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  1. if this isn't allowed I"m sorry. I promised a friend I'd try to get her help. She's 84yrs old and doesn't use a computer. she suffered the tragic loss of her husband 3 yrs ago (suicide, he'd had botched surgery that left him in terrible pain and he couldn't take it any longer) She "fell apart" she said, and went into a psych hospital for 2 1/2 mos. While there, she believes she was given meds to help her sleep and possibly started on lexapro, she's not sure. She thought maybe the lexapro was started some time later. In any case, she took lexapro for at least 2 yrs For some reason, her PCP (who has been prescribing the lexapro) switched her to remeron. She was going thru a hard time with a BF who was stalking her, damaging her car, etc. So it's possible she told her dr that the lexapro wasn't helping. So she was switched to mirtazapine/remeron. it's now Approx 2 mos after being off the lexapro and she's waking up with horrible anxiety attacks as well as severe GI symptoms. She's also dizzy and feels weak , hot and sweaty. She went to the ER and was tested for everything under the sun, nothing wrong. She was started on lorazapam/ativan at 0.5mgs once a day. her PCP has rather quickly upped that dose to 0.5mgs three times a day to now 1mg three times a day and she's been told not to drive which is not going to happen. She refuses to stay home and doesn't understand that the drug that an impair her ability to drive is also the drug that can make her unaware of her impairment (although I think I was able to get that thru to her by comparing it to being drunk) this 84 yr old woman has been active her entire life, kayaking hiking, etc etc, she would not just stay home. she's waking up with more and more anxiety every day and more GI symptoms, including a burning feeling in her stomach and nausea My feeling is that she's going thru lexapro withdrawal (delayed) she takes the remeron at night and she says it helps her to sleep but she's quickly gotten very fond of the ativan. I've warned her about addiction and tolerance and told her she needs to take the warnings about driving very seriously. she's at an age where she believes that only a dr knows best, so it's very hard for me to give her advice. Plus I don't want to cause her any harm she wants me to go with her to see a psychiatrist or other prescribing dr. I don't know that I'd be much good with that, since I HATE these drs so much for what they did to me (over 40yrs on psych drugs, given nearly every mental illness lable, etc etc) Is there anything I can do for her? My feeling was that a tiny dose of lexapro might convince her that her anxiety and GI upset are WD from the CT of lexapro... but I don't know if that would work now that she's got the other drugs in her system........?? what would be her best course of action? she does not want to be on these drugs but she's not been offered therapy!! she wants to go inpatient because she's recently lost her volunteer job and her BF and is lonely and needs things to do. I doubt they'll agree to admit her for that, but she may realize that her anxiety issues might be enough to get her admitted for a short while since she has good insurance I told her that they are likely going to keep her on meds and maybe increase them. They don't know how to get ppl off them. any suggestions welcomed. I'm so upset that she's going thru this. these damn drs dole these drugs out like candy, it makes me sick
  2. I’m 17 years old. In January I had a bad reaction to Effexor after doubling a dose and having SAMe. Basically went numb emotionally and felt stupid. My brain did not function and Even my skin went numb. My doctor had me come off of it quickly. It took about two weeks but then I was back to normal. A week after that most of my symptoms came back. I had DRPR and anhedonia. Horrible head pressure. It took four months for me to feel myself again. I admitted to my parents I hadn’t been taking the meds and they told me I had to start myneffecor again. I began to do that. I felt like myself overall but my sleep had been deteriorating. It was too activating. they took me to the mental hospital and my doc took me off the Effexor 75 after 5 days of being on it and put me on a low dose of Paxil 5 mg. They had hoped this would be less activating and take place of the Effexor that’s a low dose. I reacted horrible. Immediately lost all the feelings I regained. Any sort of attraction to the opposite sex gone. Sexuality is there but romance feelings are not. Forehead pressure and pain. Couldn’t sleep. Anhedonia got worse. They stopped the Paxil after one try. They started me on seroquel 12.5 mg twice a day and 150 at night. I started to get better sleep and became less anhedonic as the days went on. However, it’s been a week since I had the Paxil and I still don’t feel super attracted to the opposite sex. I feel love for people now but it’s dulled. Motivation is down. Slight DRPR but not much at all. However, ten times better than I have been the past few months overall. I also lost my ability to visualize which I had on the effexor those 5 days. I’m also moody with head pressure going between my nose, my forehead and top of head. My ears are ringing constantly. I’m assuming if I stopped the Effexor and just started seroquel without the Paxil, I’d be in better shape right now. Would reinstating a small amount of Effexor help with any of this? Do I wait it out? My parents are willing to get it compounded. On the Effexor I could visualize and felt all the emotions. But I don’t know if it would help with the seemingly adverse reaction to the Paxil. Thankfully, I can still watch tv and listen to music which I hadn’t been able to do in months until I healed and on the effexor. My sleep is great right now, which I’m thankful for. I got 11 hours last night after get 4 hours average for four months. I’m currently also on Ativan 0.5 twice a day and I’ve been on it for about 3 weeks. Doctors want to get me off of it but I don’t want to Add any more stress to my system. They mentioned switching to Valium or gabapentin. I’m sorry for all the questions. Would reinstating prevent a crash from all these changes? Or do you think I’ll be fine without? I’m sorry I know you don’t own a crystal ball. current schedule: 9 am: seroquel 12.5, 0.5 Ativan 3 pm seroquel 12.5, 0.5 ativan 9 pm seroquel 150 mg, 0.5 Ativan
  3. Hello, i just joined this group looking for help/information. I have been 5 months clean from Celexa / Ativan. Except for 3 ativan and 2 days in jan i took celexa again thinking ivshould go back on then realizing it doesnt fix the depression. It has been a whirlwind with no advice or understanding of what to expect. I was on it for over 10 years and maybe more..started on meds at 21 and now in my 50th. Anybody on here can tell me a bit of what to expect, how to help with the withdraals, what withdrwals they had. I know not to take any herbs. All i take is probiotics and enzymes. My stomach is a mess, my whole body sches still sense of helplessness, brain is finished zapping but it hurts and lots of ringing, shakiness. I did not get advice from a doctor. March 2109 i tried pristiq for 3 months then went back on celexa and only maybe 4 weeks did the tapering. Regret that now but its been 5 months off. Thanks for listening. Ella
  4. I’ve been taking 300mg of lamictal for years. It was given to help with neuropathy . Currently tapering off of Ativan- and I have always taken them together-8-12 and 6:00. I thought the first thing to do was get off the benzo, but joining this forum I’m not so sure. I also take 25 mg of amtriptyline and 12.5 of ambien for sleep.
  5. i need some advice and/or help in navigating where i'm at with all of this. i have tapered with the help of, previously an inconsiderate doctor, and currently an excellent one. there were times where i was shifted about from tapering lexapro to various different antidepressants, i cannot remember all of them as there were many, but trintellix and was one of them. after a severe (and still recovering) bout of health anxiety, i stumbled upon the ashton manual (around november 2018) and folks talking about their experience with coming off of benzos. since i was taking ativan at the time, it was my scapegoat. i tried kicking it, lurked in various places online for other people's experiences, and started to shift my view to it being less about the benzos, and more about the psychiatric medication as a whole when it didn't quite work out. since february of 2019, i have tapered off of three medications in order: trileptal, geodon, and lexapro. the trileptal was easy enough, but the geodon was a world of hurt. in my signature i've listed that the lexapro and geodon were tapered at the same time- this is to the best of my memory, which is spotty due to the polypharmacy. i know the geodon was the priority, but i seem to recall going back and forth with lexapro's dose while dealing with the geodon withdrawal- which assuredly caused the only psychotic event of my life. i switched doctors after being told to simply 'take the geodon every other day for awhile,' which said doctor told me not to do with the lexapro, and i couldn't handle the fact that my appointments were less than five minutes long. i switched to a new professional, and they are great. i was introduced to the compounding pharmacy for the geodon since it did not go any lower than 20mg, and following the completion of that taper in sept 2019, i focused on the lexapro, which is now completed. i am no stranger to windows and waves, which are thankfully getting much better and easier to tolerate- though the waves are still intense. there are too many symptoms to list, but the FINISH acronym is very apt and applies to me, mostly the zaps, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia. my biggest concern at the moment is dealing with my sleep issues. previously it was a complete lack of being able to sleep, but now it is more of a reversal of my circadian rhythm. 12 hours on the dot to when i could be waking up otherwise, and i cannot simply 'fix' this as far as i have tried. i have a lot of frustration about having been medicated for entirely the wrong things as a result of being diagnosed with a mental health condition that i do not have by a 10 question piece of paper at a doctor's office, but it is well beyond in the past to change it now. i cannot beat myself up for this, as i was dealing with a gnarly living situation at the time and thought they could help. they could not. this frustration, coupled with having a frazzled nervous system and having a wholly messed up sleep schedule, is getting to me. i have to tell myself that it's okay to be healing right now, as there is not much that is expected of me, but i am having trouble essentially pep-talking myself into feeling better when i feel terrible from still withdrawing. while i am done with all of my medication, there is much healing to be done, and i am very tired of how long this has been going on. apologies for the long post- i felt it necessary to post a bit of history/context, and i have trouble being unprompted for these sorts of things. i have not used a forum in a long time!
  6. Hello! I was Rx'd mirtazapine postpartum for postpartum anxiety and insomnia, as well as ativan 0.5mg - 1 mg (i only took the ativan for about 2 weeks though). At one point before these meds, I was up for 72 hours straight - not a single minute of sleep. It was horrible, but the meds were a godsend. I've been on it a little over a year now (about 14 months). I was originally rx'd 7.5 mg and upped the dosage to 15 mg in Feb 2019. Since my reasons for being rx'd it are now gone (my son is well over a year old and my postpartum hormones have leveled off), I want to try my life without it. Before the birth of my son, I was never on any AD's or antianxiety meds. I saw a doc on monday and he said to just start by taking half a pill and do that for a few weeks or a month and then we would reassess how I feel and proceed the rest of my taper from there. Last night was the first night on the low dose and sleep was hard - I ended up taking 1 mg of ativan (which I have for the occasional anxiety inducing situation) and 50 mg of benadryl. I didn't get great sleep - maybe about 3-4 hours, but without those meds I would have gotten none. I'm reading some places not to take benadryl with mirtazapine - but I'm not sure I understand why. Can anyone explain why that's a poor decision? Is it ok to do every once in a while - as long as I don't do it every night? I can handle a night of absolutely no sleep if I know I can get some sleep the next night. I've tried melatonin but it doesn't seem to work for me - I was taking 3 mg, but maybe I need a *lower* dose of it? Valerian root gives me nightmares so I avoid it. After reading some on the board, I think I'm going to taper by 10% from 7.5mg -> 0mg. I've bought my solution and pill crusher - but I've already started this taper from 15mg -> 7.5mg so I think I'm just gonna see it through the next few weeks - even if it's really horrible. Anyways - other than the crappy sleep, I don't really have any other noticeable effects from the drop yet. I know they may take a few days to show up. Thanks!
  7. Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with major depression and an anxiety disorder in my early twenties, although I had my first mental breakdown/became seriously ill at seventeen. I managed to make it through university but had a second breakdown just as it was ending and have never fully recovered. I was first prescribed antidepressants (Effexor to start) at the time of my diagnosis and had a terrible reaction in the form of a mixed manic state, where I was both depressed and manic. However, I knew side-effects could happen and continued on through it as I was desperate for something to work. It did pass, but the nightsweats that kept me up all night eventually became too much and I had to go off of it. Over nearly the past decade I have dutifully tried antidepressants from every class, many different combos, as well as antipsychotics although I have never been psychotic, mood stabilizers, and benzos. Several years ago, I told my psychiatrist a long-standing fear of mine; that I thought I was treatment-resistant. I have one antidepressant that I feel may have worked moderately, and one that worked actually quite well for about a week - more about that later - but many of the others made me significantly worse and all had unbearable side-effects. My psychiatrist disagreed with me and tried me on more meds, but after my worst reaction ever last winter (Duloxetine) he finally agreed that I was, in fact, treatment-resistant. Duloxetine was the one med I thought really worked for me, but after only a short period of time on it I had a severe physical reaction with GI symptoms/vomiting that went on for over a month. All other causes for this but the med were ruled out through tests, and I became very ill/lost a lot of weight, and had to withdraw from it abruptly. The abrupt withdrawal was the worst I'd ever experienced, and caused a severe upswing in suicidal thoughts, and some sort of rage syndrome, which was completely uncharacteristic for me and the most terrifying thing I've ever gone through mentally. Anyway, after that, I wanted to try going off of antidepressants altogether and I had the support of my psychiatrist, who I had freaked out with my Duloxetine reaction and who at this point had put me on a useless antidepressant from the 50's, I guess as a last-ditch effort in his panic over my condition. He wanted to withdraw me from it too quickly, but I took a longer withdrawal period, and was able to do it! I'm currently off of antidepressants for the first time in many years. So I am no longer having the horrible mental or physical side-effects to the many meds I took, but am still suffering from the suicidal ideation that never left and am now at a loss as to what to try next. Not knowing what else to do, I asked my psychiatrist for a referral to ECT and was sent to an psychiatrist specializing in ECT, who approved me for it, but suggested I try a mood stabilizer first, as he said he'd seen many people who had treatment-resistant depression who actually had an atypical form of bipolar where they just hadn't presented with their first manic episode yet. This seemed sketchy to me, but again, I was really desperate. I was put on Lamotrigine, and have been having excessive crying spells, but it's impossible to tell whether that's from going off of antidepressants or the Lamotrigine itself. In any case, it's either causing crying spells or doing nothing, so I am currently tapering from it, and don't seem to be having the problems tapering I've had with antidepressants, at least. I have to be tapered from it fully to try ECT, as Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant that would cause the ECT to be unsuccessful. I am also still taking Ativan, sometimes for anxiety but more often than not for when the suicidal thoughts get too much. I've gone off of Ativan before during times when I've been in a bit better place, so I'm capable of it, but I have to get the suicidal thoughts under control first. If anyone has any first-hand thoughts on or experiences with ECT I would appreciate it so much. I've been overprescribed by psychiatrists and traumatized by therapists over the years, I've only met the psychiatrist specializing in ECT once, and I just don't have much trust there or with anyone I've encountered in the mental health profession, unfortunately. I have done research and know the possible scary side-effects of ECT, but also that it has a much better success rate than antidepressants, something that I am pretty annoyed I had to discover on my own. But, yeah, I am still very unsure of it. I hope this is halfway articulate. Thank-you so much for listening.
  8. TNnightowl

    TNnightowl

    Hi there, everyone. I have been hanging around this site for a few weeks now, and I've discovered so much valuable, helpful information. Actually putting myself out there is a big step for me, but I am convinced that this is where I belong. I have recently made the decision, after much research & thoughtful/prayerful consideration, to come off all the psych meds I am taking. I understand this will take time, but I'm in it for the long haul. So much of what I have learned over the past few weeks, and much of it from this site, is terrifying...and very much an eye-opener. I was first prescribed antidepressants back in 1989, and I may not be able to recall all the different meds I've taken since then nor the exact time frames taking each one. I will try to be as accurate as possible. Major Depression 1989, hospitalized for 22 days Amitriptyline (strength/dosage ?) Can't recall the anti-anxiety med prescribed. Maybe Xanax. Since that time I have been prescribed numerous antidepressants & anti-anxiety meds over the years. I am unable to be more specific than to name a few that I can recall. Time frames are impossible to recall as well. Lexapro Xanax Paxil I was med-free for a few years and functioned very well...even as a single mom of three very active boys. Then, approximately 10 yrs. ago I went down into that pit of depression again. Began antidepressants again and have been on them ever since. About 5-6 years ago, I resigned myself that I would need these meds for the rest of my life. I have lived in my own little world, functioning, but I have realized I want my life back. Currently: Sertraline (generic Zoloft) 100mg. 2 X a day Bupropn (gen. Wellbutrin) HCL 150mg. XL 1 X a day Lorazepam (gen. Ativan) 1mg. 1/2 - 1 tablet up to twice daily as needed. Have been taking a whole tablet before bed each night for about a year. As of 4 weeks ago, I am in the process of tapering and will begin tonight with a nightly dose of 1/2 tablet. (Was taking this dosage until a major event in my life about a year ago, then I began with one whole tablet at bedtime.) I have a pill cutter and have tapered slowly. I intend to hold it at this dosage until I have my med check appt next month, then go from there. Abilify 5mg. (on and off this one for about 3 years at different strengths, 5mg. being the highest) Started tapering off about 3 months ago but as I discovered on this site, taper wasn't slow enough. Experienced nightmarish w/d symptoms for 2-3 weeks, then began slowly to feel better. Symptoms have since subsided...ups and downs, though, over a few weeks. Will NEVER put this poison in my body again! I am making changes in my diet, exercising, and being mindful of & rerouting my thought patterns...and socializing more, which is very difficult for me. My grown sons & daughters-in-law, brothers & sis-in-law, and a couple close friends are aware of my goals. They are all very supportive and are "there" for me...24/7. This is very comforting to me. I have my faith, and I have a wonderful therapist who has been & is extremely helpful to me and is supportive of my efforts to become psych meds-free. I am very thankful to have found this site. Reading others' experiences helped me to survive the w/d symptoms after tapering off Abilify. So thank you to all who share here!
  9. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  10. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Doodle3: trying to taper Ativan @Shep Hi, currently on 1 mg ativan am and .05 pm. Had major stressors recently, think I might be in tolerance. I Have burning in my legs, nausea half hour after I take it. Jelly legs. Heart palpitations, increased anxiety, daily crying spells. I want to taper off but do not where to start and looking for guidance.
  11. I've been on psych medications since I was 14, I'm almost 36. I've tried almost everything. I cant do it anymore. I hate the meds so much I don't want to be anywhere near them. I'm very tempted to cold turkey them. I hope that won't kill me, but I can't live this way.
  12. Randy

    Randy

    Ativan 2012-11/2018 .5 to 2 mg/day Tianeptine Sulfate 2018 Lyrica 2018 150-250mg/day tapered off.... chronic pain from hernia surgery and nerve block 2015. Ativan 1mg switched to 10mg Valium 12/2018..tapering 10% week. Point of Return program herbs and supps over the years for anxiety and pain
  13. MOD NOTE: This is Gemma92's topic. Before Gemma joined SA her sister icerose posted requesting assistance. I've merged the two topics so that all of Gemma's history is in one place. _________________________________ Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
  14. Hello all, my name is Alicia. I'm a mother to a small child with autism. My whole mess with these medications happened before she was even born, and I am ashamed to say that I was even on celexa during my whole pregnancy with my daughter and of course I was told that celexa was perfectly safe during pregnancy, but now I wonder if her autism is related to the stupid ad. I only wish I knew the dangers of these meds long before now. Anyways I first took celexa back in 2011 after I developed panic attacks, they also gave me clonazepam. I quit the clonazepam a little before I got pregnant with my daughter, but continued the celexa until October of 2016. In October of 2016 I was switched to Zoloft and given Ativan from a new psychiatrist. I continued to take the meds until November 23 of 2017. I just one day decided I'm sick and tired of going to psychiatrists it was becoming an inconvenience for me. So I just threw the rest of the meds down the toilet and been med free for 10 months now. I was unaware that these meds were not like other meds that you can just completely quit anytime you want, and I was flooded with weird symptoms. I have just been toughing it out for the past 10 months because I refuse to talk to doctors about anything anymore, I know they are just going to tell me to start the meds again.I know nothing will get better if I go back on them again, so instead I have turned to supplements to help with my symptoms. Insomnia and sensitivity to light and sounds are the most prevelant of my symptoms, I also been having a ton of fasciculations in my legs, something I never experienced until this withdrawal. At first I thought I was developing some motor neuron disease but now I'm just chalking it up to this withdrawal because after reading forums on this website I see just how crazy your body can get after these meds, and I wish I never started them.
  15. Hi guys, sorry this may be a long post, I think it is okay to share my story on this. I am 21 years old, a college student about to graduate, and I have been on an SSRI for about 5 years now. I was diagnosed with ADHD and GAD when I was about 12, I have always been somewhat anxious and had issues with regulating my emotions. In 2013 my girlfriend broke up with me and I was really sad and feeling hopeless. After a few months of being down and also anxious, my doctor (pediatrician) decided to put me on 5mg of Lexapro. The Lexapro seemed to help (I think?) and I recovered somewhat quickly. Over the next few years, however, my doctor fluctuated my dosage quite a bit. I would get anxious, he would up my dosage, and then I would become a zombie and he would lower it. It did seem to blunt my emotions on a high dose. Other than that it was fine. However, the summer after my freshman college, I became extremely anxious and had an existential crisis, prompting my doctor to change me over to Zoloft and Trazodone. When starting Zoloft, I took 50mg and worked up to 100mg. It possibly helped my anxiety but my emotions became blunted again (or maybe it was depression?). I did not feel hopeless or sad, but I kind of lost the ability to have pleasure over simple things. After going through a hard time on Zoloft and Trazodone feeling empty and dull, my doctor and I decided to taper off to see if that would help. Every time I tapered, we would allow three weeks to go by to see if it helped. I went from 100mg to 75mg to 50mg to 25mg and eventually to nothing. Every time I lowered, I felt a little more in touch with my emotions. With the Trazodone, I stopped cold turkey on a dose of 50mg. When I went completely off of the Zoloft and Trazodone, I started having crying episodes, brain zaps, insomnia, anxiety, occasional anhedonia/brain fog, and severe social anxiety. After a month or two, all of these symptoms went completely away (except sometimes the anhedonia/brain fog). I was doing good and feeling very in touch with my emotions. After a few months off of the Zoloft though, the school year was coming back around, and the girl I had been dating for 2 years broke up with me unexpectedly. It devastated me and left me feeling sad and hopeless. I was crying all of the time, I was thinking about her all of the time, losing the ability to feel pleasure, and had anxiety because I still saw her every day. This continued on through the semester and I went home for winter break feeling depressed and anxious. I was feeling brain fog/anhedonia, and lost overall enthusiasm for life. It got bad enough that I knew I needed help, so I started talking to a therapist (I had seen a few before this one) and it was helping. I still was depressed, but was slowly improving. I started taking Adderall again to study for a certification exam over the break and this helped boost my mood tremendously. It cleared my mind, helped with the brain fog/anhedonia, and made me feel a little more peaceful inside (less racing thoughts). My psychiatrist decided he wanted me to take Trintellix and put me on a 5mg dose. I went back to school feeling down and anhedonic again. All the progress I made during seemed to start disappearing. I stopped taking the Adderall, and once the Trintellix seemed to start working I started becoming extremely anxious. I felt extreme depersonalization, started having weird sensory problems (visual snow, eye floaters, tinnitus, and my body started fluctuating between feeling tingly and numb) and was scared. My doctor upped my dose of Trintellix to see if that would help. I ended up taking Ativan to help with the anxiety. I was feeling less anxious but still had the sensory/depersonalization problems. Not to mention, my emotions went away again. The Ativan lowered my anxiety but made me feel completely dull and emotionless. I ended up tapering off of it and feeling better after a few months, but having a lot more anxiety/sensory issues. Since this (which was earlier in the summer), I started taking Adderall because I read a lot and it seemed my problems were kind of related to Adult ADHD. I always feel internally restless and have a hard time focusing, and taking therapeutic doses (20 mg or lower) seem to calm me down and clear my mind. Not to mention, it helps with my emotional regulation problem. Overall my academics and state of mind are improving. I have lowered the Trintellix from 20mg to 10mg over two months. I have had more sensory problems and anxiety since lowering the medicine, but it seems my emotions are slowly coming back. Every now and then, I get a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of what life used to feel like. It gives me hope. But I have been so up and down for the past 5 years, I am sick of feeling so unstable. I want to have emotions again and not deal with brain fog/anhedonia and anxiety for the rest of my life. I didn't have the former problem until taking medicine. I want the sensory problems to be gone. They only started after I started taking Trintellix. I need help with tapering off I think. Does anyone have any advice for me? I want to learn to treat my depression and anxiety in natural ways, and learn to regulate my emotions better. I want to believe I can live without taking medicine for these issues, because they only seem to exacerbate them. Do I have any hope of being stable again? I always feel uneasy inside and am constantly trying to distract my mind from this. I am sick of being anxious about these weird symptoms, everyone thinks I am crazy and writes me off. Will slowly tapering help this? I long for a day that I am not constantly thinking about being better, and can handle life's ups and downs. I am not wanting to be perfect, just to be able to not always think and worry about my mental health. I am always worrying about exercising enough, meditating enough, sleeping enough, eating well enough, and lowering stress enough. I think my issues could be related to tons of different things, but it is so hard to tell when you are put on medicines that only seem to compound the issue. School has been a big source of stress/anxiety and I am almost done, so I really want to take the time to improve my physical/mental/emotional/spiritual state of mind so life is not always this rocky. Thanks for listening, sorry this was so long.
  16. MilaB

    MilaB

    Thanks for adding me. I need encouragement. I have been on ADs for 15 years - Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor and now Cymbalta. Also Trazadone when I couldn’t sleep. I missed a dose of Cymbalta in 2016 and was shocked by how bad I felt and decided to get off the med. I was told the wrong way and ended up using advice from FB site. I was only able to taper about 3% every 2 weeks and I got down to 86 beads that way in a year. But I felt stuck, drops were getting harder. Then I met someone who suggested amino acids. I started using aminos in Oct 16 at 86 beads. I was very eager to get off the med (big mistake). I didn’t know how bad it could get or what I was in for. I got to zero beads by the end of Feb and all withdrawal hell broke loose. Started with physical - hands and feet sweating, anxiety running brought me constantly, no appetite and extreme insomnia. It then became akithisia - restless pacing and severe anxiety. I went on Ativan that calmed the akithisia and I am now sleeping after 2 months of very little to no sleep. I’m taking 1mg Ativan during the day (2 half doses) and 1.5 at night along with some hydroxyzine. The biggest challenge now is my emotional state. I feel like I have to die to escape this pain. I have a constant feeling of doom and anxiety - even with the Ativan - that is so overwhelming and uncomfortable. I have no good feelings at all. I have a family and I can’t die. I have to be here for them. It’s been since March 1 with all of this. It’s all my fault for trying to speed things up. I thought I’d be healthier off the Cymbalta - I hated the side effects. This all seems impossible. I still have 10 beads left and now I’m sure I’m addicted to Ativan and will have to taper that. I don’t want to die, but I am so miserable I can’t see this ever getting better. I have had only a few windows. And even the windows are just a slight improvement over this constant suffering. I never know what to do; I can’t read, can’t work, shop, do art. Nothing feels good. I tried adding in 10 beads of Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago at the advice of Dr Shipko and the anxiety got worse. I also tried a small dose of Prozac for just one day and that made my anxiety awful too. Am I just left to tough this out forever? Please help
  17. Hello All, Thank you in advance for your help and support. I’ve had the worst year of my life and am praying to God that I can heal from this nightmare. In March 2017, I experienced my first panic attack regarding a physical injury, which brought on anxiety and insomnia. I tried for six weeks to not take medication, but eventually caved in and began Celexa and Trazodone. I had bad side effects from both and was switched to Lexapro. The Lexapro was very activating and I could not sleep at all. I was weaned off the Lexapro and Trazodone in July 2017. Ativan was added to help with sleep. In August, I tried Seroquel and Remeron, but also had bad side effects. In September 2017, I was switched to Elavil and then Nortriptyline per the results of genetic testing. At this time, I was diagnosed as having a single, current episode of MDD. The Nortriptyline seemed to helped a little, but gave me Tachycardia. I decided in January 2018, that I was going to taper down as none of these drugs gave me real relief and only added to my anxiety. I got down to 20 mg of Nortriptyline and .5mg of Ativan. I unfortunately decided to try TMS therapy, but gave up after 25 sessions - too much to bear. To make matters worse, I was switched to Doxepin and then back to Elavil. I have had ENOUGH of conventional medicine. It has taken a horrible toll on my body and mind. I was in good health before this happened and now I am in a lot of physical pain. As of April 2018, I am down to 12.5mg of Elavil and .5-1mg of Ativan (both at night). I try not to take the Ativan during the day. I want to get off the Elavil and am contemplating a cross taper to Valium to get off of the Benzo. I plan to do that very slowly. I’ve only been on the Elavil for a few weeks. All in all, this has been too much for a human to go through. It has greatly impacted my marriage, family and most likely cost me my job of 20 years as I am on long term disability. I am working not change my diet, exercise, meditate, supplementation and detoxify my body. I also found out I am heterozygous for the MTHFR mutation. I just want to know that it is absolutely possible to heal. All I want is to be able to sleep again naturally, organically. My mother warned me not to take these medications, but I did not listen. She was on the highest dosages of Lexapro and Wellbutrin and got off of them cold turkey and is totally healed. She also got a divorce and is happier than she has ever been. I guess that helps. I welcome any advice about tapering and would love to hear success stories. Thank you!
  18. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Fightingawar Ativan Taper I have been on antidepressants for 16 years many different ones, the last one I was on was Clomipramine I was on it for a year and a half. I recently had to go the ER for high blood pressure and my heart rate being very high I was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome and was took off my antidepressant rapidly (10 days) I am now on day 16 of being completely off and suffering terrible withdrawals, how long does this last and how do you get through it. I am still taking Ativan twice a day but I feel like I’m fighting a war and I’m so desperate to win 😪
  19. Lili

    Lili: Benzo/AD

    Hi, I'm brand new here and I'm struggling. I had a rough 2017. I was put on Ativan for sleep 6/20/17 & then on temazapam 6/23/7- I didn't know they were both benzos. I tapered off Ativan for 2 months and what ensued was a horrific withdrawal scenario that landed me in a psych ward with extreme suicidal ideation. I was reinstated on Valium and pretty much stabilized by end of December 2017. I went off Lexapro in the fall as I didn't want to be on an antidepressant but was put on Cymbalta 11/2017 first at 30 mg, then 60mg 2 weeks later. I didn't know so I started dropping down at beginning of January , had some anxiety, restlessness, so I went back up to 50mg over the course of a few days. Presently, some insomnia, some irregular heart beats and lessening anxiety. My Dr doesn't know about my Cymbalta escapade & thinks I can microtaper my Valium now. I will have to be forthcoming at my next visit in 3 weeks. I'm so worried about stabilizing and how this is going to affect my taper.
  20. Hi everyone, I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for any books and/or videos on fear/phobia. I have Claire Weekes' book, Hope and Help For Your Nerves and while it has been of great help, I'm looking for something related more to dealing with fears. TY
  21. Hi- I've been reading a lot of the supportive threads regarding successful tapering off various drugs. I weaned myself off of Zoloft and Ativan 10 years ago, after taking it for 8 months for PPD. I started back on AD 7 months ago, this time Wellbutrin with an occasional Ativan (which quickly became daily). I started on 100, then 150 for 5 months, and now 300 mgXL for 1 month in. But today I started having near suicidal thoughts and the depression has gotten consistently worse instead of better. I upped it to 300 thinking that would help, but even after 4-5 weeks, the depression is worse than ever. I know it does a lot of good- It stops many negative thoughts and stops those extreme emotional swings and outbursts, but the constant depression and flatness is too much. I do not want to go on an SSRI, as it took me 6 weeks to taper off Zoloft the last time and I don't wish to inevitably have to go through that again. I did cold turkey Ativan, and had severe withdrawals for 10 days, including NO sleep and flu symptoms. It was horrid. That was just a couple months ago. I read threads where it says it takes 1-1 1/2 years to taper from 300 Wellbutrin. I have only been on 300 mg for 1 month! I can't imagine being on any dose of this for another year! If I've only been on it for the shorter length of time I have, I am hoping I can taper a litter quicker? I'd like to start by dropping back to 150, and then stay there for a month, and then begin tapering the IR. I'm just so nervous of those flu like symptoms and no sleep like the Ativan WD. Does that happen with too quick taper for W? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  22. Moderator note - link to Sandfield's benzo thread - Sandfield: Try to taper off Ativan My name is Sandfield. I am on Cipralex and Ativan. I have been on Cipralex 10 mg for 6 months. Prior to that I was on 5 mg of Cipralex for 2 years. i was on clonzepam for 2 months May and June 2017 and tapered down to .375 mg at the end of June. The doctor then put me on Ativan .5mg twice daily and I was able to taper and get off 3 weeks ago for 2 days however the withdrawal was so bad I am now on .5 to .75 daily. My doctor is having me taper off the Cipralex by reducing fro 10mg to 7.5 mg and then to 5mg and then to .25 mg. i am experiencing interdose withdrawal from the Ativan, burning sensation, muscle spasm and tightness in the shoulders and neck and anxiety. Would appreciate any advice on how to handle the withdrawal or if anyone knows of a good doctor in Toronto who may be able to help
  23. Moderator Note: link to Moonpie's benzo thread - Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering My name is Moonpie. I feel so blessed to have found this site. I was put on Ativan and BuSpar and Lexapro, one at a time for a medication thyroid mess up. For eight months my thyroid was going crazy in my anxiety was off the charts. It normalized in March and I am trying to take her off the Ativan. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I just realized I have been doing a 5 per cent reduction instead of 10 and I have still had withdrawl symptoms! I am using a file and a jeweler scale. My taper started at .069 in weight and I am down to .035 in all three doses. But I think I took a little too much off last time and for the past week I've had panic anxiety nausea and depression. I am holding this reduction on the third dose for 3 weeks now as strong symptoms started the end of last week and continue. I had labs done to see if it was thyroid and am waiting on results. My 1st question is, should I be tapering on only one dose until it goes to zero instead of doing 1 every two weeks. Because if I continue this way I will go off of all of them at the same time. I appreciate any help. Have really been discouraged and frightened With this past symptoms
  24. This site has been a sanctuary for several months and I would like to thank AltoStrata, her fellow Admins and all posting members for the invaluable information shared in the various forums. In this most confusing and isolating phase of my life so far, you have all helped me to feel less alone, less confused, and important teachers. I believe I may have created a meds signature line in my sign-up form, but if not I will correct that shortly. Briefly, I realized I was in a polypharmacy rut in February of this year. Prozac 10 or 20 mg (?) from early 1997 to early 1998. Newly sober, the Paxil caused "speediness" and I was switched to Paxil - Paxil 20mg/day (depression/anxiety) from 1998 to approximately Spring 2007. I simply stopped taking it after running out, was in long-term therapy and did not think twice about leaving such a "small thing" behind. Even though there were large stressors at work. The state of lability, extreme depression, dysphoria, DP, DR (terms I did not know then) were horrendous. I returned to the original psychiatrist who tried me on various other meds for a hellish 2 months, never once mentioning I might be in withdrawal from stopping the Paxil. The last straw was an Effexor trial, which put me in a state of agitation, physical heat, and inability to leave bed beyond imagination. It took months to find a new Psychiatrist, which happened about February 2008. He felt I had simply been on too small a Paxil dose - I had heard about "poop out" by that time but he dismissed it - I had not heard about withdrawal on Paxil cessation and he did not mention it. He put me back on Paxil and built up slowly from 10 to eventually 60mg. Unfortunately I don't remember the timeline for that buildup. However, 60mg became the maintenance dose at which I remained until Feb. 2017 of this year - nearly 10 years. He also became my psychotherapist and had a wonderfully humane aspect to him to which I attribute most of the great healing that happened over the first 3-4 years. My life became strong and rich and fulfilling again - in all areas. In 2010 there was a collision of traumatic stressors in work and family. As well, somatic experience of panic, high anxiety and heart palpitations such as I'd never experienced since childhood episodes of severe abuse became frequent. I made certain decisions in my life. We continued the meds and the therapy. In June (?) 2012 - after months of persistent inner agitation, weepiness, anxiety (following death of family member), he added Ativan 0.5 at night. A year later he added another 0.5 in the am. A year after that he added another 0.5 at noon. I can not know with any certainty but based on everything that I have read about tolerance and withdrawal with Paxil and Ativan, I believe that I experienced pre-taper withdrawal-like symptoms for several years. I wish I had known then - when he began adding the benzo to the Paxil - what I know now. I had trusted him so completely as a person and a professional. Fast forward to February 2017. He announced abruptly that he was closing his practice - in 3 months. We had been working together for about 9 years. The anxiety caused by the announcement led him to increase my RXs for Paxil to 80 and to double Ativan to 1mg 3 times a day. He acknowledged that the 2 drugs did not appear to be "working" or "ideal" anymore. Sadly I think his priority at that point was to get to the end of the three months without liability - so it was easier to simply up the meds and "explore referral options." Two months on the upped prescriptions saw me living like an outpatient in a chemical straightjacket - as a full on zombie. I found my way to Mad in America and the literature on iatrogenic psychotropic drug injuries, the psychiatric profession's blind faith in the hypothesis of the "chemical imbalance", and the frightening stories about withdrawing from SSRIs and benzodiazepines - especially the 2 I was prescribed. This was all quite frightening and overwhelming. I was able to find a wonderful and sympathetic therapist. The zombie straightjacket was too much. I decided to taper myself back to my "baseline" though no-longer-working (even according to the Psychiatrist) polypharmacy of Paxil 60mg and Ativan .05 3 times a day. I did that from April to August. Symptoms ranging from extreme loss of appetite, acute DP/DR, extreme and sudden heart palpitations and anxiety, and a slow-motion hyper depressive grey movie in the background looping "this is the end of the road for me" movies - but always behind a screen. The gestalt in terms of doing anything is a 1000 mile distance between a flourishing idea or thought and any action to carry it out. Including washing dishes! The search for a meds doctor who is sympathetic to a patient wishing to taper off psychotropic drugs that no longer work and are causing is still on. I will be meeting one next week, and I believe his name does appear on a list of potentially knowledgeable providers somewhere on this site. I will report back. He appears to be familiar with tapering patients off psychotropic drugs and he is also a holistic treater with experience in acupuncture, something called "functional psychology" (?), and other holistic practices. Thanks to SA I shall have with me a lot of information to discuss - very calmly - with him, including the formula of tapering 10% (vs. last dose), listening to the body even within a tapering protocol, and the question as to whether the Paxil or the Ativan should be tapered first. (I saw a psychiatrist one month ago who wrote out a taper schedule for Ativan that was very aggressive - I modified it and have "held" at an early stage after feeling my body rebelling and reading here about the 10% recommendation. Same psychiatrist was ready to have me start tapering Paxil simultaneously until I mentioned perhaps it was not a great idea and he very quickly agreed. Those fancy degrees, Research Hospital affiliations, decades of experience .... That's another story.) I wish to thank you all from the bottom of my heart - for being here.
  25. Littlegrandma

    Littlegrandma

    Moderator note - link to Littlegrandma's benzo thread Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce myself and give you my history june 2015 lunesta 2 mg for insomnia. . July 2015 started celexa for GAD and insomnia. S/A headache, nausea, stomach pain, increased anxiety, blurry vision. Sept 2015 celexa switched to lexapro due to extreme eye pressure I never felt right on the lexapro. My fog never cleared and I still needed lunesta every night to sleep. But it helped slightly with anxiety and I was able to go about life but never really enjoying it. I felt I was always trying to distract myself with menial activity. Very apathetic. June 2, 2017 tapered lex from 20 mg to 7.5. Migraine, nausea, fatigue, loss of balance, ringing in ears, depersonalization, anxiety, sweats, depression. June 25 physical symptoms subsided, so I went to 7 mg making my own liquid. I don't think I did it right. July 6th -7mg with compounded pill. july 11 dry heaves, migraine, increased anxiety, july 15 trembling, panic, racing heart july 20 went to ER for BP 210/207 was put on 25 mg metoprolol and .5 Ativan as needed. ( I was already taking .25 xanax occasionally). Aug 1 upped lex dose to 8 mg Aug 3 suicidal thoughts, panic, trembling Aug 5 upped lex dose to 10 mg at the suggestion of a new therapist. I have not been able to stabilize. I am taking more and more xanax but trying to not exceed total .75 mg day i am left incapacitated, unable to take care of my house or my grandchildren. The tremors and panic remain as well as constant nausea and headache. Aug 7 I had a 3 hour consultation to get into detox for benzo w/d. I was told I was not in w/d and they scoffed at the idea that lexapro could cause w/d issues either. They said it sounds neurological and wouldn't even be admitted for IOP until I was medically cleared by a doctor. I am in despair and have nowhere to turn. Most of my family doesn't believe this is real as they've never had a problem starting , stopping, or switching a/d meds. I'm hoping I can get some good advice from you. Sorry this is so long. I hope it makes sense. I spent a long time writing earlier and lost message when I tried to post. That took about all the energy I had, so this may seem garbled. Thank you for listening and for any advice you may be able to give me
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