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  1. I have struggled with the evil twins of depression and anxiety for all of my adult life. I'm now in my late 60s. Current meds: citalopram 40mg/day; bupropion SR 100mg/day; buspirone 20mg/day; I've been on citalopram and bupropion for many years. Buspirone was added about three years ago. Under medical guidance I tapered too fast off benzos two years ago, a hellish withdrawal experience. I'm 99% recovered and ready to chip away at the heavy load of psych meds I'm on. I'm determined to do a slow careful taper to avoid anything resembling what I went through with benzo withdrawal. I just ordered the Gem I'm not certain which med to start with. I'm thinking the citalopram dose is the most immediate concern because it's so high but I'm hoping to get feedback on SA. Thanks
  2. Hi everyone (sorry for the misspellings and bad grammar - I'm from Denmark). Started on citalopram in 2010/2011 after a longer period of anxiety, where I was afraid that I was going insane. Checked my self for symptoms that I was about to go insane, had anxiety all the time, could'n sleep and could not relax as I constantly had and "what if"-thoughts. I didn't really share it with anyone - just hoped that it would pass. I can't remember exactly when I started on citalopram, but It was after visiting my parents for Christmas where I just started crying and was doing really bad. year. I went to see a GP, and I was put on citalopram (after my own wish, because I just wanted to get better). I didn't get any sessions with a pshycologist until later, and not until I was on 40 mg. I stayed on that dose for a while and then went to a pshycologist. After that I slowly started to feel better and was able to taper to 30 mg, to 20 mg without any problems. A couple of years ago i went down to 10 mg. This was a little harder, but at that time I didn't know about withdrawal. I have been feeling good these past years (still had some problems with tiredness and I have to watch my wieght). I have been talking with a GP every year at checkups about the possibility of me starting to taper, but I haven't feelt that it was the right time until now. So in may ad the advise of my GP I started to skip doses. That didn't go well. I got irritated at my girlfriend, had inner restlessness, burning sensation in the arms, started to having trouble to sleep and about a week after i started to taper I was just feeling overwhelmed and had a feeling of panick once in a while. Then I upped my dose by switching between 10 and 5 mg every other day. That helped, and I started to sleep better and experiencing the windows. But I was afraid that I would screw up the when to take 10 or 5 mg, so I'm now cutting my 10 mg pill into qaurters to take 7,5 mg a day. It seems like I got hit again with the same problems as when i skipped doses. It's a long time since I started on citalopram, but I'm pretty sure that this i withdrawal and not a relapse, because it feels so different from back then. I'm now 35, and I would like to hear if anybody else has had the same problems with skipping doses and cutting in quarters that I have? And where to go from now? I have an appointment with a psychologist in Denmark who is writing a Phd on withdrawal, and I hope that he will be able to get me in the right direction. Kind regards from Denmark
  3. So glad I found this page I was on citalopram for 18 years tried to come off 6 years ago and 6 weeks later thought my anxiety had come back now realise it was withdrawal! Fast forward 6 years and it was suggested to me to meet with a psychiatrist to help with my meds as citalopram 40mg had stopped working . She said taper down from 40mg in 2.5 months and start sertraline which I did went into depesssion signed off work for 7 weeks now 11 weeks later and been on 100mg for 8 weeks I am suffering severe withdrawals Bugs crawling in head Tingling on face feel like a cobweb on it Clenching jaw Anxiety Will this ever get better ?
  4. Hello. I’m 62. I’ve taken an SSRI (primarily citalopram) since ~1997 for depression. I stopped drinking in 2011, and participated in recovery programs (through my HMO and Women for Sobriety) for several years. I began medical cannabis for anxiety and sleep problems in 2013. Over the past ~2 years, I’ve lost 50 pounds (going from obese to a “normal” weight), and have eaten better and exercised much more consistently than before. I retired in late 2020. Now that many of my stressors are less intense, or gone altogether, and I’m taking much better care of myself (including not self-medicating with alcohol), I want to see whether I can return to being myself, without citalopram and its suppression of various emotions. I’d like to be me again before I die. My main psychological issue is anxiety (much worse than the depression), which wasn’t recognized until a few years ago. (I’d always just thought that I had “anxious depression“.) Knowing that the recommended dosing of citalopram is lower in people 65 and older, I tried to prepare for the future by decreasing my dose. I made very tolerable drops, from 30 mg/day to 20 mg/day, then more gradually from 20 mg/day to 10 mg/day, without severe withdrawal symptoms. I became overconfident, and dropped from 10 mg/day to 5 mg/day on April 15, 2021. I have developed more withdrawal symptoms, which are increasingly severe, over the past (nearly) 3 months: > Anxiety — was appearing randomly during the day; in the last couple of weeks, has begun shortly after I wake up in the morning and worsened throughout the day. The anxiety is far worse than anything I’ve experienced since adolescence. I have had episodes of panic that are much worse than ever before. I’m often shaking. > Dissociative symptoms. > Depression — I can’t muster interest in activities that I used to enjoy, have little energy, and experience waves of traumatic memories. > Neuro-emotions often have me by the throat: sudden, intense crying; a feeling of impending doom; feeling that I have failed in my life, failed my husband and children, failed to achieve much worthwhile in my (now ended) career. > Memory gaps and uncertainties, and difficulty focusing. > Physical symptoms, including odd skin sensations (electric current, over-sensitivity, and creepy-crawly feelings), occasional numb fingers, gastrointestinal issues (incl. low appetite); occasional facial pain; worsened tinnitus; chest discomfort. When I was depressed in the late ‘90s (which led to my starting an SSRI), I was always able to get things done at work and at home. I might cry in the elevator on my way to my office, but I didn’t have to take more than an occasional day off for mental health. Now I don’t think that I could hold a job with my current symptoms. Once I stabilize on 5 mg/day, I plan to taper much more slowly (10 % per month). Thank you for being here.
  5. Hi, this site was recommended to me and I'm very grateful to have found a place where people might understand what I'm going through. My story with antidepressants starts 10 years ago, but I've only really had problems with them within the past year. In 2017, I was switched from fluoxetine to citalopram. The citalopram worked for me, and I was quickly upped to a dose of 30mg, which I happily stayed on for 4 years. This takes us to November(ish) 2021. In November I was really struggling with my anxiety, and physical symptoms which were new to me. I had lots of tests done to rule out any physical illness, and nothing abnormal came up so I was just really confused about what was happening. Everyone kept saying it was anxiety but I couldn't really believe it, because the symptoms were so strong and I'd been dealing with anxiety my whole life and it had never presented like this. My doctor suggested that I increase my citalopram to the maximum dose of 40mg. I'd never been on the maximum dose as I'd always been warned off it because I am underweight, but I did it anyway. I tapered up to 40 by January and stayed on it for about 6 weeks. It didn't help whatsoever - in fact I just felt worse, because I had some side effects from the increase that I'd never experienced previously. Skin crawling, tingling and numbness on my left side, etc. It was horrible so I decided to reduce back down to 30mg. I'd achieved this by late February. At this point, my mental and physical health has been feeling awful for about 4 months. I wasn't able to work, socialise, or do anything at all really. I'd developed extreme health anxiety from having all these new symptoms which I was convinced could be a serious medical condition, and I had now started to develop constant nausea (my worst symptom, as an emetophobe). At this point my doctor started to talk about me switching medications altogether. I was open to it, because in 2017 I'd made the switch from one SSRI to another and it went so smoothly that I just thought this would be the same. She suggested Sertraline, so I started to taper down the citalopram in preparation for that. I got down to 20mg by May and it was really difficult. The nausea, foggy headedness and tingling symptoms were constant. But, looking back, in mid May when I'd settled on 20mg I actually felt a bit better for the first time in a while. I was able to do slightly more and felt less sick every day. I think a wise decision at this point may have been to stay on 20mg and just allow my body to calm down and give myself the chance to have a life again. BUT back in April, I'd had my first appointment with a psychiatrist. After telling him everything, he suggested a medication I hadn't really thought about, Mirtazapine. He told me that when I came off citalopram completely, I should start 15mg of mirtazapine then work up to 30. I sort of took this as a better idea than sertraline, I'm not sure why really...I think because I knew that mirtazapine increased appetite, and I wanted desperately to gain weight because anxiety always takes my appetite away. So I ditched the idea of sertraline (which my doctor seemed fine with after hearing the psychiatrists new recommendation) and continued to taper down further. I got to 15mg by the start of June, and tried to drop again to 10mg. Things were just getting awful, I felt I was worse than I was in May, and I couldn't see myself being able to get all the way to 0 without just having no life anymore and becoming a shell of a person. At this point my doctor prescribes me 7.5mg of mirtazapine to take alongside 15mg citalopram, as a sort of crossover, so that I could continue to taper down citalopram but have the mirtazapine to make me feel a bit better. I took the mirtazapine for a total of 5 days - it made me very sleepy, very groggy in the mornings, and very emotional. I did in some ways feel mentally better - my overthinking definitely reduced and I was finally hungry again which was amazing. But when I told the doctor that I'd been very groggy and tired and had felt very off kilter, she told me to stop the mirtazapine immediately and just stick to 15mg citalopram for a while. This brings us to now. I'm at a loss - I stopped the mirtazpine last week (which has given me withdrawal symptoms too, even though I was only on it for 5 days - headaches, pulsatile tinnitus, worse brain zaps and tingling) and now I'm just sitting with being on 15mg of citalopram, half of what I've been on for 4 years and feeling pretty hopeless. The worst part of all this is the physical symptoms which just disrupt everything. After reading on here and on reddit, I think I'd describe them as brain zaps - a sort of constant tingling in my head which makes me nauseous and makes me feel like my head is fuzzy. I also feel sick at the thought of doing anything - its so hard to describe, but I literally cant picture myself doing anything without feeling spaced out and nauseous. I feel like I am just not on the same plane of existence as anybody else - my head is spaced out, I can't enjoy anything, I feel like crying, my thoughts are quite literally racing and my body is just messed up by all these medication changes. I feel such regret for ever trying to withdraw from citalopram in the first place, especially when I was in a bad place to begin with. I can't imagine how to get out of this hole that I've dug for myself. After reading about medication tapering online I realise I've done it at the wrong time, and far far too quickly, and I'm living with the consequences now. As for trying to settle the symptoms, I've of course tried lots of different supplements with limited success. In fact, since stopping mirtazapine, I'd say supplements make it worse. A few days ago I took a vitamin B supplement and the next day my head was pounding and I had pulsatile tinnitus, and last night I tried a magnesium supplement and today my head is pounding again. I'm very lucky that my family is able to look after me during all this, but they are constantly telling me to 'get out and do things', which I think is their reaction to the idea that all of this is just anxiety, and nothing actually physical. Its so hard to get people to understand that it feels like my body and brain are falling apart, and that withdrawing from my medication (something I chose to do which was meant to lead me on the road to recovery) has made things so so much worse, mentally and also physically. I hope that this will be the lowest point for me and that things will improve, but I have no idea. And I don't even know whether my next step will be more withdrawal, or reinstating the citalopram, or just staying at the dose I'm at. But I'm pretty scared for any of those directions because I've just bounced from one bad experience to another, and somehow I'm scared that it could get even worse.
  6. I have had the good fortune to confer with some of the top brain researchers in the world this past 4 years. Michael M. Merzenich who has had several PBS brain specials, Robert Sapolsky at Stanford, Daniel Amen (also many PBS brain specials) Malcom Lader in the UK and many others. Off the subject of exercise but Dr. Merzenich is considered the father of neuroplasticity research and he told me to study primates brain ability to heal they give them SSRI's then stop them. OK Exercise - none of these experts had a clue on how to heal a drug damaged brain. The one common theme was aerobic exercise. There is a great book out on this called SPARK on this. There is also the work of the Cooper Center on the benefits of aerobic exercise for anxiety and depression being better than medications. For the first 3 years I could not do any more than walk - any strenuous activity made me critically ill. I still walk a lot and more if I am in a wave (which seems to be continual) but now I have been able to do some 10 mile bike rides. Has anyone else found benefit/determent to exercise??
  7. Hey, I don't post much on here. I used to be a member on PaxilProgress. I thought I would start a topic to post some updates. I will post my original story and 3 year update below. The short version is that I took 10mg citalopram for situational depression (I had dropped out of college) for about 6 months and then I stopped. Ever since I stopped I went into hell and experienced some very debilitating symptoms. I am now just over 4 years off and I have been unable to work or live any kind of functional life during this time. In my update 1 year ago I was feeling optimistic at the time since I have been going through a little bit of a good period. Now 1 year later I feel less optimistic about my future. Since last year I have noticed very little improvement. The worst symptom for me is my inability to socialize which I fear will never recover. I always feel very withdrawn and act awkward in social situations. I have to think of what to say and try very hard to act normal. Before the drugs it just came naturally without thinking. This is a very strange symptom and I've not seen many other people mention it. It makes it very hard for me to have friendships with other people. I had a few periods early on where it went away almost completely for a week or so and it was as if someone turned a light back on in my brain. However, I have not really noticed any improvements in the past year. Something that is also very strange is that when I go into social situations for any period of time, it will trigger many symptoms and I will start to feel very bad. I wouldn't even believe it, if it wasn't happening to me but something as simple as socializing can cause physical symptoms. The symptoms generally don't come on till a few hours later. I will often notice my mood being lower than normal then I will start to feel cold and shivery and my appetite and sex drive will go down very low. In general I just feel very bad and know something is wrong. It generally takes a few days (away from social situations) before I feel back to normal. I also often get mouth ulcers. I have had about 2 or 3 a month on average for the past 4 years. They tend to go hand in hand with some pretty brutal fatigue where I just feel like I can barley lift my arms or do much of anything. Sexual function is also reduced from normal and intermittent. Sometimes my sex drive will feel close to normal but most of the time it's a little low. I have difficulty concentrating and find it hard to focus on things for any length of time. I also still have many other symptoms that come and go. I get migraines frequently, my appetite is often quite low even at the best of times, I often have digestion problems and constipation regardless of my diet. I feel like if I didn't have the social withdrawnness and symptoms triggered after a social situation then I could live a much more functional life despite the other problems. It is obvious to me that my brain is screwed up big time after going through all this for years. It's funny because I know if this had not happened to me and I was reading this then I probably wouldn't believe it was possible. I'd probably just think I am some crazy guy with social anxiety who is attributing it to drugs. I guess anyone who has been through this withdrawal knows how messed up the whole experience is. In the early period of withdrawal I read a success story by LossLeader that kept me going. He recovered after 4 and a half years. Now that I'm approaching that point I feel like perhaps these remaining symptoms are permanent. I guess I will need to hang in there for another year or two and see if things change or not. I have thought as a very last resort I may try and go back on the drug. Many of you will think that it crazy. I think it is as well. I don't even know if I would have the guts to do it. At the same time I think maybe I am just dependent on those drugs now and perhaps it would help me live a normal life for a while. I guess I would only consider that option if I knew for sure that I was never going to get any better over time and I felt like my life was still severely limited. I'll have to wait and see how things go.
  8. ADMIN NOTE: Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to fluoxetine. Be sure to read details and cautions below . Consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner before changing medications. Also see Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac) Switching or bridging with another related drug, usually of a longer half-life, is a medically recognized way to get off psychiatric drugs, particularly if you find tapering your original drug to be intolerable. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug. For many doctors, a switch to Prozac to go off a different antidepressant is routine. Because of the risks of switching drugs -- see below -- we recommend attempting a very gradual direct taper from your drug, with bridging with a different drug only a last resort. There are a lot of unknowns in bridging. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has the longest half-life of any of the modern antidepressants. Because it takes more than a week for a dose to be metabolized completely, a careful taper off fluoxetine is easier for many people -- see information about Tapering off Prozac. And, at least fluoxetine comes in a liquid. (Do not assume fluoxetine is "self-tapering"! We have many people here with Prozac withdrawal syndrome. While going off fluoxetine usually has less risk, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. No bridging strategy is risk-free.) Citalopram (Celexa )and its sibling escilatopram (Lexapro) have half-lives of about 35 hours, a relatively long half-life among SSRIs, and are other candidates for a bridging strategy. They also come in a liquid form. You must find a knowledgeable doctor to help you to with a bridging strategy. The cross-taper method discussed below is probably the safest way to make a change in drugs. You might wish to print this post out to discuss it with your doctor. For most people the switch goes smoothly but for some it doesn't. The drawbacks of switching to another drug to get off the first drug, described below, apply to ALL bridging strategies for ALL drugs, including benzodiazepines (where people often want to bridge with diazepam per the Ashton method). Risks of bridging A bridging strategy has the following drawbacks for a minority of those who try it: Dropping the first antidepressant in the switch may cause withdrawal symptoms even though you're taking a bridge drug. Adverse reaction to the bridge drug, such as Prozac. Serotonin toxicity or adverse effects of a drug combination. If withdrawal symptoms are already underway, switching to a bridge drug may not help. A cross-taper requires a number of careful steps. Difficulty tapering off the bridge drug. All of the bridge drugs can be difficult to taper themselves. So, like anything else, a drug switch is not guaranteed to work. When to switch or bridge "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know". A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to the substitute drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. The risk of a switch is justified if you find a taper from the original drug is simply too difficult. Usually people will do a switch when they find reducing the original antidepressant by even a small amount -- 10% or even 5% -- causes intolerable withdrawal symptoms. (I have heard doctors say they don't even try tapering off paroxetine (Paxil) or venlafaxine (Effexor ), they switch to Prozac at the beginning of the tapering process.) If you are having intolerable withdrawal or adverse effects from an antidepressant, it may be worth risking the worst case, which is that a switch to a bridge drug doesn't help and you have withdrawal syndrome anyway. If you're thinking of switching simply as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risks against the amount of convenience you would gain. Generally, switching for convenience is a bad idea. CAUTION: A switch to a bridge drug is not guaranteed to work. It's safer to slow down a taper than count on a switch. A switch really should be used only when a taper becomes unbearable or there are other serious adverse effects from the medication. You must work with a doctor who is familiar with bridging, in case you develop severe symptoms. Overview of cross-tapering method For drug switches, many doctors prefer cross-tapering, where a low dose of one drug is added and gradually increased while the first drug is reduced. For a period, both drugs are taken at the same time. Here is a graphic representation of cross-tapering: If you are making a switch to Prozac, the second antidepressant is fluoxetine (Prozac). Given fluoxetine's long half-life, it may take a couple of weeks to reach full effect. The effect of the amount you add at each stage of the cross-taper will build throughout the process. As it is possible to overshoot Prozac dosage, it's best to be very conservative about increasing fluoxetine throughout the cross-taper, you could end up with serotonin toxicity from too much fluoxetine (see below). Also see this discussion about cross-tapering with Prozac: Serotonin toxicity and serotonin syndrome You run the risk of serotonin toxicity if you are taking too much serotonergic. Most antidepressants (and some other drugs, such as triptans and MDMA) are serotonergics. Serotonergic effects of antidepressants are added when you take more than one of them, particularly if you add an SSRI (such as Prozac, Celexa, or Lexapro) to an SNRI (such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima)). (Other types of antidepressants should not be combined with tricyclics or MAOIs.) Symptoms of too much serotonergic can be: Nervousness, anxiety, akathisia, sleeplessness, fast heartbeat. Symptoms of serotonin toxicity can be these plus disorientation, sweating, and others. Serotonin syndrome is even more serious. See Serotonin Syndrome or Serotonin Toxicity Reduction of the drug dose should resolve serotonin toxicity. Note that if you cross-taper, you will be taking 2 drugs at once for part of the time. Because of the potential of serotonin toxicity by overdosing SSRIs as well as in combination with SNRIs, it's safest to err on the lower side of a Prozac dose "equivalent" -- such as 5mg -- to your original drug. This is why doctors familiar with the Prozac switch will cross-taper by adding an initial LOW DOSE of Prozac to an SNRI. Start low, the effect of fluoxetine will increase over several weeks. Another concern: Escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs. If you add 10mg escilatopram to the high dose of 60mg duloxetine (Cymbalta), for example, you run the risk of serotonergic toxicity -- 10mg escilatopram is equal to approximately 20mg-30mg duloxetine. How much fluoxetine (Prozac) to substitute for my drug? Since fluoxetine's half-life is so much longer than those of other antdepressants, its effect is a little different. It's not a stronger antidepressant, but the effect of each dose lasts much longer. This may be the reason a lower dose of fluoxetine often seems to adequately substitute for other antidepressants. For an idea of equivalent doses of your medication to fluoxetine (Prozac) read this post (January 7, 2018) in this topic. It compares fluoxetine 40mg/day (a fairly high dose of Prozac) to other antidepressants. Source of that data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911132 If you have tapered to a lower dose of an antidepressant, an even lower dose of Prozac may be more tolerable. If you are about half-way down, you might want to try 10mg Prozac. If you have decreased further, you may wish to try 5mg Prozac. If you have substituted fluoxetine for your drug and after two weeks, you feel you have withdrawal symptoms, you may wish to gradually the fluoxetine dosage. After each change in fluoxetine, wait at least 2 weeks to see the effect before deciding on another increase. More is not better for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. EXAMPLES OF THE PROZAC SWITCH Below is information I've gathered from doctors about how to do the Prozac switch. You will see there is no standard protocol. Healy 2009 method for the Prozac switch From Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines: Phelps-Kelly 2010 method for Prozac switch From Clinicians share information about slow tapering (2010) Jim Phelps, one of the authors of the above, posted in 2005 in some detail about the so-called "Prozac bridging" strategy. He said it is described in Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash, maybe in the chapter titled of "Held Hostage." The technique Dr. Phelps described in this post skips doses and finishes with alternating dosages, which we do not recommend for people who are sensitive to withdrawal symptoms. Given that fluoxetine liquid is available, this is completely unnecessary. Foster 2012 method for Prozac switch Dr. Mark Foster, a GP whose mission is to get people safely off psychiatric drugs includes this in a presentation he gives to doctors. http://www.gobhi.org/spring_conference_powerpoints/safewithdrawal_of_psychotropics%5Bautosaved%5D.ppt. His method involves overlapping Prozac with the other antidepressant -- cross-tapering. Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler) For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil (20mg) or Cymbalta (20mg), he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge." The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excessive serotonergic stimulation (serotonin toxicity) from the combination of the two antidepressants during the overlap period. Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be easier than tapering off Effexor. Smoothing out a transition to fluoxetine Even with a cross-taper, your system might feel a jolt after you finally drop the initial antidepressant, particularly if it is an SNRI, such as Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta, or other drug that is not an SSRI like fluoxetine. (Other SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro). If you go through a rough patch after the transition, patients find they can take a tiny chip of the original drug (or a bead or two, if it's a capsule containing beads) for a week or two to smooth out the transition. Eventually, you'd take a chip as needed only when you feel a wave of withdrawal from the original drug, and then finally leave the original drug entirely behind. (A gelatin capsule might make a tablet fragment easier to get down, but it is not necessary if you can wash it down with a good swallow of water. The gelatin capsule quickly dissolves in your stomach.) Here's an example. There is no shame in doing this. Whatever works, works.
  9. Hi everybody I'm Soren from Denmark, 50 years old, and just started tapering 18 years of Mirtazapine-use. Earlier I have tried to withdraw from mirtazapine three times and every time by doctors instructions (50% two weeks, 50% of the remaining dose two weeks, then stop), and the last time I nearly hurt my beloved cat in rage. It was the most frightening out of control experience and periode in my life. I'm not long into my taper (down to 20 mg from 30 mg) and my taper it is going well at the moment (5% every three weeks). As almost universally experienced by other mirtazapine 'withdrawalees' I suffer day 4 or 5 after a reduction, but come day 8 and I am stabilized and on day 10 I feel a little better than before the reduction. I will write more about my experience with both citalopram, brintellix (trintellix), and mirtazapine later but for know I just want to say thank you. You see I have for over 6 months been browsing survivingantidepressants and even though I can feel the heartbroken, desperate loneliness in peoples struggles, I feel that you are a little more non-lonely when when you are visible for each other. More importantly I will no longer just be a browsing antidepressant surviver. If I (and everybody else who are anonymously browsing) continue to free ride on sites like surviving antidepressants the real magnitude of the antidepressant problem will never be known and the work you do never be recognized (enough). I have seen somewhere (maybe a YouTube video) that survivingantidepressants.org has over 14.000 members. My guess is for every site-member in the withdrawal community (on FB-groups, twitter, RxISK, innercompass etc) there are +1000 more browsing non members out there. So here you have one more grateful member so you hugely important work can become a little more visible. Soren from Denmark
  10. Hello everyone I developed an anxiety disorder during the pandemic. I didn’t know I was having anxiety at first because I never had it before so it took forever for me to actually start treating it. My anxiety was so bad it caused silent acid reflex. Anyways with time it got better naturally & then I started meditating everyday for about 3 weeks & it really got better the acid reflex was improving too. I got impatient because I wanted my life back already so I thought that taking 10mg celxa pill for a few months to finally get rid of the acid reflex would be ok. I took the pill at night time & felt calm when I woke up, I also noticed my reflex was like 95% gone which just proves it was from anxiety. Anyways later on that day I all of a sudden out of no where I got a headache, rapid heartbeat & shaky hands then I got a “s” thought ( I don’t wanna say the word) which I never had before it was like a voice in my head. I immediately threw all the medication down the drain & didn’t take another one. So I only took ONE pill. After a about a week my acid reflex came back. Since then I’ve had intrusive thoughts, ocd thoughts, brain zaps, memories of bad things that have happened, thoughts focused around violence, fear for no reason, mood swings sad for no reason, crying for no reason, extreme anxiety, frequent urinating, increase of my acid reflex, unable to sit still for long etc. This is obviously all from the pill. this is ridiculous & super scary that just one pill can cause all of this. I don’t know what to do besides wait. I do yoga every morning & breathing exercises & sometimes ride my bike. I had to quit my job. I’m only in my 20’s. Any advice or similar story is welcomed. I took the pill on April 25th so it’s been about a month now
  11. Hi, First of all I'd like to thank everyone connected with this site, I'm learning so much about the best methods of reducing Citalopram and am grateful for those of you who set this up, maintain it and contribute! A heartfelt Thank You. I don't have any where near as horrific a story as many here and I hope no one minds me dropping by; I'm looking for advice on my next steps. I was prescribed Citalopram 20mg after a couple of months off work with 'anxiety (NOS)'; basically I couldn't get off the sofa without feeling I was going to faint. I think I react by Freezing in the Fight/Flight/Freeze response. After a couple of years I talked to my Dr about coming off and, as with many of you, was advised wrongly to drop by half for a few weeks then stop totally. All was tolerable for a couple of months (nasty symptoms but tolerable) until the crushing fatigue hit and I thought perhaps I wasn't ready to come off Citalopram as the fatigue was my main reason for starting on the drug in the first place. I wasn't just tired, it felt as though my soul was tired. So I went back on the drug in Sept 2016 and eventually steadied at 20mg. Last year I wanted to reduce the dose to see if I could cope without....still naive about how this should really be done....and dropped to 15mg then 10mg after a while. I had a few withdrawal symptoms but they were manageable. Had a great autumn and winter so thought I could drop again. Last month I reduced the dose to ~7.5mg (cutting a 10mg pill into quarters so can't be precise). This is where I found you all, I wanted some reassurance that I was doing this the right way, hahahahha, I now see it isn't. So, I've decided to dissolve my 10mg tablet in water and pipette out the desired amount, reducing by 10% after a period of stability. I've ordered the pipettes and a beaker so should be in a position to start this soon. However.....in the meantime, my withdrawal symptoms are getting stronger at times, it's erratic and difficult to find any pattern. My question is, would you recommend I go back to 10mg, stabilize then taper by 10% or should I sit this out until I settle then commence the 10% routine? It's important to me that I remain in work, so far so good and I really don't want to experience that fatigue again. My symptoms are fuggy brain, irritability, lack of concentration, socially withdrawn, tingling in my fingers and left side of my face/neck, tiredness, twitching and the feeling of ants marching over my skin, the ants are wearing boots! Many thanks for reading. Mamgu
  12. Hello! I am in a hell of withdrawal. I have been on many different SSRI’s in the past and they all worked but had intolerable side effects. About a year ago I started sertraline, and when it didn’t work my psych put me on Abilify and lamotrigine. The Abilify seemed to help a bit but gave me crazy anxiety and tardive skenesis. The lamotrigine has never seemed to do anything. Since last March I have been trying to taper. I’ve had two terrible experiences when my doc told me to stop the S and A cold turkey. I’m back on low doses of both. Currently I take 12.5mg sertraline, 2mg Abilify, 200 mg lamotrigine and would like to get off all of them, if possible. I have terrible anxiety and crying spells that I’ve had since starting the sertraline and Abilify. Im wondering which drug I should try to taper first?? Thanks for your help!
  13. Hi everyone As you can see from the sig I've messed up my taper. It could have been worse - doc told me to stop dead on 15mg back in August as I'd only been on it 8 months. It was me who attempted to wean off and I think I've messed it up, especially after reading around this forum for the past week. By the time I got to 3.75mg it was considered a "placebo" so I stopped. Anyway, I used to take citalopram many years ago after getting post natal depression, took it for quite a few years then just stopped dead (probably 10 years ago so not relevant to now). Absolutely no withdrawal problems. Not so this time! I was on mirt for sleep problems caused, probably, by my HRT not working anymore. My oestrogen level was non existent and the symptoms were appalling. I was on my knees with palpitations, anxiety and 2 hrs sleep a night for all of 2021 and had other health issues on top, and a bereavement. The mirt worked great and got me to a good place with sleep, hrt experimentation began to reap rewards and my level went up. Unfortunately I put on a lot of weight which caused other issues, like massive amounts of heartburn, and psychologically that made me miserable. Around July my hands became very shaky. We decided that it had done the job and it was time to come off. Like I say, it was my decision not to go completely cold turkey but this was not a supervised taper (as you can tell) and I wish I'd known about this forum earlier. I'm not doing as badly as some of you, but it aint great. My anxiety has crept up, the palpitations are back, sleep is not as good as it was but the worst thing, and which is causing me the most worry, are the shakes. In the evening I get full on internal body shakes which I know can be a withdrawal symptom so I'm putting up with it. It gets worse when I stress about it so I just take a deep breath and watch tv as a distraction (which does help). No, it's the shaky hands - I'm convinced I've got something bad wrong with me and I guess I'm looking for reassurance that this is a normal thing. Sometimes when I'm sewing, for instance, I can't thread the needle, or when putting on eyeliner my hand is all over the place. It seems to be with very precise actions that I have the problem. It eased off once my oestrogen levels went up back in September, really improved. It's come back in the past 7-10 days - I stopped mirt about 15 days ago - so I'm really, really hoping this is withdrawal and not something else. Sometimes I "feel" as if my hand is shaking but when I hold them out they're rock steady (so is this just part of the anxiety and me obssessing over it making it worse?). I think I could ride this out if I was sure I didn't have something else wrong, but it seems that this happens less on Mirt than on other ADs as far as google tells me, so I'm pretty scared. Also, I'm sneezing like the clappers (which I guess is histamine related). I can control it with beconase but if I forget it's always the early hours of the morning when it starts up, usually just after I've finally managed to get to sleep. An hour of sneezing is exactly what I need at 3am. Otherwise have taken up yoga, try to get a good walk every day, eat well, have cut out alcohol, drink lots of water. I'm doing all I can in terms of diet and exercise, but I keep checking my hands every five seconds and it's really going to do my head in.
  14. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  15. Hello, I just wanted to share my Citalopram story as I'm feeling terrible at the moment and just feel like I've completely ruined my body. I don't know if anyone else out there has advice or experienced something similar? I was prescribed Citalopram in February this year by my GP after experiencing a lot of anxiety. I took 10mg for 4 days but after contacting my GP when I was experiencing a lot of side effects, she upped my dose to 20mg and said it was normal to feel worse before I felt better. By this stage I was feeling pretty manic but for some reason I did what the doctor advised and upped my dose to 20mg as I thought my feelings were because I was so anxious. In hindsight I know now that it was the drug that was actually making me feel manic but I just wasn't aware of that at the time - I bought it was all me. I ended up taking Citalopram for just 7 days in the end and only stopped after a particularly bad night where I was experiencing burning all over my body and brain zaps - I knew I couldn't take it anymore. The Dr didn't want me to stop but I couldn't face taking another pill. Two days before I stopped taking it I started to experience a tremor in my arms but I thought it would wear off when I stopped the drug. Fast forward to around the 20th March having been Citalopram free for a month I began experiencing terrible, debilitating symptoms. My back & stomach is constantly pulsing - I have no idea what it is, I have pins and needles in my legs and tingling in my feet. The floor feels like it is moving when I walk and I feel very unsteady and dizzy. I feel completely detached from everything and everyone and don't even really recognise myself. Im just not interested in the things I used to be and everything is so much effort. I have major brain fog. I sleep very poorly and wake up after a couple of hours, body pulsing and unable to get to sleep. My neck tingles and I have a slight tremor in my neck/head. I never feel still or relaxed and I'm constantly on edge. My head throbs. My teeth hurt and my jaw is tight. My neck feels tight & my stomach is inflamed. Nothing I take seems to help with my symptoms. I have contacted my GP for help but they have said that it all sounds like anxiety, and have prescribed me propranolol and diazepam. They said that it is very unlikely that Citalopram has caused this but I really think it has. I've never felt like this in my life. I am finding it all so very difficult at the moment. I feel like a complete zombie and the physical symptoms are so hard to deal with. I used to be so active and now walking feels like a battle. Physically and mentally I feel completely ruined. I am so ashamed that I have done this to myself and cannot see a way out. Is there anyone out there who has experienced similar or who can offer a bit of hope? Does this get better? History: 11th - 17th February 2020 - Citalopram (3 days 10 mg & 4 days 20mg)
  16. I have bad brain fog, can’t focus, can’t remember anything, have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. I also get headaches, anxiety, digestive problems, dry mouth, neck and shoulder stiffness, crying spells, and tinnitus. I suspect a lot of these are side effects from taking Citalopram or Buspirone, or both. I have had depressions off and on since I was a teenager. 2003 I had a burnout, and started taking Lyrica for anxiety. Some years after that I got diagnosed GAD and started taking Citalopram, the doc thought my anxiety was caused by an underlying depression. 2014 I replaced Lyrica with Buspirone. I dont know if I am depressed anymore, and I still have anxiety (but less the last 3-4 years) so I am not convinced my meds are doing much. Im not seeing a psychiatrist ’cause I don’t have insurance. I get my medicine from a GM. A couple of times I tried tapering buspirone on my own (can’t remember when or how, but maybe three times the last six years), but every time it got so bad I had to start taking them again. After reading about tapering and how accelerators and brakes work, I now realize I did it wrong... My plan is to start tapering Citalopram VERY SLOWLY. If it takes years that’s fine, as long as it’s working. I’m pretty sure I will have plenty withdrawal symptoms even if I go slowly. For now I’m reading up on slow tapering, and thinking about how to do it. How much do I go down, and how often? Do I cut pieces off the tablets? I’m glad I found this forum, and any input is welcome, I know basically nothing about tapering.
  17. Hello and nice to meet everyone. I have been reading as much as I can the past two days and feel like it is time to introduce myself. THANK YOU for everything you all have contributed, this site is a game changer. So many questions answered and a new journey begins. You can see my drug history and four month taper in my signature over the spring/summer (my psychiatrist at the time recommended two weeks, go figure). I had planned on a few crappy months going into this. Oh if I had only found this site first... Withdrawal didn’t kick in for at least two weeks, and slowly at first. I spent all of September and October dodging and weaving through good days and bad days, which I observed simply as “anxiety” (my original diagnosis) but with unusual physical symptoms. I journaled and kept calendar entries, mostly to record when I had to resort to Ativan (usually 0.5mg, occasionally 1mg). Other than for flight anxiety (two trips), I can count 17 times I took it over those two months, and only as a last resort. I had two sudden midnight “surges” (after feeling great) with shivers, out of control heart rate, even some diarrhea, which would last hours. I was convinced it was Serotonin Syndrome. The second one took me to urgent care the next morning for a heart checkup. A few days later a new psychiatrist then put me on Propranolol (beta blocker) as my primary concern was my heart. Propranolol immediately helped me observe and evaluate the “anxiety” I was experiencing which helped a lot. The new psychiatrist also had me stop 5-HTP after only a few weeks which was probably smart. I speak to him again this Friday, not sure what to share/ask given what I am learning here. I am now clear on the fact that I am riding waves of withdrawal symptoms, anxiety responds to the unusual feelings and emotions created by the withdrawal and adds its own icing to the cake, but I am focused on observing and not reacting, and doing my best to “ride it out”. The most unusual part of this “pattern” has been the timing of it all - usually kicking into high gear in the evenings after dark (earlier and earlier in my part of the world). I am nervous about traveling this weekend (short flight) but also realize I need to try and have as “normal” a life as I can stand under these conditions. My wife is awesome, understanding and super supportive. At 12 weeks in, I am not sure reinstatement is an option for me, even though I still have 5mg Trintellix in my drawer, and could try taking microdoses. Leaning toward a no, but I realize I may have run out of time to make that decision? I have read almost all the “required reading” but would still appreciate an opinion on that one. Also considering stopping my multivitamin, turmeric and mulberry leaf extract and taking only my “Super Omega-3 Plus” (Fish Oil) and picking up magnesium pills. I just started the Probiotic so I could drop it too, but not feeling like it would impact all of this either way? I am intrigued by the Reishi 415 blend to get some non-psychedelic mushroom love. Lastly my wife and I are thinking about therapeutic float tanks (she would love to do it again) and I have begun using our hot tub as part of my daily routine, along with many failed attempts at meditating. Anxiety was never something I handled well to begin with, and I realize now I must absolutely be on my game to dance this intricate dance. I will post any new thoughts, findings and curiosities on this thread as appropriate. I appreciate everyone’s support! PS- I opted to not use the appropriate abbreviations as I wanted to easily share this summary with family
  18. 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.
  19. My original post: So, as of right now I am 17 months completely off all medication. I consider myself fully healed and am so happy to be able to write this because I want others to know that full healing IS possible, even in extreme cases. As I spoke about in my original thread, I was put on an SSRI at 5 years old for anxiety. While at first it seemed to 'help', as I got older my psychiatrist kept on raising the dose until I was essentially a zombie from about age 14-18. It caused many problems and I went from being a very social and happy kid to a sullen, antisocial, shell of what I was. I believe it also gave me bouts of depression, as I never had depression before I was on it and my most depressed periods always came after a dosage increase. It was very painful to me to think about how I had my adolescence and happiness taken from me by this drug and the people who kept me on it not seeing what it was doing to me, but I've reached a point in my life now where I can forgive and am too happy about life now and my future to dwell on that. I really want others to know, if you were put on these meds before you were even old enough to consent to being on them, I understand your pain, and assure you that even in a case like this, you CAN heal, and a life without depending on these drugs IS possible. I know there likely aren't many of us but I know others like me do exist and I hope somehow you find this post and my story can help you in some way. The medications I was on during this period were Zoloft and Celexa (I switched to the latter when I was 13), and I was on the highest doses of each (200mg and 40mg, respectively). When I was 18 years old, I had a stressful period and since it was my first time living away from home at college I started to come to some realizations about how crazy the whole thing was that I was taking these medications without even really understanding as to why I was on them still and not feeling like it was in any way my decision to take them. This was in 2014 and because I was young, and felt invincible and naive I essentially just stopped taking it (Celexa 40mg at this point). I'm not sure about how much detail is necessary here about what followed (although I'm more than happy to answer any questions anyone has and am an open book), but basically, I was ok for a couple of months, but then suffered for the next 4 years with intense, excruciating withdrawal symptoms that ranged from extremely painful physical and medical things to hellish mental symptoms. To this day it amazes me what this drug did to my system, as I never imagined that it could affect things that it affected (my blood tests from my first year of withdrawal confounded even the fancy, expensive doctors I went to). I suffered more than any teenager/young adult should ever have to suffer. I spent literally 3 years basically bedridden, in severe physical and mental pain, not knowing what was going on or if it was ever going to end. I felt like my soul was in crisis, and like I had no sense of self or purpose anymore. Growing up on these meds, I had to come to terms with the fact that I hadn't really been myself from age 5 to 18. But instead of starting over, and forming who I really was, I was unable to even do that because of the physical and mental pain I was in and inability to do anything with my life. I could go on and on with more specifics, but I feel it's more important now to explain what I believe really healed me (And I do consider myself healed now-- I went from being bedridden in pain, dysfunction, and chaos, barely even able to stand and walk sometimes, and completely hopeless about life and feeling out of control, to completely healthy, functional, happy, and living my best life). I think all of us who go through this suffer on a level that others can't really comprehend. But some of us may not realize that there is, in fact, an upside to this. When we're immobilized by pain, and crippled with mental symptoms like depression and anxiety, we have no choice but to just sit and be with ourselves. And this is where we find and understand who our true selves are. This might sound strange or "woo woo", but the major catalyst that really jumpstarted my healing was finding the calm within the storm. I highly recommend meditation for everyone going through this because for me it is what helped me access the part of me that was happy and calm independent of all external circumstances. The more I was able to quiet all my thoughts, the quicker I felt my healing process going. I really went through a spiritual journey, especially this past year when my healing really cemented, and I can honestly say that I've emerged not only healed, but a happier and wiser person than before this all started. I made the decision that I was going to heal, I made the decision that I was going to find happiness and joy and the life I wanted, whatever it took. I feel happier and more excited about life than I ever have (and my body and mind feel amazing). When you let go of stress, worrying, sadness, and negative thoughts, even when the situation outside you really is negative, you will be shocked at how things change. This whole journey is a spiritual journey for all of us. Yes, there are physical effects from this drug, but healing really takes place when we harness the light that exists in us even when things are at their worst. It's a highly personal path, but I really believe it is possible for everyone to overcome this. Supplements can help, but the power of the mind is limitless and infinitely more rewarding. Sparknotes version - meditate daily- quiet your mind. This is so beneficial for mental and physical health. - be aware of your thoughts, and as best you can, limit stressful and negative thoughts. For the first few years of withdrawal, my thinking was constantly "Life is so unfair", "I'm in so much pain", "What if this never ends?", "I am in hell", "Life sucks", etc. If this process has taught me anything, it's that your thoughts do matter, more than you know. Once I started changing my thoughts, my body and mind literally started to change. - journal. Writing down your thoughts can be very cathartic and can even help purge negativity that could be holding you back. Also, as counterintuitive as it may sound, you can even "fake" journal, i.e. write as if you have already healed, write as if you are happy and healthy. - Something I didn't mention in the full post, but VERY important-- when it comes to supplements, start one at a time, and start at a low dose. I know this is mentioned on this site many times, but I didn't take it seriously. I can't tell you how many months I literally lost because my SUPPLEMENTS were giving me symptoms that I thought were just part of the withdrawal, but were actually from the supplements I thought were supposed to help my withdrawal! As Altostrata is always saying, our bodies are very sensitized when in withdrawal and we can have seriously adverse reactions to things that seem super benign. Fish oil, for example, gave me heart palpitations. Ashwagandha, a 'gentle herb' that I had only read good things about, gave me major joint pain and digestive issues. PLEASE start supplements one at a time, at a low dose, wait a couple weeks and see how you're reacting to them. Everyone is different, and only you know what works and doesn't work for you. Keep track of what you're taking and don't fall into the trap of thinking "Oh, it's just a natural supplement, that can't be causing anything". That's how I used to think too and I went through even more pain because of it. There were times that I thought because my brain had developed on these drugs and I was on them so long, I'd never heal. But I did, and I'm in an even better place than I think I would have been if I hadn't gone through this. I am a genuinely happy person, I've formed deep connections with people, I have hope for my life and feel so happy and secure on my path, and I have really learned to appreciate the little things. Most importantly, I learned the importance of my thoughts and how they really affect all aspects of my life. I believe we are all meant to have a happy and healthy life, and it's possible to reclaim that right even when things seem utterly hopeless and bleak. Remember that you have more power than you know. We are a greater and more powerful force than these drugs are!
  20. Hi everyone. I've been reading this site for the past few months ever since I gratefully stumbled upon it and finally made an account. In early 2018 I successfully tapered from 30mg citalopram down to 20mg by cutting a 10mg tablet. I went down about 2.5mg/month. I tried a couple of times to go down to 17.5mg but the symptoms were intense and I realized it was too difficult to get a consistent amount with cutting the tablets so I decided to stick with 20mg until I found a more consistent way to taper. I read about the dissolve method working successfully on a post on this site and decided that would be my route. I bought some 10cc syringes with .2mL gradations. Last night I tried my first dose at an 8% taper - 18.4mg. I'm feeling worse than i'd expected/hoped considering it was such a small difference, but I have historically had a rather sensitive system. I'm starting to question whether I'm really meant to go down, if this is a sign I should keep my current dose. My life certainly isn't in a particularly solid place (though it's relatively stable). But I know it will only become more difficult the longer I'm on it, and I've seen only marginal if any benefit from taking it. Looking to document my process and experience here and contribute to this supportive community as well as find guidance about how to approach my own path.
  21. I was taking Cymbalta for around 6 years and with the help of a Psychiatrist, tapered off. I have been completely off for 10 weeks and still have crying spells. Is this just who I am? Or could it possibly still be from cessation of the drug?
  22. I've been on antidepressants for 27 years. I was changed to Lexapro from Citalopram about 7 months or so ago as the Citalopram no longer seemed to be working for me. My depression and anxiety became worse on Lexapro. The solution was that my doctors kept increasing the dose until I was on the maximum. Things became even worse and I reduced the dose myself as I knew it was the medication making things so bad. The anxiety was overwhelming. I am on day 12 off my medication. I tapered down over 2 months, which was slower than my doctor recommended. I am taking supplements that the doctor recommended. Felt ok for the first week, but I'm not feeling great now. Symptoms are: Poor sleep, ringing in my ears, nausea, body aches, very tired, confused, intermittent vertigo, depression. I've found it hard to find success stories, as many people seem to return to medication because of side effects. I would love to hear from people that have come off medication and to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  23. Hi all, and thank you for this site. After multiple attempts to taper over the last 5/6 years, some medically supervised, some not, I came off citalopram 10mg at the end of June this year with the intention of pushing through withdrawal come what may. I had been on 20mg until earlier this year and decreased straight to 10mg which I’d been on for about three months. Needless to say now I am now not having fun at all and am considering reinstating. My intention was to replace the SSRI with 5htp which I’ve been taking for a week at 50mg then 100mg. I still have some citalopram tablets left (I’ve asked my husband to hide them) so am wondering if I should crush them and weigh them or just go straight to the liquid version and do it that way. I have a history of depression and anxiety, but at the moment am in a mental state I do not recognise, it’s utterly bleak and strange, like everything around me looks the same but I am a stranger to myself and my surroundings. I’m not sure I can do this long term. I’m not suicidal but have had fleeting very dark thoughts. Thank you in advance for any advice/thoughts. X
  24. Hi I started with anxiety and panic attacks almost a month ago, I had been under stress at work and had lost my appetite and considerable amount of weight, and was not sleeping. My GP prescribed Citalopram 20mg, and within a few hours of taking this I was almost crazy, pacing up and down the house, feeling I needed to get out of my own body and on day 3 started with horrible dark thoughts and images of me killing myself. Mainly the images were around knives. I must stress that prior to taking this medication I had never had a dark or suicidal thought.On day 7 of taking this drug I stopped due to the awful side affects which I now believe was Akathisia. I seen a private pysicatrist who put this down to a bad reaction with the citalopram and recommended sertraline, I waited almost two weeks before taking the sertraline as the dark thoughts still persisted, the majority of the other symptoms seems to subside. Earlier this week I started on the sertraline 25mg, once again the same symptoms have returned as in the beginning when taking the citalopram, this is only on day 2 of the sertraline. I have only recently learned about this condition but I am now going to discontinue with the sertraline given that Akathisia can last longer than the time the medication was taken. Has anyone experienced this due to the combination of these SSRI's? My GP is absolutely no help at the minute hence me having to seek help privately.
  25. Hey everyone, I said that once I was healed and felt back to normal again I would write a success story and I do believe that today is finally the day for it! It was a very long journey for me personally, but I know that others have been going through it for even longer. So for those of you that are still in the thick of it, I will tell you this! Keep on going and going and going!! Never ever give up! I truly do believe that everyone heals no matter how long it takes!! For some it is shorter than others, but it's coming for all of us! You can read my intro topic and see that I really didn't find this site until I was almost 8 months in deep. I was one of those who CT quit everything because nothing was working for me and I got tired of trying different things to feel better. I was extremely fortunate to meet a wonderful lady who had survived the process and she reached out to me. She was able to encourage me daily to keep going and helped me to get through the very worst of days! I was so lucky because most people do not have that support system, but it was a life saver. Some things that I learned while going through this process: 1. Stay as positive as you possibly can! I know it's hard, believe me. There were so many days I just wanted to get in a funk and stay there, but I knew how dangerous that was. If you let yourself always see the bad in things, then eventually that is all you will see! Take what is happening to you and turn it around. Find something positive in your day. When I was having the worst of symptoms, instead of feeling bad about it and moping about it, I would turn it around and tell myself that I was having a good strong day of healing! The harder the symptoms, the more healing that was taking place. I made it a positive thing!! 2. Acceptance!!! I know this one is hard!! It was for me and took me a very very long time to learn it, but once I did it made a world of difference for me. The symptoms no longer had the power over me that they once had. Yeah they were still there, but I would just acknowledge them and then move on. There was nothing I could do about them, so I just let them happen. Besides it just meant that I was doing some more healing. The sooner you can learn how to accept the process the easier the process becomes. 3. Time!!! Unfortunately in my experience I found that there are no shortcuts in this process. There is no magic pill or drug that I could take that was gonna heal me any faster. I had to be patient and wait for my brain and CNS to heal! There was no way to speed up the process or make it any easier. I just had to get through it! That was it. Time time and more time!! Each day you go through is one day closer to your ultimate healing so don't give up!! 4. Distract!!! Find something anything that you can use to distract yourself and make the time go by. For me it was long walks, paint by numbers, etchings, diamond dots, models, board games with my children!! Just anything to pass the time! The more I was able to distract myself, the more healing that was taking place without me worrying about it! When you sit around all day and don't engage your mind, it has nothing to do but ruminate on what you are thinking or experiencing. Distract!! 5. Keep track of the good days! I experienced the normal waves and windows pattern that is normal for a lot of people. I would keep a journal daily where I would write down what I was thinking, how things were going. And for me most importantly, when I was feeling good in a window, I would write about it in the journal. I would write notes to myself reminding myself that I could feel good again and that I would feel good again. That way on the hard days I could go back and see what I had written to myself to know that I was gonna be ok. And that's honestly about it! That's what worked for me! Just remember that what you are going through is temporary!! This is not the rest of your life. One day you will be healed and able to move forward with life and enjoy the days. This whole process has made me such a strong and more resilient person. Little things in life no longer really bother me and I have found I have so much more patience and understanding than I ever did before. As much as this whole thing sucked, it has made me a better person!! Just remember to keep going and going for as long as this takes!! You've got this and you know it! I will be sticking around the forums to help others. I always told myself once I made it through this I was gonna pay it forward and help others as well. Don't hesitate to reach out if needed! Ken
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