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  1. Hello, On March 29, 2017, I was prescribed 10 MG Ambien at ER after 3 nights of no sleep due to racy thoughts, and extreme anxiety that made me shake and my muscles twitched. I thought I was gonna die. Next day, I was prescribed 1 MG Lorazepam for anxiety. after a month, I cut Lorazepam to 1/2 pill and cut the Ambien to 1/2 pill too but was told by doctor to not cut the Ambien and just cut it after 6 months. During those months taking the pills, I experienced all side effects (extreme headches and weird sensations on my forehead, neck and ears, ramdom pain and pulses all over my body, fatigue, anxiety, more heart palpitations, abdominal pain, weightloss, etc.) The muscle twithcing did not disappear. I went to different doctors and complained about my symptoms, they said it was just stress and anxiety and told me to just take more of the Lorazepam. My blood test showed I was low in Vitamin D, low Iron, low HDL cholesterol & had slight dehydration. Everything showed "normal". I'm now taking supplements Vit D3, comfort Iron, Magnesium Glycinate, Sodium Ascorbate (non-acidic Vit. C), Omega 3 Fish Oil, some Whey Protein. I have asked my family doctor on getting off the pills and she said that I could just cut them and I won't have withdrawals since I've only been taking a small dose of Lorazepam. Starting June 26, 2017, I started cutting the Lorazepam dosage by cutting/weighing the pill deducting 0.02-0.03 MG everyday and the Ambien 0.3-0.4 MG everyday too. Since cutting the pills, I've had 0 sleep on some days which occurred every 2-5 days, extreme anxiety, heavy muscle twitching on my legs and back, extreme fatigue, depression plus all the other symptoms I had while on the higher dose of the drugs. These horrifying misery that I don't want to experience again. The Lorazepam went down to 0.22mg and Ambien to 8.2mg but my husband (who helps with the cutting/weighing) have since added doses everytime I get 0 hrs. of sleep. Since 2 nights ago, I've been taking 9.4MG Ambien (Zolpidem) and 0.27mg Loarazepam (ativan). I need help/guidance on how to taper properly, all the tips you can give on what to do to survive withdrawal and lots of encouragement (and love) to get off these drugs and heal. I want to get my old self back, the energetic, bubbly, hardworking mother of 4 that I used to be. Not the sickly, depressed, unfunctioning woman that these drugs have turned me into. I'd specially encourage those who have tapered off Ambien & Ativan successfully, to please post your tips. I appreciate any and all help that you could extend!!!
  2. I'm 5 months off Clonazepam. Was total hell! Was on only 2.5 months. Before that was Ativan. I was misdiagnosed as bipolar. I suffered almost a year on bad reactions from antidepressants and antipsychotics before being put on ativan then clonazepam. I'm in my 5th month of being off all the drugs. I'm wondering if anybody else has had a fear of never being able to drive again or being alone again? Does it go away? I tried driving by myself and it's really scary. It seems I can only get so far before fear kicks in. And I'm scared to be left alone. It seems like 3 weeks ago the bad anxiety and bad thoughts came back. I NEED hope!! I feel like I'm going to be like this forever!
  3. Moderator's note: Link to AwareButStruggling's benzo forum thread Hello, I have been going through a very symptomatic taper off of benzodiazepines, and my goal is to keep gradually tapering the Ativan-first, as it is a very potent, short-acting benzodiazepine. I am very familiar with Ashton manual and have found a lot of information on benzodiazepine tapering, but am finding it hard to communicate the bizarreness of symptoms to those who have not been afflicted. I am also wondering if my fairly abrupt discontinuation of Prozac after 16 years of use has worsened the benzodiazepine withdrawal. For roughly around 13 years, 20mg of Prozac was my one and only psychiatric drug. I had some side-effects on it, but my experience with it was not as bad. At times, I could go down to 10mg but could never quite go off of it. Still, I worked, functioned, and my emotions were very much there. I do speculate, that, after a while, Prozac wasn't really as effective. However, at the same time, I'm pretty sure it was masking the depressive effects of sporadic Ativan use. After a while, the ativan has really sensitized my CNS, all the while I thought it was Prozac doing that, so I tapered the Prozac off in a month, and also stopped taking ativan for a month minus a couple of doses. But looking back, I am not sure if that was the best decision, because I found myself really depressed and disoriented and kept myself on a maintenance dose of ativan just to keep functioning. However, I kept getting worse and worse, not realizing that the prolonged use of ativan along with high stress was worsening the anxiety I was feeling. I kept going to my doctor and he kept giving me Prozac again, which, once a gentle AD for me, turned into a harsh stimulant. I was also given lexapro, and I tried a few doses, and cut the 10mg tablet in half, but 5mg was too much. Then I tried Lexapro 2.5 (5mg tablet cut in two) and that was too much, as well. I didn't dare try Wellbutrin. I tried 5mg Prozac through this dismal period and even that was stimulating. So, I've arrived to the conclusion that antidepressants will never be an option for me again, and that a slow gradual taper off of ativan, and then valium and then Gabapentin may be the only way to go. I tried a full crossover to valium, but due to such differences in potency and all the crashes and burns due to to all medication starts and stops and changes, I am petrified of trying anything new and just want to reduce the chemical dependency on these psych meds as much as I can and in a safe manner. Currently tapering abut 0,02mg ativan per week or so. Planning a hold once I reach 0.5mg. I come from a background where anxiolytics and anti-depressants were considered to be very effective tools, and, needless to say, due to my experiences, my relationships to these medications have drastically changed.
  4. romalaine

    Romalaine: Freedom

    Where do I begin to end the misery of these panic attacks I have everyday I don't take the Ativan, started on bromazepam years ago , a few months ago I got off them expecting a smooth withdrawl then the panic attacks started, the hospital gave me Ativan but with Ativan the drug is in your system a short time. So one a night have worn off by morning and another panic attack, I would like to get off them.
  5. Hello, I've been reading posts on this site for a while but am reaching out for support in initiating a Gabapentin taper. I am currently taking both Ativan and Gabapentin, with the Gabapentin having been prescribed to me to aid in Ativan withdrawal and sleep. I was originally taking 600-700 mg at bedtime and another 100-200 mg in the middle of the night to extend my sleep. I had no doctor advising me on how best to take the medicine, so I wasn't totally consistent. Back in late January, I forgot to take my bedtime dose and woke up at 5:00 am and decided against taking the full 700 mg at that point. Instead I took 100 mg and thought I would resume dosing again that night. I had very bad withdrawals by early afternoon and decided to take 500 mg to get through the day. At that point I decided moving forward I would only take the 700 mg at bedtime, since I was not needing the middle of the night dose any more. I made it almost two weeks before reinstating the 100 mg in the middle of the night due to extreme anxiety symptoms. Another 10 days later, and more afternoon anxiety, I decided to reinstate 200 mg in the early morning. I'm now at 150 mg between 4:00 - 5:00 am and 700 mg at bedtime and still struggling to get stable. My Ativan taper has been on hold for almost a month while I try to stabilize, and I'm now seriously considering tapering the Gabapentin before the Ativan. I know that I need to be very consistent with my Gabapentin doses and timing in order to stabilize, and I'm reaching out for advice both on whether I need to ultimately consider adding an afternoon dose of Gabapentin to avoid afternoon anxiety, and whether I should consider tapering Gabapentin first. I really don't like this drug, and am concerned about continuing at this high amount for another year or more of an Ativan taper. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice. NW Guy
  6. Currently taking 40 mg Prozac (fluoxetine), approx 1.5 mg Ativan, and 600 mg Gabapentin for nerve pain. The gabapentin is new (2-3 mos) after a year of awful nerve pain in feet. I am convinced it is related to 12+ years of Klonopin/Ativan (either intra-dose withdrawal or just exhausted receptors, because it would subside with extra Ativan). Basically always low and tired, with intermittent awful anxiety and despair. Can will myself to do things but get exhausted. Foot pain flares up occasionally. Need Ativan to sleep and have weird spacey dreamy sleep. Also being treated for adrenal exhaustion: basically, no cortisol at all. Low serotonin, GABA, dopamine, very high epinephrine. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was first prescribed Klonopin in 2001 for anxiety and IBS symptoms, which were causing me to lose weight. I also needed it for sleep in unfamiliar or stressful situations. I didn't take it regularly until around 2004 (0.5 mg and never increased), and twice switched to Ativan, back and forth. I disliked the nightmares I often got from Klonopin, but found the same issue with Ativan. I was diagnosed with major depression in 2011, and given different AD's like Pristiq, Abilify, Wellbutrin, and Prozac. The Prozac is the one I tolerated best so I have stayed on it except for about a year in 2015 when I tapered off it because I didn't feel any better. Wanted to use acupuncture and diet for mood swings. But I felt worse without it and was weepy and overwhelmed. Back on Prozac in 2016, doc went straight to 40 mg. She wanted to try other things for sleep but I didn't want to add something new when I knew I couldn't stop Ativan. Foot nerve pain finally diagnosed and treated with gabapentin, no one mentioned that this is even more GABA receptor confusion. I'm exhausted and don't know how to make changes without major symptoms and crises.
  7. Hi, Off Lexapro for two weeks and took my last Ativan (0.5mg) pill last night. Have muscle and joint pains- more on my right side than on my left. Also have cold tremors when waking up in the morning. Lots of crying and anxiety - any advice or sharing of stories with similar symptoms will be much appreciated. See below for full story. Does anyone have bad muscle knots, pain - primarily more on one side than the other? My Psychiatrist told me it couldn't be side-effects if it was more on one side. I am predominantly right-handed and have more pain there. I have been on Prozac off and on since my mid-20s. I will be 45 this year. My last and highest dose was 60mgs. I decided to wean myself off last August (2016). I was sick of constipation, no libido, and emotional numbing. I had also gained about 30 lbs. despite eating healthy and working out 5 times a week. I thought I weaned slowly - took about 3 months and was reducing by 10mg every 2-3 weeks. But in October, I experienced high anxiety and cold tremors when waking up in the morning. I thought my anxiety was back and went to see my Psychiatrist. He was upset that I had weaned off without seeking his help. He then prescribed Lexapro which he called a "clean drug". I started at 5mg and was also given a benzo - Restoril which gave me hives 3 days of usage. I then just used Lexapro and Benadryl for sleep. At 10mg of Lexapro I woke up 1 day with pain in my right arm,right forearm, shoulder and neck. I had some pain on my lest hand near my thumb but not as bad. I was told by my Psychiatrist that since the pains were one-sided that they were not side effects of the drug. I continued using Lexapro slowly increasing dosage till I was at 20mg. My anxiety was worse than ever and I had a Panic Attack for the first time and went to urgent care. I went off of Lexapro essentially cold turkey. Was given 1 mg of Ativan for 7 days by Urgent Care Dr. And now I'm here.
  8. I have switched from Wellbutrin 150 XL to 150 IR. I am now tapering from 75 mg at 9:00 am and 75 mg at 3:00 pm (more than one pharmacist said not to take Wellbutrin after 3:00 pm). I am experiencing disrupted sleep, which I expected, and nausea in the morning, which I did not. Thoughts?
  9. Hello, I am in quite the conundrum currently. My CNS is completely destabilized due to several factors. Firstly, I have been on lorazepam for nearly 8 years. I was initially prescribed 1 mg three times a day along with 10 mg zolpidem after my mom died in August 2008 and I had a panic attack. I took the lorazepam basically at this full dose up until June 2013 when I was ripped off of the lorazepam after my previous doctor left his practice and ended up with a ruthless doctor. He prescribed me 30 mg for a month and that was it. I was able to obtain some diazepam which helped with this abrupt withdrawal. I was off of all gaba drugs and functioning in society with manageable symptoms until April 2014 when the stress of noisy neighbors pushed me over the edge. At this time, I didn't know how dangerous benzodiazepines really were, so I sought out an old psychiatrist who prescribed me 2 mg lorazepam daily plus 10 mg zaleplon at night for the ongoing insomnia. Fast forward to October 2014, when I had a life changing incident. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, which to this day has affected me greatly. I was going to school to be a chemical engineer but this injury caused me to have major issues with light, sound sensitivity, brain fog, fatigue. I managed to finish the semester barely. In February 2015, while attempting to start the next semester with a lighter course load, I bumped my head again. This is when all hell broke loose. The symptoms got so bad that I couldn't be in classrooms and I had to withdraw from university due to the light/sound sensitivity. In May 2015, I was prescribed gabapentin by my neurologist. I know this isn't a benzodiazepine but it does seem to have some gaba/glutamate action. Anyway, it seemed to help me at first for my anxiety. At this point I was forced to stay inside and wear sunglasses and earplugs a lot of the time. I could no longer read as I once did. Over the course of the summer I started to improve slightly, and I began tapering of the gabapentin. All the while I was still taking the 2 mg/ lorazepam daily. I didn't use the z-drugs often but I still had a supply that I used occasionally. It was clear that I wasn't going back to school any time soon. It was then that a tragedy occurred. My brother lost his life to a drug overdose. He was my only brother and I loved him dearly. This event took a lot out of me, emotionally and physically. I started to decline. I went to my psychiatrist and he upped me back to 3mg lorazepam/day and renewed a zolpidem prescription. My neurologist upped my gabapentin to 1800 mg/day. (It had been at 900mg over the course of the summer). Shortly after my brother died, my girlfriend and I moved to a quiet town in the hopes that I would heal with less noise bothering me. She became distant and left me in January 2016. This is when I hit rock bottom. I was suffering strange symptoms that seemed to be withdrawal even though I had increased dosages of both medications. I somehow managed to realize that the medications were not helping and I needed to get off of them. I spent 2016 reducing my gabapentin dosage from 1800 mg (600 mg three times a day) down to 300 mg (100 mg three times a day). This was not easy given that I have not been able to work, or go to school due to intense symptoms of sensory overstimulation. I can barely go for walks due to light sensitivity and driving in cars is just as bad due to sound/motion sensitivity. Over the course of 2016, I tried to convert over to a longer acting benzo twice. I tried using clonazepam for a few weeks using the Ashton conversion table. This didn't work well as I felt much worse on the clonazepam. In July I tried to convert to diazepam. I only took two 10 mg doses to replace one of my 1 mg doses of lorazepam on consecutive days. This caused a significant increase in visual symptoms I have been experiencing since 2015 and a failed SSRI effort. This visual phenomenon is known as visual snow and I have all the trademark symptoms now - palinospia, starburts, the static field over my vision, etc. along with tinnitus. So, anyway as it stands now, I have a pretty poor quality of life and I am basically on my own emotionally - no family support. My present dose is 1 mg lorazepam three times a day, and 100 mg gabapentin three times a day. I have not taken any other medications since the diazepam in July. My last zolpidem dose was in March, nearly a year ago. The last cut I made with the gabapentin was 5/31/2016. Prior to that I was making 100 mg cuts weekly as directed by my doctor. Looking back, I'm sure this was much too fast. One of my doctors has been quite sympathetic to my situation and he prescribed me the lorazepam solution to begin a taper. He seems to be willing to work at a slow pace that I'm comfortable with. I actually started writing out a plan for tapering with the liquid. I plan on cutting 5% over the course of the next month using a 0.1mg/mL solution. Thanks for reading, and take care to all.
  10. I was put on Wellbutrin generic, which I didn't think was doing anything. I take Ativan too, which is helping a lot. I gradually realized that he waking up earlier and earlier came on gradually. I read some stuff and thought lack of seratonin was my prob. Not! I took a small dose this morning and came down with every side effect (almost) that Wellbutrin causes. Then I realized that the Wellbutrin Was causing sweats and trembling and all the other stuff. I took Prozac for years but then it stopped working. Took trawhatsisab which worked well for a couple years and doc did not tell me I should taper. That was a horrible experience, especially since I didn't realize what was going on. Did it for myself on the Internet while feeling awful. I'm interested in supplements but no doc m knows anything about them. I have diabetes and take met for metformin and Victosa, and when they don't work, cinnamon and fenugreek. And some other stuff. This can take my blood sugar down a hundred points or more. It's always too high. I had anxiety attacks even as a little kid, which I hid. Right not I have nothing objectively real to be anxious about. Have 2 lovely kids, a hub whow loves me after 50 years, plenty of moneY and a paid for house. My job was nerve wracking, but now I'm retired. Why is everyone such a mess? Even our financial adviser confessed he had taken Prozac for many years and not it wasn't working. Thanks for being here.
  11. Hi everyone I've been reading about protracted withdrawal for the first time today and am terrified about what to do next. I tapered off Citalopram 6 months ago over a 2 weeks period which I now know was too fast. Since stopping Citalopram my mood has been flat and at times I felt emotionally fragile, but it was tolerable for the first few months. Things got hard hard when I started studying again and the stress kicked in. I suspect my current anxiety and depression is due to withdrawal but it could also be due to stress. I work 40 hours per week and also study 20 hours per week on top of that for a professional qualification which is very stressful (my exam is in 4 weeks so less than ideal timing). The lack of ability to concentrate (either due to withdrawal or depression) has made study much more challenging. I don't know if I should start taking Citalopram again (maybe 10 or 20mg?) to take care of my withdrawals and then taper off very slowly over (say) 12 months?. Alternatively, should I persevere and hope things get better given it's been 6 months already and I don't want to have to start all over again? I've been taking 1mg Lorazepam when I need it to manage the anxiety and depressive states, but things are getting progressively worse and I'm struggling to cope. Yesterday I was going to start the Citalopram again after repeated crying fits over nothing (actually I saw a picture of a bumble bee and for some reason that set me off), and so I took 40mg which in hindsight was too high a dose, so hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me. Should I restart Citalopram or stick it out? Please could someone help? Thank you
  12. Hi folks, I just found out about liquid titration and I am too excited to try it! I have been on ativan for about 4 months now, and I am on 1mg (from 2.5). I cant seem to get down (tried yesterday to .5mg and backfired!) Can someone please help me get the right measurements for 250ml of water? I am doing 1/8 tapering. Is that doable? and for how long? Thank you so much! Ann
  13. godiswithme-xanax-taper-after-cold-turkey-of-lexapro-and-abilify It has been 8.5 weeks since I ct'd off 30 mgs of generic lexapro and 2mg of Abilify. I was depressed because my father who lived with us had died and marriage was getting rocky from the stress. I had been taking the generic lexapro for 2 years. This doctor added Abilify in Jan '16. I trusted her. I was depressed over life issues. I have no previous mental health diagnosis other than some anxiety which I had taken Xanax over the past 5 years. Most .5 three times per day. varied in usage - often less. I quickly became dysfunctional and family doctor prescribed .5 Ativan twice per day or I would have died. I have only become a bit more functional. but barely. I don't know what to do. I am very scared.
  14. Hello community, So glad to have found this site!! I've been reading, reading, reading for almost two months. Unfortunately I did not find y'all and Dr. Glenmullen's book until after eight months of thinking I was doing a gradual taper per my GP's advice. Without proper information I tapered too fast, alternated doses, and failed to recognize that the difficult symptoms I was having could be coming from antidepressant withdrawal. I'm currently trying to stabilize before embarking on the 10% taper, starting with sertraline. The symptoms I currently have are: rapid heartbeat and resulting fatigue, anxiety and agitation, including:dizziness and fainting upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension) inability to alter heart rate with exercise (exercise intolerance) ears ringing morning depression heat intolerance (like hot flashes only longer) intense dreams and nightmares head tremor Once I realized I was tapering too fast, I stabilized/increased to 25 mg sertraline and 0.75 mg lorazepam. In the two months since then, some other symptoms I had went away and the above symptoms have seemed to improve, except for heartbeat and head tremor. I had a normal EKG. All blood tests normal except cholesterol (and I consider high cholesterol a good thing for me as a post-menopausal woman). Starting in 2013 or 2014, my antidepressant was increased and I started regularly taking lorazepam due to several years of extreme emotional stress (caring for my physically and mentally declining spouse). I also experienced severe disrupton of my sleep cycle and used alcohol at night. During and before this time, I had many years of blood sugar fluctuations. So I imagine my HPA axis was already severely out of whack even before my mis-guided fast taper. I stopped alcohol 15 months ago, after my husband died. (My symptoms are complicated by the effects of my grief process.) I've been gradually removing stressors from my life. I have recently addressed my blood sugar via a low-carb unprocessed way-of-eating. Am also phasing out caffeine. I am addressing my sleep cycle by using amber glasses to counter the effects of evening screen time. (Hope to reduce the screen time too). Anyway, I am frustrated that my heart palpitations make me unable to exercise, but I understand that all the nervous system problems can be slow to resolve. Trying to be super patient. Appreciate hearing everyone else's stories, questions, and answers. This site is a wonderful resource.
  15. Hi all. Found this site a few months ago. I am beginning to attempt getting off ADs and Benzo. I have been taking antidepressants for 17 years. I am 44. I do not work outside the home. My goal is to incorporate healthy activities (suggestions please) to help lessen the withdrawal symptoms. I am realistic about the amount of time it will take and hope everyone here can be a support system. I am married. Hubby is supportive, but doesn't really understand what is going with my body. I have really bad health anxiety currently. I was diagnosed with bipolar about 5 years ago and was put on lamictal 200mg. Wellbutrin was added shortly after. I tapered of Zoloft over about 18 months. I had my first anxiety attack exactly 2 weeks after the last dose. So we decided to stay in 25 mg. which held off the anxiety attacks since then. About 8 months ago I started having increased anxiety along with some peri menopausal symptoms. Then the health anxiety followed, probably because of all the weird symptoms I was having. I went up to 50mg on the Zoloft and taking Ativan to help me sleep. I realized I was building a tolerance to it, so I weaned myself back off and was doing fine. Then the cycle started again. New symptom (breast pain this time), then the health anxiety and back on Ativan. I only take .125mg at a time. If I don't feel much relief in about 30 minutes, I will take another one. That usually does it. Then I stop when I feel better. However a couple of weeks ago, I noticed I was having muscle twitches and jerks. Don't google that!! Now looking back I think they may be related to stopping the Ativan after taking it for several days. I really don't know. So I decided today to take a dose to see if it settles down over the next few days and go from there. 3 days ago I started a taper on the Wellbutrin 150 mg xl. My doctor wrote prescription for 100mg sr tabs...and I started taking 75 in the morning and 50 in the afternoon. I am hoping this won't be too fast, but I am going to try it. I also started having stomach upset a couple of days ago with some diarrhea today. Very unusual for me. Is that possibly Ativan w/d? Thank everyone. Not sure how to add signature. Attach a file maybe?
  16. **Moderator note: Esperanza has posted in English below her Spanish introduction. La historia de Nadia, una gran esperanza para una vez más comenzar a reducir mi medicación....una de tantas veces que los he querido dejar, con el paso del tiempo veo que cada vez lo hago mejor, cada vez más preparada para una reducción y quizás retirada total....las dos veces que lo hice( todo muy progresivo y bien hecho) al cabo de los dos meses por miedo y poca seguridad interna tuve una gran recaida, volví de nuevo a tomar la medicación ( actualmente 40 mg prisdal- citalopram- y 1 mg de lorazepam para dormir) Hoy 04 de julio 2016 lleva una semana sin tomar lorazepam para dormir y ayer reduje citalopram de 40mg a 20mg, sé que es un poco brusco pero estoy motivada para ese cambio. Soy española, vivo en España, y veo que internet concretamente este foro es muy útil ya que no encuentro grupos( que me gustaría mucho) en mi localidad , grupos de apoyo para la retirada de medicamentos. Un saludo a todos, y gracias. Nadia's success story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10596-nadia-5-years-off-i-survived-antidepressants/ The story of Nadia, a great hope to once again begin to reduce my medication .... one of many times that I wanted to leave, with the passage of I see that every time I do best, while increasingly prepared for a perhaps reduction and total withdrawal .... both times I did (all very progressive and well done) after two months of fear and little internal security had a relapse, I went back to take medication (currently 40 citalopram- prisdal- mg and 1 mg lorazepam sleeping) Today July 4, 2016 takes a week without taking lorazepam sleeping and yesterday I reduced citalopram 40mg to 20mg, I know it's a little rough but I'm motivated for that change. I am Spanish, living in Spain, specifically internet and see that this forum is very useful because I can not find groups (which I like very much) in my area, support groups for drug withdrawal. Greetings to all and thanks.
  17. First of all, thanks for your wonderful site. I found a lot of info on here that really helps me. I am currently laying on my bed at my mums house and I don't know what to do. So i've started an account, maybe you guys can cheer me up. (I am crying while I am writing this) I am in a horrible state at the moment. I lost a lot of weight and muscle, I am feeling numb in my head and I am scared of everything. Scared of my own thoughts, my body, all pills and the future. It all started when in 2010 (I was 19 at the time) I was diagnosed with something, I don't even know what really, nobody told me. At that time I just dropped out of high school, was depressed and anxious. (I think i've been anxious most of my life) I even had thoughts about ending my life, but I never really wanted to. The doctor put me on Lexapro 10 mg and the next day after my first pill I had more energy and calmness, it was great. It didn't do anything about the anxiety but I just took them because I thought they helped me. I went on with my life for several years. I had a job and I had a few good friends and I was quite oke with it. My life didn't progress whatsoever but I could function and even had some great times. Over the years I became more anxious, stopped seeing friends more and more and stayed in my tiny apartment. This was the only place where I could really relax. I also started to have lots of pains and aches, I was sweating a lot more and I gained a lot of weight. In the beginning of 2015 I had more stress because my mind would not shut up. When I was finished with a days work I was still think about everything that happened that day and what I did wrong. It was like the whole day repeated in my head. Soon this over thinking of things was getting out of hand and my stress level rose. At the peak of it all, the tiredness, the stress, and the anxiety (Ive developed more and more anxiety for stupid things, like even going to work at one point made me anxious) I stopped Lexapro within four days. My Psych wanted me to go to venlafaxine but I never did. I stopped lexapro in November 2015. After stopping lexapro I had a few good weeks when suddenly everything hit me. Panic, insomnia, sweating, intrusive thoughts, restlessness, extra stress and tiredness. I became ashamed of myself and I was so in doubt with myself. This al cleared after a few weeks and I had a few great days where my mind was calm, I could sleep, I could laugh with friends and go out of the house without any anxiety. This window was even better than I could remember being it in all these years. After that I had a few **** days and a few good ones until now, May 2016. I've had al sorts of things happen to me. I've been using benzo's to get some sleep but most of the days I hardly get any. My mind is sometimes very blank and sometimes hyper, Ive had episodes of extreme suicidal tendencies, hot flushes, cold flushes, aches, pains, muscles weakness, depressive episodes, numbness, lots of severe panics, self doubt and shame. I hardly can go to work and go out of the house. What is happening to me? Currently ive been om Ativan 1,0 off and on, sometimes for a week at a time to sleep, sometimes only a few days per week since march 1st. I went to the doctor and he wanted me to reinstate Lexapro, but when I did that last night (5mg) I got super hyper and anxious, almost manic. I jumped around in my bed didn't sleep at all. This morning I took 1mg of lexapro but I got a bit hyper after taking it, that is now subsiding. Ive lost complete control over myself and I am scared for thing to come. For instance every night I am scared to go to bed. What if I don't sleep? Ive looked up info on the internet to the extremes and that isn't helping. After the ativan works out, I get a massive panicy intrusive thoughts shakiness. Or maybe it is just me, not the ativan. What should I do now? Carry on with reinstating lexapro? Stop the Ativan? Stop everything and see if i can do without all the pills? I am so tired now that I nearly don't want to go through this anymore. I am losing my social life, my job and everything. I used to have a lot of passions and enjoyed life. When do i get to my old self again? Who is my old self? Thanks for reading, Steve.
  18. Hello, I am a new member. I am currently tapering off Escitalopram, a generic Lexapro. I have been tapering since January of this year, 10 mg and now at 4.5 mg. I tapered quite fast at the start and now am reducing .5 mg every 3-4 weeks as I am not having too bad of symptoms. I should also mention I came off Lorazepam so don't know if the withdrawals I am having are from the Lorazepam or the Lexapro. I have heard as tapering gets lower on the Lexapro, symptoms may get stronger. Has anyone experienced this? I would very much appreciate hearing from anyone who has or is going through Lexapro tapering. Thank you.
  19. HeatherRose

    Heather Rose: Hello

    Hi. My friend referred me here. She is concerned about all my medications and bad side effects I have been having for a long time such as forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, shaking and dependency. I am on many medicines and have been taking various meds for almost 26 years to control my mood disorder. I have had times of shaking problems. I also have trouble staying focused and concentrating. I used to be a big reader but now it is hard for me to read a whole book. My attention just drifts. I am dependent on them for sleep especially. I wanted to see what this was all about so perhaps can come down off of them without serious consequences.
  20. I have been depressed most of my life and most of my childhood is completely blank. I can't remember it at all. Often times, I have wondered if depression ran in my family and I have a suspicion that it does. My sister suffers from it, I can just tell my mom does (though she would not admit to it), and I know my dad did (before he passed away in 07). I am a Christian and have been most of my life. But a large number of people within the Christian community, and my family, feel like Antidepressants and any type of mental illness means you aren't praying hard enough, your life isn't right with God, you need to work harder, you are doing something wrong, etc. However these same people would have no problems with taking medicine for heart problems, antibiotics if you have an infection, etc. It is idiotic to believe that people can have this mindset but it is very real. After my dad passed away suddenly in 2007, my depression got much worse. I finally reached out to a General Doctor to talk about sleeping issues and depression. He refused to give me any medication and just told me I needed to get through it. Not really a good thing to say to someone as depressed as I was. I sought out help from another General Doctor and the Nurse Practitioner, in the office, put me on a variety of different pills to try and help me. I don't recall all of the medications except the last one: Paxil. Whatever dose of it I was on, it made me ANGRY. I had extreme road rage and any little thing could set me off. I recall being so mad one day that I tried to punch through our front door. I am surprised I didn't break my hand. Looking back, because the nurse Practitioner would keep me on the medication for a short period and then take me off, cold turkey, if it wasn't working, I could have been going through some sort of withdrawal symptom when I began Paxil. After this experience I gave up on trying to resolve this issue until I had an experience with God after reading a book called The Shack. I don't know if you, reading this, are a Christian or not. So you may discount what I just said. My religion is an integral part of my life and impacts me in all I say and do. After having this "mountaintop experience," I knew I couldn't continue living with depression. I sought out a Christian Counselor and we spoke for many weeks before he suggested I see a psychiatrist. I found a local psychiatrist as there doesn't seem to be any Christian psychiatrists around. This may be due to the mindset Christians have on this issue that I spoke about above. When I saw the psychiatrist, I remember specifically telling him that I was willing to try medication again, after describing the problems from the past, but I did not want to be on anything that would change my mind or cause me to lose any type of spiritual connection I had with God. I now know that to him, and most psychiatrists that practice, they don't feel any of these medications do anything to your brain. You have minor "discontinuation syndrome" for a few weeks max after ceasing the medication. For a few years, we tried a combination of different medications that included: Wellbutrin, Pristiq, and Cymbalta. I don't recall the specific dosages of each but they either quit working or had so many side effects, that I couldn't live with it. Finally, we landed on Lexapro. We started with 10 MG and moved that up to 20 MG. After a few years on Lexapro, I noticed that the medication was not making me feel good anymore. My psychiatrist suggested that in some cases adding the drug Abilify would help things work better. We added in a 5 MG dose of Abilify to go along with the 20 MG of Lexapro and I was on both of those for several years--until January of 2016. After appearing to "be cured" by my psychiatrist, he suggested that I stop taking Abilify immediately because he says there are long-term health issues if you are on the drug for extended periods of time. Because Lexapro alone made me have this feeling I would describe as "dead head," where my mind just feels empty and everything feels off, I told him I didn't want to take Lexapro alone. He suggested I shouldn't need it anymore and had me cut the dosage in half for two weeks and then quit the medication completely. To summarize: I stopped years of Abilify 5 MG use on January 13 cold turkey I cut my Lexapro 20 MG in half to 10 MG on January 13 I stopped Lexapro 10 MG on January 27 I never had any sexual side effects or anything noticeable while on Lexapro and Abilify. After I stopped both, I slowly noticed changes. within a week or two, things got bad--really bad. (I am going to list out the symptoms on separate lines.) I had the worst headaches of my life that would just last for days with no relief from anything. Complete loss of appetite. I would get hungry for maybe one meal a day. If I ate anything, I normally had to force myself to eat something. My libido vanished completely. I wasn't attracted to anyone or anything. Even my wife of 15 years, who I am very attracted to, suddenly was not attractive to me. In addition, sex, is just a lifeless act that has no physical/emotional connection at all. I also showed many others signs of PSSD which I know is not the focus of this forum. I can go into those in detail if anyone is curious or think they can help. I have lost all sense of spirituality. It is like my soul has been sucked out of my body. I can't read my Bible, pray to God, or even worship at Church. I go and sit and it means nothing to me. I was extremely angry almost all the time. Almost any little thing could set me off. I am not an angry person and it takes a lot to make me mad. I have never experienced anger like this. I started experiencing insomnia. I could not sleep at all no matter what I took over the counter (more on this later). My personality seems completely different. I have no compassion for people. I don't care what their opinions are. I seem to want to cause arguments, fights, etc. I have a hard time concentrating and remembering things. I made an appointment to see my psychiatrist to follow-up about all of this. While I was waiting for the appointment I started doing research on SSRI Withdrawal and learned that psychiatrists don't believe in withdrawals from SSRI drugs and believe once they are out of your system, your withdrawal goes away. I also learned that I should have weaned off both Lexapro and Abilify over a longer period of time. Anyway, when I saw my psychiatrist, he told me that he has been practicing for 40 years and there is no proof that SSRI Drug Withdrawal exists for any period longer than two weeks. Anything I found online in forums or wherever was not scientifically proven and has no basis in reality. He refused to look at any links I had or entertain the possibility that I was experiencing a real withdrawal to SSRI Drugs. I saw him in March of 2016--over a month since I stopped all drugs. He also offered to put me back on Lexapro and Abilify to prove it wasn't causing these problems. I told him I would throw the bottle at him if he prescribed them to me. I said these drugs are dangerous and should not be taken by anyone unless they are fully aware of what they can do to your body. Finally, I did ask the psychiatrist to answer a question for me. "Do I seem like the same person you saw a few months ago?" He said no. The transformation of personality was that different even a skeptic to see it. The only thing he offered me was a drug called Lorazepam 1 MG to help me sleep. Due to laws, I have to see him about every 3 months in order to get refills. Since taking 1MG of Lorazepam, I can finally sleep again. With no hope from the medical industry, and knowing I am not crazy, I sought out natural help. From a Chiropractor I have seen for the last 5 years, who also does acupuncture, I asked him for any help he could offer. He researched some acupuncture points, which we have just started doing later, on April 3, and also suggested I get in touch with a Naturopath. On April 1, 2016, I first saw a Naturopath. The Naturopath started me off by doing a full panel of bloodwork and they looked at any areas of concern. It showed a few problems but nothing that would cause the current state of emotions found above. She put me on a Gluten, Soy, and Dairy free Paleo Diet. She had me take some supplements, which were really expensive, and start a 8 week full body detox. I am currently waiting on a follow-up with her and in the midst of the diet changes and taking these supplements. I also am going to see a massage therapist, from the same office, who is going to do a Raindrop Technique (I believe that is done with essential oils) and a lymph node massage. In addition, I have seen another lady, in the same office, who does Emotional Freedom Release. This is something like voodoo to me. She taps into my "energy field" to figure out what emotions are plaguing me and tries to get my body to release them. In the first visit, she told me several things about me she would have no idea of knowing about by tapping into my "energy field." Supposedly I need to recite a phrase: “I willingly and lovingly release all that no longer serves me in a positive and productive way.” In addition, I have been diffusing specific Essential Oils my body says it needs and using them on my skin. I don't know if I buy into this Emotional Freedom Release or not. It seems a lot like getting your palm read (though I have never had that done before). Sadly, a Naturopath and acupuncture is not covered under my insurance and this part of my journey is getting really expensive--especially with all of these supplements and diet changes I have been asked to make. I am roughly 10 weeks out since I stopped all antidepressants. Symptoms now listed below: The Anger seems to be better but it varies what sets me off. The headaches are still present just don't last as long. My appetite is better on this new diet but has started to go away again in the last week, April 11, 2015. My Libido is still completely gone. I am still not attracted to my wife or anyone else. I still cannot have a physical/emotional connection in sex. I still have various other PSSD symptoms. I still have no sense of spirituality. This and my PSSD are the worst symptoms. I sleep only with Lorazepam 1 MG with the exception of 1 night. My personality still is completely different. I still have no compassion for others. I am slightly better in terms of wanting to cause conflicts or hearing other opinions. I still have noticed it is hard to concentrate and remember things. In the last few days, April 11, 2016, I seem to be developing the worst depression of my life (much worse than anything I experienced above) In the last few days, April 11, 2016, my mood can swing from normal to completely sad in moments. Today, April 15, 2016, I started experiencing slight tremors in my hands making it difficult to do things like crack an egg, wipe down a pan, etc. That is my story so far. I am hoping it gets better but, to be really honest with you, I am pretty hopeless. As a Christian, that believes the Holy Spirit is inside of me, having that vanish is pretty hopeless. This and the lack of a physical/emotional connection with my wife are very hard to live with. Can anyone relate to what I am going through? I have read in places that SSRI withdrawal takes place in an initial phase and a Phase 2 that is much worse. Supposedly Phase 2 comes anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months later after you discontinue medication. Any truth to this?
  21. Hi All, I've been reading this forum for a while and the topics here have been indispensable, especially regarding dealing with withdrawal symptoms as I prepare myself for a slow taper off of my remaining dose. Pre-backstory I’m in my early 20s and I just graduated college in late 2014 with a high GPA and a degree in Computer Science. I’ve got a strong resume with projects under my belt. I should be starting my career right now but can’t due to antidepressant withdrawal, but I keep telling myself that I will get better and it will happen, I just need some more time to heal mentally and spiritually. Backstory On January 1st of this year (2015) I suffered the first panic attack of my life. I’ve always had weird heart flutters and missed beats, so I thought I was having a heart attack and dying. The day that I had this awful panic attack, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t eat much that day (triggers, I know). I also smoked pot regularly (I am clean now) which in retrospect I figure could be messing with my seratonin. I had bad depersonalization that day, basically forgot who I was for a few hours, and over the next month or so I was bedridden feeling shaky every day, suffering a chain of panic attacks in bed. I was immediately prescribed ativan (lorazepam) to help dull the panic attacks, and shortly thereafter, desperate for something to stop the chain of panic attacks, I was prescribed Lexapro. I took the Lexapro 5mg for the first week and 10mg for the second week, and basically over the next few months my panic attacks got generally better but my mental health got generally worse. My doctor upped me to 20mg Lexapro and I got so disoriented and out-of-it that my mom had to start walking me up to the door of my therapy appointments, because I didn’t feel like I could do it alone. I decided to taper down off the Lexapro because my panic attacks had basically vanished, the Lexapro was causing some bad side effects (at higher doses making me confused and disoriented all the time, at the lower doses mostly just preventing me from getting decent sleep, so I was feeling tired all the time). I felt like the panic attacks would probably not come back, since I was on a good new pattern of diet, exercise, supplements (fish oil, magnesium, probiotic and multivitamin), and I also stopped smoking weed completely, which I think may have been a big contributor to the initial panic attack. Anyways, I had miraculous success taking the dosage down from 20mg to 10mg, from 10mg to 5mg, and from 5mg to 2.5mg, with almost no withdrawal effects. The side effects improved steadily with each dosage decrease, and I’m very grateful that I had so little trouble getting down this far. The big trouble started happening about a month ago. I had thought that I had tapered down successfully from 2.5mg because I felt pretty great for 3 weeks on 1.25mg (¼ of a 5mg pill) with no discernible withdrawal symptoms (Sept 9 2015 to Sept 29 2015). On my psychiatrist’s suggestion, I dropped the lexapro completely (0mg) on Sept 30 and I felt worse and worse for about 4 days. On the 4th day I almost had a panic attack, and I felt so depressed and shaky that I took a small fragment of my pill to try to stave off the symptoms. Literally 15 minutes after taking the pill fragment I went from feeling terrible to feeling great, browsing the internet on my phone. So I stabilized again on 1.25mg after about 5 days, or so I thought. 1.25mg (¼ of a tiny 5mg pill) is terribly difficult to measure - there was one time I wasn’t sure if I even took my pill fragment or if it fell on the floor, since it was so small I couldn’t feel it on my tongue. So I started pushing it against the roof of my mouth so I could be sure it was actually in my mouth. But that made it start to disintegrate before it hit my stomach, so… basically I think that my true dosage was getting really uneven. I felt really tired some days and needed naps, and other days I felt mostly fine. So I figured I could get a more consistent dose if I switched to the liquid, which my psychiatrist prescribed for me. Latest Chapter So on 10/28/2015 I switched to the liquid. I figured that the liquid form would be much more readily absorbed by my body than the pill fragments and I was right. I started out with 1.2mg of the liquid and it felt like way too much (cloudy head, sleepy all day), so over the course of 2 days I lowered it to 0.9mg, which felt pretty fine for 5 days. I felt like I was getting better and that I could even start driving and running errands around town with my mom again if I just waited a few more days. On 11/4 I made a really, really stupid headstrong decision. I felt like I could reduce my symptoms even more if I just reduced the dose by a tiny bit further. So that day I cut from 0.9mg to 0.8mg (which in hindsight was a HUGE cut especially considering how recently I had changed the dose before that). The depression came back in such full force that I immediately had to put the dose back up to 0.9mg 2 days later, but reupping the dose didn’t help at that point. I continued to get worse and worse (more depression/anxiety) until my mom pointed out that I was only eating like 800 calories every day - I knew that my appetite was shot, but I had no idea I was eating so little. On 11/11 I started counting calories and now I’m getting at least 2000 per day, with an ultimate goal of 2500. I upped the lexapro from 9mg to 9.5mg daily and the crippling depression is partway gone now. Anyways now it’s 11/14 and I think I’m seeing some progress, but I can never be sure, and these symptoms are very difficult to work through every day. Today Over the last few days, every morning I wake up nauseous and depressed, and every night I get anxious and need to take a 0.5mg lorazepam to calm down. Progress is slow for me and I’m impatient, but I keep trying to remind (convince?) myself that my body is working very hard to right itself chemically, and that if I just hold this dose and don’t do anything else stupid with it, I will feel a little better by next week, and yet a little better by the week after. I could really use some reassurance though :/ My First Question I’m taking 0.95mg in 2 doses daily (0.475mg at 11am and 0.475mg at 1:30pm). On 0.95mg I feel like my seratonin levels are very unbalanced (depressed/hopeless in the morning, decent around noon, anxious by afternoon/evening). When I accidentally took my second lexapro dose at about 4pm one day instead of 1:30pm, that night I went into a drug-trip kind of sleep (almost like an alternate reality) which was a little scary but most of all exhausting and made me feel disoriented and confused and anxious the next day. As of the last few days, I wake up after vivid dreams exhausted, not at all rested, depressed, and with a burst of adrenaline. Will my body actually be able to get used to such a low 0.95mg dose taken mostly towards the beginning of the day like this? If I just stick it out for another week or two, my mood will start to level out again so that I’m not getting these big daily mood swings, right? If not, where do I go from here? Thank you everyone for your support.
  22. Hi. I began suffering from pgad last week. It's quite awful. I arrived at this forum looking for information on this, and it seems many on here have had this problem. I am not currently on or coming off of antidepressants. I was on them as a teen (a long time ago). I'm 33. I was also on ativan and/or clonazepam, and temazepam, up until about a year and a half ago. I wish I could get back on one of these as I wonder if it wouldn't help--I saw a couple people on threads who I *think* were saying clonazepam helped. However, I don't think I could get one of these anyway, as doctors are so reluctant to prescribe them now. Any thoughts on this? Another question I have is could my recent lortab usage have anything to do with the onset of this? Should I stop using this med; and if I do, might it go away, or have I started something that will now stay with me (I realize no one can answer any of this for sure; but I'm interested in your opinions)? Finally, has anyone used topical anesthetics to help with this condition and had any success? I'm considering buying some EMLA or tattooing anesthetic to see if it will help. It's hard to find info on if these are safe for genitals--but one would think so since these are also made for alleviating body-piercing pain and some get their genitals pierced (ouch). Oh and I have had restless leg like some others with this (as does my mother). And this does *feel* a lot like restless leg!! I wish like hell it was in my legs now. I also have been experiencing bladder trouble. In fact, the bladder trouble came about a week or two before the pgad. I have had bladder trouble in the past, however, on and off again in my life (like the restless leg, which has also been off and on again). I hope the pgad will follow suit and be on again off again. . . I'll be ever-grateful for *any* advice and opinions! And I know this is an anti-med site. I totally applaud everyone for getting off the ssri merry go round. I am glad I am off of these and never intend to go back on them. But please if you know of any other kind of med that might help at all, please please let me know. . .
  23. Hi there - I've been lurking on the site for weeks now, but decided it was a good time to go ahead and start my own thread. My background is that I went in for plastic surgery and was given a mix of meds that made me go nuts. I was given high doses of prednisone for 5 days (which is known to cause mental issues) and wasn't tapered. The doctor had given me ativan to use as needed and I only took 7 pills over a 10 day timeframe before realizing how bad they were. I still wasn't sleeping so I was given ambien but only used it for 5 days due to the addictive nature. I didn't sleep for 3 days and freaked out and went to my first psychiatrist appointment ever. She prescribed me gabapentin to use as needed between 300-1200mg/day and doxepin at 10mg. I took this cocktail for a week and still only ever slept for 5 hours at a time, so she added Remeron. I took Remeron at 15mg for 5 days and at 7.5mg for another week. It really screwed with my brain even more. I couldn't concentrate at work and was all over the map and I felt really mentally slowed. I started having really scary urges, so my family brought me back to my home town and I stopped taking everything. The first 5 days was okay - I was able to sleep for 5 hours every night and then the next week all hell broke loose. I wanted to reinstate but since the meds never helped a bit I decided that it wasn't worth it. It's now 6 weeks after and I'm still having a really rough time. I'm very OCD and I'm afraid that I'm never going to heal. I went a good week sleeping about 7 or 8 hours a night but now panic and sheer anxiety have set in and I'm just obsessed over the idea that I'll never be the same. I've been taking OTC medication to help me sleep, and for a while I didn't have to take anything at all. I've been getting twitches all over and right now the back of my skull is tingling. I feel scared. I feel like such a fool - I never asked for this and it's scary as hell. I'm trying to go to work and be productive, but it's insanely hard without sleep and I just feel like I'm coming unglued. I know that I've been getting better. I can see the progress, but I'm so scared of more stuff coming in the future. My sleep is all over the place mostly because I'm super anxious and afraid that I'm dying and I feel compelled to contact another psychiatrist (one recommended on this site) but I don't know what they would do with me. They would just offer more drugs which I don't want to take. So, I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. The biggest thing for me is sleep - which hasn't been good ever since the surgery. I don't know what to do about that. Everything gets worse when I don't sleep and I'm so scared of not sleeping for a week!
  24. Hi all, I'm so happy I found this site! After experiencing absolutely horrible anxiety/OCD and extreme insomnia (literally didn't sleep a second for more than a week), I was put on Paxil 5mg and Trazodone + Ativan to help me sleep. I was able to get off the Ativan quite quickly and weaned the Trazodone down to the lowest dose (50). After a few months on that, I decided with my psychiatrist that it was time to wean off the Paxil. I did a month at .25 mg and had no problems so I thought it'd be easy to go completely off. Not the case at all! It's been 5.5 weeks now and all of my anxiety/OCD and insomnia are back. I'm feeling so hurt, disappointed, confused, and just plain sad. My psych OKed going back on the Ativan + 150mg of the Trazodone. I have an appointment with her Monday to discuss going back on an SSRI. I would love some advice on this. How long to ride this low wave before going back on something? Since I'm off, is it best to stay off? The Paxil really did help but I'm proud of myself for being off, so should I ride this low wave? How long do these symptoms last, in everyone's opinion? Just looking for support and encouragement. I'm so thankful this site and you all exist!
  25. I'm a new member here and am looking for support and community while I continue to taper from Paxil and Ativan. My story is a rather long one, but I will try and keep it short. In 2001 I went to my doctor for advice on quitting smoking. I specifically asked for Zyban, as I had friends who used it and it worked. I was 24 years old. My doctor gave me the prescription and off I went. I took the medication for 3-4 months and stopped c/t. I had no idea that Zyban was actually Wellbutrin and that you aren't suppose to just stop taking an antidepressant. Of course I did realize this until many years later. So the c/t left me with panic attacks, high anxiety, agoraphobia and depersonalization. I obviously thought I had some kind of psychotic break. My parents and fiancé were quite worried. I lost my job be ause i couldn't leave the house and I was worried that we would lose the house we just bought (we didn't). My parents took me to a psychiatrist who "diagnosed" me with Panic, Generalized Anxiety and OCD. That appointment would set me up for 14 years of medication. The psychiatrist prescribed 10mg of Paxil and sent me on my way. I never saw him again. My GP fulfilled my prescription for the next 14 years. After about 6 weeks on Paxil all the awful symptoms go away and I'm so relieved that I actually believed that I did in fact have a chemical imbalance that the medication had/was correcting. Looking back, Paxil just masked/fixed the cold turkey SNRI withdrawal. Fast forward to 2007, I am married and I have 2 beautiful children. I "feel" like I'm happy but at a distance. I feel flat, I've gained a lot of weight (which I attributed to pregnancy), I'm tired/lethargic (chalked up to having young kids) and not overly interested in much at all. At this point I've been telling my doctor for years about these symptoms, along with restless legs/GI distress/headaches, and the dose was continually raised. At one point I was on 60mg (for about 6 months) but mostly spent the years at about 40mg. In 2008 I left my husband. I was a wreck but knew it was the right thing to do. I also had decided I wanted off Paxil to go with my fresh start. I believed the weight gain and lethargy was from the Paxil and was ready to dump it. Over the course of 2 years I "tapered" as per doctors instructions, which always proved to fast. My slowest taper was 6 months. I always had intense symptoms which my doctor told me was my original "condition". Late 2011 I found PaxilProgress and realized what was happening. I was relieved, scared, angry and for te first time in years.....hopeful. Unfortunately, I had just made a large drop from 40mg to 20mg. So I updosed to 30mg and held for 6 months to stabilize. Stabilization eventually happened but it took awhile. By this time I had found a new doctor who supported my new taper plan (10% every 4-6 weeks using a compounding pharmacy). The unfortunate part was that he prescribed me Ativan, as needed, while I was stabilizing. As educated as I had become in AD's I had no clue what benzodiazepines were For two years I took Ativan PRN (2-3x per week) while tapering Paxil. In 15 months I was down to 15mg and functioning relatively well. I was able to continue working, continue all my sports (hockey, yoga), actively engage in parenting, and get married. I was however experiencing a lot of anxiety again, increase in GI upset, blurry vision, dizzy spells, existential thoughts, depression, etc. I figured it was just the natural course of Paxil withdrawal. I figured it was getting harder the lower I got in dose. Hindsight is 20/20 though because I now firmly believe I was having interdose w/d from the Ativan. In Jan 2014 I was hospitalized for a leg injury and prescribed 2mg Ativan DAILY as a (leg) muscle relaxer and to sleep. The day after my discharge I experienced the most horrific w/d. For me, Paxil w/d was a walk in the park compared to being cold turkeyed off a benzo. I was flooded with suicide ideation, I couldn't stop crying, heavy DP/DR, incredible muscle tension, migraines, vibrations, tremors, undulating, sweats, agoraphobia, panic attacks....the list is endless. My doctor immediately told me to start taking my Ativan everyday like the hospital had done. In his defence, he was afraid for me, and didn't know what to do. He wanted me to go back up to 30mg on my Paxil and I refused. So here I am.....a year later. I stabilized back on the Ativan, found BenzoBuddies and I've tapered from 2mg to .37mg of Ativan and it's been a much bigger challenge than my Paxil taper ever was. I feel weary, battle fatigued and plain old worn out. My Paxil taper has been on hold for the last year so I am still at 15mg. I'm terrified of what my future holds. Suffering is getting really tiring. I guess I shouldn't have tried to quit smoking!!! Lol.
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