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  1. Re39

    Re39: Hi.

    Hi, im Re.. and this is my story.. Im 39. I was assistant to CEO for 10 years. Had think-tank business with my friends about 2-3 years ago. Last week i signed papers to delegate my job to my business partners, as it hard for me to think in proper anymore, and this year get worst (hard to recalled/exact words or database from my brain). Im on benzos & ssri for 14 years and counting.. My presc. meds per day are: 2mg xanax, 2mg estazolam, 10mg prozac (first 20mg yrs ago, forgot what year, been a year really hard to recalled specific memory). Around first 2-3 years, I never missed my pills, then am not dicipline take my meds anymore until today. I never know about my presc. meds., i mean the withdtawal, or what will happen if am not dicipline or even cold turkey, etc. My psychiatrist never explained about them. I met her 14 years ago, bc im in deep **** of stress, not to mentioned my traumas. So never crossed in my mind, these meds are same dangerous as illegal drugs, if i missed my pills for day(s) or week(s). I trust my doc. Was. Well. Not anymore. Been 4 years or so, i had more than 10 car accidents, 2 of them almost got killed me. Extreme behaviour more than 10 years (i remember my colleagues & friends tried to tell me many times, that am changed. Re (me), who love to make a joke, easy to laugh even your jokes not funny, know how to lights up the parties, love life, easy going, is gone. I ignored them. Suicide thoughts & attempts for few times. There was a time I cant trust myself around knives, scissors, forks, electricity plug (so i have to sealed them, after i use it). Sometimes i stop in the middle of train tracks, until people tried to bang my car to move, so i moved. Unlike my car accidents before *i sleep when i drive (even with 2mg estazolam & 1mg xanax at night, cant sleep easily, tons of workloads to do until 3/4 am; then leave at 6am to work, traffic jam here is horrible). I know it sounds fantastic. Believe me it wasnt. Sometimes i fall asleep when i drive, then awake my car was ready to jump from the bridge (the barrier were high, so my car like climbing before jump)*.. Now, my mind play new tricks on me, many times i tried to hit my car with others. Everytime that thoughts comes up. I pull over. More than 12 years hard to sleep easily and became workaholic, even with those meds. I still can work almost 20 hrs everyday. Until last week, i had to give up. I cant work in proper anymore. Forgot what year i pushed everyone away from me. Family, my best friends, my fiancè. Without any reasonable reasons. I shut them off of my life. Last mid year, im tired with all bullsh*t I've had. So, i drive 4 hours to small town, with my last each strips of my meds. Worked remotely. One day something triggered my trauma. I lost control. Crawled to reach the door to get help. Last Dec, back to the city. See my doc again. She gave me same meds. Same dose. Then i start create an account on one of social media platform. First, i thought i just look for some motivation words. Until i see there's benzos survivors from some motivator's followers. Start to followed them. And more to follow from he/her followers. Until last month, around mid January, someone talked about benzos withdrawal & akathisia. Shocked. I threw up many times. Shaking. Dizzy. I can feel my right shoulder freezed. Feets cold. Take extra xanax to calm me down. Finaly, finish reading in hours. My curiosity gets bigger everyday.. feel sick & cant stop my tears everytime i read all the symptoms from survivors.. Then i see my doc. Tell her. Im worried about my brain, as i hard to recalled everything in proper/right. But she said im fine. I said am not fine. She said it just my work stressed, and do not missed any pills ever again. She gave same meds again. Same dose. Without explanations about my withdrawal, or cold turkeyed i had last year, along with my trauma. Last Wednesday i tried to find 2nd opinions. He didnt much help either. Instead he gave me new meds. I asked what his diagnosed about my conditions. He didnt answer it clearly, i mean he just say need some brain test and he gave me new meds. I read the presc. are new meds, and those are mixed drugs, each consist of some benzos & ssri. He gave me higher dose than my (14 yrs) doc. He gave morning & afternoon intakes higher than my dose before (prozac & xanax). Night intake also higher than estazolam to help me sleep. My new presc. consists mixed of 3-4 drugs benzos & 1 ssri, for each capsules i believe. Speechless. I just cried. Cant find any words to argue with him any longer. How come from traumas & work stress end-up like this? Finish the session, without buy my meds. Drive straight to go home, in tears. I feel i dont know me anymore. How could i blind, stupid, being workaholic till i drop, etc.. for unbelieveable 14 years. Hope you can follow my story, again, hard for me to find the exact words. Thats why I let my work go. To be honest, i dont know what am looking for here. What to expect after i tell my story. But someone encouraged me to get here, since hard for me to get offline therapy community for prescribed harm people, in my city/country. So, here i am.
  2. Hello, I've read most of the intro topics and am ready to properly begin my own tapering journey. I have been on some form of SSRI since 2001. I trialed with celexa and paxil and eventually settled on Effexor XR for a number of years. Because it was so expensive, I asked my PCP to consider an alternative and we switched to Prozac in 2006, which increased bit by bit to settle in at 40 mg. In 2010, after a major depressive episode, 300 mg wellbutrin was added. In spring of 2019, I ran out of wellbutrin during a holiday weekend, didn't experience ill effects, so just never refilled the medication. In fact, the tardive dyskinesia and tremors I had for years disappeared. I have been stable on prozac 40mg. When initially prescribed SSRIs in 2001, I was also prescribed trazodone for insomnia. Over the years, I have taken anywhere between 12.5 mg (splitting a 50 mg tab into 4) and 25 mg, but have been steadily on 25 mg nightly for the better part of 10 years. If I forget to take it, my body definitely KNOWS and will not allow me to sleep. It's miserable. About a year and half ago, I was diagnosed with macrocytosis. I've had a gamut of tests all the way to a bone marrow scan and no cause has been determined. My hemotologist thinks that my meds may be contributing to this condition, so I would like to taper or eliminate them altogether - plus 20 years on this stuff just can't be good. Foolishly, I stopped the traz on Saturday night (3 nights ago) and began a trial of CBD. It sent my body into a tailspin, which led me here. I am aware of the risk for serotonin syndrome with both of these meds and am not completely convinced I haven't been experiencing this. I know to taper 10% monthly and not introduce CBD. I'm thinking of starting with the trazodone over the prozac. This would put me at 22.5 mg traz for the month of Feb. I sure hope it goes better than the last 3 days... Happy to entertain any words of wisdom. Thanks...
  3. Hey all! New to this community. Just wanted to say I really appreciate the moderators and members of this site for providing me valuable information in the past and giving an often overlooked group of sufferers a place to heal and learn. Just a little bit about myself; I am a 19 year old freshman at Johns Hopkins University. The academic pressures at a school like mine are intense. I was someone who breezed through HS and never doubted my abilities as a student. I began suffering from panic disorder in October, related not to my studies, but from a feeling of hypochondria exacerbated by my unhealthy actions partying, drinking and smoking on the weekends. Eventually, after an initial panic attack, I found myself in a state of constant anxiety and brain fog that would result in near-daily panic attacks. I thought I was losing my mind. In time, I sought out a school psychiatrist, who prescribed me 10mg of Prozac (fluoxetine) at my request. Although what followed was unpleasant, I don’t regret this decision, because it showed me what Hell truly was, and removed me from my panic disorder. My body reacted very, very poorly to the medicine. The panic attacks got worse, my personality had dipped to a level of absolute nihilism, and I felt like a zombie walking in the first few days. Almost immediately I began feeling sleep disruptions that got worse every night until I could barely muster 1 hour of sleep a night. For some reason, I wasn’t tired though. The activating effects of the drug somehow made me not register feelings of sleepiness, or many emotions in fact. I’m sure the users of this forum are all too familiar with this feeling. During this time, I read DARE by Barry McDonagh, and the book spoke to me so well that I stopped fearing my panic. This was about 5 days into beginning the drug. By this time, finals had come about, and on my 19th birthday, I completely crashed. The lack of sleep had finally caught up to me, and I couldn’t stand feeling like a zombie every day. So, I stopped the drug cold turkey after about 2.5 weeks. Confident that I had beaten my anxiety, I stopped worrying about my somatic symptoms that had led me into the state of panic in the first place. I broke a lot of unhealthy thinking patterns and challenged the anxiety to attack me rather than cowering away from it. This helped me plenty. But in those first few days of getting off the drugs, I had taken my finals in a complete mental haze, and spent my winter break in a weird state of conciousness that I’ve only ever felt from the antidepressants. My sleep slowly got better, but sleep disruptions still bother me to this day. Around the 25-day mark (the time that Prozac is almost completely eliminated from the body), the withdrawal symptoms got worse. The insomnia returned and I began feeling the flu-like symptoms that were commonly described as withdrawal symptoms. Muscle aches, headaches, nausea, and weird somatic symptoms became very prevalent, but I knew that these were just withdrawal symptoms, and in time, these too would pass. I am now back at school for my second semester and I’m glad to say that I’m still more or less anxiety-free. But I am now about 1.5 months post-cold-turkey and I’m wondering when I may find complete relief from these symptoms. The insomnia has lessened its grip but the rest of the symptoms seem to come and go in waves; some days I don’t feel them at all while others, like today, I will have a raging headache and find it hard to focus on my schoolwork. Thank you for getting through that slog! Just searching for some encouragement or insight that I don’t quite have yet
  4. Hi all, This is my first post, so please bear with me. I hope it is okay to discuss tapering off from other psychiatric drugs besides just antidepressants. I am currently taking 20 mg of Prozac, 2.5 mg of Zyprexa, and 1,200 mg of lithium. I am in the research phase and in the process of planning my withdrawal, which is why I decided to join this site. My goal is to eventually taper off of all psychiatric drugs. I have attempted to do this several times in the past, but have ultimately failed and found myself reaching for psych meds again. I first sought "professional help" back in high school when I was around 16 and my parents brought me to a psychologist, and upon his recommendation, also a psychiatrist. I was originally diagnosed with major depression which turned into treatment-resistant major depression and then years later turned into a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in my early twenties. I am now 29 and once again looking to taper off of the drugs that I'm taking. My primary motivation for this is that I believe the drugs are to blame for my inability to think and feel emotions. I always seem to find myself in this sort of state after taking psych drugs for awhile. I turn into a zombie. I'm flat all the time. I have no interest in anything, no motivation for anything, no up, no down, just an unceasing flatness. I have this constant sort of absent-mindedness that never improves. I am stuck in a sort of thoughtless "running through the motions" type of existence. My state is difficult to describe as it's like nothing I have ever experienced before taking psych meds. It may be a sort of dissociation (perhaps depersonalization?). However, when I have tapered off of whatever psych drugs I was taking in the past, my mind comes back. It's truly a night and day difference. The experience is like coming back from the dead! The problem I have faced in the past was sustaining the return to wellness. I think most times in the past I was withdrawn way too quickly, as the psychiatrists seem to think cutting your dose in half every week or two and then stopping the drug you may have been on for months to years in about one month is completely okay. This, coupled with the fact that I was taking multiple drugs was really a recipe for failure. My most recent attempt to withdraw was also my longest lasting. I was drug free for about a year, and doing very well. So here I am, once again preparing to taper off the drugs that I'm taking in hopes of healing from them and my mind returning to life. My main concerns at this point have to do with coming up with a reasonable and safe taper schedule. I am very discouraged to learn that the suggested taper rate is 5-10% reduction per month from the previous month's dosage. I have seen this number on several different websites and it is cited as being the rate generally suggested by the withdrawal community. If that is the case, it would take me over 7 years to taper off the three drugs I'm taking. This seems ridiculous. I want to withdraw with a harm reduction approach in mind, and of course the goal is to be successful, but I can't stomach taking that many years to taper off. How does one determine their taper schedule? I want to be off of these drugs as soon as possible, but I also want to give myself the best chance possible to succeed. How does one find a middle ground? I suppose this is a very individual question, and that at least part of the answer lies in how well one tolerates an initial reduction. Can anyone provide any suggestions or resources to learn more about tapering off? What are some guidelines to help determine how to taper? Alright, sorry if this was too long, it wasn't my original intention to write so much. Please let me know if there are any questions or if I did not do this correctly, Thank you!
  5. Hello, my name is Ben from Germany, I am 26 years old. I stopped taking Fluoxetin 20mg After 4 weeks because of the immens problems with the medicine. I had stomache, brain and health problems, lost Libido and nearly no erection and lost feelings in my genitals. Now after 5 months off I still have so many Problems. I feel sick, have Brain/ thinking Problems and I am Always tired and have no power at all. I dont want to do anything... sad :( and I dont have any erection... its like if he‘s dead. So now I am wondering what could/ should I do? My girlfriend is really nice but I think she needs sex :( and I cant. Was the Cold turkey a bad decision? What would u recommend to me? Thanks for your answers, Ben (26)
  6. Dear reader, after taking Prozac (40mg) for almost 15 years I started my (maybe) fourth trial to taper...on 5mg crash came and I fell into a horrible condition I never felt before (infernal ruminating, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, irrational thoughts and feelings, paralysed, deper- and derealization, mood swings and a lot of further weird and agonizing symptoms - my life came to stop)...reinstating the drug does not help as before...only a new medication with quetiapine (200mg) brought a little relief. Since the acute phasis in last September 18 -January 19 a wave and window pattern start with overall only 4-8 days with feeling almost normal in 2019. Now I am back in a terrible wave, started with anhedonia, very bad indescridable feelings like deepest depression, like almost dead and weird thoughts, acompanied by deper- and derealization. So, I really don´t now what to do - I am on 23mg Prozac and 187,5mg Quetiapine and feel very very bad. Looking back throug 2019 makes me feel very hopeless...I don´t think that I can stand another year like this. Can you give me an advice how to handle the situation? Maybe I need to taper the Prozac after its poopout... to help my nervous system heal? Maybe prozac is actually inhibit a healing after poopout...? I am lost... I will be very glad for every little advice... Thanks for reading an excuse my low english skills... All the Best, Mary
  7. Hi I am new on this site. Firstly this site is very helpful and thank you all. Now I am in really bad situation and I need advice. This is my drug history: January 2012-April 2019 on Effexor 225 mg April-August 2019 I tapered Effexor to 150 mg August 2019 I did bridge with 20 mg Prozac and quit Effexor. Oct 15 2019 I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Now I am on 10 mg Prozac. My bad symptoms started when I quit Effexor and did bridge with 20 mg Prozac. But I could manage symptoms for a while. I think Prozac worked because I could function. But 3 months after I quit Effexor, I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Symptoms got worse then. I am crying every day and anxiety is horrible. I am taking Omega 3. This helps with headache. But I can't manage emotional symptoms. What should I do? Should I updose Prozac?
  8. Hi All, I recently stumbled upon this site in hope that it would shed some light on my withdrawal experience. To start, I will give a background on my medication history. I started Lexapro in 2013 and went from 10 mgs to 20mgs. Xanax as needed for panic attacks (which would happen once in a blue moon). This year I dealt with a lot of stress from work and I started having frequent panic attacks and headaches in July/August of 2019. Then in August, I went to the ER for the headaches and enlarged pupil (to rule out stroke, etc. - I have a history of DVT blood clot). Went to my PCP a week later, told him I was worried the Lexapro was giving me the headaches and that I wanted to try something different to help with the anxiety. Knew nothing about weaning off ADs - went down to 10mgs of the Lexapro in a week and then to 0 as per the DR, while adding 150mgs of Welbutrin. I had withdrawal symptoms for about 2-3 weeks, and the Welbutrin was not helping after about a month so I stopped taking it. From there, I could feel my anxiety and some depression creeping back in, but the headaches were gone. I was starting a new project with work in October which is where things dramatically went downhill with my anxiety. I would come home and be so paralyzed with anxiety that I could barely get off the couch. I could barely eat or carry out my daily functions, let alone leave the house. The worst of the symptoms was the morning anxiety. I would wake up feeling very overwhelmed, fidgety, and start immediately feeling nauseous. I’d also feel terrified/fearful for most of the day. The only thing that helps with any of the symptoms is Xanax - I’ll take anywhere from .25mgs to .5mgs, once, usually in the morning/early afternoon. I am also a Type 1 Diabetic and I’m lucky my blood sugars have been okay, but I should be eating more. I’ve lost almost 15 lbs since October. PCP put me on Prozac 6 weeks ago and I was just upped to 40mgs by my Psychiatrist last week. Symptoms have been better - appetite and nausea has been better, but I still am not eating as I should be. Still feeling very fearful for the most part and I’m really scared it’s going to interfere with my job, especially since it gives me most of my anxiety. Started taking 200mgs of Magnesium 2 weeks ago, especially since being in ketosis really depletes your body of it...not sure if it is that or the Prozac but sleep has been better. I’m worried that I’m going to have to depend on the Xanax to get me through most days until I stabilize on the Prozac. I’d like to be able to start yoga/meditation/exercising but I have little motivation to do anything. My family and the friends that I do have have been very supportive, which has been really helpful and reassuring. I also see a therapist who has been trying to give me techniques to help reduce my anxiety. As far as my Psychiatrist, he believes that what I am feeling right now is a return of anxiety and not from withdrawal, which I do not agree with after reading numerous posts on this website. I think most of this is debilitating withdrawal and a small percentage is a return of anxiety. At this point I am looking for any suggestions or support from those who have and are going through similar experiences. It is not easy finding people who are, and talking to those who have never gone through this just don’t understand what it’s like so it’s hard to relate. I’d like to think there is light at the end of the tunnel for me, but it feels like I will never reach that point. And one day I’d like to be off of ADs for good, but right now that doesn’t feel like an option for me...😢
  9. Hello. My story is somewhat strange and I could really use some help and advice. I have been on fluoxetine from age 25 to 38. I did try and taper off it twice during that time and it didn't turn out well. It was originally prescribed for anxiety by a PCP. Right away I noticed muscle spasms, tics and twitches, and brain zaps but doctor said this wasn't a big deal. It made me feel better to be on it, so I stayed on it. About 4 years ago I had a bad period of depression and suicidal thoughts while on this drug. It was very unlike me as I had never really been a depressed person, mainly an anxious person. I started drinking too much wine to cope. Then dose was raised from 20-40mg. Over the last few years I noticed I often felt "keyed up" and aggravated, which I thought was anxiety, but didn't really feel like regular anxiety. I had to do a lot of physical exercise to exhaust myself and relieve the feeling. Then I started having parathesia and muscle pain, which was diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Then I developed what seemed to be a movement disorder starting in 2018? Tremors, muscle weakness, coordination problems, and being shaky and wobbly all the time. I suspected the prozac and planned to get off of it. In June 2019 I had a vaccine reaction, was prescribed prednisone 20mg tablets for 3 days, and had a horrible reaction to it which sent me to ER with hallucinations and many other symptoms including worse tremors and balance issues and hyperarousal. I have been extremely ill ever since. After the prednisone episode, due to continuing symptoms I wanted off the prozac too, so was tapered over a month. I originally did ok until I hit the 1-2 month mark. The akathesia that started after prednisone (I'm not sure if that is what I have. I can hold still but feel jittery inside, shaky inside, with constant internal tremors all over) got worse, tremors inside and out are worse, brain zaps, fatigue, parkinsonism and possible dystonia in my hands, trouble walking, migraines, smaller pupils, nausea, etc. I feel like I am going through a horrible withdrawal, and I don't know what to do. I have been seeing neurologists to rule out diseases and have had MRI, emg, nerve conduction study, etc. (which have come back normal.) Have had extensive bloodwork. Doctors blame the drugs. Psychiatrist wanted to put me on Gabapentin but I have been holding off because I am worried about side effects and withdrawal from that as well. I have migraine and am very sensitive to prescriptions. The doctors I am seeing are at Mayo clinic and appts are a month or more apart. I feel like I am not getting the treatment I need. I am also having some neck and spine issues on top of this which could be causing some of the numbness, but MRI'S aren't showing anything that could cause all the coordination problems I am having. At this point I am having trouble walking and functioning. It is terrifying. I am extremely stiff. Everything cramps up when I try to do things. Especially if I tense up even a little. I am extremely hyperaroused. Everything bothers me, sounds, lights, etc. I have no stress tolerance, no cold tolerance. I am fatigued and jittery at the same time. I have insomnia, poor appetite and I keep losing weight. I hurt all over. I am tingly all over. I have blurred vision (had eyes checked too). My hands and arms feel disconnected from my body. The tremors just keep getting worse. So... I do not know what to do here. The withdrawal is horrible. The tremors are getting worse in my face, tongue, eyes and neck. I am worried what they will progress to. I am scared to go back on prozac, but what else can I do? If I go back on, how much do I start with? Worried this is just going to keep getting worse, but since the prozac was probably causing or exacerbating a movement disorder, should I go back on? Also, doctors don't seem to know what to do with me and I'm worried about taking the wrong treatment. Should I stay off prozac and take the Gabapentin? Thank you for reading this and for any help you can give. I am only 38, with a young son. I am going through hell and very scared.
  10. I want to share my heart out,I want to share my life. I lived 31 yrs of life. the life of sadness,hurt,betrayal,getting used,unrequited love, Dream which gets shattered,Health which got lost,Financed which ruined,Engagement which break twice,Got fired from the job which I love.hope which I got lost in all these but just little remains… May be I am not a very strong guy, or below things are very little for other people but for me it really shattered me with the brain I have.I want to write here because of two reasons:- Please bear with my bad English. To get words of support. Others may learn something from this. Birth(Dec 1987):- Bully(15yrs) I was a silent kid,deeply introverted.afraid to go out and dominate the world.Never in my life I had more than 2 or 3 friends.Never associated with any groups anywhere.Because of my silent nature and understanding of the world differently relatives and neighbors thinks that I am not of sound mind and they normally called me “sirri” (a word which describe a person as stupid with no mind”).Even my family used to call me the same, this has impacted my childish mind deeply and my confidence sank to earth every time someone called me that.though I was good in studies but not very vocal and someone who bully others just because other one is not dominatable nature. I hate these types of person even up until now.and I also choose very very carefully to whom I can open. these things keep going on till I turn around 15 or in 10th standard. and that was really a sad time.but I forgot and moved on. My teenage love(8 yrs) Its starts in early stages when hormones change occurs. My first Love.real,pure,deep,full of emotions.absolutely overwhelming.till date I have not forget those days. she was in my class sat next to my desk. I fall in love or whatever you will say infatuation. she belongs to other community. I knew marriage is not possible. I never tried to approach or propose.I knew even if I propose she will not accept.I was not handsome or a topper or may be I was insecure.I loved her deeply . Did many things those times of school like pick some flowers on my way to school and put it in her desk,looking at her whole time during school,wrote a diary, wrote some poetry also for her.cried every other day at home that I will not have her in my life.I also did those stupid thing of writing the name of your beloved from blood in your diary.lol. one incident I remember one day our teacher asked us to perform some activities, every student performed something like dance or cracked a joke. when my turn came I sang a song ”yai zamin ruk jaaye aasma jhuk jaaye tera chahra jab nazar aaye” by looking in to her eyes directly without any fear , in front of whole class and also a teacher.there are many many memories of such type.I never had a problem because I never insist her for anything. everybody knows that I loved her so much whenever anyone asked me I accepts wholeheartedly yes. she knows it. the way she looked towards me I still remember. I remember the day of parting also . it was day of 10th class last day when I got the news that she will about to leave school permanently,I become extremely sad and I know anyhow I have to bear this pain of loosing someone so close and to look at her become a daily oxygen to me. I was in deep pain. that day I thought to tell her my feelings by my own. she used to go to home through same bus stand from which I go.every day. that day I waited at stand for about 3 hrs because she was enjoying with her friends, I was desperate that today I ll tell her my feelings as after this day I will never see her. I saw her coming. she saw me from a distance and she sensed also about things. I come directly in front of her and said that I wanted to say something to you which you already know all these years.she asked me to say it.I uttered those three words.she listened and asked me if anything more I wanted to say I replied No.she left in a bus. I stayed there dont know how much longer, felt like dead. then came back home.and cried hell.my sisters consoled me so much. I couldnt did anything. so I tried to save this as a sweet memory in my heart.later when I went in college then I got toknow that she took admission in Dental school, I got her number some how and from my college far away from home I called her at every festival of her and her birthday continiously 4 yrs . then she become dentist and I got the news that she is getting married.to one of my other class mate. I became habitual about this. acceptance was there.those were the days of orkut, I dont know how many of you young guys know about orkut. its like first social media site in India those days. later I saw her some times on facebook and now she is living happily with her husband and a daughter. I left her there and locked her there in my heart to never open it up.and got busy in another things. Science and engineering(3yrs) Once I passed 10th and she left me then I have so much anger and resentment that I put all these on studies.I was a below average student got just 60% in 10th and ours was a govt school, that time I cant write or speak a single sentence in English.but somehow as all good students left the school so I got the admission in science section in 2004, there were 34 students, I studied very hard and came first that year only 8 students passed. in the next year also I did so much hard work and came first in my Class Editori was not that I got very good marks but the resources and kind of teachers I have in my govt school I did my best and came first in 12th also with 70% marks. I was so much fearful of science but my mother who was always there for me encouraged me that I can do it so I did passed it.in those 2 years i knew nothing about anything except studies I used to have one FM radio in my room some songs I hear every day like “love guru on radio city 91.1” if any of you remember.then after 12th was another struggle for career.Didnt know what to choose for further studies.I wanted to go to army.gave NDA also didnt passed.a friend came and suggest me to do coaching for engineering.I liked the idea it was the year 2006. I joined a reputed coaching in Delhi.studied day and night to pass the entrance.sometimes I got so much confident that I will do it sometimes i got frustrated.it was too much of studies for an avg student.year gone hopes begin. gave all engineering entrance examintation of delhi state and national level. like aieee and iit’s results came , didnt get selected in any one of them , got so much disheartened. you can understand how bad I was I got rank 131000 in AIEEE and for IIT I failed, DCE got 8000 rank.so no admission in any of these college. I gave uptu exam also and there I got 32953 rank and i got a change for counselling.Unfortunately there I made a blunder and even I was getting so many college in NCR Delhi region I put some college in sitapur in UP as my second choice because i foolishly thought that that were a govt college.and here begins a 4 year trauma of living in almost hell. Hostel life living away from parents If you read this far you must have understood what kind of a guy I am, so living away from parents and from New Delhi to a town of UP and college hosted in jungle and mostly the kind of people I interacted there.it was really not good. I was very much dishearted but being from a middle class family with so much of a hope from parents that my son will one day earn well and take us away from this life of hardship.I continued the battle and didnt drop out even if I wanted badly.there was not a single day in these 4 yrs when I didnt talked to my mother back home at every evening, I dont know how many times I cried that Its very very difficult to live without you guys.(tears just come to my eyes by just remembering those bad days.)Thank god he gave me one friend and a room partner with whom I was able to pass that worst time. I marked 8 lines in my diary and after every semester I crossed those one mark to able to see how much of it left to go back home. that was the best day when I was coming back last time and my family was very happy that there son became an Engineer, one more thing we with my friend decided that we will not have any affair or relationship and will directly marry. so no girlfriend type of a thing there also.Few attractions were there but I killed them and not regretting about that. Fear of studies and homesickness,Masturbation and Pornography,Falling into depression(11 yrs) This hit me bad when I was in 2nd year of age of 22yrs. I got very afraid that I cant continue in this engineering thing as this is very tough and even If I pass the exams still I will not able to do the real engineering job as this required so much brain I keep telling this to my parents and my father keep encouraged me that initially things looks tough but slowly it will get better.so I decided that whatever happen I will definately achieve this degree.I had so much pressure of homesickness(its that much you can understand that after coming back home in 2011 I have not left my hometown Delhi ), Pornography was there in college its normal thing even now I know.and I was not into these things that much. but I got addicted to masturbation like once in a week and pornography also. and I certainly believe that this masturbation and porn habit though it was not that much as with other people. it give me one of the deadliest disease which i cant even explain to you, whoever young among you is reading this I am warning you and pleading you, please leave these two devils completely out of your life else it will ruin you.this thing weakens my brain in 3rd semester i have got started rigorous hairfall,weakness of body and mind, but that time i was not able to understand because I got my body strength back in 2 days. for my mind it was normal but in reality this habit of masturbation causing deep harm to my body. which i was not able to control despite all my efforts.so in 2008 when I came back to delhi i got hit by mental illness there were symptoms severe headache, confusion,lost focus, memory issue, unable to take decisions and many more. this goes heightened also because i stuck in one more thing which is killing me, what is the true path of life,why so many religions and God and I wanted to know the truth I studied various religious scriptures also and I got so much feared that I cant die without knowing the truth.and I cant follow my parents religion without knowing for sure that it is correct or not.unfortunately I had to to a psychiatrist and here begins a trauma which is still going on they gave me that magic pill. a medications which can sort my mind out. I ,a young lad, trusted the doctors that yeah they are right in whatever they prescribe and in last 2 years of my studies this doctor gave me 7 different kind of antidepressents which numbed me actually. when I came back from college then I went to govt hospital in Delhi to a psychiatrist and he there stops all the medication and said that all this was not necessary and I was misdiagnosed, there I started with a small medication of just 10mg trusted this doctor and no doubt it helped me so much but over the years when i was stable in about 2014 i wanted to stop but my parents does not want me to stop and even my doctor. and I knew that this medication slowly killing me frm inside those who never use antidepressents can never understand what I am saying, just think that this tablet create a numbing effect on you or take away all your real emotions it makes you a zombie. and give you heightened emotions sometimes when not required also it hurt me so badly I cant even explain you some incident :- in one of my early interview I was crying sitting on footpath with fear that how will i be able to live this hard life.how will people earn.when I enter the room interviewer gave me a glass of water and ask me to come back after a month and dont panic. I was in so mch pressure of getting a job after my degree and it was tough. I got selected in one IT recruitment company and on third day i got so much un restless and fearful without any reason that i left my desk went to manager cabin locked my self inside and lie down on floor and slept and after 2 hrs manager open the door from different key and from next day they didnt picked me up for a job. Crying in washrooms is extremely common whenever my boss scold me or anybody hurts me.up until now.i never told anybody in my office that i am suffering from some brain disease else they will fire me I know. many more incident like this in my life. Searching for job after passing from tier 3 college and work till now(since 2011) this is a common story of many many guys of my type. Funny thing was that I didnt knew how to search a job and what a job is all about and how to plan a career , I knew nothing, first six month after completing a degree I left everything and just rested because I got exhausted and most probably this was a blunder. I was started searching a job and joined one of my friend in his company as Recruiter. after six month i got introduced by one of my relative of govt job and I shifted my focus in govt job preparation because the relative made a pressure on me to have a govt job cos he selected me for his girl.this i wll tell in next section in detail.then I joined a part time job in a call center because i was in another trauma as my first engagement broke and I didnt knew what to do ahead as one year already passed. so I worked there 14 months in just 4k rs pm. then I left to work in noida and good company call center and got ok amount 17500 pm worked there also 14 months till 2015 and then I was totally unsured what to do now, so I was getting promoted to quality manager there but after a degree that is not what I wanted to do so i decided that I will do a job in software anyhow.and after that I will decide further.so I left that job also and join another company in 20k pm worked there 6 months gathered all money then left and join one training institute in Noida and get my self trained there for 6 months and then gave interviews in IT companies as a fresher i had a 6 years gap. i got rejected by 11 companies and 12 one selected me. there I worked 2+ years. they have exploited me to the core and I was so much naive that I didnt understand that.I was a java guy and they asked me to learn .net so it was a do or die for me they gave only 3000 pm for training for first 4 months. i had my savings i never mind I wanted to learn . but i think now I stuck in wrong company . they trained me in .net then gave me a project of devops . i introduced devops by learning all by myself from internet whatever I can.created automatic infrastructure the best way I can alone. then they asked me to learn android then angular then big data omg it was overwhelming.I made one app backend its still live on playstore. and maintain many other . despite having my depression and other problems taking tool on my mental health. from last year oct 2018 many incident happened back to back that i asked my manager and ceo to give me off for a month they denied then i told them about my depression and they asked me to leave saying i am not able to work.they indireclty fired me in feb 2019. since then Its been 8 months i am at home. Engagement and breakup This was really tough when I came back in 2011 from college I went to one of my relative who is asst engg. in Delhi govt for guidance and help and he chose me for his daughter . I was on cloud nine . very happy . new graduate , got engaged to a beautiful girl , she is a lawyer. we fall in love. or I am wrong actually I fall in love. girls dont fall in love may be its very easy for them to move on . we got engaged for one year and as I told you earlier her father wish me to live as he asked me , he keeps me lecture every time.i got frustrated. I got a bit religious and the girl said to her father that he cant live with a religious type boy, I told her that now we are engaged dont do this , you will live the way you want to. but she got adamant and her father also.and said I become conservative and girls wants a handsome boys. i was just become simple nothing else. like simplest dresses , she doesnt like the way I dress. she asked me to change this or she will not live with me , I told her father that your daughter cant be happy with me why are you doing this to her. please stop. they dont want to stop but they want to change me , few things she said to me after a year of engagement which i still remember that , I ll have a dark future with you, why you come to my father for a job, I cant live the life of restrictions until this time I got so attached to her but I cant compromise on the way of life i am living.so I have to leave her . it was a big thing for all family and mostly on me because i was alone in this decision and my family is not in my support that time. they used to say “shadi karlo baad me jese marzi rahna who will say anything.” this breakup also shattered me , I have to move on I started a job in a call center parttime. Life in a call centre(2.5yrs) I think every graduate should work in call center for six month and not more than that. what I will write here about that it was also working hell.lol.every minute is counting 3 comapnies of call center I worked all same.they count every minute you go to washroom, toilet, outside, and thats also every day. its like work is not more on some day or less on some day. it s that work is there always.and its simply sucks.its only for high energy young people , it enhances your communication and stress management,more then six month is not good. Leaving the job and preparing for it after 6 years This was a big decision as I told you. I took it and succeeded. after a gap of six years and working hell of call center I think that now is the time that I have to move on to my job. and I took the chance. I started learning programing from for loop and learned 6 months all basic and algorithms, linked list and what not. Getting my first IT job as a associate software engineer(2+yrs) That was one of the happiest day of my life that I deserve my degree to some extent at least as out of 8 candidates that day I was the only one that was able to solve the programming problem and get selected.such a happy day it was. Rigorous learning again(2yrs) for 2 years I learned so much things, .net upto mvc. front end, devops, some big data,api, etc etc etc.. Emotional affair with married woman and heartbreak This I cant tell you what it did to me .its long story if you want to read I asked the question related to same on quora last year, that time idint knew that much worst ahead read link https://justpaste.it/41enq she broke me 70% almost. but good thing was I knew I am wrong in that just this one thing gives me strength to come out of this. Getting fired from my job This is what I was not able to bear and I informed to my bosses that I need a break and they gave me permanent break…..lol. Emotional affairs within girl other caste and fight with parents. another blow omg that time I was desperate for marriage so that I can free from this emotional and physical requirement. I got a contact from a girl from a matrimonial site and we talked around one month and she have all what I wanted , education looks religiousness. we met , we liked each othe and I though now things will get settled and I told her that I will not take anything in dowry and I jst want marriage asap , initially she was hesitant to disclose this in front to her parents before the assurance from my side. and I was 100% sure from my parents side that they will not deny at all. because of whatever happened with me . so I told her . and then I informed my parents but surprisingly my father denied completely and said that go and marry, but leave my house as the girl from other caste , i requeste them so much that after this much long i liked some girl whom i can marry and she knows everything about me , please let me do so. all my family member that time got hold of fake izzat. any how I agree my mother to atleast see the girl they went with me there home and as I know they rejected as our community wont accpet them. so I was very very disheartened but I kept my patience and trust on God that things will get better.It unable to start , i felt so much guilty , the girl cried for 3 days . I asked forgiveness said i can t go against my parents wishes. Second engagement and breakup From there they take me to there relatives who have many daughters to choose from someone and I chose one because I wanted to marry asap. they liked me then again we talked and my sister also to a girl . everyting going fine . the girl side very mch interested for this relationship they want to fix the engagement asap. the day before they are coming to fix this . I dnt want it to be fix on some lie. i called a girl and informed her about my health issue and career issue. they came and got reluctant and without fixing anything went back then after second day they asked us to come to fix things , I was again on cloud nine hundred nine that finally everything fixed. I told them that I have good experience and no problem of a job , i will have a job soon . and for my health I will try to stop the medications. but one thing happened in informing all these to them that I lost my value.and they now are taking me for granted. aisa behave tha jese ahsaan kar rahe hain…we all went there house for engagment , I bought a diamond ring for her , clothes for her of my choice. with my relatives we went there. its not in my mind but my relatives dont like there hosting and made a drama. there come too many things for next 2 days and finally they cancelled the engagement , I asked them to atleast once let me talk to her. what happened.but they didnt allow. I got bedridden for a month. Lost all hope and will to live in all these days my medications jumps from 10mg to 225mg. and it has its side effects also. after last incident I lost all my wish to live at all. I prayed god to please take me away from this world.Because I will never do suicide . its against my religion and believes. but inside me nothing left. this happened in june 2019 and I am able to do lil works in oct and writing now. i decided to left my medications also whatsoever. I will not live a live on medications.If i will live , It will be my own. though I dnt want to live at all this kind of life.I have lost my health career relationship. from last 6 months i dont have any money . my parents giving me just for survival. 1000 pm I am surviving. locked up in my room, left my medications to 66% just 75mg remains. it hurt my body very badly. when I woke up in morning there is a swelling too much of my face every day. i cant focus to do simple work on computer continiously for 3 hrs. but death has not yet occured. so i think still something remains on earth. i am trying to recover. and hoping that good days may come. I have not achieved what I dreamed of. I want to live on the lap of God. The most hurtful thing is my brain condition which is not able to handle simple stresses like above many people may handle above things easily. but its really tough for me now very much . I really dont know what is the life of happiness. though I am fortunate to have able parents who even can support me now.but from inside nothing left. now I am really afraid to continue in engineering because i fear more pressure on brain will do harm to my brain . and rest I dont know what to do. Recovering and never give up I also wanted to live a happy life like many others.I will not suicide. but I dont know until when I can able to handle these pressures.Because now my body and mind is not giving me enough support to fight these pressures.I know people have more hardships then me but its not comparable with anyone to anyone. Positive things in my life:- God Almighty My parents, super supportive, and very patient I love them Hope Good home with all basic facilities My lovely nieces and nephews I am proud that I achieved many things which I decided, like I didn't achieved many. Few good friends. Aur bhi bht hoga jo mujhe abhi yaad nahi aa rha. Thank you God Bless you all.
  11. Alexi319

    Alexi319

    Hello! Glad this resource exists. I am a 29 y/o female. I have a stable job I’ve held for the last 7 years. Very health conscious. Work hard on self care, mindfulness, meditation, therapy, etc. I have complex trauma, as many people do, that I’m currently working through with my therapist. I was an anxious child. I had intense separation anxiety, panic attacks, stomach aches. I was in talk therapy from the age of 8 to about 13-14. I struggled with paranoia and the fear of people not liking me, talking about me when they really weren’t, etc. I wasn’t put on medication until my freshman year of college. I went to my GP complaining of issues concentrating, brain fog, problems with visually focusing and anxiety. Some depressive episodes as well of feeling very down. Started on Celexa for “imbalanced brain chemistry”. Lol. Stayed on that for about a year, didn’t feel a significant effect. More life events later, was put on lexapro. Had issues with substance abuse and went to treatment for a catatonic depressive episode with suicidal ideation. Was put on Zoloft in treatment. Terrible drug. Lost libido, felt like a zombie, gained weight. 300 mg/gabapentin 3 times per day was added to the mix after a couple of months. Stayed on gabapentin for about 6 months then tapered off - worst withdrawals ever. Then another GP put me on Prozac (10 mg) and Wellbutrin 150mg XR. I have been on that combo for about 1.5 years now. Currently I am experiencing high anxiety, paranoia, fear, irritability and rage in some instances. Surprisingly, no insomnia. I feel like I am constantly preoccupied. It won’t stop. When I asked my GP about getting off of the Prozac, he told me to stop taking it for a couple of days and see how I felt. I’m sorry, that sounds like a TERRIBLE IDEA. I am struggling. I can’t be present for life. I would like to eventually be off both of these drugs, but definitely Prozac first. Thanks for listening. 2011-2012 - 20 mg/Celexa. No tapering. 2013 - 2014 - 20 mg/Lexapro. No tapering. 2016 - 2017 - 20 mg/Zoloft - 2 months. Added 300mg/gabapentin 3x per day in addition to the Zoloft. 2018-tapered off of gabapentin. Then changed to 10 mg/Prozac and 150 mg/Wellbutrin XR. Tapered off of Zoloft. 2019 - still currently taking 10mg/Prozac and 150 mg/Wellbutrin XR.
  12. I'm new here, but have been following this forum off and on for over a decade. I think I'm finally stable enough to try tapering off my current meds. I've been on some form of ssri for about 25 years. I've been working with a naturopath for about 5 years to address some other health concerns that have really been supportive to my healing. I'm entrenched in a wellness program that is also very supportive. I tried earlier this year to taper off with help of a dr and thought it would work (silly me). His suggestions for tapering were far too large and quick. I've read a lot of what has been written here and have prepared myself to go much much slower and realize it could take years. For this next attempt, the dr proposed a prozac bridge and I went along with it, as I've done something similar before and it worked pretty well. (Again, silly me). Prozac makes me very very tired and I do not want to continue it, plus I don't think I need it for the taper, given what I've read here. I'm in the process of tapering off the Prozac and went from 20mg to 10mg with no problem whatsoever. However, my jump from 10mg to 5mg was quite disasterous. I now realize I must go much much slower going forward. I'm at 10mg Prozac now and will start going down on that next week. I will eventually attempt tapering off my 75mg effexor, but that will be after prozac taper. I'm trying to get everything in place for this. I've printed out symptom logs to keep track of everything daily and will look into the jeweler's scale for my effexor. Here I go! 🙂
  13. Hello there, I am new to this forum and am seeking any guidance you can give me as I am in despair and feel horrible. I had been on SSRI’s for over 25 years and have always wanted to get off them but never could. Always tapered too fast and ended up feeling horribly sick so I would start back up. It was just easier staying on them. Several years ago, I realized that my mood had become really flat and I had trouble getting excited about anything. I wasn’t necessarily sad or depressed about anything but I felt that there was more to life and believed it had to do with the Prozac. So, I made the decision to taper differently this time – very slowly over the course of a few years. Unfortunately, I tapered completely wrong. Just because I was going more slowly did not mean that I was doing it right. How I wish I had found this website sooner. I began skipping doses and taking 20mg every other day. Maintained that for about a year. Then began taking it only a few days per week and maintained that. Then dropped down to 2 days per week. Then instead of taking 20 mg, I began taking 10 mg 2 days per week. All this time, I was having intermittent withdrawals, but did not recognize the symptoms for what they were. I ended up in the ER twice with chest pressure that was diagnosed as acid reflux but it was withdrawals. I had bouts of severe muscle pain/burning in my shoulders and neck that would last for about a week and then go away and then resurface down the road. My doctor suggested I had Fibromyalgia and prescribed Cymbalta which I refused to take. I never believed that I had Fibro but I still hadn’t connected the dots that my symptoms were withdrawals from tapering so poorly. When I got down to 10mg twice a week, my doctor told me since I was on such a low dose, to just stop it. So, I stopped the Prozac in March 2019 and began taking amino acids – Tryptophan 1000 mg, DLPA 1000 mg and GABA 125 mg (upon the advice of a holistic doctor). Since then, I have ranged from feeling ok to pretty good. In fact the week before the horrendous withdrawals began on July 24th, I thought I was getting close to my “normal” self again. My husband and I were even planning on doing an embryo transfer later this year in the hopes of having our first child. The holistic doctor advised me that amino acids were safe to take while pregnant, however, I recently came across articles that say otherwise. Unfortunately, I played with fire and wanted to see what would happen if I stopped taking the DLPA. So, I stopped the DLPA, for 3 days. On the 3rd day, all heck broke loose and I became extremely dizzy and off balance for most of the day. The very next day, I resumed the DLPA hoping it would alleviate my symptoms but they continued and evolved into other ones as well. Initially, I thought that the symptoms were withdrawals from DLPA but now I believe they are protracted withdrawal from the Prozac. I think the aminos were keeping the lid on the Prozac withdrawals and then once I lifted that lid off, everything boiled over. After a week of terrible withdrawals and calling in sick for 2 days, I couldn't take it anymore and decided to reinstate the Prozac. I came across the SA website and the recommendation to reinstate a very small amount. I only had 10mg and 20 mg pills left so I made liquid Prozac out of the 10mg and reinstated at 1.25 mg. Although, I did not have any negative effects from 1.25 mg, the next day I was scared that I reinstated too high and only took .5 mg. That is where I have been at for 9 days now. I am pushing myself to work each day and it is so very difficult with my symptoms: feeling sick/hungover, chest pressure, difficulty breathing, fatigue, insomnia, neck/shoulder tension, sometimes a burning sensation in my neck/shoulders, too. Over the past 9 days, I would say that I am better than I was before the reinstatement but I am still miserable. There have been a couple of times when I have experienced a wired feeling, too. I did go and see my new PCP and it did not go well. Of course, she told me that there is no way I could be in withdrawals if I quit Prozac in March and that she believes I have underlying depression and anxiety in which she suggested I take Effexor. I told her I would never take that. I am looking for guidance as to whether it is time for me to increase or hold at .5 mg longer. I apologize in advance if this was too long winded and does not make much sense.
  14. I had been taking 10 mg of Prozac for about 4.5 years (Jan 2014-- Sept 2018) without any negative experience. Due to a pharmacy error my medicine was increased to 20 mg (Oct 2018)-I took for 1 month (unknowingly) but I did not take in Nov 2018 b/c felt uncomfortable on. Early Dec 2018 medicine prescription was increased to 40 mg (7 days at 30mg, then to 40mg). One month (Jan 2019) after the increase I developed hand tremors and noticed issues with cognition. The medicine was decreased to 30 mg (Jan 2019) and the tremors did cease. But continuing on 30 mg over the next 2 months (Feb-March 2019) the side effects still included cognitive issues- processing speed/retention/memory/following conversations AND in March I started to develop a strange headache/head pain/ heaviness in my head, neck stiffness, global facial muscle tightness, a strain on my ability to read, food sensitivity. I had not had any of these symptoms prior to the increase. At that point (end of March 2019) I wanted to discontinue Prozac. The doctor said I should try another SSRI and prescribed 25 mg of Zoloft (which I tried for 7 day--until early April 2019). I still preferred to discontinue with the meds. I did ask if tapering was necessary and I was informed no. I was told I did not need to worry. SO I DID STOP COLD TURKEY. I asked if symptoms would go away and I was told after stopping the medicine at most a month or two---I wouldn’t be experiencing anything. It has now been 4 months since stopping medicine (cold turkey) and I am still experiencing several issues that started after the higher dosage—for example the headache/head pain (like a weightiness in my head), a constant stiff right neck and lower right head region, facial muscle tightness, when speaking a tightness in the neck area and face feels tight, and a restrain on my ability to read (internally) whenever I try I feel head tension and tightness around eye muscles. It's like I experience a pressure/ tightness in back of head/ overall head & eyes when reading (internally) which affects pace/comprehension/retention and causes fatigue. Certain foods cause face to feel tight. And though some of the cognitive issues have improved, I still have some slower processing with certain things/ and the physical strain when reading. A new symptom that started shortly after stopping the medicine (off and on shock like feelings on the right side of my body that come and go randomly). Overall, the restrain on reading affects my ability to pursue educational and career goals. . summary: 10 mg prozac for about 5 years (no adverse effects). Increased to 40 mg prozac Dec 2018 (negative), then decrease to 30 mg (Jan 2019). Remained at 30mg until end of March 2019 (still adverse affects). Zoloft for one week until April (still adverse). Last day on medicine April 1st, 2019. Stopped medicine cold turkey. No tapering schedule. 4 months out--still adverse effects. At this point, I just want to get better.
  15. 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.
  16. Wow! First of all I would like to say how relieved I was to have found this forum. For the years I've been struggling with this I have gotten so tired of other people (including doctors and therapists!) telling me that what I've experienced isn't possible and that I'm either making it all up or still sick. Everything started in my junior year of college. I had struggled with varying levels of depression and anxiety for most of my life, even resorting to SI when I was younger, but had finally hit a point where I thought that I needed some professional help. Looking back, I'm sure that the sudden drop was situational as much as anything. Most of my friends had moved away or graduated, my family was going through some money trouble, and I was working more hours to be able to be more self-sufficient. I started to become more withdrawn and my academics started to drop. I was an A and B student so this was very stressful to me. Thinking I was being proactive and doing the right thing, I went to my school's counseling center who then referred me to the campus clinic. The psychiatric nurse practitioner prescribed Prozac (20mg). About two weeks later I was hit with the worse anxiety I had ever had. I barely left my house unless I had to for class or work, would start shaking at random times, and had near constant chest pain. I tried to wait it out but eventually gave up and went back. She switched me to lexapro(20mg). This seemed to do the trick so I stayed on it though the end of the semester and over the summer. Unfortunately, when I started back up at school I started to struggle again. I'd tried to make positive changes in my life: made some new friends, got in contact with old ones, and started trying to date. Then, as it happens all too often in college, the guy I was seeing got me drunk and took advantage. This led to me having a bit of a breakdown and my friends urged me to go to the hospital. While there they switched me to zoloft(50mg), remeron(15mg), and lorazapam(2mg as needed). This is where things start to get really wonky. At first I thought it was helping but about a month after I got out of the hospital I started having these intense intrusive self-harm thoughts. Violent and strong enough to scare me. I had a medication review and those three were dropped and I was put on WellbutrinXL(150mg). Again things were better for a little while but about a month later started to go south. The intrusive thoughts were back and I had started to feel very unlike myself. Impulsive and disconnected. I later learned that this was probably a kind of dissociation. One night all of the stress and darkness got to me and I impulsively decided to chase the rest of my pills with half a bottle of vodka. It was strange because I wasn't trying to kill myself, the mindset was more: "I wonder what this will do. It can't be worse that what I'm already feeling." It didn't feel real, like it was happening to someone else. That put me back in the hospital where I then dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. I had to be on a wait list but eventually I started seeing a new psychiatrist who decided to diagnose me with Bipolar based on the impulsiveness and out of character behavior I had while taking Wellbutrin. She called it agitated depression or mixed mania. At the time I believed her. I was scared, desperate, and seriously doubting my sanity, and I felt like I couldn't trust myself. She started out by prescribing me Abilify(15mg) and Effexor (75mg). This was my second nightmare. A few days later I started having akathisia and had similar feelings of impulsiveness and feeling out of control. When I told my doctor she urged me to wait it out which led to me relapsing into SI for the first time in over 6 years to cope. That combination was obviously stopped and I had the most physical withdrawal symptoms that I had so far. I couldn't leave my bed for two days I was so nauseous and dizzy. I feel like I should point out at this point that I was on most of these medications for max of a few months and didn't taper at all. Cold turkey then right on to another. Next on the list was Latuda(40mg - 60mg). My insurance ended up not really covering that one so what I ended up on as my final medication was Lithium. This was a blessing in a way because it didn't really do anything, which turns out, is what I needed. At one point I was up to 1600mg a day to control my "symptoms" which I'm now convinced was almost entirely side effects mixed with withdrawal. That dose completely destroyed my short term memory. After finally stabilizing, I had gone back to school and this was making classwork almost impossible, so after much debating the dosage was stepped down to 800mg. Finally, in the summer of 2017, I took a summer job working at a research station in the forest. After a lot of solo time hiking in nature I had an epiphany. This was the best I had felt in years and that all of my serious problems started after I sought "help." When I got back to see my doctor I told her my plan to stop taking medication. She was extremely judgemental and basically told me I'd be back when I had a relapse and just told me to tapper off with the what I had left (about a weeks worth). I'm very happy to say that she was wrong. All I've done since then is get better. I still struggle with some depression and anxiety but if that is the trade off I will gladly live with that. After a year and a half of being free of psychiatric drugs I'm surprised at the difference. On medication I was dissociating, having panic attacks, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. I felt like a complete basket case. It's terrifying to me how easy it is to get stuck in a downward spiral like that. Not ONE of the doctors or therapists that I'd seen even considered that the medication could be what was causing me to get worse and worse. They just saw worsening "symptoms" that they had to "get ahead of" and I believed it too. Now, even that the worst is over, the experience still haunts me. I feel so guilty about the way that I behaved and I have no idea how much was my fault versus the medication. I know that it was a factor but I remember making the decisions to hurt myself and destroy my life and I'm not really sure how to live with that. I have nightmares where I'm back in the worst of it feeling like I'm slowly losing my mind and I have permanent scars from the SI. I saw a new primary care doctor recently and the first thing she tried to do was get me back on mood stabilizers after seeing "bipolar" on my chart. I don't know how to get that removed or if I even can. The only people who believe me are my friends and family who saw me go from a somewhat stressed young adult to nonfunctional almost overnight. I know that this hasn't ruined my life... but it certainly feels like it sometimes. I'm sorry that anyone else had to go through this hell but I'm so, so glad that I'm not alone in this. Even now I'm not sure that I'm completely recovered. I guess time will tell.
  17. I am very sick withdrawing from Prozac after 31 years. Feeling despair no support. Multiple symptoms. Neuropathy and Despair. Four months off. I did it cold turkey. I am Determined to stay off this time after many failed attempts over the years. I always thought it was only my original condition returning. Now I know it is much more than that. I am in bed. I can’t walk or stop crying. I am mad at myself that I ever let this happen to me. I am angry with society and big pharma and the ignorance of the medical system. I can’t find anyone who even knows or understands what I am experiencing. I went to the doctor. He had not a clue. I don’t really know if I can survive this.
  18. 36year old man. Married, no kids. I've been on SSRIs for 15 years now. I've been tapering off them for 5 years. Effexor was what I took for depression, anxiety. From 2004-2014 I gradually took more and more until I got to a point where I couldn't be prescribed a higher dose (can't remember specific, will ask doctor). The plan was to get onto a different ssri, but I had to taper down to a lower dose before I could bridge with prozac. The withdrawal was awful and the more I learned about psychotropic drugs the more I wanted off completely. I have strong feelings of worthlessness and shame. I'm embarrassed to look anyone in the eye. I've exercised, meditated, changed my diet, take supplements, see a therapist, i've established a support network, cbt, affirmations, rigid self care program. Still hate myself. Still get suicidal thoughts. I want to try life with no antidepressants. Maybe that's it. I think it's actually the drugs that are keeping my depression from lifting. I hope. I've been aware of the forum for years and finally decided to post. I feel alone in this withdrawal from time to time. I haven't been to a support group in months. My phone never rings and I like it that way. I want to hide from everyone. I don't know anyone else quitting their meds. Feels like I'm losing my identity and I just don't care enough to build it back.
  19. So this whole disaster started when I was in high school. I had been recently diagnosed with ADD, and was prescribed Retalin (a form of Adderall [for you Americans], and a sh*tty one at that). Before long I started having tachycardia, lack of appetite , I was jumpy and irritated and and was not fun at all. Now, the same neurologist, (as I believe he was) who prescribed me the drug, didn't not prepare me for all of this; the bastard didn't even scheduled a follow-up appointment or something, and didn't inform that there are other drugs at this family of drugs and if I develop any of the symptoms above to an unbearable extent I should just stop and switch to another drug. But as behooves an unprofessional and cynical bastard, he didn't bother. And so, in the midst of a Math test, junior high, I had my first panic attack🤙🤙 I, of course didn't have clue of what happened to me, I seriously thought I was going to faint and thought it was just a one time thing. But of course, life had more devious plans for me than that--next test I had another one. My mother, who suffers as well, understood what was unfolding immediately, but was reluctant to say and diagnose in fear of scaring me or just misdiagnosing. I decided to to get off Retalin, (I have been taking it for almost a month), but what a surprised--the panic attacks persisted. Not only that it persisted, it expanded--it now harried me in class and other places. Then, I was told, diagnosed and referred to specialist. I started CBT with an amazing young therapist and prescribed Citolpram with the starting safe-net of some Benzos. It worked wonders! But I was now another person, much more confident, too much confident to the point of insolent and aloof even. Nothing could distress me. Panic attacks were rare, and when they visited I have managed to reduce and level them out. I finished high school, and decided to fly to Berlin before my induction to the army, (a mandatory 3 years of service in Israel). And then, it's when I remember (it may have started before), that I started sleeping 3 hours a day every early afternoon. Plus waking up was a real pain in the ass. But nontheless, I thought it was normal, that I could stop sleeping everytime I command myself to it, and that everybody's morning looked like that. It took me 2 and a half years to realize that maybe I was wrong. Now the real whirlpool of disasters began. My psychiatrist, a new one, my second one, suggested that I try Milnacipran, I don't remember her thinking about it too much, her decision was very arbitrary. No gradual weaning off the Citolpram, just "take straight away after the old one". I was beset with hellish migraines! I then tried Prozac, Cypralex and fluvoxil, every one for 3 months or so. They all were the same as the other--the fatigue persisted, and they didn't cover the anxiety to a satisfying extent. The fatigue was worsening and I decided that first time in 5 years to wean off them. I stopped Flufoxil CT, of course I didn't know what it mean "Cold Turkey" at that time, because the new Psychiatrist I was seeing didn't believe it exists. The fatigue did go away, which was reassuring, but I was mentally unstable, and suffered from debilitating acute anxiety at night before sleep. This lasted for months without end. One profound anxiety attack of a different order of magnitude made me go back to a different psychiatrist. He prescribed me with Cymbalta. Now, ladies and gentlemen, the real orchestra of diabolic dissonance is about to play! This pill, I kid you not, upon the first day of taking it has killed my libido flat! Sugar was too much to bare and life was a big numb. After two weeks it got worse, I started having crippling migraines that last for 3 hours each and made me puke my soul on each one's end. On my 22th birthday, we went to the local lake, and I suffered such a extensive migraine that I remembered the thought that I wanted to be put to sleep, comatose, for at least a year. I was seriously considering it. I came off it as well, also with no gradual tapering off, and waited until I felt clean. Although I didn't, and it was worse than the cleanse. My mental state deteriorated and I was put on Brintellix, and was promised it was a new ground breaking drug that will solve all of my problems! Even take care of my ADD. I ended taking it for 4 months or so, upping the dosage this time, thinking maybe that some of the symptoms are from the previous pill, and they will pass either way. It ruined my stomach, and made acidic as hell. They didn't. This time, I was determined to cleanse off gradually as I have seen in some forums like this. I have started reading more on the internet and trusting less the institutionalized system of Pharmacology. I am now 4 months after my last pill of Brintellix, and there is no light in the end of the tunnel. I am experiencing a plethora of symptoms that doesn't seem to go away or even abate: my stomach acidic, my brain is foggy, I suffer from light migraines through out the day. I can't concentrate, and I have horrible fatigue attacks that can't be beaten by any amount of caffeine. I am not sharp as I used to be, I suffer from panic attacks and back pain. AND IT ALL GOES AWAY ONLY BY TAKING Lorazepam, but that makes a bit disoriented and tired as well. But only on benzos , my symptoms seriously abate and I am free to live. What should I do? I CAN'T WAIT YEARS ON END LIKE THIS, I need to earn a living and continue my life which has been on hold for 5 months or so. Should I come back on the pills? will it make the symptoms go away? I don't trust any pharmacological solution to get me out of the mud. I have lost hope, and I want to get my life on track. what should I do?
  20. Hello all, I finished my 4 month benzo taper in April 2019 after 1 year of taking it as prescribed . I had developed interdose withdrawal and tolerance to benzos and didn't know what it was at the time. After finally figuring out what was going on, I figured out how to taper. I was also floxed with Cipro while in tolerance from benzos. It was absolute hell, and I can't believe it did it. Determined to be off of all medications, I started to taper off of Prozac and Mirtazapine. I went too fast initially, and now I'm really suffering. I'm going to hold until I stabilize. I would appreciate any advice from anyone else who has been polydrugged. I know I need to go slow- 10% a month. Do I finish the Prozac taper first and then work on the Mirtz? Thanks in advance for your help!!
  21. Hi, Been on Effexor 75 XR for almost 17 years. in May, 2018 I started tapering, but I think I have done it too quickly...by August I was on 37.5mg XR (after alternating 75 and 37.5) Prozac to "bridge"...December, 2018 I started taking 37.5mg every other day for 3 weeks and on Feb 8th, 2019 I went to ZERO (per dr. instructions). Memorial day weekend withdrawals hit me like a ton of bricks...high anxiety, some depression, nervousness and fatigue. I am now taking .05mg ATIVAN as needed. I take vitamin B Complex, D3, iron, probiotics, formula 303, cortisol Manager, Fish Oil, Magnesoim bisglycinate. I started taking 800 mg SAM-E last week and I have just started taking 800mg holy basil. I sleep fine at night, bust as soon as I open my eyes, I start feeling anxious. I am thinking about reinstating the 37.5mg XR tonight...is that too much? Any advice? PLEASE?????????????????????????
  22. Hey there! My name is Deanna. I'm 26 years old, and I live in Canada. Besides having depression, I'm an artist and graphic design student. I've always been a visual learner and a creative person, and now on my second run through college, I'm hoping to make art my career. I also enjoy video games and movies. I love animals; my parents have six cats that I love very much, and I look forward to adopting a dog one day. Now to get down to business. I apologize in advance for how long this is going to be. In my defence though, this is more than 15 years of mental illness history here. I've been on some form of antidepressants since the age of 9 (~2001). I was started on Effexor (which is definitely not recommended for children...) and stayed on that for several years. My first experience with tapering happened within a few years of that, under the supervision of my psychiatrist. It was great to be medication free! Most kids don't have to worry about medications, and for a while, I didn't either. After about one year though, my depression seemed to be back. So back on the medication I went. I went back to seeing that same psychiatrist for a few more years, until I was no longer considered a child, since he was a psychiatrist for kids. I didn't question the medication for a long time after that. It helped me be functional. It wasn't perfect, no, but I could get through my days. It might sound obvious now, but it took me a while to realize that a fascination with violence and serial killers wasn't normal. For several years at least, I read nothing but true crime and fictional serial killer stories. I was fascinated by them. Disturbingly, I also realized that I wanted to be like them. I would think a lot about violence, and kind of came to accept that one day, I would be a killer, and that I'd either end up dead or in prison. Not only that, but I experienced intrusive violent thoughts. I'd be standing behind my sister as she bent down to take laundry from the dryer, notice a pair of scissors on the counter, and see myself using them to hurt her. I didn't want to. But I couldn't stop that thought from happening if I tried. I remember another time one of my cats jumped onto my bed, and I noticed that from the side, a cat's eye looks a lot like a bubble. I couldn't help but picture what it might look like if I tried to pop that bubble. That one really bothered me. Of course I didn't want to hurt my sister or any other person either, but that image of hurting an animal felt especially intrusive, because I know I would never hurt an animal. After realizing how harmful thoughts like those were, I told my psychiatrist. (It's worth mentioning that between 2010 and 2013 or so, I had two different psychiatrists. Neither felt helpful, and they spent our (very quick) appointments asking a couple of questions, then prescribing a new dosage or different medication altogether, and hurrying me out of the office. One of them left the hospital where I saw him, and didn't refer me to anyone else. He basically just said he was leaving, goodbye. The other psychiatrist seemed to be open to the idea of me trying to taper off the medication again around 2013, but then did more or less the same thing; he said goodbye and went on with his life.) Over the period of a year or two, I was prescribed a few different anti-psychotics and other medications that I'm really not sure of, to try and deal with the violent thoughts. None of them seemed to help, and some of them had some awful side effects. Most of those medications did not last longer than a few doses. I was taking Risperdal for a year or so, but then that one starting having negative side effects too, so I stopped with the help of my family doctor. Thankfully, that seemed to end the intrusive violent thoughts. After this point, I had no psychiatrist. In 2013, I had a suicide attempt. Besides the homicidal thoughts, I would also experience suicidal thoughts. Most of the time I was able to resist those in much the same way as the others; I didn't want to die, so they stayed as thoughts only. I think it might've been a really bad combination of depression and my intrusive thoughts that made me actually consider hurting myself. I'd have intrusive images of stabbing myself in the stomach, and my parents finding me. It was like my depression saw those images and said "wow, good idea". One night I was feeling very low, and my dad had to physically stop me from using the knife in my hand. After that, my parents took me to the hospital and I stayed in the Mental Health Inpatient Unit for one week. That's the worst my depression has ever been. Besides this one incident, I would occasionally have passive suicidal thoughts such as "I don't deserve to be alive" or "there's no future for me", but not actually want to act on them. My dad helped me do some research on Effexor, and we didn't like the side effects we were seeing. We thought my violent thoughts might even be caused (or worsened) by the medication, so I started seeing a naturopathic doctor to begin tapering again. I used a natural supplement called TrueHope EmpowerPlus. I made it down to 0 medication, and felt pretty good for about a year before I started experiencing an eating disorder. I've always had anxiety, but over a period of a few months, I lost at least 70 lbs (I was overweight to begin with, but still) because of some serious anxiety around food. Deciding what to eat made me very uncomfortable. Not eating was easier. I also had some trust issues with food. If a food I normally enjoyed was gross one time I had it, I would decide not to eat it again. I ended up with a very limited diet. In mid-2014 I was at a point where I'd feel physically ill from being so hungry. I was weak. My parents were (understandably) very worried. I started seeing a psychiatrist at CAMH (the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). She suggested that I go back on medication so that, at the very least, I could start eating again. She prescribed 80mg of Prozac. She also referred me to a month long inpatient program for anxiety. I did the program, which included CBT and group therapy, and made a lot of improvements with my eating disorder. After leaving the hospital, my medication and depression have since been monitored by my family doctor. Last fall, I decided I wanted to try lowering my dose. My doctor suggested I go from 80mg to 60mg, and that went fine. When I went down to 40mg, however, I started feeling depressed, assumed it was a relapse, and went back up to 60. Now I think it may have just been withdrawal caused by tapering too quickly. So I approached my doctor about tapering again last month, suggesting I go much more slowly this time, after finding survivingantidepressants.org and reading about other peoples' experiences. Right now, I'm alternating between 50mg and 60mg daily, and by the end of this week, I'll be taking 50mg every day. Each month I plan to take another step down (from 50 to 50/40, to 40, to 40/30, etc.). So far, things are going great. Since 2014, I was also taking Dexilant, for heartburn caused by the Prozac. I've managed to stop taking that medication most days (taking it only occasionally) and haven't had any problems. My biggest concern is that I'll experience withdrawal sooner or later, and I might panic and go back on my progress. I don't want that to happen this time. I'm hoping the third time really is the charm for me, and that this time, I'll be able to be medication free and actually dealing with any problems I might have, instead of taking the medication and hoping it solves everything (which it definitely doesn't). In the past, I was very lonely, socially anxious, and I kept to myself. Now, however, I'm engaged, I'm doing well in school and working towards a career that I'm passionate about, and I recently started talking to my sister again after a few years of falling out. I've also realized how toxic my mom is in my life, and I no longer live with my parents. I'm really hoping that this time, a much better environment and a better understanding of withdrawal will help me succeed 🤞 If you read all this, thank you for sticking with me until the end, and I look forward to keeping you updated ☺️
  23. Lollypops

    Lollypops

    Hi, I was on cymbalta for 7 years and previous to that I was taking Effexor for 3 years. It was very hard to withdrawal from Effexor (at 21 years old), it 6 took months of rest and klonipin to stop panic attack, brain zaps, irritability, anxiety, agoraphobia, anger, abnormal sensation in my body, dizziness, nausea.. the list goes on. I don’t remember the exact dose I was on because it was so long ago but my new psychiatrist at the time mentioned it was too high for someone with my body weight and severity of depression. The doctor said I needed to establish my routine and force myself to follow through with getting through work each day while I withdrew. Needless to say, I got passed the withdrawal but by far that was the worst I ever felt in my life. I was 29 when I came off of cymbalta( 90mg), it only took 2 months to withdrawal. I had severe mood swings and excessive hunger... I did not have any sensation issues or brain zaps. I was taking a prenatal vitamin because my husband and I were planning to have another baby (one baby came out being twins btw) I think that what made it easier to withdrawal from cymbalta was the vitamins I was on. I still remember 2 days after being off cymbalta, I was having really bad temper problems! I also suffered from memory issues and slight paranoia but it was fairly quick to get rid of those symptoms. I don’t think I mentioned this already but I suffer from major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia, and really terrible panic and anxiety disorder. I was able to successfully withdrawal from the cymbalta and Effexor with routine, vitamins, plenty of rest, and a lot of encouragement from family. I am now 35 and have been on Prozac for about 5 years. About 3 weeks ago, my psychiatrist took me off of the Prozac (60mg) cold turkey and put me on Wellbutrin. I have to say, I was feeling really good until about a week ago when I started experiencing the brain zaps, dizziness, sleepiness, frequent body pain, headaches, and vertigo. Today I started having irritability issues and feel like I am going to snap at anyone who talks to me in any sort of way that I feel is aggressive, almost like someone else is taking over!! I really hope that I am successful getting off of prozac because I almost feel like I could go off the deep end when I start to feel the irritability coming on. Personally, I think cold turkey is the wrong move for me coming off Prozac.
  24. I'm sorry if this winds up being kind of nebulous or rambled, but that's kind of how things are/feel right now. I might be in the minority here but i'm actually sort of thankful for Prozac. My OCD tendencies and anxiety were eating up a huge chunk of my life, and after starting Prozac, the tapping, counting and constant checking and rechecking stopped. I started out on 20 a little over two years ago, moved up to 30 after six or so months, then stayed at 40 until about two months ago. I'd been taking .5 mg of Ativan every few days for some sudden, terrible anxiety following an extreme panic attack. I was on it every few days two months and stopped fairly abruptly not wanting to be on it for any long period of time. Now, my Psych and I still aren't sure if it was some kind of prozac poopout or ativan withdrawal but i went through two weeks of some pretty unpleasant symptoms. Jittery to the point that i couldn't sit and do anything, no more than 4 hours of extremely uncomfortable sleep a night, zero appetite, anxiety and general lack of ability to enjoy much of anything. To elaborate a bit, i could only manage boost/ensure type meal replacements and paced *constantly* up until the point it was 2am or so, and time for my few hours of sleep. By the time i got in to see my psych i had been dealing with it for a week and she said given the low and infrequent dosage of my ativan she didn't want to reinstate , so she upped my prozac to 60mg and we decided i'd bear with what we thought might be ativan withdrawal and see if it lessened in the coming weeks . Over the next two weeks after she upped my Prozac the symptoms went away gradually and i I found some semblance of feeling semi normal, if still kind of fatigued. Seeing as how it seemed that I had "gotten lucky" by getting off Ativan before i was on it for too long and the symptoms of withdrawal were hell level severe and super long lasting, i decided it was time to get off Prozac. I still had a bunch of 40mgs leftover and just switched to taking those. This was about two weeks ago and about 4 days after doing so i started to experience some pretty hefty fatigue, mild anxiety and decreased appetite. Unlike my last withdrawal (or whatever it was) i can sleep a full 8 hours, can sit and watch stuff, enjoy things to a degree and even force myself up to the gym. I wake up after sleep feeling pretty exhausted, but i'm able to eat and don't feel the overwhelming urge to pace. My psych is one of the ones who said it would be fine for me to taper down over the course of a month or so, but at the same time she's very accommodating if I ask to go slower with stuff, so i wont have a problem getting liquid. I guess right now my plan is to bear with this 20mg drop since its already been almost two weeks, and then try liquid and dropping 10% a month. I guess i'm here for a bit of support and maybe reassurance that even if things are protracted it will eventually end, and i will have good windows throughout the experience. Another thing i guess i'm here for is to see if anyone thinks its wise for me to reinstate back to 60 and taper at 10% from that point. The symptoms i have now aren't unbearable, but they for sure aren't a good time. Side note: I'm also on TRT because tests showed that my body wasn't making enough of it naturally. I get pretty frequent blood work for it and both my estrogen and testosterone levels are in the green as of yesterdays blood work.
  25. hello i was on prozac for 6.5 years with addition of effexor, welbutrin and geodon for breif times. i am 2.5 years off and still in withdrawal. i was prescribed the meds for physical illness after getting epstein bar virus. the prozac, effexor and welbutrin were used for stimulant effects. the geodon was used to combat the side effects of the other meds.( like taking a downer to take edge oof of the uppers).i did not have mental illness before this i now dont know how much of the way i feel is from epsten bar virus? or if i recovered from the virus? is what i am feeling from med withdrawals. the only thing i do know is i have extreme anxiety, insomnia and akathesia now and i NEVER had this problem before the meds. i just dont know how much of my flu like symptoms/ feeling like i have a hang over is from the med withdrawal? anyone with expierence please let me know? i also get a lot of joint cracking and popping sounds. anyone else get this? does anyone feel flu like symptoms get worse after exercise. thanks for any info
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