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  1. I used to take two kind of antidepressants for 2 weeks. Prozac (Fluoxetine 10) and Clomopramine 10. I stopped taking them as soon as I found out they have negative sexual side-effects. It's been 60 days I haven't taken them but my libido is not like it was in the first place before taking them. I am too worried about it. I have been suicidal over it. I have read that it can be a permanent effect which drives me crazy when I think about it. I talked to my doctor but he rudely refused to give me a straight answer since I stopped taking the pills he prescribed me. I talked to other doctors too. They said my libido should have returned in 3 weeks but I can't see any improvements since then. So, my question is, if you have any experience of taking such pills, tell me how long you took them and if your libido returned after stopping taking them or not, if so, how long did you wait till your libido improved completely. Am I suffering from PSSD (Post-SRRI Sexeual Dysfunction)? if so, won't I ever get my libido back? Is there any treatment for this?
  2. ADMIN NOTE I stumbled upon this and found it sensible. ("other addictions part" http://protractedbenzodiazepinewithdrawal.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/27-months/ It basically assess the agony of paws may lead to addictive behaviours (like computer, music, to name mine) which stimulate dopamine so as to make it through, and that in the long run it would possibly downregulate dopamine receptors and trigger/worsen/prolong anhedonia. What do you think about it? Is there any other people who are bound to some alienating addictive behaviours so as to ease the making through the day?
  3. apathetic

    Victim mentality

    Hello. Please, correct me if I'm wrong; but I noticed something and I wanted to share my thoughts. I see that many people have victim mentality because of horrible withdrawal effects. I completely understand where is that coming from, and I am not by any means judging your grief towards life you have lost because of those toxic substances. I used to have that victim mentality as well, in my first days of WDS and I understand the amounts of pain you are in. It's extremely difficult to, as I described the feeling, "just wake up one day and feel like you forgot who you are, and fail to recognize patterns of thinking and reasoning of your "previous personality", as well as be unable to find common sense in anything around you". At least that is how I felt. People that I talked to when I realized that what I'm experiencing is caused by meds were telling me NOT to stress about everything that happened, that it will help my brain to recover faster. I found that quite illogical and impossible; my thoughts were: "How can I not stress and grieve? I feel like my life is taken away, and I'm living in such a void that it seems like it's impossible to get any kind of life back, and at the same time for it not to feel "fake" in a way. They must be experiencing something different, their case must be less severe than mine. I will not recover". It felt like I permanently deleted some pictures from my phone, and my phone didn't have a backup; so, it felt like me completely losing memory of my personality and many, many past events is something that I just can't get back. Now, that I'm sure that you know I understand what are you going through, I will try to explain what I think is a mistake among many people going through WDS. I, of course, described just the basics of this state, because if I started describing how I felt, the post will be way, way too long and I would write it for hours. And the point of describing all of this was to tell you that I genuinely am not judging what am I about to say. So, here we go - the victim mentality. It seems like some kind of a depressive thinking pattern; I am destroyed forever, things cannot get better, everything is done, I have been a victim of psychiatric medications, they caused me all of this, I can't do anything right etc. In my opinion, those thinking patterns are lowering your already severely low motivation. What I needed a lot of time to get to understand is that I don't have to be "the previous me" to be able to accomplish things, to have a right to call myself smart, capable, deserving of love, care, compliments and to be able to generally be successful. You were mentally ill, or if you weren't, you were struggling in some way - if you weren't mentally ill/struggling, you wouldn't be given meds at the first place. I saw this as a huge loss for a long time, but that's not true. This is not a loss; this is the opportunity. It's the opportunity to build a good, satisfying and successful life. But, it takes time. So, when I go back and observe my own thinking patterns from first year of withdrawal, it seemed like I was subconsciously trying to find an excuse for not doing things. And when I say subconsciously, that is exactly what I mean. I, of course, wasn't walking around having thoughts: "oh, this is my excuse, I am doing this on purpose", blah blah blah. And when I say subconscious, I don't even mean that you are partially conscious of them! I mean that you are absolutely unconscious that this may be the case. I hope you don't understand this as me thinking you are lazy, manipulative or anything like that, because feeling like this was not, and is not a conscious decision. It maybe seemed like I was even comfortable being in that state, like I feared something in the real world so much that suffering and seeing myself as a victim (aka giving up on myself) was more comfortable than facing those fears "in the outside world", or better said - outside of this mental state. What I want to say here is that you must refuse to give up on yourself, because that is the victim mentality I am talking about. "I am helpless". No, you are not. You are helpless if you believe you are helpless, because that can bring you to the point of refusing to take any further action regarding healing. With that mentality, you will either give up easily, abandon some healing method easily because even if you try, your belief is creeping up on you, telling you that you're helpless; or you get to the point where you don't even try to do anything, because yes - you believe: "I am helpless". And that thought, that belief has its consequences, and then you fall into a cycle and because you give up easily or don't even try, your belief is automatically being fed all the time. Remind yourself that it's okay to be drained of energy to continue fighting. It's okay to be drained of energy for months. It's allowing yourself to rest and recharge your batteries. But just because you need a mental battery recharge, it doesn't automatically mean that you gave up or that there is a catastrophe waiting for you. You are just resting, and just because you have a need to do so doesn't mean that your brain is dying, shutting down; neither your brain, neither your body, neither your psyche. After all, experiencing burnouts isn't only limited to "healthy" people. The period of recharging your batteries is an awesome opportunity to learn how to take real care of yourself. How not to put too much pressure on yourself, how to develop respect towards your own self and learn what are your body and psyche comfortable with, and what they aren't comfortable with. Changing thinking patterns is a long process, because it feels like you are forcing yourself to think things you deeply believe aren't true, and it just feels wrong. But changing your unhealthy thinking pattern isn't about switching unhealthy thought with another that is perceived as a healthy one; it's about understanding and realizing WHY is your thought unhealthy. Forcing thoughts is not, and will never be a good method for solving those kind of problems. Summed up, it's hard, but I believe in every single one of you. That is all I wanted to share with this beautiful and supportive community. Give yourself some time to get better and please, don't be impatient with yourself (which is another self-care strategy you are supposed to learn in order to cope better!). I am sharing this because I think it can be beneficial. ...good luck
  4. sadandconfused

    Positive stories?

    Hello everyone, I'm doing decent with the withdrawal, better than I was anyway. I was wondering if anyone could give me some positive stories about getting their feelings back for their partner or just recovering from ssris in general? I'm feeling a little discouraged again, it's been going on two years since my feelings changed for my boyfriend after quitting Lexapro cold turkey. I guess I'm just wondering what I should be expecting? Is the hardest part over or will it still be awhile before I'm me again? We're definitely better than we were but I want so bad to go back to the way we were. I loved him more than anything and two years of feeling nothing is just so hard.
  5. Hi, I’m not sure if this topic already exists somewhere else on the site. I have been recovering from protracted antidepressant withdrawl for some time now which has caused me to have to step down from a very stressful nursing position. I have been going to therapy and walking dogs for a little while now, but I feel like it’s time for me to take the next step. I need a stable paycheck and need to find something that isn’t as stressful as managing 5 acute post op patients, but is more involved than walking dogs. Any suggestions? I have my bachelors degree in nursing. I don’t want to push myself too much because I’ve already been through the devastating experience of crashing and burning at the hospital during acute withdrawl. However at the same time, I think that I can handle a lot more than my brain thinks that it can handle, if that’s makes sense. I would love to hear what has worked for people.
  6. Empirical evidence about recovery and mental health | BMC Psychiatry | Full Text I haven't completed reading this. It's a long article: 8568 words = ±18 pages = ±40mins reading time. But much shorter than a book. It appears to be quite an excellent summary / response to the status quo and accepted narratives, with a solid social grounding. The focus is largely schizophrenia, but it applies generally to other states. While many seasoned members here may know the content of the article all too well, it's a good refresher at the very least. At best I've already found a few nuggets which - when put together - joined some dots (aka neurons) in my head that needed joining. My target audience for sharing this (apart from here) would be the occasional "psychiatric footsoldier" - members of the public who have read the marketing hype, and can be quite coercive and destabilising. I think this article could potentially turn them into allies Authors: Professor Mike Slade Mike Slade (0000-0001-7020-3434) - ORCID | Connecting Research and Researchers You searched for mike slade - Mad In America Amazon.com: Mike Slade: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle Dr Eleanor Longden Eleanor Longden, PhD, Author at Mad In America Amazon.com: Eleanor Longden: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle Abstract Background Two discourses exist in mental health research and practice. The first focuses on the limitations associated with disability arising from mental disorder. The second focuses on the possibilities for living well with mental health problems. Discussion This article was prompted by a review to inform disability policy. We identify seven findings from this review: recovery is best judged by experts or using standardised assessment; few people with mental health problems recover; if a person no longer meets criteria for a mental illness, they are in remission; diagnosis is a robust basis for characterising groups and predicting need; treatment and other supports are important factors for improving outcome; the barriers to receiving effective treatment are availability, financing and client awareness; and the impact of mental illness, in particular schizophrenia, is entirely negative. We selectively review a wider range of evidence which challenge these findings, including the changing understanding of recovery, national mental health policies, systematic review methodology and undertainty, epidemiological evidence about recovery rates, reasoning biased due to assumptions about mental illness being an illness like any other, the contested nature of schizophrenia, the social construction of diagnoses, alternative explanations for psychosis experiences including the role of trauma, diagnostic over-shadowing, stigma, the technological paradigm, the treatment gap, social determinants of mental ill-health, the prevalence of voice-hearing in the general population, and the sometimes positive impact of psychosis experience in relation to perspective and purpose. Conclusion We propose an alternative seven messages which are both empirically defensible and more helpful to mental health stakeholders: Recovery is best judged by the person living with the experience; Many people with mental health problems recover; If a person no longer meets criteria for a mental illness, they are not ill; Diagnosis is not a robust foundation; Treatment is one route among many to recovery; Some people choose not to use mental health services; and the impact of mental health problems is mixed. Full Text Versions Empirical evidence about recovery and mental health | BMC Psychiatry | Full Text Empirical evidence about recovery and mental health (PubMed version) The empirical evidence about mental health and recovery: How likely, how long, what helps? (PDF Download Available)
  7. Hi I hope this is the correct place to post this, if not please move it to where it should go, thanks There is a Boston MA support group for people coming off psych meds, that has been meeting for awhile now. Some of the members have split off into what we are calling: NH contingent of the Boston Coming off Meds group We meet once a month in a members' home in Manchester NH, to offer each other support during this often challenging time. if you live in the area and would like to attend, please send me a private message and I will give you more information. Next meeting is set for Oct 12th at 7pm.
  8. jancarol-undiagnosed-off-all-bipolar-drugs G'day folks! I've only just arrived, I've read a few threads here, but not had much to say. I've been lucky, really. Because I'm not heavily medicated and never have been - I've fought that every step of the way. Likewise, I've never been hospitalized or jailed - I've fought against that every step of the way. It started in my 20's when Doc's decided that my depression would clear up better with a bit of Prozac. Just to help me "over the bump" until I had frank hallucinations, watching Bigfoot amble about in traffic and around town. Time to get off the Prozac. So I go off, and persist in an empty marriage with unfulfilling work. So the Doc's (I can't even remember which Doctors did this, it's strange because I was in a new town in Indiana, and you'd think I"d remember going to the clinic or Doc's office, but oh well) prescribe Zooloft. I get jittery and palpitations, so I go off again. Over the next 10 years, from about 25-35, I'm prescribed various antidepressants, and most of them fail. The only one to stick was Wellbutrin, but I get ahead of myself. So after these 3 month each infusions of brain chemical bursts, for 10 years, is it any wonder that when the marriage fell apart in 1995 I went full blown, psychotic mad manic? At the time I described it as if a weight that I had held on my shoulders for years and years was suddenly pulled away and I came unstuck. I was talking to bees (and making contracts with them), stalking potential lovers, stripping my clothes off in the woods so as to be "invisible," paranoid that the lights in my windows were UFO's. This was not treated by medical doctors as mania. Nor was it treated as psychosis at any time: because here is the key - even though I was mad and manic, I was LUCID. I could tell you, "This just isn't right, I need to get help." Ergo, I escaped hospitalization, and the overdrugging that happens there. This was treated with yet another antidepressant (Wellbutrin?) and antianxiety meds (likely Xanax). I met a yoga guru at about that time, and he "cleaned me up" and stabilized me but that was another abusive relationship - because now I "owed him" my life. I was on Wellbutrin for 3 years after this, but the depression just kept sinking deeper and deeper as I had sold my soul to this yogi. When I told the yogi, finally, to go away, that I would be happier without him telling me "who to be," and "how to be it," I got marginally better. At the same time I met my birthfamily, Birth Mom, birth aunt, a sister and 2 brothers. When I got the family history and heard about great-grandma hanging in the shower, and grandma finding her, and the resultant paranoia about menopause this caused....when I heard about the uncles who were chameleons and bigamists....I thought, well. Maybe I am "manic depressive" or "bipolar." So again: with lucidity and clarity I presented myself to the hospital charity system for treatment. to be continued.......
  9. After taking the antipsychotic Invega for about two years, I finally decided at the beginning of last year that I wanted to stop taking the medecin. Looking for other people's experiences on the internet, I was guided to this website for which I am very grateful. With the loving support of my psychiatrist, I switched from Invega 3 mg to Risperdal liquid 2 ml. I also decided not to take any supplements because I didn't want any new chemical substances to interfere with the process of tapering off. I tapered off by 10% every two weeks and observed my body's reaction. Overall this was a steady pace my body was happy to handle. About two months ago, I finally managed to stop taking Risperdal. Looking back, it is very important to be mentally strong to taper off because you may not always get the necessary support and to listen to your body and let it guide you through the process and not wanting to rush things. But this, of course, you already all know and therefore I would like to thank you all for creating this website and putting your heart into it. Then there was still the sleeping pill Lorametazepam I was taking, varying from 1 mg to 2 mg. I had already tried several herbal sleeping aids but without any result. I was talking about this to a lady shaman and she told me that I should take the tincture and not the pills because they are also full of chemical substances. She said that my power plant was Lavender and since a few weeks now I take two teaspoons of Lavender tincture in a glass of water and I haven't touched the benzo since. I
  10. Hello, everyone. I'm new here, but was a long-time reader over at Paxil Progress before it shut down. I actually thought a couple weeks ago how far I'd come and thought, "I should post a success story!" because I hadn't felt PAWS symptoms in an entire year by that point. Well. Today and yesterday, I've hit a rough spot. Let me start with that necessary evil, backstory. In late 2011 I was prescribed Abilify for the off-label treatment of trichotillomania, or compulsive hair-pulling. I did not have depression, anxiety, or any psychiatric disorder; my doctor prescribed this solely for the pulling. When I decided it wasn't working, my doctor told me I could just stop. No taper - cold-turkey. So I did. A week after stopping, I experienced the scariest few days of my life. I was sobbing on the floor of my dorm bathroom, having panic attacks in the middle of class - when I managed to make it to class, that is - and felt eerily detached from myself, like I was living a dream and going through the motions, but couldn't feel anything...and yet was constantly about to fall to pieces in a hysterical mass of tears and panic. Then, about four days later, it ended. Boom, just like that - I was at work one evening, and suddenly felt like myself again. I had no idea that this was my brain's first reaction to quitting the Abilify, and that many more were to come. I experienced this again, in varying intensity (but always very intense and life-disrupting) several times over the next months. When I became pregnant with my first child, I felt myself "stick at a baseline" below my normal, as though my brain delayed healing because it knew I needed to focus on the pregnancy more. But I wasn't normal, or myself, or happy. I was ...some other person entirely, the whole 9 months. Then, as soon as I gave birth, the PAWS returned with a vengeance. A year later, I began a regimen of Amino Fuel, l-glutamine, and magnesium. I immediately saw marked improvement: my windows became longer, and I felt more and more like myself during them; the waves grew shorter and less intense. By 2014, I had two or three days of feeling bummed out every 7 weeks or so, and felt like me most of the time now, even in my waves. My improvements were so good that by summer of that year, I could even feel safe drinking coffee again, enjoying wine, etc., which I hadn't been able to do without triggering waves until then. In spring 2015, I became pregnant again. I had a couple days of feeling bummed out as my hormones leveled out, but no PAWS symptoms for the entire pregnancy. I felt like me. I was happy, ecstatic even, to have another child (whereas the first time, I was so depressed it tainted the entire experience). Upon giving birth, I did have a few days of severe baby blues, including a panic attack - I think it was the combination of epidural drugs and hormonal crash with perhaps a still slightly sensitive nervous system? I had my placenta encapsulated, so I took that and magnesium for a few weeks; within four days, I felt 99% better, then back to myself a week or so postpartum. Two nights ago, I chainsmoked a ton of cigarettes (and I haven't smoked cigarettes in over a year, just vaping low nicotine on an ecig) and drank a good amount of hard liquor (which I also haven't done in over a year). The next morning, I woke up feeling like my early days of PAWS: pounding heart, sweat, too much adrenaline/panic, the world is falling apart, etc. I calmed down after thirty minutes or less, but since then I've felt like I'm in a wave again - bummed out, random crying, lack of appetite, and more than anything this...relentless panic that I've done damage to my brain again, ruined my progress...or - the BIG worry, and hopefully the most ridiculous? Please weigh in - that I was never better at all. That because of my 2nd pregnancy, I just delayed symptoms and now my PAWS is back to stay. I realize logically that doesn't make much sense, because I have gotten immensely better over the years, hence this pregnancy was so much better than my first. Anyway. I realize *technically* I haven't been symptom-free for a year, since I had a panic attack (or perhaps a combo of a wave and postpartum crash or baby blues) this past February. But still, that didn't feel much like a wave the way this does. And it's been a while since I've had one like this - since 2014, most of my waves were "morning-only" where for a couple days I'd have symptoms in the morning, and they'd end very suddenly by noon. This one's been going on all day for the last two days, ever since the cigarettes and hard liquor I had at a wedding. I'm sorry for such a long post. My brain is going a mile a minute with worry. I guess I want reassurance that I won't be this way forever...that my progress isn't all gone because of one stupid night of excess (which I definitely will not be repeating). Also, just looking for opinions on how long my recovery's been - 4 and half years. That's a long time, especially since I only took Abilify three months. Is it possible it's taking so long because of my pregnancies, during which no waves or windows occurred (so I'm guessing, no healing for 18 months total during these last few years)? Thank you for your help. I just hate feeling this way again after SO LONG feeling like myself, no symptoms, and would love reassurance. Taylor
  11. I’ve tried writing this introduction more than once and I have to say that it’s kind of difficult to summarize almost twenty years of wrestling with these dang meds. Around 1995, my second marriage was falling apart. I hated myself and I was falling apart. The marriage counselor my (ex-)wife and I were seeing recommended a doc who could prescribe something for me. In tears, I practically begged that doctor to give me antidepressants. To his credit, he was reluctant but he did end up giving me handfuls of free samples of a relatively young drug called Paxil. At that time, I had never had a panic attack. When I began taking Paxil, and it gave me panic attacks as my system got used to it, I was told that it cannot give you panic attacks. It was only after I began taking Paxil that I actually made a serious suicide attempt and ended up hospitalized. When one of my doctors tried to help my taper off Paxil by halving my dose, I reported symptoms of withdrawal. My doctor told that was impossible: that these meds do not give you withdrawal symptoms, and that any symptoms I was having must be the underlying pathology reasserting itself. I then spent years in the care of a doctor who seemed to have never met a med he didn’t like. When I complained of Paxil’s sexual side effects, he put me on Wellbutrin. He started stacking the meds on me. I was getting tremors in my hands from the Wellbutrin, so he put me on Neurontin (Gabapentin). Never able to get free of sexual side effects, I tried a bunch of different meds. Effexor. Buspar (which had me screaming at the top of my lungs). Etc. But I always returned to the welcoming arms of Paxil. Things started to turn around for me when I started researching medications for myself. After spending some time on Serzone (Nefazodone), I saw online that some countries had banned that med due to concerns over liver toxicity, so I asked to be taken off it. Doing more research exposed me to the fact that many folks were experiencing the side effects and withdrawal symptoms I had been reporting to my own doctors for years. And gradually, the doctors started to admit to the existence of “discontinuation syndrome” which seemed to be particularly bad for those taking my main medication – Paxil. I started to trust my own observations more. I started keeping a daily log of how each dose of each medication affected me over time. This log has been a tremendously helpful tool for me. My doctor at the time felt that such detailed record-keeping was pathological. Luckily, after almost two decades medicated, I found a doctor who was willing to listen to me. She put me on Lexapro in another attempt to get free of sexual side effects. She was willing to listen to me when I told her how sensitive I seemed to be to these meds, and how halving my dosage yielded catastrophic results. I told her of my plan to do a very gradual taper; much more gradual than she thought necessary. She was willing to go along with it as long as I reported in regularly. So, in October of 2013 I began my most gradual taper ever. And on 05/28/14 I became med-free. We’ll see how it goes. My wife and I just celebrated thirteen years of being happily married, so I'm very lucky to have her as my support network. She's seen me at my best and she's seen me at my worst. I'm mainly here at Surviving Antidepressants to learn more about these meds and to have experienced, knowledgeable, and impartial folks who can help me evaluate whether what I'm going through is withdrawal or the depression/anxiety that has plagued me in the past.
  12. Jeff Foster talks about seeing depression from an 'awakened' perspective. "We can view depression not as a mental illness, but on a deeper level, as a profound, and very misunderstood, state of deep rest, entered into when we are completely exhausted by the weight of our own false story of ourselves..." While watching this video I could see how it might relate to many of us, desperately trying to uphold a life, reputation, roles and ideals which no longer seem possible.... "when we are completely exhausted by the weight of our currently unworkable story of ourselves" The original cause may be different, drug withdrawal rather than a natural evolutionary/spiritual process, but the effect is the same, that of being forced to slow down and rest in order for transformation and healing to occur.
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