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  1. I have panic disorder with General anxiety. I had taken mirtazapine 45mg and I think 60mg at one point over 10 years. Due to a big relapse of major daily panic attacks and severe nausea a Psychiatrist changed me over to escalitopran but left me on 7.5mg of mirtazapine for sleep. For approx 3 years I've been on 20mg of escalitopran and 7.5mg of mirtazapine but doctors keep asking to remove the mirtazapine. Lately I have been quite Nausea each day and wondering if its the two drugs interacting? I am now trying to remove the mirtazapine and cut the 7.5mg cold turkey and was awake all night not having it and severe panic attacks in the night and during the day with severe nausea. So now Im trying to take a 1/4 tablet of mirtazapine which is approx 3.75mg. How should I go about this? I do have a doctor appointment booked as I think withdrawal is already an issue.
  2. Chlo

    Chlo

    HarperValley •Celexa 40mg 1999-2021 •COVID August 2021 •Celexa stopped working •Zoloft 100mg Sept.-Oct. •Zoloft did not work •Lexapro 10mg Oct.-Nov. •Lexapro did not work •Lexapro 5mg Nov- current •Mirtazapine 15mg at night Oct-current •Current supplements: B12, Magnesium Glycinate, Ashwagandha, Multivitamin, C, D3, Nac, CoQ10, CBD. No longer seeing a Psychiatrist, I am seeing a Holistic doctor now.. She will start my taper of Lexapro 5mg. mid January. I have severe anxiety and depression with panic attacks. Being that I'm treatment resistant will i continue to have withdrawals throughout my taper? Also..will my withdrawals ease up with lesser & lesser tapers? Or will withdrawals be my new norm? I have been having withdrawals since Covid in August 2021 because of my resistance to antidepressant. Also having phantom smell of burning ash tray.
  3. im 47. Since 1992 I’ve been on all the so called anti depressants at some point . Amitriptline in 92 after a major car accident , for 4 years , then duloxetine for a couple of years , then citalopram switched to eicitalopram , then to fluoxetine , then to Effexor ( which actually was only one that helped apart from gave me non alcoholic fatty liver ) then switched to sertraline for 2 years , then next was venlafaxine 75 mg generic , then dr switched me about very quickly to roboxetine , which had me climbing the walls for 3 weeks , then at end of 2019 swapped me straight from robixetine to mirtazpine 30 mg along side venlafaxine 37.5mg . By. Early 2020, I felt like someone had put my brain to sleep . Did not have the get up and go mentally to do anything really . No interest in me life wife kids , just flat . Knew this had to be the mirtazpine . Dr said cut it in half , so 15mg for a week then stop . I said no , and dropped from 30 to 22.5mg . Felt very low for three months . But seemed to settle . But still felt mentally screwed . No Drive no excitement no anger no anything . I stayed put for rest of 2020.in 2021, I had to close my new business as I didn’t have it in me to run it . Bookkeeping . I then declared myself bankrupt . In June 2021,my mother passed away sadly . I had been caring for her when I could for 4 years . I hit a massive void . I have been out of work so I could be there to help her when needed . I was 3 weeks in to a too large reduction (33%) of my 37.5 venlalic when she passed away . I ended up in A and E convinced that I was dying . Drs increased venlafaxine to 75mg Effexor . I didn’t want it but I needed some immediate help . And it did. A bit . I began to taper slowly in august from mirt by 10% or less . I was on 22.5mg in august , I am now on 18.5mg . My last reduction of only .5mg ( 2.5%) two weeks ago. I have severe joint and muscle and tendon aches and cramps . I seem to have become intolerant to histamine ( if I eat a banana in am , 4 hours later I feel like I’m going to pass out ) but this only happens in morning . is this really all possible ? The pains in my joints are if I am100 years old . I’m 47 . And this has all come about since reducing mirtazpine ? Why is this at such small reductions ? How please can I get round this ?? I have crohnes disease and had a bowel resection 20 years ago . This has now flared up , no doubt due to the histamine and stress issues ? I can’t touch cod liver oil or vitamins as it makes me feel hot and anxious ?? What can I do ? No one is listening at the Drs or anywhere ? To add , since June ( at that point I was on 37.5mg venlalic and 22.5mg mirtazpine) I changed from tablet venlalic 37.5 to venlablue capsule in June with three tablets inside , and then tried to reduce this by 1 of the tablets , ( so, 33% for 3 weeks ) failed, so put back to tablet venlalic at 37.5mg. I was also diagnosed adhd 8 months ago . In July , they started me on various stimulants , elvanse 30mg for a week then 50mg for a week. I stopped as didn’t like how I felt . So they put me on dexamphetamin 5mg twice a day , and told me to start to also take the venlalic in eve with mirtazpine , so I switched the venlalic to eve straight away . Went through 2 weeks of feeling proper rough . Stopped the adhd meds as too anxious . Mid July So then I am back to the 37.5 Venlalic in a.m. 22.5mg mirt in eve . started to slowly reduce mirt 22.5 to 20mg. Got real bad due to grief and all, Drs upped venlafaxine to 75mg Effexor capsule in around September . since then done 2 more small mirt cuts so now on 18.5mirt and 75mg Effexor . im hurting . I’m aching everywhere . I can’t eat certain foods with histamine . have I gone wrong ?
  4. Healing

    Neuro-emotions

    ADMIN NOTE Also see Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism Dealing With Emotional Spirals What is happening in your brain? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement If you feel you cannot manage your thoughts and are actually suicidal, seek face-to-face help immediately, see For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal For many reasons, our emotions are on a hair-trigger, amplified, and perseverative. We probably don't even know all of what's going on physically yet, but it includes diminished prefrontal lobe executive functions, rebound amygdala, dysregulated HPA, over-active adrenals, etc. The neuro-emotions include -- neuro-fear neuro-anger neuro-guilt neuro-shame neuro-hurt neuro-regret neuro-self-criticism neuro-grudge-holding ...and more! It is very, very confusing to have these intense neuro-emotions and try to remember that they are not what they appear to be. Emotions are compelling. Emotions during recovery from psych meds are even more compelling. Sometimes, the neuro-emotion is really totally artificial. Some of my neuro-fears have been so unlikely to come to pass as to bear no resemblance to reality or to my personal history. But, I think a lot of the time, part of what makes it so confusing is that there is a grain of reality to the neuro-emotion. For example, some situation might make you a bit angry under normal circumstances, but the neuro-anger is huge. This is when it's very difficult to 1) catch it in the first place and notice this is a neuro-emotion, 2) convince ourselves, yes, this is really a neuro-emotion, not a real emotion, 3) contain the emotion, try not to act on it, or channel the energy into something safe and constructive -- like exercise or journaling or building a birdhouse. Whenever you're having an intense, disturbing feeling, try to remind yourself that, right now -- even if it does have something to do with reality -- it is largely a neuro-emotion that you wouldn't be feeling if you were fully healed. And you *will* be fully healed. It's happening! Get ready!
  5. Marta

    Marta: Intro

    Hi all! Please sorry if my English is not perfect but it's not my mothertongue. My story is short: -"normal" (nobody is normal) life until 2011 -developed very painful abdominal pain, did all medical exams nothing came off....(now think it was a somatization...last year of university stress, end of long relation, new relation, no job opportunities) -06/2012 really tired of pain, my gp decided to gave me cipralex 10mg -I started gently, no side effects, pain slowly disappeared....but I started to gain weight +8kg, NO libido, NO intense feelings -02/2015 started to stop it one drop per week, around 01/04/2015 free -end of April, first days of May sudden, huge, creepy anxiety(Never had it before) heart punds super fast suicide thoughts blurry vision sounds in brain high sensitivity to low sounds zero appetite insomnia(Never had it before) -tried to resist until end of May, my gp said to take it again, in 5 days I was again in 10mg and things got worse all previous symtomps plus ****ing burning skin sensation (I'm going mad) can't stop to move legs (creepy) zero sensitivity "over there" ----that's my present condition, tomorrow I'll ask to stop these horrible meds, why the hell, why the hell I have accepted then, nobody told my about these effects. I'm sacred to death it will last FOREVER, I'm so terrified by the words forever chronic permanent... my questions are: is it possible to develope these symptoms after 2-3 weeks quitting? have you ever had burning skin sensation? will these things lasts forever? Thanks to all, who will reads and who will answer, I'll also try to answer others! Sincere hugs, M.
  6. See also: high-cortisol-and-ssris This seems to be a very common symptom of withdrawal syndrome. Many people report waking up with a surge of panic or anxiety, or a feeling of anxiety early in the morning. People generally feel this around 3:30-4:30 a.m. or closer to dawn. The first glimmers of morning light signal the nervous system to start the morning cycle with a normal rise in cortisol. This is a normal part of your circadian rhythm. Normally, cortisol gives you energy. When you have withdrawal syndrome, your system is on "high alert" all the time. For people whose nervous systems have been sensitized by going on and off psychiatric drugs, the normal morning peak of cortisol is felt as exaggerated. What you would normally feel as "wake up" becomes a surge of unease, panic, anxiety, or dread at the start of the day. Since the cortisol increase is signaled by early morning light, you can reduce the stimulation by reducing light in your bedroom with the use of blackout shades and curtains and a sleep mask to shield your eyes. Strengthening your sleep also helps. See What is the sleep cycle? Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia Sleep and withdrawal Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime
  7. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Blondiee1915: Xanax taper. Need help Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much ❤️
  8. I posted these in a thread but only one person has downloaded them according to the stats so i wanted to give better access to them because they're really very helpful to me and I know they've been helpful to a lot of other folks in withdrawal too. I have a set of CDs that have simply at times worked wonders allowing me to rest, if not sleep. These tracks are no longer available for sale so I uploaded them that you might be able to use them too. See what you think. These are actually a very expensive set of highly technological sound science...the company went out of business, but I think not for lack of quality, but instead poor marketing. The first 3 tracks are the first CD...they are the beginning...and you're supposed to work your way up...I found that it was really like that...where I didn't even tolerate the others for a long time. Of note: when my nervous system was most deeply fried, even these Tracks irritated me. It took a couple of years before I tolerated them. Most people, however, find them helpful long before I did. I know several people who really like them. We’ve done some passing around of them among ourselves in benzo withdrawal circles. The first three tracks were my favorites for a long time but now I've moved on to the others too...the first three are the gentlest and for a long time were the ones that worked best...now with more resilience I like them all...they all do different things. I sometimes just listen to them on a loop for hours. It’s good for relaxing any time of the day and it can also help me meditate when the chaos in my autonomic system is too loud to manage without the CDs. Mod Note: The Previous Links No Longer Worked, so I have supplied a link to similar sound tracks, which are also posted in a future post in this thread. http://beyondmeds.com/2013/03/05/soothing-healing-sound/ VERY IMPORTANT -- USE HEADPHONES they're really fantastic and now they're free...
  9. ADMIN NOTE Also see: How to cope with worry, stress, and anxiety -- and what's the difference? Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms ____________________________________________________________ From: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/anxiety-self-help/ see website which includes some self help videos ____________________________________________________________ List of symptoms - more details are provided below: Smothering sensations and Shortness of breath Racing heart, slow heart beat, palpitations Lump in throat & Difficulty swallowing Skin losing colour (blanching) Sweating Shaking or shivering (Visibly or internally) Neck & shoulder pain & numbness in face or head Rapid gastric emptying Sexual Dysfunction Symptoms of urinary tract infection Skin rashes Weakness in arms & tingling in the hands or feet Electric shock feeling anywhere in the body Insomnia Nightmares Fears of going mad or losing control Increased depression & suicidal feelings Aggression Symptoms like 'flu' Distorted vision Disturbed hearing Hormone problems Headaches & feelings of having a tight band around head Sore eyes Agoraphobia Hallucinations Creeping or pins and needles sensations in The skin Hyperactivity Dramatic increase in sexual feelings Pain in the face or jaw that resembles a toothache Derealisation and Depersonalisation Good article Panic & Anxiety disorder www.npadnews.com/anxiety-symptoms.asp Anxiety & Panic Attacks Symptoms It is not important to try and understand the physiology of the human body but it is important to remember that each of the anxiety symptoms you experience can be explained. Do not dwell on what you are feeling, instead, project yourself into more useful subjects, do something constructive, exercise, learn a skill or craft and escape the body trap. The following list of anxiety symptoms includes the most common ones reported by actual anxiety sufferers. Whilst the list is fairly comprehensive, there may be symptoms that you experience that are not listed; this does not mean that you are more ill or suffering from something else, we are all biologically different in many ways and some people simply react differently during anxiety. If you have any symptoms to add to this list, please email them to me with a description of the sensations you experience. .... Smothering sensations and Shortness of breath These sensations are amongst the more distressing anxiety symptoms. Sometimes it feels as if your chest will not expand to accommodate the air your body needs, other times it feels as if someone is pushing a pillow into your face. The one thing to remember should you experience this is that it is only a sensation caused by exaggerated nerve impulses. These symptoms will not and cannot harm you; you will not stop breathing, pass out or suffocate. Racing heart, slow heart beat, palpitations Anxiety releases adrenaline into the blood stream making the heart race and feel as if it is missing beats, (palpitations). This is perfectly natural and will not and cannot harm you in any way. Later I will discuss methods you can use to help stop these feelings. A slow heart beat is also a common feature of anxiety, again it does not mean that your heart will stop beating, it may feel odd and alarming but again do not give it any credibility and it will go away. Chest Pain Caused by muscle tension, chest pains can make you feel very scared. The initial reaction of anyone with anxiety who gets pains in their chest is that they are dying of a heart attack. This is not true. Heart pain is very different to this pain and very often does not start in the chest. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises are a very effective way of diminishing these unpleasant symptoms. If you can get somebody to massage your upper back, shoulders and chest, it will help to relax tired and achy muscles. Lump in throat & Difficulty swallowing Globus Hystericus is the correct term for this symptom. It is caused by the muscles in the throat contracting due to anxiety or stress. Sometimes it feels like you cannot swallow anything and trying to makes it worse. This is another example of a symptom, which will improve if you give it no credibility. It is totally harmless and will not cause you to stop breathing, eating or drinking, it is just very unpleasant. Skin losing colour (blanching) As blood is diverted to the muscles during the 'fight or flight' response, the fine blood vessels in your skin that gives the skin that pink, healthy colour receive reduced blood flow and the skin loses some of its colour. It is not dangerous and will return to normal as the body starts to normalise after an attack. Some people with generalised anxiety can look a little pale most of the time, again this is quite normal and will return to normal. Sweating Sweating is a normal bodily reaction and is designed to reduce the body temperature. As the body heats up sweat is released onto it through sweat glands. As the sweat evaporates it takes heat with it, cooling the body. During periods of anxiety the body is preparing itself for either flight or fight and releases sweat to cool the impending exertions. As the anxiety subsides sweat levels return to normal. Shaking or shivering (Visibly or internally) We all shake or shiver when we are nervous or cold. Shaking is a normal reaction to fear and/or a drop in body temperature. Shaking occurs when the muscles spasmodically contract creating friction between muscles and other body tissues. This friction creates heat which raises body temperature. During anxiety it is quite normal to experience shaking or shivering. It will pass. Neck & shoulder pain & numbness in face or head The blood vessels and nerves, which supply the face and head, originate in the neck and shoulders. Many of these nerves and blood vessels are routed across the head to the face. When the body is under stress these areas of the body are usually the first to become tense. Facial numbness can be very disturbing but is usually nothing to worry about and is usually the result of this tension. Rapid gastric emptying This can be a very unpleasant side effect of both anxiety and tranquilliser use. This condition causes the sufferer to feel full very early on in a meal, sometimes making them feel as if they cannot breathe. Then soon after eating they can experience diarrhea and feel as if their whole digestive system is emptying very quickly indeed. Indigestion, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea During periods of anxiety the body diverts blood from various parts of the body to the muscle tissues in order to supply them with the oxygen needed by them during the flight or fight response. One of the main areas where blood is used most is around the digestive tract. Blood is sent there to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. As blood is diverted away from the stomach during anxiety, the digestion slows and the muscles around the stomach can become knotted. This can cause indigestion, heartburn and diarrhea or constipation. Sexual Dysfunction Impotency, or failure to achieve or maintain an erection, effects many men for many reasons, sometimes there is a physical reason for this but more often than not there is a psychological element. Symptoms of urinary tract infection Medication can have many and some times quite obscure side effects including the symptoms of a urinary tract infections. It is always advisable to get these things checked out by your doctor but even if you do have an infection it can be easily treated. Drinking plenty of water is always advisable to maintain good, general health but even more so when the body is under stress. Skin rashes Skin rashes, spots or dryness are all very common symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is quite common to get an eczema like rash around the nose, cheeks and forehead. They are nothing to worry about and usually disappear when you start to feel better. Weakness in arms & tingling in the hands or feet The flight or fight response is an intense reaction and causes many systems of the body to react. Circulation, blood oxygen and blood carbon dioxide levels change and muscle tension is altered in preparation for action. All of these bodily changes have a profound effect on bodily sensations, feeling week in the extremities, (arms, hands, legs or feet) is one of these sensations. Tingling is usually caused by the pooling of blood carbon dioxide in the limbs, shaking the hands, arms, legs and feet can help increase circulation to these areas. These symptoms are not harmful and will return to normal. Light exercise is very helpful in reversing these sensations. THEY DO NOT MEAN YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A STROKE OR ANY OTHER NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION! Electric shock feeling anywhere in the body The nervous system is a very complex network of electrically charged nerves which are found in every square centimeter of your body, around every organ, muscle and across your skin, the largest organ in the body. Abnormal nerve impulses due to anxiety can cause a vast array of strange sensations; although quite harmless these can be very disturbing. Dry mouth As fluids are diverted for use in other parts of the body during anxiety, the mouth becomes dry. Sip water or suck sweets to lubricate your mouth. In extreme cases your doctor can prescribe a liquid to do this but it is expensive. It cannot harm you and will go away after the anxiety subsides. Insomnia One of the more distressing effects of anxiety, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep. It is important to regain regular sleep patterns as lack of sleep can lead to disturbing symptoms. Follow this link to The Linden Method cure for insomnia Nightmares Dreams and nightmares tend to mimic what is going on in our daily lives. If we are relaxed and contented we have pleasant dreams and usually do not remember them. If we are disturbed or confused our dreams are more likely to be too. Nightmares are unpleasant but harmless, the more you master good sleep and practice breathing and relaxation exercises the better your dreams will become. Fears of going mad or losing control We all have a fear of going mad or losing control but rest assured you are not going mad. Going mad is not a conscious act; those who are suffering from severe mental illness are unaware of their journey into it. You are not going mad. Confused nervous messages to the brain along tired nerves in a tired body do not constitute madness. Thoughts are an unconscious product of brain activity. If you are anxious, angry, sad or stressed your thoughts are affected, not only by mood, but also by your physical body chemistry. Blood oxygen levels can affect brain activity and the central nervous system, as can many other bodily chemicals like adrenaline, hormones and even vitamins. These un-pleasant thoughts, emotions and totally irrational fears are not harmful to yourself or others. Any thoughts of harming yourself or other people are perceived only. As you body becomes more relaxed and less anxious your thought processes will return to normal. Increased depression & suicidal feelings Depression is a word that is commonly misused to describe a variety of conditions. I hear many people in every day life who say, "I am depressed, I feel terrible, I am so fed up". This is, in most cases, not depression. Depression is a series of chemical imbalances that create a clinical illness that has strong links with anxiety disorders and can be a side effect of them. Anxiety has many features of depression and can mimic it quite strongly. When someone goes to the doctor complaining of feeling run down and fed up, it is all too easy to write a prescription for Prozac, Seroxat or another anti-depressant. I wonder how many people are on anti-depressants who just needed to reassess and restructure their lives. Aggression When you feel tired, ill, fed up and held back by your condition you are bound to feel angry. One of the main causes of true anger is actually sadness. Think back to a situation that has made you feel anger, if you dissect that event you might find that the true reason for feeling so angry was a feeling of sadness. Aggression is a normal reaction to fear also, the fight or flight response prepares us to either run or fight, sometimes to fight may seem to be the best response. Symptoms like 'flu' Influenza causes the body to release anti-bodies into the blood stream to attack the virus. This combination of anti-bodies and infection makes the body feel weak, sweaty and painful. Anxiety can have a similar effect, weakening the muscles, making you clammy and achy. Believe it or not the more you do physically the better this will become. Distorted vision In order to prepare the body for impending danger, adrenaline release causes many physical changes. During the anxiety response the body prepares the eyes to notice any slight movements; it does this by dilating the pupils allowing more light to enter. This is why anxious people become more sensitive to bright light and often wear sunglasses to minimize the eyestrain it causes. Disturbed hearing This is called tinnitus and is usually experienced as whistling or screeching noises in either or both ears. Hormone problems Anxiety can affect various systems of the body, one of which is the endocrine system. This system is responsible for balancing the glands, which secrete hormones in the body. Although these glands secrete the hormones needed by the body, they do not control the levels of these chemicals, this is done by the brain. Disturbed messages in the brain and nervous system can cause slight irregularities in the secretion of these chemicals. When anxiety levels return to normal so will the hormone levels. There are few examples where these hormones cause serious problems and if they do your doctor can correct them. Women may find that their menstrual cycle is temporarily effected and men may find that they have mood swings whilst testosterone levels are affected. Headaches & feelings of having a tight band around head As discussed earlier, tension in the neck and shoulders can cause immense discomfort, migraine and numbness. The feeling of having a tight band around your head is caused by muscular tension in the sheath of muscles covering the skull. Restricted blood vessels and nerves within this tissue can cause very severe symptoms including pain in the eyes, face and teeth. Sore eyes Reduced lubrication in the eyes when body fluids are diverted elsewhere during anxiety causes the eyes to feel sore, dry and painful. Agoraphobia Agoraphobia is a natural response to anxiety and self-preservation. If we feel threatened we tend to retreat to somewhere safe, like a tortoise into its shell. In anxiety it is important to gain control of this response as soon as you feel it developing. Avoidance of situations is not an effective tool in the fight against agoraphobia. Hallucinations Mostly experienced by people in withdrawal, hallucinations can be very frightening indeed if you do not understand what they are and where they come from. Hallucinations are another example of transient symptoms. If you are in withdrawal they will pass, if you are not in withdrawal consult your doctor, as they may be a side effect of the drugs that you have been prescribed. Creeping or pins and needles sensations in The skin The nerve endings in your skin are alive with electrical impulses, these can feel like creeping sensations, pins and needles or tickling, they are the result of confused nerve impulses and cannot harm you. Increased sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell All of these sensitivities are to prepare your senses to see, smell, hear and feel more when in impending danger during the fight or flight response. All of these feeling are unusual but not dangerous, they are temporary and will return to normal as your anxiety levels reduce. Hyperactivity Hyperactivity is a way of describing a range of symptoms that cause you to feel as if you need to talk faster and do things faster. It can make you feel confused and irrational and can make you do things that you would not usually do. This is a common feature of anxiety and drug withdrawal and will pass in time. Dramatic increase in sexual feelings As the brain copes with disturbed and confused messages from all around the body, some of the mind's thought processes can become a little distorted or exaggerated. Sexual thoughts and emotions are typically very strong even when in good health, they are what drive the attraction mechanism when we meet people we find attractive and create the sexual feelings we feel for some people. Pain in the face or jaw that resembles a toothache The term 'face ache' comes from this feature of anxiety. Most of this symptom is caused by tension, not only in the face, neck and shoulders, which can refer pain to the jaw and teeth, but also in the jaw itself. Derealisation and Depersonalisation These are both symptoms, which affect the way you experience yourself. Derealisation is the sensation that you and everything around you is not real or dreamy, as if you are seeing everything through a fog or some kind of filter. It has been noticed that people experience both depersonalisation and derealisation during panic. It seems that some people dissociate first which then causes panic and derealisation. poodlebell
  10. Hello everyone. I’m an Australian living in Berlin. I have had health anxiety since I was 12, but it never really impacted my life. From the age of 23-24 I had a depressive episode, went to therapy but decided to try medication. Was prescribed 37.5mg of desvenlafaxine, I took it for 10 months and tapered off rather quickly without incident - I had no idea that antidepressants could be dangerous back then. I’m 31 now. 2021 was the hardest/worst year of my life. After working a lot throughout the pandemic, I lost my job earlier last year. I was pretty miserable but slowly picked myself up. I was a sad but totally functioning human being. Mid year, I was working on my folio and getting excited about future creative projects. Then two weeks after my second Moderna shot, I woke up in the middle of the night shaking and having waves of heat come over me. Felt really sick… it was like some intense inflammation response. Following that, I would often wake up every 10 days or so with shaking episodes. I could manage to calm myself down and go back to sleep normally. I found it weird but tried not to think about it too much. Then in late August, I began taking antibiotics for a H. Pylori infection and my life imploded. I couldn’t sleep or eat for 2 weeks and became ridiculously anxious, anxiety I’ve never experienced before. My husband didn’t know what to do and I ended up in a psych hospital despite how badly I didn’t want to be there. Despite my pleas and fears about benzo dependency, they got me dependent on lorazepam over 6.5 weeks, and I tapered off in about 5.5 weeks. Of course my worst fears became reality and I’ve been going through benzo WD. I took the last lorazepam dose 25 days ago (Which is hard for me to comprehend, I rarely even drink alcohol). I wish I had just accepted the benzo rebound insomnia and lack of appetite. I started Mirtazapine and have been on it for 2 months, I’m at 15mg now. My eyes have been weird, I’ve been getting double vision and things have just been strange. I thought it was from benzo WD but decided to get checked out today. The doctor told me my eye pressure is high, and this is a side effect from Mirta. I’m a graphic designer and my vision is so important. I desperately don’t want to lose it, I also don’t want to just CT Mirta, especially after I’m only 25 days in benzo WD. I’m so terrified, I wish I would have just accepted the benzo rebound insomnia. Now I’m scared I’m going to be sick and disabled for years. 😭 I look at photos from 5 months ago and cry. I don’t know what to do. I’m sitting in bed shaking from fear rn. Someone, please help me 😞 when I mentioned my fears to the psychiatrist, he told me to split the Mirta pill in half, but idk if that’s a good idea.
  11. Hello everyone,❤️ I am a 36 year old male. Today I will be sharing my journey through withdrawing my over 20 years use of Effexor xr 150mg. I was first giving Effexor for depression caused by a separation anxiety. This was during my high school years wile I struggled with feelings of social phobia. Effexor seemed to blunt just about any fears and anxiety I had for a number of years but as time went on more and more side effects emerged some very scary. I tollirated most of sides just from the fear of withdrawal. I had previously had failed at least 3 failed attempts and one cold turkey in 2003 for 6 months unaware of what was happening to me both physically and mentally. Doctors were clueless and just represcibed the Effexor after that 6 month ordeal indefinitely. Fast foward 2016 a had gone under a few surgical procedures for a lumbar disc herniation with the last two resulting in a fusion. Around that time 2017 2018 I was having more and more increasing side effects from effexor and felt it was no longer working. I would have exercise intolerance,moments of narcolepsy type episode's, increased nerve pain. Visual snow, poor circulation diagnosed as Reynolds syndrome and more. I decided to seek help in disscontinuing effexor and was given an option to try to reduce from 150mg to 115.5mg immediately regretted as I could not drive my vision was on a rolorcoaster and I was having moments of just needing to pass out. So I went back to 150mg. Fast forward a few weeks my physciatrist introduced zoloft at a low dose and had me try again. At this time I was determined to muscle through. During a six month cross taper to zoloft max 100mg dose. My Final dose 37.5mg of effexor was February 20, 2020 and the withdrawl have been dibilitating waves and windows ever since. Lost job, home and hoping to keep my family around. Things seemed to have gone terribly wrong on July 12, 2020. On June 13, 2020 i dropped the zoloft to 50mg. One month later I was hit with an inability to walk or maintain any strength. I decided that day to updose back to 100mg zoloft. The days that followed were complete hell and multiple ER visits. Parkasins symptoms bobbing head neck weakness studdering speech spastic gait, spine spasticity, calf muscle cramp and faciculationts just a nightmare. One of the last ER visits left me with a diagnosis of post lateral sclerosis to be determined I guess because most my weakness was in my left side. New medications added since July included 5mg Valium twice per day and 2mg tizanadine or Zanaflex 3x a day I reduced two weeks later to only 2 times a day for the sake of staying awake. I have been bedridden since July after that episode. Waves and windows still apparent but very much less because of all the other medications. Psychiatrist is continuing the withdrawal plan keeping the other medication to reduce symptoms. She feels I may have had an adverse reaction or serotonin syndrome. Holding on to hope and my faith you guys are not alone 🙏 ❤ Present Dosing Regimen: Oct 9 [v] 7am 50mg Zoloft 5mg Valium [v] 12pm 5mg Valium (v] 3pm 1mg Zanaflex( mod. note- tizanidine, muscle relaxant) [v] 8pm 2mg Zanaflex Effexor Xr 150mg for 22years, discontinued from 37.5 mg February 2020 Discontinued because of Increasing side effects - Anhedonia. Blurry vision, exercise intolerance, weird adrenal fatigue episodes, increased anxiety, left sided weakness extending to feet, increased nerve pain, weird zoom Out episodes.
  12. Hi guysI'm new here. I'm a 33 year old female from the UK.I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19, and went through a couple of different anti-depressants, before settling on Venlafaxine. I took 225mg per day. I've quite small (only 5'1) so I was told that was the highest I should go to. I also used to have social anxiety, mild OCD behavior, and was very 'snappy' and moody, but depression was the main problem. I'd had all these problems since about age 12.Around the same time as that diagnosis, I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycaemia, which I now control through diet, but vastly affects my mood when my blood sugar levels get low. It's pretty much under control now through a strict diet and regular eating, except for about one day a month when my hormones affect it.14 years has passed and I started to think that maybe my problem had always mainly been the hypoglycaemia rather than true depression. I've seen a lot of doctors about the hypo and they all have very little knowledge about it - I would end up explaining it to them! - and they don't seem to understand how much it affects my mental state. I'd avoided attempting to come off the meds for a long time as I've heard horror stories, but I tapered them very slowly since the end of November last year, and stopped taking them around the end of May this year.My depression seemed fine, everything seemed fine. I was the same me as ever, and proud of myself.But the last few weeks...stupidly I didn't write down the exact date I stopped them - but maybe a week or two later, I'm not sure, I started feeling anxiety gradually building. It's so hard to know to what extent outside life affects it, but all I know is that I have a knot of anxiety in my stomach, and feeling so on edge is making me snap at my loved ones so much. I'm feeling really fragile, wanting to cry a lot, and this anxiety is driving me mad.So my questions are, is this my brain readjusting to living without chemicals, is this likely to get better?Or is this just how I am... do you think I need to go back on a low dose of the meds?I was so pleased with myself doing so well coming off them, but I'm finding life such a struggle right now. If I know there's an end to this anxiety I can struggle through, but how long do I want until I know if this is just how I am? I'm so tempted to just start them again, but it would be such a shame if this is just a withdrawal symptom.Advice really appreciated. Thanks for reading.
  13. I have been on Sertraline (Zoloft) over the last 11 years. These were prescribed by a physician in an effort to treat my GAD/panic condition caused from high stress levels in college. Prescribed within a 10 minute appointment. I was 20 years old. And with no information on how long to take it or how to stop taking it. "Take this, it will help." The medication seemed to work OK for a few years. However, my experience over the last 2.5 years on this medication and with the psychiatry system has been a complete mess. My symptoms of anxiety (and the addition of depression) were exacerbated with many new symptoms and side effects: heightened anxiety, suicidal ideations, uncontrollable movements, cognitive impairment, and many others. I continued to speak to my psychiatrist about all these symptoms and my deep sense that we were on the wrong track. In fact I showed up in tears to the office. I was told I needed to increase my dosage, as I had more than likely become tolerant to my current dose. So as a good patient would, I listened to my doctor’s recommendation- increase from 50mg to 100mg. I increased to 75mg, had a follow-up appointment and relayed that I was feeling ‘OK’, but not great. So, I threw out an idea. How about this? Since increasing isn’t making me “better”, I’m going to reduce and taper off. Do the opposite. My psychiatrist was hesitant, but agreed if I wanted to take that journey then she’d support my decision and want me to continue check-ins. Was I given any advice or direction from the psychiatrist on tapering? Not really. I researched myself. I read many testimonials and clinical trials about the challenges of tapering off medications. I was ready for what I thought might be a very bumpy ride and determined I would decrease slowly over many months. I made myself a plan. Make a reduction every 6-8 weeks, so I have time to acclimate in between reductions. So I did just that. I also journaled my symptoms- physical, mental and emotional feelings daily. It wasn’t a fun process (def had some issues), but it wasn’t all that terrible. The added global pandemic definitely did not help the situation (super great time to come off medication). My last dose taken May 31, 2020. Six weeks go by and I’m doing pretty good. THEN, like a freight train, I’m hit with delayed post withdrawal. The most horrendous physical, mental and emotional pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. Nerve shocks, body aches, headaches, cognitive disorientation, tremors, severe insomnia, panic, crying spells, chest pain, no appetite, extreme anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Overall I lost 10 pounds. I cried every day. The insomnia got so bad (only slept 2 hrs each night), I was put on Trazodone for a short period. I was in a tailspin. I felt so alone. This lasted a very long 3 weeks. And honestly without my support system, this forum, and my stubborn attitude I don’t think I would have gotten through it. After those 3 weeks, I could feel myself getting closer to the surface again. I still struggled, but each day got a little better. A little more healed. Symptoms still lingered, but things were subsiding slowly. My body working out the kinks. I started feeling real improvements and larger windows at the 6 month mark. Still some bumps in the road, the occasional stress induced anxiety symptoms, but overall better. Every day got a little brighter. I now genuinely know the medication was the culprit in making me ill- inflaming all of my anxieties. Today I have been 1 year 3 months without any medication. Last dose taken on May 31, 2020. I can wholeheartedly tell you it does get better. I feel the best I’ve felt in years. My symptoms have all subsided. I still have general anxiety, but it is very minor in comparison to being on the medication. I have learned so much about myself, my strength and the coping mechanisms/exercises that work for me. And I’m still healing. Everyone’s story and timeline is different, however I hope sharing my experience gives you hope. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You can and will weather the storm and get through this journey. You may not see it now, but there is an end in sight. And it’s beautiful. Keep going. **On a personal note, THANK YOU to those of you that have also shared your experiences on this forum, as this undoubtedly helped me hang on during my journey of tapering and withdrawal.** XX Amber
  14. Hi, I've been on SSRI's now for about 20 years except for a few years in the middle. First it was Prozac with BuSpar, and over the last 10 years Paxil with Klonopin. I'm in search of who I am off of these meds, and I'm sick of the side-effects (mainly sexual side effects of Paxil for me). I successfully tapered off of Klonopin over 1 year from 0.5 mg (finished that in May of '16), and I've been tapering off of Paxil for the last year and a half from 30 mg. to my current dose of 10 mg. This is my second deliberate attempt to get off of SSRI's. The first attempt was done very quickly in 2012 (over about a month) and it was a disastrous fall into extreme anxiety resulting in voluntary hospitalization for five nights in a locked unit. In 2014 I was switched from Paxil to a different drug altogether (Lamictal), and that was also a terrible event because the doctor had me go off of the Paxil too quickly, resulting in a quick descent into anxiety, then the worst soul-crushing depression I've ever experienced. I was out of work for 5 weeks. I'm happy to share more details later, but for now I'll focus on the here and now. So back to the current withdrawal attempt. I was down to 10 mg of Paxil in November, 2017, and I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to continue the slow taper. He prescribed liquid Paxil at the equivalent of 9 mg for 2 weeks, then 8 mg, but when I went to pick it up I was told it would be over $150. Yikes! The pharmacist recommended I look into having it compounded elsewhere to save money. After searching for a compounding facility, calling my doc and writing him a letter, I finally got the prescription for a compounded version of Paroxetine for $70 / month, plus $5 shipping. A couple weeks later it arrived, and I was very happy to continue my slow, controlled taper. That was around Dec. 22, 2017. That's when things went wrong. After a couple days I started feeling a bit cantankerous, fidgety, and my appetite increased. I had just re-started working out, and this adrenaline rush fueled my anger and appetite. You know that feeling when you've run out of fuel and you've got that hungry, angry feeling inside? I was feeling like this almost all the time. About five days after starting the compounded Paxil I had an incident at work where I lost my temper. I apologized and things smoothed over, but I'm pretty convinced that something wasn't right with the compounded medication. Maybe it was measured wrong; maybe the bitter cold affected it in shipping. I don't know, but I strongly doubt it was 9 mg. Paxil. So I went back to the 10 mg., and that's when I've been on for the last 5 nights. But my mind and body are both very much off-kilter. My anxiety's increased and the insatiable hunger continues. I have a high-metabolism which is even higher under this stress, so I can't seem to satiate my appetite. I'm hoping that after a few more days things will even out, and I plan on staying at 10 mg. for at least a couple weeks before I start a taper again. I've since picked up the prescription for the liquid Paxil; I decided that when I continue the taper, I want to make sure I'm very confident of the accuracy of the medication. I don't trust the compounded version now. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement would be much appreciated as I re-stabilize.
  15. Greetings everyone! I'm hoping for some advice from my fellow members. I've been on Zoloft (50 mg) for 20+ years for depression. I tried getting off Zoloft twice during the past 5 years due to zombification (I was no longer crying or laughing) but both times experienced brain zaps and severe depression during the taper. (As an aside, my primary care physician, who knew I was tapering, told me to undergo a brain MRI because of the brain zaps. Neither of us realized the brain zaps were from the SSRI discontinuation.) Ten months ago, I decided to try to get off the poison once again. I've been tapering more slowly and am now down to ~10 mg/day but am feeling depressed again. No brain zaps this time. I take magnesium, fish oil, Vitamins B, C, and D. A week or so ago I started taking 5-HTP 100 mg at night to help boost my serotonin level now that I'm on a very low dose of Zoloft. Unfortunately, I'm now also experiencing acute anxiety, which I've never had before. Has anyone else experienced new onset anxiety either during SSRI withdrawal or from 5-HTP? I'm determined to succeed this time but am struggling immensely with crippling anxiety. I'm looking forward to death. Any help, including supplement or diet recommendation, would be greatly appreciated.
  16. Hey all. My name is Kelly. I’m new here, but I’ve also been apart of a few Facebook groups that led me here. I’m going to try to make a long story short. About 2 years ago, I was placed on 50 mg of Zoloft because I was tearful and told my OBGYN office that I was feeling overwhelmed and uninterested in sex with my husband. At the time, I just gave birth to my newborn twins, I had an 11 month old at home and a 4 year old step son. Life was very stressful and chaotic. I didn’t feel depressed or anxious before beginning this medicine. Fast forward about 3 months of being on, I and the people around me felt the medication was changing who I was. I was becoming angry and just not my normal self. I forgot to take the Zoloft for about 2 days and I felt like I was okay and getting back to feeling more normal. I decided to continue to skip taking the medication. About 5 days after abruptly quitting, I was going to lay down with my 11 month old in bed, and I got the fleeting thought of “What if I just smothered her right now and nobody was here to save her?” The scariest feeling came over my body. I was terrified of myself, am I actually capable of hurting my sweet and precious girl? Following this came many more intrusive thoughts about harming my babies, my husband and myself. I had thoughts and visualizations of me hurting others, cheating on my spouse, etc. I felt like I was going insane. I had crazy anxiety, I couldn’t sleep, heart palpitations, dizziness to the point I thought I was going to pass out, I felt depressed, easily angered, agitated, I was having vivid dreams, I had increased awareness of every noise around me, depersonalization, I would cry every single day because I didn’t know what was happening. I checked myself into the hospital where they tried to give me more medication and I refused it. I was lucky enough to have a nurse that googled for me “What happens when you abruptly stop taking an antidepressant”. I was so shocked to find just about every single symptom on the packet she printed me, I was experiencing. I showed the packet to the doctor and he agreed. I was released 3 days later. It’s been a roller coaster ever since then. I am now 19 months off of a cold turkey Zoloft and I feel so much better, but I still suffer with waves. When the waves come, the repetitive thoughts return and my brain feels so out of whack. I feel anxiety and feel down. I never experienced real anxiety and depression before until after coming off of the Zoloft. But it passes after a while when I go into a window. My life at home is so chaotic and I know it does not help. I am happy I am able to live a normal life now compared to when I first came off. I can tell I am healing, but it has just been so rough. It’s taken a toll on my relationship, I feel so much guilt from the thoughts that I’ve had about harm, cheating on my spouse, and more. I carry this big lump of guilt that mostly makes an appearance when I feel myself going into a wave. I will say that my husband has been my biggest supporter this entire time. He is actually the one that told me from the beginning when I got the prescription, “Kelly if you take that pill it’s going to mess you up”. I wish I would have listened to him. I guess I’m just writing here to get some support, to see if anyone has experienced something similar, and just to express myself. I had no idea withdrawal was even a thing from antidepressants until I went through it. I would have never touched these types of medications if I knew I was going to go through this. Any advice, success stories or anyone that can relate to me would be so appreciated. (At one point I went on Lexapro to “help the thoughts” but it made everything much worse and I decided to taper down. I even believe at one point I had an auditory hallucination after I abruptly stopped, but it was only one time. The rest of the time it was just intrusive thoughts). Thank you for reading if you made it this far!
  17. Hello. I’m 62. I’ve taken an SSRI (primarily citalopram) since ~1997 for depression. I stopped drinking in 2011, and participated in recovery programs (through my HMO and Women for Sobriety) for several years. I began medical cannabis for anxiety and sleep problems in 2013. Over the past ~2 years, I’ve lost 50 pounds (going from obese to a “normal” weight), and have eaten better and exercised much more consistently than before. I retired in late 2020. Now that many of my stressors are less intense, or gone altogether, and I’m taking much better care of myself (including not self-medicating with alcohol), I want to see whether I can return to being myself, without citalopram and its suppression of various emotions. I’d like to be me again before I die. My main psychological issue is anxiety (much worse than the depression), which wasn’t recognized until a few years ago. (I’d always just thought that I had “anxious depression“.) Knowing that the recommended dosing of citalopram is lower in people 65 and older, I tried to prepare for the future by decreasing my dose. I made very tolerable drops, from 30 mg/day to 20 mg/day, then more gradually from 20 mg/day to 10 mg/day, without severe withdrawal symptoms. I became overconfident, and dropped from 10 mg/day to 5 mg/day on April 15, 2021. I have developed more withdrawal symptoms, which are increasingly severe, over the past (nearly) 3 months: > Anxiety — was appearing randomly during the day; in the last couple of weeks, has begun shortly after I wake up in the morning and worsened throughout the day. The anxiety is far worse than anything I’ve experienced since adolescence. I have had episodes of panic that are much worse than ever before. I’m often shaking. > Dissociative symptoms. > Depression — I can’t muster interest in activities that I used to enjoy, have little energy, and experience waves of traumatic memories. > Neuro-emotions often have me by the throat: sudden, intense crying; a feeling of impending doom; feeling that I have failed in my life, failed my husband and children, failed to achieve much worthwhile in my (now ended) career. > Memory gaps and uncertainties, and difficulty focusing. > Physical symptoms, including odd skin sensations (electric current, over-sensitivity, and creepy-crawly feelings), occasional numb fingers, gastrointestinal issues (incl. low appetite); occasional facial pain; worsened tinnitus; chest discomfort. When I was depressed in the late ‘90s (which led to my starting an SSRI), I was always able to get things done at work and at home. I might cry in the elevator on my way to my office, but I didn’t have to take more than an occasional day off for mental health. Now I don’t think that I could hold a job with my current symptoms. Once I stabilize on 5 mg/day, I plan to taper much more slowly (10 % per month). Thank you for being here.
  18. I was put on 20mg of Seroxat in May 1996 (directly after two weeks of Valium). I was 19 years old. Prescription was for Panic Disorder, GAD and Mild Depression (although I had never felt depressed and explained that many times over the years to my doctor(s)). As were many, I was told I had a chemical balance which, just like a diabetic needs insulin, I needed seroxat. Since then, I have tried approximately 5 times to come off the medication (with taper of sorts - usually 10mg for a few weeks and then to zero). Each time, the anxiety came back, always with new symptoms (extreme nausea, vertigo, increased anxiety, obsessive dark thoughts). I also developed irrational fears (fear of driving on highways and over bridges, fear of ski lifts, fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of business meetings. In fact, pretty much fear of everything.). Each time I visited a doctor, I was told the same thing: you have a chemical imbalance and need to go back on Seroxat. Sure enough, a single tablet would have me feeling back to “normal” within a matter of hours. I used to joke about it with doctors “wow, what a placebo effect. This should take weeks to work?”. Now I realise I was (probably) in withdrawal. Two years ago, after being in a protracted depression for the best part of 10 years (something I hadn’t realised as it had become my baseline state), I had got myself down to approximately 7mg a day. The reason I was trying to come off was two fold: firstly, my wife and I wanted to start a family and I was concerned about both my fertility and damage to any baby I conceive. Secondly, I had made a huge effort to get fit, was running 40km a week and had dropped from 92kg to 78kg-I’m 178cm. This gave me the confidence that I was in the best physical place to achieve it. Soon after, I suffered what I considered to be a mental breakdown. I was ready to leave my loving wife and had developed a clinical apathy to everything. I became petrified I would commit suicide (I never felt this was realistic but the thought of it gave me panic attacks). Furthermore, I started wondering such thoughts as “will I jump off the balcony whilst sleep walking”. I had been seeing a psychologist for some time but talking about things seemed to make the situation worse. I also started seeing a CBT therapist. I would feel better during a session but on leaving, my mood would severely crash, like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. I knew I was in a bad place. The psychologist recommended me to a psychiatrist who was the most uncaring person I have ever met. How she medically practices, I have no idea. She wasn’t interested in my drug history, offered me barely five minutes of her time, and prescribed 50mg Trittico to be taken before bed. I took it for a few nights but decided that it was not right for me. She then offered me several other kinds of SSRIs. I declined them all and went back to 20mg of Seroxat. However, this time felt different. I was sure that seroxat was nothing more than the placebo (how could you explain the fact I got better after taking a single favor each time I had a “relapse”. As suspected, i had lost belief in the drug, and it did not bring the immediate relief like it had every time previously. I was petrified. To me, this confirmed my worse fears. It had been a placebo all this time, and now, because I was sure it wasn’t going to work, it didn’t. I was a lost case. This created severe anxiety and panic. All I could think was that I had been on a placebo for 20 + years and now I had uncovered this fact, ADs would never work for me again. I was destined to suffer dibilitating anxiety and depression for the rest of my life. Things improved slightly after being back on 20mg for a few weeks. But I was still anxious and depressed, and the mood swings were unbareable. During this time, i had had a medical for my work which showed I had very high cholesterol (7.99 in European measures) and the doctor put me on Crestor. At the time, the cardiologist told me “this is not the first time I have seen somebody at the surgery who has unusually high cholesterol following a long period of exposure to SSRIs”. This was the first time I considered what the meds had been doing to me over the years. My dark moods seemed to get worse during this period of being on Crestor. My cholesterol dropped by 50% in this time, but I could now barely function. I did some research into the link between statins and depression and decided to quit the Crestor cold turkey. My moods improved somewhat (at least I could hold a conversation now). I had also started to suffer from eczema on my arms, forehead and legs (first time in my life). Furthermore, I suffered from a bout of Diverticulitis (the doctor told me the main risk factor was constipaiton) and also blood in the urine (which after every test, scan, x-ray known to man, a cause could not be found). Further research made me realise that not only could all of these problems be linked to seroxat, so could my unexplained depression and mood swings. I made the decision to come off seroxat for good. That was in October of last year. I found a new psychiatrist who was supportive of my decision and recognized the importance of taper. However, he didn’t believe that my problems could be caused by seroxat, and thought taper over a month was perfectly acceptable. By this time, I had been on seroxat 22 years. I decided to taper for longer. I immediately dropped to 10mg per day as this is something that I had down many times throughout the years without too many problems. I would get the usual brain zaps but nothing I couldn’t handle. As I started to reduce mg by mg (1mg per week) using liquid, I could actually feel my constant depressive mood lifting somewhat (perhaps only by 10%, but there was something ). This encouraged me to go on. I sped up towards the end to 1mg per week as I just wanted to be off it. I took my last dose in the second week of January. Since then, I have been going through withdrawal. The first couple of weeks were ok (brain zaps I have suffered since 1996 so they don’t scare me). My general depressive level definitely improved. The hardest part for me was (and still is) the rapid onset of change in mood. One minute I am fine, the next my mood crashes. During every crash, I immediately think “the only reason I feel better is the placebo effect. The depression and anxiety is going to come back and get me”. CBT has helped with this catestrophic thinking and the moods seem to only last for a few hours (rather than days or weeks as previously). Every week, as a whole, I am seeing huge improvements. I have cried a lot (and it feels great). I am starting to look forward to things again. The apathy has lifted by 75%. I had a few days of panic and GAD earlier on that would seem to come out of nowhere. I would just wake up and feel down and have fear. I also started to wake during the night in a panic. But I stayed with it. A few weeks ago, I started waking more often during the night. 3 or 4 times. That developed into full blown insomnia for a few days. Last night, I slept without waking once for the first time in a month. The anxiety is now 75% better. Two days ago, I feel I had my best day for years and years. I am generally excited but scared. Since January, I have dropped from 86kg to 78kg. My skin condition has totally cleared up. What if me feeling better is a coincidence? Or the placebo effect? I have read that it can feel you are through the withdrawal, only for it to come back even harder in the future. How will I cope with that!? Now that I’ve felt well, I don’t want to go back where I was. I currently live in Zurich, Switzerland. I can find almost no support here. No doctor, psychologists, psychiatrist or therapist seems to have any idea about withdrawal. They are all desperate to tell me I have relapsed. I so truly want to believe they are wrong, that this whole thing is a drug induced nightmare, and that I will continue to get better. However, the devil on my shoulder is still there. During any period of weakness, he reminds me that the recovery is all in my head and it’s only a matter of time before I relapse. And so here I am. Hoping to be part of a support group that can help me with my withdrawal and keep me believeing. Even more importantly, I want to help others.
  19. Hi everyone! I’ve discovered this forum and have found it to be a great resource, and decided to post as I’m in a bit of a tough situation and could use some advice/words of wisdom. I was on Lexapro 20mg for probably 6-7 years and Seroquel 150-200mg for about 8 months. I had been referred to a Psychiatrist and after our first phone call chat, she thought I might have bipolar 2 so she wanted me off both meds to try another med. That med reacting horribly with me so only lasted 2 days. I had no knowledge of the tapering process, withdrawals, or how long it should be. So because of this, I listened to what the Psychiatrist told me to do. I came off BOTH meds in 2-3 weeks. I thought that seemed a bit fast, but listened anyways. Fast forward to now, it’s been 2-3 weeks since I’ve been off those meds and I’m now just learning just how horribly fast that was. Especially for my length of use. So basically, I have no clue what I should do. Should I reinstate at a low dose? It makes things tougher that I’ve now been taking Ativan 1-1.5mg daily for 2 months or so, and as of yesterday had to make a huge cut to .5mg due to my circumstances. I’m truly so overwhelmed and anxious about all of it. If anyone could give advice on what to do, whether I should reinstate, etc, I’d really appreciate it. If reinstating is a good choice, I’m not sure what dose to reinstate with as I only have 20mg pills of Lexapro, and 25mg pills of Seroquel.
  20. ADMIN NOTE Also see: Ways to cope with daily anxiety Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms * This topic is based on an article in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/smarter-living/the-difference-between-worry-stress-and-anxiety.html The online article is free of charge but may require the reader to sign in/create an account to gain access. I appreciate how the information is presented in a clear and simple way, with practical tips for non-drug coping strategies. The subject matter seems relevant to SA members (of course we should still keep in mind that our brains and nervous systems are sensitized/destabilized, and we may have paradoxical/unexpected reactions). An edited version of the article appears below. Omitted sections are marked in the text with ( . . . . ) The Difference Between Worry, Stress and Anxiety By Emma Pattee Feb. 26, 2020 ( . . . . ) What is worry? Worry is what happens when your mind dwells on negative thoughts, uncertain outcomes or things that could go wrong. “Worry tends to be repetitive, obsessive thoughts,” said Melanie Greenberg, a clinical psychologist in Mill Valley, Calif., and the author of “The Stress-Proof Brain” (2017). “It’s the cognitive component of anxiety.” Simply put, worry happens only in your mind, not in your body. ( . . . . ) Three things to help your worries: - Give yourself a worry “budget,” an amount of time in which you allow yourself to worry about a problem. When that time is up (start with 20 minutes), consciously redirect your thoughts. - When you notice that you’re worried about something, push yourself to come up with a next step or to take action. - Write your worries down. Research has shown that just eight to 10 minutes of writing can help calm obsessive thoughts. ( . . . . ) What is stress? Stress is a physiological response connected to an external event. In order for the cycle of stress to begin, there must be a stressor. This is usually some kind of external circumstance, like a work deadline or a scary medical test. “Stress is defined as a reaction to environmental changes or forces that exceed the individual’s resources,” Dr. Greenberg said. Three things to help your stress - Get exercise. This is a way for your body to recover from the increase of adrenaline and cortisol. - Get clear on what you can and can’t control. Then focus your energy on what you can control and accept what you can’t. - Don’t compare your stress with anyone else’s stress. Different people respond differently to stressful situations. ( . . . . ) What is anxiety? If stress and worry are the symptoms, anxiety is the culmination. Anxiety has a cognitive element (worry) and a physiological response (stress), which means that we experience anxiety in both our mind and our body. “In some ways,” Dr. Marques said, “anxiety is what happens when you’re dealing with a lot of worry and a lot of stress.” ( . . . . ) Three things to help your anxiety - Limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake. Because anxiety is physiological, stimulants may have a significant impact. - Check in with your toes. How do they feel? Wiggle them. This kind of refocusing can calm you and break the anxiety loop. - When you’re in the middle of an anxiety episode, talking or thinking about it will not help you. Try to distract yourself with your senses: Listen to music, jump rope for five minutes, or rub a piece of Velcro or velvet. ( . . . . ) Here’s the takeaway: Worry happens in your mind, stress happens in your body, and anxiety happens in your mind and your body. ( . . . . ) The good news ( . . . . ) there are simple (not easy) first steps to help regulate your symptoms: Get enough sleep; eat regular, nutritious meals; and move your body.
  21. peaceandlove

    Not being able to meditate

    I use to be able to meditate so easily. However once I took the pill, I delveloped the ocd & intrusive thoughts symptoms that can’t be controlled. So when I meditate I’m left alone with those thoughts & it causes me more anxiety unfortunately. Has anyone else experienced this?? It was curing my anxiety now I don’t know what to do to replace it
  22. I suffer from mental and emotional dullness after using depression and delirium medications, so that I used intermittently and for a short period of time, ecitalopram and arpiprazole. I do not feel the same as my previous feelings. Please help me from someone who has experience on how to get rid of these symptoms, especially the problem of concentration and forgetfulness. Thank you very much.
  23. Original full topic title before condensing: coming off low-dose Amitriptyline after 8 years, the under-informed way - deeply awful.... not sure what to do now... Hello, I came across this forum thankfully, after looking for info and advice/support for withdrawal from Ami. The rough timeline and history etc are in the signature. It is 4 weeks since my last dose of Ami. I was under-informed by the GP when I first went on it 8 tears ago. He told me something like "it's no big deal, you're on such a low dose (10mg or on occasion 20mg per night for anxiety induced insomnia after a triggered latent trauma episode), you can take it as needed - no worries"...... NO mention of having to stick to a regular every day dose, or the horrific withdrawal effects, or tapering, or long term effects etc... nothing. So, to try to cut a long story as short as I can, without compromising context, here goes: Please use the signature timeline to get the picture of how things have passed. I came off Ami "unconsciously" and only really clocked it when I suddenly had a **** yourself horrendous headache, and a "wave of despair" and "rotten-ness" experience one day, and because I kind of recognised the headache, in particular, as feeling somewhat "chemical" in nature, I thought about it, and then realised that I had not had any Ami in about a week. I had been cutting back on the Ami since end of Dec 2021 into Jan and Feb 2022, as I was concerned about a few "low blood pressure/hypo" type experiences I had been having, and wondered if they may be caused by the Ami. I still don;t know whether this was the case or not, but regardless, I started to cut back on Ami, and miss doses here and there, sometimes taking herbal sleep aids to help with sleep.... I was not paying too much attention to what I was doing with the Ami, as I had the story that it was "no big deal" as mentioned above, from the GP. Of course, I realise now, after having done some research after the event, that this was a disaster waiting to happen. I had "accidentally" gone cold turkey, and also spent 2 months on some kind of hap-hazard detox/retox behaviour. I had been suffering from constant diarrhoea for most of Jan Feb 2022, but put this down to a prolonged bout of IBS, which is something I have had, on and off over the years anyway. Notably though, previously I had always had IBS on the constipation side, rather than the other side. Once I realised that it was likely the Ami, I reinstated at half doses (5mg) straight away, and sure enough the "chemical" savage headache reduced in intensity the next day, by about 60%. I continued like this for about a week. The following week, I reduced the dose to about 2.5mg every other night for about a week. Then I took my last dose on March 5th. Obviously I know now that this was way too quick a taper. I am having a deeply awful experience with severe symptoms. The headaches have been getting a little better over this last month, but are still there daily. I have high anixiety and my guts are absolutely trashed. I have had random weird bruising on my arms, not caused by impacts. These have been fading in the last 2 weeks though. Chronic dry skin and rash on the tops of the shoulders and upper back, maddening itching all over. Chronic fatigue, chest tightness, dry mouth, muscle aches and pains, tingling sensations, restless legs at night sometimes, insomnia, early morning wakefulness, nausea, feeling faint, coughing in the morning, runny nose all day. I'm listing these for completeness, not for a sympathy vote! Just so we have the details and scope. I am trying a few supplements: Zinc NAC and Milk Thistle Activated charcoal Digestive enzymes at mealtimes, plus peppermint oil capsules And a few days ago, I started L-tryptophan 500-750mg with valerian root, at night - don't know whether this is making things worse on the physical side, and the anxiety.... So, I have, at least, a couple of questions please? The pharma companies state "up to 3 weeks" for the withdrawal process to be over? (not that I trust big pharma one bit of course), but it appears lots of us are experiencing effects way beyond 3 weeks? What is the explanation for this discrepancy, and what is a more realistic timeframe for my case? I read about reinstatement, but have not done this, as I was already at 4 weeks with no Ami, once I began educating myself about it. I am reticent to go back on the drugs at this stage, but at the same time, I can;t see myself being able to cope with this level of ill health for weeks more on end..... Should I be considering re-instatement, given what is said about it being "too late" to try this, in that it may not work or even make things worse? I would say the most distressing and intolerable symptoms I am dealing with right now are the body pains/tension/anxiety, and the totally screwed digestion - I have a lot of intense pain in my guts, and this affects sleep also. i dread mealtimes, as I just don;t know whether, in an hour's time I'm going to be totally screwed and in pain. Any advice or comments would be truly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening, Kev
  24. Original topic title before reducing the length of it: I cold turkey’d too many things, the worst being Celexa, due to misdiagnosis and emotional blunting. I’m struggling. Let me preface this by saying I have had unstable mental health as far back as I can remember. I was an anxious and depressed child. I used to SH as a teenager and was put on Paxil, but I hated it and quit after a couple months. I did not use medication for any mental health reasons for at least 10 years after that. I have been told I’m bipolar by people close to me, and I think doctors eat that up and once you’re branded bipolar, that’s your identity. But that’s neither here nor there; the main takeaway from that is I was put on several different medications and hated the way I felt on all of them. My first return to psych meds was in the summer of 2015 with a diagnosis of GAD which turned into GAD and bipolar 2. I was put on Celexa 20mg. It was pretty good for a while. I was then put on Lamictal 150mg and took both, but the Lamictal made me feel like a zombie so I didn’t take that long. I kept up with the Celexa. After my gastric bypass surgery, the Celexa didn’t work as well. I was then bumped to 40mg and that’s where I stayed. I was starting to feel severely depressed, emotionally numb, and had anxiety creep back in so I was put on Wellbutrin 300mg and buspar 15mg on top of the Celexa. I took this combo for maybe a year but I was horribly noncompliant for the most part and it never really did much for me. I CT’d the buspar and Wellbutrin. I was to a point (and still am) where laughing felt like a chore. Crying is almost non existent unless it is a major sad event (death). Interest in things and smiling are difficult to come by. The only emotion I felt was rage. I was either apathetic or enraged. That’s when I was given the ultimatum to treat my bipolar disorder, as I was often verbally abusive to my SO and would have meltdowns. Jesus this is embarrassing. I finally gave in and started seeing a psych through telehealth. Big mistake, told them about my previous dx. That was enough to not even evaluate me, and I was started on some antipsychotics in addition to the Celexa. This was the beginning of a long spiral of multiple medications that ended with Latuda that made me so depressed I cried constantly. There was no tapering involved really, maybe just a two week period of dropping while introducing something else. I went through Abilify, Trileptal, Latuda, Abilify again, and Lamictal. My brain felt so fried at this point I said I’m done, and stopped taking everything except my Celexa. After stopping all of these meds I was so far depressed and anhedonic I decided I was done taking everything and needed a brain reset. I ended up taking 10mg Celexa a few weeks and then dropped to nothing after 6.5 years. After reading this forum, I realized this was probably one of my big mistakes. Now not only did I have severe mood disturbances, I felt physically sick. The physical symptoms went away after a few weeks. The last time I took Celexa was at the end of February this year. Now I am dealing with a whole host of other issues. It turns out I’m not bipolar, I have ADHD. Again, not knowing any better that I shouldn’t take anything that alters my brain, I’ve been on stimulants and back to Wellbutrin. NOTHING is helping. The anhedonia and apathy are killing me. I feel no emotion towards anyone. I am not interested in anything. Every moment is painful. ADHD meds are doing nothing for me. I guess I am looking for support. Advice. Anything. Something that tells me my brain damage isn’t permanent. Something that tells me I will feel emotions again, that I won’t think my favorite past times are a waste of time, that I will feel love towards my SO and family again. I felt emotional blunting with Celexa, but nothing like this. I don’t know what to do, and my doctor is useless when it comes to this.
  25. Hello, thank you for reaching out. I’ve crashed in my tapering of Effexor and I am now in a extreme situation with daily anxiety, panic and severe gastrointestinal issues. I desperately need advice. Background: over the last year (since March 8 2021) I’ve been tapering brand name Pfizer Effexor XR by using the bead method under the guidance of a Facebook group. I’ve reduced from 75mg to 25mg using 10% reductions every 4-8 weeks. I weighed the beads while reducing all the way from 75mg to 25mg. Unfortunately, on Jan 13 2022 - just a week out from a 10% taper - I switch and reacted badly to a generic formulation (Sandoz venlafaxine XR 25mg) which I only took for 1 day and switched back to brand name with beads. From then on I decided to count instead of weigh. I settled on 91 beads. Things seem to go fine until Feb 16 I noticed I had unusual symptoms and I began to suspect I my dose was too high (nausea, vertigo, restlessness, anxiety/dysphoria); so I decided to check and see if 91 beads was a good average number for my previous pill weight of 83mg I had switched from. I weighted out 5 of my previous doses, counted the beads in each, and the average was actually 86 beads. So Feb 20 I began to take 86 beads. Things seemed go fine with the usual withdrawal symptoms I am used to. But on March 2nd and 3rd I experienced hypomania and anxiety which was unusual. On March 4 all hell broke loose and from the moment I wake up I start experiencing extreme anxiety, diarrhea, nausea, dry heaving, RLS in the morning On March 5th I decided to stop all supplements because I was afraid I was destabilized. My gastrointestinal symptoms became so severe (anorexia, abdominal cramping, nausea, dry heaving, anxiety and panic) that on March 6th I admitted myself to the emergency room. They did nothing for me but refer my to a gastroenterologist (I have yet to see). Since then I have been trying to hold it together but each day I wake up an anxious wreck with my stomach in knots and it doesn’t even began to ease even a little until the late afternoon. I’m terrified that I may have akathesia. On March 8th I saw my GP who prescribed Ativan 1mg just in case of panic attacks. I am so afraid I destabilized myself and scared to updose or decrease my dose or take the Ativan. I am getting desperate but I don’t want to see a doctor or psychiatrist because I’m afraid they will advise to go back to 37.5mg of Effexor or higher; CT me, bridge me or add more drugs. I don’t want to suffer an adverse reaction from going back up or on something else and ending up polydrugged. So I’ve been just holding but each day is a battle and I’m very scared. Please help me know what I should do! 🙏
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