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  1. Hello! I have been following this forum for a while, but haven't been able to find time and energy to write my own introduction. I found this site after searching relentlessly for other answers to mental wellness besides antidepressants. Besides lots of other informative books I read Whitaker's "Anatomy of Epidemics", and understood better what happened to me last year when I had a big relapse, which I'm still recovering from. Medications didn't help anymore. Things only started improving when I started taking supplements (Daily Essential Nutrients, which is former Empowerplus), and applied gluten free casein free diet. And since then, I have carefully tapered down with medications. But I write briefly about my story from the beginning. I have difficult background and lot's of things I have had to work through psychologically, because my dear mother suffered from severe depression for many years and finally it ended with her suicide in 2002. But I don't go into depths about that, but try to give you general idea of what has happened over the years. It was very hard after her death, and with difficult relationship at the same time, so I ended up taking antidepressants for some time. I was really paranoid about them, and agreed to take only small amount - 10mg citalopram, for like 5-6 months. As time went on, I started to get really bad mood swings myself in 2005. In summer 2006 I ended taking birth control pills I had been taking for 8 years. At the same time there was high pressure at work and another relationship that didn't work out. Few months after quitting the pills, I fell into hole I hadn't even been able to imagine before. Severe depression with even small amount of psychotic symptoms (delusional guilt thoughts). It was really, really bad. There was a psychiatrist, that put me on citalopram "because it worked before". 40g, which, in hindsight, was really high and I probably suffered a lot from not only the illness, but AD side-effects. I didn't really feel that the pills were helping, although after a few months I was out from the most awful state of mind. I continued to take the meds for some months, but then dropped it - I just didn't want to take them (I saw my mom deteriorating on AD-s, and didn't believe in them). But I was not the same after this crisis. I'd lost something in me. And as time went on, I started to sink down again. Until in 2008 (3 years suffering), it was so bad that I had no other way than to search for help again. I started cognitive-behavioural therapy, and did it vigorously, but it didn't help. And then I started meds again. After first tries that didn't work, I started prozac (20mg) - and it's effect was amazing and very strong!!! I got flashes and glimpses of my warm and good memories, I felt like a ton had fallen from my shoulders, it was quite dramatic improvement. I continued to get better gradually for at least a year. I felt that I gained about 80% of my wellness. As things were going well, I thought it's ok to stop them now. I was still very wary about taking those drugs long term. I gradually stopped it, I think during 1-2 months. I remember I had withdrawal (feeling very angry and irritated), but pushed through it. I had learned a lot in therapy and thought I can handle myself. I was really emotional after ending it, cried a lot and it put a strain on my new relationship. After a couple of months I was really going down again, I felt really bad, depressed, awful, and anxious about the relationship. my pdoc restarted prozac. It didn't work anymore! It was awful... to realize that the drug doesn't help anymore. We tried duloxetine, which gave bad side-effects. and then sertraline (zoloft), which, after 3-4 weeks started giving relief. So the dynamics was such: I stopped the drug, restarted it about 4 months later, waited for 5 weeks, then started new one (1-2 weeks), and then new one, which eventually started to work. The relationship still ended though, after a few more months. I didn't fall into pieces after that, although it was hard. 2009-2011 I was on Zoloft then (50mg). Looking back, things were more stable. not perfect, but I was able to live my life. In July-August 2011, I was in love, and thought I could do better if I reduced my antidepressant. I took 3/4 pill for a week and then half, since the beginning of August. By the end of August I was quite a mess. I didn't think about meds at all because I was dealing with relationship and I thought this all is psychological, and due to past traumas and my own illness, etc. I felt very raw psychological pain at this time, and it took a long time to get out of this hole - I remember hurting like hell all autumn. And we (me and psychiatrist) started messing with meds. I think at first we upped zoloft, to 1,5 tablets (75mg). I think it didn't help - therefore we switched me to citalopram. I think first at 1 tablet, then 1,5. it helped for a little, but then I think caused me to be very tired and stoned. I think I then reduced it again, and went to 0,5 tablets (somewhere in November). And then, in the end of January 2012 I quit that entirely. I ran out of meds, and then thought, what the hell, I don't want to take them at all. I realized that they were not helping very much, but I totally did NOT realize how much harm they are doing, especially if withdrawing! During all this autumn 2011, I was making intensive progress in therapy, so I attributed a lot of my feelings to psychological things. And at the end, we did quite remarking breakthrough, and I also felt better, so I naturally thought about dropping the pills. I experienced sudden and dramatic IMPROVEMENT in my condition, especially psychologically! I felt alive, sensitive, feeling, lighter, more awake, really connected to life and people and things! wow! I saw very vivid dreams and I swore that I even visually saw more clearly! I did feel also psysical sypmtoms - like dizziness, little nausea. but nothing so bad that I couldn't tolerate. In april, my mood starts swinging. I managed it with lots of meditation, and running, etc. but it continues and gets worse. Until in the end of June - boom - suddenly during a period of one week, I suddenly crashed so deep, it's hard to even describe it. The relapse was very sudden and steep. I deteriorated into suffering which is unimaginable. I had been through very, very painful mental illness periods before, but this was one of the two most awful crisis. and it didn't go away. new pdoc, at first reinstated zoloft, I think. didn't help. then swithed to paroxetine. things only got worse, paroxetine gave me horrible side-effects, besides everything else. then switched to buproprion. didn't help. at all. I ended up in the hospital. they started me on Prozac again. plus 50mg seroquel for sleep. This was in August, last year, 2012. Things actually did not improve after that, or improved really, really little. And I developed hypersomnia - sleeping 14-16 hours a day. But still feeling tired. We increased Prozac to 40mg, but after that I was reluctant to do any more changes. I felt that meds just don't help me anymore. And it proved to be correct, because for 8 months, there was very little improvement (all that time I stayed on 40mg prozac + 50mg seroquel). I started reading about meds. Before that, I had done ALL possible with psychological interventions. CBT, EMDR, intensive therapy, group therapy, ect. all things very helpful for personal growth, but unhelpful for feeling so bad still. now I started reading about meds. And vitamins and minerals. I read Whitaker's book, and finally understand what happened last year - that the horrible condition I ended up with, might be because of ending drugs too abruptly. It helped to give me back some security - at least I understood, what happened, and what almost caused me my life. I also read a lot about vitamins and minerals and mental health. I started taking lots of supplements in March, and noticed small improvement in my hypersomnia. Then I switched to Daily Essential Nutrients (former EmpowerPlus) in April. At the end of April I started tapering down Prozac, by 1/10 amount in month or more time. In June, I started gluten-free-casein-free diet (with the help of nutritional therapist). I have been improving since April. When I started DEN, it made me more tired for a week or so. And then, I think it started detoxification process in my body - I had violent headaches, woke up with swollen face, didn't tolerate alcohol at all (half glass of champagne gave me horrible hangover the next day). But those things passed - I think the headaches stopped completely when I started GFCF diet. My mood has definitely improved, if I look back a couple of months. I don't think about death anymore. I have more concentration, and my memory is better. although I'm not by any means in good shape, I'm out of crisis. My energy has improved more slowly, and hypersomnia as well, but they, too, are improving. There are days now when I can sleep 10 hours, and I'm very glad about it. I'm able to do more things. I think I feel prozac withdrawal after two weeks when I have reduced it. I plan to go in the same pace (4mg down each month) until 20mg, and after that go 2mg/month. and at the same time, reduce also seroquel. Whoah, that was a long story to write down. Thank you for anybody who had the energy to read it through! I have some questions for you, too... - does it also seem to you, that lot's of my problems are drug-induced - withdrawal-induced? - what about illness itself? lots of people here discuss how they were put on AD-s which in hindsight were not needed, and then developed problems. I had small depression even before drugs. after my moms death I was on low dosage and for little time (half a year). And I did have bad trauma in my life. My mood swings and depressions were bad without AD-s... - my first biggest crash coincided with quitting baby pills (hormones). I have long suspected there was a link. I think I was sensitive to chemical changes, and the stress and traumas had built up, but my body couldn't handle it anymore. I also think taking long time baby pills can deplete the body from some important vitamins/minerals, and cause biochemical mess in the body. I think I will have more questions down the way. It's nice to finally write and introduce myself to you!
  2. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  3. I wanted of prozac was on it 9 months last dose was 20 mgs off 30 days dr said ok to stop self tapper. I know i don't know if have wd from the from prozac or my slow tapper K pin after two months use 1.5mg to .125 mg i stopped to day after trying to get on another AD which was horrible experience
  4. I was on prozac for ten years. gained weight and felt very sleepy, tired and slow on it (didn't realize it could have been prozac - dr says people lose weight on it) (had panic attacks once and a while in stressful situations) - was told I need to be on it long term. However, tired of weight issues and GP suggested if I want to go off them. 2 month taper (only side effect was few weeks of itchy feeling and spots on stomach. started to exercise, diet, lose weight. I realize now that wasn't long enough but felt ok for about another 5 months. ...Was ok for 5 months and then HUGE panic and anxiety now. Had some life triggers - felt emotional about the past, graving etc. low mood. insomnia (gradually built up - anxiety in morning first, now all the time - have some windows of normal towards the evening). Deep depression (which I didn't have before) but since reinstated Prozac it is a bit better. The constant adrenaline is the thing messing me up the most right now. I started taking 20mg again, (wasn't allowd 10mg) - dr said no point, no benefit. After emergency a and e, Psychiatrist rally want me on Venlafaxine (Effexor). I hear so many horror stories of this drug I am scared to take it. took one yesterday and vision was blurry so stopped. back on Prozac week 2. Dr don't believe withdrawals etc. (websites like this) tell me to stop looking online. shut up and take the effexor. they say it is my mental disorder relapse. In a dilemma as to what to do, listen to docs, or try and ride it out with Prozac? I don't want to take effexor and have even more withdraws etc. (never experience brain zaps, vision problems, weird dreams etc.) but need to be stable, can't sleep or function properly because of constant severe anxiety. Scared and not sure what to do. If I could just get rid of the anxiety and sleep problem. I'd have a chance. I probably have pssd too, but that is another problem for later. At the moment can't function, just want to stabilize. This is hell. If I can survive this point would want to try the slow tapper later too. but getting rid of this constant panic and insomnia is my first priority. Any ideas welcome.
  5. i've been off 60mg 40mg (see Post #4) of prozac for 2 months after tapering very quickly over 2 months. i took prozac for 20 years. i have really bad headaches most days, something i never used to have before unless i was dehydrated. i have terrible mood swings - i shout at people in the street if they're badly parked, i get road rage when i'm driving, i scream at the kids and my husband. fatigue is a big problem - i can fall asleep at any point during the day and often do. i sleep all night but am still exhausted the next day. i have constant vivid dreams and nightmares. my ocd is creeping back (which is what i was prescribed the prozac for in the first place). i thought i had it under control until my kids told me i needed to stop posting on social media so much as it was dominating my life. i was also alienating people online. i have constant diarrhoea. i cannot stop eating -i'm constantly ravenous, especially for carbs - crisps and potatoes are my downfall and i've put on a stone in weight since stopping. i have lots of pains in my joints and limbs. i did have crawling under my skin, especially in my knees and feet but this seems to have subsided. i'm scared of seeing or talking to people. this has always been a problem for me but it is worse right now. i feel panicked when i think of all the things i have to do - chores to be done round the house, things i need to do with my kids, hospital appointments for my husband (he has an avm in his brain and had a traumatic bleed nearly 4 years ago which has left him with life changing disabilities. i am his full time carer). thankyou for listening if you made it this far. today is a bad day and i keep asking myself why i gave up the pills in the first place? i hoped i would have more energy, feel more emotionally, lose weight etc. but it was only after i stopped that i started to read up on protracted withdrawals. i had no idea it could be so bad to stop the drugs.
  6. Introduction Hi everyone. I have been lurking here since last year but decided to start my thread as my waves are getting more frequent. I am trying to stabilize at 20mg of generic Prozac (fluoxetine) daily, and have been taking it for 6 months. I thought stabilization was finally happening in January this year but waves are now weekly. I am here to see if anyone can shed light on why my horrible waves are more frequent now. I've read “The windows and waves pattern of recovery” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/). Maybe I'm missing something? I'm not feeling very bright since WD hit me! Wave and window frequency Stabilization seemed to work right away and my intense waves were about every 14 to 21 days (3 to 4 weeks). Last month and this month, waves have increased frequency to about every week and last 2 to 5 days, with a window inbetween. Currently working on a graph based on my daily notes to visualize my stabilization journey. WD waves This is how I recall them now but I will update this description when I consult my notes next during a window. A headache and dizziness accompany a vice-like tightness around my head. I then get intensely irritable, depressed, and quite sleepy. I then get akathisia, mostly in the legs. I have tried pushing through it but I find it very hard to concentrate on anything and I just can’t bring myself to talk or interact with anyone. Any conversation or touch terrifies me and I just have to dismiss myself and apologize to whoever is around me at the time and hope they don’t take my sudden departure personally. I then go to sleep. When I wake, I feel better but the wave is still there. I tend to get better over the next day or two, only for the cycle to repeat as mentioned above. Aside from sleeping the only relief I get, for but a moment, is when my rescue cat comes home and deigns to grace me with her presence on the bed next to me or in my chair. This WD has meant that I can no longer keep many commitments, I can only work on a casual basis (i.e. I put in a few hours a day in a window), and my relationships have become skeletal. My life is slowly falling apart and I am now dependent on my partner. She is understanding of my withdrawal, having been on SSRIs herself but luckily avoided a protracted WD. Sadly though, I just feel so guilty and frustrated at how I am now a slave to this window and wave cycle, and largely a useless partner. Windows (something positive) I am myself: productive, fairly positive, happy, thoughtful of others, and able to tackle my anxiety properly. I still live in fear of waves but I am learning to try not to ruminate on them. I feel a willingness to connect with people. I am starting to put too much pressure on myself to do everything during a window and that is leading to problems. To be fair to myself though, my waves are iatrogenic and I must forgive myself for feeling wretched, even during a window, because SSRI withdrawal is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and it has ruined my life. Why are my waves more frequent? I will share some of my hypotheses below regarding why my waves are more frequent. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know, I’d love to hear them. I’ve learned so much from SA already. As mentioned in my signature I am working on compiling all the daily data I have into a graph so I can get a better picture of my stabilization journey (and what proceeded it). I don’t know when that will happen as my windows are now spent doing all the things I put off in my waves and just improving my loosening grip on the good things in life. I know though that I have to finish this data processing as soon as I can in case the waves merge into one big, long one. 1. My SSRI history during the last two years is peppered with ignorant tapering attempts, maybe it is catching up with me? 2. The optimist inside me is hoping that the frequency is increasing because it could be a pattern that occurs prior to a period of flatter frequencies (perhaps the ebbs and flows of homeostasis). I am perhaps just fantasizing but I imagine that if the frequency increases so much, like in a radio wave, the peaks and troughs (waves and windows) will be indistinguishable, which could be what homeostasis looks like. I am laughing at this hypothesis as I can see I am desperate for some good news XD 3. Maybe my reinstatement/stabilization dose was a little too low (considering I was on 40mg daily for the longest time) and I am catching up with the WD that it would have caused in recent months. If this is the case, I can’t see any benefit in updosing now anyway. Sure, it could always get worse but I think it would definitely get worse if I start guessing at an updose level. I could be wrong. 4. Some of my family wish to visit me later this month for a few days. I haven’t seen them in years. They planned it during one of my windows in December and I felt positive about it all. I also felt optimistic that given about 6 months of trying to stabilize, my waves would be a thing of the past, or a rarer occasion. I tried to get them to postpone but they can’t change their plans without losing all their money. I don’t want them to stop their holiday for me but as the reason for travelling is to see me, I have warned them that I may be in bed, only able to talk to them for a few minutes. I hope I have a window when they are here but I think I’ve had a huge amount of stress about the visit because I just don’t need the guilt I will undoubtedly feel when I am only able to see them for a few minutes. In other words, perhaps stressors and other factors in my life are making waves more frequent. My expectations for stabilization and my tapering plan I didn’t expect stabilization to take this long but after reading “After reinstating or updosing how long to stabilize” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4244-after-reinstating-or-updosing-how-long-to-stabilize/?hl=%2Bhow+%2Blong+%2Bstabilize) I realize it could take a long time, maybe years based on how much damage my ignorant tapering did in the past. When I stabilize (I suppose I have to believe that I will) I plan to do an SA taper, spanning years, with water titration (I have done a few trial runs of it and it’s very easy to get accurate doses this way). I have the syringes ready but it could be a long time before I get to use them! My current plan is to keep plodding along at 20mg until I can get a more stable window and wave frequency. I don’t expect my waves to disappear completely but this increase in frequency means I am questioning things and hope that someone out there may have an idea about what’s happening and what I may expect to happen for the next 6 months. Lifestyle As for my lifestyle, I am healthy, eat well, and exercise most days. I take some supplements but I don’t think they’ve made much of a difference either way. I will list them later when I can manage it but they include B12, magnesium, and fish oil. Sadly, during waves I mostly lie in bed as it provides me some relief. One of the side effects from fluoxetine is sleepiness and lethargy, which I've always had, so that contributes to me lying about a lot. It took so much out of me to write this but I am glad I did it now! Good luck to you all and I wish you the best, regardless of what stage of withdrawal and recovery you are. Kittygiggles
  7. Kristine

    Kristine: Not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  8. Hi everyone. I was prescribed Prozac 20mg back in 2002, for what I think now was pretty mild depression when I was at University. I remember my flatmate going to the Dr's about her lethargy and getting prescribed Prozac - a couple of weeks later she was enthusing about her new-found energy and encouraged me to go and get it. "All you have to do is cry in front of the Dr and say you can't sleep or do anything" - god how I wish now I'd ignored her. Fast forward 13 years with severe depression and self-harming which started not long after going on Prozac, which just reinforced to me and my GP that I needed the drug, and many years later several failed attempts to get off it, I felt I was over the depression (if I'd ever had any to start with but what the Prozac had exaggerated), and hadn't self-harmed for many years. My last attempt to get off Prozac in 2013 had caused me severe anxiety, anger and paranoia, ultimately having to go back on the drug because my Dr said I'd relapsed. I hadn't heard of SSRI withdrawal back then. I tried again in July with a tapering plan of 6 weeks from my GP. I now know from reading forums like this that it was probably way too quick, but I've come so far I really don't want to go back on it. The anger and tantrums in the first few months was unbelievable, I was so irritable I don't know how I didn't lose my job. I had lots of rows with my mum (who I'm living with for financial reasons) and on one occasion hit her on the arm, I couldn't believe I'd sunk so low as to hit my 70 year old mum. We've discussed the withdrawal since and she's very supportive, I just feel such a burden and I'm terrified of doing something similar again. The anger has got a lot less recently, and sometimes I've had an hour or so when I've felt like 'me' again, almost happy and content. Christmas and the New Year has been hard, with flu symptoms, awful anxiety that wakes me up and hits me with a terrible feeling of dread and panic. I'm due to start a new job tomorrow and I can barely get out of bed, I feel so wiped out. I can't eat and every time I try and make myself eat I have to rush to the toilet straight after. One thing that has helped a bit has been the videos linked to on these forums - from Baylissa at recovery-road.org I practically have the 'affirmations for recovery' on repeat. This too, shall pass..
  9. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  10. Hello everyone! I am a new user here. I've lurked around this site before but have yet to introduce myself. I was a Prozac user for a year from August 2015 - September 2016. I had taken it for social and general anxiety. I was on 20mg/day. Initially, I was actually doing fine and great emotionally but had side effects like massive fatigue everyday (not even 3 cups of coffee could wake me up!) and constipation every time I went to poop (sorry for TMI). I also felt like a zombie for a brief period in which I was neither happy nor sad. In May 2016, I decided to abruptly stop taking the Prozac by choice without consulting my doctor (bad move!) and had brain zaps and mood swings which I assumed as worsening depression. I then just asked my doctor to simply increase my dose because I thought I was getting worse (bad move again!). I was put on 40mg/day from June - August 2016 in which I was ok at first but then I was hit with a panic attack so severe I had to rush to the ER. For that week, I was having very severe symptoms. So I was instructed to go back down to 20mg/day. From then on, I decided to stop taking it a few months ago in September because I felt better and didn't want to rely on medication anymore to make me happy. I consulted with my psychiatrist who said for me to just take 10mg for one month and then I can stop. I did just that. Over the month of October I was fine and felt completely normal. However, I realized symptoms would come later once the month of November started. I have since felt every type of symptom under the sun including brain zaps, hot flushes, insomnia, irritability, tingling sensation of the skin, anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, tremors, and slight vertigo. I have never felt these symptoms in my life til now! I've talked to my doctor and he doesn't believe in withdrawals. At this point I feel helpless. I am experiencing waves and windows in which I have waves of really bad flare ups and then windows of good normal days where I feel fine. But they keep cycling back and forth. I now have questions to ask: 1. Do windows of no symptoms mean that my body is getting better? 2. Should I reinstate the Prozac and taper off more gradually? Someone suggested I shouldn't because I've already been clean for 3 months now. But what do you guys think? 3. Will symptoms go away if I keep pushing cold turkey? 4. Should I try medical weed to help ease tthe symptoms? I want to try natural ways of healing
  11. Hello everyone, I came across this site a little while ago and over the last few months, it has given me a great deal of insight as to how I should treat myself and, hopefully, come back from the horror that has been the last year. So to begin, I was always prone to depression throughout my teen's as a result of being abused and tormented in school at young age, so going through college with irrational thoughts as a constant theme crossing my mind was just natural. It's probably why I became an artist in the first place! About midway through, i'd gotten into a pretty messy break-up (Oh young love), and suddenly found myself spiraling downward into something else entirely. I was sent to my family doctor who simply shook his head and said, "It's just depression," gave me a prescription for something called 'Celexa', and off I went. The medication DID help, but i'd only had money enough for about 6-7 months worth, and knowing what I know now, am still a bit fuzzy as to what kind of withdrawal effects I may have had after stopping it altogether. Well time passed, and I wasn't able to find work after a couple years of searching and trying to hone my artistic skills to no avail. Eventually, I began having various symptoms that scared me at the time, though I know now as being associated with a low vitamin B12 level. Back I went to the family doctor, who, scratching his head in confusion, sent me to a specialist, a psychiatrist. This 'psychiatric professional' told me about the wonders of the various drugs at the time, and how they could help make life so much easier to navigate. Being in desperate need of an answers, I was all like, "Hey, okay! I was sent home with a prescription for Fluoxetine (Prozac). I'm going to fast forward a little, as in the time-span between starting the Prozac and stopping, i'd gone back to school to acquire my Bachelor of Arts in Animation and try my hand again at looking for meaningful work, to suddenly having that anti-depressant cause most of the issues it was supposed to 'help fix' in the last five years since graduating. Never ONCE was I told by my psychiatrist, whenever I called him for a refill, that this medication should only be used in the short term. Over TEN YEARS of use, from the first 3-4 being fairly stable, to having it slowly lose it's effectiveness, to outright causing most of my issues. And now the truly major event that began this whole train-ride to hell. A little over a year ago from when I typed out this introduction, I was diagnosed with a pair of massive blood clots in my leg, at age 32. (This is several months AFTER i'd been MIS-diagnosed by my family physician as to having gout.) Turns out, a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a previously undiscovered genetic disorder in our family (Factor V Leiden) led to my developing a pretty terrifying blockage in my deep vein. I was placed immediately on an expensive name-brand anti-coagulant, which I was told by the "nurse practitioner" they sent me to, was my only option. Despite having given my medication list to them, they did not clue in to the fact that Fluoxetine is by far one of the WORST of the anti-depressants to take while on an anti-coagulant. An entire month of savage hell passed, with enormous panic attacks bordering on heart attack, the shakes, brain tears and zaps of all kinds, as well as a host of other problems I can't even remember, I figured it was all just the side-effects of the anti-coagulant (In this case, Xarelto). So I demanded to switch to a different brand, after finding out that that nurse hadn't known her arse from her elbow when knowing about the various meds that can be taken for this issue. ANOTHER month of hell, this time on Eliquis, and by the end of that, I'd demanded to switch to the old, tried-and-true Warfarin, Ye olde rat poison derivative. This one seems to work well enough, with some of the aforementioned side-effects disappearing. THIS is where I had gone back to my psychiatrist and gave him an update as to what had been going on. And he non-chalantly told me that I shouldn't be taking Fluoxetine with an anti-coagulant, and thus told me that I needed to stop taking it. Immediately. No mention of weaning. No warnings. Nothing. He DID give me a prescription for Clonazepam at 0.5mg, which I have to this day, in order to help with the host of sleeping problems I'd been having. A few weeks later, I discovered through the wonders of the internet, that what i'd been going through was not due to the anti-coagulants, but was in fact acute withdrawal from the Prozac. I told him this and he was surprised, and a little disbelieving. Not overly so, just enough to ensure I didn't lose it in his office. He gave me the option of starting on one of the other types that DO play well with Warfarin, and I turned him down, in part because I was disgusted with him and the entire medical system, and also because i'd gone this far after going cold-turkey, and wasn't about to start walking backwards. So now, a year later from all this happening, i'm still slogging my way through these dark, muddy woods, hopping that there's a bright clearing at the end. It's been an awful time, but things HAVE gotten better. A few weeks ago I hit a pretty sweet window, and I keep telling myself that 'things WILL get better', like some kind of mantra. The more severe effects, such as the nocturnal panic attacks have lessened greatly, and only occur when my gastrointestinal system acts up, which can be irritating since it's the anxiety that can cause THAT to flare up. These days i'm dealing with the typical brain-fog and anhedonia associated with so much of the protracted withdrawal, but I still try to keep up hope that it'll all eventually get better. And throughout this ordeal, the most painful part hasn't been the host of troubling withdrawal effects, it's been the lack of understanding from family and friends. They can't possibly know what it feels like from day to day, and after a while, they inevitably tire of the constant moaning and venting. That's been hard. Anyways, thankya kindly for letting me share here. If nothing else, at least I proved to myself that I can still punch through enough of the brain-fog to type a letter of introduction! (Thank goodness for spell-check)
  12. Hi everyone! First of all, I want to appologize for my english ....Im mostly french!😉 I have been reading here since a little while but first time I write. I have anxiety since 12 years. I am 40 yrs old female. Been on meds since 11 yrs. I have been on almost every ad. Lots of them didnt suit me. Never been able To stay more than 4 yrs on one med cause it pooped out. I starter feeling really dizzy a year and a half afp (was on lexapro at that time ). Anxiety and fatigue game back. So tried different meds again with always many side effects even at low dose. So back in march (On prozac 20mg) I decided that maybe or was time for me To try my life without meds. Juste To say, or is a big step for me cause I have thaught that I was meant To be on this for life. Si since the beginning or april, I slowly decrease from 20mg To 5mg (now). I have the liquid form. Still take my clonazepam 1/4 of 0.5mg at night. The more I decrease, dizziness decreased also. People tells me I look more alive ! Cause I always felt kinna stone. I still had anxiety but it was manageable. But since a week, I feel more anxious and short of breath. I feel sometimes near To have panic attack over the fact that Im not breathing correctly. I put si much focus on that. Since 2 dans, I cry more also. ... What the heck is going on with me????? Does that mean I wont ne able To live without it ??? Psychiatriscian had no clue how To wean us. That fustrate me. I was the one who did the withdrawal plan and ask Her for liquid form. Now she almost laugh at me saying Im not suppose to feel any withdrawal symptoms with prozac and mostly at 5mg. She tells me its probably the anxiety coming back !? So what do you think? Also....is Ltheanin good for my withdrawal? Someone refered me that? Thank you again! Lolita
  13. Prince1924

    Prince1924: Prozac

    I have just read this advice about keeping a withdrawal programme Simple ie 3KIS. Not sure but there doesn't seem to be a support network like this in the UK? Only one I've come across is the Royal College of psychiatrists which is a in the form of a video). I've taken great comfort from all this advice as I makes me feel I can try and come off Prozac one more time.
  14. Ogres

    Ogres: Prozac

    Hello everyone! I first started Prozac in the beginning of 2009 to help with social anxiety and public speaking at work. I had to delivery training and couldn't simply face the situation where I'd be in the center of attention. I had had previous failings in this area and couldn't think of screwing up again. Especially, I could lose my job. So, after googling and researching I decided to give fluoxetine a try. As you can see, no doctors were involve and I could only blame myself . I even sourced the pills by ordering from the internet. I started with 20 mg and noticed effects after approx 2-3 weeks. The main thing that I remember was calmness and confidence. With the chemicals fully kicked in, I was so relaxed about the future ordeal that I thought that even if I failed, I’d not care too much. The training went fine though and I had a massive boost of confidence from this fact. The nature of my work, requires me to constantly communicate with people, which had always been hard for me. For this reason I stayed on AD. So that I could function normally and establish myself. I had recently moved to the UK from another country and had to survive. On the other hand I was very cautious, as I had had some past dependency on substances at a tender age, and never exceeded 20mg/day. Also, I never intended to use the pills forever. I just liked how they made me feel in social situations. I had always been a bit shy and fluoxetine helped me to be more relaxed. I continued to take Prozac, but with breaks where I'd be completely off for weeks and even months! I'd go off medication cold turkey (I didn't know about tapering at the time!). And to be honest, I didn't have any major symptoms during years 2010-2013 apart from anxiety (but I'd always been anxious), irritability, anger. No major physical symptoms as far as I could remember. I consider myself to be a person with some self control and I'd try to disregard what happens inside me and try to look normal. Maybe being young(ish) and the fact that I always did some sport help as well? With time as I was becoming more relaxed about my job security and with thoughts that I probably better off AD eventually, my breaks would become longer and longer. And in Jul 2015 I first decided to go off completely. As always, I just stopped cold turkey! Well, I tapered by taking 20 mg every other day for couple of weeks, but I don't think it can be considered tapering in pure sense. WD was probably a bit harder this time with anxiety, irritability, fatigue more pronounced. But I tolerated it fine. I thought maybe I was getting older? No other major physical symptoms. I went back on Prozac again in Feb 2016 because of a new project where I'd need to socialize and communicate. And when work situation calmed down, I went off again in Sep 2016. This time WD a bit harder still. Major symptoms: anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, stress intolerance, anger, insomnia. Surprisingly, insomnia only hit me first in month 7 (still suffering)! This is probably the worst symptom, a torture, when you can't sleep for several nights at a time and then had to function during the day... Thanks a lot for all your attention!
  15. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  16. Link to father's topic: paranoidandroid Hello everyone, Iv'e actually been looking at this site for quite a while now to get me through and decided to make an account now I feel in a slightly better place to do so. Currently I'd just like peoples opinions on my situation.. do you think I'll ever fully recover? My history in the signature sums it up quite concisely so if you want to ask any questions please do. I believe I will but I just want to hear it from other people, as you may know this can be a lonely place to be. I wasn't aware for all this time how damaging these drugs are and assumed my visual snow and DP was just related to anxiety. But now I have no doubt in my mind they caused these symptoms. I may not go back to exactly how I was 6 years ago, which is upsetting, but as long as going forward I'll be able to make a better reality for myself, then I think I'll be okay. I'd also be very interested in what people think of my diet and if you think I should refine it in any way.
  17. Bluebird2009

    Bluebird2009

    Hi 8 am from the UK and was on Prozac for 18years but had been unwell and having physical problems the past few years but tests where all clear. I realised it was the drug that was the problem. I was taken off too quickly and my body went into shock and I have been in protracted withdrawal ever since which is 9months now. Every month I'm getting new symptoms and really struggling with living. I can't tolerate even a pain relieve tablet without a reaction. I have awful lung and chest pain, blurred vision, severe headache which has just started this week and feel like I'm dying. I feel I maybe shouldn't have came of but then maybe it's better to get the poison out of my body. Really need some positive vibes at the moment and if anyone else in UK can help please do as I'm frightened that I'm going to die.
  18. Nuttinanna

    Nuttinanna

    Hi I am a 71 yr old nana who has had Lupus for 30+ years. I have been on Fluoxetine for approx 14 yrs. Started on 40mg. In 2013 reduced to 20 mg. After tons of therapy and other improvements in lifestyle I now believe that Fluoxetine is not doing me any good and am trying to stop. Started 8 weeks ago skipping doses every 4 days which had no effects after 2 weeks. So skipped one every 3 days and after a week started with withdrawal symptoms that have intensified. This has been going on for 6 weeks now and showing no sign of stabilising. Am now thinking I should go back and start again more slowly and get the liquid form. will be talking to Doc but although a great doctor she knows less about withdrawal than I do. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated. Also take Hydroxychloroquine, Ramapril, Bendroflumathiazide, Omeprazole,Thyroxine, Cod Liver Oil, Multivitamins. Many thanks
  19. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  20. 60 yr old male. 25 years of Prozac. Stopped 40 mg way too fast and have been suffering for months. Ringing ears, can't focus, blurred vision, easily annoyed. Regular Dr. no help at all. Says it is returning depression. In great physical health, don't eat sugar, follow Paleo diet. Exercise every day. Too many older family members getting dementia in their 80's and I don't want to go that route! Trying to decide if after two months, I should start a low dose to try to slow the withdrawal symptoms. CBD Oil seems to help round off the edges. Expensive though. CBD Vape works best and fast but you have to hide the use from everyone!
  21. Hello. As in my signature (which I see may need to be edited for specifics): I went on Prozac in 1994, off two or three years later, but then seemed to need it again and was told I had the profile of someone who should be on it indefinitely. I was on from 1997 or 1998 until in 2014 I tapered off over several months. After a few months off, I developed constant fear with ruminations about death and the end of the universe. Went on Effexor in January 2015, switched to Cymbalta later to attempt to reduce tinnitus, switched back to Effexor again (no longer sure when, probably summer 2017). Then, I tapered off from November 2017 to mid-March 2018, then had a few weeks of dizziness and thumps in the head, then was fine. In mid-May 2018, the constant fear and ruminations returned. I immediately started on about 7.5 mg of Cymbalta (a quarter of the beads in a capsule), since it was what I had left from my US doctor (I'm in the UK for some months at least), then saw a doctor. I was concerned about future discontinuation syndrome with the SNRIs, so in discussion with the doctor I started on 20 mg Prozac on May 23. I wanted to overlap with the Cymbalta because I'd read Prozac is used for transitions, but the doctor said to stop the Cymbalta in case of overdose, so I stopped after a few days. After eight days on Prozac, I told her I remember that it takes a few weeks to build up but that I was struggling, so on June 1 she switched me to 30 mg of Cymbalta in hopes of faster relief. I'm afraid that because Cymbalta was what I still had left from my US doctor and I wasn't in the best mental state, I mistakenly told her that's what I'd last been on, but it had really been Effexor - unless I'm now permanently confused. Now, six days later, I'm feeling slight relief but still free-floating fear. I'm having some dry mouth, occasional heat at the back of my head, and fidgeting with my legs, all of which are manageable - but after some reading here, I'm wondering if I should lower the Cymbalta dose anyway. On the other hand, I'm desperate for it to take effect as soon as possible. I've been reading some of the other introductions that mention Effexor/venlafaxine and Prozac/fluoxetine and am wondering if I should immediately ask my doctor for a new prescription of Effexor to reinstate instead of proceeding any further with Cymbalta/duloxetene. I'm also wondering if I should try the Prozac again instead, though it had seemed to stop working and I've been off it since about May 2014 - but it seems safer than the SNRIs. By the way, I am American but currently in the UK, and in this system one has to start with a GP before a psychiatrist will accept a referral. My GP seems to know a bit (she was aware of possible cardiovascular effects and has ordered an EKG for me), but I doubt she knows enough (if anyone does). I'll have to find out if I can proceed to a psychiatrist more quickly if I use my US insurance (which will start in July) to pay privately. Thanks for any thoughts.
  22. I've been taking these meds for years. I've been on them mostly for extreme anxiety and depression. What do I need to help with anxiety and depression as I try to get off of them so I can stay off of them. Also, how bad is getting off of fluoxetine, trazodone, wellbutrin compared to getting off of Effexor? Getting off of Effexor was pretty hellish.
  23. Hi everyone, I am new and super happy to be here. I have been on Prozac 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300 for twenty five years. I have tried to get off a few times but was not successful. I started to taper in Jan and was down to half doses on May first. The withdraw, specifically anger and self hate became too intense and I went back to old doses two weeks ago. Now I feel like crap. Side effects are harsh and benefit little. I feel like I have let an angry tiger out of the cage and can't get it back in. I am thinking of going back to the half doses and just dealing with the emotional stuff by working out. I started yoga in Jan but maybe harder cardio is the way to get the anger out. Problem is that I am also very tired. I work and come home and go to bed. I journal, go to AA meetings been sober over 15 years. I feel like I am a mess. I am wondering about some of the natural antidepressants like SamE or 5HTP? I just feel like my brain is raw and hurts. Any ideas on how to supplement and sooth my brain? thanks, and I also will stop the taper and work with my doctor but can't see him for another month so that is why I am thinking of going back to the Prozac 10 and Wellbutrin 150 that I have been taking for the past couple of months.
  24. Hi. I was taking prozac 10 mgs for 5 months. Then I cold turkeyed it (didnt know I had to taper it). I have since been in protracted withdrawal for almost 6 months. I have been getting better. But, as I heal, I have other health issues that come up, and I am afraid to take medicine for those issues because I do not want to have any crazy reactions to the medicine. For instance, I used to have a birth control device called ESSURE. I had a hysterectomy to remove it almost 2 years ago. But, I think that the inflammation from the device messed with my hormones causing me to develop acne, dry skin, and excessive facial hair on my face. This was all prior to me using Prozac. Now, that I am in withdrawal I have been told that I may need to take hormone pills to help the issues I am having with my face. So far, I have been doing well avoiding all supplements and medications, alcohol, etc. while I am in protracted withdrawal to allow my nervous system to heal. The question is, is it safe for me to take the hormone pills to correct any imbalances I may have? What about taking antibiotics for skin infections (if I need it)? Or if I need any further surgeries (that require pain/numbing meds) for my ongoing pelvic pain after my hysterectomy? How should I proceed? I do not want to face any set backs in my healing, so any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
  25. 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.
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