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  1. Hello everyone, I am another who was previously at another forum which has closed down. I'm very grateful that there is another good AD forum as I really don't want to be doing this alone. I already know a lot of other members here. My history in summary: 2001 Had a baby, a few days later got hit with severe anxiety and insomnia, diagnosed with post partum distress, anxiety, and hyperventilation syndrome. A psychiatrist prescribed Aropax (paroxetine), Mellaril (thioridazine - an anti-psychotic used as an anxiolytic at lower doses to cover the SSRI start-up) and zopiclone for sleep short-term. Stayed on Aropax for about six months then tapered off over a couple of months, with just a few mild withdrawal symptoms. 2003 Had second baby, repeat of above process but with Cipramil(citalopram) and midazolam for sleep. 2004 Had just got off citalopram when a very stressful situation occurred at my workplace (company was bought by two other companies and split, our part then integrated with one of the two buying companies). Spent a huge amount of energy and effort job-hunting and not coping well with the situation. Eight months of unrelenting stress later had a breakdown, similar symptoms to before, decided to go back on Aropax since it had worked well before (stupid, stupid). 2005-2006 Work situation still stressful, kept trying to taper dose down but couldn't cope below 10mg. 2007 Crashed at around 5mg, straight back to 20mg. A few months later searched the internet and found information about slow tapering. Began a slow taper which went well initially. 2008 Crashed around April after dropping from 5mg to 4.5mg. Went straight back to 5mg which didn't help. Went through a couple of months of pure hell (stupidly did not updose). Couldn't sleep, eat or keep still. Off-the-scale akathisia, didn't sleep for a whole week, couldn't keep anything down, spent my days and nights pacing around until my feet hurt and I couldn't even wear shoes. Began relaxation exercises which calmed things down enough to struggle through for a while but unable to work to support my family. Lots of pressure to get back to work. Updosed back to 10mg in June and 20mg in July. GP prescribed zopiclone for sleep, then psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel to switch over to from the zopiclone. Nasty drug, gave me big muscle twitches in my legs. Restabilised by October, tapered off Seroquel fairly quickly. Began tapering paroxetine again in December. 2009-2014 Tapered at a glacial pace, some years hardly dropped at all due to instability for months. Eventually was doing only 0.1mg drops and for a while 0.05mg drops which sound so tiny as to be ridiculous but I felt every drop. Was afraid of crashing again at 4.5mg but got through it and am now down to 3.45mg. Last drop was 0.15mg instead of 0.1mg as drops seem to be getting a little easier recently. Still very afraid of crashing. In 2011 decided I had to get out of my stressful job/career, felt like I would never get off meds as long as I stayed. The lower my dose got the more toxic the environment felt. I think the meds had helped me stay in the job by numbing me out somewhat. April 2011 was offered and took paid redundancy, 2012 back to uni to retrain as teacher, 2013-2014 unsuccessful job hunting, bits and pieces of part-time work, feeling mostly happy apart from worry about lack of income. No regrets about tossing old career in spite of not really having a new one. All in all, far too many years of having these meds in my life, rather over the whole thing by now. If you actually read all of this, you deserve a chocolate fish.
  2. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  3. Hello everyone, Another one joining the ranks of survivalists. I've been looking and reading hundreds of posts on this site for a few months now and I've finally decided to join the community. I've read a lot about people's experiences and suffering, which is not easy to read. So I guess I'll get into what brought me here. It was in my late 20's I started suffering from crippling panic attacks and GAD, as well as having a low lingering depression due to always being anxious. I have no idea why all of a sudden I had my first panic attack, I did smoke some weed in my early 20's, something I really regret and wish I had never done, but like SSRI use, I can't take back. I've heard that can cause people to suffer all kinds of mental disorders later in life. I'm really not sure of what caused it. But I had it and finally after years went to the doctors when I was 30. They gave me the whole chemical imbalance explanation, said I have low serotonin and started me on 10mg of Citalopram, this within a month was increased to 20mg. I never knew about the dangers of these drugs, or withdrawal, Like everyone else, I was never warned other than stating I'll suffer some initial side effects whichvwill wear off after a few weeks. I was on Citalopram 10mg for about a month before being boosted up to 20mg. The initial side effects were uncomfortable but did subside after about 3 weeks. I was on it about 6 years and to be honest, Placebo or not, I did help rid me of most of my anxiety, I still sometimes got anxious but it was greatly reduced. I was honestly quite happy, I didn't feel like a zombie and I still had my emotions and life was pretty good. I could go to sleep relaxed and wake up relaxed, not the gripping a pillow mornings I had prior to the Citalopram. In fact I was doing too good which led to a bone headed decision I'm now paying for but that was not straight away. So I decided to just come off, yep, CT'd. I moved town and in the process ran out of Citalopram, this is before I knew about withdrawal and the dangers. Looking back I was actually incredibly lucky at first, for a few weeks I had head zaps and then, nothing. No anxiety returning, no anything. I felt normal like I hadn't come off anything. 7 months passed and all was well. But then I got a bad appraisal at work, something I had been working very hard on. I quickly spiralled into depression but not so much anxiety. It was there but manageable. I felt awful but just in a depressive way, I'm not sure it was a protracted withdrawal symptom or not as apart from feeling really depressed, there was no other symptoms. But it felt bad enough for me to go see the doctors. This was in early December 2017. Now I want to blame the Doctor but I asked to be put back on Citalopram as it worked well before. I had no idea about what reinstatement was, or kindling effect, or withdrawal, any of that. So They put me back on 10mg. That was 8 days of hell, shaking in the morning, nausea, restless leg heightened anxiety, my body jolting as I tried to sleep, insomnia, I felt highly agitated, I anxiety was so bad I was pacing around the house because i was just so uncomfortable. I called The doctor and they told me to stop the medication. I did, after about a month, the shaking stopped and the constant jolts, as well as the restless leg but the bad anxiety remained and the broken sleep insomnia. I also experienced pretty intense de-realization which thankfully has gone. But some other symptoms developed and have persisted. 3 months on from the 8 days of Citalopram 10mg, I have the following symptoms: High anxiety, but luckily no panic attacks Insomnia, I normally have no trouble getting to sleep but I have trouble staying asleep. Although some days are better than others Really bad brain frog, and slow cognition, which has been the most frightening symptom so far, when brain fog is bad, I can't remember details and I stumble over my words. This scares the hell out of me because online everybody says that's brain damage. I work in VFX Film, so it's absolutely devastating to my career, I find it hard to retain new information. Depression, I'm sure this is because of my symptoms. Morning Anxiety, the worst, I'm gripping my pillow every morning. I'm sensitive to noise , like a heightened sensitivity My brain feels light, like a weird buzzing lightheadedness crying spells, I think mostly to the suffering, self pity, blaming myself anger, mostly at myself, I have a wife and I can't believe she now has a husband who is not functional. That's the hardest part. tinnitus which is just the icing on the cake I've read a lot on this site, so I know about the sensitised nervous system, there is a lot to digest. I want to believe I'll get better but I read about Dr Stuart Shipko's views which pretty much states I'm screwed no matter how many years I hold onto the hope of recovery. i honestly wish I had never read that. I guess I feel fear, really badly, like, how am I going to live with this, I have no choice. I'm back to the doctors on Tuesday, they will probably try to get me back on an SSRI stating I didn't give it long enough for the side effects to subside.or to try another which is something I understand is a bad idea. The problem I have is, I don't know if those 8 days of side effects would have went, or did I not hang in long enough. I know I most likely will not be able to stabilise trying to go back but I've read waiting it out might not work either, so the choices aren't great. I think living with the emotional regret, and the fear of everything happening is the hardest to thing living with this. I know people will say, it get's better, this is a forum of hope, but I'm far off believing that. I want to, but it's hard. I feel bad for my wife, we really are soulmates, only now her life partner is a broken shell of a man, that's what kills me. So that's it for now. Thanks Everyone
  4. Hi There, To make a long story short, I tried to taper off my celexa. I was tapering 10% down of my original 20 mg dose, and tapered 10% every two weeks for two and a half months. Also the schedule my doctor put me on for tapering was quite erratic. So 10 mg a few days and then back to 20 mg other days. My tapering was never an exact amount each time I tapered down. Anyways, I felt good tapering down for two months and a half but then just 4 days ago the withdrawal hit me pretty good. Obviously the tapering was too fast. So almost as soon as my withdrawal started I took the original 20 mg dose, and I felt a bit better. The second day I took another 20 mg and felt even better. Now my question is, do I just keep going at 20 mg? or should I go to 15 mg (halfway point between 10 and 20 mg) because my system has been sensitized by the withdrawal? I have already been taking my original 20 mg the past two days and feel better, so I should I just stick with that? I want to find a dose I am comfortable with and just stick with it because I think I am confusing my brain a lot. I was supposed to take a pill last night but because I wasn't sure which dose, I haven't taken any citalopram yet, so hence the urgency of this message. Please let me know your opinions. Thank you
  5. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  6. Hello all. I have been following on this forum for the last couple of months on and off. I have been on Citalopram for nearly 11 years. I am 25 years old now. Quick history. Always been a bit anxious. Even as a kid. Had severe migraines from age 4 till 10 , then they stopped TOLD i had ADD. Put on ritalin at 7 years old for 2 weeks. ZOMBIE! taken off Ritalin. Love life and family and friends. Quite an emotional, caring individual. FAST FORWARD....Aged 14 felt overly guilty and anxious over child hood life event. Went to doc, said i might have OCD. Put me on 60mg Citalopram. Didn't notice any difference in anything being on med. Aged 19 went cold turkey cause of OCD symptoms tried to change to another drug Mirtazapine. ANXIETY 10/10 and Panic attacks. Then back on to 60 MG after a few days after symptoms of withdrawal began. Stabilized i think within a few weeks bit still felt crap for a good while. Not 100% for next few years but ok. Can feel drug messing with me. Making me anxious for no reason. Have to keep active and busy and I'm ok. Slowly over 2 years went from 60mg to 45 mg . All good. Decide due to weird randomized anxiety, lack of tears etc that i want to come off these drugs, and i know i can. Anyway i then go from 45mg to 40mg and severe withdrawal within a week. Dropped from 50mg to 45mg within 5 weeks. Insanely nasty neuro-emotional symptoms. Only symptoms are ever really Anxiety and Panic.. Chuck in a bit of hopelessness and some depression on the side.. . . . Tend to feel better by evening almost normal .. just a bit dazed and confused. Anyway i waited it out thinking it will go. Got some nice long windows of a week or more feeling almost good way clearer than I've felt in years, more alive, more real. Things feel better! things are more beautiful. Music sounds better. Everything is more beautiful But then BOOOOOMMMM!!! Anxiety back with a vengeance. Thought i noticed waves getting shorter and windows a bit longer but not significant enough to tell, and then after 10-11 weeks after my symptoms first appeared i updosed cause i needed a break. Updose felt WEIRD.. Within 4 hours of the extra 5mg i felt hazy, cloudy and drowsy.. Had insomnia that first night , still anxious but not as intense. Next couple days slightly better - Mild, consistent anxiety but not too bad. Manage to sleep well now.. Thought i had restabilized. Day 5 after updosing felt 95% back to normal. BUT last 3 days have been crap. Anxiety back. One week after updosing. Not AS INTENSE, hasn't got that razor sharp edge to it that it had before, but uncomfortable none the less. My question to anyone out there with this kind of experience is ... Would this anxiety be caused by the withdrawal still, or the updosing of the tablets? As I've read that increasing SSRI dose can cause anxiety for the first few weeks.. And can it take a while to re-stabilize after updosing?? considering i tried to tough out the withdrawal for nearly 3 months... One more thing. No overly negative stories please. I believe and i know that i can heal from this. Kindest regards and thankyou for your responses Nick
  7. Hi, I found this website from someone's post who seemed to be going through the same as what I am. Sorry if this is long but I'm not sure which info is necessary! I was taking Citolapram for alittle over 2 years, mostly 20mg but I upped to 30mg near the end. I weened off them within a week but after almost a month I went back of them (20mg). I only stayed on them for a week and then came off them cold turkey. About 7 or more weeks since, I randomly woke up one day with PGAD. It's a horrible, progressive, non-curable disorder that makes your genitals feel constantly aroused, sometimes stabbing, burning, feeling the need to pee, zap feelings and a lot of throbbing. I've had this for a month now and feels worse these past 2 days (coincidentally I was pescribed Amitriptyline 10mg but after 2 days of taking them I decided I don't want to go back to ADs - apparently PGAD is mostly caused by withdrawing from ADs) I've had so many breakdowns because of this and there is no way I can live with it, especially because it can cause spontaneous orgasms and a lot of pain which I haven't got yet. I'm so scared and my doctors have no idea about the disorder and just try to convince me it's in my head which despite my obvious symptoms and causes I'm hoping it is. My history of OCD could explain it too. Before taking ADs I had a fear of farting in public which as stupid as it sounds, kept me house-bound for years. It went away after I took ADs and started college. Then a year later I had a bad sickness bug which led me to a fear of throwing up, with that I felt sick literally every single day and not always just mildly. I had tests but nothing explained it. Then I started hearing alot about PGAD just before mine started, once mine started my sickness has completely gone (so all this time it must have been in my head which is crazy because I almost threw up it was so bad). And now I'm getting all these symptoms of PGAD constantly. But I'm still not convinced it's all in my head because it is a fact that withdrawing from ADs too fast can cause it, plus I think I have some damage in my pelvice since I went on an exercise bike during my 2nd withdrawals. This gave me what I thought was piles in my perineum which went away after a week and then came back with my PGAD. I have a huge skin tag in my perineum which fills and becomes solid if I'm too active and I start getting a pain around it (in my legs/butt cheeks). I'm thinking I've damaged my pelvic floor and that these things could be connected? Although the PGAD didn't start straight away? I'm sorry this was so long but I am so so terrified of having this disorder, it is honestly such a horrible, embarrassing, painful and hopeless thing to live with and has always been my biggest fear since I learnt about it. I have so many things that could have caused it which makes me think that maybe it isn't just in my head. It's driving me crazy and if anyone has any hope or experience like this I would really love to hear from you. Sorry again for the long post.
  8. I think I’ve made an awful mistake. I did a too fast taper off of Citalopram in Jan/ Feb and have been having awful withdrawal symptoms for about a month now. I thought the symptoms would resolve themselves after a few weeks, but they haven’t and I fear that I may have now permanently damaged my brain. I was prescribed 20mg paroxetine in 2001 for depression and anxiety. It worked really well. Life was wonderful and I felt fantastic for about a year. Then the Paroxetine lost it’s effectiveness. I took it for another year before deciding that it wasn’t doing anything and that I was cured so could just stop taking it. I relapsed six months later and was put on 20mg Citalopram in 2003. Over the years I have made three attempts at withdrawing from Citalopram. I had very little help from my doctor who told me that I could just stop cold turkey and then go back on them if the depression/ anxiety returned, which it always did. My last attempt to withdraw was in 2011. It was disastrous, I ended up a quivering wreck and was convinced I was going to die. Went back on citalopram and was told I would probably need to stay on SSRI’s for life. Stabilised after a couple of months, but didn’t feel quite right so was put on 10mg Ecitalopram. Over the last few years I made some significant lifestyle changes; moved into a new house, started getting some regular exercise, improved diet, reduced alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Nov 2014 - was switched back to citalopram 20mg. No explanation as to why, I went to collect the repeat prescription and it contained citalopram with a note saying this was a new course. Anyway, i took what I was given and assumed the doctor knew what he was doing. 15 Jan 2015 - Life seemed more positive and i once again felt the urge to quit the anti-depressants and be free of the side effects (agoraphobia, emotional numbness, twitching muscles, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, tiredness). I took 10mg for 2 weeks, then 5mg for two weeks and 2.5mg for a further two weeks, before jumping off. Mar 2015 - I had two weeks of feeling really good. I had tons of energy, was getting out more, was starting to make plans for the future, my emotions were coming back, best of all, I was starting to feel like me again. I had a few brain zaps and headaches, but nothing that I couldn't cope with. I felt that this time things would be different and that I would finally be free of these drugs. Then I crashed. I woke up very early one morning with a feeling of dread, terror and loneliness. Everything had changed overnight. I had severe anxiety, a tight chest, knotted stomach, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. The world seemed unreal. Everything had suddenly become a huge effort. I was unable to spend any time alone and was worrying about the most ridiculous things. In hindsight, it was at this point that I should have reinstated, but I was determined to be A.D. free, so I put up some blackout curtains to help with the early waking, stopped drinking coffee and tried to distract myself by keeping busy. April 2015 - I discovered this site and learnt about withdrawal symptoms, windows and waves, supplements and tapering. The information gave me some relief as I now knew what was happening to me. I have been taking supplements for a few weeks (300mg magnesium, 1300mg omega 3 and 25mg diphenhydramine) which I feel has eased some of the symptoms. However, I have been reluctant to reinstate because I had a window that lasted for two days and thought I was making progress. That was a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling awful again now. It is becoming clear that I’m probably sensitised to SSRI’s after long term use and that I might have to suffer a protracted withdrawal. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a new doctor. Im going to ask her for a low dose of citalopram and something to help me get a proper night’s sleep. I just hope that I haven’t left it too late to reinstate, stabilise and conduct a very slow taper. I really wish I had found this site back in January and had not had to suffer this cold turkey hell.
  9. I joined this forum last June before I began an unsuccessful taper from Celexa, however, this is my first post. I honestly had no idea until then how horrific untethering from these substances is, and how devastating it can be long term. What I really need is some good news. Is there any good news in the midst of this real-life horror story? Right now I feel completely alone. I haven't found a medical practitioner to forge a partnership for helping me discontinue successfully--or even reach the psych NP who prescribed my meds for a change when things went really wrong. So, there is no "discussing anything with a trusted healthcare practitioner". All I have is you all. So, I'm sort of pleading with you for guidance. I am still not sleeping well. I slept fine, for years on Celexa, then weaned off and threw everything out of balance. To be fair, the year prior to my discontinuation was incredibly stressful. I abruptly ended Trintellix this week (because I ran out and can't get anymore) and am taking approximately 10mg of Prozac (approximately because I'm splitting 20mg of powder roughly in half) as of today. The Prozac instantly quelled my WD symptoms from the Trintellix within the hour, and my plan is to either formulate a liquid suspension of this drug or find a doctor who will prescribe one. I have exhaustively researched how to overcome this problem. I'm an athlete, so I've stacked as many cards in my favor with diet, lifestyle and nutrition as well as I possibly can. But I can't seem to find a way through this, or make a plan that makes sense, and I'm scared I'll never be okay.
  10. ADMIN NOTE DJones's benzo thread Hi, I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and ask for some advice I have been on various ssris for 11years and about 7 months ago I decided to wean myself off celexa which I had been on for the last 5 years at 40mg. I weaned of to fast over the course of about 3 months and was off for a total of 1 month when I crased hard with anxiety, fear and depression. I went back on 40mg of celexa after being off for a month but got panic attacks and weird sensations in head. After 2 weeks the doc than got me off that and put me on Paxil for 2 weeks which only made things worse with bad anxiety and feeling dissacated with everything and my cns was all messed up. They than put me on celexa at 20 mg and a low dose of remeron for 3 weeks but no relief and was getting electrical sensations and burning sensation in body. I than checked myself into the hospital where the cold turkeyed me off the celexa and put me on neurontin. I was off celexa again for a week but I gave up all other medications and put myself back on 5mg of celexa for the last 3 weeks and have also been on .05 a day of klonopin now for 2 months. My current symptoms are. Severe anxiety Inability to concentrate Muscle tension Akathesia Tremor Burning sensation in chest and pain from time to time Vision problems Brain fog Some anadonia Some nausea And sensitive to sounds and some foods and vitimins My questions is what do I do from here? Man this is no fun just looking for some words of encougement if nothing else.
  11. Hi, this is my first post on here. First, I want to say thank you to everyone who is bold enough to post on here, look beyond western Medicince, and having the courage to fight this absolute nightmare of a battle. This forum has helped me tremendously. Now I want to shed some hope. Ive been on Celexa for 10 years at 20mg. It helped me through nursing school as I became depressed seeing suffering and dying people for the first time. What should have been a short stent with and AD and therapy turned into an10 year ordeal with at least one unsuccessful attempt to wean off. Being the nurse that I am, I attempted to take my tapering into my own hands and went down 5 mg a month. I was absolutely great during the whole tapering and had one really good week completely off of the Celexa then it all came crashing down week two after my taper. I experienced extreme panic attacks and doom, chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, feeling numb, derealization, crying spells, severe agitation, mood swings that you can’t just snap out of no matter how hard I try, fatigue, a really bad itchy rash, memory issues, sleep paralysis, and just feeling so uneasy in my skin like nothing could be comfortable or peaceful. It’s like the nervous system thinks you’re about to get on a plane that will crash only you’re safe and in your own home. I felt like I had had 20 cups of coffee at times. Here is my hope. After reading some stories on here and hearing about how some people are on this journey for years at a time, I became very discouraged. How could I live like this for even a minute longer? Which is how I feel during a wave. It often seems it will last forever but the waves do pass. I have experienced the waves and windows and try to soak up every minute of every window. I decided last night to reinstate at 5mg to help with the discontinuation bc at the time the wave I was in was just unbearable. I am glad I did it. I already notice a difference. I felt pretty good today and have hope that a slower taper from 5mg over a longer time will help. It was nice to be able to work today and not have panic and/dizziness and I didn’t want to snap at anyone. Thank goodness. I don’t want to be on Celexa. I wish it was something I could just move on from but I now know after my second attempt to taper, that this will be a longer process than I though and that in time I will get my life back. Discontinuation for me has been hard. I realized I am not Superman and reinstated. It can look like a set back (which I felt at first) but I truly believe it was the right choice for me with noticing a difference and feeling better overnight. This is my story and everyone is different. I know it all depends on how long you’ve been off. I reinstated 6 weeks after my last dose. I believe the sooner the better. I hope this helps someone on here. Praying for all of you. There truly is no pain or torture than we all have been so unfortunate to know. It will get better.
  12. panic27

    panic27

    Hi, I've recently got a prescription for Lexapro to counter panic attacks, ADD, and mild depression. I am supposed to take 5mg the first four days, then increase to 10mg. Now I've been using it for only two days, and I feel absolutely horrible. Reading all the negative experiences, side effects and withdrawal symptoms on the web, I'm convinced this poison won't help me at all in the long run. Can I stop taking this drug immediately, or do I even have to taper off after only two days on 5mg?
  13. Hi there, I'm a 29 year old male from the UK and I'm really glad to have found this site. I've been taking 40mg citalopram for 8 years (since i was 21) for depression since my early teenage years (14 years old). I've considered reducing my dosage for a long time with the goal of coming off and finally took the plunge and yesterday saw a doctor about it. His advice didn't seem particularly good and I've spent the past 16 or so hours reading as much as possible on tapering off citalopram which has led me to this site. Reading about it makes me feel incredibly nervous but I feel like I'm ready as I haven't experienced depression in a long time and am in a good place in my life. My biggest worry about tapering off the citalopram is not so much the withdrawal effects as I'm coming off - but getting it wrong and having persisting/returning depressive symptoms after tapering off and finding the past 8 years of recovery going up in smoke. I'm determined to do this right. I accept the possibility that maybe I'll need to remain on a maintenance dose for the rest of my life, but if that is the case I don't want it to be because I screwed up the tapering process. I was optimistic in seeing the doctor that I'd get the support I need to make the right decisions and do this the right way, but my meeting with him didn't go well. Despite my high dose and fairly long term use he suggested dropping to 30mg for a week, then 20mg for a week, then 10mg for a week and then stopping altogether, 40mg - 0 in one month. Based on everything I've read this sounds like a recipe for disaster. I said this sounded very fast and he told me another option was to drop 10mg at a time and stay at the new dose for a few weeks to see how I get on - so now I have a repeat prescription for 30mg which I started yesterday. Based on what I'm reading it sounds like I should take this dosage for at least 2 months. If the drop to 30mg goes well after 2 months or so I may try and see a different doctor who will hopefully be more helpful. I was told I can only drop down in 10mg increments and 10mg is the lowest available dose, but now I'm reading about people cutting their 10mg in half and I was very interested to read about the liquid solution. I'm not sure if these are available in the UK but if I see another doctor I will enquire, though I'm more interested in that for the drop from 20mg to 10mg to 0 which sounds like where it gets tricky. I'm just starting to read all the different information on this site and will spend some time today going through as much as I can but was wondering if the drop from 40mg to 30mg is too much to start? I was hoping that this drop off wouldn't be too bad to start with and once I'm stable on 30mg I can speak to a different doctor about a slower taper rather than dropping from 30-20mg in one go. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place since doctors seem to absolutely hate any sort of 'self-medication' or people doing things their own way, yet this way seems significantly safer and healthier for both my short and long term health than what's been suggested to me and the limitations that the NHS allegedly puts on the tapering process (no doses smaller than 10mg etc). It's also complicated by the fact that I rely on the NHS and doctors to prescribe me any drugs at all. I look forward to hearing any advice and thank you in advance. QUAD
  14. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  15. Hi all, I felt depressed around beginning of April realised something was wrong. I have depression and OCD. I went to my doctors and they put me on citalopram which i was on about a year and a half ago took ages to work then then finally did and I was better again also with talk plus counselling. I was on citalopram for 2 weeks last month and it didn't agree with me I was so sick so I changed to sertraline for 2 - 3 weeks and it still made me ill and my ocd worse.With my doctors advice she signed me off for a week and I came off them completely. I went back for a follow up appointment Monday I'm off them completely. However, I still feel numb and disconnected like I can't feel anything even though I know the love and happiness and support is there but I feel like I'm on the outside of my life looking in and my OCD is going in to over drive because I'm worried about it. I'm still doing talk plus counselling. I just want to know had anyone experienced this and how long does it take to get your emotions back? If anyone has any advice please let me know, Jen
  16. Hello. Here's my story: I have general anxiety disorder (GAD--self diagnosed), though I may also be bi-polar. I had a tough time in my teen years--panic attacks, confusion, fear of people, etc., never happy. My father was an alcoholic; my youngest brother died of alcoholism a year ago. I've had my own battles with alcohol, too, but I never became the two six-packs, plus a bottle of whiskey that my father consumed every day. I quit drinking four years ago. For the past year and a half I have used medical cannabis (in a legal state with a doc's evaluation), which helps with anxiety and worry, and is the best sleep aid I know. In my late thirties (I'm now 57) I started taking Prozac--in 1997 (I think)--using a bottle I got from a friend (his mother had a scrip but she didn't take it). I liked it. It took a lot of my anxiety away, and I ceased having panic attacks. I only had a month's supply so I went to my doc, talked to him about my use and he was happy to write a scrip for me--20 mg. of Paxil (my insurance did not cover Prozac). He said to me then that anti-depressants/SSRI's are to sad/anxious people what insulin is to diabetics. I know now that that line came straight from a drug rep's play book. I know now that it was wrong and, at least from the drug company's perspective, a lie. Paxil agreed with me and I continued taking it daily (20 mg.) until about two years ago. I had tried to quit it several times over the years--both cold turkey and by tapering—mostly because I had gained up to thirty pounds on it and could not, no matter how hard I tried, lose that weight (I have been a frequent aerobic exerciser since long before I started Paxil—I continue to exercise, but not as much as before). Trying to stop Paxil altogether was hell. While doing so I felt a profound depression; I cried a lot, spent time in bed during the day on weekends, was twitchy, anxious, fearful, panicky—just not myself; I even began thinking vague thoughts about suicide. I had never felt these symptoms to such an extreme before beginning anti-depressants. Long ago, before beginning Paxil, I had been sad/depressed, I'd had panic attacks and problems with social anxiety, etc., but none of these symptoms were as debilitating as what I was feeling off Paxil. Shortly after getting down to about 10 mg. of Paxil (I had been using an emory board to taper down--for about six months) I couldn't stand it any more and spoke to my psych doc. She put me on Wellbutrin (which made me too hyper, despite taking it in the morning) along with Prozac (which gave me akathisia [pacing constantly]). I gave up both after about a month or so and went on Celexa, which my wife and daughter had been on successfully. I've been taking 20 mg. of Celexa for the last two and half years. About six months ago (or so--could be less) I started to taper off Celexa, this time using sandpaper. I'd read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and it scared me into trying to quit again. About a month and half ago I jumped from about 13 to 14 milligrams of sandpapered Celexa to ten by simply breaking the Celexa tab in half. It was easier than using the sandpaper, etc. I'd been feeling a bit odd before then, though nothing too bad, but then I began feeling the old, horrible symptoms mentioned above. They weren't that intense, really, but I'd been worrying a lot about my son going back to college (smart kid, good school, but he has emotional issues—I'm afraid of him failing), and anticipating my return to work—my job is beyond stressful (I'm a teacher). These and other stressorrs convinced me that I needed to be back on the medication. So, as of last Monday, a week ago, I've been taking my full dose again of Celexa, 20 mg., and I have felt better the last few days. BUT today I've felt horrible--two or three panic attacks, crying, a "buzzing" anxiety, a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel worse today on 20 mg of Celexa than I felt a week ago on 10 mg. of Celexa. I've imagined that I somehow forgot to fill my pill pack with Celexa for Sunday morning (today), but I don't think that was the case. Just an hour ago I took an additional ten mg of Celexa (my wife encouraged me) to get me back up to a therapeutic dose. But it scares me what I've been feeling today. As far as I know I should be feeling my old self, the self I've known for years on Paxil/Celexa. I'm scared that my long-term use of SSRI's have damaged my brain to the point that I can't return to even the me on an SSRI, much less the me pre-SSRI. I hope that this forum can help. I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, too, and I emphathise and wish you well. Perhaps I can help, too. Thank you for reading this. I hope I've been clear; if you have any questions or suggestions, please post.
  17. Moderator note - link to benzo thread - Flowers: Xanax - spacing of doses Hi Everyone! it's been great to find this site and know their are others in the same boat as me. I am British but live in Spain but it looks like a lot of you are from USA. Well, regardless of our geography the drugs and effects are still the same I guess. My story goes like this........ I have been on antidepressants since my thirties and nothing ever seems to trigger off the depression. I am however quite an anxious, nervy person! The last 15 years I have taken Citalopram after my Dr told me I would probably need it for the rest of my life. All was fine - Citalopram helped me immensely initially and has kept me on an even keel since. I think it just made me feel normal - no highs or lows. Then in March this year I got a severe allergy to pollen that gave me sinusitis and an asthma flare up. My Dr gave me some antibiotics and oral steroids to help. I had a very bad reaction to the meds and ended up with increased anxiety, shaking etc. He suggested that I might like to increase the Citalopram from 30mgs to 40mgs. All was well until early September when I started to get extreme nightmares and heart palpitations. The nightmares were so bad I was screaming out loud. My mood was good but I was very tired. So the Dr suggested that either 40mgs was too high or the drug wasn't agreeing with me at all. His advice was to try to reduce or come off the drugs so he could see if I was OK without them or he would need to give me something else. He also advised taking 20mg for 4 weeks then 10mg for 4 weeks etc until I was off them. So, I started end of September and reduced to 20mgs straight away for 4 weeks. I didn't feel that bad over those weeks just maybe a little extra anxiety that could be managed. The trouble started when I went down to 10mgs just over 4 weeks ago. I got all the withdrawal symptoms full on. This wasn't helped by getting a lung infection which set off asthma again. I was getting even more anxious not being able to breath and was given antibiotics again and a nebulizer. Both meds can effect anxiety and I think they did because I ended up really ill. One of the worst withdrawal symptoms was not being able to control my legs and the weakness in them. I collapsed and ended up in the Emergencies with my Blood Pressure 207/117.They eventually stabilised me and sent me home where I am now watching my BP at home. The depression has set in and I can barely get out of bed each day and can't stop crying. I have seen a different Dr. who has given me Lexatin to take 3mg up to 3 times a day to ease the anxiety. I have only taken one today and it has calmed me down, but am conscious of the dependency issues. He has also suggested increasing the dose of Citalopram back up to 30mgs. I think the first Dr maybe have recommended a far too quick withdrawal for me as I haven't been able to cope with the severe effects. I am going to increase to 20mgs to see what happens but I am so scared of what is going to happen. I can't even contemplate coming off these drugs now. I just want to get back to normal and live again. When will I get any benefit from the increase and should I go on up to 30mgs? Any help or advice anyone can give would be so welcome - you all seem to have a wealth of experience out there.
  18. Hi all Last June I stopped 20mg of Citalopram that I had been taking on and off for 8 years. My doctor advised me to taper over 2 weeks! Months 0-3 were bad but not too bad. 3-6 were bad, some very severe waves and really bad OCD, which Ive never normally had. 7-9 waves started decreasing. 9-11 windows have been more clearer but still getting bad waves My windows seem to be getting progressively better. I keep thinking I'm back to my normal self and then get hit with a wave and come back feeling more normal. Recently Ive been getting more intrusive thoughts. My nervous system and physical symptoms seem to have got worse recently. I had some MSG on friday which messed me up. Im still getting physical sweats now. This wave has been the most severe Ive had for a long time. Has anyone noticed their nervous system get worse? Thanks
  19. Hi everyone, thank you so much for reading this! Ive had a really bad two years. I will give a bit of history. I am 29 now. From 16-21 I was on 20 or 40 mg celexa. I honestly can not remember. For extreme anxiety. It honestly helped me so much. I quit it cold turkey and dont remember having many symptoms. Ive always struggled with anxiety though. Fast forward to 2014. I had my first and only child. Right after i had her I knew something was wrong. I didnt sleep for 5 days straight, heart racing, high BP etc. My dr put me back on 20 mg of celexa. I went to my pcp and he tested my thyroid. I was hyperthyroid with hot nodules. Come to find in March of 2016 that I also have Hashimotos Thyroiditis . I am not on any thyroid replacement atm. My levels are pretty optimal even though my free t3 goes down a little lower than Id like sometime. I am VERY knowledgeable about this and now work with a naturopath who is also knowledgable on optimal vs in range and such. I was on Celexa 20mg again from September 2014 until the mid end of February 2016. This time I tapered slowly over a few months. So also in March of 2016 , (mid march) I woke up with severe vertigo. Diagnosed with BPPV which I believe, because the vertigo spins only ever happens when I lay back and look to the right. Thats literally the only thing that triggers it. Epley manuever takes away the vertigo, and I am left with off balance general dizziness for two weeks. But from march until June I was VERY DIZZY. I was dizzy pretty much the entire time, with severely congested ears. VERY annoying. I saw a specialist ENT, and my pcp who both said allergies and I tried flonase for three months and it did nothing to help. I also had trouble breathing , like chest felt heavy, and heart would race just standing up. My bp would also go way low for me, like 96/60 sometimes or stay around 100/65 . Doctors couldnt really tell me much. In June- August it pretty much went away with a few periods of dizziness. Now from October until now I am hit again really hard with a new kind of dizziness. I feel in motion when I am still. Like laying back or sitting still I feel like I am on a boat, or on a pool raft swaying on the waves. It is maddening!!!!!! My ears are also still congested. Saw specialist again, who ruled out Menieres disease and other stuff, and both specilaist and pcp say allergic rhinitis. Im on Astelin spray which helps lessen it for sure, but its still there. I also am having the weird breathing issues again, where the littlest things make me feel like I ran a mile. I hate this so much. I am going to have my home tested for mold in a few days, because I just dont know what the heck is going on. My husband frequents this forum and he is telling me that this could all be from my celexa. I just have a hard time believing I could be suffering from it the way that I am, this long out? I haven't read much on here yet because I have really bad anxiety, but I was just wondering if this sounds like it could be from celexa, or if it really does sound like allergies, or basically any advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thank you so much.
  20. Hello all, my name is Alicia. I'm a mother to a small child with autism. My whole mess with these medications happened before she was even born, and I am ashamed to say that I was even on celexa during my whole pregnancy with my daughter and of course I was told that celexa was perfectly safe during pregnancy, but now I wonder if her autism is related to the stupid ad. I only wish I knew the dangers of these meds long before now. Anyways I first took celexa back in 2011 after I developed panic attacks, they also gave me clonazepam. I quit the clonazepam a little before I got pregnant with my daughter, but continued the celexa until October of 2016. In October of 2016 I was switched to Zoloft and given Ativan from a new psychiatrist. I continued to take the meds until November 23 of 2017. I just one day decided I'm sick and tired of going to psychiatrists it was becoming an inconvenience for me. So I just threw the rest of the meds down the toilet and been med free for 10 months now. I was unaware that these meds were not like other meds that you can just completely quit anytime you want, and I was flooded with weird symptoms. I have just been toughing it out for the past 10 months because I refuse to talk to doctors about anything anymore, I know they are just going to tell me to start the meds again.I know nothing will get better if I go back on them again, so instead I have turned to supplements to help with my symptoms. Insomnia and sensitivity to light and sounds are the most prevelant of my symptoms, I also been having a ton of fasciculations in my legs, something I never experienced until this withdrawal. At first I thought I was developing some motor neuron disease but now I'm just chalking it up to this withdrawal because after reading forums on this website I see just how crazy your body can get after these meds, and I wish I never started them.
  21. Hi everyone, i have sailed on over from PP. Can anyone tell me what happened to the forum? Im happy to be here but curiosity is still getting me. I'll share a bit about myself. I was on various SSRIs for 10 years, mainly celexa, and finally tapered free Jan 2014 after a two year taper. Years before the taper i would switch meds hoping it would stave off the weight gain. Little did i know that i was in constant start up effects and withdrawal. Life seemed to have stopped at that point which is maybe 6 years ago. During this period i looked high and low for answers to why i was feeling so sick and bedbound/agoraphobic. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I do believe that withdrawal was the culprit for my symptoms and not lyme. Lyme may play a factor but i doubt it has the horrendous effects as discontinuation syndrome. A month after my taper ended, I took two months worth of benzos due to life events and had no idea that would start a new nightmare. I am now off that for 9 months and still recovering. Benzo withdrawal was a whole new monster. I look forward to my stay here and wish everyone the best of luck!!
  22. Hi guys, Here is a little about me: I’ve been on antidepressants most my life. I didn’t have a good childhood and I thought these pills were the godsend answers we all wanted. I thought antidepressants were equivalent to insulin to diabetics. I honestly felt the worst on my concoction of pills. I was on something like 600mg of Seroquel XR, Valium, and something else to “help” the Seroquel. I felt more suicidal. I was put into a psych hospital for a week and I met a doctor who told me that my problem is hypothyroidism. He said so many doctors will overlook this one and go straight to psych meds. I got my blood checked and it showed I had low T3 and T4 cells. Pretty much that I do have hypothyroidism. I wanted to thank him the next day, but I found out he was “let go”. I had to do mandatory therapy (well they said it was mandatory, I don’t know if that was a lie) and DBT and CPT was great. I really enjoyed it. Well after I graduated, my therapist said I was cleared of everything. I still followed up with my psychiatrist for meds. She was gone on maternity leave and a younger male psychiatrist filled in for her. Before she left, we were tapering my meds. Now I didn’t know antidepressants caused withdrawals. I thought it would be like birth control where if I stopped, things would adjust back to my normal self. Well I reduced Celexa from 60mg to 50mg, reduces Lamictal, got rid of Abilify and Prazosin. I got super sick around 4 days but I didn’t have a fever. I also felt much more strange. Everywhere in my body hurt from each hair follicle to a single cell. It was the strangest pain and honestly I was ready to die. I couldn’t think of what would get me sick. My husband and I ate the same food and nothing changed except my medication reduction. Could that be it? One google search and wow. What is this “SSRI withdrawal”? There was so much about the world of antidepressants. From money to politics to health to bribery to black mail to media, antidepressants are a huge commodity. I saw both the pros and cons, the light and the dark. I was angry. I was angry at myself, the (American) medical system, and having withdrawals while finding this out sucked. Sucked super bad. I didn’t know the chemical imbalance was marketing plan. I totally fell for it. Never in my life once have I ever gotten a test done to show what my imbalances are. If a test even exists. I went back for a follow up at the mental health clinic I was assigned to after the week hospital stay and saw the fill-in while my main psychiatrist was away on maternity leave. I asked him, “how come no doctor ever in my life, ever told me about the pros and cons of antidepressants? Why did they just feed it to me?” And he replied, “each doctor has their own ethics.” And I said, “so I’m going to be possibly stuck feeling sick from withdrawals the rest of my life?” And he replied, “You’re going to be stuck with depression for the rest of your life.” He said it in a tone where he was getting angry. He then commented how I’m probably going to need medication for the rest of my life. At this moment, I knew things were bad. I got myself into a huge mess. And no doctor was on my side. Thats when I started to google everything. I even came across this site and some others too. A lot actually. I started to taper on my own following guides. As a matter of fact, I hate to say this because pharmaceuticals is a touchy subject, but I have gotten better and throuough advice from people online rather than my local health professionals. People online have given me better advice than licensed doctors....I’ve single handily experienced incompetent doctors and now I feel ‘trained’ that I just cannot trust American doctors with my mental health anymore. I’m afraid anything I say they will use against me. That my withdrawals are my symptoms coming back or my withdrawals are helping “new” underlying mental problems appear. I remember when I was 19 or 20, a psychiatrist was diagnosing me and finding pills using some app on an iPad. No blood test or brain scan. No science. Not even using the DSM. Just a free iPad app anyone can download. Let me wrap this up. I honestly abused antidepressants for 5 years. I would stub my toe, get mad, make an appointment, get a new drug or increase dose or both. I literally thought antidepressants were magic. I felt the worst in those 5 years. I was so cloudy, depressed, a huge mess. I thought this was normal and it’s the “depression” as my doctors would call it. After the fiasco of finding out about withdrawals, I was more than ready to stop. I tapered too fast. Celexa was the most difficult. I started tapering Celexa in April 2017 and stopped my final dose on Dec 2017. Celexa has given me the worst withdrawals. I lost my job due to constantly feeling ill and hallucinating/dreaming. I can’t do basic functions such as math so finding a retail job isn’t doable right now. My speech isn’t the same and I have a more difficult time with vocabulary. My stomach will cramp and I will get nauseous. When I do, I hallucinate like I am having a psychedelic trip on a substance. I recently found out that me “dreaming” while I’m awake is called derealization. I gave myself an injury because I felt like i was floating and dreaming, which ended up costing me a trip to the ER. I had the “lol so what? ;p” mentality. Now I have permanent ugly scars that remind me of this everyday. I deal with mental struggles because I had a bad childhood. That’s a given and that’s life. But I felt that was an excuse to give me all these labels and load me up on pills. And an excuse on my part. I do believe my health now is me “reaping what I sowed” because I did go to the doctors like it was a candy store. Both doctors and myself are to blame. I was ignorant and naive and I followed the crowd and I am literally reaping what I sowed. Pharmaceuticals is a touchy subject and I just want to be good terms. I’ve been called out saying that I’m ignorant for labeling antidepressants as crap as it has helped some people. A gal I grew up with is becoming a nurse and asked people’s opinion on Big Pharma, mainly opiates. As a matter of fact, she didn’t know antidepressants were part of “Big Pharma”. So I left a comment (Facebook) about how she should look into antidepressants as well. Another girl I grew up with whom is also becoming a nurse told me it’s ignorant and wrong of me to say that as it helps her with her chemical imbalance. She then proceeded to say and that you can find depression with brainscans and what not. And then linked a bunch of articles. I decided not to argue becaue she’s learning to become a nurse. I feel that’s like me joining the NRA and my husband trying to tell me guns are bad. In other words, I was walking into a lost battle. With that, I was asked to write an introduction. I know antidepressants are touchy so I won’t argue with anyone whether they’re good or bad. Like DBT and CPT taught me, to each their own. I don’t mean to offend anyone with this as this is my personal story. Currently, I am on the road to recovery. Some days are okay and some days are not. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
  23. Curious to know if anyone can give me their thoughts on my situation. My GP gave me Celexa at the beginning of February for general anxiety...very mild. I took the Celexa for 2 days and it made me few worse. She switched me to Paxil (took 5 days) and it did the same. I had panic attacks, felt like I was coming out of my skin, etc. I then went to see a psychiatrist, hoping he would give me advice on going the natural route. He said he thought SSRIs were not compatible with me, but suggested I try Zoloft. I really didn't want to, but he promised me it would be worth the shot. I took it for 11 days and on the 10th day, began having unwanted, depressive thoughts. He asked me to immediately stop the medicine, so I did. I had taken 12.5 mg for 5 days, 25 mg for 5 days and 36.5 for 1 day when I stopped cold turkey. The unwanted thoughts and anxiety increased for about 2 weeks and last week, began to taper some. I'm 3 weeks into being off them meds, but the depressive thoughts have not diminished. I was never depressed or experienced anything to do with mood swings or depression before SSRIs. I know what I am dealing with has to be my chemistry trying to balance out, but it's miserable. The doctor says I should be back to normal by week 4, but I'm struggling to have confidence in that...especially since he didn't think the Zoloft would mess me up in the 1st place. I feel like I've really messed myself up. I just want to be back to my normal self like I was before all of this. I don't like having thoughts of hurting myself or others...it's not me and I want it to go away. I would love advice or thoughts from anyone with similar situations.
  24. Hello, I am a mom who is helping her 16 year old son (under the guidance of his psychiatrist) to taper off psychotropic medications. He has a complex medical history with cancer and narcolepsy and mood issues. I am not sure what, if anything, his current meds are doing for him given how long he has been on them and how much he has changed in that time. He is currently doing very well and is in full agreement on trying to reduce/stop the medications. After 2 previous disastrous attempts to taper him off Risperal in the past (done in the traditional, much too fast way), I was able to help him taper off Risperdal this past year. He started at a dose of 1 mg (taken as .5 mg morning and evening) in June of 2017. As outlined on this site, I reduced him monthly by 10% of the current dose for around the first 7 months and then was then able to speed up the time between reductions (because my son was doing very well and asked me to speed it up!). He has now been off Risperdal for 5 months, doing well, and I would like to try and taper him off Celexa. His psychiatrist is in agreement with tapering him off. Although the psychiatrist (a brand new once as my son's old psychiatrist left his practice this summer) had never heard of the 10% reduction method, he is supportive and wrote a prescription for liquid Celexa so that I can give him a combination of pill and liquid during the taper. I have the liquid and I can start at any time, but I am feeling very nervous! I thought it might help to discuss my plan here. I also have a few questions. My plan is to, as I did with the Risperdal and is recommended here, reduce the dose by 10% of the previous dose. I have the 10 mg/5 ml Celexa solution and 10 mg tablets. My son's current dose is 30 mg, so he takes three 10 mg tables each morning. Here is my reduction schedule for the first few months, starting with his current dose of Celexa, and the combination of tablet and liquid I will give him 30 mg: 10 mg tablet + 10 mg tablet + 5 ml liquid (this is his current dose - just to be extra cautious I will give him a few days at this dose because of the change to a combination of liquid and pill) 27 mg: 10 mg tablet + 10 mg tablet + 3.5 ml liquid (I will have him stay at this dose for 1 month provided everything is going well) 24.3 mg: 10 mg tablet + 10 mg tablet + 2.15 ml liquid (again, 1 month at this dose) My first question has to do with how precise to be with rounding off dosage amounts. I have a 5 ml and a 1 ml syringe. The 1 ml syringe is divided into hundredths, so I can get precise, but do I need to? I did with the Risperdal taper, but I started at 1 mg, so I needed to. For example, the third reduction, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a mg, is a dose of 21.87 mg. So, for this reduction I could give him two 10 mg tablets and .94 ml of the liquid. Or, I could round up to 22 mg and give him the two tablets and 1 ml of liquid. Any thoughts on precision of rounding would be appreciated! My second question is what would be a good drink to mix the liquid Celexa into. I put the Risperdal into a very small amount of milk. I am thinking of using milk again. Thank you!
  25. Hi friends, My name is Gibby and I'm a 25 year old male with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. I have been on medication for 5 years. I have been fairly stable while on medication, but I've been unhappy about taking olanzapine, even though my dose is very low (1.8mg for five years) and the physical side effects are more annoying than dangerous. However, I understand that serious complications can arise from taking this drug for a long time, so I've been looking to come off it for quite awhile. I started a withdrawal at the beginning of June, but it was mostly an experiment and I lasted about three days; I didn't really know what I was doing. Last Saturday night (with my doctor's consent!), I decided to try again with some more supports in place and some more coping techniques. These helped but I wasn't sleeping at all, and these last few days have been very bad. I haven't been able to eat or exercise much and my parents are exhausted in trying to care for me. I still feel like "me", my personality hasn't changed but I feel physically really unwell and anxious and depressed. I've decided to go back on the medication for awhile to get stable again (I expect to be a little zonked for the first five days or so back on, no big deal) and then try a different plan. My family wanted me to keep trying to get over the hump, but I can feel my nervous system freaking out and I don't have the practice in CBT techniques or keeping my mind safe, especially with no sleep and no real plan. I did my best for five days, and I hope that giving up now to try later doesn't make me some kind of chicken. I really wanted to but I guess my body-mind isn't ready. Do you guys/gals/others have any advice for next time? Anybody else gone through this? I'm also going to go off the citalopram eventually but the olanzapine is the main goal for right now. Thank you!
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