Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'klonopin'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Support
    • Read This First
    • Introductions and updates
    • Tapering
    • Symptoms and self-care
    • Finding meaning
    • Relationships and social life
  • Members only
  • Current events
    • Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal
    • Events, actions, controversies
    • In the media
    • From journals and scientific sources

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Found 132 results

  1. First, excuse me for my English, I speak just French. I’m new on this group and would share my story. My story with shrink medications: It’s the most important rules, the golden rules if you want quit all this crap with minimal damage: stay on the original molecule and taper SLOWLY. I’m destroyed now because I have follow my Dr in this process: 1. Ten years on Tramadol and two years on Klonopin due to neurologic pain after a failed surgery. 2. Almost CT withdrawal of the two molecules , at this time I don’t know a clue about Ashton Manual and withdrawal, I trust my doc 3. Results: depression, anxiety, seizures, ...DR ad Olanzapine and Cymbalta (first time in my life that I take antipsychotic and AD) 4. Results: suicidal ideation, I inform my doc, he up the dosage of the AD! 5. Result: Suicide attempt two weeks later, cardiac and respiratory arrest , 2 weeks in intensive care at hospital 6. They give me Effexor, Pregabalin high dose (Lyrica ), Fentanyl, massive dose of benzos 7.Result: serotoninergic symptômes, they stop CT the fentanyl and Tramadol but ad Trazodone and sleeping pills 8. Results: psychosis, seizures, panic attacks, bowel obstruction and direct to ER! 9.Result: they cut CT the Effexor, Pregabalin, Trazodone and start with anSSRI (fluvoxamine), sleeping pills, Propranolol for tremors and heart rate, and start to cut the benzos but at a rythm of 25% each week. 10. Result: panic attacks, sweating, tremors, insomnia, suicidal tough, akhitisia, enable to eat (lost 30kg in 6 months), depersonalization, weak as hell! 11. Result: 10 weeks in detox clinic...they continue to cut the benzos but 50% each week!!! I talk with the Addicto in charge about Ashton and Breggin, about FB group... Never hearing this!!! 12. Result: back to home with SSRI but nothing else, BUT PAWS off hell: insomnia, dizziness, POTS, PSSD, PTSD, DEPRESSION, CNS AND GI SYSTEM DESTROYED, Anhedonia,SEIZURES, PANIC ATTACKS, ... 13. Result: my Dr stop the SSRI CT and reinstate pregabalin and another SSRI. 14.Result: more anxiety and insomnia. Dr CT the pregabalin: hell 15.Result, I change of Dr and search for a treatment with plant medicine Iboga, change my diet due to benzos belly and all damages due to AD and tapering the SSRI. 16. Go in a clinic for treatment with plant medicine Iboga / Ibogaine. Overnight no more PAWS, insomnia, pain, anxiety, ... was a life saver! Iboga reset all neurotransmitters, like if I was a baby born. 17. Return to home with no PAWS, no medication , but weak, tired and depression (My mistake is that I tapering to fast the Last SSRI, at this time I just want do die but my instinct say to me to microdosing with plant medecine Iboga or psilocybin...but was to down to follow my instinct) 18. Back to the shrink who give me SSRI ( insomnia, anxiety returns, give me Mirtazapine, but adverse effects, ad pregabalin and CT after 3 months, back on benzos too and ad Quétiapine into the cocktail...) I have two lovely kids and a wonderful wife, but I have lost everything: my job, my health, my family... because I’m just able too stay on the couch with horrible symptoms, kindling effect, and pain all day long, sometimes I can eat but the GI system is so painful and destroyed that I can’t assimile nutrients correctly. When I can sleep 2-3 hours it’s a very good night for me, but usually with a lot of nightmares and sweating... Today I have received by mail the decision of health services of my country: I’m considered as 100% invalid. IN CONCLUSION: FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT STOP SHRINK DRUGS: 1. SLOW TAPERING DON’T GO CT 2. STAY ONLY ON YOUR ORIGINAL MOLECULE 3. DON’T STOP MULTIPLE MOLECULE IN SAME TIME 4. DON’T FOLLOW IN ANY CASE THE DR ADVISE ABOUT TAPERING OR DIAGNOSIS DURING WITHDRAWAL 5.DON’T AD NEW DRUGS IN THE COURSE, NEVER! ONLY TIME, HEALTHY DIET, EXERCISE, SOME VITAMINS ARE THE KEY 6.GO **** YOURSELF ALL BIG PHARMA AND DOCTORS WHO WORK FOR THIS. MY SON, MY DAUGHTERS AND MY WIFE HAVE NOW A VEGETABLE IN PLACE OF A FATHER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MOTHER****ERS! HOPE THERE IS A DIVINE JUSTICE AFTER... Good luck for everyone 🤞🤞🤞hope you will be better than me. ❤️❤️❤️
  2. Hi, all-- I am so grateful to have found this site. It is helpful to know that I'm not alone. This is my first post, I will try my best to be succinct. I'm a 42 y/o female. I've been on Zoloft for 12 years, anywhere from 50mg daily to 175mg. I'd say my average over the years is probably around 125mg daily. My signature has a breakdown of my history. I've also taken klonopin during this time, but I take it PRN as I have never agreed with the doc suggestions to take this med multiple times daily. So in terms of my average klonopin dosing, during acute anxiety or hospitalization I take it multiple times daily but otherwise I take it maybe once or twice a month (more or less). My pills are 0.5, but I have a sensitive system so I take one quarter of that or maybe a half. A full pill usually means I am heading into a major depressive episode or something pretty difficult is going on. I smoked marijuana for about 7 years, but had to stop that in July 2020 due to cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). Lastly, I began a magnesium supplement around July 2020, and it has greatly helped with daily anxiety. The difference has been pronounced for me. For the past five/six years or so, I noticed that I occasionally got facial tics when I wake up in the morning. They were small, brief, and random, usually my jaw jiggling or shutting, or my eyes shutting closed due to my cheeks lifting. I thought it might be the Zoloft, but I didn't look into it too much. Well, now I've looked into it and I'm terrified. For the past 6 months, I'd say, the tics have started to happen during the course of the day and not just when I wake up in the morning. A couple of days ago, I was lying in bed and my throat/esophagus just started twitching up and down a few times-- that one was scary. I have an HMO, so I am in the process of seeking out a holistic psychiatrist on my own. I've seen the list on this site, that's been very helpful! I have a few questions for anyone that can help: In your experience, is it okay to have a long-distance psych? Does it make a difference? I'd rather see someone who knows what they're doing and is far, far away than someone close by who doesn't know or believe in patient-centered care. How might this hamper care? Do the TD symptoms indicate that I should follow a quicker taper? Or is this a matter of doing the 10% and then waiting/hoping that TD symptoms don't get worse? Can klonopin cause TD? I haven't seen anything about this, but I'd love to hear others' experiences. I will ask my psych the same thing, but are there any supplements that folks here recommend to help with the taper? I've tried tapering once before back in 2011-2013 (I thought I was tapering slowly, but given the info we have now I can see I was most definitely not going slowly. I was also following bad advice about taking my SSRI "every other day" to even out the amount of med in my bloodstream), and had what I now recognize to be an acute and quickly-manifesting depressive episode as a result of withdrawal. I understand that everyone's body is different, but any experiences with supplements is very welcome. Of course I am impatient to get off of this drug which could now be causing me a lot of harm. I have done loads and loads of work with therapists on my PTSD and depression, but the Zoloft did help me with that at the beginning, very much. I have so many conflicting feelings, but fear overrides them all because I would very much love to retain my ability to swallow and chew voluntarily (the cosmetic fears are also there, but to a lesser degree). I am a Buddhist and humanist and practice daily in one way or another, but as I'm sure many of us know a strong depression can and will obliterate reason, faith, belief, you name it. Thankfully I have a wife who shares my beliefs, and she is a rock. Thank you so much for any help. I am terrified of this journey, but I am very heartened that at least I have others to share it with.
  3. I started taking MMJ two years ago to help “manage” my anxiety so I could come off of 50 mg of Amitriptyline and .50 of Klonopin. My doctor was completely on board with this as he said it’s “natural” and really wanted me off Klonopin. This past February I ended up accidentally overdosing on MMJ and started to hallucinate. I was told my metabolism must have changed and that I would have to readjust the dose. Even in my state of mind I knew that was a horrible idea and CT’ed the MMJ. I had NO idea what I was doing or what was in store for me. I was put on 2 mg of Abilify and was told that it would help “speed the withdrawal process.” I never even decreased the Amitriptyline or Klonopin the entire time I took the MMJ. I was told after a month to just stop the Abilify. I can’t even attempt to describe the terror I felt the next two months. I had de realization, depersonalization, disordered thinking, panic attacks, it goes on and on. I didn’t sleep AT ALL the first month and then the second month I was getting 1-2 hours a night. I didn’t even know that it was physically possible to go that long without sleep. I developed paradoxical insomnia as well as a fear of insomnia. I stopped the Ability after one month. I decided by the third month I would taper the Amitriptyline since I initially took it for sleep and it wasn’t helping. Did I mention I had NO idea what I was doing? I went from 50mg to 6mg in two months. I honestly was about to throw in the towel at this point and go on an antidepressant but then found this site. I knew at this point I was in PAWS from MMJ but didn’t realize cutting the Amitriptyline this fast was a contributing factor. I thought that this was my “mental illness” coming back. I increased back to 10 mg in July and am holding steady. I am currently on 10 mg Amitriptyline and .50 mg Klonopin. Seven months later I still have a lot of issues. More importantly I have a lot of hope. I worked with a wonderful hypnotist and am at the point where I don’t worry about sleep. I eat well and exercise every day. I practice gratitude and am learning to live in the moment. I still wake up every 1-2 hours a night; most nights I fall back asleep and I am grateful for that. I’m learning to observe my thoughts and use my anxiety and fear as guides. I am already the strongest person I know. I’m only starting my journey but wanted to share early hope for those that may be struggling with acceptance. I also want to thank everyone on this site, you have been a part of my journey.
  4. Looking for some advice on what I should do with my Escitalopram (technically taking Escitalopram but Lexapro is easier to remember so I'm using that a lot here) dosage.. Made a lot of mistakes last week. Basically I'm a short-term Klonopin user (3 months total) who had a very rough time getting off of it. I had very extreme anxiety and burning sensations where I was basically limited to a couch. I was taking it as needed, and didn't realize I was putting myself through inter-dose withdrawals every few days. Doctor said it was my anxiety returning, and then I ended up on Lexapro because of that which made me take more Klonopin. Thankfully I found this forum else I would be in an even worse place with no hope. I tapered off the Klonopin roughly 1 month ago and I felt great for 3 weeks after. However, I'm pretty sure I've screwed up my withdrawal from Klonopin or my Lexapro taper or both. I'm hoping for a second opinion to guide me in what I should do next. Long story short I knew much better but I drank alcohol only 3 weeks after jumping off Klonopin and while fast-tapering Lexapro. I tried alcohol 1 night, thought I got away with it. And got excited to feel normal again and then drank a few more times over the week 1 or 2 drinks a night. Never felt bad the next day. Roll around to last Monday. I had a dentist visit for a cavity and received novocaine (or something like it, I don't know what they gave). A few hours after the novocaine I started getting some returning anxiety. I thought nothing of it, until the next morning I woke up feeling like I was going back into acute benzo withdrawal with extreme anxiety again. I've now been in this state for 5 days. At first I blamed myself for drinking and the novocaine, but now I've realized I've tried to taper my Lexapro too fast as well. I dropped from 9mg to basically 3mg in about a month. I know the 10% rule, I guess I just felt invisible since I was dropping fast and was a short-termer (1 month or so on 10mg when I started tapering) and seeing no withdrawal effects. My questions: 1) Is Lexapro withdrawal as anxiety intense as benzo withdrawal? Or do they feel the same? I have severe burning in my back / neck /arms and basically either sit in a ball, lay down, or have to pace the house. 2) Given that I definitely tapered Lexapro too fast, what amount of Lexapro should I updose to, to start over @ the 10% every month? If I should be updosing at all. Right now I have a pretty bad headache from going up today. I feel like I'm making all sorts of mistakes trying to fix this problem since the anxiety is pretty unbearable and unlike my previous withdrawal a few weeks ago it lasts all day with basically no windows. Any help is appreciated. I left my complete notes below. But if they need to be improved let me know. 5/24 - Started .5mg - 1 Klonopin as needed 7/20 - Started Lexapro 5mg (still on Klonopin) 7/27 - Lexapro 10mg 8/5 - Started tapering Klonopin stabilizing on a daily dose of .25mg 8/17 - Jumped at .065 (fast taper... but it seemed to work) 8/17 - Lexapro to 9mg (time to get rid of the next drug..) 8/29 - Lexapro to 6.5mg from 9mg (probably too fast but I had only been on Lexapro for a month so I felt like I could get away with it) 9/8-9/13 - Had alcohol all week sporadically (1 to 2 drinks) because I was feeling so much better. I tested with 1 drink, got away with it, and just kind of got excited.. ugh 9/13 - Lexapro was down to 2.78mg (so 8/29-9/13 6.5 to 2.78mg) way too fast I know. 9/14 - Had a dentist appointment, received probably Novocaine 9/14 - Had mild anxiety in the afternoon after Novocaine wore off 9/15 - Feels like I'm starting back into acute benzo withdrawal 9/16 - Definitely very back into acute something, feels like Benzo withdrawal with extreme feeling of anxiety and burning sensation on skin, doing laps around the house. 9/17 - Updosed Lexapro to 3.9mg 9/19 - Updosed Lexapro more to 4.46mg
  5. angelicus

    Angelicus: intro

    Hello all, Let me first say that finding this site (mentioned on Dr. Brogan's own site) has been incredible! I've been scrolling through a bit last night and today and finally thought to make an intro. Here's a history. In 2017 I experienced a panic attack on a flight back to school. Was out late drinking the night before, had some fast food at the airport. Took a nap at the beginning of the flight. Woke up feeling quite odd, shooting sensation up my left arm, heart was beating like crazy, thought it was a heart attack. Luckily, there was a doctor on the flight (he said it was a panic attack) and another passenger had Klonopin, so the rest of the flight was just about getting me calm. Not fun. After we landed I went to the ER to see if it was anything with my heart, all was well. Next few weeks was constantly on edge, worried I was going to have another attack. Then one morning I woke up with some derealization. Again, had no idea what was going on at all. Went to the ER maybe a few days later, was given some ativan, doctor told me it was just high anxiety. A few months later (after I graduated), I went to my PCP and told him about my derealization symptons, to which he promptly prescribed me lexapro (10mg). Since this was a long time ago I'm not sure how I exactly took it at first, I think I started only taking 5mg to start and then worked my way up to 10mg. Don't recall any terrible side effects besides maybe just feeling "odd." Derealization didn't fully go away, Doctor prescribed me with 20 mg. However, I kept only taking 10mg (I don't know why, maybe some intuition?). Anyways, the derealization eventually went away after I drove back to school for my master's program (a 12 hour drive, quite on edge for the first hour or two!). I kept taking the lexapro throughout the year. Things were fine, but again I'm really not sure whether it was the lexapro or just my brain being fine with the derealization being over. Anyways, that summer, I was having some sleeping problems (caused by the lexapro, in my view), and I went to see a psychiatrist and she prescribed me klonopin (a neighbor gave me some one night after I told him about lexapro issues). Was prescribed 0.5mg. After finishing my master's that summer, I went to another school to get another master's (overkill, lol), and was running out of klonopin so I was naturally worried I wouldn't be able to sleep. Went to school doc who prescribed me the klonopin and referred me to a psychiatrist. Continued on this (intermittently, I could go a month or so without it and be okay) and the lexapro for the whole 2018-2019 school year. Took 20mg of lexapro for a month or two but it was too much and went back down to 10mg. I was pretty consistent with my doses of lexapro, though occasionally would miss a few (and would avoid taking it some nights I knew I was going to drink; I never drank on klonopin). In January of this year, I decided, without the advice of my psychiatrist (imprudently, I know) to taper myself off the medication. I believe it was a quicker taper (my memory is just so hazy). Went from 10mg to 5mg for a bit, then just managed to stop. Same with klonopin, started to take only .25mg and then just stopped when I ran out. The withdrawal was real, and I wish I tapered more carefully, but I was just in such a rush to get off the meds. Went through a strong depression for 1-2 weeks after stopping, but tried to eat a lot healthier and exercise (weightlifting, walking). Both of those helped and I eventually got out of the depression funk, though I still experienced anxiety (even it wasn't fully calmed during all the medication). Fast forward to about a few weeks ago, I was driving back home from my apartment by my school and had a panic attack on my drive back, which freaked me out. Was on edge for a bit, constant fear of driving alone. Called my psychiatrist to see if I should go back on medication which, to no surprise, he said yes and prescribed 10mg Lexapro and 0.5mg klonopin (I tried to only take 0.25mg even when necessary) which I began on 8/11. The first few days were fine, but on the fourth day I had some severe anxiety and stomach problems (a frequent theme throughout my anxiety/panic attacks). Anyways, went for a walk, came home and ate some lunch, but a few minutes after I threw it all up. Body felt like it was on fire and I had an intrusive suicidal thought that just freaked me tf out. Luckily, I'm here with my family so I went to the ER because it felt like the worst panic attack ever. ER trip wasn't really fruitful, high BP (148/89 or something close to that), they took blood and urine but didn't do any tests. Next few days were horrendous, same high anxiety symptoms/panic attacks/stomach problems and I started to develop depression. I called my psych asking if I could stop taking the meds, he advised me to just split my dose. I thought that would cure everything, but could not be more wrong. Next two days were extremely brutal, same problems of debilitating anxiety/depression/stomach issues. Wanted to split my dose again into 2.5mg thinking that would do the trick, but woke up the next morning with extreme stomach pain and was back in the ER again. Took the klonopin (0.25mg) in the morning and later when I got home. Thankfully, some actually tests were run (urine/blood) and everything came back fine. Called my psych to see if I could stop and he said yes. Rest of the day I felt extraordinarily depressed, called my psych again to see if I should check myself into a psych ward as I was having intrusive suicidal thoughts. He advised I take my actual dose of klonopin of 0.5mg to see if that would help. It did a bit, the depression went away after I napped, but was still extremely jittery. Called my psych again to see if there was anything else I should try, he prescribed my seroquel which I picked up and absolutely refused to take. These past 6 days of the lexapro have been...not fun. Anxiety high, depression (a very physical one, feeling it throughout my whole body), intrusive/obsessive thoughts, and terrible GI condition. Each day I've really wanted to reach for the klonopin, but I fought it off, knowing it would be worse in the long run. Finally went to see a naturopath today. She was great, but I'm not sure of the supplements she gave me. One is "GI Revive" which contains a bunch of different herbs (I feel this might be too much for my system to handle, and I felt odd after taking it earlier, though less anxious, perhaps due to the chamomille in the mix) as well as glycine (powder, take ever morning). She also gave me magnesium glycinate if the glycine didn't help after two weeks. Based on what I'm reading here I think it might just be better to go straight for the magnesium and ask her for just gluminate for the GI problems. Hoping these will at least help during this process. I was just really freaked out over all this, as I had no previous adverse reactions to lexapro and for my system to react this way after only 10 days just reallllly has me freaked. But reading stuff here has been extremely helpful as I'm seeing these adverse reactions can happen. My psych was also perplexed calling it "odd." Anyways, my main symptoms seem to be High Anxiety Hyperarousal/Hypersensitivity Depression No motivation Intrusive thoughts Obsessing over my future (I had to take a term withdrawal this semester, which I'm fine about), but just constantly ruminating over "will this happen again in future?" "will I ever be able to function again?" "will these feelings last forever?") Catastrophizing (which I've always done, even before my first 'official' panic attack) Intense GI problems (I think the Lexapro exacerbated these, as I've been dealing with some problems here for the past month or so) I've definitely been trying to cope with all this. Like I said, it was and is such a weird and quite debilitating. My main coping mechanisms have been prayer, walking, distracting myself on the Internet (kind of good, kind of bad) and reading a bit. I've always tried to adjust my diet to maximize mineral/vitamin content from food. I've always begun psychotherapy with my psychiatrist, but am contemplating looking for a Catholic therapist to help with the spiritual dimension of this (I'm Catholic). Unfortunately I am a smoker (pack/day), but I am working to taper off that as well, as I know the stimulant exacerbates things. it's an awful coping mechanism. The past three days have been better, though I definitely have my ups and downs throughout the day. Any advice/encouragement you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated. Again, I'm really glad I found this forum and disappointed I didn't see it years ago when I was first going through the stuff and I know me not consistently taking the doses at times was not the smartest. Nevertheless, ruminating on my past mistakes isn't the most beneficial, so I'm trying my best to look towards the future. I don't expect it to be easy, but just trying to take it one day at a time. I've probably missed some aspects of my history/symptoms/etc., but this post has been quite long so my apologies! Thankfully, I'm with family, and they have been so accepting/understanding. I appreciate all that ya'll do here, and will definitely recommend it any friends who think about taking these meds. -angelicus
  6. Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25+ Years of Use One-year post taper “success story” – http://survivingantidepressants.org Elbee (male) - August 27, 2020 At the time of this success story post, I have passed the one-year mark (15+ months) living drug-free. I am speaking to you from “the other side” of hell to let you know I made it through the nightmare of psychiatric drug withdrawal -- and so can you. I want to start by saying that everyone’s withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is going to differ – no two paths are the same. While there will be commonalities in what we each experience, there will also be differences. I also believe that none of us are uniquely or irreparably “broken,” and that each of us can find a path to living much fuller, healthier lives in greater freedom. To be clear, I had doubts throughout this process . . . believing that somehow, I was MORE “broken,” and that I wouldn’t find my way out of the darkness. But the natural, innate healing power we each possess is profoundly AWESOME, and it quietly, patiently works in the background in each of our lives. . . even if we can’t see it, and even if we don’t trust it. For me, the psychiatric drug withdrawal / tapering process turned out to be an invitation to learn how to live my life differently. It became clear to me in this journey that I could never go back to some idealized place I vaguely imagined myself clinging to . . . I could only move forward to somewhere I had not yet been. I need to be honest: It is still hard to revisit and write about just how painful this drug withdrawal process was. Now that I’m feeling so much better, a part of me wants to forget the whole ordeal . . . as if looking in a rear-view mirror, driving ever-further away. And the reality is that this rear-view mirror perspective is very much real -- I’m SO grateful not to be suffocating in such intense pain anymore! But it is also true I will carry the scars of this experience with me for the rest of my life. It is clear to me now that some of me died through this drug withdrawal process. It is also true that the most precious parts of me came back to life. And I am still healing. I was very much disabled through the most intensive parts of the drug taper. I was on these psych drugs for panic attacks, anxiety, and depression my entire adult life, over 25 years. Additionally, I was drinking alcohol abusively, and relying on multiple pots of coffee and a pack of cigarettes to get me through each day. Even before I had decided to get off the meds, I was utterly exhausted most of the time, barely functional, and unconsciously stumbling through life like a zombie. I knew I had to fundamentally change how I was living. The first step in my detox efforts was to quit alcohol in April of 2014, 30 years after taking my first drink as a kid. Thankfully, I was able to release alcohol from my life relatively easily. Whatever boost alcohol had given me previously was gone, and it was clear to me as a 44 year old man that the devastating hangovers I experienced were getting more difficult. Then, over that following summer and under doctor supervision, I “tapered” entirely off both the Lorazepam and Zoloft that I had been taking for 24 years. I experienced tons of anxiety in the process, but I did it, and after the 4-month ordeal, I thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, about six weeks after taking my last dose of Zoloft, what I now know to be protracted withdrawal hit, and my life spun into a depth of hell that words cannot describe. Instead of re-instating the same drugs I had been taking, the doctors took me on an 8-month “trial-and-error” roller coaster ride of psychiatric drug experimentation. I finally ended up on higher doses of the drugs I had originally quit, plus Remeron added in for good measure. Through all of this, I landed in a very bad place – exhausted, functionally disabled, unable to work, and unsure what to do next. I had some savings in the bank I could live on for a few years, so I decided to “hole up” to do a new taper, following the much slower tapering protocol of the SurvivingAntidepressants.org website. But my savings were limited, so I used the 10% reduction protocol as a baseline, and pushed the taper as fast as I could without killing myself in the process. I’m not sure I would suggest this approach to anyone else, but in my situation, that’s what I did. Note: I’m going to refrain from listing out all the symptomatic horrors I experienced (there were many) as I write this success story. Here is the link, if you’re interested, to my introductory thread which details my four-year psychiatric drug withdrawal process: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/11862-%E2%98%BC-elbee-25-years-of-meds/ And I want to take a moment here to say how incredibly grateful I am to @Altostrata, @Shep @brassmonkey, @bubble, @apace41, @Gridley, @Rhiannon (her writings), @JanCarol, @KarenB, @ChessieCat, @Petunia, @scallywag and all the folks at SurvivingAntidepressants.org who helped save my life. I also came across Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic around the same time I found this site, and from these resources, I knew I had stumbled into truth. It became clear to me that so much of what the mainstream medical establishment had told me about these drugs, and about my so-called “chemical imbalance,” was false -- I had been lied to. SurvivingAntidepressants.org helped me anchor into this truth and set me on a new course. THANK YOU! With these new resources, I came to understand that getting off the drugs wasn’t just a simple matter of refraining from ingesting chemicals, or even about waiting for those chemicals to dissipate out of my body. I learned that my brain had restructured itself around the presence of the drugs all these years and that by removing the drugs, my brain would have to, very slowly, restructure itself again to a healthy state. The metaphor of a plant (my brain) growing on a trellis (the drugs) for support is so profound to me. How can I expect to abruptly rip out the trellis and think that it won’t damage the plant in devastating ways? This metaphor was such a clear illustration to me of how a neuroplastic human brain builds tolerance, and how we can so easily become entangled in the physiological mechanisms of addiction. And to be very clear, our brains develop tolerance to psychiatric drugs just like they do street drugs, and the mechanics of addiction and withdrawal in each are the same. Gaining this knowledge and allowing it to sink in was probably one of the most important early milestones in my healing process. In preparing for writing this success story, I re-read my entire introductory thread. Several pivotal posts stood out to me as other milestones in my healing process, and while this testimonial might go long, I think it could be useful to touch on some of them . . . In my very first post, I am already talking about the value of meditation. Sitting with myself quietly and focusing on my breath helped me slow down my mind and learn to relax. As I continued with the practice, though, I began experiencing periods of discomfort. I had initially taken the psychiatric drugs to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings, and as I practiced meditating space was again created for those feelings to arise. Learning to slowly sit with and tolerate whatever thoughts and feelings arose began to nullify my need to run away, and therefore, lesson my urge to drug the discomfort. Meditation became a cornerstone of my self-care practice, and self-care is what I ultimately found to replace the drugs. Next milestone -- about a year later, I wrote an entry about a decision I was struggling with on whether to consult with a renowned psychiatrist. A relative was able to get me an appointment for a psychiatric medication evaluation from a “leader in the field” (at the bargain price of $2,000). Looking back, it was then I decided I no longer believed in the efficacy of psychiatric drugs, nor the system that deals in them. I wrote: Next, in the summer of 2016, still early in my tapering and recovery process, I went on a 111-day, 9,000-mile solo road trip across the U.S. In retrospect, I was probably looking for something “out there” that was missing “in here.” I did a four-day vision fast in the wilderness, hiked a 14,000-foot mountain, roamed Death Valley, did a week-long silent meditation retreat, camped under redwoods, hiked numerous National Parks, etc. Was it really a good idea to take this pilgrimage in such a compromised state? I can’t say for sure, but it’s what I did, and I think it cracked through defenses that needed to open. In the Hoh Forest of Olympic National Park in Washington state, I experienced a release of emotions like I had never felt before. It was in that moment I finally realized that releasing stored emotional blockages could ease my anxiety: Another milestone: Upon returning home to Florida later that fall, I dove more deeply into my involvement with the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) 12-Step program. In conjunction with doing EMDR with a skilled, compassionate trauma therapist, ACA helped me crack through layers of protective childhood denial that I had carried into adulthood. Some people advise NOT deliberately digging into the unconscious too much while going through psychiatric drug withdrawal, but my path has been that of heavy digging. I accepted living in a disabled state for a period of time and felt that if I was going to get off these drugs, I needed to address what drove me to take them in the first place. By early summer of 2017, my commitment to this recovery approach had strengthened. Along with addressing the trauma associated with childhood family dysfunction, I opened another door . . . into the shame and terror I experienced hiding as a closeted young gay boy and gay teen. I had initially come out 25 years earlier at age 20 (the same time I started taking the psych drugs), but that was only part of my truth I was hiding. The secrets of my sexual orientation were built upon the secrets of having grown up in family dysfunction: Homophobia turned out to be compounding trauma, and I had been living in a closet within a closet. I had more inner work to do. Perhaps one of my most significant milestones was realizing how important it was for me to take the lead in my healing, and how easily I had deferred to the “expertise of authorities” in my life. By June of 2017, I had navigated my way off the benzos completely, and I recognized the importance of building an internal sense of trust – connecting with my more authentic self to discover a new inner compass. Despite appearing outwardly confident most of my life, inner trust was something I lacked. By allowing myself to fully feel, I had opened to recognizing my own authentic needs, to directly and respectfully communicating my needs, and to setting healthy limits and boundaries. By learning these important skills that I had missed earlier in life, I discovered greater internal trust with myself, and greater discernment in trusting others. By January of 2018, I had another important insight: I more fully recognized I was going through an internal chemical withdrawal process in addition to detoxing from the drugs I was ingesting. Behavioral (or process) compulsions and addictions all have physiological and neurological correlates, and I had been heavily “dosing” throughout my life using my own “internal drug store.” This realization profoundly shifted my perspective on my psychiatric drug withdrawal process, seeing it in a more comprehensive context. A lot of my recovery has involved working with an “inner critic” that had been driving me most of my life, born and sustained from a lack of unconditional love. Ironically, this harshness was so pervasive that I had never consciously known it was there. My inner critic constantly pushed me into the extremes of all-nothing thinking. Again, meditative practices more than anything helped me identify this was going on, and ACA reparenting (inner child work) has allowed me to soften it. By the end of 2018, I started discovering something that had evaded me my whole life – moderation, and a general sense of “OK-ness.” By April 2019, I had found a new pace in life to accompany my new inner compass, and I was nearing the full completion of my psychiatric drug taper. I was one-year benzo-free at this point, and at times, I was overwhelmed with heights of new sensations and emotions. I was feeling things I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager because I had been drugged my entire adult life. It was overpowering in many ways, but I was so grateful to be “awakening” to a much more fully human life. On April 28, 2019, I was finally free from Zoloft, and my psychiatric drug taper was complete. I had found a way out of the darkness, and I had survived. I couldn’t remember having ever felt so alive. So, while this isn’t my entire recovery story, I’m fulfilling my promise to report back and share my continuing journey with others. Where do things stand today, 15 months after taking a psychiatric drug for the last time ever? No need to panic. I’m not experiencing depersonalization, derealization (DP/DR), or panic attacks in frightening ways. I do still feel what I might call different states of consciousness, but often there is a positive, expansive quality to these experiences. Perhaps some might call this bliss? I haven’t really found ways to talk about it yet clearly, but I don’t experience panic attacks in the ways I used to. I still have fears of them returning, but less so with time. I also get “eerie” feelings now and again, but I have found ways to work with that when it happens, and it doesn’t usually last long. Scariest weirdness has ceased. Most of the “unexplainable” adverse reactions I experienced don’t happen anymore. I would get terrible flu-like symptoms for days at a time . . . hot flashes and chills, body aches, cramps, twitches, headaches, fogginess and disorientation, exhaustion, etc. Sometimes my heart would start racing for no apparent reason, or I would have trouble breathing. I had chronic digestion issues. I had intense agoraphobia, even paranoia at times. I had problems making the simplest decisions. All of this, for the most part, has subsided. Consistent rest. My sleep has changed dramatically, and I’m so grateful. I have struggled with sleep my entire life . . . unable to fall asleep at night and feeling anxious and “hungover” with crippling anxiety each morning. For as long as I can remember, I wanted nothing more than to sleep “normally” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and wake-up feeling well-rested. Today, more times than not, my sleep resembles very much what I used to wish for. I wrote an entry summarizing what I’ve done to address my sleep issues here. Keep gently working with triggers. I still have intense anxiety at times and find myself in hypervigilant states. I’ve come to understand this as a trauma response, and I can usually identify what has triggered me and/or how my inner critic has become activated. I’ve developed self-care routines that help to reduce these reactions, and that help me come out of this state much more quickly and easily. Some old wounds have healed permanently – some things that used to trigger me no longer do. AND I want to emphasize there are days now, thankfully, I live virtually anxiety-free. Self-care (reparenting) is my new drug. I had SO much resistance to doing self-care my whole life (for many reasons I won’t get into here). And by self-care, I don’t mean treating myself to a spa day (though that probably doesn’t hurt). I mean the day-in and day-out routines of physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually tending to myself like I’m the most precious being in the world. Self-care is what got me to where I am today, and it will be the practice of my lifetime. Don’t overdo it. As my life continues to get fuller, I can easily start “checking-out” again. If I stay dissociated for too long, I will pay for it. If I overcommit while on autopilot, I will have adverse reactions when I reconnect with myself. If I try to shortcut too much on the self-care, I will most definitely feel it, and I will struggle. Moving forward, I have to be very careful not to take on too much too quickly, and simply take next best steps. The worst is over. I’ve come to accept that I will never know how much of the excruciating symptoms I experienced these past years were due directly to the psychiatric drug withdrawal, versus how much was due to all the “inner work” I was doing. What I can say is that the symptoms from folks going through psychiatric drug withdrawal and folks doing inner transformative (trauma) work tend to be very much the same. It’s uncanny really, and I can’t explain it. But these two processes seem to very much mirror each other. What I can say is that while there will still be “windows and waves” as my brain keeps healing, and while I still have more “inner work” to do, I’m confident the heaviest lifting for me is done now. Perhaps most indicative of the healing I’ve experienced, I’m feeling well enough now that I’m back in school earning a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) – I’m going to become a therapist. While I’m a bit uneasy stepping towards healthcare systems that betrayed me so deeply, I also feel this is how I can be of most benefit. I’ve come to fully believe that my wounds are intrinsically linked to my gifts, and as I continue to heal my wounds, my gifts will become increasingly available. I’ve been doing volunteer work for some time now, which has helped me to “move back out into the world,” and I hope to transition into paid work soon. I’ve been meeting with people in support capacities, and I envision “coaching” people at some point until I more formally earn my credentials. I plan to be very open about my history with psychiatric drugs, as well as my recovery process. I journaled extensively all throughout my recovery process, and perhaps I will share the “long version” of my story in the future (yes, this is the short version). For now, writing this success story is an important next step in my “coming out.” Thank you for witnessing my healing. Elbee-Success-Story_Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25 years on them.pdf
  7. angielynn78ii Over the last 10 years I’ve been on antidepressants. At different stages I was on Pristiq, Celexa, Cymbalta, Viibryd and Prozac. I was also on Lamictal and Klonopin. I am proud to say that I am currently free of all prescription medications. I took my last dose of Prozac 27 days ago. I’m surviving but I look forward to thriving. I could say so much and really want to share more but currently I just don’t have the energy or clarity. I will write again when able.
  8. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Ichabod: Could somebody help? Benzo problems Hello guys, I am new here. I do apologise in advance for my English (I am italian). I would prefer not to bother you with my personal experience as it is probably similar to many others you got across, but I d need some encouragement because I am alone in this struggle. Briefly... I went on Paroxetine ten years ago for panic attacks. It helped but the side effects were brutal. I tried many times to quit it but I experienced all the withdrawal symptoms that my doctor confused with relapse and that scared me to hell and he always put me back on it. Two years ago I met a girl I felt in love with and I decided to quit it once for all, no matter what (primarily because of the sexual side effects). I asked my doctor to help me and he said to come off of it in a month (like I did the other times). I tried it again but what I felt was overwhelming. So I decided to do it by myself tapering slowly using a liquid form. It took me 7 months of pain but I really didn't know what to do and I couldn't find anybody to help while my doctor continued saying to go back on it. I felt really debilitated but after I finished tapering I noticed I was still in prolonged withdrawal. That was a shock because I was always reassured that once the drug was out of my body I would have been ok. I took my last dose on july 2019. I kept using klonopin as prescribed but I noticed I was really sick. Finally, in january, after a lot of research I found Professor Giovanni Fava who told me that I was in post acute withdrawal syndrome. It was a sort of relief being validated finally but also terrifying. I started researching and what I found out was shocking...people in withdrawal for years, pssd... it was to much. I started thinking about suicide. I was in a really bad place. Giovanni Fava's plan is to help me get rid of all this addiction so he put me on 5mg of amitriptyline in order to stabilize the situation a little bit while tapering klonopin. Then he will take me off amitriptyline . I am writing you in order to ask some encouragement and reassurance because I am completely alone (I have no family) and I don't know how long my girlfriend will stay by my side (she is getting tired of seeing me sick and she would like to plan a future. I don't blame her... plus, sex is pretty bad. I had moments when it was great followed by long periods of time when it was non existent. I don't function like I did and I really don't know if this is pssd or still withdrawal and if I will ever get back to normal). I feel betrayed by the modern medicine... if I knew what could have happened I would have never took Paxil in the first place. I came across this website and decided to write you in order to find some tips on how to go on in life and to ask you if it will ever get better. For sure I developed now sone sort of ptsd. Sorry I bothered and thank you in advance.
  9. Questions: I have been withdrawing from Sertraline for 9 weeks. Doctor put me on two sleeping aids in between to help with insomnia and had Serotonin Syndrome again (trazodone and mirtzopan). Did this put me back at square one with withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline? 9 weeks ago my body began rejecting Sertraline after I was tapering (bad tapering for a year). I developed Serotonin Syndrome and was told to stop the medicine cold turkey. I have been on Sertraline for 7 years transitioning from Cymbalta right before that b/c of pregnancies. Was on it for 5 years) After 3 weeks I had to find relief b/c of the horrible side effects and dark thoughts. I was put on Buspar (just six weeks ago). I read that Buspar doesn't help with withdrawal which was disappointing. But in between the cold turkey of Sertaline (9 weeks ago) my doctor has put me on two serotonin sleep aids because of the horrible insomnia (which I've never suffered with as an adult). I had Serotonin Syndrome again both times. I"m so much better than i was that first month. Dizziness is mostly gone, my appetite is back, I'm laughing again, enjoying activities, but still struggling. BUT my insomnia is still horrible. I took a few days off of .5 klonopin to try over the counter sleep aids. Worked for a few days and then wore off. So my pharmacist put me on both the over counter sleep aids to take with my low dosage of Klonopin (taking .25 or less at night) so that I can eventually wean off of the klonopin. Some nights bendryl has been enough. Other nights, not at all. I"m so discouraged b/c I want to stop the klonopin. This is really the thing that is making me the most depressed. This is when my neuropsychologist put me on mirtzopane and trazadone. Both caused the serotonin syndrome. My question is this. 2 weeks ago was when I took my last dose of trazadone (which i had the adverse affect) does this mean I'm at square one again with my withdrawal symptoms? I"m definitely feeling better but i have to admit. These have been the hardest 9 weeks of my life! I know I will get better but this is hard. Any help and encouraging words would be great. My withdrawal symptoms are now at the moderate stage from the sheets people have posted on here. Thanks and light and love to you all!
  10. I have had an account here for a long time. I do not believe I ever did an introduction. I was just speaking with someone who recommended I come here. I am suffering in so many ways and I feel so alone. I am becoming more hopeless every day and am afraid I am going to end up in a hospital. I have little time to even write now because there is way too much going on in my life. I need help. There is no where to go for help. 1- I was started on high doses of xanax in 1997 and continued until they switched me to 4mg klonopin in 2013 during a hospitalization. CT off xanax for a few days which I thought I was going to die. Then Klonopin, which has wreaked havoc in my life and mind and body. 2- Besides these two benzos, doctors have tried their "cocktails" on me. I do not remember every drugs, but these I remember: First, the xanax and the klonopin. Plus they have pulled me off, put me on, rearranged etc over and over the following drugs: remeron, cymbalta, zyprexa, celexa, serzone, brintellix (I think they renamed trintellix), lexapro, effexor, prozac, trazadone, abilify, wellbutrin, ritalin, seroquel, latuda, pristiq, melatonin, ambien, paxil, zoloft, vistaril, vyvanse, lamictal, cogentin, rexulti, and more. I cannot remember all. Life is a blur for these past almost 25 years of polydrugging. Now I am on here for my son as well - we both need help 3- Recent trauma: 2014 youngest son starts becoming delusional and episodes of psychosis. 2015: my father is euthanized in front of me and my family because of other family member's decisions for him - even though he was not dying, was completely alert and had his mind. He was not in hospice. It is a long story and traumatic. 2015: son's psychosis getting worse with son and he moves to another state to live with his brother. 1-4-2016: my son (youngest of four) parked a car and sliced his throat open with a knife- cutting through his trachea. Somehow lived. Got out of car, ran up 7 flights of a construction zone to jump. Construction workers stop him. I get call from hospital and fly to that state the next day. Son had to have 4 hour surgery to put his throat back together. He was in medical for 40 days with trach and feeding tubes. Then in psych. Then they sent him home with me. The rest of 2016 was complete chaos of hospitalizations for him - did not realize it was the drugs they were forcing on him. I was stupid. They messed him up so badly - 30 days of overdrugging in a "stabilization" unit. (he was the MOST unstable here!) Upon D/C, they discontinued his meds and gave him an injection of Abilify Maintena. Severe reaction to this. No sleep, severe akathathsia, pacing the floors night and day, hardly eating -- exactly 2 weeks later - he was arrested. In jail 14 months where they tried multiple drugs on him. Finally putting him on Clozapine and Effexor. Then he was court ordered to a residential treatment center. The doctor there increased the Clozapine from 300mg to 500mg. 225mg effexor. He was getting through the court ordered program for 10 months. Then they ran out of his Clozapine. I really do not know all details because I have learned how corrupt they are. He was forced hospitalized. Day 1: forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, Geodon X1. While he was suffering withdraws from the abrupt CT cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and now the cessation of 225mg of Effexor - both forced upon him by the "professionals". Day 2: Forced injection of Haldol and ativan. I informed the hospital that he cannot tolerate haldol. But they continued to drug him up. Day three: Forced injections of Haldol X 3 and ativan X 3 and then they started giving him Benztropine. By the time I saw my son at visitation, he was almost dead and it was a gruesome sight. I will not give details but I know I suffer post traumatic stress from it all -- I had to argue with nurse to get help for him. He finally was rushed to CV-ICU. He had DX of respiratory failure, acute kidney failure with rhabdomylosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws. The ICU doctor noted that they had to work on my son for 48 minutes to "stop vital organ system failure and stop further life-threatening deterioration of patient's condition". After ICU, it was awful - he was soon thrown back into psych. All visitation and phone rights denied him. He was kept in restraints, completely naked, hours on end. Med techs would hold him on the floor while other techs kicked and beat him in the head. They continued to forcibly drug him with thorazine, restoril, ativan, even adding depakote and eventually starting the clozapine again. I had to fight for him for three months. He still has health problems today. I am his caretaker but I need help. He currently is taking: 500mg Clozapine, 150mg effexor. 4- Me- I cannot even remember when I started to taper my meds. Everything is a blur. I started realizing how bad they are for me. Knew very little. I cut the lexapro dose in half - I think this was early 2017. And I cut the klonopin dose by 1/4. Still, since then, a few different meds were started but I would stop them CT. Then I started learning more. I read parts of the Ashton Manual. I have been on FB groups. I have actually received a lot of harsh treatment from some people in the FB groups, so I rarely go on any of those groups anymore. I have a scale now. I shave off my klonopin. I tried lowering the lexapro but ended up going back up to 10mg and holding. Want to get off klonopin. But I am not doing well at all. I am exhausted. cannot write anymore. I have waited years to even get this put in here. I hope it makes sense. I have tried liquid titration with klonopin - disaster for me. I hardly have time to even care for myself - son is urgent. I am just barely functioning. So that's that. Not how I would have liked to write it. but mind is jumbled I think. I feel misunderstood. Hope I am not misunderstood here. I feel very much alone. NIghtmares- terrible. depression like I have never experienced. extreme fatigue, but high demands on me. I have to function. No one cares or understands about my son or about me. My son needs to taper but I think he needs to wait until off probation - maybe April or May this year. Everything I read and see about Clozapine and the horrible labels they have assigned to him - it seems hopeless. I feel hopeless of ever getting off klonopin and lexapro. This is no way to live. I am making no sense. Not even painting the right picture...for people to understand. How does anyone successfully get off these drugs and get out of the control of the system? We live in FL and they are "Baker Act" crazy here. Baker Act is forced hospitalization. They even have police come handcuff and take children right out of schools to a psych facility. It is only getting worse. I do not know what to do. I want to be free of these drugs. Also, my son wants to be free of the drugs. We both want to be free from the control of this holocaust type system call psychiatry. I know a moderator has to approve. Maybe this was not written correctly. Just let me know what I did wrong. This took a lot of effort. Even reading takes a lot of effort and I even forget. So maybe i am not supposed to put all this in here. Just let me know.
  11. Where do I go from here? The first week of Nov. I tried to CT .5mg of k. I think I was off 4 days and then reinstated once the withdrawals hit me. I thought I would be able to stabilize so suffered for a month with intense anxiety and nausea with no relief. I thought for sure the V would save me so I crossed over to 10mg the first week of Dec. Unfortunately I was one of the rare, unlucky ones and couldn’t handle it. It caused horrific depression. After giving it 2 weeks I went back on .5mg k. Since then I’ve just been trying to make it day by day. Although the depression lifted a little bit I still cry everyday and the anxiety/nausea has slowly crept back in. I don’t know how or when I’ll be able to start my taper. I’m so scared. Prior to CT off benzo- I gave up my life in Arizona and moved home to live with my parents in Michigan this past Oct. I was on 6 psychiatric medications for depression. I CT the mirtazapine and Abilify I was on and felt amazing until I tried the same thing with the benzo. I also went down to 200mg from 300mg Zoloft and went down from 60mg Adderall to 10mg. I had to increase my dosage of Trazodone from 100 to 200mg. I’m 36 yo, divorced, no friends, no job. I don’t want to live with my parents forever. I don’t know how I am ever going to rebuild a life for myself.
  12. Hello, I have been successfully tapering klonopin since May 2019. I am still on 2 antidepressants and feel awful in the mornings. Nortriptyline and Trazodone. My sleep isn't great and feeling so bad, like I am drugged is making it worse. I want to start tapering Trazodone by cutting 5% ever 2 weeks. Has anyone ever tapered 2 drugs at once. I feel if I wait til I am off the benzo, that's a long time away to start tapering another med. Feel this bad in the morning with 3 kids is killer. Not sleeping at all is worse but I think these meds aren't helping my problem. I have read up where some drugs are like brakes and others are like gas pedals. I think all my drugs are brakes ??? Should I hold my klonopin taper for a few weeks and taper the trazodone?
  13. GregaHelp

    GregaHelp

    Im getting help from a friend to write this, that lives far away, because I function very little. Mind working very poorly. Hello ! I have unbearable pain thru body and burning all over . Can't move much, legs kill me. Not self caring. I believe akathasia . I been on and off meds this year . I can't go on anymore like this . I have self harm and wanna not live. Mind working very poorly. Here is a rough med history, may have some inaccuracies, its hard to tell: 2019 January: Started Lexapro 5 mg to 10 for one month. then stopped 2019 February to middle of Mai maybe: Celexa 20mg, then 10mg, then 5mg, then stopped 2019 from July for 5 weeks: Zolof, 25 to 50mg, then stopped 2019 January until maybe late November: Klonopin 0.5mg, as needed. Then stopped. 2019 since maybe late November: On nothing. Now I can barely move, in unbearable pain daily through my body and feeling of burning all over. In crisis. It's unbearable. My head is not working right. Having impulsive ideas. Dont want to live. My family wants me back on some meds. May not have resources or ability to take very low doses with a scale. In very bad shape and not much support. Mind working very poorly.
  14. Hello! Just discovered this forum recently. It has been an eye opener in how to get off psychiatric medications. Wish I knew about this in the beginning! I have been struggling with anxiety since I was young. Anxiety use to be nothing to me and as an anxious person, it kept me focused and in the moment. I always exercise and try to eat healthy. Im 35 years old. In the last few years, my anxiety has become different. I can say it also has been a stressful last few years with life changes and feeling more weight on my shoulder. One time during late 2016, I experienced what may have been an anxiety or panic attack (sweating, heart racing, racing thoughts, feeling impending doom, etc), then just feeling unusual and uncomfortable being in different places, waking up suddenly gasping for air with my heart racing, and head pressures everyday. I went to a doctor and everything was normal. She said to try zoloft. Im not someone that likes taking medication everyday. So I rejected her offer to try zoloft. Afterwards, I saw a psychiatrist and from what I told her, she diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. She wanted me on Klonopin and Lexapro. I also did not go through with the med recommendations. I thought with time and just keeping busy, these symptoms would go away. With time, I was sorta getting better. But I was still dealing with daily head pressures, waking up gasping for air, heart racing at night and being in places where there is alot of movement going on (big crowds). In 2018, I went to see a neurologist for the head pressures and anxiety. She prescribed me Elavil for two months. I thought that Elavil was not like the other medication types that were mentioned a year ago by my doctor and other psychiatrist. So I went ahead and tried Elavil at 10 mg everyday for two months. During those two months, I felt relief from daily head pressures but still was dealing with gasping for air at night and heart racing at times. My neurologist said its ok to stop Elavil after two months so I stopped it. I dont think I felt any withdrawals or any different after stopping Elavil. However, it wasnt until after about 3 months I stopped that things went totally off. It started with sleep. One night, i couldnt fall asleep and didnt have that strong feeling of tiredness or deep sleep that I usually do. My anxiety was heightened because of the fear of not sleeping and not having that feeling of deep sleep. However, I did have nights afterwards where I could sleep but only a few hours but I wasnt able to do a full 8 hrs. So I guess I had fragmented sleep following that night. I believe my anxiety went to another level. Watching tv felt strange, I had ringing in my ears, and my heart would race when I was driving at times on the road. After work one time, I became desperate for sleeping normal again that i saw a different psychiatrist. He diagnosed me as bipolar and put me on zyprexa (5 mg) and klonopin (0.50mg) to begin with. I told him I wasnt bipolar and just had anxiety issues. Anyways, I went ahead and took the zyprexa and was able to get alot of sleep on it. After a month on zyprexa, I tried stopping it abruptly. Bad choice. I could sleep for days and my anxiety got so bad. I ended up back on zyprexa and taking klonopin daily. In the start of 2019, I switched psychiatrists and went to another one thinking I can get off the meds and be back to my normal self. This new psychiatrist diagnosed me with GAD and panic disorder. She said I was on the wrong meds and to try a third med lexapro on top of the other two meds zyprexa and klonopin. I did lexapro for a week starting at 5 mg but had a manic episode on it so I stopped it after a week. Afterwards, she said to try zoloft. I did zoloft at 25 mg for a week but didnt feel comfortable being on a third med so I stopped it. For months, I was stuck on zyprexa (5 mg) and klonopin (0.25 mg). Everyday just felt like torture at work. I was able to function but I still felt uncomfortable being in different places. However, I did notice that during the months of 2019, I didnt have head pressures and rarely woke up gasping for air. I did at times have my heart racing. I must say that I was able to nap sometimes during the day being on these two meds and felt a sense of sleepiness at times. In August, I switched psychiatrists again. I saw a third psychiatrist based on online reviews and word of mouth. When I told him what I was going through, he said I had GAD and panic disorder. He wanted me to switched from zyprexa to seroquel since it had chemicals that would be better for me. So I went from 25 mg to 50 mg of seroquel and 5 to 2.5 mg of zyprexa in a month span. He said to go off of the 2.5 mg zyprexa but I told him I wanted to taper more. I was afraid that I would experience what I had from the time I ct’d zyprexa the first time. When I went down on zyprexa starting in August, I didnt notice much difference in how I felt. I went down further to 1.25 mg and now around 0.625 mg. So basically, I held each dose for a few weeks. Having discovered this group recently and now the 10 percent rule, I feel scared as to my taper off zyprexa. Right now, Im on Seroquel (75 mg), Zyprexa (0.625 mg and tapering very slowly), and Klonopin (0.25 mg). I feel bad now that I did 50% reductions in the beginning for zyprexa and didnt start the 10% rule until I got lower. I went by how I was feeling going down and didnt really experience any difference going down on zyprexa from August to this month. I still cannot sleep without medication which has now been seroquel. Id love to know your input about this situation and if what Im doing is ok so far. Also, what may have messed up my sleep to begin with if it was because of my anxiety or maybe stopping the Elavil to begin with may have contributed to sleep problems. Medication history: April 15 2018 to June 15 2018: Amitriptyline (10 mg) stopped after 2 months. Not sure about withdrawals. October 2018: Olanzapine (5 mg) November 2018: Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.50 mg) December 2018: Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) January 2019: Lexapro (5 mg) stopped after 1 week. No sign of withdrawals. zoloft (25 mg) stopped after 1 week. No sign of withdrawals. Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) February 2019 to July 2019: Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) August 2019: Seroquel (25 mg to 50 mg) Olanzapine (2.5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) September 2019: Seroquel (50 to 75 mg) Olanzapine (1.25 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) October 2019 to December 2019: Seroquel (75 mg) Olanzapine (0.625 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg)
  15. Hi all, I am Katt, And I am weaning off of Effexor first and then will try to get off of Clonopin. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’m 59 and first started antidepressants when I was in my mid 20s. I’ve been on and off a large variety of medications, all of which either eventually stopped working or caused too many side effects. Wellbutrin caused terrible insomnia for way too long. I have tried Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac and a few others I can’t remember. I decided to wean off of Effexor after I completed the series of trans cranial magnetic stimulation which has seemed to help a lot. Now I want to get off of the anti-depressant and be sure That I am cured of my depression, or at least greatly improved. The Clonopin I take, 1 mg a day, is for help with sleep… It turns off that voice inside my head that wants to make a grocery list or remember to bring something with me when I go someplace. In other words, **** I don’t need to be thinking about at 3 AM! I haven’t figured out how to put in a signature line yet, but this is the latest information. I started Effexor in 2014 or 15. I was taking 300 mg, 150 twice a day. I am weaning down 37.5 mg every three weeks. At first I was on a two week schedule, but since my husband has metastatic cancer, my teenage daughter had a first psychotic episode, my youngest suffered recurrence of severe anxiety, depression and school refusal and I lost my job... so my psychiatrist decided a three week interval might be best. In reading through the possible side effects of Effexor, which I had read when I first began taking the medication, I now realize that it has probably been the cause of many adverse physical effects I have been blaming on other things! Below is a list, or at least a partial list, of side effects I believe are caused by the Effexor! Many things are new and, of conditions I had previous to Effexor, worsening of symptoms: Type two diabetes High cholesterol Elevated liver enzymes Elevated iron levels Gallstones Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Level two or three scarring of my liver Excessive sweating Hot flashes Night sweats Nausea Weakness Severe fatigue Very tight muscles in my neck Muscle spasms of my back, neck and legs Abnormal healing creating abnormal scars Clumsiness or loss of balance? Memory loss, confusion, working and thinking slowly? Tinnitus Heart palpitations Tachycardia Persistent edema, especially of the hands Worsening of rosacea and acne Worsening of urticaria Itchy skin Easy bruising Stiff muscles, decreased flexibility and range of motion everywhere Excessive bleeding of cuts Anorgasmia, improved a little Tingling and numbness in my feet, not from the diabetes Extreme worsening of back hip and neck pain Worse arthritis Some Urinary incontinence or hesitation Hair loss Worsened asthma Sleep apnea And a whole bunch of other things I had never heard of or made the connection to Effexor since they may not have started or worsened for a few months or years after starting taking the drug. Glad to be here and compare notes with others. The main side effect of withdrawal I am experiencing now is nausea. Luckily the brain zaps have not started and I hope they do not. I’m starting physical therapy for pain, weakness and mobility issues soon. I have a TENS unit for my back and hip pain, I hope to get a Home traction unit for my spine and a new SI belt for hip pain. Katt
  16. Hi Everyone, I’m looking for advice and support. Last February I began what I thought was a slow withdrawal from zoloft. I tapered from 150mg down to 25mg in the span of 6 months. I went to 25mg on July 1st and a little over a month later I started to notice profound feelings of helplessness/despair, monumental anxiety, increased panic attacks, and this overwhelming feeling that the ground was going to open up and swallow me. To complicate matters, I’d been taking xanax to “help” with the panic/anxiety—maybe .25 or .5mg every other day. As I can tapered the zoloft, I began to notice interdose withdrawal from the xanax. On 8/24/19, I cold-turkeyed off xanax, thinking it was doing more harm than good. After a couple weeks of Hell (becoming truly paranoid, not eating, waking up with lightning bolts through my head, nightmares, and just overall terror, I upped my zoloft to 50mg. Close to hospitalization, I called my psychiatrist and he said to go to 100mg of zoloft and start klonopin. 100mg of zoloft was too much, and so I went to 75mg, where I’ve been for the past 14 days. I am taking .25 to .5mg klonopin every morning. My question is this: How long does it take to get stable? Everyday I have intense fear/anxiety and I have developed agoraphobia. The abrupt xanax cessation brought back ptsd symptoms. I’m not working right now and very isolated. I want to begin tapering again as soon as possible because I feel like both these drugs are contributing to my intense fear/anxiety. Any suggestions/ideas are more than welcome. Thank you. (Oh, and I’ve been on zoloft for... 10 years and before that luvox, prozac for shorter stints. Also on xanax & klonopin as needed for 15 years but only recently was taking xanax frequently). Thank you so much.
  17. Hello- I am new here. I've been on psychiatric drugs for almost two decades now. I currently take Zoloft 300mg, Adderall 60mg, Abilify 15mg, Mirtazapine 45mg, Trazodone 100mg and Klonopin .5mg. I've only ever been diagnosed with depression which started in 2002. I don't have ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia or any other known disorder. After suffering for many years and wanting to get off these medications I am finally going to do it. I am wondering if anyone has used the tapering strips from Dr. Groot? I am highly sensitive to these medications and from the withdrawal effects I've had briefly in the past- they were excruciating. I currently reside in Arizona but will be moving home to Michigan to start the withdrawal process very soon. Thank you and God bless us all. If you'd like to learn more about my story and experience or if I can be of help to anyone please let me know.
  18. 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.
  19. hey, my new heroes... I am feeling afraid and lost. This started for me in February 2018 when my retired psychiatrist's replacement said that I had to come off the klonopin or I would end up with dementia like my mom. (I will be 60 in August). With no suggestions as to how to taper, I found myself on Dr. Goggle and cut 1/4. Horrible withdrawals while maintaining a stressful position at work. Adding to my stress was a new partner who had moved from another state to move in with me. We never had time to stabilize our situation before my taper began and mom was diagnosed with advanced dementia. I had a maddening search for a doctor to help me through this process and found an internist who upped the cymbalta to 90 mg and then later to 120 mg late summer after I tapered the klonopin to .25 mg and back down to 90 mg in the fall. (I had been on cymbalta 60 mg and .5 klonopin since 2006. I started out with 75mg effexor and the .5 mg klonopin but I had withdrawals from the effoxor after missing 4 days of meds when out of town. Psychiatrist started me on the 60 mg Cymbalta. I remember the transition being a smooth one). In an attempt to continue with my Klonopin taper and to deal with the debilitating withdrawlas from what I now were Cymbalta-related, a different psychiatrist (still searching for competency at this point) was trying to cross me over back to the effexor and off of cymbalta. BIG issues with this process. In February she dropped me to 60 Cymbalta and added 37.5 Effoxor. I did this for 2 weeks then dropped the Cymbalta to 40 mg and continued with the 37.5 mg effexor. I did this for 2 weeks but ended up in the ER with what I think was akastaisis. Was discharged with both a script for a beta blocker and an antihistamine. I finally was able, in my fear-induced panic, to take the antihistimine and sleep in the ER. To date, I have used neither. I've white-knuckled and CBTed my way through the last couple of months. I saw the psychiatrist in a few days after my ER visit and she dropped the cymbalta to 20 mg and stopped the effexor. I opted at this point to take my Family Medical Leave option and entered a 2-month long out patient CBT program which started on March 18th. During this time I was working with a psychiatrist for meds. The psychiatrist affiliated with the outpatient program was a young man whose name I recognized and it turned out that he had developed a name for himself as a benzo withdrawal expert (Mad In America continues to ask him to blog). The entire two months in the program I did nothing but cry and I had my first full blown panic attack in 20 years. Meds at this point were 20 mg Cymbalta and .25 mg klonopin. I was being told that I needed to make another klonopin cut so I chose the date of April 19th, Good Friday, as I thought that fitting for my need for symbolism and to make a spiritual connection. I started by cutting that little pill into pieces but have ended up using a compounding pharmacy and have been taking 7.5 ml (.1875 mg) daily. He kept telling me that I was on such a low dose of the klonopin that I could jump if I wished. We never discussed the issues related to what I think are cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. I told me that I could be med free soon and regaining my new life. The program ended on May 18th and I left with no med changes. Life got worse. I've had some good days but mostly they have been filled with crying and dread; a lack of meaning and a huge sense of loss. (I was having to make decisions about the future of my professional career which ends on July 24th. I've had no income now for 2 months and became eligible to apply for our agency's Disability plan on June 19th. I have applied and am waiting, hopeful, but waiting. My new relationship is suffering and I feel very misunderstood.) Within the past 2 weeks I finally found doctors in town that have successfully tapered others off of benzos and Antidepressants. Three different opinions on med changes but they all share the thought that I need to stabilize before finishing the benzo WD. Yet, I question the plan. I need your wisdom. SOOOOOOO, they all wanted to try new meds while finishing the cymbalta taper which wasn't even registering in my mind as a cause perhaps for my current state of being. One wanted Lamictal, one suggested Lexapro and another zoloft because I have family members living mostly stable lives on this drug. (multiple SSRIs from 1986 - 1998 were tried, nothing worked for me until we found the cocktail with klonopin). Diagnosed as GAD. The plan that was written up is this: Start .25 zoloft on 6/24/19 and take this for a week with the 7.5 ml klonopin and 20 mg Cymbalta. So far, I have been less anxious but the foggy head and fear are still fairly high. I hate this spacey feeling. I've spent a lot of time alone in my room, afraid and tired but not able to sleep. My night time sleep has been affected a bit since starting the zoloft. I have trouble getting to sleep.) tomorrow she wants me to start 50 mg zoloft and drop the cymbalta while maintaining the klonopin. OR, take the cymbalta every other day. She wants me to stay at 50 mg to see how I am doing. We will up it if needed. (I felt an almost immediate shift in attitude the first two days on the .25 Zoloft but this has since gone downhill. I am triggered by the thought of putting new meds into my body.) How long will it take me to get off of the cymbalta and is switching over to zoloft a good idea? I AM SO FREAKING AFRAID!!!!!! Please share your support and wisdom. HOPE, is there hope for me. The compounding pharmacy will fill cymbalta capsales but I need a plan as I fear that dropping another 20 mg is too much, too soon. How long can I take the cymbalta and zoloft together without SS? Looking forward to hearing back soon. Trying to make today a good day but I am feeling victimized and adrift. With much appreciation. fearbegone
  20. InChristAlone

    InChristAlone

    I was in Lexapro 10 and 20mg (mostly 10) for 15 years. I was put on it when I was 19 after going through a breakup with my high school girlfriend. Also , I have dealt with minor anxiety issues most of my life and have a family history of anxiety and depression. Everything was going ok until I herniated a disc in Jan 2018. What felt like a nervous breakdown ensued. My GP stopped Lexapro cold turkey and started me on Luvox and this made things worse. I cold turkey quit everything for a couple months and things continued to get worse. My GP then put me on Effexor 150mg and Klonopin 1mg twice daily. Things improved for a while. After 6 months, I decided to taper Klonopin because I had found this site and benzobuddies. I am down to 0.25 mg of Klonopin daily and still on Effexor. I am living a life of waves and windows now. I am a middle school teacher and coach. Thankfully, God has strengthened me enough to continue to work through this WD process.
  21. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Pattypan: Benzo Taper when it's only PRN Hello, I am new here. I have a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive DIsorder- I have had this for as long as I can remember. I was first medicated for it ( in my teens) 20+ years ago. I was on and off meds throughout my teens/20's. In 2015- I had an OCD "episode" that scared me to death and back on medications I went. After a few trial and errors I was stable on Lexapro for 4.5 years. I recently took myself down from 30mg to 20mg ( over the course of 1 week- yes- i had headaches, involuntary movements and brain zaps). As of yesterday I tapered to 15mg. I am feeling pretty bad today... and I understand I should be decreasing by 10% but for some reason that seems unreasonable to me.... ( in the past I have successfully tapered off of prozac, wellbutrin, celexa, zoloft and don't recall any of those being notable- I DO remember tapering off of Luvox was terrible) Any supplements or advice you may have to ease these taper symptoms? My goal is to be completely off of Lexapro in 1 month. Too soon? also- No i am not involving my doctors in this decision or this taper... I just don't trust that they know enough in regards to how to taper and they wont respect my decision to taper. Thanks in advance!
  22. lalala

    lalala: Paxil to Prozac

    Dizziness, faint feeling, exhaustion, distorted vision So it's been almost 3 weeks on a vertigo, off balance, visual effects... Wave Feeling very weak today from other things and of course not sleeping enough do to emotional stress... This is my second wd, last year was with no tapering different ssri's and this year from klonopin... That i took from my doc and Celexa again feel worst as my CNS was already compromised I hardly have a life because I'm exhausted and feel ill so I cancel things.. and feel devastated... I took more drugs for depression and anxiety and I feel damaged... Despite not having severe severe sxs... It's affected my life that I can't go to far or do so many things... I feel like I killed myself for now it's very say and totally misunderstood.. Plus I have to deal ignorance and abuse...
  23. lalala

    lalala: Paxil to Prozac

    Dizziness, faint feeling, exhaustion, distorted vision So it's been almost 3 weeks on a vertigo, off balance, visual effects... Wave Feeling very weak today from other things and of course not sleeping enough do to emotional stress... This is my second wd, last year was with no tapering different ssri's and this year from klonopin... That i took from my doc and Celexa again feel worst as my CNS was already compromised I hardly have a life because I'm exhausted and feel ill so I cancel things.. and feel devastated... I took more drugs for depression and anxiety and I feel damaged... Despite not having severe severe sxs... It's affected my life that I can't go to far or do so many things... I feel like I killed myself for now it's very say and totally misunderstood.. Plus I have to deal ignorance and abuse...
  24. juelli

    juelli: intro

    Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Juelli: klonopin tapering Hi, I was prescribed antidepressants and klonopin in the 90’s during some stressful life situations. In 2005 I did an uninformed, unsuccessful taper of my AD and klonopin, then was reinstated on Klonopin & Effexor. In 2011, I started another taper, still uninformed, but slower. I toughed out increasing symptoms, eventually stopping Effexor at just under 10 mgs November 2017. During Nov-Dec 2017, except for brain zaps, dizziness, I felt really good, better than before I jumped. I was taking K, but infrequently. However, in January 2018 my symptoms began to slowly increase and intensify: SI, depression, anxiety, insomnia, anhedonia, social anxiety, weight-loss, anger, cog fog, etc. I was working a very physically demanding winter job, which distracted me for several hours a day so I managed the season. I still was taking K infrequently...like a rescue dose every 4-5 days, usually .5 mg or less. By mid-April 2018, I crashed and convinced I was losing my mind, I started searching for suicide support groups on-line. I found Benzobuddies and the Ashton Manual. However, at the time I never considered that my AD discontinuation was a factor because I'd felt so good when I discontinued. I thought I was only dealing with Benzo withdrawal and focused on that. With support from BBs, I stabilized on a daily dose of Klonopin (1.5mg) and on June 1, 2018 using a homemade liquid Klonopin solution, I began a symptoms based, daily liquid micro-taper. I am currently at just under .6 mg K and figure I have 1-2 years left to taper. At first had more waves than windows but I worked hard learning coping strategies. I was able to work my winter job. About 6 weeks ago I suddenly began to have less intense waves and have slowly been able to increase the taper rate. Even though the waves are less intense I must work extremely hard at distracting myself from the symptoms but anhedonia, SI, depression, feelings of doom and being overwhelmed are always lurking. It is exhausting and life is not enjoyable. I have a healthy lifestyle and a supportive therapist who is anti-psych meds. I should mention that my husband, while supportive, has significant health issues adding to my stress. So, this brings me to my questions… Is stopping the Effexor at just under 10 mg considered a CT? Are my sxs due to the Effexor jump or the Benzo taper or both...and does it even matter? If it is from the discontinuance of the Effexor what is the healing timeline? (I'm guessing every one is different but perhaps there is a general pattern?) Could it be that the less intense waves are due to healing from the Effexor discontinuation after 18 months? Is there anything I should be doing differently to help me heal from the AD discontinuation? As I said, I am more familiar with Benzo tapering/discontinuation than ADs. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this introduction. Composing is very difficult for me, so please let me know if I need to clarify something. I look forward to your insight. J
  25. , dying to stay alive from poisoning of klonopin and mirtazapine
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy