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  1. Hello! So it has been four months since my last dose of Lexapro. I’ve been experiencing pretty bad tinnitus - anyone else experiencing something similar? Anyone know how long this typically lasts?
  2. Last August I couldn’t sleep without Xanax. I would wait sometimes until 6/7am to try and avoid the benzo. I quickly realized a problem was occurring becoming reliant on Xanax and instead of working through it, I cold turkey’ed both the maoi I’ve been on for years (Nardil) and the Xanax....biggest mistake of my life. I suffered for months with a laundry list of crazy side effects, but I was determined to “muscle through it.” Things have only gotten worse. I noticed in the fall I was sensitive to alcohol and 1 drink would throw me off for days. A few weeks ago desperate to feel better, I took Sam-E, a lot of CBD oil, and tablet of Nardil, and quickly flipped into a hypertensive crisis (likely from serotonin syndrome) in the ER with my heartrate at 140. Not good. Things escalated from there; I tried to reinstate on the Xanax occasional use, which only made things worse. Hours after each dose, I seemed to go right back into acute withdrawal; each exposure to the Xanax was more painful and crazy, including hallucinating, delirium tantrums, severe akisthesia, hypertension and unrelenting panic and anxiety. For days. Multiple ER visits and doctor appointments resulted in more benzos, making everything worse. Realizing my CNS has been kindled (subsequent withdrawals being worse and increasingly dangerous), I have since stopped the Xanax and all supplements. The acute episodes have subsided and now I’m just very shaken and confused. I’m not really working or functioning at the moment, mostly bedridden. I haven’t slept in weeks (most nights just 1-2 hours max). I feel like my life is in free fall. I seem sensitive to everything; one supplement now throws me completely off. Sugar and gluten are also major triggers. My game plan for the moment is to give my body a little time to chill. No pills, just food and water. My hope is to try to reinstate on the Nardil at a tiny dose, but I’m petrified it won’t work given how sensitive my system now is. I’ve also thought about gabapentin, given I tolerated it well before. A doctor I saw recommended lamictal. Reinstating on any benzo is clearly off the table given the paradoxical reactions I’ve had. Should I try a low dose of the Nardil or is my system kindled and now will not tolerate any of it? Should I just try something new like lamictal or gabapentin to calm things down? I need some freakin’ relief / normalcy. This is insanity. I don’t care about being off meds, I just want my life back and happy to slowly taper from there. I feel desperate. I also am trying to manage all of these big different changes going on in my personal life, it is extremely difficult to do this during withdrawal. I appreciate any ideas and input. Thx you!
  3. I wish I had discovered this forum before, I feel that it is now too late for me, I made so many mistakes out of desperation and not knowing what I was dealing with, I regret it, I don't know if my brain will return to normal after all this mess. It all started in 2010, I had just turned 17, and after years of bullying at school and depression I went to a psychiatrist who put me on 20 mg paxil, I felt good in the first two weeks, after I felt terrible, I became apathetic, without emotions, with anhedonia, without libido, depersonalized, I complained to the doctor but he said it would get better, so I supported it. after 6 months he added bupropion, he couldn't sleep, he felt panic all the time, he was going crazy, I changed the doctor, lowered paxil to 10 mg and added a benzo and amitriptyline, I felt good for a month, then everything went bad again he I removed amitriptyline and benzo and remained in paxil for another 6 months, and I felt terrible. my doctor removed the paxil in two weeks and said that I shouldn't take any more medication, hell was the withdrawal, but I endured it, I never felt the same again, anhedonia, emotional dullness, without libido, bad cognition. I noticed some small improvements over the next year, I did not know that I should have withdrawn slowly, I did not know that my brain could take years to heal. I was desperate for a cure, doctors and psychologists told me it was all psychological, after a year without medication, I took 1 month of mirtazapine, no improvement, and 1 month of trazodone, 1 month of tianeptine. Knowing what I know today I would say I had pssd, but at the time I didn't know. 2012 I managed to fall in love, but my brain still had all the symptoms of pssd, and sometimes I had erotic dreams, my cognition was better, but libido, anhedonia still very bad. 2013, sometimes I had mild moments of sexual excitement, I started drinking a lot for the next few years, I used MDD, one day and everything seemed to return to normal, except my libido, I used LSD once too, and I felt great except libido. 2014, I could watch TV, my anhedonia was better, cognition was better, sometimes I fell in love and sometimes I felt passion, but the sexual part was still very bad. 2015 and 2016 same thing as 2014 basically. 2017, I started to get desperate again, I wanted to recover my old self, I discovered the pssd forum, and I started testing drugs, I took pramipexole 0.375 mg, for a month, in the first two weeks it resolved my anhedonia but then it stopped working. I took inositol and did nothing. 2018, in January I went to an andrologist, gave me a cocktail of herbs and cialis and it didn't work. In April I took venvanse for a month, with no effect. In May I started St. John's wort, it seemed like it was healing me, everything was getting better, libido returned, genital anesthesia disappeared, so I went to a music festival, I wanted to enjoy it, (they gave me a drug pill, which I thought was mdma) , I started to feel very strange, (it was serotonergic syndrome, but I only discovered a lot afterwards), the next day my libido was very high, nymphomaniac, I had brain zaps, muscle spasms, I took the pill again, and I was very crazy, the next day I no longer had the benefits of the herb of san joao that was healing me and my pssd was worse, much more apathetic, without any libido, the serotonin syndrome got worse, I was confused, I had a seizure. I interrupted the herb, in the following 3 months, my pssd had worsened a lot, greater apathy, tinnitus and constant headache, the herb had more effect. In October 2018, I went to a clinic and took 1200mg of ibogaine, hoping to improve, it was a bad experience, despite feeling drugged for the next 3 months, but in the end I didn't get better. January 2019, I took 1800mg of servo de sao joao at night, I felt a heat in my brain that ran through my body, anhedonia and emotional dullness passed, the anesthesia in the penis disappeared, and I had a little libido, but it only lasted one one day, I tried other St. John's wort, but it never had that effect again. March 2019, for a moment I felt great libido and attraction to a person, even without taking any medication. July 2019, I tried parnate, it didn't help, October 2019 I started parnate, the first two weeks were wonderful, without anhedonia, better mood, although sexual function was not recovered, it lost the effect, except for a slightly better mood, I increased the dose up to 80mg in January, reduced it to 0 by a month, and stopped taking it. 2020, urologist prescribed, testosterone injectable every 10 days, improves erection, but did nothing for libido. Sorry, it was too long, but I tried to say everything, I think I should have given my brain time to heal on its own, as you recommend here, but I was desperate for a cure, and I was stuffed with medicines, and I interrupted the natural process, I think I messed things up a lot. mainly after the serotonin syndrome I lost almost all the little progress I made in years, I no longer have erotic dreams and I became more apathetic and I lost the 10% of libido that was still left, now I know I made a mistake, after 10 years ... my current symptoms are: no libido, apathy, emotional dullness, anhedonia, loss of penis sensitivity, and chronic tension headache. Can I still recover after all this mess?
  4. Hi! I have been going through withdrawal for 14 months now, after my doctor told me to simply stop taking Effexor after being at 37.5mg for 3 months. All hell broke loose and that was when I found out there is a thing called Withdrawal from anti-depressants. Through the painful weeks that followed I ended up on Prozac, as apparently it's easier to withdraw from than Effexor. After 5 months I stabilised on 20mg Prozac. I am now on 10mg. It has been an extremely bumpy ride as till now I haven't had anyone to guide me through the process. It's been really enlightening reading some of the posts in this forum, and I know I need to be more prepared for the journey that lies ahead. I'm particularly concerned about getting my doctor on board with such a slow taper! I saw a document referred to as "Bliss Johns paper" mentioned in a couple of posts. Where do I get such a resource?
  5. Hey! So I’m about 2 years off of effexor on a fast taper (I was on max dose, went down to 0 in 4 weeks by advisement of my psychiatrist). 3 months after I suddenly had horrible debilitating symptoms, attempted to reinstate 3 times, and the 3rd time it spiraled my nervous system into the scariest most challenging physical symptoms I’ve ever had. After a few months I stabilized and was able to adjust my life as continue working without much issue, as long as I stuck to my routine. About a month ago I, without warning, had a severe and sudden downturn. My symptoms are now worse and more debilitating than when I first had the worst of it 2 years ago, and I now can’t stomach food without adrenaline spikes, blips in vision, migraines, and sudden tingling/burning/numbness of my left side. Of course I need to eat, but I’m wondering if anyone else has gone through this and has a way to get through not eating without getting into serious medical danger. My doctors don’t understand very well what to do. My nervous system is more sensitive than ever, and even the slightest mistake causes intense emotional and physical pain. I was on effexor for about a year before stopping, and I’m currently 26.
  6. I am 73 and had attempted to taper from 150 mg of nortrip which I had been taking for 5 yrs (neuropathic pain). Over a period of 2 yrs, with rescalation and other problems I was able to reduce to 100 mg/day. . 5 months ago I quit from 100 mg. I have more or less survived but am only now realizing what a serious mistake I made. Currently sx's are totally disruptive. If I calculate a 10% per month taper it could mean up to another 1.5 yrs, which I would find intolerable. I was only able to do 5 mg / month when I was doing a slow taper. I recently attempted to re-start the drug at 10 mg, but in the first week was very symptomatic - all the usual. Am I correct that the rate of recovery will be just as slow now as it would have been with a slow taper? In other words, yes indeed, I am looking at about > 1 yr to go. Would it be reasonable to attempt another trial of reinstatement, and hang at it for 2-3 weeks? Gracias
  7. Hi all, I'm glad to have finally found a place that provides an explanation for everything I have been going through. Anway, let's get to it I guess. I first started taking antidepressants when I was 17 years old (2010) due to a development of Panic Disorder which I now know was caused by trauma as a child from various things, my mother dying being the main reason I suspect, she was also a drug addict so I grew up around a lot things a child shouldn't, I also had no father present. As long as I can remember I have also suffered from OCD, I obviously wasn't aware what it was as a child but the characteristics were there. I originally was started of on Zoloft for a couple of months but it had no effect, moved onto Citalopram, again didn't work. Finally I found my golden ticket, Lexapro. It provided me with the much needed relief I was seeking from my panic and compulsions/rumination. It worked great. At the beginning I don't really remember suffering many side effects except for dampened emotions and a slightly decreased libido. Since beginning on Lexapro I was on and off it a lot to be honest and from memory never experienced much difficulty withdrawing, nothing acute anyway although I did always get some brain zaps, thinking back now I always welcomed the return of a natural emotional range, It was like I could breathe again. I have not been on it full time since I started and the longest I spent off it was 2.5 - 3 years and was seemingly doing okay. I went back on medication when I went overseas at the beginning of 2018 as travelling seemed to heighten my pre-existing mental health issues, again, it worked a treat. OCD and rumination out the window! I had a bit of dramatic year in 2018 and was out partying a lot to ease the pain and by the end of the year I decided I wanted to make real change, tackle my demons head on, come off meds, get super healthy and focus hard on my acting. This is when my hell started. The first two months of 2019 were great, I was running every second day, I had started a course at uni and I was sober and enjoying it! By May my rumination and OCD skyrocketed, existential dread, a loss of purpose and hope, you name it. I was plagued by what I can only describe as feelings of tension all throughout my guts and inner body. My torso just became ( and still is ) so tight and stiff, lots of pain in my back, neck and shoulders, restricted movement, it's by far my most uncomfortable symptom, especially my diaphragm. I now know this is due to my nervous system taking such a hit by being exposed to such change so quickly but Its left me confused as I have always fast tapered and never experienced anything like this. I went back to my doctor assuming that I needed to go back on medication, my theory was the combination of quitting substance abuse and medication had opened the floodgates to a lot of pent up unresolved trauma and overloaded my system ( I will also add from 17-21 I pretty much did 0 drugs and 21 onwards dabbled very rarely) truth is, I had every intention of feeling my emotions properly and still do but something was different this time round. I have been in physical hell for over a year now, stiff, sore, restless, you name it. I started back on Lexapro around June - July last year but I found it didn't do too much. My new psych had me try Fluoxetine for a bit but it didnt do anything at all. By the end of the year I started to come off it again and truth be told, the lower I got in dosage, the better I was feeling. I might also mention that for the majority of 2018 I was at a dose of 10mg, nothing too high. In the past when I was younger I had gone up to 20-25 but haven't been on that high of a dose consistently for a long time. I did go back up to 20 briefly last year after reinstating as I was desperate and thought the more the better but it didnt change anything. I have now been off Lexapro again for around 6 weeks, I have definitely experienced what I now know as waves and windows, I'm a pretty intuitive person and I can tell you that my mind and body scream at the idea of ingesting that drug again. I only found this website last week so I have only just found out about reinstatement and all of the things that are discussed here. Reinstatement at a low dose has crossed my mind as an option so I can begin a slower taper down the track and stabilize my symptoms however based on the fact that I stopped and started again last year without too much alleviation from the negative symptoms I feel as though I should just keep going, as tough as it is. My psychological symptoms have largely improved, I have had a slight decrease in the general tension I have talked about which is good. I also have moments where I feel real emotion which I actually like, sure it feels like I may cry sometimes (although I never really truely do) but thats all i have ever wanted for a long time, to let go off all this weight I have carried from my trauma. Anyway I thought I would get some opinions from you guys as to whether I should try reinstating or just keep fighting the good fight. I don't know if I am extremely resilient or if my symptoms are bad but not AS bad as other peoples but I have somehow managed to hold down a job, try my best at exercise, stay sober for 90 percent of the last year and work hard towards my goals. Its been so so uncomfortable, but I'm a battler and i fear if I stop I won't start again. I wonder if the worst is over? I mean I reinstated for 5 months and have honestly noticed more positive changes since stopping the medication all together once more. I am thankful for my positive mindset, at the moment I am not feeling suicidal which I was for a time, I want to be alive, I meditate a lot, write a gratitude list every day and do what I can to keep moving forward. I really really don't want to take meds again but I understand it may help... I will mention again that I have ALWAYS fast tapered under the advice of my old Psych and never had this happen before, why now? Anway, some direction may help, I'm thinking about sticking it out, im certainly not feeling comfortable but currently doing all I can besides actually taking the tablets themselves. At this point the physical is more unbearable than the mental but im pushing forward, any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
  8. Hi Everyone, A year ago I never thought I would be writing this, but I am here to tell you that HEALING IS POSSIBLE! Here is my story; I hope it helps... Like many of you on here, I was prescribed an antidepressant (the SSRI Paxil) after going through a period of prolonged stress that left me anxious and depressed (though, ironically, nothing even close to how depressed and anxious I was AFTER coming off the Paxil and going into a prolonged withdrawal). I was extremely hesitant to go on anything that would, “mess around with my brain chemistry” because I use my brain a lot in my work as a...wait for it...school psychologist! Yes, even with my deep knowledge of mental health, I still got sucked into the medication trap! I just wanted the pain to go away and, while I knew therapy was an option, I irrationally thought that my thoughts were “normal” and couldn’t be changed...who knows, maybe, as Victor Frankl once alluded, my ‘neuroses’ were a normal reaction to an abnormal world...but that’s another story and I know you guys want to get to the good part about recovery. Anyway, thankfully, I was only put on a very small dose (10mg) of Paxil and I was able to feel the benefits quickly. Because it worked, I decided to just keep taking it...and no doctor who refilled my prescription during the 10 YEARS+ that I was on it EVER suggested that I quit...they just kept writing the script; indeed, some even asked me if I wasn’t ready for a higher dose (thank God I didn’t go that route). Fast forward to winter of 2017 and I began thinking it was time to go off the Paxil for a variety of reasons including the fact that I was getting some weird side effects. My doctor at the time (just a regular GP, not a psychiatrist as here in Canada any MD can prescribe antidepressants) suggested that I take 5mg for 2 weeks then quit. I knew better than to do that, so I came up with a tapering schedule (something I cobbled together myself from a bunch of research online....but unfortunately not Surviving Antidepressants as I didn’t know of the site yet). Doctor thought I was being ridiculous to want to slow taper, but nevertheless prescribed a liquid suspension and I began dropping 1mg per week. All was OK until I got to below 5mg (half my dose)...that's when the more intense physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms appeared (head zaps, weepy, low mood, etc.)...so I decided to slow down and drop dosage every 2 weeks by 0.5mg instead. It was still hard though and the brain zaps continued, but my mood seemed OK-ish, but not really 'normal' for me. At that time, I went to see a naturopath who put me on a mood boosting supplement that has some GABA and 5-HTP and L-theanine. She also gave me St.Johns Wort to take 400mg 3x per day (total of 1200mg a day). I don’t think either of these really worked during that time and I eventually tapered off them. Anyway, I completed my taper by mid June 2018. In July 2018 I went on a 3 week trip to Morocco. I was relatively fine in July though I slept VERY poorly on the trip and overall the trip was very exhausting and it was very hot! When I got back I went into a total spiral; I could not handle even the slightest amount of mental stress or my body would have a near panic attack. It was as if my body was sort of out of control/ possesed. I won’t get into a huge story detailing the timeline and exact symptoms I had because this is not a novel, but I will say that within a matter of a couple of months I was a total mess, much like many of you. My sleep was f*#$ed, I rapidly lost my appetite and lost weight (OK, I'll admit, that was a bit of a silver lining for me...haha), and anxiety and eventually a deep depression were daily guest. I read and researched a lot to try to figure out what was going on! And that’s how I found Surviving Antidepressants and read other people’s stories and realised what was happening to me. When I spoke to my doctor about it, she dismissed the notion of protracted withdrawal, saying instead that I was just ‘relapsing’ (yeah...right...only feeling 1000% worse than I ever had BEFORE the Paxil) and offering me a different SSRI to which I said no, of course. I have to say, that while in the depths of my withdrawal and what I can only describe as a living nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (I know you guys can totally relate) I never thought I would get better. One of the worst parts was not knowing IF and WHEN I would recover. Honestly, one of the things that kept me from going back on the meds was my fear of ending up on a psych-med merry-go-round that might leave me debilitated and steal even more years of healthy, vibrant living from me. All I could do was go one day at a time, with the knowledge that some days would be better and some worse than others. I tried to keep close to people as social connections always helped. I binge watched Netflix like it was going out of style (normally I don’t watch any TV as I have lots of interests and hobbies). I also got out in nature as much as possible since I have always found that healing. Going to the gym fell off the radar as did a lot of 'self-care' stuff that I had been so good and diligent at doing BPW (before Paxil withdrawal), but I tried to accept that and forgave myself for not having the strength to keep it all up. I tried to eat (when I had an appetite) as healthy as possible; did a lot of take-out, but luckily there are healthy options available now and I would also eat whatever others were willing to feed me! Anyway, slowly slowly, things began to improve...but I am not going to lie and say that it was fast (I wish I COULD say that because lord knows, it was what I wanted desperately to hear while I was suffering through this)...It took me about a full year off the very last micro-dose to feel about 70% 'myself'. Now, 19 months off, I feel 90 to 95% 'myself' and much much stronger; somehow I even survived the death of my beloved dog 3 months ago without meds (I grieved hard and it hasn't been easy, but I accept this as part of life now). If I were to plot my 'healing' over time I think the graph would resemble the stock market graphs, with daily and weekly fluctuations, but with the overall trajectory being 'up'. I want to let you guys know you are HEROES and SO BRAVE for taking on this journey. While this process is so incredibly hard, there IS hope and recovery WILL come...our brains are ‘plastic’ and I truly liken this process as a sort of 'brain injury' that needed time to heal. Please stay strong. One day, looking at it all from the other side of this nightmare, you will be glad you made it through and are med free. Much love and strength to all.
  9. This painful journey started when i was 21 years old... I was addicted to Cannabis, had a difficult adolescence and all i needed was help to stop using drugs, my hormones checked, and therapy. I know that now. After a bad break up due to my addiction and mental health i was put on Citalopram. I was still smoking Cannabis chronically every day, and as i was showing little improvement they increased my dosage to 40mg after nearly 2 years on them. It made me manic, indifferent, and dangerously wreckless. I crashed my car at 100 mph having woken up late for work far too many times due to how drowsy i always was on the meds, and i was driving as if i was possessed. I survived an operation to fix a bleed on my brain. However in hospital they stopped the Citalopram dead. They never even mentioned it, and i couldnt remember and it obviously wasn't of a concern at all to them. 6 months after i went back to the doctors with a feeling of something missing from myself. I'd gone back to Cannabis after my accident for the same reason, something was missing and i felt so weird like everything i used to enjoy just meant nothing to me. Like id lost my soul, and i needed to feel happier. Not the long term answer. So they put me on Duloextine (cymbalta). Never discussed the side effects, withdrawl, possible permanent damage, effectiveness of these drugs ever, it wasnt once mentioned. Just that they woulld make me feel better, I had a chemical imbalance that needed to be fixed. So they parked me on them for 8 years ignoring all my worries over things i was experiencing whilst on the medication. Every concern was met with them upping my dosage. It didnt stop me smoking Cannabis infact it only compounded my addiciton, as the meds gave me what i now know as Akathesia and the only thing that helped was smoking Cannabis. The only time i was anywhere close to being content whilst on the medication was when i smoked. I finally decided i didn't want to be on the medication anymore, i went to the doctor and said that i wanted to see how id feel without them, and my GP said to simply reduce the tablets over 2 weeks. I was on 90mg of Duloxetine (cymbalta) at the time. I never realised the seriousness of not properly tapering, and being told to do so over such a short period of time was clearly detimental. Especially after 10 years of medication. It's been 3 years since my last dose. I don't speak to my friends, all desire has gone. My anxiety is through the roof, i'm never calm. I have no real life. I'm even finding work near impossible. The cannabis turned on me as well when i stopped talking the Duloxetine (cymbalta) , the withdrawl i think has been a big reason for that, but i decided to try and stop smoking. Never made me feel like that before i was put on antidepressants but it was making me worse at the time. I am now left pathogically anxious alot of the time, like i said no desire to do anything, all my loves, my hopes, my dreams have died. I was never this bad before i started taking meds. I don't know who i am without them but i dont want to be on medication, certainly cant accept being on them for life to regain some normality. I've been praying that time would heal me but it appears it has done nothing to help. My question to the community I've been struggling with whether to go back on them at a low dose. But i'm scared, and i didn't want them in the first place, i've gone 3 years, but it's not been a happy time. I dont want to have to go through any elevated Akathesia again, or be left with more permanent side effects by going back on them at all. My family and girlfriend don't want me to take them again. I'm being pulled every which way. But i can't stay this way I've waited over 18 months so far for therapy with a Neuro Phyiatrist and the NHS still havent approved it. I don't know if it will even help... - Should i talk to my doctor about going on a very low dose of my previous meds? Or has it been too long now? - Should i entertain taking these sketchy things ever again? I would really appreciate the communties advice. The only other thing i have left to try is looking down the route of thinking my testosterone has always been an issue. But most doctors in the UK dont subscribe to it but i haven't totally given up on the thought of trialling TRT to see if it makes a differnence. I've had a blood test my serum levels are considered normal however guidleines are vitally flawed, and i have had no idea what they were before i started taking Anti-Depressants) but i have high SHBG which means my free testosterone is very low. But doctors won't offer any diagnosis or solution to that issue. Has anyone had any experience or success with this? Many Thanks ❤️
  10. Hi, I'm new here I'm a 32-year-old woman from Denmark. I found you because I want to safely taper off of my low-dose Amitriptyline 10 mg. But as I read about withdrawal, I came across "post-acute withdrawal syndrome" or "protracted withdrawal" and I got chills because suddenly what has been happening since 2017 made sense! Long story short(er), I was on Venlafaxine/Effexor for 8 years because of generalized anxiety and body pains. In 2017 I tapered off from 2 capsules/150 mg, reducing with 1/4 pill every 2 weeks, so I was off them after a little under 4 months. (I didn't know about safely tapering off, only now have I come across your guide :)). By going off so "slowly" - well, compared to my doctor who told me I could do it cold turkey(!) - I didn't get the extreme side effects i would normally get when I would go up or down in dose. I felt the same when I stopped my dose and for the next 2 months, I was completely fine. But 2 months after I had taken my last dose, I started getting pain in my body, and after 2 more months, at the end of January 2018, from one day to the next I started having an extreme inner shaking/hightened fight-flight-response. It was like I had gotten a shock and I just stayed in that state every second of every day. Never being able to rest was so bad that I wanted to kill myself. It's so difficult to explain the sensation to anyone, so I usually use sleep deprivation as a related example: Sleep deprivation should be the worst form of torture and I get it now - stressing your body every second of every day is completely unbearable and you just want to die. I did sleep, though, but only 4-5 hours every night and I was never tired. My cortisol levels were high so I was checked for Cushing's (cortisol producing tumor) which meant I couldn't take any medicine to help me for 7 months because I needed accurate cortisol results (I didn't have any tumor, though). And also, nothing helped me, not benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, CBD oil or high doses of beta-blockers. After 7 months, my friend who had experienced the same "shaking" after a whiplash and after only a week had wanted to jump out the window from her apartment on the 3rd floor, recommended a low dose of Amitriptyline and that reduced the shaking by 30 % and after a month by 50 % (I only took 5 mg to begin with, though, and it worked after just a few hours, very weird). My symptoms then started to become predominantly psychological instead, like I would cry all the time. It opened up a deep developmental trauma wound that I started therapy for in December 2018. After that and body therapy like The Rosen Method, my symptoms are gradually decreasing. (I also have like 20 other symptoms, like body pain, fatigue etc.). Now, almost 2 years after I came off venlafaxin, I'm 50 % better than I was in December 2018, but my sympathetic nervous system is still firing too much. I thought that being on antidepressants for so many years, from I was 22 until I was 30 had made me so numb that I couldn't process all the stuff I had been through earlier in my life - and I still think that's partly the case - but now I see that there's an entire half of the picture I didn't know about!! That this must have been post-acute withdrawal syndrome!! So not only did I have all the past trauma that came up now that I didn't have something to artificially shut it down, at the same time my brain was also struggling with getting chemically back in balance! Woooow... #MindBlown! I don't even know what I feel... I feel so angry and want to sue someone, but that's not really possible I guess. I have missed work for almost 2 years, I'm only now starting a 10-hour internship. I can't believe you can go from feeling fine to 4 months AFTER you stopped the medicine get these extreme reactions. Has anyone else experienced something like that? And I still want to come off of the Amitriptyline, but slowly. It's only 10 mg, and this week I'm taking 9 mg. After I've done this for 2 days, I do feel some side effects like a bit of insomnia and hightened fight-flight, but it's minor. And might be because I made an oral solution from my tablets and now I read you should try to stay on your dose for 4 days before you reduce it. I did calculations based on the advice of the 10 % reductions of the new dose every month, and if I jump off at 0,1 mg, it will take me 43 months. It seems like a long time, but I would rather do this safely this time! Wow, I'm still in shock that it was protracted withdrawal symptoms that almost had me commit suicide, because no doctor could tell me what I was experiencing. I'm so glad I found you! And I also want to ask you if anyone has ever gotten completely over this syndrome, can your brain adjust completely? TIA
  11. I was put on 2.5mg of Olanzapine for racing thoughts/anxiety and as a sleep-aid. I was mostly taking 1.25mg though. I wish I had done the research before taking it!! I would have never taken it if I had known it would be like this, and cause such changes to the brain. So, I've decided to just stop taking it cold turkey, as I figure that having only been on 1.25mg - 2.5mg for most of the 3 weeks, and... (5.0 for 2 days near the end) it for 3 weeks total, it's best to just stop without adding length to the drug being in my system. The dose I've been taking is small also, however, I am very medicine sensitive. I'm so worried about side-effects from withdrawing... I was using the phone and laptop last night until 3am to distract me until I felt relaxed enough to try and get some sleep, which I eventually did at about 3.30am. I was researching all about Olanzapine withdrawals and looking at many videos people posted on YouTube regarding this. It was slightly comforting. I had very vivid dreams, as I have been having on the Olanzapine, only they somehow felt even MORE vivid. I can still remember the dreams easily enough if I try and this makes me feel anxious as I experience derealization/depersonalization every day I feel. I woke up a few times this morning. First at about 6am. Felt like absolute crap. Depression, comparable to the “come down” after a high from ecstasy etc. Managed to sleep again, even with an anxiety-induced racing heart, falling into that vivid dream-filled, seemingly shallow sleep. Woke again before my wife got up at 8am, but once again, managed to fall asleep before she left the house. It’s 12.15pm now, and I feel very depressed. I feel no joy and I have anxiety that is bubbling behind this cloud of depression. Obsessive, intrusive thoughts are frequent, and I don’t want to do anything at all today. I feel so very low. I find it extremely difficult to even write this, but I’m trying as I know it is something positive, to be keeping track of my progress. I really hope I feel better soon. I’m very nervous about what to expect. I feel like it can’t get worse than this, as I feel absolutely hopeless, with no happy feelings…I’m just so depressed. I’ve been thinking about trying Effexor XR, as I’m experiencing this crippling feeling of depression, and I’ve been feeling about the same way for the past 3 days, give or take. I actually started feeling this low after I re-commenced on Olanzapine 2.5mg after a 2 day trial of withdrawing from it after I took one 5mg tablet. I started feeling this low after taking that last 2.5mg tablet. Well, that’s all I have to write for now. I feel so low… (My question to people who have successfully stopped Olanzapine) - Will I ever feel ok again? Will I find the old me..? Is 3 weeks and the dose I've been on not small..? I was taking it for 3 weeks, and mostly (for about 75% of those 3 weeks) 1.25mg (splitting 2.5mg in half) along with taking 0.625mg (splitting the 2.5mg in half) as I’m very med sensitive and nervous in general about medication. UPDATE on DAY 2 of Olanzapine WIthdrawal It is now 5.10pm in the afternoon. I am still feeling depressed and have racing thoughts which are causing me anxiety on a high level. I feel like I have lost myself, and I'm afraid that I won't be happy again. This depression is so bad that I managed to talk to a psychiatrist in the day hospital and she prescribed Mirtazapine 7.5mg (taking half of 15mg). I really hope this will help me through this, as I am feeling rather hopeless and lost... Has anyone used antidepressants to ease coming off of Olanzapine? Thanks. UPDATE on DAY 3 I slept from some time after 1.30am while listening to a YouTube video. My sleep felt very shallow with vivid dreams, which I can't recall clearly now, but I don't think they were particularly good dreams. Woke up at 6am. Immediate panic. Still empty, no, worse... no feelings at all, just fear/panic. Perhaps this is due to my receptors being messed around with from the 3 weeks on Olanzapine? Is 3 weeks enough time to do irreversible, permanent damage to the brain? I wish I had some answer... I used my phone to watch videos of people's journey of withdrawing. I couldn't seem to find enough. I continued to watch videos until about 9.30am when I got out of bed with my wife. It is 10.20am now. I'm trying to remain active, even though doing things is just so difficult! I washed the dishes. I managed to eat a banana. My wife made me a cup of hot milk. Thinking about eating food makes me feel quite nauseated. I have zero appetite. My thoughts don't seem to stop. I wonder about the point of existence. Humans as creatures - what, really, is the point? I have depersonalization and derealization for at least 4 months now, and I think about every little thing I do or see... I'm just so tired and stressed! I'll continue to update. Thank you everyone, and I hope to hear some friendly people! Shane.
  12. Hi all, this is my first post on this forum I am confused and am looking for some advice regarding possibly tapering off of St. John's Wort. I was put on SJW by a naturopath back in June (2018) to help ease the withdrawal symptoms of tapering off of Paxil (10mg) which I had been on for 10 years. I basically began tapering off of Paxil starting in Feb 2018 and I believe I went a bit too fast; I definitely started to feel all of the typical WD symptoms once I got down past half of my original dose and by June (at the end) I was feeling pretty crappy. I went to see my naturopath who put me on a supplement to support mood (Thorne product "Mood Plus") which contains 100 mg of 5-HTP and 100 mg of GABA, 400 mg of L-Tyrosene, 100 mg of Rhodiola, and 100 mg of ginseng among other, more minor vitamins (including b12). She also gave me St. Johns Wort and told me to take one 400 mg capsule 3 times per day (total of 1200 mg) . I can't really say that I felt a huge difference in my mood after starting these supplements (nor that I do now), but I think there was some 'lift' to my spirits, bearing in mind that other factors that boosted my mood may have been the fact that it was summer, the sun was shining, and I was going on a big adventure in July (trip to Morocco). The one thing I have noticed since June / July is that I have had a lot of trouble with sleep. It is hard to really tell if it is the SJW though because there have been some good nights of sleep...and there are so many factors that influence mood and sleep. Generally speaking, my 'withdrawal symptoms' tend to be more on the anxiety and agitation end of the spectrum as opposed to depression... recently, I have begun to wonder about the SJW and if that wasn't causing or at least exacerbating my symptoms. I spoke with my naturopath just the other day and she said that this should't be the case and I should keep taking it (it has been basically 5 months now). She said that SJW is calming and most people really derive a soothing effect from it. But, after having read things on this site re how the sensitized nervous system can have different reactions to things versus the 'typically functioning' nervous system, I still have my doubts. I am also more than a bit peeved to read that SJW can cause withdrawal symptoms if it is stopped too abruptly. Given the hell the past few months have been after coming off the Paxil, I am not keen to go through another 'withdrawal saga'... I don't know what to do...should I keep taking the SJW? If not, how would it be best to taper, given that it has been 5 months on it? Right now I have decided to only take 2 capsules (so 800 mg) per day and only up to 1 pm...maybe that's too much of a drop, but I don't know how else to do it since the capsules cannot be cut. I figure I can do this for a few weeks then go down to 1 capsule..? Again, I am not sure it IS the SJW that is causing me symptoms, but I feel like I need to minimize what I have in my body at this point so that it can regulate / heal itself. Any advice / thoughts would be much appreciated. Oh, and BTW, when I asked the naturopath about tapering off of SJW she said she had never heard of people having adverse reactions to quitting SJW cold turkey...sheesh! Thanks!
  13. Hello, Firstly thank you for this groups existence and the valued information it holds I will try to keep my story short as possible, In year 2000 I had a emergency operation, this in turn caused me my first ever panic attack, after the op I had a further panic attack and developed agoraphobia, this all developed in a very short time of only about 4 weeks at home during the operations recovery. As agoraphobia set in, I never had anxiety about going out, my body would just become stiff and in pain to the point I couldn't walk when I went out. I went to the doc, he put me on 20mg seroxat and said I have anxiety/depression/agoraphobia. ( I know i've never had depression in my life.) . At this point I had a family to feed and really blind in the knowledge of what's just happened to me, I was ill and there was a medication to use, ( no offer of therapy ) Once on paxil I was back to work in another two months, I had all the usual start up symptoms including suicidal ideology. I remained on 20mg of seroxat with no reviews for 18 years, really not many issues, although in 2016/17 I did notice some changes, libido dropped out, restless legs, more emotional, In Late 2017 I dropped my 20mg dose to 10mg in the space of 3 months, ( Big mistake I now know). Whilst fast taper I had no symptoms, and the 3 months after that the drop holding at 10mg I had no symptoms, First withdrawal symptoms was joint pain and was the only symptom I had for another 3 months, since then until today I'm slowly getting worse, with most of the well known symptoms listed. Tinittus sensitivity , reflux, bladder, Colon, gut, groin/genital, dropped heart rate, amazing head pressures, shakes/vibrations, a touch akathesia, anxiety, sleep, muscle burn, twitches, restless legs/arms, dep and derealization, the list goes on and on, I dropped sugar a year ago, tried magnesium glycinate and got up to 250mg daily, no benefit. Tried good quality fish oil, had reaction anxiety attack. My diet is pretty clean because I had reflux since 2015, and managed with no medication. I take no other medications especially whilst in withdrawals. I have small windows maybe an hour or two in the month. I've really been lucky with sleep apart from the odd period I've managed 6 hours average a night, I've been off my work and in withdrawals for 20 months. I've been on the remainder 10mg seroxat for 23 months, with the hope of stability. The last month symptoms have increased massively, mainly constant fibromalagia type pain, and severe head and ear pressure/sensitivity. With diminished sleep, Also a building and worrying development, if I get stressed or anxious, even emotional, I get some tight squeezeing pressure down the back of my head and ears, it's like a freezing spasm/vibration, I had a bad episode of this when talking with a person, it's actually temporarily froze my head and upper body for a couple of seconds. Like a mini fit, I'm feeling this tension more each day and its worrying me greatly. With this recent uptake in symptoms I'm really looking at increasing my dose, I know it could be a massive gamble, as I know and have read enough, or even a drop in dose, I would just like some experienced advice remembering the fact I've been in withdrawals 20 months and remained on a steady dose of 10mgfor 23 months. Thanks in advance for any help
  14. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
  15. Hi, my signature basically says it all. I got into psychiatry over 2 years ago and got on seroquel and Mirtazapine for my depression & sleep problems. The opposite happened. I stopped sleeping & had severe adverse reactions. I could not stop sleeping & started to have akathisia & dyskinesia from the first tablet I took but continued to take it as I thought it was my depression getting worse or I thought I got food poisoning or something. Anyway... stopped CT both drugs at psychiatry after finding this site due to severe adverse reaction. No sleep for 1 month straight. Very acute symptoms for 3-4 months (about 20-30) What is left now is that I feel my brain is permanently on. I never get tired, have naps or sleep. Like the brain has no off switch. It's like A rubber band has been streched for over 2 years and two months but it didn't get back into it's position but stretches itself... Instead of going back into it's original form. Like You wake up and stretch it... you go to sleep and wake up and it is back into it's original form. This is my only symptom basically... I've read a few similar stories of people having similar experiences but it seems they are rather rare, maybe due to the fact that I C/Ted an antipsychotic? Or is it possible to have cortisol/adrenaline spikes for 2 years and 2 months off? (I feel like I have way more energy but in a toxic kind of way)
  16. Reading through this forum, one serious question remains: What to do if I have depression? Should I take Antidepressents? 4 years ago I took Citalopram for 4 month and then tapered down very slowly (10% a week). Hat no serious withdrawal, but after the taper had very strong sadness which I suffered through with some valdoxane. This took a month or so and was very disturbing... If I remember correctly, I stopped the Citalopram because it gave me an inner restlessness that was uncomfortable. Now I'm again in a depressive/anxious state which is stronger than any previous episode I had. I don't sleep well (5-6h), loss of appetite and pleasure, feeling defeated. And on top of that I fear that I should not take antidepressents because of the possibility of all those nightmare withdrawals. This leaves me in a hopeless state because, well, what else could I do? Either suffer from depression or take AD and feel better now, but maybe way worse later? THATS LIKE A TRAP! Advise wellcome.
  17. Hello all, I was first prescribed 25mg of zoloft late November of 2015 after a few days in the psych ward. Afterward when I found a psychiatrist, he raised my zoloft to 100 mg and then a month or two later he added topamax 25mg and Latuda (can't remember the dosage) into the mix. Shortly after I started to get brain zaps even when I was taking the medications on time and foolishly I decided to just stop taking them all together around March or April of 2016. I never returned to that psychiatrist or any psychiatrist for that matter. Now almost four years since taking them I am still plagued with brain zaps. They are not always present but appear every few months for a few days and then vanish into the wind. It went on that until about Feb of 2018 when I started experiencing numbness in my legs. I thought it was a stroke or blood clot so I went to the ER. After I got a MRI of my brain and an xray of my spine, the doctors told me that the findings did not explain my brain zaps or numbness in my legs and sent me home with an article from PsychologyToday that I had already read a million times detailing SSRI withdrawal syndrome. I felt defeated and never thought to contact a neurologist. Since then my symptoms got progressively worse. Every few months there would be relapses and a new symptom would appear; lhermitte sign, paresthesia, tingling, itchiness, fatigue, and pain behind eyes. I started to document my symptoms April of this year after another relapse. I had another relapse September/October. Today I am in the throes of another relapse. This time somewhat longer than normal. I decided once and for all to find out if what I am experiencing is just the repercussions of not tapering off some medication almost four years ago while being a stupid college kid or if what I have is something more serious since SSRI withdrawal seems to mimic quite a few other neurological diseases. Tomorrow I go in to see if I can get a referral to a neurologist. Wish me luck.
  18. I am french. My english is not fluent. 9 months ago, i quit ad and bzd In 1 monte and a half. I was having those médecine since 20 years because of panic attac. I felt very good. So i quited.Big mistake. I took it all again: ecsitalopram 10mg+ tranxene 10mg. Then, started maniac crises. So my psychiatre told me to stop ecsitalopram. What i did in 1 month. 5 months later i am still suffering ouf brain zap, panics attacs etc... i went to see a new doctor Who wants to give me another ad to stop my suffering. To stand my state, since 2 week, I murs take 30mg tranxene by day ! But, I am anxious about having maniac attac again if a take an ad again ! I am not maniac, juste suffering of panic Attac, do you have any advice that could help me ? Thanks so much
  19. Hey everyone, this is my story. About 13 or so years ago when I was 13-14 (I'm now 27) I had my very first panic attack which terrified me so bad that literally the next day I was at the doctors begging for meds, I did this because I didn't know any better and I wanted the anxiety GONE... I had health anxiety and every little pain, ache, sensation or feeling whatever it was, had me convinced I had a terminal illness and that I was dying which lead me to the panic attack after weeks of worrying about it, I should also mention I'm not sure where the worry came from because prior to that I was fine.. So I started on 50mg of Pristiq and back then I thought it would work like a benzo and relieve symptoms straight away but honestly it made my anxiety worse, I felt weird on it, for some reason death was on my mind more than ever like I would be down about the thought of me dying one day, my family dying,all these weird thoughts that I never had before and not what a typical13 -14 year old would have.. I stayed on it and for about 2 weeks I was absolutely bed ridden with intense anxiety, I could barely leave my room to pee, finally the tablet kicked in because I woke up 1 day nearly a few weeks in and my anxiety was almost completely gone, not to mention I felt a lot happier than before to, my life was back on track and I even got myself a part time job for after school at a fast food place, life was pretty great I mean I did notice I felt like I was in a dream kind of world but I didn't look to much into it, the anxiety was still there but not as intense, I found myself always getting reassurance which kind of worked but at the time I didn't realise that's such a bad thing to do and makes it worse, fast forward a few years later I was still on Pristiq 50mg, working and attending school, life felt like it use to, as I got older a pattern developed, out of know where an intrusive thought would come in my head which by the way happened a lot but normally I could disregard, however every so often the thought would be to complex and it would consume me, literally to the point where I would be bed ridden exactly like I was when it first started, this led to me having a dosage increased to 100 mg and being introduced to Zyprexa to help manage anxiety and sleep, at first I only stayed on the Zyprexa a couple weeks and never had it again as it made me to drowsy, fast forward to recently where I stopped Pristiq 100mg cold turkey purely because I couldn't afford it one week and my attitude was "I feel normal anyways I'm cured from anxiety" that lasted 6months lol, I should mention that withdrawal for the first few days was hard but I got through it but keep in mind, I was regularly attending the gym so that helped a lot and back then I never knew about withdrawal symptoms I thought it was like a week and then it's out your system, and honestly for a while in that 6 month period I actually did feel better off them because I appreciated life a lot more as I didn't feel as emotionally numb, a nice sunny day made me feel joy like never before it was so alien how magnified my feelings became, anyways after 6 months of course the health anxiety was back as well as weird physical symptoms I never had before, tingling and tightness in my head like a rubber band being squeezed, bowel and tummy issues, intense intrusive thoughts ect... Anyways I ended up back on pristiq but it wasn't like being on them before it felt different, I hated it and got hit with intense suicidal thoughts which lead me back on Zyprexa as well as pristiq, that lasted about a year until I cold turkeyed both the Zyprexa was first to go which was so hard to do omg man 😕 a few months later I cold turkeyed pristiq, if anyone out there is considering for the love of god don't cold turkey!!!! it's been a year to this day since I had a pristiq and a few months longer since Zyprexa, in the last year I've felt: depersonalisation/derealisation, intense head pressures and pains, vision problems, bowel problems to the point I had a colonoscopy to make sure I didn't have bowel cancer, I had a CTscan on my head to make sure it's not a tumour putting me through this hell, extreme anger and depression, extreme sleep problems, sex drives gone downhill a bit, I'm paranoid like it honestly feels like I'm in fight or flight 24/7.. The worse anxiety I've ever felt, the hardest symptoms I've had to deal with and this is what has lead me to join this group, I don't know if I'm hallucinating, but it feels like I can see my own thoughts in my head clearer than the real world in front of me.. I know it sounds strange, I feel trapped in my own mind I can easily ruminate over my intrusive thoughts and visualise them more than I can pay attention to the real world and I hate it will this nightmare ever end?Have I done PERMANENT damage? Sometimes the head pain hurts a lot I feel like I'm seconds from dying from the pain, like it's getting worse I constantly ask myself if I should go back on the meds and taper off but it's been so long plus I hate the meds I want nothing to do with them, any advice would be great I'm sorry for the novel
  20. Hi everyone, Somewhere around 2012, I was put on Lexapro to try and address life-long issues of social anxiety, and newly emerging issues with GAD, including panic attacks. About four years later in mid 2016, I was starting to have more issues with panic attacks again, and decided I'd rather get off the meds than up the dose. So I spoke with my psychiatrist and started tapering. Now, I never heard of the slow taper recommended here, but I had heard that withdrawal could be brutal. So I decided to cut it by 25% every two weeks, putting me at 0 after about 8 weeks. I imagine that provoked a cringe from half of the audience, but... I felt fine. No brain zaps, akathisia, ataxia, or any of the other scary things I read about. My anxiety was a bit higher, but I expected that. I figured that was the end of it, and I could move on. The weeks went on, but my anxiety kept increasing, so I adopted meditation to address it. It wasn't easy, but it was better than nothing. Regardless, I was starting to have panic attacks almost every other day. I figured I could just fight my way through them and they'd eventually go away. Then I had some kind of super panic attack that pulled me out of sleep and racing to the ER. Pretty much ever since that night, my sleep has been an absolute disaster. Back then, I could barely get 3-4 hours a night if I was lucky. Nothing seemed to work either. Supplements? Name one, none worked. OTC sleep aids like Benadryl or Unisom? Paradoxical responder to all of them. Prescription antihistamines like hydroxyzine? Even worse, and somehow made me completely sleepless for the entire half-life. Benzos? Used sparingly, they are/were a relief, but I didn't want to get addicted, so never more than once or twice per week. Z-drugs? Helped slightly falling asleep, but that wasn't my problem. I had developed intractable and aggressive sleep maintenance insomnia. I also started having problems with chronic pain and spasms along my surface muscles mostly in my lower extremities, but also around my chest. All of that has persisted since then, but by far the most disruptive is the insomnia. I've managed to get back up to 5-6 hours according to my Fitbit Alta HR, but I still feel exhausted most of the time. And too often, I won't sleep at all and will end up reading in another room to avoid screwing up my sleep hygiene. At this point, I've gotten that to a science: pink noise, blue blockers 2 hours before bed, 300mcg melatonin 1 hour before bed, bedroom only used for sleeping, no TV or electronic devices late at night, etc. I did CBTI with a sleep psychologist, and he said I was doing everything right. But of course that won't undo neurological damage, nor will it prevent me from waking up at 4:30 AM to use the bathroom, and being unable to fall back asleep afterwards. This has taken a huge toll on my QOL, and I wish I never even heard of SSRIs. I'm not suicidal, but my sense of humor on the subject has gotten considerably darker. I used to be the kind of person who would sleep through an air-raid siren. It always took me longer to fall asleep than most (30+ minutes), but I slept like the dead. Now it feels like I wake up at the slightest provocation, and if my Fitbit is at all accurate, my slow-wave deep sleep is about half what it should be for someone my age. I briefly considered going back on Lexapro, if even just for some relief, but then I remembered it put me here in the first place, and I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy. Then I read that might not work anyway. I can't go back in time and slap the prescription out of my hand, or explain to myself about implementing a much slower taper, so I feel like I'm basically SOL. It's been almost four years, and I'm still fighting this. I've even begun watching for research that we finally discover how to manually trigger various sleep phases, and stumbled across the recent studies on the VLPO region of the brain. I'm desperate and poking at anything I can find. I'm just so tired.
  21. Hi, I was on Effexor for 2.5 years (the last year only on 37.5 mg ) and also combined with Wellbutrin 150mg. I went off both in February 2019 with no taper because I was unaware at all that we could just not stop. There its been been a year of worsening conditions then the ones I even wanted to get off the medication for. I took some Effexor and Wellb a few times during the year, but usually just for a day or two (which I also know now is bad). I really don’t want to go back on meds, but I have sever dry eye, very lethargic, and worst of all a very flat and sad melancholy baseline. For those who were not aware of tapering and have been withdrawing for almost a year, does anyone have recommendations? I have already been eating pretty clean, exercise, and supplement with D, Mag, and Omega, but I basically feel awful every day. Anyone been thru this as well?
  22. Hello SA, As you can see from my signature, I have a long history of starting, stopping, and switching numerous drugs. Largely due to SA, over the past month or so I have truly awoken to the dangers of these drugs, and I am devastated over what I now know they have done to my brain and body for the last nearly 18 years. However, I do have faith that I will heal. At age 17 I unwittingly walked right into Big Pharma’s lair and became ensnared when a psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor for OCD (which apparently should not even be a first-line treatment for OCD). When I tried to fill it at a new pharmacy in my new state as a college freshman about 1.5 years later, I was told that my insurance would not fill the prescription because the dosage was too high (I don’t remember what it was). Frustrated, I decided to just stop taking it since it wasn’t helping me. I didn’t know any better. When withdrawal hit me, I contributed my symptoms to the cold turkey but didn’t fully understand I was experiencing withdrawal. Over the next 15 years I went on and off multiple drugs to try to manage my OCD and accompanying depression, not fully realizing that my unsuccessful attempts to stop the drugs were due to tapering too quickly and subsequent withdrawal as opposed to relapse. In October of 2018 I was on 10 mg of Prozac and had been holding there for about a year while seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I was struggling at that dose, most likely due to delayed withdrawal from a too fast taper from 60 mg. Due to my struggles, I decided to attend an outpatient OCD program where I foolishly allowed the attending psychiatrists to take me off the Prozac and put me on a cocktail of Abilify, Anafranil, and Luvox. I did not notice any improvement with the cocktail over the 10mg of Prozac. Once I discharged from the program three months later, I returned to seeing the psychiatric nurse practitioner. He instructed me to cold turkey the Luvox (I had been taking 25 mg for 2.5 weeks). I hesitated at the cold turkey approach but thought, "I've only been taking it 2.5 weeks." He continued me at 5mg of Abilify and increased me from 75mg to 100mg of Anafranil. At my next visit one month later, I said I would like to discontinue the Abilify and Anafranil as they were not helpful. His instructions were to cut the 5mg Abilify pills in half for 6 days and stop. This seemed too fast to me, but he told me that anti-psychotics do not need to be tapered as slowly as anti-depressants. Regarding the Anafranil, I was to take 50 mg for one week, 25 mg for one week, then stop. This seemed too fast to me as well, but I told myself that it was still a taper and not a true cold turkey. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am here now because I have found myself in “one of the worst places to be during withdrawal”, according to @brassmonkey in his Reinstatement post. I am seriously considering reinstatement after 8 months off of all drugs because I am completely non-functional, and my symptoms have only gotten worse during this time period. What concerns me perhaps the most is that I have not experienced any windows since my last dose. I want to believe that I am healing, but it feels I've only deteriorated over the last 8 months. From what I’ve read here on SA, I understand that reinstatement may or may not work and may even cause an adverse reaction since I’ve been drug-free for so long. Even so, I would sincerely appreciate any advice on reinstatement (for or against) in regards to my particular situation. Also, if I were to reinstate, which drug should I reinstate? I was on Luvox for 2.5 weeks and both Abilify and Anafranil for approximately 4 months. Before that, I was on Prozac (on and off at various times) for 13+ years. So although Abilify and Anafranil were my most recent drugs, perhaps it is Prozac that my brain and body are most used to? I am grateful for any advice, suggestions, and encouragement. Peace, Love, and Faith, HopeforHealing
  23. I'm willing to travel for this one (hopefully within Washington state)....Can anyone recommend someone that can serve as an alternative to psychiatrists and mainstream doctors for help with withdrawal from an SSNRI? I've become frustrated with these people. They do not listen, assume what I am experiencing is simply the return of depression, and offer only to throw more dangerous meds my way. I need someone that has extensive knowledge of this subject along with compassion for the individuals afflicted.
  24. I had been taking Celexa for depression for 20 years. I tried to quit taking it 2 times before. I am on my 3rd try. After talking to doctors I tapered for 6 weeks from 20 then 10 milligrams and then stopped. Last time I tried I tapered for 6 months. Thought I would try shorter time this time. I know now from joining this group that was a mistake. Boy do I know it. Uhh...I have been off for 3 months. Symptoms are anxious, feeling dread, nervous, hard to fall asleep, foggy brain , feel flat. I am functional in my job but I feel like an actress. Get teary eyed easily. Anyway. The posting in this group have helped me so much. I have not told too many people in my life because it is hard for them to understand. I have had my husband read a few postings so he can see what I am going through. I have been asked over the years by doctors how I feel taking Celexa and I said goodsoooo never thought of stopping for a long time. Did not know the drugs were not made to take your whole life. I am pushing myself to eat cleaner, not drinking alcohol right now and walking and riding my bike for exercise. I have to believe I will feel better but I question daily if I really will. Thanks to all who share their journey.
  25. Gunner1 Everyday wake up to feeling of constant dread and anxiety. 9 months off Celexa. Was on it for 18 years. My body feels strange. Week and little energy. I have to be busy with something. I eat healthy food most of the time. I force myself in the morning as I have no appetite. I am managing my day to day life but making mistakes. I did not taper long. I did what the doctor recommended. 3 weeks on my last step down 10 mls. I feel like I won't ever feel good. Everything seems hard. New problems make me more anxious but I do figure things out. I have been following advice on exercising and eating right. I usually can get 6 hours of sleep each night but wake up at 4 am and then I cannot go back to sleep. I am so discouraged.
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