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  1. I require urgent help please. Over the past 18 months I have had several medication changes due to going off 150mg Effexor cold turkey in July 2017. I didn't know how to do it any other way at the time and I told no-one what I was doing, not even my doctor. it just wasn't working any more. I had been off Effexor for about 3 months and thought I had got through the worst of it although still had some withdrawal affects going on but I was functioning okay and sleeping. I thought I'd call my doctor and let him know what I did and that is where I went wrong. He told me to reinstate Effexor immediately at 75mg from memory, which I did because I felt like I had done something terribly wrong. Upon reinstatement my whole body went into shock and I couldn't move. It was shocking. My doctor told me to go into hospital and that he'd help fix it. By the time I left hospital I think I was on the minimum effective dose of Zoloft. After leaving hospital I found that the Zoloft was overstimulating and I didn't sleep for a week. I had to take 25mg of seroquel for sleep. Zoloft wasn't the right antidepressant for me. Without tapering off Zoloft, my doctor would try me on several different antidepressants over the next 6 weeks, including prozac, mirtazapine, brintalex, valdoxen, lexapro. I had adverse side affects to all of these medications and can't remember what dose he started me on. I believe now that my brain/body couldn't tolerate medication anymore. I needed to go back to hospital and I needed to find another doctor. I found another doctor and I think in February 2018 from memory, and I apologise that my memory is very vague due to my recent round of ECT. I think I started taking 20mg of Prozac, which did have it's challenges. I underwent a round of ECT, in April 2018 and left hosptial feeling better on 20mg of Prozac and Olanzapine - I can't remember this dose - maybe 5mg because 10mg was too much and I couldn't function on that amount. I agreed to take the Olanzapine only for 3 months to get myself back to work an back to life. When my doctor took me off the olanzapine I think she did it too quickly and the withdrawal was intense. It was so intense that I tried to commit suicide. Next step, back to hospital when my doctor suggested that I should go back onto Effexor as it had worked for me in the past. I was desperate, I didn't feel comfortable about it, but she's the doctor and knows best right? The current situation is that I came off Effexor 150mg (the original dose was 225mg), under the guidance of my psychiatrist in November 2018. She tapered me off the medication over 2 weeks. The reason I needed to come off Effexor was due to the fact that I just wasn't able to function whilst taking it, I actually felt worse. The hell that followed was horrendous and I did try and reinstate a low dose of Effexor although it just made matters worse. She had be do a course of TMS treatment and then my doctor suggested ECT . I agreed because I thought it was supposed to help with the withdrawal, although in hindsight I think she was trying to treat depression, when I told her I wasn't depressed and that I was experiencing was withdrawal. The ECT was a really bad idea. After the 9th ECT treatment I felt as though I was losing my mind, I felt like my brain was on fire. This sensation lasted quite a number of days and the only thing that helped was 5mg of valium as a PRN, which I took for about 6 days. I am now in such a state. I don't know where to turn. I can't sleep and I can't turn to my doctor for help because she has totally screwed me over. Please help me, I am so desperate. I am currently taking the following vitamins and supplements. Fish Oil 2000mg 4 x day N-acetylcysteine 1000mg 2 x per day Vitamin D 1 x day Vitamin C 1 x day Nux Vomica IM (when nauseous) Magnesium amino acid chalate - 1 scoop 2 x per day Naturopath remedies - Wellbeing mix 3 x day, soothing drops 3 x day, sleep support 2 x per day, Sleep and Rejuva Sleep Forte 4 x day, compounded melatonin 5mg for sleep.
  2. Moderator note: Link to benzo forum thread: summitbound: Poly-drugged: Thinking about tapering an AD w/ benzo Hello, I'm brand new to this site. I've been so busy learning about benzo tapering (and suffering!) on benzobuddies.org that I have yet to tackle getting off any of my antidepressants. I've already been tapering the benzo for over a year. I know that the general rule is to taper off your benzos first, and then work on your antidepressants. That said, I probably have a year or more left on my benzo taper and I hate being poly drugged with three antidepressants. I'd like to safely chip away at at least one of them. I think the mirtazipine is really helping with my sleep during bezno withdrawal, so I don't think I want to touch it. It seems like the low hanging fruit would be the lithium, since it seems I'm on a less than theraputic dose at 675 mg. Thoughts? So far, I have been "blessed" during my benzo taper in that I have not suffered from depression, severe anxiety, or panic. So I do want to tread carefully. Thanks so much!
  3. How it all started. November 2017 I was prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin to be taken once daily I do not have any pre existing anxiety or health issues. The "medicine" was given to me to help with some stress induced insomnia. Since then the stress that caused the insomnia has long been resolved. I was told this medication was a low dose, and it was perfectly safe, and could be taken nightly for up to 3 months without having any problems with dependency or addiction. Even though i told the doctor 11 years prior i had a bad withdrawel from Ativan that was prescribed to me after my mothers death. He said klonopin is much safer and easier to come off of. Also i took increasing doses of Ativan for close to a year... so of course it was hard to withdraw from... I took the Klonopin .5mg exactly as prescribed for about 10 to 12 days, and then for a week after I took half the dose .25 mg. Then i quit... Apparently I'm very sensitive to these types of medications and not biochemically compatible with them, because what happened over the next 8 days, I describe as increasing anxiety, insomnia, and irrational fear, that got to the point (8 days out) of having absolutely zero sleep the night before and feeling completely detaches from reality. Now i wish i would have realized what was happening and stuck it out, because I'd probably be 100% recovered by now. However, I ( like so many of us ) went running back to the doctor for help. I made an emergency appointment with my doc. He prescribed me a very high dose of Gabapentin and told me that its a great new medication used for benzo and alchohol withdrawels. He promised me that this drug was completely safe and not addictive at all as he did with the Klonopin. but he convinced me of it by telling me it wasn't a controlled substance. It worked great for about a week, but then all of those strange withdrawal symptoms from the Klonopin started coming back, and I required more of the Gabapentin to control those symptoms... My doctor actually said I could pick up the 3600 mg of it a day if need it without any worry of withdrawal. I had a massive bottle of 300mg pills and another massive bottle of 100mg pills to "fill in" I got to the point where I was taking 300 mg in the morning, 300 mg in the afternoon, and 1200 mg at night. But something just didn't feel right, I wasn't myself, I felt like I had suddenly lost 10 or 15 IQ points, the world seemed dull and so did my emotions. So the doctor pulled me off the gabapentin and put me back on the klonopin and once stable I would do a very slow taper, i was desperate to feel normal again so i agreed... I was pulled from the gabapentin after being on it for only 9 days... but with no taper and put back on the klonopin. Only this time it was not really working... I am well aware of Heather Ashton, slow tappering, micro tappering, and the effects benzos have on our gaba receptors... i personaly think Ashton is to highly regarded... I think the cross over to valium is a bad idea and does not work out for a lot of people... i respect the work she did, and her research, but that information is out dated and had needed to be continued and expanded upon. I do not agree all benzos effect the brain the same way the only difference is half life... My doctor thought going on valium would be my best option because of the long half life.... but there was no transition, it was just simply stop the Klonopin 1 day and start on 8mg diazapam the next... valiums main chemical of action breaks down in just 4 hours, while the rest of it just builds up in our systems... so the relief factor is short, while the rest of the chemicals just build up. Where I am at now I am currently taking 3 mg of Valium in the morning and 3 mg of Valium at night as well as 300 mg of Gabapentin in the morning and 300 mg at night ( yes im back on the gaba... mainly because the lack of sleep that started after my 2nd valium cut was just killing me) . This process is drawn out for the better part of a year now, and I'm still not medication free, and I'm still suffering insomnia, anxiety, and a sense of detachment. What I'm really wondering is if anyone has been on this combination of medications, and how they approached the taper. It doesn't matter which one I cut, I feel the effects of both in very much the same way with the same type of symptoms. Should I be tapering say half a milligram of Valium every two weeks, and 100 mg of Gabapentin every 2 weeks? Or tackle one at a time??? I apologize as this intro has turn into a book, I'm just very desperate for answers from people who have been through this I'm not seeking medical advice just personal experiences. My doctor and my pharmacist both say that what I'm experiencing is impossible given my dosage. But i know better. Just last year I was a highly functioning, healthy , strong, muscular, independent hard-working man, that ate a very healthy diet. After taking the Klonopin for just 17 days, the aftermath has been the loss of my job, i've had to move in with my sister for the time being. And all any doctor wants to do is give me more drugs or up my doses. I know the reality is this is a side effect kind of withdrawal from the medication so I refuse to do that. I have had a ton of blood work, and other neurological tests that are all perfectly normal I currently take both ionic and threonate magnesium in the middle of the day. I dont know if it helps ot not... i still eat healthy and walk at least 3 miles a day. SYMPTOMS I have lost 10 pounds of muscle, i have diahrea everyday I have benign faciculation dissorter My hands are shakey I have a massive panic attack in the middle of the night that wakes me up After the panic attqck at night I spend the rest of my hours in stage 2 of sleep ( where i feel like im not sleeping but i actually am) during this time i have a constant stream of thoughts, songs stuck in my head, and thins that make literaly no sense at all... I sleep between 2 and 6 hours per night. I have daytime anxiety mainly in the afternoon. Thank you, and best wishes to all of you.
  4. Lili

    Lili: Benzo/AD

    Hi, I'm brand new here and I'm struggling. I had a rough 2017. I was put on Ativan for sleep 6/20/17 & then on temazapam 6/23/7- I didn't know they were both benzos. I tapered off Ativan for 2 months and what ensued was a horrific withdrawal scenario that landed me in a psych ward with extreme suicidal ideation. I was reinstated on Valium and pretty much stabilized by end of December 2017. I went off Lexapro in the fall as I didn't want to be on an antidepressant but was put on Cymbalta 11/2017 first at 30 mg, then 60mg 2 weeks later. I didn't know so I started dropping down at beginning of January , had some anxiety, restlessness, so I went back up to 50mg over the course of a few days. Presently, some insomnia, some irregular heart beats and lessening anxiety. My Dr doesn't know about my Cymbalta escapade & thinks I can microtaper my Valium now. I will have to be forthcoming at my next visit in 3 weeks. I'm so worried about stabilizing and how this is going to affect my taper.
  5. I'm shaking as I write this. Long story short, went on antidepressants about 9 years ago for disthymia, GAD, and Panic Disorder. Started on Lexapro. It worked fairly well and had no startup side effects. PDoc added Welbutrin. It worked well too. Switched from Lexapro to another SSRI briefly without problems. Switched to Zoloft and stayed on it for about 8 years. Smooth sailing aside from the sexual side effects, which caused me (stupidly) to quit cold turkey in November of 2016. From then to January 2017 I felt fine except for brain zaps. Those eventually went away and haven't returned. February 2017 I started getting weird chest tightness and heaviness, accompanied by a stinging in the mouth and tongue. Had EKG, echo, chest xray, all fine. Saw a new PDoc on March 3rd who said chest symptoms were anxiety and put me on Trintellix and Klonopin. Was hesitant to start these drugs so I waited awhile. Took a friend's 0.25 Xanax on occasion during March to combat relatively mild anxiety from chest symptoms. Anxiety was getting worse so I decided to try the Klons. Was prescribed 0.5 to 1 every night before bed. Started doing that about March 16 with varied results. One day it seemed to work like a charm while the next day not at all, or even seemed to make anxiety worse. March 24 decided to try the Trintellix. March 25, 26 went by without side effects then BAM on March 27 I began what I can only describe as an unending and unrelenting panic attack that has only ceased briefly a few times since. I kept taking it anyway until March 29 when I called PDoc who told me to stop taking it and take something else. I told him F that, I want to go back to Zoloft and Welbutrin, at least I know that works. Been taking the Zoloft and Welbutrin since then. Saturday April 1st, 10:00pm I took 0.5 Clonazepam and fell asleep for 4 hours. Sunday April 2 2:00am awoke in a state of severe anxiety, about a 9.5/10, worse than I had ever felt. 5:00am went to the ER. 9:00am given Ativan at ER. Did not help. Voluntarily admitted to psych ER. In holding area until 11:00pm then transported by ambulance to a psych ward an hour away. Psych ward was a nightmare and drove my anxiety even higher which I didn't think was even possible. Monday April 3 evening, anxiety at 9.5. Blood pressure 177 systolic. Nurse gives 0.5 Xanax. Blood pressure drops to normal. Anxiety drops to 7.5. An hour later, anxiety up to 10!!! Nerves feel like they're on fire, heart pounding fast, muscles very weak, brain feels like it's being electrocuted. Given Hydroxyzine. An hour later, still 10. Given 2mg Xanax and wheelchaired back to room, or rather empty jail cell. Passed out. Tuesday April 4 awoke feeling drugged and anxiety at 5. Discharged at 1pm. Anxiety drops to 3. Arrive home, anxiety drops to 2. I was hopeful that the nightmare was over. Nope. Yesterday Wednesday April 5 morning, anxiety at 3. By noon anxiety climbed to 7. Is fluctuating between 5 and 7. Called PDoc in a panic. PDoc says keep taking Zoloft and Welbutrin and also prescribes Neurontin and Valium to be taken 3x per day, 2x dosage at bedtime. Picked up scripts that evening and took the bedtime dose. About a half hour later started feeling weird but good. Didn't last long though. Had a rough night. Today April 6 morning I felt very weird, but not in a good way. Tremors in my facial muscles, derealization, slow thinking. Looked up Neurontin on the Internet and learned how bad it is. Decided not to take morning dose and called PDoc and left message. I did take the morning Valium though, and that helped for a few hours. Took the afternoon Valium and it seemed to increase my anxiety and make me dizzy. PDoc hasn't called back. This is HELL. There's no end to my anxiety attack. I cannot function. I'm going to lose my job, my health insurance. Please tell me there's an end to this suffering. Please give me some hope. Some advice. What is happening to me? Is my life over?
  6. Hello - I am new to this forum. I've been on another forum for several months but heard wonderful things about SurvivingAntidepressants.org. I am currently tapering from Valium after being crossed over from Klonipin after a failed and much too fast and large cut taper. If you believe in "kindling" than I AM - I'm terrified. I am the mother of 2 young children who desperately need their mother. I was promised this drug was safe - that the doses I was taking were much too low to cause a problem - and I just can't believe this has happened and apparently happens ALL THE TIME My husband is supportive but can't begin to understand what hell I was in after my last taper.....It is hard to explain the torture chamber the body can become after a failed taper......I am here looking for support and tapering advice. Patches
  7. Hello there good people. Nice to meet you all. I am so relieved that I have found folks that know what I am going through. I am 61 years old and have just carefully and slowly weaned myself off Sertraline and Diazepam which I have been on since December 2014. At the moment I have cancer of the larynx so it was imperative I got off the meds so that I can work on getting my immune system fully up and running. I also gave up tobacco and alcohol in December 2014 so my body has a lot to do. And I now have a tracheostomy as a way to buy time as I have decided not to go for chemo or radio. I have a very old dog who is suffering from kidney failure and dementia so between us we present a truly thrilling picture of good health and sanity - she pees on the carpet a lot and I have panic attacks. Most attractive! It will be wonderful to be able to talk about what I am going through to people who know about it. Nobody else I know has any experience of this problem so I feel very alone with it which I know is not a good thing. My son (not living with me) is very supportive but I want to keep him out of this as much as I can as he has his own life to live. I also look forward to being able to offer support to other people when I am feeling a bit less stressed. At the moment I am having lots of fear thoughts which can be quite overwhelming. I have lots of other symptoms but this is the one I am finding difficult to deal with at the moment. I shall stop now before I get carried away. Thank you for your time.
  8. Hi everyone, i'm a 37yo male and I need advice on tapering. I seen a MD and first ever meds prescribed to me were in 2013. Wellbutrin 150 mg SR & 0.5mg Xanax as needed. Over the next 3-4 years was given effexor, Lexapro, prozac, paxil, Zoloft and others I cannot remember. Xanax was upped to 1mg 3x daily. Before seeing a psychiatrist was taking Xanax at irregular doses of 1-3mg at a time but usually not daily. Average 60mg a month. So I started to have lots of extra building up. After I was prescribed Valium from the psychiatrist I flushed all the Xanax down the toilet. Since then I've been taking 10mg Valium every 2 days. The psych said it would be fine to switch straight to the Valium. Didn't have any WD. Not sure if my body can go cold turkey on a benzo though because of what I've read on the internet. Glad I found this forum. In June at my first appointment with the psych I was diagnosed bipolar and prescribed trileptal 300mg twice daily which was tapered upwards over 2 weeks. 150mg SR Wellbutrin in the morning. I forget the lithium dose and the gabapentin because the bottles were huge and I refused to take them. I did take the trileptal and Wellbutrin and still do. I've been on and off Wellbutrin for 4 years. Mostly off. 2nd appointment told the doc I wasn't going to take the lithium or gabapentin. He convinced me to take the gabapentin and the dose was tapered to 2400mg over several weeks. 3rd appointment I was always feeling jittery and told him my short term memory was really bad. Got asked a bunch of questions and diagnosed with ADHD. Prescribed Adderall 20mg 3x a day. It was also tapered upwards over a few weeks. I asked to switch to Valium because I read that it's easier to withdraw from. I had not tried to stop taking Xanax since it was prescribed. I didn't tell him my plan was to quit benzos entirely but I was scared from what I had read on the internet. I'm feeling worse on these drugs than I did without them. What started with a visit to my MD because I was feeling down and maybe depressed has lead me to this cocktail of drugs. I'm not feeling myself and have no motivation or interest in things that I used to take joy in.I'm scared this is permanent and I want to get off all my meds. I read the forums about tapering but I'm totally lost on what med to start with. Can someone give me some advice please.
  9. I have been in chronic pain for five years -- on and off various medication for five years (which never decreased my pain and did a number on my CNS). I can't tell what is a pain symptom, side effect or withdrawal at this point. You can see some history in my signature. My plan was to withdraw from Valium first, then Gabapentin, then Zoloft, but I've been tapering slowly off Gabapentin and Valium at the same time. I also made a jump from 25mgs of Zoloft to 12.5mg of Zoloft 8/10/17. I was only taking 25mg of Zoloft since 6/16/17, Then before that, 10mg Paxil from 2/16/ - 6/14/17, which I halved, stopped and switched to Zoloft. My quick withdrawals from ADs may be causing some side effects. Now I'm thinking since I stared Mirtazapine 7.5mg at night (which finally is enabling me to sleep), I should wean the Zoloft first (before the Valium). I would like to micro taper all three together. Comments please? Thanks, Medication Tapering Schedule.pdf
  10. Moderator Note: Link to Maresat's benzo thread Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:08 PM Hi , I'm new here .... I've read a lot of posts and found some great advice and wisdom relative to WDs . I started my Valium taper at 10 mgs June 2016 , after a very difficult cross from klonopin that was pretty horrific. I kinda wished I had been more informed and had tried tapering direct from klonopin , but I only knew the Ashton method at that point and thought it was the way to go. Anyway , since June , I don't know if I was ever really stable on the V. My nervous system was so messed up from the crossover, ( and I think from my steroid CT ) but I thought I could just go ahead and begin the V taper at the Ashton rate. After the first mg things got really bad. ( mostly bed bound, terrible burning flesh and skin, stomach pains , concrete head, memory issues, difficulty walking , zero stress tolerance, hypersensitivity to sound and more) By September I had to hold my taper at 81/4 mgs V. every time I have tried to cut the tiniest amount ( liquid MT), I get thrown back into crippling WDs . I am hypersensitive to everything , cannot work or even socialize in any way, a lot of pain and constant burning skin and flesh. I hate how sedating the V is , I dose three times a day. Most of my symptoms are physical . I have managed to get down almost to 8 mgs Since the end of September, just making little reductions here and there, but they always hit me really hard and take weeks to recover from. I don't know how to proceed. It seems my only option is to keep holding and trying to cut little bits when I feel I can. I was only on benzos daily for 6 months , and can't believe this is so hard. Is anyone else THIS sensitive ? I have reduced my gabapentin from 900 mgs to 415 mgs , I'm not absolutely sure when I started that , sometime in 2016. I have been advised that for now it would best to hold tapering the gabapentin , as even though I haven't felt any particular WDs from it , it could be influencing my Valium taper. I definitely feel the Valium cuts very specifically though. I do want to get lower in dose on my Valium , that I feel is my first priority. I haven't been non symptomatic since the start of this taper. I'd really like to find a way to taper where I can have a bit of a life while I do it. I just wonder if anyone else has similar experience . I will feel 1/30th of a 1/4 mg cut of V! At this rate it would take me 6-8 years to come off.... i suppose I wouldn't mind if I can live a life in the meantime. Thanks in advance for any experience or encouragement you may have. Maresat Ps , I couldn't fit my supplements in my sig, so here they are- I do take magnesium in a liquid sea mineral form , and know to take it 2 hours away from gabapentin - about 100 mgs day Milk thistle, biotin-1,000 mg, Pantethine-300 mg, ester c-100mg, krill oil-1000 mg,saffron-88 mgs, lactium-167 mgs, citicoline-300 mgs,niacinamide-500-1,000 mgs, l-lysine-500 mg, zinc piconolate-15 mg
  11. Moderator note - link to Severntiger's benzo thread: Severntiger: Tried Valium Cold Turkey - Evil side effects - Now Attempting Tapering I am 39. I have had chronic insomnia and anxiety all my life. From age 14 I have had drug and alcohol addiction and dependency problems. In 2014 I discovered, through a friend, an illicit source of good quality Valium where I could get as much as I wanted when I wanted through the post. I started off using them as "occasional use" to help me sleep when there was an emergency situation the next day, e.g. job interview, having to move home but then it quickly turned into using them for stressful situations, e.g. noisy flatmates, stress at work etc. and that of course turned into most days. So for the last 2 and a half years I have been taking Valium more days than not with an average dose of 52mg a day. I started to get seriously worried about my sleeping pill consumption end of 2015 and so in 2016 and 2017 I have recorded my Valium (and other sleeping tablet) consumption every single day. Therefore I have been able to work out each month how many days I took Valium and what the average dose is. Oddly my Valium consumption has been sporadic, e.g. not every day or the same amount every day. e.g. my latest record before I decided to try cold turkey. 06/07/2017 – 30mg 07/07/2017 – 30mg 08/07/2017 – 30mg 09/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 10/07/2017 – 60mg 11/07/2017 – 90mg 12/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 13/07/2017 – 80mg 14/07/2017 - Clean 15/07/2017 - Clean 16/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 17/07/2017 - Clean 18/07/2017 - Clean 19/07/2017 – 30mg 20/07/2017 – 30mg 21/07/2017 – 120mg 22/07/2017 – Didn’t sleep as too much Mephadrone 23/07/2017 – 90mg 24/07/2017 – 60mg 25/07/2017 – 60mg 26/07/2017 – 80mg I then tried to go cold turkey, using Zopiclone to help sleep, until I ended up taking 75mg of Zopiclone on 02/08/2017 and 03/08/2017 and hallucinating and going AWOL and not being able to function at work or outside work. Last Friday 4th August, 5 days ago, I then threw all my Zopiclone in the bin and decided I was going to come off everything. And its here that the nightmare has started For 4 days I didn’t sleep a wink, apart from 3 hours passing out after necking a bottle of wine at 3am one night. I had the worst anxiety/panic attacks I have ever had. I felt that my skin was crawling, apparantly. My flat mate said I was wide eyed, on edge, jumpy and acting crazy. Sunday night after 3 Nitol I still couldn’t sleep a wink and Monday (2 days ago) I tried to go into work but couldn’t function properly ( I am trying to hold down a Management Accountant job) and after another sleepness night and rising panic I had to admit defeat, phone in sick yesterday (Tuesday) and look to the internet for help where I learnt that going Cold Turkey was the worst thing to do and that Valium was worse to come of than herion. So I panicked big time and went to the doctor. Thankfully the doctor was very nice and agreed that tapering off was the best solution and he would help me come off them legitimatly so no need for the black market. I am now on 20mg a day for 4 weeks then to go back to him and see where I am and try to reduce the amount. He hopes I can get off them by Christmas. I took 20mg last night and immediately calmed down and slept for 5-6 hours and feel shattered but much better today. My question is: Do I now go onto 20mg every evening before bed? Or do I try to go without any Valium every now and again and see how many clean days I can get before any side effects kick in in which case I can just take 20mg again before bed?
  12. Moderator note: link to jenthorz's members-only benzo thread My name is Jennifer. Been on some form of antidepressants and/ or benzo starting off and on since age 16. I'm 45 now. Life's been challenging non-stop. Some because of poor decisions, some from trauma, and some from just being an anxious and fearful person. Married too young. Must be all my Daddy issues. Had baby at 18. Divorced that guy. Brother died around then at age 14. Was hit by two drunk drivers December 12, 1989. Married again later to someone I knew was good for me and son. Thought I would learn to love him. Sure you know how that ended up, but during that time 3 more children. 1 girl and a pair of twin boys. All wonderful. My oldest has Severe Autism and scizophrenia. First 7 years were difficult but manageable and his intermittent explosive disorder was dealable. I love him very much. Age 12 hit him and then whammo!! Rapid growth and his episodes became so violent I usually ended up looking like hamburger after. He bit hard you see. Doing that for 21 years gave me PTSD. I'll spare you the details. Anyway, I'd have to write a book to explain all the heartbreak, so I'll just end it here with my current med situation. Depression/Anxiety Disorder and PTSDZoloft 75 mg. And Valium 15 mg a day, but tapered to 1.5 mg. A day over the course of months. Keeping Zoloft at current dose until well off Valium. Valium also assisted with vertigo not just panic attacks. Most bothersome withdrawal symptoms during taper: night sweats, zaps, eyesight changes, insomnia, queasiness, nightmares, concentration issues, and extreme fatigue. Thank you for letting me join. Besides all that above, I'm a pretty insightful, intelligent, kind, and funny gal. Nice to be here.
  13. William

    William: Hello!

    Good morning people! Just wanted to introduce myself and share my experiences with fellow like minded antidepressant survivors! Was first prescribed SSRI's in 2012 due to severe anxiety and suicide attempts (lucky to be alive) Took Mirtazapine for a year or so. Made me a bit drowsy, didnt notice any improvements so came off it, cold turkey, but no symptoms/side effects A year later went back to my GP (big mistake!) and he decided on prescribing Zoloft. I had a very severe reaction to this medication. Its difficult to remember all the side effects i had but i'll try to list them. Depersonalisation. Erectyle dysfunction. Sensitive CNS. Tinnitus. Insomnia. Sickness. Diarrhea. Feeling dreadful all day. No energy. No happiness. Anger. Could not talk. It will be 3 years this XMAS and i am still nowhere healed. I still have tinnitus. Sensitive CNS and feel awful every single day I have seen 12 doctors during this period. No one really believes me A Neurologist at the hospital basically kicked me out my appointment and said its all in my head I am so angry with the medical community I traveled the world and worked in financial services prior to this reaction, now i am on the sofa being cared for by my girlfriend I read the success stories on this forum and they give me hope, but its difficult to carry on when i have little improvement I bet your wondering, why are you only posting now? This forum scared me when i saw people say it took years to recover. When it happened i thought i would be one of the lucky ones who would heal in 3-6 months. WRONG! I currently take 5mg Valium on a as needed basis. But the last time i took some was months ago. I save them for when i need to be somewhere and acting normal (e.g. funerals/xmas time etc) I spend my time on the sofa, in bed or in the bath. It is a tuely miserable existance. So, here I am. My name is William and in live in England. From reading these forums i have all the answers i need. Patience and time are my friends. But happy to connect with people currently suffering through the lies of Big Pharma Have a good day all Will
  14. Hi, I am feeling rather desperate with increasing symtoms. Here goes: I have been microtapering Valium since 2012 without major problems. Also on Sertralin 25 mg since 2007. In september 2016 I accidentely missed a dose Valium, 0,30 mg and went into withdrawal. Continued microtaper (tital 0,03mg) until Feb 2017. Was symptomatic. Then started new batch Sertralin (same dose 25 mg) and the day after developed new symtoms - very dry burning mouth, dizzieness, derealisation. New symtoms for me. Called manufacturer who confirmed that new batch was 1% more potent. Waited two weeks for stabilisation which did not happen. Developed nightly panicattacks and agitation. Decreased Sertalin 1%. Better for one week. Now increasingly more severe symtoms by the day with occasional windows. What is happening? What should I do? Thanks for you advice.
  15. JanCarol

    Australian Valium Recall by TGA

    Valium 5 mg recalled - suspected Tampering
  16. Hi, I need to keep this short because I have chronic fatigue & can't concentrate for long. I've been off & on (mostly on) medication for 25 years. I've just come to the conclusion that my Bipolar 2 Dx may be incorrect in that, I think my hypomanic symptoms may be caused by antidepressants. I never had those symptoms before I started taking them. I guess I'll never know for sure :-( I've just been reading about how long term use can turn depression into a chronic disease (if it wasn't already) and about the symptoms of Tardive Dysphoria. Sounds like me. I've been taking Lithium, Cymbalta and a bit of Valium for years now. I feel like I'd like to try to come off the Cymbalta (to start with) but I just wonder if it's too late for me now. I've been reading about how some of the side effects may not be reversible. I've come off meds before and I would use Prozac to get off the Cymbalta as I've done before successfully. But how do you know - two months, six months, a year down the track, if you're still feeling the effects of withdrawal in your moods etc, or if you're back to yourself - or at least as good as you're going to get post years of meds??? Thanks for reading, Zel
  17. Hi All, I thought I would get your opinion on something if thats ok.. I have recently tapered off Cipralex/Lexapro 15mg and was off for about 4 weeks, however withdrawal symptoms became to much for me to handle. I had severe anxiety, insomnia, depression, loss of appetite, not able to concentrate, depersonalisation. It was horrible. My last dose was 5mg and I then decided to go back on 5mg and it has been 7 days and I am experiencing starting up effects again. How long do you think this will last? Will it be as though I am starting from scratch and need to give it 2 -4 weeks? I have done so much research on this now and know that each person reacts differently, I do realise that I tapered too fast though and my Doctor realised too although I did it with his guidance/approval but as we all know who are going through this, Doctors do not have a clue about Withdrawal. My Doctor advised me to go back on 5mg which I did. I would love to hear your thoughts as to how long I should expect for the side effects to start to get better. I was also taking Wellbutrin XL 150mg which I successfully stopped 4 months ago and I am currently also taking Diazepam 2.5mg. I also take Magnesium, fish oil, Vitamin D. Thanks a lot!
  18. Hello, this is zamwessell, and I am new to the forum as of this afternoon. I'd like to give a bit of background, and ask for some advice. Back in mid-July 2015, I had a bout of anxiety and insomnia due to worrying about the beginning of a new relationship. I initially asked for some help for this, and my doc prescribed Wellbutrin, but after 5 days of being numb, I stopped it. Then asked for something different and was prescribed Ambien 5 mg. Was on that for 16 days, but it was not working to get me to sleep, so I ended up at a Psych ER at the local university hospital. They suggested Remeron, so I went on that at 7.5 mg to begin with. That combination was still not working, and I ended up in the hospital for 5 days, where they took me off Ambien and put me on Ativan. I'm sorry to say, I don't remember the exact dosage, but I believe it was 1 mg in am and 1 mg in pm. I was able to taper off of that beginning October of 2015, after switching to Valium. Over the course of a couple of months, I reached the final dose of Remeron that my doc and I agreed on: 30 mg. I was on that, doing well, until mid-September of last year, when we decided things were stable enough in my life that I could start tapering off that. Not knowing any better, we agreed on a taper schedule: 3 weeks each at 22.5 mg, 15 mg, 7.5 mg, and 3.75 mg (if I felt I needed to - I did, but probably only stayed at that dosage for a week). Only a week later, I began having pretty bad insomnia, coming in waves, with a few good nights and plenty of bad ones. I also noticed I was very cold, then would get very hot while trying to get to sleep. I also had muscle jerks, just as I was beginning to fall asleep, which would keep me from being able to fall asleep - a vicious cycle. This all continued for 7 weeks, until I couldn't take it any more and contacted my doc. She suggested going back on at a low dose to try to reinstate. I reluctantly agreed and that went well for about 7 nights. Then on nights 8 and 9, I noticed it took me longer to get to sleep, and by night 10 at 7.5, I didn't get any sleep at all. That was a Friday night. I contacted the on-call psychiatrist at the university's psych department, which was my only option on the weekend, and they said going up to 15 mg was fine, so that's what I did. I so wish I had seen this forum prior to trying to reinstate. I definitely would have suggested starting only at 3.75 mg, but, alas, that didn't happen. Not knowing any better, I was under the impression that going back up, maybe even to where I was prior to starting the taper, was what I should do. So, now I've been on the 15 mg for 6 nights. It takes me a couple of hours to get to sleep (I've been taking the dose about 10 pm), and have experienced the brain zaps others have talked about, as well as the muscle jerks just as I'm falling asleep, though to a slightly lesser intensity than when I was in withdrawal. I wake up numerous times, and realize I've been dreaming, so I just try and say to myself that you did get to sleep at some point, so try to get back to sleep. I have been able to get back to sleep, and have probably averaged 4-5 hours these past 6 nights. Last night was worse than the night before, however. My questions are numerous, but I guess the main ones are: have others experienced this scenario, have I gone too high in going up to 15 mg, and what are some recommendations? I know that you all are not doctors, but I'm willing to consider experiences in what others have gone through.
  19. Hi all I'm new to this forum and really in a bad place currently. Last year I was using 20mg valium + 1mg xanax a day for a few months and decided to come off these over Christmas, without having researched the proper way. I tapered off the Xanax by splitting the pills over the course of a week or two and with the valium, tapered again over a few weeks by splitting the pills down. However, this didn't work and left me feeling utterly awful, so on the 3rd of Feb, I web to see my local GP who recommended I start tapering over 3 weeks, starting with 7.5mg, then 5mg, then 2.5mg then nothing. The end result, a few weeks later, is that I have lost my ability to concentrate almost entirely, my sleeping is pretty terrible and anxiety at a very high level. I am due to go see the doctor again in a couple of hours to decide on what needs to be done next. My current biggest fear is that, because I work for myself, I am going to have to declare bankruptcy both personally (I have a 6k credit card debt) and via the company, along with moving out of my rented apartment - to where I don't know, possibly my brother's place as he's the only person in my family with a spare room - and having my entire career and life collapse around me. Having read the Ashton manual (and even showed this to my doctor) I understand the need to taper slowly, but: having tried the doctor's recommendation of a fast taper and finding this doesn't work, is it worth trying to reinstate and then carry out a slow taper? I'm at my wit's end and really cannot see a way out of this: if I wasn't self-employed, I think things would be less bad but at the moment everything seems insurmountable I simply do not know what to do. Any suggestions?
  20. Hi there, I am posting here on behalf of my mom, as my family and I are in a desperate state and not sure where to turn. My mom has had a difficult 7 years of dealing with withdrawing off of a benzodiazepine (Valium). To start, she has learned through her taper process that she is "highly sensitive" and has multiple chemical sensitivity. After experiencing withdrawal symptoms back in summer 2009 from using bioidentical hormones (a steroid) for a short 3 weeks (which at the time she was unaware these were steroids and symptoms were from withdrawal), she ended up in the hospital after not being able to sleep for several days and was prescribed Ativan. After taking Ativan for 3-4 weeks, she decide to stop and after more testing she finally figured out she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms through her own research. She found a doctor willing to work with her and converted to Valium to begin her taper. She started at 4mg and and successfully tapered (Ashton Method) over a 9 month period. In the summer of 2012, a wave hit and she experienced severe withdrawal symptoms and spiraled out all over again. After several hospital visits, she reinstated back on Valium, eventually stabilizing at 7mg, and started an even slower micro-taper from there. In March 2016, she was still not feeling well (even after a 4 year long taper) and decided to hold at 1mg of Valium for several months to see if the withdrawal symptoms would lighten. At the end of October, she crashed with brutal and intense akathisia, extreme fight or flight and withdrawal symptoms. She had 3 visits to the ER. We tried up-dosing to 1.3 mgs to see if that would relieve the restlessness, but it did not. Since then (about 7 weeks), we've been hovering around 1mg of Valium to try and stabilize her, but nothing is working. We are trying to find a stable dose so we can begin the withdrawal process again. She has lost at least 20 lbs (she cannot keep food down due to nausea, gagging, and extreme food sensitivity), has severe burning throughout her entire body-especially when she takes a dose of Valium, she at times feels overdosed or as if the drug is now acting paradoxical in her system, shortness of breath/shallow breathing, several panic attacks throughout the day, sleepless nights (still), constant fight or flight, slurred speech and stuttering, body spasms, a huge knot-like feeling in her gut, extremely depressing thoughts, and extreme food and product sensitivities (even to the most natural shampoo), and I truly could go on... She has given up all hope. If we up-dose the Valium, she feels sluggish and the benzo feels toxic in her system. If we give her less Valium, she experiences withdrawal. She is in agony and feeling pain. She/we are looking for any advice to help with this in the short run. Our number one goal is to reduce her pain/agony, stabilize the dose, and get moving again on the taper - but it truly seems like nothing is working. Over the years, we (especially my mom) have done immense amounts of research on benzo taper and withdrawal and we are truly at a loss as this crash came out of nowhere. We fear there is no way out and are hoping someone out there has experienced something like this and found a way out. All she wants is relief, as she's in constant agony and complete fear day in and day out. Thank you in advance for any comments or advice. We are in tears as we write this... PhiCal & family
  21. Hi, I am new to this forum. I’ve tried to get everything I remember into my signature. Things are really foggy these days. My initial impulse, now that I’m posting an entry here, is to just write: Help! — I’m sinking and I need help. But I’ll try to modulate that a bit and give my history. I’m on Month 5 of Prozac withdrawal, and my second week of no Benzos whatsoever after a few months of tapering off. I only recently discovered this site and I’ve come to realize that I might have not given myself enough time to taper off Prozac. I went off of it over the course of a month too. I have suffered on and off from depression my whole life, with a number of major , debilitating, long depressive episodes. And I have been on lots of SSRIs over the years. About six or seven years ago, after a merry go round of new meds and accompanying new side effects, I went off of psych meds altogether without too much withdrawal trouble . I continued to battle depression but I tried alternative treatments such as nutrition/supplements and neurofeedback along with CBT, which helped me just keep my head above water. Then, 3 years ago, I had a particularly bad spell. I lost my business. Dropped out of a relationship and friendships. In consultation with my psychiatrist, I made the decision of going on Prozac as a last ditch effort. And the prozac helped I think. At the time I remember thinking that it saved my life. Now I'm not so sure it was worth it. No big surprise, The Prozac stopped working after two years or so. And then I was just stuck. I was reluctant to try another SSRI for fear of going through the trial and error test to find something that works without bad side effects. And afraid to go off. Then, this year,l I learned that SSRIs cause the brain to decrease it's serotonin production. Since the Prozac didn't seem to be helping anyway, It seemed the direction to go was OFF the prozac and get through the withdrawal. I didn't think it would be so bad since I had gone off of SSRIs before. I was so wrong. Now I’m in a nightmare. The nightmare many people have written about here. At least after finding this site, I have a bit more understanding of what I’m going through. I have had the leg cramps at night that wake me up. I Simply can’t sleep. I get maybe 2-4 hours a night if I’m lucky. I’m agitated. I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin. I have a continual apocalyptic narrative in my head underscoring everything I do. I despair. I Hate myself and my life. I’m in my 50’s and all I can see are the horrible things about growing old and being alone. I can hardly watch TV because it just offers more material for me to churn through my negative, hopeless perspective. TV used to be an escape. Not anymore. This isn’t like the depression I’ve known most of my adult life. This is like going crazy. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I can handle more of this. Let alone years more of this. The people on this site are the only ones who have any clue what this is like. I don’t now what to do. Should I go back on antidepressants? My psychiatrist and psychologist think that meds are a necessary evil. I am taking Trazodone for sleep, which I dread getting hooked on so I avoid it if at all possible. And my psychiatrist told that I can take 10 mg of valium a day, no problem, for the anxiety and panic. But I don’t trust that. I’ve gone off of Valium because from what I've read I think that it will just make things worse in the long run. It’s so confusing getting conflicting information from medical professionals. Any advice anyone has about ANY part of this , would be welcome. I have been on the verge of going into an inpatient facility for the last few weeks, but I hesitate because I know they will insist on reinstating some SSRI. Thanks very much.
  22. I do not know differentiate clearly, the withdrawal symptoms, disease, drugs and supplements I took no supplements because Altostrata warned us that no commercial program is good. The best is to do so slowly and patiently removed. I was doing the supplements list TBR to buy, but I suspended it. Currently 1/2 comp clomipramine (Anafranil) 50mg and 10mg Valium middle of composing. It's the first time I try WD reading survivingantidepressants. Always I did on my own. Today the symptoms are weak but sometimes are accentuated. I have symptoms as if anything was a big scare that spreads in seconds, until becoming a huge wave of the sea. Many things become disproportionate for me to bear, but without panic really. Today I travel alone, I submitted myself to surgery without problems,etc... but I have many emotional pain. I feel small, bad thoughts,etc... dizziness, wheezing in the ears, as if listening to the "silence the noise" (beginning two months), and more symptoms that I describe in my signature...and more many, many others symptoms I am very confuse with me and as i sad in Topic Title: i dont know diferenciate bettween those kind of symptoms and dont know if i am right with my WD
  23. I have recently decided to taper off escitalopram as I want to be med free. 29 months ago I finished a valium taper (6mg for 2 years) and am still getting over this. I want to see if coming off the SSRI will help but am doing it really slowly as I'm so sensitive. I would just like some advice. I have been on 10mg for nearly 4 years and currently I am dissolving the tab in 60ml of water and taking out 0.1ml daily. I'm on day 3 and really nervous, however the valium damaged my CNS and I'm still healing. Thank you
  24. Hi, new user been on meds for 8 years or so, varying combinations of ADs, AAPs and benzos. have tapered the last drug (Lexapro) and been going through withdrawal for over 2 months, details are in signature, hopefully it's adequate. i should mention that i am dealing with pretty severe brain fog through this withdrawal, so the way i organize my ideas and structure sentences might be pretty awkward.... OK, it has been 65 days since 2 months since coming off all meds, first it was antipsychotics, then benzodiazepines, and finally antidepressants over the course of several months after being on the meds for 7+ years. overall I feel pretty useless right now, and extremely self conscious and self critical as well. my affect and anxious tone of voice seems to draw attention to myself more often than not, depending on how anxious i am. don't think this is entirely in my head or a mere judgment, i distinctly notice grimacing from people pretty often, or sometimes laughing if i'm walking past a group of people. so it's not entirely irrational. and i often have an extremely difficult time forming proper words and ideas. sometimes i don't even wish to be around my parents. i just don't feel like myself. this feels 20x worse than run of the mill anxiety, especially considering that i have an anxious personality to begin with, so it's anxiety (disorder), on top of anxiety (anxious personality) on top of anxiety (withdrawal symptoms). add to this that i am expected to continue going to school in the fall to complete a polysomnography program (i would be a sleep tech) i honestly do not feel ready at all, yet getting through this polysomnography program could ultimately mean my financial independence and it's even more so a pressing issue considering my father may be retiring next year meaning that i wont have the same health insurance and wont be able to see my current therapist who i feel very comfortable with atm, any longer. other therapists have been deameaning and patronizing because of my timidity. now all that brings me to the question how i can cope with these symptoms so that i don't humiliate myself on a regular basis and become demoralized. my therapist who specializes in ACT tells me to "be present".. he suggests thought defusion exercises, mindfulness, grounding and acceptance. a lot of these concepts are pretty vague to me; what is "acceptance" supposed to look like? what is mindfulness? what are the steps that have to be taken to get to these states, when do i use them, how do i use them? being that i tend to micromanage every little thought feeling and event that goes on in my daily life, these coping skills drives me crazy and brings me more in my head than before leaving me mentally exhausted. are there any supplements that could take the edge off? my biggest fear is being judged to be incompetent and unqualified to do sleep lab work. perhaps i might be told that i'm making the patients or the students uncomfortable. perhaps my fear-laden affect and anxious/passive/unattractive tone of voice will be too off putting for others. i don't even feel that i'lll have sufficient motivation or mental energy to study the material properly. overall i feel like there's a lot of pressure on me to do well when i may not be ready to function yet. yet at the moment i am in a way committed to the program: i have already on more than a few occassions gone back and forth with my decision to complete the program. so if i call the program coordinator again telling her for the fourth or fifth time that i don't feel ready, i will likely not be accepted when i DO feel ready. moreover, explaining my situation and thus letting them know that i have a history of psychiatric issues would probably make acceptance in the future even more unlikely, rather than help the situation. any help at all would be much appreciated.
  25. Hi I am new to this forum, coming from benzobuddies forum. I was on an AD wellbutrin for 7 years and then a P Doc took me off cold turkey and I wound up in a psych hospital for 10 days December 2012, I was reinstated on Wellbutrin in the hospital and upon leaving I found a new P Doc immediately. He diagnosed me with Bipolar ll. He kept me on the Wellbutrin and added Lamictal and 40 mg Valium for insomnia. I became tolerant after 3-4 months to the Valim and I started a micro taper off the 40 mg valium 1/2013. I am currently at 1.5 mg as of 10/01/2014. Withdrawl symptoms were not to severe with the micro taper until 3mg valium. Now down at 1.5 mg withdrawl symptoms are pretty intense ,insomnia, anxiety, feeling poorly. My P doc didn't want me to come off of the valium because he thought it helped with keeping my bipolar stable. He agreed to help me with the taper if I wanted to get off. I just wanted to get off because I was tolerant and didn't want to stay on a benzo any longer. I also recently decided I would like to decrease my AD dose after I am off the benzo, but I'm not certain I can completely taper off because of my bipolar. I discussed this with my P Doc and he said he would consider this after I'm stable on my valium taper. I was reading thru some posts here and noticed that tapering the AD first might have been better then tapering the benzo according to many here. I started my benzo taper first because I wasn't going to taper down my AD at the advice of my P doc.. I have decided that I would like to taper down my Wellbutrin at least to a lower dose but I assume I should wait till I am off the benzo at this point? If I do taper down my Wellbutrin will it be harder now that I am tapering off the benzo first Also I need some advice about getting off the 6mg of Doxepin (Silenor), I have been taking for insomna the past year, it is no longer helping with my insomnia. Since it is such a low dose do I need to taper off this slowly or can I just jump off. Thanks
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