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  1. Hello, my name is RSurviving and I'm new to Survivingantidepressants.org. I've been on the anti-depressant drug Zoloft (Sertaline) for aprox. 6 years now and the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal (Risperdone) for 5 years. I am a young woman with- hopefully- my whole life ahead of me. I live a pretty peaceful existence now, but since this wasn't always the case, I take 150mg of Zoloft and .25mg of Risperdal. I have/had pretty sever depression and anxiety with some suicidal ideation and I still deal with it on a daily basis. I also have other chronic health issues that impact my life and mental health issues every day. About 11 months back, I expressed to my psych Dr. that I wanted to wean off of one of my medications, and since I have no actual psychotic tendencies (Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia) I believed Risperdal should go first, especially since it's the lowest dose. School was just starting up again, and so she agreed that we could attempt it, under the condition that I replace it with Klonopin. This idea is very self-defeating. I know. Why get off of one only to start another immediately? That's why I didn't want to agree. After much convincing from my mother and doctor, I left the session not only with a new script for Klonopin, but the advice from the doctor that since the Risperdal was such a low dose, I could quit cold-turkey... I tried to insist that I didn't feel comfortable just stopping it, especially after so many years of use ( I didn't even want to stop taking my allergy meds for three days in order to get annual allergy testing done) because I've heard so many horror stories about abruptly stopping anti-anything medication. However, I let myself, my mother, and even my longtime boyfriend be convinced that it was low enough to stop for good. In the beginning of September 2014 I was off of the Risperdal for four days before I started taking the Kolnopin under the direction of my doctor. I was normal for about a week. I had a job, an amazing, supportive boyfriend/family and was a full time student, until things went south. I have never experienced anything like this before. Life looked distorted, like a colorful, geometric pop-up book. My co-workers were trying to "kill" me when they walked too close to me at work. Spiders crawled all over my body and my house. I was always sick. I tried to claw my way out of my body by scratching at my skin. I tried to pull my hair out. I screamed at things that weren't there. I head voices and talked to myself as if I was Norman Bates. I acted completely out of character by trying to seduce other people even though they weren't my boyfriend and I didn't want to/had no intention of being with them. I left work in the middle of my shift and apparently walked in the night to the other side of town to a park where my sister found me, confused as to where I was. I frequently forgot who/where I was. Everyone who loved me tried to help and understand, but it was like I was comatose, and in my place was an evil shell of myself. The worst part is, I still don't fully remember all of the damage I caused, or anything that happened in those two moths of my life. However, I will always have to live with the guilt of knowing that I hurt the people I love most, without even knowing how. Needless to say, after a couple of months for this, my mom and boyfriend finally got me back to normal. I still find moments where I don't know where I am, but fortunately, it doesn't last long. My memory is still shoddy as well, but I'm taking it one day at a time. So now, even though my family and I are terrified about stopping my medicine, I feel that it is necessary for my sanity (pun not intended.) I wrote this for support, advice, and even some help from others, but I also wrote this for those people who, like me, have seen the evil side of coming off these drugs in an unsafe manner and need to do it the right way. For those who want to know that even though this path is dark, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I hope this helps, and thank you for your time.
  2. Hi All, I'm joining SA as a way to give and receive support as I work my way out of 14 years of poly-drug treatment for a "severe mental illness" diagnosed after I was involuntarily hospitalized in an extreme state in 2001. When I was released from the hospital, I was on Seroquel and Depakote, constipated, confused, sad and dopey. I slept all the time, gained weight, my hair fell out. Deemed in the depression cycle of bipolar disorder, I was prescribed Celexa (terrible headaches and nausea), then Effexor (caused me to lose consciousness after exercising), then Welbutrin. Lamictal and trileptal were added, Depakote taken away, Neurontin tried for awhile, stopped, all to "stabilize" my "mood". A good career and high salary were history. For 2 1/2 years, I could barely function. My history of previous hospitalizations and mother's suicide 6 years prior made my SSDI claim sail through. I lost the ability to socialize or feel comfortable into public. I could blank out and hit the ground if someone startled me or trapped me. Six years ago, I started using a trained service dog for tasks related to PTSD (protect my body space and assist me out of dissociative episodes). That assistance allowed me to get off the seroquel and start doing things outside my home. In 2013, coincidental with starting a part time job, I had an access challenge that involved the police. My anxiety went over the top. Psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel, then Klonopin to deal with that, but I had to come off the Temazepam to take the Klonopin. I hated Klonopin and wasn't sleeping. Psychiatrist said, "If 'we' take you off the Welbutrin, maybe you won't have so much anxiety." I realized all along he had been prescribing additional drugs to treat side effects. He had added Sertraline to the Welbutrin on a couple of occasions and insisted I go on that before coming off the Welbutrin, which I did. Sertraline made me miserable. I decided to stop taking it after 1 month. I had gone back on the Temazepam for sleep, but once off the Welbutrin, didn't need that, either. By April, 2014, I was off everything but Lamictal, Trileptal and Levothyroxine (thyroid). I felt like a different person, awake! I could think! Wow. My skin cleared up. I started enjoying life and others started noticing how different my energy was. I fired the psychiatrist and approached my primary care doc to help me taper off Lamictal and Trileptal (the only two psych drugs left). Since a hidden study (not released until after the Lamictal's patent expired), showed it no more effective than placebo for bipolar depression, I started with that first. I did 10% taper until I got to half. Then did 10% taper of the half, cutting back every 2-3 weeks. Two weeks after my last dose of Lamictal, I started to slip into an altered state. Contributing factors, IMO: 1) Lamictal and trileptal have a synergistic effect. Lamictal increases the dosage of trileptal by about 40%. Coming off lamictal was like tapering off both; 2) In altered states 5 times (first in 1974), I was always locked up and drugged, and never able to naturally resolve the process; 3) The 20th anniversary of my mother's suicide approached. The unresolved grief, numbed out by so many years of drugs, blindsided me; 4) I didn't sleep for 5 days; and 5) Given what I'm reading here, there may have been some delayed withdrawal effects in the mix. Fortunately, loving friends stayed with me, helping me avoid the trauma of lock up. I've never been a danger to myself or others. I needed sleep. My primary doc prescribed temazepam. This time, it worked poorly. I had to take 3X what I'd taken before and it wore off within 3 hours. I'm now using medical marijuana to sleep. That works better than anything else I've tried (other than the seroquel which created a walking coma, not to mention the cholesterol soaring). I'm concerned about the anticholinergic effects of the drugs I've taken, including the 600 mgs Trileptal I'm still taking. With a family history of Alzheimer's, I do not want to add any more fuel to that potential. I plan to start tapering off the trileptal this coming week. Thanks to all of you for being here.
  3. Until two days ago, I didn't know about anti-depressant withdrawal syndrome. I was on Paxil for 5 years and after that my Dr. switched to effexor 37.5mg for 6 months and 75 mg for a year and lowered it to 37.5 mg for 6 months till recently. In the past, I quit paxil 4 times and I had relapses (now I know those were withdrawal symptoms) and quickly I put paxil back on and got better each time. About two months ago I quit effxor (cold turkey way) again without knowing about the withdrawal symptoms. For a month and a half, I didn't notice a major physical problems. My case is that when I quit paxil and effexor, I didn't have a major noticeable symptoms until 1-2 months. Now I can think of slight symptoms but I didn't take it seriously before. And after 1-2 months, suddenly acute symptoms occur. About 10 days ago, I started to notice feeling depressed and my body was having strange sensations, shaking, my legs were numb and I felt very unstable. I thought my relapse was coming and I put the effexor 75 mg back on. And this time the symptoms didn't go away more than 5 days like the other times and I started to research about my symptoms online and finally found the "Withdrawal symptoms" which describes exactly my condition. "Withdrawal symptoms" are really terrible like most people here say. I was in bed shaking and having all sorts of sad negative thoughts. I feel like I would never get back on my own feet. Now my concern is what should I do now? I got 75mg of effexor back on from 10 days ago. My mental state is better from two days ago. I have insomnia and flu like symptoms but mentally more positive. Should I continue 75 mg? or should I reduce? And how?
  4. I need advice! I have been on remeron and klonopin for 4 months. I am trying to come off due to side effects from both. I am also taking lamictal and holding on to that for now. I tapered off klonopin 4 days ago and have also been tapering off remeron from 26 down to 7.5 in about a week on the advice from an integrative psychiatrist. All was well until yesterday when my anxiety returned hard. I'm trying to wait it out for a few more days. I'm wondering if I should wait it out a few more days or go back to the dose of remeron I was more comfortable at. I really don't want to but I can't do this for more than a few days.
  5. Hi everyone, I just joined so I think my account is still being approved... My history is below. I am trying to get off both Paxil and Klonopin. Basically I find that Paxil relaxes me not stimulates me... so my pdoc suggested the benzo taper first. Has anyone else found that to be the case for them? Also, she wants me to taper 25% a month on the Klonopin (I think 10%) is better. Your thoughts? Lastly, she also wanted me to updose my Paxil from 20mg to 30mg since she thinks that will help with my Klonopin taper. Three days ago, I started my updose on Paxil -- and now by reading the postings on your site and paxilprogess, I think that was a big mistake. Can I just cut the 10mg since I've only updosed for 3 days on Paxil -- or do I need to taper from 30mg to 20mg? Suggestions? Also can I taper both at the same time or do I do one and then the other. If I do one and then the other, how long should I wait to stabilize before I can taper the other? I appreciate your comments in advance. Best, Samone -- HISTORY 1989-2012 Self Medicated with Marijuana 10/12 Ovarian Cancer Surgery and quite MJ C/T 12/12-4/13 Chemo 12/12 started 10mg Paxil 12/12 started 1mg Klonopin 3/13 20mg Paxil 3/13 2mg Klonopin 6/13, 1/14, 3/14 failed taper both 5/14 tapered again STUPIDLY this time by 50% each since I began to run out both & did not want to C/T - got terrible s/x 6/14-7/11 went to ER 3 times - didn't know what was happening 7/14 Reinstated Paxil back to 20mg and Klonopin to 1.5 mg 8/14 still having sleep, GI side effects, anxiety, depression, etc. 8/10/14 new pdoc suggested to up Paxil dose to 30mg 8/12/14 decided to stop updose on Paxil What do I do?
  6. After two years of taking 10 mg of Ambien, 4 mg klonopin for sleep, and 40 mg. ritalin, I became addicted and ended up a zombie. I went to my doc and told her about this and she told me to go home and throw out my meds. I followed her advice and ended up not sleeping for six days. I begged her for klonopin on the 6th day for sleep and she relented. I wish she had done a taper for me, and don't know why she didn't. Feel like she was ignorant about ambien and benzo withdrawal. Not only did I not sleep for six days, but I had sucidal ideations the first two days I came off those drugs. Still don't feel right and don't know what to do. Do I go back on them and taper? It has been almost two weeks since I went cold turkey. It was hell. Still is. I take lamictal 400 mg, for depression, and saphris 10 mg for mania. I'm bipolar. I also take 100 mg topamax and want to quit that. And she just added 300 mg neurontin for sleep instead of the klonopin which makes me shuffle around and slur my speech in the morning. I've come this far cold turkey. Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, mainly agitation and insomnia. Is it too late to taper? Or do I just continue w/ the cold turkey hell?
  7. I've been on anti-depressants for 10 years. Most recently 200mg of Zoloft, trazodone, klonopin. I've been experiencing mood swings the last 9 months that keep getting worse. Assuming it was a side effect of my medication I asked my doctor if it was a good idea to taper off. I did as he directed and ended up barely sleeping for three weeks which culminated with a serious episode where I was violent threw my husband out of the house and barricaded myself in my bedroom which ended in self-mutilation (cutting). I'm 32 years old. I thought cutting was something teenagers did. I've never had mood swings before. I called my doctor and all he told me was to go back on zoloft. Needless to say I'm looking for a better doctor. I'm very confused. Did I not taper off correctly? Will I have to be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life? Was I in withdrawal? I'm back on my meds but I'm feeling all the reasons I wanted to come off them: I'm sleepy all the time, I have trouble with my memory, I have muscle spasms to name a few. I have felt clear headed maybe 8 times this year. This is no way to live! But I'm very afraid of what coming off my meds might do now. It was terrifying. I don't know what to do next. I have mild depression and insomnia. I shouldn't have gotten so wildly out of character.
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