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  1. Hi all - new to the forum and very grateful for the members who are walking the path to get off these SSRI. I was always depressed as a child and was prescribed Lexapro in 2003. 2004: Prescribed Cipramil instead of Lexapro after going hypomanic for 6 months, and lamictal to stablise. Got diagnosed with bipolar II... 2014: Came off lamictal with no issues, stablised using a buttload of coconut oil to stablise and a paleo diet. 2004-Dec 2015 - 5mg Cipramil once a day. Noticed that Cipramil stopped working from mid 2015 and decided to stop (only lasted a week) with severe WD symptoms - dizziness, diarraha, flu like symptoms, anxiety, OCD thoughts etc.... 20 Dec 2015 - 2.5mg Cipramil a day hoping to taper by 10% per period, depending on tolerance. Am feeling kinda ambitious and want to go down 10% once a week but will most likely fall on my face, which is fine too. Been doing really well this week - I can feel below my belly button and my sex drive is coming back! Went on a boat and did want to die (One of the side effects was painful sex and really crap at travelling on boats/cars/bus). But am feeling really tired alot and a little dizzy, nothing to write home about. Need some help fro other more experience members with WD.... Q1: A friend of mine is trying to convince to try Kambo - anyone tried this? I am really skeptical and don't think I am up for it as am feeling abit fragile and in addition to being depressed I have fairly constant inflammation (eczema), never mind its like $140 per treatment (!!) http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/from-bedbound-to-fit-and-able-in-14-days-effects-of-the-amazonian-medicine-kambo-on-a-cfs-patient.22952/page-4 Q2: Also read about the prozac bridge which seems like alot less trouble, I am seeing my shrink in January should I ask for this to try? Since I have never even had prozac (I have only ever had SSRIs) so not sure?
  2. 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?
  3. I started ADs in 2000 at the age of 25 following a difficult period where I had lost a lot of money while working as a fund manager in the US. I lost my job and faced some possible legal ramifications which never eventuated. Anxiety and general panicky feelings led me to see a shrink who put me on a low dose of what is known mostly as Paxil (Aropax here in Aus where I now live) and said I would "feel better" soon. I stayed on Paxil for about a year but I never felt better, it increased my anxiety and made me very uptight and even caused me to be violent and aggressive at times which is very unlike me (I remember at least one episode of full on road rage). I decided to get off the drug after 1 year CT and suffered horrible withdrawals. After a week I went back to the shrink and said I've never felt like this in my entire life, I feel like a complete basket case. I asked him if it could be withdrawals like a heroin addict who stops taking heroin, and he said there is no evidence of withdrawal symptoms with ADs (imagine, this is in 2001 in a Western country, one week after stopping the med cold turkey and he told me it must be me and my anxiety returning!) So he switched me to Zoloft. Within 24 hours I felt like my body was trying to come out of my skin, it was the worst thing I had ever experienced. So I stopped it immediately and then he suggested I try Citalopram (Cipramil /Celexa). This drug had an instant calming affect, I still remember 3 days later walking around all smiles and totally relaxed. Within a few weeks I was back to myself completely - if not better than I ever was, since I always had a bit of social anxiety such as when engaging in public speaking (which I hid well) and this drug had totally eradicated that nervous feeling. I almost felt like I was a little high (like a mellow high) but still energetic and upbeat and able to function well. I gained a lot of weight but didn't care, and I definitely had a lowered sex drive, but it didn't seem to bother me then. I was in a total bubble. My GP told me that if you find something that works well for you you should stay on it long term. So I did. In fact I never saw the shrink again. I got my scripts from my GP and he never suggested I go off. Nor did I want or feel the need to. Once in a while I would ask him if its dangerous to be on this stuff long term and he would joke and say half his patients are on the stuff and there is no evidence that long term use is dangerous. People had been on it for years longer than I had and they were fine. So I was on Citalopram from 2001 until 2008. During that period I functioned well. Too well. I took on a new job in Australia where I thrived in an executive position, worked hard, made lots of money, bought an expensive house and had 2 kids (I guess my libido was low but not that low). By nature I am very driven and hard working, but I think the drug enhanced my stamina. (In hindsight I realise I was quite emotionally blunted during that period. I also have no doubt that he drug was probably the reason why I was able to take on so much work and work long hours without getting burned out. It did not make me manic but gave me a lot of confidence and stamina.) Then in 2008 I started to read about the dangers of long term use of SSRIs. How people were struggling to get off them. How they can lead to depression and possible brain damage. I got scared. So I decided to go off them. Life was good (perhaps too good) and I had no reason I needed to be on them anymore. The original anxiety of loosing money that led me to the drug years ago was long gone and totally irrelevant. By now I had known enough about these drugs that WDs were real and that I would need to taper off them. So I cut my dose (20mg) in half and took 10mg for 2 weeks. During that time I felt fine. I also began to feel more emotion and libido was stronger. Otherwise, not much difference. Then, two weeks later, I stopped taking the drug completely. The withdrawals were horrible. After a few weeks the brain zaps stopped but I still felt out of sorts. I felt very fatigued and out of it. But I was still able to function at work. I stayed in this mode for about 3 months, functioning, but still out of sorts. But I felt I was slowly getting back to myself. I was much better by the end of 3 months. You'd think this would be the end of my little story. But sadly, it is not. About 4 months after going off the drug I was standing in my office casually talking to some clients and suddenly I became overwhelmed by a surge of racing thoughts. They filled me with panic and anxiety to the extent I had never felt before. I went home that night and couldn't sleep. Everything was fine in my life but suddenly I felt like I had been hit by a train! The thoughts were ruminations and feelings of extreme guilt, about random things. They became obsessive and gave me the darkest, most anxious feelings I have ever had. Far worse that even the anxiety that I felt in 2000. Worse even than I felt when I was withdrawing. I couldn't function. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. My entire being was exhausted from fighting these horrid feelings. I never had such a level of extreme anxiety, guilt, obsessive thinking and deep inner turmoil. It was like a door had opened in my brain that had been closed my whole life and had suddenly flooded my brain and I had no way of closing the door or making it stop. A few days in and things were getting worse. I went to a very highly regarded Psychiatrist, who was able to see me immediately. He said I had relapsed and would need to go back on the drug. How could this be a relapse? I never suffered from pure obsessional thoughts before! Terrifying panic and horrid overwhelming feelings of guilt and obsessional thinking. But I didn't care. I wanted it to end. I went back on the drug, but it didn't help. In fact, it made me feel worse. At once stage I felt like I wanted to admit myself into a hospital because I felt so unspeakably horrid. But I never did, and instead saw my new Psychiatrist who was very good. He introduced me to a drug called Solian, an Atypical anti psychotic which works to increase dopamine at low doses. It has no anti psychotic benefit at a low dose but an anti anxiety / anti depressive affect. This was helpful. A few weeks after starting this drug (in combination with my original dose of Ciprimil/ Celexa) I turned the corner. I slowly began to get better. I weaned off the anti psychotic pretty early on, but stayed on the AD. I was still working throughout most of this "relapse" and after about 18 months the obsessive thoughts had stopped completely. my Psychiatrists was of the opinion that I should stay on the drug, and I was totally for that, as the thought of what happened the last time I tried to stop was so terrifying, I couldn't even fathom returning to such a state. So I stayed on the Citalopram and life went on. However in 2015 things got worse again. I stated to feel depressed. Some days were better and some were worse. I never suffered from depression before. The mornings were bad. I was becoming more and more blunted, apathetic and depressed. It was a dysphoric but also agitated depression. I felt very drained and lethargic, like I had no motivation or drive anymore. I felt like my adrenal glands had been removed or that the motivational part of my brain had been cut out or switched off. I started getting more moody and irritable than I have ever been. Everyone was noticing it and it just got worse and worse over the following 18 months. As I write this I am still suffering, and it is getting worse. I am still functioning at work but I can spend a lot of time distracted and not working efficiently. I have zero anxiety or feelings at all, for that matter. Just a heavy depression. But I fear I may not be able to function at work much longer, the way I feel. Some mornings I cannot get out of bed and show up at work only in the afternoon, (but stay late). I now own my own business and I don't book appointments or schedule meetings until later in the day unless I really have no choice. Some days I don't show up at all. I do still have windows of high functioning, but they come and go. But this has gone to far, its affecting my life and work to the point that I am getting really desperate. A few weeks ago I did some online research about depression caused by long term use of SSRIs. The term is Tardive Dysphoria. I know that's what I'm suffering from. It is such an unnatural feeling and so all consuming and disabling. The suggested remedy, assuming the damage isn't permanent, is to get off SSRI's. My Shrinkrecently added a new drug called Valdoxan. It worked well for about a month and then pooped out. Now he wants to change my med to Brintillex, a new type of SSRI. He swears I will feel better on it. He's a good at what he does and he's probably right. But then what? I'm 42 years old. It will work for a while, possibly even for a sustained period. It might even get me to 50. But then what? I actually asked him that. He said we'll worry about it then. I think my preference is to get off all meds. But I'm too terrified to try. What happened last time I tried was just too terrible. Its been 9 more years of Cipramil use since, so it will definitely be even worse now. However I need to get out of this dysphoric state and I don't want to start any new drugs which will just make it harder to get off in the future. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  4. Hi everyone first i like to thank every member of this forum for al their information and Personal story's. Second, excuse me for the incorrect english. It is not my native language. Long story.. and really dont knie where to begin. Had mental problems early in life. Diagnosed depression and ptss. At 18y. Psychiatrist wanted me on ad. IT made me angry, so i left. ANd went on With my life. Age 28. After giving birth to my first child. Thingms went wrong, i got very anxious. Al kinds of crazy thoughts about all things could happen with my baby. After 6 months colours faded. I started noticing things. Startdd hallucinating. Paranoid thoughts.. etc. but still on my feet. Working.. untill my second pregnancy. I collapsed. Deep depression. 20 weeks pregnant started with zoloft 25 Mg. Upped to 50 mg. The only thing iT did for me was giving Some energy to get on my feet. And anxiety dissappeared. Very slowly i crawled out of depression with the help of therapy. Had terrible side effects of zoloft zo tried to taper a little off with the liquid. I couldnt. I got to 10 Mg. At 1 point i called my psychiatrist in agony i could not take iT anymore. He suggested cipramil. So i switched to 10 Mg cipramil. 4 drops. It felt like switching from speed to pot, but for depression and anxiety cipramil it did work just a little bit. Ever since i started using ad i wanted to come of. I lost count of the times i tried to come off it. Currently i use 1 Mg cipramil. And occasionaly alprazolam/temazepam/oxazepam . Appr 1 x week.
  5. Thank you, now I know why I have developed Raynards disease or suddenly getting very white fingertips every time I touch anything cold or the weather is cold. I usually have excessively hot hands and feet even if I am really cold so I was completely baffled as to why this suddenly started to happen to me. I have been on ciprimil for 20 years and about 4 months ago started to titrate off it it over a three months period. The white fingers started to develop probably about three months ago so I am thinking it must be because of the ciprimil withdrawal.
  6. Can the same drugs affect you differently at different times in your life? I have been on Lexapro and Ciprimil at different points in my life and I swore by them. This time around I wasn't so lucky. 2.5 years ago I went onto Lexapro for anxiety and it only made things worse. I was told by doctors to hang in there and changed briefly to Pristiq and back again. Finally after 12 weeks I stabilised and could go back to work. I have been on a rollercoaster ride since then. Ok and stable for perhaps 6-8 weeks and then having to raise my dose when I would be overcome with anxiety out of the blue again. I am sure I became sensitive to other things like antibiotics and b vitamins. I tried b vitamins which set me back 3 weeks of feeling blah. I decided after trying to taper off Lexapro to swap to Ciprimil in December last year. Things went really well for 6 weeks until I crashed again. I decided to get off the roller coaster in May and taper off. I took my last pill on 23 June. I used some supplements and felt like the taper went well with only a bit of dizziness. That is, until the 6 week mark. I could feel the waves of anxiety and depression start creeping back in. In September we went away on holidays and I found myself crying a lot and experiencing anhedonia. After much research I came to the conclusion that I was suffering with PAWS. Since then, things have gotten worse. The depression was becoming worse and at the beginning of October I started waking at 4am every morning with severe anxiety and panic. At first, I thought this might be due to a cup of coffee I had. I have given up coffee because for the last few months I had noticed that it, along with alcohol, would make me feel on edge. This persisted for 2 weeks when I finally thought to go and see a naturopath. He did say that I have a parasite, my body is very acidic, I have a lot of inflammation, and he would focus on reducing my high cortisol levels. After 24 hours on some supplements I was feeling quite panicky. I went a whole night with absolutely no sleep while my mind raced the entire night. I put it down to a calmative he gave which contained St Johns Wort. I took no more but a week later the same thing has happened. No sleep. I am absolutely terrified of this continuing. On the 2 occasions it has happened I feel absolutely hopeless and beside myself. Could anyone please shed any light onto why this is happening and whether it might be from the supplements? One of the supplements contains magnesium, zinc, selenium, and chromium and I am also on a super mushroom complex. Do I persist with the vitamins? Is it a getting worse before better scenario? I am thinking that my body is extremely sensitive to even vitamins now. How long will this last? Do I trust my naturopath? I really appreciate having people to talk to who understand that this is real and not all in my head. It is hard offline to find people experiencing this who are willing to talk and recognise it. I am sick of doctors trying to tell me that I am relapsing and this is just who I am. I will not accept that. It is really hard doing this on my own with no real support from people or even from a magic pill/vitamin. Any thought would be appreciated. Success stories would be great too.
  7. Hello to everyone and I am so glad I have found this site. I am in the process of trying my hardest to come off Citalopram and would really love some advice on tapering. I am sure it is on this site in different places, I am not being lazy I have been trying to research as much as possible constantly for the last 3 days but I am struggling with concentration and taking things in due to brain fog. A little bit of history. I have been trying to work out how long I have been on antidepressants and I estimate I have been on them consistently since I was 26 I am now 46! yikes. I also think I had sometime on them when I was about 18 but not 100% sure. It is hard to think of them in a positive light at the moment but I do think they did serve a purpose I don't know if other things would have worked or not I am trying my best not to dwell on that at the moment. I think my first ad was Dothiepin and after that followed many Prozac, Surmontil, Sertraline, Seroxat, Mirtazapine, Effexor and finally Cipramil. I have also been on various antipsychotics but not on them anymore - thank goodness. I have been on Cipramil since 2003 and on many occasions tried to come off them but always told by Drs and psychiatrist you need to go back on them and that if I was diabetic I would have to take tablets....... I feel they are wrong, very wrong. I honestly can't believe how naïve I have been for never really looking into any of this before. I think I came to the conclusion I wanted off them because I don't really feel like they work and because of the side effects. I feel numb on them, I can't cry, I have no libido. I want to see if I can manage without this drug in me. I really like my GP but I don't think he understands. And I don't think they understand the withdrawal either. I think they think you can just be off it in a couple of months I haven't as yet even told my GP what I am doing because I know it wouldn't be encouraged and I know if I do say anything then if I ever go in and say I am feeling down and anxious I will be just told to go back on the drugs. And now I realise that I could be having these feeling because I am withdrawing? Sorry to go on so much. Please can anyone tell me where I go from here. I am currently on (I think) 8mg. This is just guessing by cutting some of the tablet, not ideal I know. I have got to this point in about 7 months or thereabouts. I think I must be doing something right because in the past when I have tried to come off I have had to reinstate due to debilitating brain zaps and dizziness. On those occasions I obviously came off far too quick I didn't know and wasn't told to taper. Anyway fingers crossed as yet no brain zaps. The problems I am having is fatigue, no motivation, everything is an effort. I have a bad back and my pain has increased considerably I don't know if this could be connected. I can't sleep but this has always been a problem. I feel overwhelmed and feel as if I really want to cry but still tears don't come. Last night was the worst night I've had, I had awful palpitations and panic and sweating but felt cold. Could this be withdrawal? Also my friend came to see me today and I am muddling all my words up? I hope this all makes sense. Do I carry on with my 8mg and how long for? And where do I go from there? Thank you so much for reading. And my thoughts are with everyone struggling on this journey xoxo Forgot to add that each time I drop a dose I have nausea all day. My appetite has also increased (not good) and I have diarrhoea but oddly only till about noon each day. Sorry if that's too much info
  8. Hi everyone. I got sick in 1997 with postpartum depression (I'm 40 years old now) and started taking psych meds for the first time in my life (see my signature for what kind of meds and dosis). After being sick for so many years I finally feel strong and confident enough to start a slow taper and I'm so thankful to have found this forum with so much knowledge and heartwarm people! I actually started tapering a little bit before I found this forum so I can see that I have started out a little rough with dosis cuts that have been to high and to quick, but from now on I'm going to do the 10% of current dosis taper. Oh, and I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and told him about my plans and he's onboard (also with the very slow tapering). I have had the same psyciatrist for 16 years now, ever since I was hospitalized, and he is the best! A really good doctor that really listens to me and who is really open to new ideas and theories, he never thinks he knows it all just because he is a doctor. Anyway, I reduced Cipramil (citalopram) from 40 mg to 30 mg in the end of June 2013. Still on 25 mg of Noritren (my psychiatrist has advised me to taper one drug at a time and that is also what I'm most comfortable with). Didn't feel any w/d symptoms. Around the 15th of July 2013 I reduced Cipramil to 20 mg. This time I did feel w/d symptoms. A couple of days of feeling depersonalized, kind of in a bubble. Nervous stomach coming and going, fluttering feelings in the chest/heart also coming and going. Tired for a few days but then gaining more energy. A few days of restless legs, like an electric current buzzing in my legs. It's like the symptoms shifts from day to day: like I can have two days of feeling the anxiety in my stomach and the fluttering feelings in my chest for a couple of days, then it subsides and the restless legs and nerve pain in the toes take over for a few days. Then that subsides and the nervous stomach comes back instead but not as bad as the first days. I definetely feel the symptoms getting much better already, not as strong as they were. And I feel happy even when I have the w/d symptoms and that is a big plus to me because I really fear getting depressed again (even if it's just w/d symptoms) and that is why I'm going to take the taper really slow....I don't care if I have to spend 1-2 years or longer on the tapering as long as I can have as mild w/d symptoms as possible. I probably haven't written everything I want to tell yet, kind of difficult to remember it all at once, but I will write again when things pop up along the way.
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