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  1. Hi, new user been on meds for 8 years or so, varying combinations of ADs, AAPs and benzos. have tapered the last drug (Lexapro) and been going through withdrawal for over 2 months, details are in signature, hopefully it's adequate. i should mention that i am dealing with pretty severe brain fog through this withdrawal, so the way i organize my ideas and structure sentences might be pretty awkward.... OK, it has been 65 days since 2 months since coming off all meds, first it was antipsychotics, then benzodiazepines, and finally antidepressants over the course of several months after being on the meds for 7+ years. overall I feel pretty useless right now, and extremely self conscious and self critical as well. my affect and anxious tone of voice seems to draw attention to myself more often than not, depending on how anxious i am. don't think this is entirely in my head or a mere judgment, i distinctly notice grimacing from people pretty often, or sometimes laughing if i'm walking past a group of people. so it's not entirely irrational. and i often have an extremely difficult time forming proper words and ideas. sometimes i don't even wish to be around my parents. i just don't feel like myself. this feels 20x worse than run of the mill anxiety, especially considering that i have an anxious personality to begin with, so it's anxiety (disorder), on top of anxiety (anxious personality) on top of anxiety (withdrawal symptoms). add to this that i am expected to continue going to school in the fall to complete a polysomnography program (i would be a sleep tech) i honestly do not feel ready at all, yet getting through this polysomnography program could ultimately mean my financial independence and it's even more so a pressing issue considering my father may be retiring next year meaning that i wont have the same health insurance and wont be able to see my current therapist who i feel very comfortable with atm, any longer. other therapists have been deameaning and patronizing because of my timidity. now all that brings me to the question how i can cope with these symptoms so that i don't humiliate myself on a regular basis and become demoralized. my therapist who specializes in ACT tells me to "be present".. he suggests thought defusion exercises, mindfulness, grounding and acceptance. a lot of these concepts are pretty vague to me; what is "acceptance" supposed to look like? what is mindfulness? what are the steps that have to be taken to get to these states, when do i use them, how do i use them? being that i tend to micromanage every little thought feeling and event that goes on in my daily life, these coping skills drives me crazy and brings me more in my head than before leaving me mentally exhausted. are there any supplements that could take the edge off? my biggest fear is being judged to be incompetent and unqualified to do sleep lab work. perhaps i might be told that i'm making the patients or the students uncomfortable. perhaps my fear-laden affect and anxious/passive/unattractive tone of voice will be too off putting for others. i don't even feel that i'lll have sufficient motivation or mental energy to study the material properly. overall i feel like there's a lot of pressure on me to do well when i may not be ready to function yet. yet at the moment i am in a way committed to the program: i have already on more than a few occassions gone back and forth with my decision to complete the program. so if i call the program coordinator again telling her for the fourth or fifth time that i don't feel ready, i will likely not be accepted when i DO feel ready. moreover, explaining my situation and thus letting them know that i have a history of psychiatric issues would probably make acceptance in the future even more unlikely, rather than help the situation. any help at all would be much appreciated.
  2. Hi I am new to this forum, coming from benzobuddies forum. I was on an AD wellbutrin for 7 years and then a P Doc took me off cold turkey and I wound up in a psych hospital for 10 days December 2012, I was reinstated on Wellbutrin in the hospital and upon leaving I found a new P Doc immediately. He diagnosed me with Bipolar ll. He kept me on the Wellbutrin and added Lamictal and 40 mg Valium for insomnia. I became tolerant after 3-4 months to the Valim and I started a micro taper off the 40 mg valium 1/2013. I am currently at 1.5 mg as of 10/01/2014. Withdrawl symptoms were not to severe with the micro taper until 3mg valium. Now down at 1.5 mg withdrawl symptoms are pretty intense ,insomnia, anxiety, feeling poorly. My P doc didn't want me to come off of the valium because he thought it helped with keeping my bipolar stable. He agreed to help me with the taper if I wanted to get off. I just wanted to get off because I was tolerant and didn't want to stay on a benzo any longer. I also recently decided I would like to decrease my AD dose after I am off the benzo, but I'm not certain I can completely taper off because of my bipolar. I discussed this with my P Doc and he said he would consider this after I'm stable on my valium taper. I was reading thru some posts here and noticed that tapering the AD first might have been better then tapering the benzo according to many here. I started my benzo taper first because I wasn't going to taper down my AD at the advice of my P doc.. I have decided that I would like to taper down my Wellbutrin at least to a lower dose but I assume I should wait till I am off the benzo at this point? If I do taper down my Wellbutrin will it be harder now that I am tapering off the benzo first Also I need some advice about getting off the 6mg of Doxepin (Silenor), I have been taking for insomna the past year, it is no longer helping with my insomnia. Since it is such a low dose do I need to taper off this slowly or can I just jump off. Thanks
  3. Hi I have been on psych meds for 20 years and the oldest one I am still on is lithium for 14 years. I thought it was longer but then realised that is less which is good I guess. Though still a long time. I am just taking the first step in this process, which is gathering my support team around me. I have to wait to see what my psychiatrist is going to say on Tuesday but I am going in there prepared for a "no" and if that happens, I will be changing to a new psych. I'll give mine a go but I don't think she will come on board. This is all so scary. These drugs have been both, at times a support, at times a crutch but also really negative. I shake and jerk all the time, which is a huge reason as to why I want to reduce or come off my meds. I am looking forward to getting to know you . Cali
  4. Hello fellow members. I've been diagnosed with dsythmic depression with social anxiety. I'm currently taking 200mg of Zoloft and 3 mg of valium, cutting back on the valium every month by half a mg. I was originally given 15 mg daily as a start dose and continued at 10 mg after a month. I'm extremely worried about agitation. I become very frustrated with zero patients. I'm unable to focus or concentrate and end up self medicating with marijuana. I'm at a point where I don't know what normal is. After taking multiple AD's for 12 years, I'm horrified by studies showing The chemical imbalance these meds help correct leave an imbalance that's worst then the original depression lasting years. I'm scared if I stop smoking weed I won't be able to tolerate agitation from the valium. Worst yet if I try to stop the Zoloft I won't be able to hold down my job and family life. I tried quitting AD's and the symptoms are unbearable and leave me non functional. Stuck In the abyss
  5. Hello everyone. I found this site a few months ago but only now do I feel I have the mental strength to write anything remotely coherent. I am in no way recovered but I hope my story offers some encouragement to those in acute withdrawal particularly those who cold turkey. As a teenager I suffered anorexia, I was hospitalised several times and things got pretty serious. This was back in the 90s and there was not the specialised care available that there is today. The professionals tried there best but did not know really what to do with me. This went on for years I would put weight on to loose it again, my poor parents suffered terribly. Eventually some bright spark suggested a antidepressant, I was 5 stone and eating nothing and I believe I did not metabolise the drug properly. I became a zombie which frustrated me more as I could not exercise. Roll on 2 years and at 18 I started to improve I gained some weight went back to college but I could fine no happiness in life, I felt flat, empty with little enthusiasm and basically wanted to sleep constantly. Looking back I did not feel depressed I could still work and function I just felt flat and lonely. Anyway on my Drs advise I began seroxat I think it was 20mg but not sure. I took this for 4 years, I have to say it did help I became less withdrawn and got more joy from life, but I had regular periods of unexplained illness, I would became almost chronically fatigued for days on end unable to do anything but sleep. I'm trying to cut this shorter so I will summarise. Seroxat was hell to come off, I tried several times and ended up doing a cold turkey which was rough very rough ( although my standards on rough have recently widened ) It took but 6 weeks to get any improvement but even then I cried constantly and My Dr put me on prozac and lorazepam for the sleeplessness. A week later and I mean a week I had gone from crying all day everyday unable to do much at all to, up at 7am In the gym then off to work, the change was unbelievable and my Dr was slapping his self on the back and I was beside myself with happiness. Roll on 5 years.. I'm still doing great Iv cut down to a prozac every other day and changed lorazepam to diazepam but I only take very small amounts of this maybe 5mg a week. Roll on another 3 years I'm in prozac 20mg every 3 days and same amount of diazepam. I'm ok but get more anxious and worried about stuff but I'm working and functioning ok. 2014 I decided the prozac is done I'm happy I'm working I have 2 kids I don't need 7ish mg of prozac. My Dr says just stop your virtually off it anyway worse you will get if flu like symptoms. So I do. I remember a few days after stopping feeling fantastic so relaxed happy and full of joy. Roll on 2 months and I start to get very stressed with the kids I tenner throwing a plate at the wall and just standing there and crying. I felt angry all the time and I'm the most placid person in the world. Roll on another 2 months and things start to get serious I can't sleep I toss and turn all night, I'm stressed and angry 24-7. 6 month after stopping prozac the sh@t really hits the fan. My whole world turns. I won't go into all the symptoms as from reading on the site I know you have felt them. These are the top 5 though # fear ( I will not use anxiety as it does not convey the true horror of this feeling. A word has yet to be invented to describe it) # severe agitation ( maybe akathesia ) # severe insomnia nights on end without sleep and massive muscle jerks # severe depression and it brought it's friends DP DR and SI # severe neck pain, ear pressure, jaw pain To basically stop you all dropping off I got no breaks for 5 months. I narrowly avoided involuntary hospital admission. I also had a massive reaction to another AD I think it was cirtralopram. After 7months after acute and nearly a year after CT, Im starting to see some improvement and you cannot wipe the smile of my face when i do. It does not last long, the max I have had is 5 days and I still have very poor sleep but I genuinely thought I was the one that would never get a window. There is hope all you have to do is wait.
  6. Hello everyone, I have been reading many posts regarding Remeron/ Mirtazapine in the last few weeks. I found the information very helpful. I wish I had found this site earlier... I started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, felt terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started a crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed a slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. I believe I am currently feeling strong side effects from the Remeron. I started feeling this way a few days after stopping the Valium. I am feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach. I find it difficult to function in this condition. I thought I had accomplished the hard work when I finished my benzo taper. I began reading about the Remeron on Surviving Antidepressants. I was really surprised by what I read: “When you remove the Benzo, the AD’s adverse effects come to the forefront.” and “ Mirt likely to be stimulating and might be uncomfortable without the Benzo.” The recommendations on which drug to taper first goes against what you would find in the Ashton Manual or a site like Benzo Buddies. “Benzo withdrawal before Antidepressant withdrawal increases the risk of a difficult antidepressant withdrawal.” All these ideas are news for me. I have read many comments on the forum which reflect the symptoms I have been feeling from the Remeron. I believe I need to taper the Remeron. I am questioning wether I can taper Remeron successfully in my present condition or in order to do this properly would I need to reinstate a low dose of Valium, possibly 2mg. I should add that where I am currently living I do not have access to liquid remeron or special pharmacies. I will need to create my own liquid mirt by using the Remeron Soltab 30mg. From reading the recommendations, 10% cut every 4 weeks is the way to go. A first cut would be by 3mg to 27 mg. Had a doctor (that helped me with my Benzo taper) suggest a Remeron taper by taking : 30 mg 1st night then 15mg 2nd night, back to 30mg 3rd night, then down to 15mg on 4th night, and so on for 3 weeks. If ok then stay at 15mg. Sounds risky to me… I am trying to figure out the best way forward. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks Karlos
  7. Intolerant59

    Intolerant59 Mirtazapine

    Hoping someone can help I have recently been prescribed Mirtazapine which I believe has increased my anxiety, I tremble inside through my whole body. I have been on many many different AD's all with terrible side effects. I'm too scared to taper off slowly as the anxiety is out of control and my dr told me to take Valium to counteract the anxiety. Very stressed and anxious would love to hear from someone who has experienced this anxiety side effect from Mirtazapine
  8. Hi all. I have been reading many post on this excellent forum for a while now. Time to say hello and start my own journal thread. A bit about me Don’t know if my story is very unique... I am broken. I have been on meds for a long time. I have tried to quit several times, failed and failed again. Struggle with low self esteem and dysthymia for as far as I can remember, but somehow still manage to keep my life together (at least it looks like that from the outside). There is a lot of negativity and dysfunction in me, and I have a have been in different kinds of therapy on and off. No real problems with anxiety before starting to taper the meds. During my more brighter moments I’m also very very happy for having a decent career at work, an loving girlfriend, a few really good friends, my cats, basic health and many other things that are important in life. The medication I was put on Venlafaxine in 2000 at age 33 after a separation that triggered both my first panic attacks and clinical depression. I needed the medication then, for perhaps 1 year it saved my life. Continued taking it out of habit and lack of good support from any doctor that knew something. During the 14 years on meds my life was actually quite ok. Most things worked fine, I was balanced and sane. No anxiety, no depression, stable mood and a quite active life. So why change a winning team? I wanted to try to stop taking meds when I realized that I had not cried at all for ten years, not even when one of my beloved cats died, that my life simply was not containing any real highs and no real lows. I somehow missed out on important emotional parts by taking SSRI/SNRI. The more I read on the subject, the more convinced I got that I really have to quit. Still, depression runs deep in my family, and I might end up having to take a low dose for the rest of my life. The plan is of course to not take any meds at all and deal with my problems in therapy instead. I have much more faith in talk therapy than in long term medication. Others probably see me as a rather calm person, but I’m also very restless, uncertain and often not patient enough for the slow pace that discontinuing psych meds demand. Sometimes do to to big drops or other drastic changes in meds or life. I know it's not good for me, but I can't help myself. SSRI is clearly the devil and benzodiazepine is his/hers evil partner in crime! The antidepressants keep my demons in their cages and benzo soothes my restless soul like nothing else. I have very mixed emotions to the medication. I don’t like to be dependent on them but the last 14 years I have always felt better on meds than off. Perhaps that has to do with the lack of patience. My current tapering project I started my current tapering from 150 mg Venlafaxine (Effexor) in April 2014. Have tried to follow all the tips on keeping it slow, stable and safe. There has been a lot of stress with traveling, new job, major illness in the family, big changes in my important volunteer engagement and a new love relationship during this year. So far I have managed to handle all these changes and the withdrawal effects without falling apart. There is still too much stress but compared to before tapering I’m trying to keep my ambitions fairly low and try to limit all activities and persons that generates stress. If withdrawal becomes worse I guess I will have to lower my ambitions even more. As you all know, lots of time and energy goes into dealing with waves, new emotions, mood swings and increased anxiety. In March 2015 I was down to 30 mg Venlafaxine per day, with some very clear withdrawal issues. This might be a too fast taper, but that was the way I did it. The withdrawal got a bit worse, and I slowly started started self medicating Diazepam (Valium) on a daily basis. However, I wasn’t feeling bad enough to reinstate or increase the Venlafaxine dosage. Two months later, in May 2015, I felt stable enough to start bridging to liquid Fluoxetine (Prozac) during 1 month. Hope that the long half life of the Fluoxetine will make the final steps down to zero manageable. I had to increase the dose a bit and now, in June 2015, I’m on 12 mg Fluoxetine (3.0 ml) which equals about 40 mg Venlafaxine. Not sure that this was the right move, but all previous attempts to go lower than 40 mg Venlafaxine has failed miserably and resulted in reinstating. The main drawback with Fluoxetine compared to Venlafaxine, is that it makes me very tired. The fatigue is constant and the energy levels way below normal. I feel like sleeping all the time. To deal with the lows I occasionally self medicate with the pain medication Tramadol, that clearly boost the serotonin levels. Try to not take it more than once a week, since it's easy to get dependent. I occasionally take other substances too, but never with such a frequency that they become problems. I know my limits in that area. I drink alcohol but not more than once a week and never more than a few glasses. To handle the anxiety i self medicate with Diazepam (Valium) or Alprazolam (Xanax). The last 2-3 months I have been taking between 2 and 5 mg Diazepam every other day. This is way to too frequent, and I’m clearly become dependent on the benzo now. This has happened before and I am slowly tapering the Diazepam. Currently taking about 1 mg per day. My main non-chemical weapon against the anxiety is the meditative relaxing audios from excelatlife.com and the headspace.com meditations, that I do on a daily basis. Recently I have started doing the “mixing the cake batter” anti-anxiety exercise that seem so help. I am not into supplements. Have tried both Vitamin E, Omega 3 and Magnesium at different occasions, but not found that it makes any kind of difference at all. At the moment I’m suffering quite a bit from both anxiety (mostly in the morning), mood swings, general nervousness, fatigue, memory loss and lack of motivation. Not sure what is related to the meds and what is new emotions emerging from the low dosage of SSRI. Sleep is one of the things that works fine though. I’m not giving up this time. I will follow through even if it takes several more years. Not sure how often I will update this journal or if I will get involved in the discussion on this site. Based on all my failed attempts to taper I do however believe it is very important to both give and receive support from others in the same situation. A big thank you to all the people who contribute to this site! You save lives.
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