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  1. If you or a loved one had a child with a birth defect after taking antidepressants during pregnancy and you are willing to be interviewed about your experience, PM me and we'll talk. I am a free-lance writer specializing in medical harm.
  2. Hello everyone , At first i would like to introduce myself. I am a 24 year old boy from Italy and have been taking citalopram for several months. The exact time you can see in my signature. Already during the intake of citalopram I noticed a strongly sunken libido and I could not hold any strong erections anymore. As many of you were told me that these side effects disappear at the settle. Now I have stopped the drug since june and the sexual dysfunction have become worse. I still can get only a lacking erection. Genital numbness is present throughout and the libido is equally very low. So I unfortunately suffer as many others of PSSD and have already tried various supplements, but I could not see any improvement. My next try for a cure would be bupropion(150mg daily) and inositol (18mg daily). I have read that different people have noticed with these medications improvements. Now to my question: Can I take these 2 supplements (bupropion and inositol) together? My psychiatrist said it would not be a problem, but he can not imagine that inositol would change anything. I would take 150mg bupropion in the morning and in 18g inositol in the evening. So would you say that its Okay if i try a medication by connecting this 2 supplements together or would you rather to took first bupropion for 4 weeks and maybe after inositol if nothing changes. Im sorry for my bad english and i hope to get some advice! Greets, jescowhite
  3. Please help, 2 weeks ago I was prescribed 50mg sertraline for intrusive thoughts, but was not depressed. I took my first one and about 6 hours later I had a very bad reaction I had a fever my blood pressure was high, I had diarrhea and my mind was cray I knew instantly that I had poisoned myself, it wasn't until a week later I read up on serotonin syndrome and realized I experienced all the side effects and still suffer some of them to this day, here are my symptoms I have and have got worse short term Memory loss, agitation, irritability, muscle twitching, shivering, restlessness, sweating(up my neck and scalp mostly), hallucinations derealization/depersonalization, feel disoriented at times, muscle spasms which are painful at times, tingling/prickling sensations in my hands feet chest arms and legs, pressure at the back of my head. I don't get it I was a happy outgoing person until the doctor insisted the tablet would take away intrusive thoughts, not only do I still get them but get even worse! hallucinations! I don't want this Have I got the effects from serotonin syndrome or is this permanent nerve and brain damage? please help I am quite worried and no one wants to listen to me
  4. Hi everyone, I've been off Citalopram/Celexa for the past month after tapering the dose from 10mg a day. I took if for just over four and a half years so it's been in my system a while. I'm having an awful time - constant nausea, exhaustion, crying, unable to concentrate. I'm doing a PhD but have had to take time off because the brain fog is just too thick to get through so I can't produce work that's up to scratch. Does anyone know how long these symptoms last for? Would cutting my tablets in half and going back on at 5mg a day make a difference? Ideally, I want to be on nothing, but perhaps that's just not possible. Thanks for any advice! Kate
  5. At 21 I started taking 10mg paroxetine for 8 months to combat depression, then failed trying to quit it for 4 months, mostly due to intense withdrawal symptoms, only to succeed by taking citalopram to taper it with. After that, I felt decent for 6 weeks, but, as I was making a sandwich, I suddenly endured something it would take me weeks to identify: a panic attack. In a span of minutes, I went from a sound mind to suffering from OCD, GAD and depersonalization/derealization disorder, which took me 4-5 months to identify and link back to the paroxetine use. In those months prior to obtaining that knowledge, I was obsessed with the idea I would go crazy, lose my mind and ruin the life of my family by burdening them with my problems. Every day for months on end I would scrounge through dozens of forum posts and studies relating to developing psychosis, even after my mental health professional basically mocked the idea and wanted to get rid of me as a client, thinking I was a massive hypochondriac. Another, more experienced mental health professional is now treating me for said anxiety disorders and just being taken seriously is a massive relief. My biggest worry right now is having done permanent or long-term damage to my brain, particularly relating to memory, concentration and being able to not feel like I'm playing tennis while the sun blinds me all the freaking time. I don't think the paroxetine even helped to ammeliorate my depression beyond a placebo effect. As is, I have pretty much lost the past 1,5 years of my life to depression and now anxiety disorders. I just want to be who I once was again and get on with my life. Why is this **** still the no. 1 prescribed anti-depressant in The Netherlands? Why did I comply with my mental health professional in continuing taking the medication for so long, despite me not feeling so much better on it? The thing I consider doing is taking citalopram for a couple days and see if that helps, though this time I want to be sure this doesn't expose me to new risks or puts me at the beginning of recovery from the anxiety disorders again. I've gradually improved (no longer am in a derealized state or suffer continuous inner turmoil), but, as is, it would probably take another year to attain 90% recovery. Maybe 3-5mg citalopram for 3-5 days will speed that up?
  6. FatherOfLewis

    SSRI Bridging Possible?

    If different SSRIs work on different receptors, can bridging your taper of one SSRI with a different SSRI allow you to float above the WD phase of the 1st SSRI, then have a lesser WD from the 2nd (since you weren't on it as long)? It seems like the longer you're on an AD, the longer/harder the WD. If so, then for example, if I spent 9 years on Lexapro, couldn't I switch to Zoloft for like 2 years (assuming the WD from Lexapro will last about that long), then taper the Zoloft, expecting that WD from Zoloft won't be as bad, since I was only on it 2 years and it may have masked the WD from Lexapro? Or is this just a pipe dream, and I'll still have to go through WD from the two combined (11 years total in this example)?
  7. Hello, I just found this website looking for continued information on Anhedonia after taking prescription drugs. It started in 2009 and I was 16. I was anxious and full of hormones. My parents took me to a psychiatrist and I was prescribed 10mg Fluoxetine for the anxiety, I took it for one month and when it started taking effect I basically became emotionless. I can remember going to live music and feeling no excitement no enjoyment from the situation. I then was tapered to Venlafaxine and that was gradually raised to 150mg daily. I took Venlafaxine for 4 months. I experienced fewer cognitive side effects from Venlafaxine but it did not reduce my anxiety, and at this point I dropped out of school and became a shut in. The Dr. suggested trying a different SSRI, "Trial and error" he said. As I was tapered to Sertraline I was given 0.5mg of Clonazepam for 4 weeks. The Sertraline was raised to 100mg. I took sertraline for 4 months and it had a simmilar effect to Venlafaxine. Mostly dulling my moods but not reducing anxiety whatsoever. I experienced freqent panic attacks and general Agoraphobia. During one of the panic attacks I was brought to the hospital where I was given enough Lorazepam for 1 week. Then The Dr. decided to add Risperidone to my prescription. Starting at 0.25mg for 3 days, then 0.5mg for one week, raised to 1.0mg for one week. After a check-up I told the Dr. I was feeling nothing and I beleive he may have misinterpreted that as "no effects" but when I said it I meant that I felt no emotions. My dose was raised to 1.5mg daily. After 3 days of 1.5mg I began experiencing Akathisia with no relief of anxiety. With no options in perceived sight I took all of the remaining Risperidone. Approx forty 0.5mg pills. My Parents caught me and called 911. At the hospital I was given charcoal and passed out, waking hours later. After being discharged I continued to take Sertraline as prescribed for 2 months. With no reduction in my anxiety and my emotions being basically non existant I decided to "take the good with the bad" and feel some kind of emotion. Over the next month and a half I slowly weaned myself off Sertraline. Popping open the capsule and throwing away 3-5 tiny XR beads a day. I could have gone to the Dr. for the proper size pills but I didn't trust the doctor and wanted to do it by myself. With years of perspective behind me I have come to realize that I am still experiencing side effects from taking these drugs. Mostly regarding pleasure and my emotional ranges. It makes me uneasy to think about expressing my own sexual ideals but I'm sure someone else is in my shoes. So basically I have healthy libido, I can get physically stimulated and I feel the muscle contractions of orgasm but feel almost no pleasure. Trying to explain this to my family has been difficult, I compare it to a plate of food. I feel more pleasure eating food than having an orgasm. And I'm totally bummed out! On the emotional side I do not expereince the depth of sadness I had before drugs. Nor do I expereince the joy I remember either. I do have what I consider a healthier mood range though. Perhaps that's due to my appreciation of anything other than the hollow emptiness I felt on drugs. It's been years since I've taken prescription drugs or seen a psycologist and I do consider myself to be quite stable and confident. I attribute my recovery from cripping anxiety to growing up and having fewer horomonal changes happening in my body. Aswell as neural changes in the receptors of my brain due to becoming more physically fit, Breathing exercises, and using drugs prescription and otherwise. I hope to add to the community and perhaps get advice on methods of reducing Anhedonia.
  8. Hello everyone, I need some serious help!!! I have stopped taking Zoloft completely by the request of my GP and am suffering immensely. I was originally on 100mg and began to tapper off mid November. My doctor had me alternate between 100mg and 50mg every other day for 2 weeks. He said that's the equivalent of 75mg. Then from there I went down to two days 50mg then one day 100mg for two weeks. At this point the withdrawal started to get bad but I was able to suck it up. So I kept tapering. By the time I got to about 10mg (at Christmas) I was to dizzy to stand, nauseated, felling feelings of unreality, suffering from extreme neck and back pain, confused by everything, emotional as hell, and feeling deep anxiety and depression. I decided to raise my dose to 37.5 on dec 28th and left it there, I was struggling immensely for the first few weeks but by the 18th I started to come around. By the 26th I felt comfortable at 37.5 and decided to start tapering again. One day 37.5mg next day 25mg. Within a day or two I was dizzy, confused and emotional again. I road it out until about feb 16th and decided to start taking 31.25 everyday. I left it there and for the next few weeks it was like a roller-coaster, I cant really tell if i ever evened out at 31 because by march 15 my depression and dizziness had gotten so bad that I had to take sick leave from work. My GP told me because my dose was "so low" I should just cut off cold turkey now, and I would be fine in 2 weeks. It has now been 47 days since I took Zoloft and I am feeling the worst depression I have ever had, anxiety and confusion, constant dizziness and feelings of unreality. My symptoms are changing day to day, week to week and sometimes hour to hour. I do get windows once in a blue moon where I feel "somewhat" ok, but they are only once a week max if i'm lucky. Sitting here at home, all I do is research now. From what Iv gathered my GP made my tapper WAY to fast, and was telling me it was WAY to slow.. I am now torn between reinstating, or just riding it out? The depression this week is unbearable Iv been having crying spells every night this week and cant leave my house at all. Im constantly dizzy, physically ill like theirs a vortex in my stomach that feels like I need to puke (but wont actually happen). If I were to reinstate I definitively would not got back to where I was. Would 3.5mg or 6mg help a little with the symptoms???? And would tapering off that small amount be as bad as this has been? I will lose my job if I have to go through this again!!!!!! Pls help me someone
  9. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm in a difficult spot right now as I've just weaned off of Paroxetine 40 mg after roughly 15 years to go onto Bupropion 300mg+. I've had experiences crashing quite badly 'twice' after trying to wean off of Paroxetine - once having to stay in bed for 2 weeks. I'm not trying to stop antidepressants this time because it's not the right time in my life, I just want to try something that doesn't give me as much sexual side effects and Bupropion seems to be the one recommended for that... I'm just scared right now because of tapering paroxetine / side effect of Bupropion: I've issues of memory loss and I lose my temper a lot easier than I used to as I got angry at my boss last week which wasn't my usual reaction to that kind of issue she raised, I also got angry at the yoga teachers because their choreography is too difficult... I am also afraid of a breakdown before Bupropion starts kicking in and that my Doctor would not give me quickly enough the high dose I probably need since I was on a high dose of Paroxetine. Therefore, I'm loading up on benzos and try to get as much help as I can get my hands on... Does anybody with a similar experience have some words of support? Right now, I'm just 'toughing it out', hoping that everything will work out once the new med gets in my brain...
  10. I've never posted here before, but I'm pretty sure I've read through threads in the past. I was told by someone this may be a good place to get answers that I'm looking for. So I started taking 50 mg of Zoloft about 5 weeks ago for OCD. I had it a lot worse when I was younger and then around my senior year of high school it came back (the same thing happened to my father and it went away around after he graduated college). I'm now 21 and figured it was time to give SSRIs another shot even though I had bad experiences in the past. I wanted to be optimistic. Long story short after my 5th dose all hell broke loose, I started thinking completely irrationally, I had panic as if I was drowning or being attacked by a wild animal, except I was freaking out about ridiculous topics. I felt super unnatural and like the wires in my brain were being pulled apart. I decided to just stop cold turkey, and needless to say it has not been too pleasant. I continued to have stomach problems and where as I would have one or two panic attacks a year, I feel FAR more susceptible to them now. My doctors seems skeptical that Zoloft could still be having an effect on me, but all I can say is that I wasn't like this before I tried it. Is it really possible to have such a bad reaction on such a few doses? And can it really take some time to recover? I feel better than I did a month ago, but still not all the way yet. Any advice would be wonderful.
  11. Congress Proposes Research on the Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Suicide By Chuck Ruby, PhD Featured Blogs March 30, 2016 Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has recently introduced the Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 4640). The bill calls for the VA to study veteran suicides over the past five years and to determine what extent psychiatric drugs are implicated in those suicides. The International Society of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) has long been concerned about this issue, and more broadly, how our veterans and military members suffering from the horrors of war and other traumatic experiences are being treated. I sent letters of support to Mr. Jolly’s office, offering ISEPP’s assistance in any way possible. In 2012, ISEPP launched “Operation Speak Up” (OSU) as a response to the alarmingly high suicide rate of veterans. The name signifies our desire to help veterans speak up, rather than being shut up with psychiatric drugs. Although it started as an effort to encourage Congress to consider a non-medical model approach to helping those suffering from trauma, it quickly turned into a grassroots and consumer focused endeavor from the ground up under the leadership of our OSU Director, Mary Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP, U.S. Naval Reserve Commander. Mary has since made great strides in partnering with Melwood, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities in the greater Washington DC area. Together with Melwood’s support and funding, Mary has created a program called TOHIDU (a Cherokee word meaning “peace of mind, body, and spirit”) as a wonderful alternative to conventional treatment. You can see more about TOHIDU here. Mr. Jolly’s bill will be the first to establish congressional oversight of this alarming problem of using psychiatric drugs shotgun style to quiet the screams of trauma. Despite the increasing concerns of the deleterious effects of psychiatric drugs, they continue to be the mainstay form of treatment within the VA and Defense Department, as they are on the outside. This has to change.The extant research makes it abundantly clear that psychiatric drugs do not correct chemical imbalances. It would be better said that they cause chemical imbalances. They artificially alter brain chemistry in ways that are not clearly understood, and that numb important emotions that signal meaningful issues in our lives. The brain tries to counteract their effect by making changes in how neurotransmitters are used. The person experiences these changes in very agonizing ways, the most worrisome is called “akathisia,” or a state of agitation, restlessness, and a terrible sense of not feeling welcome in one’s own skin. This can lead to unpredictable irritability and violent behavior, including violence toward oneself. To read more on this, see ISEPP’s White Paper. More here: http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/03/congress-proposes-research-on-the-link-between-psychiatric-drugs-and-suicide/ Also on that page is information about how to contact Congress to express your support for this bill. It would be a great idea to also encourage them to investigate the suicide-drug link in other populations too!
  12. Hello All, This is my first post here. Firstly, thank you so much for the existence of this forum and support available which is severely lacking in mainstream health care services. I am currently trying to taper from Escitalopram / Lexapro as I feel that SSRI medications do not help me and cause additional problems to my existing anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia. In October 2014, I reduced my medication from 10mg to 5mg of Escitalopram / Lexapro as a result of not being able to get to my GP as a result of the severity of my agoraphobia and not being able to get a GP to do a home visit. I had limited medication remaining so figured the best course of action was to take some rather than be left with none. I have continued at 5mg since and my GP advises the usual method of tapering, which I consider to be far too rapid. I have requested liquid Escitalopram / Lexapro, which my GP advises is not necessary. I disagree as I have experienced prolonged withdrawal in the past (see my signature for details) I am willing to make my own liquid as per instructions here. My main concerns are, that since I reduced from 10mg - 5mg (50% decrease out of necessity not choice) I have been suffering from many side effects including severe fatigue, dizziness, mild depersonalisation and derealisation, lack of motivation, nightmares, insomnia, hypersomnia, anxiety, agitation, irritation, quick temper, feelings of hopelessness, skin rash, now subsided which I believed to be Keratosis Pilaris, confused thinking and speech and overall difficulty in functioning. I am usually a vibrant and positive person with lots of energy and creative thinking. I am finding it really distressing to wake up every day feeling the way that I do and wanted advice on whether my experience is normal and how to manage / overcome my symptoms naturally. I want me back and I am prepared to struggle and experience hardship on the road to get there as long as my struggles are in the right direction towards recovery. I would also be grateful for advice on whether to continue on 5mg or whether I have jeopardized my withdrawal by tapering by 50% initially? Should I reinstate my original dose of 10mg and taper by 10% to give me the best chance of successful withdrawal or continue as I am on 5mg? I appreciate that everyone here has their own struggles to battle, so all replies and advice / tips would be very gratefully received and welcomed. Thank you so much in advance. Wishing everyone here good health and success in their efforts. Tilly x
  13. My apathy and inability to care about anything makes me too docile and easily abused by others. I have always been a nice guy, the kind of guy that seems easily abused, but I have always had enough self-love to stop people abusing me, like whenever I saw that someone was socially abusing me in whatever, I knew how to defend myself. I had something inside me to prevent me from being abused. Now the prozac-induced apathy/indifference has made me very very easy to abuse, because I just don't care. Yesterday I was with my friends, and I noticed that I was paying more than them for a shared dinner, and that is something that I would have been pissed off in the past, but yesterday I simply didn't care and I just paid more. Also, some of my friends tend to be a bit abusive sometimes to get what they want. Yesterday one of my friends liked one good-looking girl that we didn't know and he told me to go there and talk to her and then introduce him to her, because he didn't dare to go alone. That's something that I wouldn't do so easily, because I know he wouldn't do that for me, but yesterday I went there and introduced that beautiful girl to him because I just didn't care. The girl liked me more than him and wanted to talk with me (I am more attractive than him, sorry if I sound arrogant, but its just true) but I let them talking alone because I didn't care. If I didn't get paid in a part-time job that I am doing now while finishing my university degree, I wouldn't care. Someone could come and steal me my almost done engineering university degree and I probably wouldn't care neither. Someone could insult me, or said to me absolutely whatever without making me feel bad. He could even punch me in the face, and I think I wouldn't care at all. If I knew for sure that this is temporary and that in for example 6 months I will regain my ability to care, then it would be ok. But I just don't want to stay like this forever
  14. faultandfracture

    faultandfracture: Greetings!

    Just wanted to say "Hello!" Want to come off 10mg fluoxetine hcl.
  15. Hi everyone, I am 31 years old and have been on an SSRI for 20 years, since I was 11! I was originally prescribed it to help combat anxiety that I now assume occurred with my hormones changing (getting my period). I only visited a psychiatrist one time before being prescribed Zoloft. I was on 200mg of Zoloft for about 18 years when it stopped working. About 18 months ago I was put on 20mg of Lexapro to manage my anxiety but I no longer feel like 'myself'. I have some symptoms that just aren't resolving themselves through diet and attitude changes. I'm not sure where to start but I feel like a lot of my symptoms are secondary to my prolonged SSRI use. Is it possible for me to get off my 20mg of Lexapro? I'm tired of being 'sick and tired' and I really think that a lot of my digestive issues, blood sugar regulation issues, fatigue, heart palpitations etc will subside if I can successfully wean myself off of Lexapro. For so long, I was convinced that I had a 'chemical imbalance' but I'm not so sure that's the case since I have all of these issues and have been doing LOADS of my own research on the topic. I am quite concerned that I'll never feel 'better' or 'normal' and that I've done irreversible damage to my body's ability to heal itself. but I've got to try and get off this. Any and ALL advice, words of encouragement are greatly appreciated; more than you know.
  16. Hello Everyone, This is my first post. My oh my, where to start. I guess from the beginning. I'm a 24 year old male. A year and a half ago, while still in college, I would smoke weed almost everyday. I had only started smoking about a year before that, so I would consider my experience with it slightly amateurish. I'm a normal kid, but I'm definitely shy, more than the average, introverted I guess. I'm also very sensitive. I don't like to be shy, I just care too much about what others think. I think this is why I turned to weed. It gave me happiness I guess you can say. I never had any serious problem with weed until February of 2015. Someone that I went to elementary school with committed suicide. He wasn't a friend but I knew who he was and when I heard the news, it really stunned me, I got really sad. Anyways, I carried on with my normal life and smoked a big blunt with a friend that night. I got really high, too high. All of a sudden I felt a big shift in my consciousness, something clicked in my brain. Everything felt very dull. Thoughts going through my head such as significance of life, purpose of anything, thoughts that I never thought about in my whole life, and anxiety that felt like a 20 lb weight on my chest. I thought to myself could this happen to me what happened to the kid who committed suicide. For the first time in my life I felt depressed. I didn't know what to do, I felt like I was on a different planet, everything just seemed really peculiar. The next morning was a Saturday, and all I could think is I need to see a psychiatrist, of course had to wait till Monday to make any calls. I just felt like crying because I didn't know what to do with myself. I was so mentally unstable. Let me fast forward a little. I finally got to a psychiatrist, after already meeting with a psychologist who recommended this psychiatrist. I told her all about how I was feeling and She prescribed me 10mg of escitalopram and 2.5mg of abilify because I was having racing thoughts. The escitalopram made me really tired, but it did help with the depression/anxiety. The abilify made me feel really weird. I got off of the abilify within a couple of months. By the summer of 2015 I got up to 20mg of escitalopram, going from 10 to 15 to 20. I guess you could say my depression and anxiety was pretty much gone by then, but I was always out of energy and I was already gaining weight. In September of 2015, now I've been on the lexapro for 7 months, I decided I really want to get off this drug. I would tell the psychiatrist that I just don't feel myself on it. The depression was gone, but I wouldn't laugh as much, couldn't cry, just felt very flat, and felt what some people call brain fog. I just don't want medication to help me function. I want my body/brain to heal itself naturally with time/diet/exercise/yoga/therapy/ anything that will help. I drop down to 15mg from 20 without telling my shrink. After about a week, I started feeling depressed. I talked about it with my psychologist( i was going to therapy weekly). Eventually telling my shrink, she recommended i go back to 20, but I didn't want to and after a couple of weeks, the depression subsided. I stayed at 15 for a couple months and i was feeling fine and still encouraged to get off this drug. I told my shrink I want to do this, so she gave me a taper schedule: go from 15 to 10 for 6 weeks, then 5 for 6 weeks, and then i can just stop. I had already been reading up on tapering and how difficult it is so i knew this would probably be too fast, but i dropped down to 10 anyways. Everything was fine i didn't feel any withdrawals. After those 6 weeks, i figured 10 to 5 is just too fast, so I dropped to 7.5mg instead. Again, everything was fine except for some dizzy spells i got once a day that would last about 10 minutes. I took some motion sickness medicine daily after feeling those withdrawals and the dizziness subsided. After those 6 weeks i dropped to 5mg. After about a week, I started feeling depressed. I couldn't handle the feeling, i had to stay strong because i'm an accountant and i have to work long hours sometimes. I called my shrink and she says "I think you were doing better at a higher dose and you should go back to 10mg". I just couldn't keep going backwards, so i just went back up to 7.5mg and i stayed there for about a month. After researching more, I found the 10% rule. I called the shrink and had her call in a prescription of the liquid form of lexapro. I dropped down to 6.75mg, i felt a little melancholic for the first week of dropping but i've leveled out, been going to the gym everyday, doing hard cardio. This is where I am now as of March 18, 2016. I plan to drop another 10% on April 1st. This has already felt like a really long road. If i continue with 10% reduction per month, I won't reach zero for a year and a half. Will it really take that long to get off of this drug??? that's longer than I've been on it. I'll never go on an SSRI ever again. I think this is a very pre-mature antidepressant and should only be prescribed to people who have a chronic illness that can only be fixed with medication. I never felt right while on this, and it feels close to impossible to get off of it. It's very easy to understand how people get stuck on these drugs for several years, to decades, or possibly indefinitely. To wrap this up, I'm on 6.75mg, following the 10% rule, Exercising daily, I still don't feel like myself before I ever took lexapro, but hopefully I will go back to myself When I reach zero. I haven't lost any of the weight that I've gained so that's even more the reason why I want to reach zero. I'm tired of the lack of energy, flatness, weird dreams, weight gain, etc. I'm sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give the whole story. For anyone who read till the end, Thank You!
  17. Hello All, Thank you for this wonderful site! A lot of my Google searches come back to this site and I've been helped by quite a few posts. I apologize if this post is a little unreadable. My brain isn't working today, but I felt I needed to at least start a thread. I'm going to omit some symptoms I had/have because I just want to start this thread. My story starts in 1998 with Paxil (I was 17 years old) with self-esteem issues and depression. Since then I've been on almost every SSRI and some tricyclics and one MAOI. I've read Anatomy of an Epidemic as well as a couple of books by Peter Breggin. I'm convinced my current issues are antidepressant related but I'm having trouble finding help here in Calgary. I don't want to write a novel, but my history is as follows: Self-esteem issues in high school. What was probably a very normal at the time. My Dr prescribed Paxil and I've been on antidepressants ever since. We tried so many SSRI's. My record keeping started in 2006 so from 1998-2006 my records are just from memory. I remember that I should have started writing it down because the drugs she had me on changed monthly. It seemed like the two drugs I was on for the longest time were Citalopram/Celexa (2001-2007) and fluoxetine/Prozac (2007-2013). However I've been on Lithium (600 or 800mg from 2004-2007), I was never diagnosed bipolar. Desipramine, Wellbutrin and Manerix during 2007. I'm sure I missed some. I felt really stable on 60mg of Prozac between 2007-2013. In August 2012 my life changed. My wife and I lost our first child. During delivery our little one must have flipped around and become breech. She was Frank Breech, meaning she came out bum first with her feet up near her head. It wasn't discovered until she was already in the birth canal and needed to be delivered normally. He heart stopped during delivery and doctors couldn't get her heart started again and she passed away. I think it was this event that send my brain into a spin that I have yet to recover. After that event I became very fatigued. I had never taken an energy drink before, but was now relying on 5-6 Rockstars a day (over 1g of caffeine) just to get through the day. December 2013 I had a melt-down and was admitted to an outpatient Psychiatry unit. They changed my medication to Cymbalta. It seemed to work at first, but then after titrating up to 90mg/day it stopped working. This psychiatrist also diagnosed me with adult ADD. I had taken Dexadrine 10mg for a while, but now that I was "diagnosed" they put me on Vyvanse. I went up in the dosage on that to 80mg/day with no help. During this time I also tried Modafinil (300mg). All these stimulants seemed to work for a few weeks then stop. During this time I could sleep 8/10/12/16 hours and not feel refreshed. I had a full polysomnogram which determined I did NOT have sleep apnea or narcolepsy. The poly showed I exited sleep state 26 times per hour, but didn't determine why. During this time I've been constantly fatigued. I used to go to the gym 5 days/week, but stopped in 2014. I manage to go for a walk every now and then but it is difficult. Believing sleep was the issue and knowing SSRI's interrupt REM sleep (I haven't dreamt in years), I stopped all drugs between Sept and Dec 2014. I became suicidal, which I now attribute to a withdrawal symptom. The psychiatrist was nervous I would hurt myself so they put me on Wellbutrin XR. Titrating up to 300mg for 6 weeks before discontinuing because I didn't notice a difference. However Wellbutrin gave me insomnia which I still battle today. Desperate for help I've been seeing naturopaths. They tested me for Lyme disease. And while 1 test did come back positive they put me on the antibiotic Doxycycline for 3 months (June 10, 2015 to Sept 10, 2015 no help). I should note, all tests come back normal (CBC, Liver enzymes, Thyroid, Iron, Vitamin D). The only things out of range are Cortisol (high in the morning), B12 is high and my LDL is a bit high. Another family doc put me back on Prozac 20mg and Abilify 2mg with no help. (May 14-June 10, 2015). I stopped this because my Lyme came back positive and I didn't want to be back on the drugs to begin with. I've been off all psychoactive prescriptions since June 10, 2015. Every doctor I've seen wants me back on the SSRIs. I'm hesitant to start up again. Since being off the antidepressants, my suicidal thoughts have subsided. However the fatigue and brain fog have me off work. My naturopath is the only one that seems to want to help me. My family doc gave up years ago. However naturopathy is not covered by my health plan and is very expensive. I'm taking a probiotic to replenish my gut bacteria after the Doxy. I remember being constipated on the antidepressants. Taking psyllium fibre every day to stay regular. I'm very regular now that I'm off everything. I'm also taking some Tryptophan, 5-HTP and Tyrosine and an attempt to replenish neurotransmitters. It's this last point that I need some help with. I know the chemical imbalance theory is debunked, but I wonder if years of SSRI's has sent my brain into atrophy regarding neurotransmitter creation. My belief is that flooding my body with these amino acid precursors can't hurt (or can it?). I know I didn't taper off my meds, and some posts I read indicate this is bad. However I'm very hesitant to start on them again only to slowly taper off. What does the community think? My main complaints today are extreme fatigue/exhaustion, almost no short-term memory, and crippling brain fog that's keeping me from working. Plus I feel like I'm 90 years old. If you see a video of Ozzy Osbourne walking, that's what I look like! Any guidance is appreciated! Thank You
  18. Hey everyone, Just thought i'd post this topic on this board.... I've heard talk from various people assuming that adverse reactions from SSRIs whilst still a teenager, or being put on SSRIs as a teen (or even child) puts them in a worse position than if their brain was fully developed. This was my first instinct when i joined these forums last year, however everyone everywhere kept talking about how young people always heal better, faster, etc that being young is an advantage. People always say "don't do drugs kids" because "your brain is still developing"... Well what does that even mean? What are the potential consequences of doing said drugs when your brain is "still developing" ? Are these consequences more persistent or brain-altering? I was always lead to believe that you can't permanently change your brain, especially when you're a kid because its so plastic and malleable. So what's the deal? if one has been prescribed an SSRI under the age of 18, and they had an adverse reaction from going on or had protracted withdrawal after coming off (all before turning 18) - do they have the same chances of recovering than someone who went on at an older age. I've heard that teens have a higher chance of adverse reaction - and we all hear about the school shootings/suicides, etc - but if these kids were to get off the drugs - would they all recover back to normal? This is kind of bothering me since i went on celexa at 14 and a half... Although i haven't been the same since (just turned 18 now, 3 and a half years later) i initially didn't notice much of a difference until like 2 years later when i got off zoloft (thats when everything came crashing down - at 16). I'm wondering will i ever "feel" the way i used too... emotionally, physically, etc... I'm so sick of this PSSD and anhedonia and all the other symptoms. I'm 19 months out still waiting to see some significant improvements.. I dont care how long it takes ... I just really need to know i will recover at least 50% I know no one will have the perfect answer since nobody knows for sure... But if anyone can share positive stories or experiences or even positive information in general that would be great.
  19. If the theory of up-regulated serotonin receptor sites is true as an explanation for depression, this could be a compensatory measure taken by the brain as a result of anxiety, acute stress responses, environmental factors, and even other medications. Seems to me that only non-pharmacological interventions would have any real long-term therapeutic value. Ie. cognitive behavioral therapy, altered thinking process, etc. Any thoughts?
  20. OKAY. Where to begin. I had post partum depression after my baby girl was born. I remember being in the kitchen and she was crying (she cried A LOT due to colic and I was stressed) and up popped an intrusive thought. Well this ont op of my anxiety and all was NOT a good combination. It scared me so bad and I literally got hysterical and called my mom and had to her come to my house. Later I went to my OB-GYN and she literally told me it was PMS and it was OK. So I went to get another opinion. By the time I had seen the second doctor, I was so anxious and upset that I was literrally talking in circles and talkign very fast. (Which by the way I did this all my life- I think I just let this doc sway me) So she says i'm 'Bi-Polar' and sends me home with Seroquel. I remember taking it and being so out of it that I literally slept for 3 days straight. I woke up long enough to try to drink something and use the bathroom. It knocked me on my butt. I woke up on the 3rd day and felt horrible. I remember that my heart was racing and yet I was sleeping, so I called the 'doc' and she said that I was just dehydrated and to drink a huge glass of water and lie back down. I did this and after about an hour, I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. My mom said she would go with me to the doctors office so I could speak with her. I drove (YES OMG! WHAT WAS I THINKING!!) to my doctors office with my mom and 2 kids and waited in the office. After 5 minutes, I walked up to the window and told the nurse I wasn't feeling well and when could I be seen, she said I was a walk-in and it would be a bit. Well I was lsitening to my body and decided to walk down to the Emergency Room. {it was attached to the same building} When I got into the ER, I said that I just wanted someone to check my heart rate because I felt funny. They took me back and checked it and my heart rate was 245! They immediately rushed me back, called code blue, and started to hook me up to all sorts of machines. They said that I was about to crash and asked me tons of questions. They had to stop and restart my heart 3 times. Long story short, I wasnt bi-polar and seroquel almost killed me! I actually had to have heart surgery because of that medicine. Once I recovered, I was still have heart problems and anxiety due to this. So I went to another doctor and they placed me on Lexapro 10 mg. I am super sensitive to medication and i noticed a change in a week. I felt better, Like, a lot better. I had tried a couple of other pills, buspar, effexor, trazadone, and wellbutrin. None of those worked. So once the Lex started working, I felt a bit of relief. I had the usual side effects when I first started, but those subsided after about 2 weeks. Well things were getting better, life was going on, and I wasnt so anxious and the thoughts were gone. Fast forward 2.5 years. I started to feel like I was in a fog and like I couldn't quite enjoy things as much as I wanted to. I was numb to feelings and numb to other peoples feelings around me, especially my husband. He up and left me one day and I was blind-sided. Went to the doctor because I was crying all the time and losing weight and he upped my dosage to 20 mg. After that I felt amazing agian. I could drive 2.5 hours away to pick up my kids from my husbands house and I was ok about being alone at night, I even let my mom move out without freaking out. LOL. Then my husband decided to come home after a year and a half. {During this time I had tried to come off of meds again but I quit cold turkey and things were great until about 3.5 months in, then I had THE WORST panic attack ever and thougth I was going to kill myself, so I got back on the meds} Things were not getting better and I felt like I was getting worse. My brain was in a fog, I was losing my short term memory, I would get in my car and drive to work or to take my kids to school and couldnt remember how I got there, I couldn't cry, I had gained 30 pounds, my sex drive was GONE, and my liver was shot. I knew I had to do something and I had to do it the right way. I found this forum and started reading about a slow taper. I went to see a psychiatrist and he agreed that he didnt think I needed the medicationa nymore and we made a game plan to ween me off. Unfortunately, he passed away 2 weeks later. So I went to see his replacement and he didn't listen to a word I said. In fact, I think he was upset that I kept bringing up the late doctor and his plans that he just stopped me and looked at me and said, "we can get you to 5mg, but that is it. You will be on these meds for the rest of your life". I looked at him and said that is unacceptable and walked out. So I headed home crying and upset and decided that I was going to go through with my plan. I slowly weened myself over the next year and a half down to 5 mg. I didnt really notice any side effects when I dosed down. I started seeing a personal trainer and started eating only raw foods and felt great. However, I saw my trainer for 3 months straight and literally didnt lose an ounce! Not 1. So he said it was my meds, and I knew this, but still. So i ran home and said bumo this and went down to 2.5 mg for a week and that was it. Now, I did have the horrible physical withdrawals and all. The brain zaps, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, mood swings, anxiety, loss of concentration, forgettfulness, feeling like my brain was swishing around my head, and just overall crappy feeling. The first month I was very anxious. Like I couldn't sit still anxious, yet I couldnt focus enough to do simple things like house work and laundry. I didn't want to cook, clean, nothing. I listened to music and stayed outside a lot. I read outside and just relaxed in the sun. It was actually nice. But I had NO appetite. It affected my hypoglyemia so bad and that was making my anxiety worse. But at the time I didn't know this. I find it VERY helpful to keep a journal. Even when youa re feeling good. By month 2, I noticed an increase in OCD obsessive intrusive thoughts and less anxiety. I still had anxiety, but I wasn't go go go constantly. I started noticing crying spells and anger, and I felt like my emotions were all over the place. I lost my job due to no work and foudn myself home alone during the days, which unnerved me again. I am classic anxiety- hate to be alone/bored. But I stated to see a therapist and continued seeing my naturopath. She tried 5htp, Min Tran, drops, Bach Flowers, and inositol with me. Due to my sensitivity, even the all natural supplements made it WORSE. I couldn't sleep and when I did I would wake having night panic attacks. The anxiety of being home alone with my kids at night while my hubby was out of town scared me so bad that I would wake from my sleep with night time panic attacks and the intrusive thoughts that would scare me so bad. I would call my mom in the night and pace up and down the house to calm down. Month 3 seemed to get better and then worse. One moment i would be good and the next very bad. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot. I noticed I was seeing things, not like people or anyting, just like I swore I saw something move or my cat or somehting and nothing was there. That freaked me out. Only happens every now and then now. And I have had such bad bausea that its hard to eat, i have zero appetite, have lost 25 pounds so far, I still work out, get anxious to be alone, insomnia, increased ocd intrusive thoughts, depersonalization, loss of concentration, constant need to be watching or listening to something {talk radio-movies-shows-books}, agitation, agoraphobia, crying spells, depressive mood, dry mouth, weird achy feet, stomach issues, heart palpitations, inner trembling (like im cold and cant get warm-but on the inside), feelings of hopelessness, some fears of hurting myself, mood swings, nightmares, vivid dreams, panic attacks, sweating, repetitive thoughts, and weepiness. I STILL struggle with these. Still. It has been 14 weeks now since I have been Lex free and I actually am still learning to this day. I thought that I was getting worse and that I needed to get on meds again and almost gave in yesterday. But I read on here and realized that what I have been feeling is still W/D. I just came back from Texas and the night before I had to get on a plane (which I usually have no problem doing) I freaked out. Freaked! I had my neighbor up til 2 am trying to calm me down. I wasn't even scared about it crashing or anything, I just was afraid of having an atack on the plane. It was bad. But that is the agoraphobia that I didn't realize I had. I am so sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give history and my back story to what has led me here. My husband said that our marriage has been the best it has been for years since I got off of my meds. I don;t want you to think it is all bad. Its not. I have more moments of clarity and more 'light at the end of the tunnel' moments more and more every day. I even left therapy one day and called my mom crying telling her that FOR ONCE I feel normal and feel like htings are getting better. But of course, only time can tell and heal. I am able to have fun with my kids more, I hear them more and focus on them. I can talk to my husband without ending up in an argument. He has been more supportive then I had ever thought he would. I do have an appointment to meet with a new psychiatrist, and will go over with her everything that has happened. I DO NOT want to be on meds. I have also met a new therapist and she said that she "bleeds CBT" and that she feels I can kick this without meds! So I am hopeful. The therapist and the doc are in the same office, so I am confident that they will work together to keep me on my path that I chose. I just wanted to let someone know that they aren't going crazy and that there are others out here going through the same. I would love to hear from someone who has been lex free and in a good state. But funny enough, I am also a good listener and can help others with their problems better than my own! LOL Again, I am sorry this is so long. Thank you for taking the hour to read it. hahaha. Oh and I know mine is W/D still because I just say, if I were not alone or if my husband/mom/friends were around would I still be thinking these things. NO I wouldn't. So I know it is just the W/D still. Keep your head up! Please! It does get better. I am not there yet, but I am getting there one day at a time!
  21. Hello guys, I have been given this site from benzobuddies. Because of a major depressive episodes, i have been to psychiatrist who put me on Ciraplex. I dont trust pills anymore (I was on Clonazepam for couple of months with alwful withdrawal effects), so i didnt take the pills on the dose he prescribed them. I started on 2.5 mgs, for couple of weeks, then went on 5 mgs instead of 10. The problem is i feel very bad when i take a dose. I feel like a zombie, i feel depressed and at times suicidal. I am afraid to increase the dose, and i am afraid of what happens when i decide to quit. Will i again discover hell ? My questions are. Could i develope dependency on a month of regular (some day i skip the dose for couple of hours) use ? If i stop them now will i see withdrawal effects ? Is it normal to feel that bad, with alot of DP/DR and cognitive impairment ? Is there going to be damage on the cognitive functions, because when i take those i feel like i cant think. Should i continue taking them in order to feel the positive effects if there are some ? I am afraid to be in position when taking them makes me feel worse, and being afraid of stopping because of withdrawal. What do you think about memory and cognitive impairment.
  22. Where to begin... I've been off/on antidepressants since my ex and I broke up seven years ago. I've quit cold turkey (I know) at least half a dozen times and didn't notice much beyond irritability, but it might've been more noticeable or worse if I wasn't medicating with marijuana. In June of this year, I tapered off Fetzima from the full 80mg dose which I was on for two years. The only thing I noticed was a lack of motivation but I still managed to run five days a week and live my life. About three months in, I noticed when I smoked pot that my left arm would go numb or phantom-like. Sidebar: I used to NEED marijuana to function, but over the last year it was more of a nightly habit; I wouldn't race home or leave friends early to get high. Anyway, soon after that started happening my anxiety levels just went off the charts. Not only that, I couldn't work out or run a block, much less the five miles I'm used to, without feeling like I contracted the flu. Also, smoking pot now sends me into an immediate panic attack despite my mind being at peace - my body says otherwise. For the record, I've tried other strains and edibles with the same result. So my anxiety increased and now suddenly I can't medicate with pot. Six weeks later (NOW), the anxiety has been replaced by extreme depression and complete apathy. Yoga and acupuncture hasn't helped all that much. I love both but the positive effects don't stay with me. I've been lurking on this site since day one, but I haven't seen anyone else having post acute withdrawal that didn't even begin until 3-4 months in, and I haven't seen anyone say it's hindered their ability to smoke pot. I finally found a doctor who understands my situation and I've sent off my blood, poo, and spit for a smorgasbord of testing that should be enlightening but the results won't be back until another ten days or so. I guess I'm just looking for someone, anyone, to help shed some light on my specific case as I've read countless stories on here and I'm about to watch Numb: the documentary, tonight which I hope gives me some comfort. Sorry for the length, but the only other piece to my puzzle is the symptoms got substantially worse once I started having stomach problems that I think are related to me having C.Dif in the past. My poop floats which I've read could be a sign of malabsorption which makes sense b/c despite my lack of appetite - I'm constantly hungry and feel incredibly ill if I don't eat throughout the day with meals and snacks. Ridiculous, unique case I know, but any advice, comment, or encouragement would be appreciated. The only people I can talk to are my parents and both are really irritated by me at this point. And thanks to everyone on this site, b/c this place has been one of the only resources I've found. It boggles my mind that there aren't clinicians all over the US who specialize in people trying to get off this ****.
  23. Good afternoon and thank you for taking some time to read this. First of all, sorry for my low English level. I will try to explain my case as clearly as I can. Last year, I was diagnosed with depression. My psychiatrist prescribed me Pristiq 100 mg (one pill a day). I finished the treatment in July, 2015. However, since the middle of the treatment until now, I notice this subjective side effects: -Memory problems, I have to make much effort to remember anything. -I used to have a clear mind, since I took Pristiq, my mind is slow and I lost my esase of expression. (Is this that some people call "brain fog"?) -Subjective feeling of intelligence loss. -Great difficulty for reasoning. -Loss of interest and illusion for all. -And many others... I'm very worried because I stopped taking the medication 5 months ago, but the symptoms continue, and sometimes, I think that they get worse. If someone has taken this medication and is suffering similar symptoms, please post it in this topic. Are this effects permanent or they go over time? Help, please!
  24. Hello! I've been living without Lexapro for just at 3 months now and many forums and sites have been much help during this rollercoaster- so I thought I would try and utilize the site for what I could during this process. Here's my story: I was prescribed Lexapro when I was 21 after graduating college and struggling to find a job. I had always, since being a child, suffered with anxiety and insomnia, but was always told to 'handle it'. After having to move back in with my parents after college and feeling pretty defeated my internist put me on 10mg of Lexapro and 10mg of Ambien (as needed) to help with the current situation and stress. The lexapro really helped me contain all my worry and focus more on the positive during this transition. Within a year I had found a job, moved to a new city and was 'fine' but I continued to take the medication as prescribed because I felt so much more 'even' and figured with all the new changes in my life it was probably best to maintain. For the past 7 years I stayed on the lexapro with no real issues besides some mild weight gain. The start of 2014 I made a big life change and left the man I had been living with for over 5 years- with this change I decided I didn't want to rely on medication to 'handle life' and spoke to my GP about tapering off Lexapro (it had been a very bumpy relationship and always felt I needed the lexapro to deal with it all). After things calmed down a bit and I was moved, settled, etc my doctor and I made a tapering plan. I tapered down from 10mg to 0mg in a span of 4.5 weeks (which after researching now does seem fast). I took my last pill on July 23rd (2015) and have not taken another... but this has been a never ending battle which I see most of us all face. *I also am at a point where I want children in the next few years and didn't want to have to go through pregnancy changes along with withdrawal symptoms, and figured it'd be better to start fresh and start 'clean' than do it when I had to. While tapering I didn't notice a HUGE impact, the brain zaps were aggravating and my focus was slipping but everything was OK. It wasn't until about 7 days off of Lexapro that I really starting feeling miserable. I had about two weeks of constant zaps, nausea, irritability, sadness and eating everything in sight. Luckily I work from home and had a huge advantage of being able to literally lay in bed and let the symptoms run their course. 3 weeks out from stopping the drug the physical affects wore away (except the brain zaps which were terrible first thing in the morning- but taking a high dose of fish oil daily actually completely stopped the zapping), but the emotional ones began. I started overthinking every single move, every word someone said to me, I noticed myself becoming VERY detached from those closest to me and lost my zest to want to do anything, as well as had zero sex drive. Slowly these feelings began to come and go- having a week of nothingness to a few days of being ok, but still not stable. Then these symptoms seemed to slip into what I found people call neuro emotions... at about my 7 week mark (off the drug) I noticed myself still being more so detached than normal but also a lot of irritability, almost like a permanent case of PMS. I am still working on this stage and noticing myself being callous to other's feelings, not feeling at all affectionate and warm (like my usual self), getting snippy and snarky and all while doing so thinking 'why am I doing that'. This has been the most frustrating of all- because I don't feel especially anxious or like I need the medication but I just do NOT feel like myself, and it's hurting my relationships and my life. The worst part is not knowing what is really me, or what I am really feeling, and what is the funky imbalance of chemicals in my brain. I know all of this can last a long time and plays a long course before it's even again, just trying to take this all day by day and work through the process. Hoping the best for each of you as well!
  25. Good afternoon! I finally found this after searching FB for an antidepressant forum there. I am a senior citizen (!), T1diabetic on an insulin pump, very well controlled. My journey with Prozac then the generic Fluoxitine began 15 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma (probably from Agent Orange in Vietnam). After he went into remission in 2000, I tried to go off and became very agitated and hard to live with, so I went back on it. Now, 15 years later having been unable to cry or feel any emotions for 10 years, it is time to get my life back! I am in a good place in my life, happy and content, but not being able to feel anything when one of my best girlfriends since kindergarten (there are eight of us YaYa's) has decided to discontinue her chemo for lung cancer, makes me realize that this medication has got to go! Today is Day 15 of tapering too fast, and I'm paying for it with uncomfortable physical difficulties, no emotional ones yet. My original dosage was 10 mg/night, then 20 mg/night for past three years, and then 20 + 10 mg every other night to equal 100 mg/week in tablet form. I began my withdrawal 15 days ago with 10 mg every other night but realize that was the wrong thing to do. Now am back to the 10mg (half the tablet) every night and still experiencing the nausea and bad diarrhea that started over a week ago. I am hoping to get some feedback from those of you who have or are going through the early withdrawal from an SSRI. Thank you. Mart
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