4 years off and I have been unable to work or live any kind of functional life during this time. In my update 1 year ago I was feeling optimistic at the time since I have been going through a little bit of a good period. Now 1 year later I feel less optimistic about my future. Since last year I have noticed very little improvement. The worst symptom for me is my inability to socialize which I fear will never recover. I always feel very withdrawn and act awkward in social situations. I have to think of what to say and try very hard to act normal. Before the drugs it just came naturally without thinking. This is a very strange symptom and I've not seen many other people mention it. It makes it very hard for me to have friendships with other people. I had a few periods early on where it went away almost completely for a week or so and it was as if someone turned a light back on in my brain. However, I have not really noticed any improvements in the past year. Something that is also very strange is that when I go into social situations for any period of time, it will trigger many symptoms and I will start to feel very bad. I wouldn't even believe it, if it wasn't happening to me but something as simple as socializing can cause physical symptoms. The symptoms generally don't come on till a few hours later. I will often notice my mood being lower than normal then I will start to feel cold and shivery and my appetite and sex drive will go down very low. In general I just feel very bad and know something is wrong. It generally takes a few days (away from social situations) before I feel back to normal. I also often get mouth ulcers. I have had about 2 or 3 a month on average for the past 4 years. They tend to go hand in hand with some pretty brutal fatigue where I just feel like I can barley lift my arms or do much of anything. Sexual function is also reduced from normal and intermittent. Sometimes my sex drive will feel close to normal but most of the time it's a little low. I have difficulty concentrating and find it hard to focus on things for any length of time. I also still have many other symptoms that come and go. I get migraines frequently, my appetite is often quite low even at the best of times, I often have digestion problems and constipation regardless of my diet. I feel like if I didn't have the social withdrawnness and symptoms triggered after a social situation then I could live a much more functional life despite the other problems. It is obvious to me that my brain is screwed up big time after going through all this for years. It's funny because I know if this had not happened to me and I was reading this then I probably wouldn't believe it was possible. I'd probably just think I am some crazy guy with social anxiety who is attributing it to drugs. I guess anyone who has been through this withdrawal knows how messed up the whole experience is. In the early period of withdrawal I read a success story by LossLeader that kept me going. He recovered after 4 and a half years. Now that I'm approaching that point I feel like perhaps these remaining symptoms are permanent. I guess I will need to hang in there for another year or two and see if things change or not. I have thought as a very last resort I may try and go back on the drug. Many of you will think that it crazy. I think it is as well. I don't even know if I would have the guts to do it. At the same time I think maybe I am just dependent on those drugs now and perhaps it would help me live a normal life for a while. I guess I would only consider that option if I knew for sure that I was never going to get any better over time and I felt like my life was still severely limited. I'll have to wait and see how things go.
  22. Hi, I am 63 years old and have been on psychicatric drugs for 34 years. In the past five years I have discontinued Trazadone, Lamotrigine, klonopin, Seroquel. The most recent one being Seroquel at 600mg. I tapered by 25mg. per month. I had horrible withdrawals and still had symptoms after three months after stopping it. The most troublesome symtoms I still had was the sweating/chills, Chorea involuntary movements, burning sensation in my head, face, legs and arms, anxiety. I have been on Celexa for the past eight to ten years and just recently discovered that Celexa can cause Chorea movements as well, so I have decided to discontinue this drug too. I began on 40mg. and started my taper 12 days ago at 5 mg. per month under the care of my general practitioner. I have not noticed any new withdrawals symptoms that I have already experienced from the above symptoms, , just an increase in intensity from time to time ( especially the Chorea Movements). I am trying to eat healthy, I take amino acids, inositol/choline and vitamins and mineral supplements. I am currently chair ridden due to bone on bone arthritis in my hips; on the waiting list for hip replacement surgery hopefully to be done this fall/winter. It has been a long journey to get this far in my recovery from psychiatric drugs and I hope I can continue to be strong. Genlady.
  23. Hi everyone, first post on here so will try not to jabber too much. I'm a 40 year old guy and have been on ADs twice in my life. I first took SSRIs when I was prescribed 20mg Fluoxetine for work-related depression around 15 years back. For about a year they seemed to work (in some way I relied on them after I got through the depressive phase) but gradually I felt more and more 'robotic', agitated and detached. And my sex drive went down the pan...lost all interest. In fact, lost all interest in everything. All felt grey. So, after two years on them, stupid me went cold turkey, expecting to return to normality fairly quickly. But it was not so. The disinterest got much worse. I stayed with the CT and it took a good 2yrs for 'me' to come back...though the libido never really did but in 2010 seemed to be showing signs of life again... ...UNTIL I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and was put on 10mg Citalopram back in October 2011. I was told I'd need to stay on the meds as I'd been on them before. I wasn't depressed at the time but blindly went along with the doc as the allergic reaction had shaken me up pretty bad. Initially, I felt mildly euphoric and life felt easy, I felt coolly un-anxious. But I couldn't ejaculate during sex, no matter what. And it got worse, to the point where I felt totally sexless, my desire just vanished in the worst way possible. And I started having crazy moodswings. So the doc switched me to Fluoxetine 20mg, after about a year on the Cit. No change. Dead libido, moodswings got even worse, pacing and inexplicable bursts of anger...so guess what? Cold turkeyed them again. Late 2013, about 4 weeks of big WDs, constant brain zaps and 'delayed vision', followed by huge bouts of anhedonia/apathy that still persist. And THE worst PSSD. No arousal, thrill, just this deadness in the pleasure centres of the brain. I can still love and see attractiveness but that 'engine' is...gone? It's horrendous, feel like half a man, like I'm out in the cold looking in all the time. Had tests, all showed fine but in a really good relationship right now that I fear is gonna suffer down the line. It'd kill me because we're so close and loving but I'm...inconsequential. 8 months and we just don't do it. Don't wanna lose her, we're truly soulmates. Want that connection back. That 'spark' in the brain...not there. For anyone or anything. Hurts so bad. I...just feel unsexual and I can't get my head around it. Nightmare. Am I totally messed up now, any hope, anything I can do? Tried ED drugs, various herbs, "He's dead, Jim". What a pickle.
  24. 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
  25. Hi everyone! I am new here, and for the past almost week I have been reading all of this invaluable information and learning so much. My journey goes back to June 2016 when after a jaw surgery that wouldn't heal I found my self extremely stressed not sleeping due to pain and overwhelmed which forces my Dr to offer me a script for citalopram 10mg to get me through my trying time. My Dr said to give it 6 months and then I could wean off. The meds worked like a charm and I breezed through the 6 months and came off with a few brain zaps and a few headaches for a couples weeks and then it was done. Skip forward to June 2017 when I wound up catching strep throat from my son which ended with a script for antibiotics and a horrid case of c. Diff as a result of antibiotics. Again my health anxiety shot through the roof and my Dr once again offered a ssri to get me through. This time escitalopram 10mg the med worked well without any side effects I was on them from June 2017 - February 2018 when I decided to taper off I went as my Dr suggested from 10mg to 5mg over about 10 days and then went off. I began to feel crummy stomach problems, looser stool (sorry tmi) nausea. I called my Dr she told me to go back on a small dose to see if the symptoms went away, which I went on 2.5mg and the symptoms went away. I stayed on 2.5mg for about 10 days and again went off. I did good from the end of Feb- mid April. Looking at my journal I was off almost 11 weeks. And then once again symptoms restarted GI type (not sure if that's a common thing after ssris) reflux/heartburn type symptoms, fatigue, and some increasing anxiety. 2 days ago I called my Dr and she recommends I start back on 10 mg of citalopram. I took 5mg of citalopram today. But am worried if I should continue, what is the best way to proceed? Should I continue on with citalopram or should I try to power through off of meds? Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.
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