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  1. Guilietta

    Guilietta

    Hello all, I am new to the forum after reviewing some of the posts intermittently since December 2018. I have posted my intro as a PDF (note: pasted below). When I tried to post it - the fonts and spacing were inconsistent and I couldn't edit it. This is my first online forum on any subject so please bear with me on the technical goofs I will make. 😉 Fortunately I did find the emoji and finally get the introduction written. Thank you! PDF information pasted below (CC manually reformatted as best as possible): Hello all, I am a new member and trying to liberate myself from duloxetine/Cymbalta 20 mg (compounded in a LIQUID). My goal is mood management without medication – and being able to cope positively with unwelcome (or sometimes welcome) events. I have been viewing information on the web site off and on since last December. My thanks and empathy to all of you on this site who are ridding themselves of Cymbalta and other ADs, benzos, etc. I remain optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an oncoming locomotive. J I am grateful for having found SurvivingAD and to the subject matter experts and people who administer it. I have been tapering duloxetine 20 mg (compounded) since December 15, 2018 under the care of an MD. I am at 10 mg (3.3 ml) as of July 20, 2019. I am decreasing by about 10% a month. I am also taking clonazepam 2 mg (my next taper goal) as well as meds for a childhood neurological illness (lamotrigine XR 600 mg and gabapentin 1000 mg). I have taken many medications since age 9 due to the latter. Because of my medical history and the many meds tried or used over the years to manage it, their efficacy, safety and side effects – I am anxious about medications. Anxiety exacerbates the neurological health issue. I was prescribed ADs about 15 years ago (and the clonazepam) to manage moods amid traumatic life events. I took Duloxetine for about the last 4 or 5 years; the highest dose was 60 mg. About my taper: The taper started in December 2018. However – before I knew better – I stopped cold turkey (per prescriber’s advice) in August 2018. I endured subsequent bouts of panic, elevated anxiety, auras and some agoraphobia - so I restarted the duloxetine and the symptoms went away. I figured out that cutting the medication maybe caused the symptoms. I found a new MD who reluctantly agreed to the taper. After learning I lack the fine motor skills to count beads, I found a compounding pharmacy and get the duloxetine in an oil-suspension. I decreased by 2 MG (10%) per his direction and I experienced 3 weeks of bad symptoms. Thereafter I tried a ‘micro-taper’ approach – a series of mini-cuts - per this website. This approach seems to have moderated many of the side effects– but the symptoms are still a problem a good proportion of the time. My process for the micro-taper is to reduce by about .5 mg a week (about 2 mg a month total) – with mini decrements across the week (in ml). I have symptoms for a few days, then a few days where I am feeling mostly OK, and then I make another mini-cut. This is fatiguing and difficult to manage. Some side effects I experience(d) on this medication at 20 mg– and they continue: • Hot flushing over head and torso and perspiration (in 70 F) and not attributable to endocrine function. • Blurry vision • Short-term memory impact • Focus and concentration and recall • Insomnia – awakening 2-3x night many nights…. • SSRI/SNRI sexual side –effects • And many more… Withdrawal effects Generally - the most consistent and prevalent withdrawal effects (thus far) have been: • Anxiety - which may often be markedly worse in mid to late afternoon and into the evening (about 7-8 hours after my dose). • Jitteriness/tremors/shakiness • Auras and other sensations (related to the neurological illness) which may be extremely uncomfortable • Tinnitus (hearing loss was ruled out as a cause) • Insomnia • Lower GI (one extreme or the other) • Appetite issues (one extreme or the other) • Maybe more sensitive to cloudy days – particulary when they cluster Less consistent: • Dizziness when quickly turning my head • Postural hypotension • Sinus headaches • Lightheadedness • Panic • Dysphoria • Short-term memory impact – worse at times during this taper than on the full dose • Focus and concentration and recall– worse at times during this taper than on the full dose June – July Withdrawal Symptoms Out of the blue in June I experienced additional and horrendous symptoms for 2-3 weeks (see ‘less consistent’ above). They were so acute I asked myself if this is worth it, whether I will ever get off this drug and so on with the nefarious what if’s. I have no idea what caused it but I made it through and I am now doing much better. Looking for another MD or NP The psych MD (started in December 2018) does not have my full confidence to taper me successfully off Duloxetine. I am looking for an MD or NP who sincerely wants to taper me off and take a holistic approach to mood management moving forward. Spending much time online and looking things up (like about ADs, tapering, etc.) elevates my anxiety to unhealthy levels. It’s therefore important to have an MD or NP on whom I may depend for this information. If it had not been for information I found on Surviving AD and other web sites – he would have tapered me to Viibryd or off duloxetine in 4 weeks. What I am doing to help myself • Joining Surviving AD and searching for an in person support group • Helping others through this and letting everyone I know about Cymbalta and AD withdrawal • (Re-) learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Meditate (10 – 15 minutes a day I practice this – but 5 minutes are better than no minutes) – this may take me a while to learn…. • Exercise daily ( 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning (and it would be good to do some walking in the afternoon). • Physical therapy and hand weight exercises most nights. • Eating plenty of protein, healthy (whole grain) carbohydrates, salad a day, nuts, and could do better with vegetables • Searching for a faith that aligns (mostly) with mine • Looking for a group to volunteer with • Write down (most days) what I am grateful for – even if I need to repeat things from one day to another J A few things I have learned – and wish I had known earlier – about exercise and diet and spending too much time online Maybe this may help someone out… 1. You may not want to start a ketogenic (or low carb) diet (depending on your medical circumstances). My personal experience with this: I was advised/told to restrict carbs (40%) to lower my a1c. I did 50% - and I suffered more anxiety, panic, etc. Ended up in ER with panic. No one told me about this and my MD wasn’t aware. Learn more about keto diets and psych meds: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201803/ketogenic-diets-andpsychiatric- medications. 2. Activate dopamine receptors and generate serotonin by EXERCISE (aerobic and/or weight lifting) and PROTEIN. Exercise releases endorphins and helps with dopamine receptor activation. Activating dopamine receptors is ‘critical’ to this process. A diet rich in protein helps with this. (this from the neuro RN) 3. A good snack in the mid to late afternoon – whole grains and protein - may help me with anxiety. It helps with blood glucose management –and a low BG will cause anxiety and a number of the symptoms that are also caused by AD withdrawal 4. To help cope with anxiety – I have found that doing something anything physical or with your hand (and focusing on it) can help (for example, clean the bathroom, knit, weed, etc.). I have a few questions, which I will post separately – and I would really appreciate your comments. Thank you Surviving AD Intro.pdf
  2. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  3. Hi all. I’m new here. A little about my story - I have been battling OCD and depression for the past 7 years. I’ve tried numerous treatment approaches, but for the past 5 years, my mainstay was Luvox. I spent ~2 years at 150mg and then the past 3 years at 450mg. My psychiatrist added Lamictal as I was attempting to reduce or get off of Luvox due to numerous side effects, but in the end, nothing was cutting it. I finally realized I couldn’t wait any longer to get off these medications, and needed to do so rapidly due to my current circumstances, and due to the fact I’m pretty sure my OCD improvements were derivative of the CBT and eXRP I’ve completed over the years, and not really the medical interventions. I’ve gone from 450mg of Luvox and 200mg of Lamictal to 0mg of both as of the Tuesday before last (6/11) over a 2 month long taper, reducing Luvox by 50mg per week and the Lamictal 50mg / week. I knew that this would be much quicker than ideal, but I really had to do it as it was causing too many problems in my personal life. Things were completely pain free and symptomless for ~5-6 weeks, which was a welcome surprise. However, the moment I went from 100mg to 50mg, the withdrawals started kicking in. I had the worst brain zaps I’ve experienced that subsided for the most part after about a week after going from 100mg to 0mg, and then again from 50mg to 0mg. Fortunately the worst of the brain zaps seem to be through. However, since going from 100mg on down, I have been experiencing a lengthy bout of flu like symptoms that don’t seem to be slowing down much, lethargy, body aches, very sore / restless legs, emotional turbulence and bouts of crying (the crying feels pretty good, though - I’ve missed having emotions!), and worst of all, feeling hopeless and struggling to make it through each day! The last thing I would ever do to myself is harm myself or anything like that, as I value life so much, but I just wish I could be in a coma or something for a few weeks to avoid all these symptoms as my neurochemistry readapts to baseline. It’s just constant physical and mental anguish. I’ve been lucky to have some down time from work, because I don’t know if I would have been able to handle work and this at the same time. But feeling physically terrible combined with the mental state I am in has been totally miserable. I’ve tried to keep exercising and tried Benadryl which I’ve heard can help, but nothing seems to alleviate symptoms, and I refuse to consider going back on Luvox. Fortunately, my anxiety and OCD have if anything been better than before, so I guess I have that going for me so far. Always still room to work on my OCD, but it’s definitely not getting worse which is good. Reading some of the posts I’ve seen here, it is a great, supportive, and knowledgeable community. I wanted to reach out and see if anyone has any suggestions on how I might be able to reduce the suffering I am experiencing, particularly with this being Luvox withdrawals, as an incredibly short half-life drug. I’m open to anything at this point.. minus returning to Luvox or SSRIs Happy to chat with anyone else who needs support going through similar experiences, or is struggling with OCD as well. Reach out any time.
  4. StillSinging

    My journey to be off psych drugs

    I always took my medication without thinking really. I had a psychotic episode (due to insomnia, stress, and anxiety most likely) after Christmas in 2007. I was 13. I had been taking Lexapro for a few months. My M.D. prescribed it for me. I don't quite remember why. I think I might probably have been depressed and anxious. I only now realize that taking the Lexapro could very well have caused the insomnia and resultant delusions. Anyway, I had a breakdown. I was seen by a psych. She (Dr. S.) prescribed Lamotrigine. It seemed to quell the delusions. I was back at school, medicated and delusion free. Over the years I developed fatigue, irritability, and apathy. I kept taking the drugs. For fatigue, I was prescribed Bupropion (Wellbutrin). I can't remember if it helped or not. I did develop hypomanic episodes at some point which further supported my bipolar 2 diagnosis. I would also have bouts of depression. Not the crying kind. Just apathy and mild anhedonia. I say mild because I still did some things I loved such as piano, art, singing. I did eventually lose my passion for art though. It showed up now and then sometimes. I always was told by my mother "It will get better", and "It won't always be this way." It didnt comfort me much. Though, looking back, it did get better. Eventually. It took around a decade. But I'm not off meds yet. I moved with my parents to a smaller comfy house in 2014 and joined our local Orthodox Church, met some loving, supportive people and made a really good friend. It did get better. But I still didn't know that there was an alternative for taking medication. I took my meds. I needed them. Or I thought I did. So did my mother. Now, my mother really has been with me all way. She's taking psych drugs too since I was in first grade for depression and anxiety. I went to 2 mental institutes. Thankfully never the hospital psych ward. I know a lot of you on here have been. From what I hear it's not fun and can be traumatic. I remember the people I met at the institutes. Broken, struggling people trying to get by and looking for a little hope. I connected with them. I still miss them and hope they're still fighting. I have a long story so I'll cut it up some in chunks. This is my first post. I'll write later about my experience at college (traumatic) and other things. I have some funny memories too so I'll put those in there as well. Don't give up! Anyone's welcome to share their experiences and stories too. -StillSinging
  5. I started my tapering off yesterday. I've done tapering before but only to prepare for a newer prescription. This time I have decided to taper off of everything. I am feeling the withdrawal symptoms but am determined to muddle through them. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow and will tell him what I am doing. It's very scary to me because I don't know what to expect because I've been on something or another for the past 27 years.
  6. I want to get off Saphris. I was taking 2.5 mg and tried to taper it down over the course of four months, went with three-quarter to one half to one quarter. Became suicidal and so anxious that I almost had several panic attacks. Was manic, and I'm not bipolar. Felt pressure to do things, mostly react with extreme emotions. Went back up to one. Now want to taper down and desperately want to get off of this hellish drug. I also take lamictal (300 mg), Viibryd (40 mg), and Mirtazipine (7.5 mg). I want off of all of them and am horrified at how long it is going to take me. I so want to hurry my taper. I also just quit drinking, after tapering down on alcohol over the course of a week. I've been an alcoholic for years. I am now, today, two days sober. I am going to remain sober. My diagnosis is Depression and Generalized Anxiety disorder. One thing I've noticed is that I have so much rage over the doctors who put me on all of these meds - they just kept shoving more and more meds at me, and never told me about the scary side effects. I want to sue one in particular. The other thing I've noted is that I just hate myself for letting them put me on the meds. My mother said, when she learned of all that I am on: You dropped the ball! She was horrified, and rightly so. I am horrified at myself. Like I said, I hate myself for letting this happen. So mad for ruining my life. So there's this rage and horror at the doctor and at myself. There is also this manic anxiety and decision making problems for myself, problems that I worsen by my anxious reactions. I've been back on a whole dose for a while, but every few days I get scared, and try to take only 75% of a dose. It's not really working out for me. For the last two days, I have felt very suicidal. It's nuts. This is not me. I don't know what to do. That's why I've come here. I am desperate, and very, very afraid. I hope that I've done this intro thread right...
  7. I have been consistently medicated for over two years now (2016-2018). I would like to taper off my medications, but with the high doses of lamictal and prozac I’m not sure where to start. I have had minor twitching throughout my body. Although I can’t remember when it started, my doctor thinks it’s because of the abilify. She suggested I start taking 1mg instead of 2mg. I took 1mg for two weeks then took my last dose of abilify in thr beginning of December 2018. Any advise on which I should taper first: lamictal or prozac? I say I’m terrified because even though I’ve only been medicated two years, I don’t know who I am without medication. I also am scared of the uncertainties of the withdrawal process and side effects.
  8. I’ve been on antidepressants since I was 13 diagnosed when I was 13 with depression and anxiety disorder. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with major depression after suicide attempt. At 27 years of age now my new doctor of just one month diagnosed me with bipolar 2, I believe solely on the fact that my mother is bipolar one and she believes I’m “genetically prone” to this disorder My medication history. First it was lexapto, then Prozac then Wellbutrin, then cymbalta and Xanax now tapering off pristiq which I personally find the worse. And now I’m put on lamictal. My doctor seems to think I can withdrawl from my pristiq (100 mg) which I’ve been on throughout a year time span, in “two weeks” and being put on 200 mgs of lamictal it should “ counteract the withdrawal “ . I’ve been out of work for a year (previously a full time teacher”. I feel like I’m losing my mind for lack of better words. I’m so desperate and truly believe big pharmaceutical agencies just want to make money off of me (us) . I’m lost and isolating myself, my life is falling apart, and I’ve never been in a worse mental state than I am now. I’m here for help and reassurance I suppose. Don’t know how much longer I can do this. -Amy
  9. Zavo

    Zavo

    Hi, I am retired 1st responder with PTSD for over 20 years. Get anxiety and Depression as well. About 2 years ago I was put on mertazapine and gained 50 pounds. Never overweight in my life. Then put on Lamotragine 200mg and duloxatine 120mg. Never felt well on any of them. Decided enough is enough. I want to see who I am without all the meds and misdiagnosis. I'm not BiPolar, dont have seizures but was given bipolar meds and told for depression. Big no, I just keep getting worse. I decided to get off all. I tried tapering Duloxatine with horrible effects..still have them. Body aches, bones ache, flu symptoms, mean and cant get out of bed. After tapering to zero counting beads I found that prozac can help. I took a genetic test and it showed severe drug interaction with Duloxatine. Now I'm on Prozac 5mg but still suffering, maybe from prozac effects, cant get out of bed, aches and pains and very tired and weak. I'm not depressed by very discouraged. I got married not long before all this, cant work, basically ruining my life. I no longer have trust in Psychiatry and find better info online from people going through this. I'm now on week 2.5 off Duloxatine and down to 100mg of Lamictal. How to cope? How there are no real rules, prozac helps bit comes with lots of problems. Anyway, I feel I'm getting there, but I need help, afraid my spouse will divorce me soon and wish I could leave me too. Thank you for all the great info this far. Zavo
  10. I've recently reconnected with a friend from 30+ years ago. We have been spending time together once a week and we are moving foward, seeing each other more frequently. At some point I will want to share my story with them about my psych meds. When and how is the best way to do this? Full disclosure is important to both of us. I want to make sure I'm not premature in bringing it up, but don't want to wait too long risking the perception I've been holding back and not been upfront.
  11. I have been diagnosed w ptsd, major chronic depression, bipolar2, and chronic pain. I take cymbalta 120mg daily, lamictal 100mg at night and bedtime. I have seroquel 25mg bid as needed. I am experiencing hypomania, irritability, discontent, and sometimes doc thinks its a serotonin syndrome in making. I know what that feels like. I took nucynta once for pain. Got off of it right away. So, i have permission by psychiatrist to play around w my dosage for comfort. I want to taper off cymbalta and lamictal, i have decreased lamictal by 25mg, at night. I have 60mg caps of cymbalta. I took 1 on monday, tues, and wed. Today i felt headachey, and my back pain flared up. I taught my swim lessons, came home and took the other 60mg. I feel better physically. I want to lower potential for hypomania,
  12. Hi, i'm new to this forum, so forgive me if i make mistakes, i'm still learning. I'm about two years out from withdrawing off of Paxil that i tapered down on, and about one year from one situational exposure to benzodiazepines, and two years from consistent benzodiazepine usage (the klonopin,) as i withdrew both the antidepressant and the benzodiazepine at the same time. I am drug free for an entire year. The drugs tagged in my post are also drugs i have been previously exposed to, or had other exposures in the same class of drugs, (E.g, i have also been exposed to zoloft, prozac, and pristiq in the "Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor" category over the course of 14 years, though paxil was my last exposure to an SSRI drugs.) For the sake of simplicity, i will spare the details. I am posting here today because i am struggling with a couple issues that the specialists i've seen cannot help me with, and i hope to find resources here. I have ruled out thyroid issues, cardiovascular issues, vitamin deficiency in standard ranges, and other infectious disease issues through doctors and testing. I am debating about seeing an endocrinologist, but have lost a lot of faith in medicine since my psychiatric outpatient stent and the answers for my health that continue to elude me. I have listed my main issues below: 1. Fatigue - From what i've read and am trying to understand, fatigue can be a huge factor in antidepressant and benzodiazipine post acute withdrawal because of potential effects on hormones and neurotransmitters. I've also read that amphetamine withdrawal, especially in the context of abuse can cause fatigue, but my exposure to amphetamines was a decade ago, so i don't know if that could still be a contributing factor or not? The fatigue seems to come on intermittently, i drink green tea to help with wakefulness as the fatigue can feel debilitating throughout the day, and i feel like my brain just doesn't want to function on all gears. I am also sensitive to caffeine - if i ingest more than normal it can send me into a panic attack. My intermittent benzodiazepine exposure last year was in part induced by too much coffee, but i used to drink a pot of coffee a day without too much anxiety on paxil. 2. Emotional Blunting - I know that emotional blunting is also a factor in both benzodiazepine and antidepressant use and withdrawal, but i am a little perplexed that i still feel difficulty with emotional attachment. I theorize that this may be due to the benzodiazepine withdrawal mostly, for the reason that benzodiazepines inhibit or prevent neurological recovery from trauma, from what i understand. Is it possible that my body and mind are still in a state of survival even two years out from antidepressant and benzos? I understand that the psychological trauma from years of being medicated may also play a key factor in trust and developing relationships, but that is a psychological piece that should resolve itself through counseling, CBT, once the body begins to function correctly again. My other theory is that all my exposure to drugs over the years, (especially in the context of intermittent antipsychotic and benzodiazipine exposure) has caused irreversible atrophy to the neurological circuitry that is responsible for those functions (pre-frontal cortex and frontal lobe?) I'm looking for any input, resources, or suggestions that might help with those pieces Thanks, - NR EDIT: I don't have any recreational drug exposure either, all my drug exposure has been exclusively psychiatric with the exception of alcohol on a few celebratory occasions. I have also had antibiotic exposures on three separate occasions in the past five years.
  13. When i try to taper off, at about the three month mark the terrible feelings of irrational fear return. i have never made it past this point. Has anyone else experienced this? My diagnosis is bi polar 1, with psychotic features in the distant past. Also, i am on lamictal and 5 mg of lexapro
  14. misscathleen

    misscathleen: taper

    Hello, I'm a 39-year old mom of 2. Been on lamictal since my 3-year old was born in 2014 and when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression (ppd). Wasn’t ever diagnosed with bipolar, but had bad experience with an SSRI and my pdoc suggested lamictal was the way to go. I had very mixed feelings because I was nursing, but I felt so terrible and needed something. I have two daughters and need to be available to them. I made it up to 225mgs and that’s when the last of the ppd symptoms subsided, which was morning anxiety. Been at 225mgs, taking my entire dose at night, for about 2 years. Since all this started, I’ve had moodiness around the time right before or right after my menstrual cycle, which leads me to believe my symptoms were/are due to hormonal shifts. I’ve been talking about tapering for at least a year and my pdoc finally agreed. I started to taper with the help of my pdoc in late Feb 2018. She suggested to taper from 225mgs to 200. Did that for a few weeks and felt good so I started a little more aggressive taper by myself. Moved down to 175mgs and stuck there for 2 weeks, still felt great. Tapered again to 150 and felt fine for 2-3 days and then (2 days ago) I was hit by a ton of bricks. Headaches, dizziness, weird sensations almost out of body, fogginess, morning anxiety, general feelings of blah. Last night I took 150 and then went back up to 175mgs by taking 25mgs this morning because I feel so awful. I plan to hold at 175mgs at night until otherwise suggested. I found your site a while back and it made me aware of the importance of a slow taper. But then I was feeling so great I thought I might be one of the “lucky ones” and didn’t need to taper so slowly. Apparently not! So I’m back and committed to a slow taper even though I want to be off this medicine like crazy. I’m looking forward to hearing any feedback, and I’m in need of help on how, mathematically, to taper. I get the 10% reduction over 4 weeks but the math confuses me. Thanks for reading this!
  15. hello. like many here i have been on some sort of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication for the better part of my life. i started taking anti-depressants in my late teens after the sudden death of my mother and grandmother. i’ve probably been on 6-8 different medications over the last 20+ years albeit not consistently. in 2010 or so i was diagnosed as bipolar and put on 40mg prozac and 200mg lamictal. in 2017 i decided i wanted to stop taking these medications and at that time i was taking 20mg prozac and 100mg lamictal. in december 2017 i tapered off of both of these medications with my doctor’s approval. that’s right, only one month for both medications. the withdrawal symptoms began sneaking up on me a few weeks into january 2018- a little anger here, some sudden crying spells there... in february things got much worse. i began having tinnitus and some dizzy spells. panic attacks almost daily, often more than once a day, trouble falling asleep and staying asleep almost every night, lots of crying, a good bit of anger and a wee touch of feeling hopeless and doomed for life. i’ve seen my regular dr. three times in the last month or so and one ENT doctor. both advised going back on some sort of SSRI. i explained to my dr. in my most recent visit that, after doing a fair amount of research, i felt my symptoms were a result of me discontinuing the prozac and lamictal (and so suddenly). it was his opinion that withdrawal symptoms from those drugs only last a matter of days and therefore couldn’t be the source of my current woes. he wrote me a prescription for lunesta and lorazepam (which i have taken sparingly for sleep) and also one for buspar (haven’t filled that one). needless to say i’m lost. i have two young children that are my love and life so giving up is not an option but neither is going back on the prozac, lamictal or any antidepressants for that matter. i should add that i am exercising regularly-almost daily and i eat a WFPB diet so at least i have those two things going for me. emotionally, though, i’m exhausted and i don’t know what to do. yes, i know i tapered WAY too quickly but i can’t change that now. any advice is appreciated. thank you.
  16. Cyndihb

    Cyndihb

    Hi, I'm new to this site but not new to antidepressants. I am currently trying to stabilise after Prozac pooped out after 13 yrs. Sent me into a hellish nightmare of where I'm at now. I'm afraid of getting on meds after reading the info on this site. Lexapro is helping with intense anxiety. I was originally prescribed Zyprexa for agitation and sleep. I've decreased from 10 to 5mg. I dont want to be on these meds especially after reading the withdrawal hell written here. Any words of support would be helpful. I'm not stable enough to taper anything else but just wanted you to know I appreciate your site Lexapro 15mg Lamictal 100mg Zyprexa 10 down to 5mg Clonazapam 2x daily
  17. Hello, I am Sean. Long time depression and anxiety sufferer. 36y/o, male. Have been on various meds since being a young teenager. Have taken most types of psychiatric drugs at some point. Recently been dealing with hard depression and possibly BP2 diagnosis (if that matters), and am currently on lamictal, Wellbutrin, Gabapentin and Abilify. Sadly I stopped Abilify and Gabapentin improperly a month ago, and now am worried I am going through serious withdrawals and don’t know what to do. I have been on the Lamictal for about 6 years, and 1mg of clonazepam for sleep (or bad anxiety) for maybe 7-8 years. Recently, I had been taking 5mg Abilify since last summer (mid 2017) as an adjunct to treat depression and some psychosis, and also was given gabapentin for anxiety at the same time. I took the Abilify 5mg for a while, then would stop and start as I felt it wasn't doing anything to help, but eventually took is steadily throughout the last few months of the year. I would also take the gabapentin usually in the afternoons for anxiety attack flare ups. The gabapentin was prescribed as taking 1-3 300mg capsules 3x a day (for a potential max of 2700). I usually would only take 900mg a day, and that seemed to help me feel better. For the new year, I wanted to stop the Abilify and Gabapentin, and I had been tapering down the Abilify from 5mg a day to 2.5mg, but then forgot to take it with me on my christmas trip (December 22-28) and had to just stop. I also tried to minimize the gabapentin use and don't quite remember how much I took it over the christmas break, probably semi regularly. I came home from christmas on the 28th (2017) and wanted to be off so many meds as they weren't helping the original intent. I was still on the Wellbutrin, but also had these thoughts of stopping/tapering that down too. Well as of today it's been about 4 weeks without the Abilify, and maybe close to 4 weeks without gabapentin, and I am feeling very strange. Upon returning home, I have developed early morning awakening at around 4am every day (even when taking the 1mg clonazepam for sleep) and have extreme fatigue, obviously, through the day. But as I read more about the Abilify (and then gabapentin) withdrawals, I realized that I might have screwed up bigtime in thinking I could stop them. The gabapentin I was never told had to be tapered down, I thought it was an "As needed" for anxiety med, and I had been taking only 1/3rd of what was prescribed (900mg daily instead of 2700mg). So I've been nearly a month off that. At the same time, in my goal to reduce my drug cocktail, I also thought I could take the Abilify down to 2.5mg for a few weeks, then just cut that down to zero. That's been about a month now as well. But, now that I've read all through these forums, I realize that I may have screwed up real bad. It has definitely been a rough month of emotions and symptoms, but I attributed it mostly to some emotional strain over the holidays and a general continuation of my original depression/anxiety. But now I am wondering if I have thrown myself into a total loop by cutting off those two drugs so improperly, without doctor's supervision or advice. I thought I would be ok. So right now, my quandary is: it's been a month, do I restart the drugs and try tapering over again, or do I just realize that I made a big mistake and push through it now instead of starting back over? This is what I'm afraid of, I feel stuck! And I am not sure how much my pdoc knows or is informed on these withdrawal syndromes. Plus it's really hard to get an appointment with her. I just had one this week and I didn't explain myself well (and hadn't read these forums) so I wasn't aware of the 10% rule and the other possible effects of stopping. I could use some advice or insights. I realize if I'd read these forums before, I wouldn't have stopped like this. But now that I'm a month in, I don't know if it's better to try and start back up, and then taper down, or just figure I need to live through it. I am happy to answer more questions here or in other threads. Please help, thank you!
  18. Hi..I'm new to this site and am hoping for some insight into what I have been experiencing. I was on Prozac for 15 or so years and tapered off (following Dr orders) over the course of a month. After 2-5 days after starting tapering I started having diarrhea daily which has now persisted for 7 months. Been to the GI docs and they did not find anything. Have also lost 30 pounds. Tired a lot and haven't been sleeping the best are really my only other symptoms. All my blood work has come back normal. Emotionally I feel pretty good. I don't want to go back on Prozac just to make the diarrhea stop because emotionally I feel ok. Has anyone else experienced something like this? Thanks
  19. Hi, im asking for advice on 12.5mg lamotragine taper that i plan for the new year. ive been taking it for 8 weeks today as a mood stabiliser. i have felt better but that may also be a result of the tamazepam taper starting a few weeks later and the anxiety around the potential breakdown of my relationship being removed as he did infact leave. hes a lovely caring man though who just couldnt hear my distress ans thoughts of ending it all anymore...its been a really hard year and september/October/ november in particular were hard. pregnancy, miscarriage and precervical cancer all in one. i havent worked since sep 1st when i had surgery. last time i felt like myself was August....that was before all these drugs and while i had terrible anxiety but the anxiety was nothing like with the drugs...they bought on serious depression too....
  20. Ccnt80

    Kimberly''s Intro

    Dx: Bipolar, depression, anxiety, PTSD, treatment resistant insomnia, CFS, Fibro, chronic pain Current meds as of Dec. 2017: Lamictal 200mg bid Omeprazole 200 mg bid Motrin 800mg qam Iron 65mg qam Despiramine 125mg qhs Seroquel 300mg qhs Remeron 30 mg qhs Clonopin 0.5 mg up to 5 tabs a day as needed (can take up to 3 pills at one time) *** I very faithfully take my med as prescribed. Supplements when I remember to take them: magnesium, iodine, zinc, probiotic I attempted to drop Seroquel down to 250mg for a couple weeks and was VERY irritability and awful feeling, so I ended up moving it back to 300mg. I had also recently dropped the Clonopin down from 5 tablets to 4 tablets a day. I worry about being on Seroquel cause diabetes runs in my family. As of now, my HGa1C shows a decreased risk for diabetes. I am about 70 pounds over weight. I have lost 50 pounds since May 1. My main issue is massive insomnia. That is the main reason for the poly pharmacy. I've been dx bipolar since 2005 (I am 37), but on anti-depressants since 2002. Due to my lack of knowledge and horrid docs, was on up to 10 psych meds at a time prior to 2009. Two 3 year periods in my 20s only slept 10 hours a week, even tho I was medicated so heavily I could barely move. I was so exhausted and wrung out I wanted to die. I'm on the seroquel, remeron, and desipramine mainly for sleep but they also help mood. I average 4-6 hours sleep, but it takes me 12 hours to get it. I wake up every 45-60 minutes. So don't typically feel rested. If I nap during the day, my sleep at night is no worse. If I don't take clone pin during the day to nap, I get very irritable and overwhelmed filling. Sensory overload. I've been off work for 2.5 years this time around, for mood issues and pain issues.
  21. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer for 20+ years. I want to wean off duloxetine first. I’ve experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms when I failed to get a refill about 3 years ago. After about 2 days not taking duloxetine I was in full blown withdrawal and it was a flipping nightmare. That experience led me to believe I would never be able to not use the drug. I am to the point of being tired of dry mouth, dry eye, constipation and sweating. This may not be a good time to wean as I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next fall and going to school part time. I will be 59 in 2018. Finding this forum is a godsend for me and hope I can be active even if I’m unable to start a taper right away. I’m really scared that I will never feel like the self I was before taking these drugs. I’m not even sure if I remember, which is even scarier and causes some anxiety if I focus on it too much. Thanks.
  22. Hello, I have had OCD and GAD since childhood and panic disorder since I was 30 years old. I am 48, and this summer completed a taper from Luvox. I plan to taper off other meds under doctor supervision but am currently considering when to schedule tapers since teaching and tapering may not mix. The Luvox taper was diifcult indeed but was not the beast it might have been had I moved too quickly. I have experienced a long road of meds, cessation of meds, and new meds followed by the old meds, and I have been in periodic therapy for many years. I am currently working with self-guided CBT and mindfulness. Several of the OCD symptoms have intensified, so I am willing to do the work. I am literally terrified of stoping the Xanax; my panic attacks were debilitating and drove me to telecommute for years. However, I want to leave anything close to a benzo behind me. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and for this forum.
  23. I'm planning ahead to starting to taper in the next few months but I'm not sure which med is the best to taper first. Neither drug causes me significant side effects so far as I know and I've been on both of them for over 10 yrs. I am off of Straterra as of this last February (accidental cold turkey stop and had 3 months of hell, but survived it.) Buspar I am very sensitive to - even a generic brand change is enough to give me symptoms as if I've stopped it completely. I'd appreciate any suggestions about which to do first.
  24. Hi Everyone, I am new to the site as a member, but have read quite a bit so far! I am based in Texas, have been around the block a few times with meds. Currently taking lamictal and Wellbutrin and from what I can gather going through a withdrawal from Abilify. Thanks for reading!
  25. Moderator note: Link to PInballWizard's benzo thread I have been on Celexa 20 mg/day for ten years. I have hone cold turkey several times with disastrous results. I have also been on Lamotrigine 100 mg/2x daily for three years and 100 mg/day for three years before that. I take Valium as needed and have decided to stop taking it since I haven't taken it in several weeks. I have decided to stop taking these drugs. I am working with my psychiatrist and want other people's experiences with withdrawals. I know it will take time, and I am not in a hurry. Thank you in advance.
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