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  1. naturalborn-successful-story hi i'm new at this forum and i'm brazilian, 20 years old, started effexor when i was 18 for depression, stayed on it for 8 or 10 months, with almost no side effects, after this tried going cold turkey , since then have been dealing with all possible kinds of side effects, i tried reinstatement on january of this year (after 4 months of wd) obviously didn't worked, stayed on them for more 5 months, went to rehab. tapered effexor there and started trazadone and seroquel. now i've been taking 150 mg of trazadone and 25 mg of seroquel, was kind of "ok" so tried to reduce trazadone to 100 mgs, wasn't able to sleep for 3 days, went back on 150 mgs, and added 2 mg of klonopin to use when needed, but since that abruptly quitting of effexor i haven't been the same, dealed with EXTREME anxiety (never was a problem before), SEVERE imsonia, sometimes 5 days without any sleep, chronic pain and numbess and poor coordination on the right side of my body. the left side seems ok, i have no idea why. derealization, poor memory, poor concentration, diahrrea, akastisia, poor stress tolerance, emotional numbess, brain zaps and brain fog, anyway i have been dealing with pretty much all the symtoms you can come up with, pretty hopeless, desesperated, regreted, scared, feeling like it will never be the same. i really want to know what you guys think, is there any hope for me ever being the same again?
  2. Angoze

    Angoze

    Moderator note: link to benzo thread - Angoze: Help with Klonopin Start klonoping march 2018 2 mg for one panick attack, started new symotoms anxiety and insomnia, decreasing since may, now in 0.5625. (before klonoping did not have problems to sleep or anxiety affevting my dayli) Paxil may 20 mg first week, did no tolerate, down 10 mg since that. Is not working. Remeron 3.5 mg or less to sleep, has helping me, and noticed my mood is better. Some day i do not want to use medicine to made my lifa as was before. Simptoms with benzo reduction and adition of paxil:sleep disturbamce, anxiety, dizzyness, depression, lack of hope
  3. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
  4. Hello everyone. I'm very, very grateful to have found this site before I found my way back to a secluded ledge at the Grand Canyon I found four years ago with my now ex-wife. The ledge had no appeal then, but has come up repeatedly during rough periods. I just found this site and I just came to understand just how extensive and pervasive my WD symptoms have become. They did not really start to become that active until 5 months ago. Now they rage. I have to laugh and cry at the same time because currently I am living in a travel trailer and I have no idea where my next stop or step is going to be. 5 months ago I sold my condo, closed my art business, ended an engagement, bought a travel trailer, and have been staying with a friend in rural VA. Now I'm in Phoenix, AZ. Several times in the last 3 months I have tried to start over by making decisions and implementing a plan of action for work and living arrangements and have been unable to follow through with even the beginnings of restabalizing my life situation. Once I start to initiate changes to my situation, violently intense emotions begin to arise and my ability to think clearly falls away. I abandon the plan and fall back. Strangely, in the midst of this pattern, I have been in some intense therapy sessions, uncovered and addressed some deep wounded issues from my past that I'm sure were being masked by the meds. I had a 7 week period recently during the therapy where every day was filled with almost nonstop continuous waves of shame, sadness, and some rage (all I believe being old repressed and masked emotions but probably way more intense from WD or is it the sum total of repressed emotions finally getting out). It's like I'm split at times with two completely different personalities with two completely different agendas. I just read the posts about neuro emotions and realized I have been experiencing them intensely. They have been running my life since I become abstinent. There is a lot of intense healing going on inside me physically and emotionally, and I didn't realize just how deep it goes. I am not the same person anymore and it frightens and excites me at the same time. It's like a spiritual journey through hell. I feel at times very peaceful and supported by the universe and at times like a want to die. I will stop there and ask for the wisdom of the forum for what I have posted. I am a sponge for your help now. Thank you!! Mark
  5. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  6. Edie

    Edie: my story

    Hello, I'm Edie from Estonia and I struggeled with antidepressants for years now. I have also been addicted to Klonopin, but fortunately I'm free from it now. My worst enemy was venlafaxine. At first it really helped with my anxiety problems, but then one day it completely stopped working and soon I fell into a really dark depression, which I had not felt before psychiatric meds. I was sleeping all the time, had no feelings at all, no motivation- just tired and zombie-like. And ofcourse.. if I wanted to stop the medication I just couldn't. Every time the horrible venlafaxine withdrawal kicked in. I somehow managed to switch from venlafaxine to prozac and now I feel a little bit better. I have been on 10 mg of prozac for almost two months now and I think that soon I should make my first taper, but I am a little bit afraid of that, because of the big changes my brain has gone through the past months. 75mg venlafaxine to 10mg prozac was a really difficult thing to do - during the switch I had severe panick attacks, suicide thoughts, extreme pressure in head ect. The thing is that I'm not sure when I should start tapering. Should I do it now or wait a little bit longer? I also take inositol powder and 500 mg niacin in the evenings and I think that these supplements are helping a little bit with the anxiety.
  7. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Kasey: Question about insomnia Hi, I'm glad I found this site. I'm an older male, and have been suffering from depression for much of my life, pretty deep but not major. I was always able to got to work and live but since retiring early some years ago I lost my zest, which would come back when taking Yoga classes, studying music, etc. Anyway, I had some problems starting last summer, and went into a funk. I asked my GP doctor last month for a prescription to Lexapro, which I started about 3 weeks ago (10 mg.) I now have very strong reservations about continuing this drug, due to what I've read about withdrawal symptoms. I have been going for CBT and Mindfullness therapy for a couple of months, which has helped quite a bit. I know nobody can tell me what is right, but I think that I should just cut my doses in half for a week and stop. If I get too far into it, and suffer withdrawals when quitting, in the future, I am afraid that I will return to benzos, besides other problems that quitting may entail. I didn't know that Lexapro withdrawal is comparatively brutal, otherwise I wouldn't have started it. I would appreciate some opinions. Thank you.
  8. Hello, I am new here and 3 months fully off of Paxil, tapered from 20mg over the last year. I am experiencing debilitating panic and anxiety with cortisol spikes from early morning to about noon, and in the 3-4 weeks I resorted to taking tiny doses (7 total, of 0.125mg to 0.25mg) of clonazepam which really help an *unbelievable* amount (even at tiny doses). I am overall doing better than I was from my 5th month into tapering to about a month ago I guess, the progress is slow and painful, but it is there. I feel I am stalled though, or exasperated with the extreme tension, which made me reach for the clonazepam. My history with clonazepam is that it was prescribed to me over many years along with paxil, 0.5mg to be taken once a day or as needed, for anxiety. I never took it daily, rather as needed on a particularly stressful day. Overall one 30 pill bottle always lasted me way longer than the month. I admit I monitored my use poorly though, so I have no real idea how addicted my system is to it. I had stopped it altogether on Jan 17, and was totally without for about a month. I am wondering whether it is ok to use these tiny doses once a week or so, to help me along while I recover - or if I am simply prolonging the process by staying hooked on something which may very well also be responsible for the withdrawal anxiety, depression, depersonalization (big time), etc? If anyone has a similar experience or advice I would greatly appreciate it. Reading the wealth of information on this site has been helping me immeasurably through this ... Thank you in advance! ps - I have tried non drug methods for the anxiety; mild exercise, asmr videos, soothing music and Bliss Johnson's clips, milk and triptophan foods, valerian root a few times, omega 3 fish oil supplements, magnesium ... it all helps a bit, but those morning insomnia/cortisol spikes have become unbearable again.
  9. Greetings! I am very fortunate I found this site. I will not go into to much detail but here are some facts about my current situation. I have had anxiety/panic my entire life, from the earliest I can remember I used to have horrible separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and just plain being scared of silly things, like when I was younger I was terrified of thunderstorms and elevators I had to do exposure therapy while I was little and that was pretty difficult but it defiantly was not enough. My mother didn't put me on pharmaceuticals until I was 12 or so because the SSRIs were fairly new and she wanted to wait as long as she possibly could do try one of these medications. Flash forward to 2005, my father dies on the treadmill right in front of me, I am still in high school, and my anxiety up to that point was manageable, put when that happend my anxiety went through the roof. I couldn't finish high school in public but I was fortunate enough to have some retired teachers come to my house so I could graduate with my class. Of course during this time I was seeing a psychiatrist. Now he is an intelligent man and I have a number of medications to be thankful for, especially getting me out of that trauma. I was on a Tricyclic Anafranil 150 mg, from 2006 to 2013 for anxiety. During November 2013, I tried getting off the medication because it wasn't working and it was effecting my speech (probably from the anticholinergic effects). I tried to get off of it several times before but was given bad withdrawing advice (cut dose in half and 2 weeks you will be good), well that never happened of course. The old, see you need your medication, none of these brain zaps you speak of cannot occur with these drugs. So I followed the doctors advice and continued taking the Anafranil for a few more years. In November 2013 I tried to get off Anafranil for good. I wanted to do half the dose but just stay on that dose for like a month and then go down another quarter or something and try it that way. I had no idea how wrong both the doctor and I were. As soon as I lowered the dose I became a basket case. I started crying for no reason, I lost a bunch of weight (about 25 pounds in a month), vertigo, heart palpitations which scared the crap out of me because my father died from a birth defect we were not aware of at 49. I went back to the psychiatrist who I had seen for 6 years and was slapped with a bi-polar diagnosis. After doing a lot of research and looking into these drugs I didn't realize that the withdrawal could be so severe, or that most doctors had no idea that these drugs were capable of producing such a profound effect upon discontinuation. I reinstated the drug after 6 months of shear terror and my heart rate returned to normal, my crying stopped and it was like none of it ever happened. Now my main concern is with my heart because part of my anxiety would be dying in a similar fashion my father did. I have a great cardiologist who I have been seeing for years. He was fortunate enough to understand what was happening to me. I had every test imaginable and everything came back normal. Even when my heart was skipping a lot during the withdrawal, the holter monitor didn't pick up anything. He said its not so much your heart, its the receptors on your vagus nerve which is the main problem which makes since because they up regulate and down regulate depending if you are starting or stopping a drug. He said these drugs can effect the QT prolongation of the heart sometimes, but every EKG and Echo looked good so thank god for that. I stared back on the 150 in mid 2014 and currently I am on 60 mgs as of now. Now I think I misread because I tapered 10 mg every month instead of 10 percent of the dose, which is what a lot of people recommend. So what I am going to do as of now is try to stabilize on 50 mgs for a few months, since I am almost done with the 60 mg, and then taper down 5 mg every month which is roughly about 10 percent of the dose, I have calculated. I just hope this process goes a lot smoother than it did before because when I first tried my psychiatrists way it was absolutely horrible.
  10. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Jill28: Klonopin adverse reaction Hi everyone- I’m desperate and was hoping for advice... I had been on Zoloft for 4 months and decided to taper off. Did way too quickly (1 week) and has serious anxiety and panic attacks from it. After about 6 weeks, my brain finally bounced back and I was almost back to normal. My psychiatrist convinced me to get back on my old trusty Prozac (10mg) justto keep my depression at bay. On the third day of taking Prozac, I had the most severe anxiety of my life... and I had never had anxiety other than when I came off the Zoloft. I’m at day 9 of being off and the anxiety hasn’t let up even a tad. I am miserable and can’t live this way. My face titles constantly and I can’t eat or think clearly. Any thoughts or advice is deeply welcomed.😢
  11. I have been on Zoloft and a few other meds in between, for about 25 years. I have also been on one milligram of Klonopin every night for 5 years. My last Klonopin was in June 2018. Luckily, there is a lot of material regarding Klonopin withdrawal and it is considered a “real thing” by doctors, counselors, etc. In September 2018, I started feeling like I was fairly recovered from Klonopin withdrawal and started the Zoloft taper. My last Zoloft was September 22nd. I have had extreme bloating, ringing in my ears, severe hot flashes, anxiety and depression (way worse than before antidepressants). After about 6 weeks, the bloating subsided and hot flashes were better. I am starting to have very small windows without extreme anxiety and depression, however, it is still very rough! The frustration is that doctors are so eager to put us on these meds but no one seems to get the withdrawal issues! I couldn’t have made it this far without information I have found online and a level of faith that has kept me hanging on! One of the drugs that I have been on was Cymbalta and it almost killed me....literally. A month after I started Cymbalta I ended up in the hospital due to severe abdominal pain and throwing up. A few months later I ended up in the hospital again with the same symptoms and bowel obstruction. This happened over Thanksgiving holidays 2017. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong so they took my gallbladder. The symptoms continued and I was misdiagnosed three times! Anyway, no one ever mentioned the Cymbalta connection. By some miracle, I realized that all of this started when I began taking the Cymbalta so I stopped and my doctor put me on Trintellix. As soon as I stopped the Cymbalta, the stomach issues subsided. Anyway, it helps to connect with others who have had similar experiences! I switched doctors and haven’t mentioned withdrawing from these drugs because I dont think any of these physicians understand! I hope we can help each other!!
  12. ADMIN NOTE DJones's benzo thread Hi, I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and ask for some advice I have been on various ssris for 11years and about 7 months ago I decided to wean myself off celexa which I had been on for the last 5 years at 40mg. I weaned of to fast over the course of about 3 months and was off for a total of 1 month when I crased hard with anxiety, fear and depression. I went back on 40mg of celexa after being off for a month but got panic attacks and weird sensations in head. After 2 weeks the doc than got me off that and put me on Paxil for 2 weeks which only made things worse with bad anxiety and feeling dissacated with everything and my cns was all messed up. They than put me on celexa at 20 mg and a low dose of remeron for 3 weeks but no relief and was getting electrical sensations and burning sensation in body. I than checked myself into the hospital where the cold turkeyed me off the celexa and put me on neurontin. I was off celexa again for a week but I gave up all other medications and put myself back on 5mg of celexa for the last 3 weeks and have also been on .05 a day of klonopin now for 2 months. My current symptoms are. Severe anxiety Inability to concentrate Muscle tension Akathesia Tremor Burning sensation in chest and pain from time to time Vision problems Brain fog Some anadonia Some nausea And sensitive to sounds and some foods and vitimins My questions is what do I do from here? Man this is no fun just looking for some words of encougement if nothing else.
  13. Hi, I have been going througha really tough time the past little while and am hoping to find some people who can relate. I went to see my family Dr. around 8 weeks ago because my life had gotten very stressful and I was having some uncomfortable physical symptoms (itchy skin, tingling hands, rining in ears chest pain etc.) I have always been on the anxious/woryer side of things and have always noted that it got worse when I am stressed (work, life, etc) and generally got better when the stress lessened. A number of factors over the past year compounded together made my anxiety worse than it ever was before and I felt I was having a hard time coping. Some of the stresses were difficult to remove (work, worries about family members etc) so I decided to go and seek help from my family Dr. who diagnosed me as having generalized anxiety disorder and recommended that I try Zoloft. I was on Zoloft was Zoloft for approximately 6-7 weeks and was tapered on to the medication at 25mg/week (started at 25mg) to a maximum of 100mg/day. Almost immediately I started to feel "unwell". It's difficult to describe but something just didn't feel right inside my head. My feeling of anxiety got much worse and were consistent (where they were only sporadic before starting the drug. My brain felt "foggy", I had a hard time concentrating and I developed a headache "pressure on both sides of my head" that was almost consistent throughout the day. Most days I felt tired and needed to rest in the afternoon but when I closed my eyes to try to have a nap I would wake up within. 15mins with a sense of panic. I also experienced worse insomnia (that was one of the reasons I had gone to the Dr. in the first place) I returned to my Dr. and asked to be taken off of Zoloft and he sad that these were normal side effects which should stop at around week 4 of taking the drug. He pointed out that it would be shame to stop taking the Zoloft before seeing the positive effects and so he prescribed me .5mg of Clonazepam (taken twice daily) to help with the side effects and to help me sleep. I have a history of drug addiction and alcoholism (sober now for 11 years) and was was afraid of taking the Clonazepam, so i decided to only take .5mg in the evening to help with the insomnia I was experiencing. The Clonazepam helped me sleep better but the combination of the drugs left me feeling groggy the next day. Overall my sense of anxiety got worse than before I initially asked for help so I returned to my Dr and asked to be tapered off the Meds. He agreed that what I was experiencing was not the "normal"/desired effects of the drug and told me to begin tapering off. Per the Dr's instructions I tapered off of the Zoloft by 25mg every 5 days and stopped taking both the Zoloft and Clonazepam (no tapering of Clonazepam) 5 days ago and have felt terrible since then. Below are the symptoms I have had since then: -My head started to hurt immediately - I have been unable to fall asleep and have experienced the worst insomnia I have ever had. I feel as if I am in between sleep and awake for most of the night. - During the day I am dizzy and have a headache. -If I turn my head I feel as if I am going to fall over/dizzy -Almost constant headache/pressure on my temples -I have tinnitus in my ears and my left ear feels fully plugged. -I have an electric feeling that radiates from my head (worse when I turn my head or stand up) which I have read online is called a "brain zap". -When I stand up too suddenly I feel like I'm going to pass out -I am feeling (slightly) paranoid and on the verge of crying (sporadically) throughout the day (particularly when trying to explain to people how I feel) -I feel generally unwell and anxious when I have to go out in public I went back to my Dr. yesterday and he said that he thinks I'm experiencing withdrawal from the Zoloft and that it is normal. He also said that I am not experiencing any withdrawal from the Clonazepam because it was such a low dose for such a short time. He prescribed me Torazadone to help me sleep, which I took last night in a desperate attempt to get some rest and feel "normal" again but I am now very afraid of becoming dependent on that and then needing to go through all this withdrawal again...I'm wondering if I should just "tough it out" and not take anything but the lack of sleep make me feel almost like I'm losing my mind. Part of me feels as if I haven't been taking these drugs long enough to feel this bad and that maybe I am losing my mind or that I should just "suck it up", but the truth is I feel truly awful and am pretty damn scared at the moment. I have come off of street drugs in the past, and do not remember feeling this bad, but maybe that is just because so much time has passed since then. I am hoping I can look back and laugh at tis experience one day. My wife/family are being as supportive as they can but it's hard to verbalize what I am feeling so I came here hoping to gain some support/advice from people who can empathize. I apologize in advance for to those who just had to read through my whole novel..lol
  14. I hope somebody can help me. I was on Zoloft for eight months at a low-dose of 25 mg during my pregnancy. After the pregnancy, it was not working. I had a lot of anxiety. I tried to go up on the dosage and it did not work, so my doctor prescribed Lexapro. She told me just to cut the 25 mg in half for two weeks and introduce Lexapro. Once I introduced Lexapro I had a bad reaction. Now it's been four months later and Im still withdrawing from Zoloft. I'm having terrible dizziness and feeling off balance still. My anxiety has been through the roof. I've been to the ER multiple times for panic attacks. Not my depression is back with a vengeance. However I'm not tolerating meds very well They tried to start me back on a low-dose of Lexapro at 2.5 but it caused a lot of major major anxiety. I'm also having terrible brains zaps that run from really inside my brain to my neck. When I turn my head I had them when I talk I have them when I walk I have them. I think my nervous system has been shot. I should also mention my feelings are everywhere from confusion to worry and fear. I feel like I'm losing my mind. Do you eventually recover from this? Was their permanent damage to my nervous system when I stop Zoloft so quickly. No other medication is working and I'm trying to work with a psychiatrist on this. Do you think my brain will eventually adjust on Lexapro? It's been now three weeks with Lexapro almost 4.Any help would be appreciated I need some reassurance.
  15. How it all started. November 2017 I was prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin to be taken once daily I do not have any pre existing anxiety or health issues. The "medicine" was given to me to help with some stress induced insomnia. Since then the stress that caused the insomnia has long been resolved. I was told this medication was a low dose, and it was perfectly safe, and could be taken nightly for up to 3 months without having any problems with dependency or addiction. Even though i told the doctor 11 years prior i had a bad withdrawel from Ativan that was prescribed to me after my mothers death. He said klonopin is much safer and easier to come off of. Also i took increasing doses of Ativan for close to a year... so of course it was hard to withdraw from... I took the Klonopin .5mg exactly as prescribed for about 10 to 12 days, and then for a week after I took half the dose .25 mg. Then i quit... Apparently I'm very sensitive to these types of medications and not biochemically compatible with them, because what happened over the next 8 days, I describe as increasing anxiety, insomnia, and irrational fear, that got to the point (8 days out) of having absolutely zero sleep the night before and feeling completely detaches from reality. Now i wish i would have realized what was happening and stuck it out, because I'd probably be 100% recovered by now. However, I ( like so many of us ) went running back to the doctor for help. I made an emergency appointment with my doc. He prescribed me a very high dose of Gabapentin and told me that its a great new medication used for benzo and alchohol withdrawels. He promised me that this drug was completely safe and not addictive at all as he did with the Klonopin. but he convinced me of it by telling me it wasn't a controlled substance. It worked great for about a week, but then all of those strange withdrawal symptoms from the Klonopin started coming back, and I required more of the Gabapentin to control those symptoms... My doctor actually said I could pick up the 3600 mg of it a day if need it without any worry of withdrawal. I had a massive bottle of 300mg pills and another massive bottle of 100mg pills to "fill in" I got to the point where I was taking 300 mg in the morning, 300 mg in the afternoon, and 1200 mg at night. But something just didn't feel right, I wasn't myself, I felt like I had suddenly lost 10 or 15 IQ points, the world seemed dull and so did my emotions. So the doctor pulled me off the gabapentin and put me back on the klonopin and once stable I would do a very slow taper, i was desperate to feel normal again so i agreed... I was pulled from the gabapentin after being on it for only 9 days... but with no taper and put back on the klonopin. Only this time it was not really working... I am well aware of Heather Ashton, slow tappering, micro tappering, and the effects benzos have on our gaba receptors... i personaly think Ashton is to highly regarded... I think the cross over to valium is a bad idea and does not work out for a lot of people... i respect the work she did, and her research, but that information is out dated and had needed to be continued and expanded upon. I do not agree all benzos effect the brain the same way the only difference is half life... My doctor thought going on valium would be my best option because of the long half life.... but there was no transition, it was just simply stop the Klonopin 1 day and start on 8mg diazapam the next... valiums main chemical of action breaks down in just 4 hours, while the rest of it just builds up in our systems... so the relief factor is short, while the rest of the chemicals just build up. Where I am at now I am currently taking 3 mg of Valium in the morning and 3 mg of Valium at night as well as 300 mg of Gabapentin in the morning and 300 mg at night ( yes im back on the gaba... mainly because the lack of sleep that started after my 2nd valium cut was just killing me) . This process is drawn out for the better part of a year now, and I'm still not medication free, and I'm still suffering insomnia, anxiety, and a sense of detachment. What I'm really wondering is if anyone has been on this combination of medications, and how they approached the taper. It doesn't matter which one I cut, I feel the effects of both in very much the same way with the same type of symptoms. Should I be tapering say half a milligram of Valium every two weeks, and 100 mg of Gabapentin every 2 weeks? Or tackle one at a time??? I apologize as this intro has turn into a book, I'm just very desperate for answers from people who have been through this I'm not seeking medical advice just personal experiences. My doctor and my pharmacist both say that what I'm experiencing is impossible given my dosage. But i know better. Just last year I was a highly functioning, healthy , strong, muscular, independent hard-working man, that ate a very healthy diet. After taking the Klonopin for just 17 days, the aftermath has been the loss of my job, i've had to move in with my sister for the time being. And all any doctor wants to do is give me more drugs or up my doses. I know the reality is this is a side effect kind of withdrawal from the medication so I refuse to do that. I have had a ton of blood work, and other neurological tests that are all perfectly normal I currently take both ionic and threonate magnesium in the middle of the day. I dont know if it helps ot not... i still eat healthy and walk at least 3 miles a day. SYMPTOMS I have lost 10 pounds of muscle, i have diahrea everyday I have benign faciculation dissorter My hands are shakey I have a massive panic attack in the middle of the night that wakes me up After the panic attqck at night I spend the rest of my hours in stage 2 of sleep ( where i feel like im not sleeping but i actually am) during this time i have a constant stream of thoughts, songs stuck in my head, and thins that make literaly no sense at all... I sleep between 2 and 6 hours per night. I have daytime anxiety mainly in the afternoon. Thank you, and best wishes to all of you.
  16. Been quietly observing and reading other peoples posts and finally decided to post my story. My path with AD started with a full blown panic attack. I had never in my life experienced a panic attack so it was very difficult at the beginning. Everybody's different. My panic attacks were debilitating lasting for several hours. Went to see my doctor and was quickly put on benzos. Started with xanax 0.5 mg and was quickly raised to 2.0 mg. Later it was switched out to klonopin 2.0 mg. It did control my panic attacks and my anxiety attacks. Later on I was told to add an AD to further control my panic attacks. This was the fun part where I became my own guinea pig where I had to "FIND THE RIGHT MED" for myself. Initially started with lexapro and was told that it could take up to 4 months for the drug to kick in. 4 months past by and it did nothing. lexapro had no effect on me. Tried viibryd, celexa, paxil, and prozac. Settled with paxil and klonopin for a long time. Towards the end made the jump to cymbalta and klonopin. If it wasn't for people around me telling me how I've changed, over the time frame that I was on these drugs, I would have probably continued taking these drugs. I've lost all emotions nothing in the world gave me any enjoyment. Started drinking heavily to the point where I was drinking every day. Spent money like money grew on trees. I had no apathy at all towards others. I became completely indifferent towards the entire world. I have so much respect towards people here that are maintaining their strict taper schedule. I tried to slowly taper from my drugs but I could never keep it myself. At the first sign of withdrawal I kept running back to my drugs. I decided to throw all my meds out and go the cold turkey route. I fell into a dark abyss. I didn't bother going to no doctor because I knew it was my fight and my fight alone. Woke up with severe panic and dread. It was as if all my nerves were fired up. Every person was associated with a flash back from the past with a very negative flash back from my past. For example, my dad was asking me how I felt and I had a really bizarre flash back from the past where my dad was not so kind to me when I was a kid. It was a memory from the past that I had forgotten for a very long time. This flash back resulted in me with a rage like emotion towards him. Pretty much everyone I met, that had an unkind past with me, brought up these negative flash backs. Entire body feels numb. Light/noise sensitivity. Blurry vision as if I'm surrounded by fog. All my muscles were sore, aching and shaking. Tingling burning sensation on the skin. Itchy anus. Joint pain like I've never experienced before. Difficulty breathing. Flu like symptoms. Severe headaches. Head felt really heavy as if there was a rock embedded in my brain. Messed up sinus. Weak legs. Weak neck. Difficulty speaking. Difficulty balancing myself. Coordination skills severely impaired. Severe tinnitus. Body feels heavy as if gravity increased. Severe dp/dr. One day I spilled my entire plate while eating and I could see my plate fall down in slow motion in 3-D. One day I was cooking and accidentally burnt my hand and I could feel the pain from my hand travel all the way to my brain. I'm pretty sure there were a lot more symptoms that I really can't remember them all. It's been six months now that I've gone cold turkey. I'm still a long ways from recovery but looking back sure as hell feels like I've made some progress. Going cold turkey put my body in full reboot mode and slowly one by one I get to feel parts of my body come alive one by one.
  17. Hi, i'm new to this forum, so forgive me if i make mistakes, i'm still learning. I'm about two years out from withdrawing off of Paxil that i tapered down on, and about one year from one situational exposure to benzodiazepines, and two years from consistent benzodiazepine usage (the klonopin,) as i withdrew both the antidepressant and the benzodiazepine at the same time. I am drug free for an entire year. The drugs tagged in my post are also drugs i have been previously exposed to, or had other exposures in the same class of drugs, (E.g, i have also been exposed to zoloft, prozac, and pristiq in the "Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor" category over the course of 14 years, though paxil was my last exposure to an SSRI drugs.) For the sake of simplicity, i will spare the details. I am posting here today because i am struggling with a couple issues that the specialists i've seen cannot help me with, and i hope to find resources here. I have ruled out thyroid issues, cardiovascular issues, vitamin deficiency in standard ranges, and other infectious disease issues through doctors and testing. I am debating about seeing an endocrinologist, but have lost a lot of faith in medicine since my psychiatric outpatient stent and the answers for my health that continue to elude me. I have listed my main issues below: 1. Fatigue - From what i've read and am trying to understand, fatigue can be a huge factor in antidepressant and benzodiazipine post acute withdrawal because of potential effects on hormones and neurotransmitters. I've also read that amphetamine withdrawal, especially in the context of abuse can cause fatigue, but my exposure to amphetamines was a decade ago, so i don't know if that could still be a contributing factor or not? The fatigue seems to come on intermittently, i drink green tea to help with wakefulness as the fatigue can feel debilitating throughout the day, and i feel like my brain just doesn't want to function on all gears. I am also sensitive to caffeine - if i ingest more than normal it can send me into a panic attack. My intermittent benzodiazepine exposure last year was in part induced by too much coffee, but i used to drink a pot of coffee a day without too much anxiety on paxil. 2. Emotional Blunting - I know that emotional blunting is also a factor in both benzodiazepine and antidepressant use and withdrawal, but i am a little perplexed that i still feel difficulty with emotional attachment. I theorize that this may be due to the benzodiazepine withdrawal mostly, for the reason that benzodiazepines inhibit or prevent neurological recovery from trauma, from what i understand. Is it possible that my body and mind are still in a state of survival even two years out from antidepressant and benzos? I understand that the psychological trauma from years of being medicated may also play a key factor in trust and developing relationships, but that is a psychological piece that should resolve itself through counseling, CBT, once the body begins to function correctly again. My other theory is that all my exposure to drugs over the years, (especially in the context of intermittent antipsychotic and benzodiazipine exposure) has caused irreversible atrophy to the neurological circuitry that is responsible for those functions (pre-frontal cortex and frontal lobe?) I'm looking for any input, resources, or suggestions that might help with those pieces Thanks, - NR EDIT: I don't have any recreational drug exposure either, all my drug exposure has been exclusively psychiatric with the exception of alcohol on a few celebratory occasions. I have also had antibiotic exposures on three separate occasions in the past five years.
  18. Mialiliana1

    Mialiliana: Remeron

    Hi I'm new here currently tapering kolonopin and was wondering if anyone her has ever came off remeron doing a micro taper? Thank you
  19. Hey! I've been on one SSRI or another since i was 18. I'm 37 now. I've come off Zoloft, Paxil (twice), Klonopin (i know it's not an SSRI), and now Lexapro. I was on Lexapro for about 4 years. Most SSRIs that i have been on stop working after about 3-4 years. Recently it was suggested that i might be on the bipolar spectrum. I'm mostly hypomanic. When i get depressed, I'm still hypomanic, so i have mixed states that result in severe anxiety. Everything i have ever taken has been a result of anxiety. ANYWAY. I wish i had come across this site earlier. I started having severe anxiety and panic late last year (November) while on 5mg of Lexapro ( i had dropped myself from 10mg to 5mg sometime in the last 4 years because i was sleeping all the time. 1.5 hour naps every afternoon, then another 9 hours at night). So when my anxiety went up i upped my lexapro (with a doctor's consent) to 10mg (January). Things were a little better, but not much. I went to 15mg (February). This was not good. crawling in my skin, suicidal thoughts. I lasted on 15mg for 3 weeks, then dropped to 10. I had just begun seeing a new therapist at this time. He advised that i get of Lexapro immediately. So i "tapered off". Since my base was around 5mg it was not hard to get back to 5mg (was good at 5mg by March). Then i went from 5 to zero in about 3 weeks. That sucked. I dropped off completely on Tuesday April 12. Exactly 2 weeks ago. I've had to supplement with Klonopin to deal with some of the anxiety. So i'll have to deal with coming off that again, but with a slow enough taper i know i can do it (the last time i came off Klonopin i spent 6 months tapering). I was not aware that SSRIs required the same type of taper but i should have known. My Paxil withdrawals were nightmarish. Lexapro has been pretty bad as well. The brain zaps seem to have stopped, but i still get dizzy every day. My mood swings are FAST and they suck. I had a great deal of anger and agitation when i first started tapering. That seems to have cleared up. My face gets tingly sometimes (usually my lips). As far as anxiety and depression... It comes and goes. good days and bad days. If i can stay motivated and busy, i tend to do quite a bit better. The only thing is, i can't really relax. I don't drink. I kinda wish i did (not really) Since i started coming off Lexapro, i started trying to take care of myself. I started taking Omega 3, a probiotic, and Magnesium daily. I started working out 3x a week. I try to meditate once a day. (i've been doing this for a few years). I'm here to soak up the information and maybe help if i can.
  20. Hi Guys, I had a difficult childhood but rather not common! I have wonderful and spiritual parents but I was born a worrier with intense fear of the world. Who knows, maybe genetics, etc… The fears made me feel different and I didn’t develop like the standard child in the 70’s. I avoided social gatherings, had no real friends but otherwise healthy as per my pediatrician. I was aware of my fears but thought that some threats are forever when they were not and threats that I had, everyone has, which was also not the case. I kind of managed to get through life while being chastised by my parents that I was lazy, had no self-confidence, low self-esteem, etc… It came to a point where I just couldn’t see eye to eye with my parents nor with the world around me! This caused lots of anxiety, more fears, and a disconnect. Doctors, herbalists, or anything under the sun in the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s were tried but everything seemed to point to my mental distress although people didn’t give any credence to these kids; either you were a top performer or you were down in the dumps, I guess. To get to the chase, at age 18, I had a panic attack in the summer and then another in the winter at age 19, followed by anxiety symptoms, which at that time were physical and left me worried as a hypochondriac… At age 20, I was becoming convinced I’ll never marry, I’ll never make it in life, and nobody really needs me. My father hates me and my friends are moving along, leaving me behind. At a cousins wedding, I had a horrific anxiety attack, which left me pacing and twitching, not knowing what the morrow will bring. Of course, my parents at that time took me serious and tried to console me, without success. To make a long story short, I was introduced to my first Psychiatrist/Butcher. After 45 minutes, I had a prescription for Prozac and Zanax, being promised I will heal and that the drugs were not addictive. His psychotherapy was worse than no therapy and after a while, I was introduced to the new phenomenon of being drugged for life. Change of meds to Paxil made no difference. I was encouraged to get married (bad advice!) while taking all the drugs. Although I was not comfortable, somewhere down the line my parents convinced me to cut medication. Off with the Xanax (too fast, of course) and tapered the paxil to 10mg (too fast, of course!). I was doing well (so to speak) until I collapsed into a more horrible depression with suicidal ideation and urges. Well, I think you can guess the rest and I won’t bore you with 10-15 useless years. Changed and added new meds. Ranging from: Paxil, Klonopin, Lithium, Zyprexa, Lamictal, Ritalin, Trileptal, Effexor XR. I was separated and made the mistake to get back before I was ready, pushed by a psychiatrist with an agenda! Started with worse anxiety, I ended up seeing a psychiatrist that introduced washout in Cornell at Westchester, NY. What a slam of a deal! Stupid people tapered me off all the drugs in a 3 week range, leaving me with panic attacks that hit the roof. Sleeping was damaged, so was I. I complained, so they reinstated Klonopin, added: Depakote, Ambien for sleep, Lexapro, Seroquel low dose for sleep, and Wellbutrin XL. I was one big mess. This happened in 2013. I was separated, to be divorced, after that incident for good. Living in my parents’ house was hell and the doctors and parents started blaming me for being not motivated and a weakling. After a few months of torture, I started seeing a psychologist that works with the “system” suggesting a new, best in the world psychiatrist for meds and he’ll do the therapy… Now my regimen has changed to: Cymbalta, Wellbutrin XL, Klonopin continued, Viibryd, Seroquel increased, and Deplin. I wasn’t doing too great and my parents suggested holistic medicine. A cortisol test confirmed the highest level of cortisol 24hr a day. I was given supplements, a diet plan, and Seriphos. The Seriphos worked like a charm and after a couple of months, I was read to even think about withdrawing from drugs. I started with Wellbutrin and went down to 75mg Regular release (from 450mg), Cymbalta to 60mg (from 120mg). Still stuck on Seroquel 200mg, Klonopin 2.5mg, and Viibryd 20mg. This is where I crashed and had to stop the withdrawal, for now. I can’t seem to break below 60mg of Cymbalta and was told by people on this forum, outside of forum that I need to go slower. I guess this is where I’m now. A short and sweat hell. After the Hospital event, where I stayed for a month behind locked doors and fortress like walls, I seemed to not respond to the drugs the same way anymore and have constant mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms. I’m working in NY as a Database Reporter and trying to keep my job despite the difficulties… I have two wonderful kids and I’m hoping and praying to G-d that things will turn around and get better. Maybe this forum will allow me to learn other people’s experiences so I’ll heal smater! I am seeing a new holistic practitioner and taking lots of supplements. I also took the 23andme genetic test showing some defects. Did multiple testing and I guess it’s a hit or miss; sometimes I’ll feel better, other times not!
  21. Hello, I am 24 years old, and am currently going through what I think are Lamictal withdrawals. My story is rather long and complicated, so I will try to sum it up as best I can. If anyone wants me to explain anything further, I can do that as well. I was diagnosed Bipolar II in 2010 at 18 yeara old, and was prescribed Lexapro, Seroquel, Vyvanse, and Klonopin. I immediately felt like a zombie, and stopped taking everything but the Lexapro. Fast forward to May of 2016, I am only on 5mg of Lexapro now and feeling rather depressed. My new psychiatrist wants to try a mood stabilizer (I have always fought against doctors wanting to add new drugs to my cocktail). Unfortunately, my parents convinced me that a new pill would be the answer, and I started up on 25mg of Lamictal. For two weeks I took that and felt alright, a slight improvement I guess. Two weeks later I bumped up to 50mg and started noticing a decent improvement, but also some pretty noticeable side effects. Two weeks later, I upped the dose to 100mg, and the next day felt absolutely horrible. I got terrible flu like symptoms, rash on my hands and feet, swollen glands, spread throat, stomach pains, etc. I went to the hospital and they said it was just a virus. I continued to take 100mg of Lamictal. Two days later, the rash had now spread to my whole body and was extremely itchy. I went back to the ER, and again they said it was just a virus and had nothing to do with Lamictal. I took it upon myself to stop taking 100mg that day (June 5, 2016). The rash went away almost immediately, but the withdrawal symptoms were unbelievably overwhelming so I reinstated 50mg three days later when I couldn't take it anymore. I stabilized for two weeks on 50mg, until I got yet another itchy rash, this titem accompanied with a very dizzy headache and a lot of cognition problems. I stopped cold turkey again, and made it three days before needing to reinstate 25mg as the withdrawal was too much to handle. I then stayed on 25mg for a week (still feeling absolutely horrible the whole time). I experienced insomnia (jerked myself awake every time I was about to fall asleep), rapid heart beat, extreme anxiety, worse depression then I've ever had before, zero appetite (lost 13 pounds and am already underweight), dizziness, terrible brain fog, confusion, memory loss, dp/dr, shakiness under the skin, back and neck pain, extreme fatigue, bouts of crying, extreme anger, and much more. After trying to stabilize at 25mg for that week, both my pDoc and GP told me just to stop the 25mg as it wasn't making anything better and I was past the worst of it. They also prescribed me 2 weeks of Klonopin as I basically hadn't slept the past week. I took my last pill of Lamictal on July 1, 2016. It's now been two weeks since taking my last pill, and I'm not sure if I feel any better. One moment I feel alright and think I can push through, the next minute I feel like it's going to last forever and I should reinstate a small dose and try to stabilize there first. Then I think I've already made it through 14 days with no pills, and my symptoms are not nearly as bad as they were when I was taking 25mg of Lamictal at the end of the taper. The first week after stopping Lamictal I felt rather depressed, but somehow still hopeful that things would get better. I still had a very rapid heart rate, trouble sleeping, dizziness, and feeling generally uneasy, but it wasn't too bad at all. This second week has been somehow harder though, and I feel like I don't know what to do. I am now pretty dizzy all the time, my loss of appetite is back, and I usually feel pretty depressed and hopeless about the future. I also have almost no interest in anything that used to bring me happiness. It's getting somewhat overwhelming and I don't know what to do anymore. Should I just keep fighting? Both my mother and my pDoc think that I should keep pushing through and eventually things will get better. I want to believe that but I feel like my hope is fleeting me each day that I wake up and feel the same. I also am very addicted/dependant on Marijuana, and use it to sleep, eat, stop anxiety, feel better, etc. However, after this whole issue whenever I smoke it makes everything a million times worse. Unfortunately, when I don't smoke, all I can think about is smoking pot and that it will make me feel better. So I then proceed to smoke, feel worse, and then painfully sober up until I go through the whole process again. I want to stop smoking altogether, and have tried hundreds of times, but have never made it more than a few days before I feel like I'm losing my mind. I was taking .25mg of Klonopin 2x/day these past two weeks, but have decided to stop that now as I don't want to become dependant on it. I have also been meditating, eating healthy (when I do eat), trying to stay positive, trying to exercise and stay busy, got myself on a sleep schedule, and want to start taking some supplements. None of these things I was doing before all of this. I also scheduled an appointment with a talk therapist (as I feel I have some deep rooted issues causing my anxiety/depression) and with a Neurofeedback Center (in hopes of lessening my anxiety/depression, reducing pot addiction, and resetting my brain to its natural state). If anyone could offer any insight or advice or experience with anything I've been going through I would be extremely grateful. Right now I have so many concerns I don't even know where to start. Should I continue pushing through the Lamictal withdrawals in hopes the symptoms will reside soon? Should I reinstate any amount of Lamictal to stop the withdrawals symptoms? But couldn't that cause worse symptoms like it did when I was on Lamictal in the first place? Should I keep taking the Klonopin to help with anxiety/sleep or should I stop? Should I just cold turkey stop or try and taper down the Klonopin? Is it possible to already be dependant on Klonopin after only two weeks? I feel as though I may be dependant on it to sleep. Sorry for the long post, I'm not sure if that's alright, but I've been holding this in for a while and am not really sure where else to turn.
  22. emergingfromhell

    emergingfromhell: Tips

    Hi. I'm HOPEFULLY coming out of what could be called a 7 month mental breakdown induced by antidepressant roulette ....I've read so many of your stories over the last few months (which have been the worst) and they have helped me...so I feel like I should share my experience in case anything in it can help someone else. First is a short version of what happened to me. Below that is a list of specific things that helped me. And below that, I've shared a longer version in case you'd like more details. I'm truly in awe of how behind psychiatry is. No one should have to suffer like this. WHAT HAPPENED TO ME - I was on Wellbutrin and Prozac for a few years - couldn't quite get the balance right (turns out SR and XL were getting messed up so that didn't help). I was always a little too anxious or a little too depressed. It wasn't bad, but could have been better so I thought I'd try something new. First, I got off Wellbutrin CT. Prozac alone was hell - probably bc of Wellbutrin withdrawal. Then I cross tapered Prozac with Pristiq. Pristiq worked for a month then stopped- I was in hell again - probably delayed Prozac withdrawal. Then I added Ability to the Pristiq - horrible side effects. Then I stopped those CT and I took Viibryd. Pristiq/ Ability withdrawal + Viibryd side effects, and after all I'd already been through, worse than hell. I took Klonopin and 10mg Prozac to wean off of that. I started to feel slightly human again. I got back on Wellbutrin and Prozac and felt more human. Then had to wean off the Klonopin - worse than what's worse than hell. Now I'm just on the Wellbutrin and Prozac like I was originally and I finally feel like a person again. What a nightmare - 5 withdrawals in 7 months. Anyway...I've learned some things.... THINGS I'VE LEARNED - Medicine tips: 1. Try to stay consistent with a pharmacy/manufacturer if you're taking generic bc that can make you respond differently to the medicine (I think that was a problem with my wellbutrin originally - also XL is smoother than SR and it's important to stay consistent with that as well) 2. Adding Prozac while weaning off an anti-d can really help with withdrawal 3. Wellbutrin can increase the concentration of Prozac in the body if taken together which is important to know when tweaking the dosage 4. Don't CT anything even if you're on something else or getting on something else. 5. Changing is a REAL b**** so only do it if you have to. 6. If you have to take a benzo to help with withdrawal, don't take it everyday or for too long bc you'll have another withdrawal and nothing to help with that one. Anxiety: 1. When panicking, holding ice, getting in a really hot bath, running or doing push ups can be good bc your heart is racing due to a threat it doesn't understand...when you give it a real reason to race and then take it away...your heart feels the threat is removed and will slow down a bit. Plus your mind will focus on that pain instead of on the more painful racing negative thoughts. In some messed up way, it's like a less harmful version of cutting. 2. Lavender oil is very calming, and smell is the only sense with a direct pathway to the amygdala which is the part of your brain associated with mood and emotions. Smells that remind you of happy times work as well. 3. Warm baths helped me more than anything. Increasing body temperature can help regulate mood. Sometimes, putting cold water on for a little helps as well bc that can help circulation and increase oxygen. Switching back and forth can help with the chills/hot flashes that come with withdrawal. 4. After bath, I put towel down on floor and did some stretches to open chest and hips bc that's where we carry a lot of grief. I recommend making it part of a morning routine. 5. Writing affirmations on paper with a pencil or pen can be therapeutic. Find words that resonate with you - simple sentences. It sounds silly, but it actually helped. 6. If people are pissing you off, but you know you shouldn't be confrontational in this state, write them letters that you don't send. 7. Fresh air really helps, even if you just open a window. 8. The mornings are the worst bc of Cortisol. 9. Google Alternate Nostril Breathing and do that for longer than feels comfortable. Also, when taking deep breaths, the exhale should be longer than the inhale and is more important, but if you do it for a really long time, make them equal so you don't get light-headed. 10. There's a good mediation app called "Insight Timer" and another called "Calm". 11. I read a book called "Love Warrior" that was a good distraction and very relatable. If you have stress relating to a toxic relationship, "Women Who Love Too Much" is also a great book. 12. Binge on a Netflix series to distract your mind. The Moth app is good for that also if watching is too hard. 13. Hugging or cuddling releases oxytocin and can really calm stress. Massages obviously help a ton as well. 14. Imagine a happy place in detail - the smells, sounds, textures etc...for a proper amount of time. Get lost there. 15. Talk to yourself and tell yourself the things you wish someone would say to you to calm you down. You'll feel crazy at first, but it helps. 16. People who've had easy experiences don't write on message boards, but there are plenty. So don't get discouraged only reading horror stories on here. They're the worst cases. 17. Focus on today. Making big changes to address the underlying issues that caused the original anxiety and depression are things to consider once you're stable. And whatever in your life is getting messed up bc of the state you're in, focus on fixing those later when you're better as well. Be honest with work, family, friends etc and hope for compassion. In the meantime, think of the next right thing to do and the next breath. One thing at a time, one moment at a time. Everything else will be much less daunting and easier to fix when your biochemistry isn't going haywire...so cut yourself some slack. Nausea: 1. Pepto can help. 2. Chocolate Boost Plus is good for when you're too nauseous to eat but need to keep weight up. Banana and peanut butter smoothies with chocolate protein powder helped me. Whole foods has a bunch of shots, smoothies etc if you can't make them. 3. Pedialite can help with dehydration. 4. Three fingers from your wrist is the pressure point for nausea. 5. Ginger helps more than you'd think. Ginger candies to suck on are good. Despite what people say, I found Ginger Ale made me more nauseous. Loved Ones: 1. It's helpful if other people can make many of the daily small decisions for you bc thinking at all can be really overwhelming. 2. Complicated conversations about politics, business etc should happen in another room. It's important to focus on simple and positive things to help your brain heal 2. Google SSRI withdrawal symptoms and show them to your loved ones so they know what to expect and so they know your behavior is the result of a chemical clusterfuck and is not reflective of a new or old you. 3. Explain to loved ones that if you sense their anxiety about your anxiety or their fear or impatience, you will feel it magnified and it will slow your recovery massively. You need to be around supportive people who will tell you you're going to be ok and keep you calm. That's crucial. From Me to You: This is only temporary. You will get through this and be yourself again, no matter how impossible that seems while you're in it. I know my story isn't very encouraging, but I really believed the new me was going to have to live like that forever, and I really didn't think I'd survive if that was the case. But I did survive and I'm here now - feeling like the old me with a new appreciation for everything, and the hope that what I went through will somehow help someone else. Here's the more detailed version if you think it might provide some useful information - about what NOT to do For a few years, I was on 300 wellbutrin and 40 prozac... I couldn't quite get the balance right for anxiety/depression, and I thought maybe being on just one drug would be a better idea. My doctor suggested I CT the wellbutrin and up my prozac from 40 to 60. I stayed on just Prozac for the month but crashed - fatigue, anxiety, depression - and A LOT of it. I still don't know if that was wellbutrin withdrawal but, in hindsight, I suspect it may have been. I went to a new doctor who suggested I try Pristiq bc my mom does well on Effexor (strong proof that members of the same family tend to do well on the same drugs) and it was the improved version. Also bc I had done well on Cymbalta years earlier, except for the intense fatigue, she thought another SNRI might be good for me. I weaned off Prozac in a couple of weeks while taking the Pristiq. It worked really well for about a month on it's own and then I crashed again - fatigue, anxiety, depression - and A LOT of it. Again, in hindsight, I wonder if the prozac had a delayed withdrawal bc that can happen even though doctors don't acknowledge it much. I raised the Pristiq by 25 for a couple weeks and it didn't help. Studies have shown that increased levels of Pristiq doesn't increase efficacy of the drug...it's just more to get off of later. So I went back down to 50 and my doctor then added 5mg of Ability. I had awful side effects - restlessness, jumping out of my skin, major depersonalization, etc. She suggested Rexulti which has less side effects but isn't covered by insurance and would have been 1k a month so I tried Geodon instead for three days - same class of med, same problems. So I gave up on Pristiq. Stopped CT and started 10mg of Viibryd. That's when things started to get really really bad. I basically compounded Pristiq withdrawal with Viibryd side effects. I eased up over a month to 40mg - the therapeutic dose. I woke up in a panic attack every morning, I couldn't function at all, I could barely talk or eat. I felt terrified and almost catatonic. I took 20mg at 11am and 20mg at 3/4pm, and you have to take it with food which is hell when you're that nauseous. It got a little better after 5/6 pm everyday which was strange. It also got a little better at 40mg in that my good windows would last a little longer but my bad ones were still awful and still lasted for the majority of my day. I added Valium in the morning but didn't want to get addicted so I'd go three days or so then experience increased depression when I stopped. My doctor kept telling me to be patient, that things would turn around, but after two months of feeling like I was dying everyday, unable to function and having suicidal thoughts, I lost any bit of patience I had left. He had also told me that he thought a lot of this was psychological not chemical and that I should spend more time talking to my therapist. Anyone who has been through awful side effects and/or awful withdrawal very much knows the difference between issues that can be resolved by a therapist and issues that need a good psychiatrist. The only thing I needed to talk to a therapist about at the time was the physical pain I was in due to the medicine. I saw another doctor who told me to wean off the Viibryd - that I should be feeling better by that point. I honestly thought I wouldn't make it through another withdrawal period, but the Viibryd was so bad for me that the withdrawal was actually less miserable than the side effects had been. She also told me to take Klonopin .5mg in the morning and at night. My anxiety was way worse in the morning so I took it then, but fortunately, didn't get addicted to the full 1mg a day bc I didn't take it at night. She also added Prozac - 10 up to 20 while I weaned down on Viibryd. After being off of the Viibryd for a little over a week, I needed to figure out what anti-depressant was next. I honestly felt too scared to try anything else so I added 300xl of Wellbutrin to the 20 Prozac - a little less than I was on originally - before I started all the changes. Still not finished - then I had to withdraw from the .5 Klonopin I'd been taking for a month. I cut in half for a week then half of that for 3 days. I suffered terribly that whole time and then for a few days after my last dose. I am writing you from the other side. So...I basically went through all of the hell to circle back to where I started, and I definitely didn't have it in me to get off altogether bc I know adjusting to life without meds after 16 years on them is going to be a bigger task than I have the energy for right now...but I did learn some things....
  23. Admin note: link to Rafatennis' benzo thread - Rafatennis: Clonazepam and Nortriptylene Withdrawal Really enjoyed reading the information by the administrator on this site. I too was sold on the idea that I needed to reduce a benzo Clonazepam before the Nortriptylene but have had little success. When I read that its best to taper off the activating AD first it made total sense. I'm currently holding at 1.5mg clonazepam and have recently started reducing the AD, dropped from 25mg to 23mg over the last two weeks using the water titration method from this site, what I did was put the 25mg capsule of Nort into 25 ml of water and shook the combination and drew out 2ml of the combination for a 2mg reduction. Lat night after two weeks I dropped to 20mg. My question is do I continue to reduce by 2mg all the way to zero or use some different % ratio. Thanks and glad to be connected with this group,
  24. ostrich

    ostrich

    As a teenager I was on anti-psychotic stelazine, then off all meds till my early 40's. I started on prozac in order to improve mood and productivity in 1994. I went off it for a few years to maintain a certain license and my symptoms worsened over time. Went back on it in 1999, switched to weekly dose around 2002 (90mg). That seemed to become less effective as time went on and it was upped to 180mg. Added Strattera at various doses starting in 2003 with major physical reactions (all food tasted foul, stomach and abdominal cramps severe enough to require hospitalization, and 2 small heart attacks at 40 mg, leg and toe cramps at 50mg, settled on 25mg). I sometimes don't take the strattera in less stressful seasons (summer, christmas) and only notice a loss of focus. After a recent heart attack (3rd) switched back to 20mg of prozac daily. Not only no side effects, but feeling much better. From reading the book "Lost Connections" and some of the research cited, I've decided to start weaning myself off of the prozac first and then the strattera. I plan on taking about 4 months to wean off of prozac, wait a few months, then ditch the strattera.
  25. AlanHarper

    AlanHarper: need help

    I am new here, although I did try to start an account awhile back. I am sure there is much on Paxil withdrawal. I cam off of 2mg of klonopin and still am on paxil which I wish to discontinue. I am using Alan Harper as pseudonym. Is there someone out there who is willing to help me in my desire to stop using paroxetin 20mg.? Thanks.
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