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  1. 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.
  2. Please i need help. I am on cymbalta generic and have tapered down to approx 10 mgs from 90 using bead method. I also take a very low dose of ativan. I had tapered off the ativan in july 2016 and went back on much lower dose 4 months ago. I also take zyprexa at approx. 3.75 mgs. I have been trying to taper all three meds because i have fatty liver disease and need yo get off this junk before it turns into cirrhosis. So i made a cut last week and about 4 days ago i started to get severe anxiety. I was doing fine up until then but it seems like every time i get to a certain point with the zyorexa i get so anxious. I have tried several times to taper zyprexa. I am under alot of stress and i dont know if its me or withdrawal. I was put on these medications 9 years ago for anxiety. It was very bad. But i dont know if that anxiety was from klonopin or celexa. I did not have this kind of anxiety before those two meds. Someone please help me. I had to increase the zyprexa yesterday or i was going to end up in the hospital. I have to find a job because i will soon be homeless if i dont. How will i get off these horrible drugs and function at the same time??
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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!!!
  14. 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!
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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?
  23. 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. . .
  24. Hi SA Community, I am the core support for my long-time love and life partner, and joined so that I can ask questions related to him coming off of Effexor. Very, very long story short, 1 year ago my high-functioning partner started having HIGH anxiety, extended insomnia, , ER visits, etc. Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks) After 5 months, he did a slow 3 month titration off of Ativan (10% at at time, going down 10% each week), finished 2 months ago. Had a compounding pharmacy make troches (basically, edible waxy cubes) in small Ativan amounts to create an easy way to reduce slowly. NO withdrawal symtoms! He is about to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor. We just found this site recently. Will be following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests. Just bought a Gemini 20 scale to weigh out the 10%. Current naturopath has him taking the following daily: Total Amino Solution DLPA GABA DHEA He has also started taking daily: 2000 IEU Fish oil 2000 IU Vitamin D I actually believe that the Effexor is causing many of the current problems he's now experiencing--poor memory, complete lack of motivation, sleeping 12-15 hrs/day, etc. Yes, some of these occurred at start of this 1 year-so-far journey, before starting to take the Effexor a month of so into it. However, I believe a number of his current symptoms will lift as he comes off the anti-depressant. If they don't, then at least we'll know what is really HIM and not the drug, to better deal with what's going on underneath. Thanks! LovingSupport
  25. **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.
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