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  1. hi, i'm thankful to have found this site but i really wish i would've found it at the start of my medication journey. i'll give some background on everything before i describe my situation now. so i started zoloft/sertraline in october 2019 when i was 19 years old, i was put on 25mg to start because i was essentially having one long panic attack that lasted several weeks and as a result i became agoraphobic because of how terrified i was of what was happening to me. i had a house visit from my doctor who prescribed me zoloft (i'd actually been prescribed diazepam too a couple days prior, i refused to take it and thank god i did because i dread to think how that could've turned out). it's funny looking back, my doctor told me word for word "this is the ssri that causes the least side effects, you will probably feel nauseous for 2 weeks and thats it". boy, she was so wrong. i started 25mg (took me a while because i was terrified of medication) and the next month involved awful nausea, debilitating dizziness and worse anxiety. i also had these strange instances of complete dread, i had moments where i couldn't even look out of my window because of the intense fear i was feeling. my memory of this time is foggy but i believe by december i was already on 50mg. i then spoke to my doctor again in january and expressed my worry that i was still nauseous and i was still having awful panic attacks, her response was to stick it out and to also bump up to 100mg. i really dont remember much from when i was on 100mg, i just know i didint feel real and i came back down to 100mg a month later. from feburary 2020 to september 2020 i managed to stay on 50mg of zoloft, however throughout this time i was still experiencing nausea, occasional bouts of dizziness and really intense panic attacks. i was also insanely sensitive to everything, sometimes even a notification on my phone would send me into a panic attack spiral that would take 2 hours to come down from. needless to say, none of this helped my agoraphobia and arguably made it worse. i really dont know why i stayed on zoloft despite all this, my doctor just kept telling me to stay with it so i believed that it would get better. in september 2020 i rang my doctor again because i couldnt take the panic attacks anymore, her idea was to raise me to 75mg. the next 8 weeks on this dose was awful, i experienced awful dissociation everyday, i would look at my own hands and be terrified because i didn't believe they were mine. so novemeber 2020 i came back down to 50mg again and i stayed on this dose again until februrary 2021. in february, my panic attacks got worse out of nowhere, i was once again have long attack and sometimes multiple a day and i couldn't take it anymore. i rang my doctor and she swaped me to citalopram and i was to do a cross taper. in retrospect, i really think this was done wrong? my cross tapering schedule was this: - day 1: 35mg zoloft - day 2: 35mg zoloft - day 3: 25mg zoloft - day 4: 25mg zoloft - day 5: 25mg zoloft and 5mg citalopram - day 6: 25mg zoloft and 10mg citalopram - day 7: 15mg zoloft and 10mg citalopram - day 8: 10mg citalopram this seems so fast and to make it worse, even after this i only stayed at 10mg citalopram for 5 days before i went to 20mg citalopram. this was all under my doctors orders. needless to say i didnt stay on citalopram long, it made me feel so ill that i was essentially stuck in bed the whole time and i also had a couple days where for the first time in my life, i experienced suicidal thoughts so i knew at that moment i desperately had to get off. i got back on 25mg of zoloft mid may, this time just a direct switch. i actually spoke with a different doctor to check this was okay and his recommendation was just to cold turkey the citalopram and not get back on anything to which i said a strong no. so from mid may 2021 to july 2021 i stayed at 25mg zoloft and i knew i just wanted off all medication at this point because i was fed up of messing with my system. the whole time i was on this 25mg, i guess i was going through withdrawal? i had constant brain zaps, awful nausea, fatigue and dizziness plus a lack of appetite and still really awful anxiety/panic attacks. at the time, i just thought i was not adjusting well to being back on sertraline so i just desperately wanted to get off zoloft. my doctor told me to alternate 25mg and 12.5mg for a week, take 12.5mg for a week, alternate 12.5mg and nothing for a week, then just come off. this terrified me intensely but i still tried the alternate 25mg and 12.5mg for a week but this really messed me up, i felt so ill doing this so i decided to just stick with 12.5mg. so this is where i am now, i have not made any changes since. i've been at 12.5mg for 2 months trying to stabilise and i dont even know how to move forward after this, this whole experience has just exhausted me and terrified me to do any more adjustments to doses. my withdrawal has also been really bad so far, i've experienced: dizziness, vertigo, muscle weakness/intense fatigue, tremors, going hot/cold, sweating a lot, nausea, loss of appetite, unsteady when i stand and walk, out of body feelings, brain zaps, spikes in my anxiety or sometimes just whole days of anxiety, headaches... im probably forgetting some but that's all i can remember right now. i've spent the past two months just curled up on the sofa getting through the waves and trying to distract, waiting for windows which i do sometimes get but lately its mostly all waves. my withdrawal had a moment too at about 4 weeks where i thought it was better, my appetite came back for about a week, and then i crashed again and i've been in that wave since. also another note is that my doctor refused to give me liquid sertraline or 25mg tablets, so currently i'm cutting a 50mg tablet into quarters, so am i even getting a stable 12.5mg dose? probably not. anyway apologies for the long introduction post but i feel my whole messed up history of dose changes is needed because i'm not sure my body ever really adjusted to anything ever. but it would be lovely to get any advice on how to move forward, i'm still going to hold at 12.5mg because my dizziness and brain zaps are not as bad as they were a month ago so i'm scared that reinstating would bring that back, but i'm happy to stay at 12.5mg though i'm not sure when to tell when i should taper again? thanks for any help!
  2. Hi everyone. Thanks for this wonderful site, it's helped me loads already. I'm a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, been clean & sober in a 12 step recovery fellowship since 2007. Was prescribed Citalopram 20mg & Olanzapine 2.5 for depression and have been taking it for for nearly 13 years. I've only just started to feel ready to think about coming off. Halved the Olanzapine to 1.25 & held for 4 weeks. Pills too small to cut any further so started alternating every other day but read this is not a good idea. Decided to jump off at 1.25 and took my last dose on 6.6.20 (4 days ago.) Had some withdrawal symptoms starting a couple of days ago: slight agitation, disturbed sleep, reduced appetite, mild stomach pains, slight increase in anxiety but on the whole I'm ok. Just ordered magnesium, omega 3 & vitamin E to help with the withdrawal, as per one of the threads I read on here. I'm aware that there may be waves of withdrawal, potentially after weeks/ months so am prepared for this (or as prepared as I can be) I'm committed to doing this & hope I won't have to start taking it again, but also accept if it gets really bad then I might have to. Anybody got any guidance for me with this? Any info/ support gratefully accepted. x
  3. Any tardive akathisia success stories? Thought this might be a really nice post of hope for a condition that is usually seen as very hopeless. 🙂 I've seen a few people successfully heal from acute akathesia by changing their dosage etc. But was wondering if there was any success stories on tardive or withdrawal akathesia, especially for those who aren't even on meds anymore? Also if anyone has been in a similar position as me - I haven't been on any drugs since 2018, but I smoked weed for a few days in June 2021, then I was suddenly hit with akathesia 3 months later (I've never even had akathesia before).
  4. I'll try to keep it short, I've been on zyprexa 15mg and citalopram 20mg for a little over 3 years with a few failed attempts at coming off. I've been cutting them in half for 2 and a half weeks and then I felt like that was just too fast and when to 3/4 of the normal dose. Should I go back to half doses since i've been already doing that for 2 weeks or should I just stay at 3/4 to be safe? Any advice on that/how long my taper should last before going back down in dosage would be appriciated as I feel my current doctor does not have too much knowledge of tapering.
  5. Hi to everybody, I just signed up to the forum to contribute and to get support for my issues. The "Intro" part: I always considered myself a very "stable" person, psychological issues were for others, not for me. I have seen quite some people in my environment struggle with that (siblings, colleagues), I tried to be understanding and helpful - but I never thought that something similar could affect me. That changed when I voluntarily changed my job last year, from an employee working more than a decade for a big company to a self employed consultant. Unluckily I did not have the time to take a break in between my jobs, so I left my old office and started the training and preparations for the new job right away. Everything went well for the first couple of months but it was extremely stressful. My sleep quality degraded more and more, I was unable to relax and by end of October 2018 I had the first breakdown in my life. I could not stop ruminating, endless negative thoughts, no sleep, no future ... I started taking St. John's Wort and it became somewhat better within 2-3 weeks. But then I experienced a panic attack, likely caused by the AD. So I reduced the medication within 2 weeks and stopped taking anything. All in all I was on the med/herb extract for maybe 7 weeks including the fast taper. I felt really OK afterwards, but for maybe 2 weeks only ... then the combination of bad sleep (early morning awakening) and low mood became worse and worse again. The mornings were unbearable ... in the evenings I sometimes felt 100% normal. So beginning of this year I made an appointment with my GP and was put on mirtazapine (30 mg/d) for sleep and citalopram (10 mg/d, later increased to 20 mg/d) to treat the depression + one shot of a neuroleptic substance for instant relief. I improved a bit, but the symptoms never disappeared. I managed to work a bit and keep my business alive, but not enough to really get the business going. And after some weeks I panicked again. That seems to be a pattern for me: After two/three weeks with a (new) AD, something strange happens ... the web search led to the term "acivation syndrome" and I kept taking the meds. Since February this year I am visiting a therapist for talk therapy which helps quite of lot. We went through some issues during my childhood and I was diagnosed as a "hypersensitive person" (HSP). At first I was a bit reluctant to accept that, but it explains a lot of behaviors and issues I had in the past. As HSPs may also be more sensitive to drugs (I can kill nearly every pain with 100 mg of Ibuprofene ...) and the side effects of the ADs were really bothersome I reduced them by half and continued to reduce them stepwise ever since. In comparison to the recommendations here in the forum rather fast, far beyond the 10% / month ... I was not yet aware of how slow some people have to taper. So finally my question: How do you distinguish between AD side effects / WD symptoms and recurrence of the depression? My last reduction step of mirtazapine (5mg -> 3.75 mg/d) was 16 days ago and the morning lows are pretty bad right now. Sleep is OK, but I am also very tired throughout the day, not much energy to do anything. The citalopram I currently keep at 5mg/d. In the past as soon as I got better I did the next step to reduce the side effects of the ADs ... probably way too fast. On the other hand I only took them for a couple of months. Now my plan is to stabilize on the current dosage but when my mood is low I really have a hard time to resist the urge to change my meds (up or down) ... just want to try out something to make it better instead of just waiting .... Any ideas are highly appreciated ... thanks!
  6. 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
  7. scallywag

    scallywag's Dad

    Sweet scallydaddy is in the hospital after falling then being confused. He is uninjured but has been hospitalized for several weeks because recovery from the fall is complicated by previously diagnosed early or middle stage dementia. While in the hospital, the dementia sometimes results in confusion about where he is and he gets "agitated." The first instance of agitation resulted in the "as needed" administration of zopiclone and trazodone. After an extremely unproductive cycle of late night PRN dosing that left him slurring his words well into the next day and too weak to do the brief physio recommended exercises, I asked that they pick one medication and provide it regularly. Thank you to all here at SA who helped me educate myself about this. Somebody (I've yet to find out who <grrr> ) started him on trazodone with dinner and citalopram with breakfast. WTAF?? Major interaction effects which include confusion, fever (dangerous for someone with a diagnosed arrhythmia), and increased risk of arrhythmia. Fortunately he's been stable on that for 10+ days until a confused agitation episode today. After the early "cocktail," I knew enough to ask about PRN (as needed) meds in the event of agitation. The PRN med that will be administered is halo-effing-peridol which, imagine your surprise, interacts in major ways with both trazodone and citalopram. It's beyond me how anyone thinks that's going to help him recover to a condition for safe discharge. I anticipate talking with his doctor about next steps and will ask, "Sometimes medications interact with each other. Are there effects we should be concerned about with Dad's prescribed meds?" Not sure what I need from other members of SA or the moderators. I guess the good news is that I've learned a few things and that it's early enough to interrupt predictable negative outcomes. Teasing out which symptoms are dementia progression and which are iatrogenic might not be possible until he's off all the meds.
  8. Hi friends, My name is Gibby and I'm a 25 year old male with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. I have been on medication for 5 years. I have been fairly stable while on medication, but I've been unhappy about taking olanzapine, even though my dose is very low (1.8mg for five years) and the physical side effects are more annoying than dangerous. However, I understand that serious complications can arise from taking this drug for a long time, so I've been looking to come off it for quite awhile. I started a withdrawal at the beginning of June, but it was mostly an experiment and I lasted about three days; I didn't really know what I was doing. Last Saturday night (with my doctor's consent!), I decided to try again with some more supports in place and some more coping techniques. These helped but I wasn't sleeping at all, and these last few days have been very bad. I haven't been able to eat or exercise much and my parents are exhausted in trying to care for me. I still feel like "me", my personality hasn't changed but I feel physically really unwell and anxious and depressed. I've decided to go back on the medication for awhile to get stable again (I expect to be a little zonked for the first five days or so back on, no big deal) and then try a different plan. My family wanted me to keep trying to get over the hump, but I can feel my nervous system freaking out and I don't have the practice in CBT techniques or keeping my mind safe, especially with no sleep and no real plan. I did my best for five days, and I hope that giving up now to try later doesn't make me some kind of chicken. I really wanted to but I guess my body-mind isn't ready. Do you guys/gals/others have any advice for next time? Anybody else gone through this? I'm also going to go off the citalopram eventually but the olanzapine is the main goal for right now. Thank you!
  9. 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.
  10. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  11. mod note: introductions merged: first introduction was titled how soon should I consider re-weaning off citalopram Hello there, Am really glad I found this site. I have been on Citalopram since 2008 for anxiety/depression. In the time between Jan 2008 and now, the highest dose I have taken is 20mg. I had one clear year of being off completely between April 2015 and April 2016, but then took MDMA recreationally in March 2016 and triggered a relapse. I ended up taking 10mg of citalopram again (doctor's advice.) You can see from my signature that in 2018, I was down to 2.5mg, I had actually held there for a whole year. My taper wasn't the advised 10 per cent reductions however, I had done 50 per cent at a time (ie 10mg to 5 mg to 2.5mg). I took a tiny amount of MDMA in May 2018, and two weeks later I was suffering with symptoms of anxiety and depression again. These continued, and I panicked a bit and over the next three months updosed to 10mg again in three stages (again at advice of my GP, from 2.5 to 5 to 10mg.) Even though I still wasn't really feeling much better after a few weeks at 10mg, I declined to increase any further. Instead, I tried acupuncture to help regulate my nervous system. This seems to have paid off. Apart from the fact that I have thoroughly learned that I can no longer tolerate an even miniscule amount of recreational drugs, I now realise that my reduction and increases in doses have all been too drastic. It has taken me since August 2018 to re stabilise on 10mg of Citalopram. I'm now beginning to understand why, and what I've put my CNS through. I'm generally feeling a lot better although I do still notice some antidepressant side effects such as fatigue, a bit of a 'racing head/racing thoughts' and some sleep disturbance, although gradually my sleep is improving.I also seem to keep catching colds/ having flu like symptoms, and I'm wondering if this is actually another side effect. I'd really like some advice on how soon I should consider beginning a taper, in the light of all that yo yoing around on dosage that happened between May and August last year. My guess is that I may need to hold and stabilise a while longer, I'd be interested to know your thoughts. With thanks
  12. Original topic title before reducing the length: FosterTheCritters: after 19 years on antidepressants, I discontinued, reinstated, tapered up and down, and discontinued again, and I'm a mess. Looking for helpful advice. _______________________________ Hi. I'm so grateful to have found this amazing group; it has given me hope which I badly needed. I have a very complex situation and don't know, even after reading a lot on this site, what my next move should be to help myself. Here is my story. In fall 2004 I started on 20mg of citalopram for GAD and panic disorder. I had typical side effects for a week or so and charge through because the improvement of my symptoms was fast and drastic. I increased to 40mg after one or two weeks with no trouble and I felt amazing. My anxiety was so diminished and my life got some much easier. Fast-forward to 2015. I had many stressful years leading up to 2015 and 2015 was particularly bad. I thought maybe I could use something different to help with my increased anxiety and situational depression, so I switched to 60mg duloxetine. The psychiatrist had me switch with no taper at all and fortunately the switch went smoothly. I didn't notice any change on the duloxetine, but my husband was also on it, so it seemed convenient to stay on it. After a few years I started to feel apathetic and lost motivation for doing a lot of things I enjoyed. I wasn't really depressed and my anxiety was managed fine, so I hit the pause button on switching meds even though I figured the medication might be causing the apathy. In May 2021 my husband was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer (he's cured now via surgery). Even on meds, I'm terrible with uncertainty, and I had a really rough patch of anxiety as there was a lot of waiting involved in diagnosing and staging and my brain got away from me. Sometime in early June my duloxetine refills ran out; I needed to reach out to my doctor to submit a new prescription and I forgot. I take so many supplements and medications each day, and fill containers weekly; combine that with my worry about my husband and I didn't even notice that I wasn't putting duloxetine in the tubs. So, I stopped the duloxetine cold turkey and I don't really know when. I do know that at the end of June I recognized that I was having abnormally bad anxiety and panic along with some eye movement abnormalities and realized my mistake. I wish I could go back to just those withdrawal symptoms as that was easy mode compared to my life since then! I contacted my psychiatrist to correct the issue and he prescribed 30mg duloxetine, which I started on July 2nd, 2021. I used to take my duloxetine at night and did that again; I didn't sleep at all the first night and the very first day after restarting I had terrible eye pain, neck pain, stomach cramps, diarrhea, felt like I was on stimulants 24/7, and severe facial and neck flushing in addition to emotional fluctuation and intense anxiety. Since I had never tapered up on Cymbalta before, and didn't know my reaction to that process, I assumed all the symptoms I was having were that, and stuck with it a week. My symptoms did not improve at all throughout that week even as I switched to taking it in the morning instead of at night. My psychiatrist told me that I must be in withdrawal and prescribed going up to 60mg duloxetine after that first week at 30mg. I had the same symptoms but more intense even after some time at 60mg. I continued at 60mg at least a week, but things were so bad I asked my psychiatrist for a change. He prescribed 10mg citalopram. I stopped having the stimulated feeling I was having on the duloxetine, but all my other symptoms persisted. My psychiatrist was still convinced that a higher dose was going to ease what he was still sure were withdrawal symptoms so on August 27th, 2021 he had me to go to 20mg after two weeks on 10mg. Again my symptoms seemed to worsen, so I dropped back to 10mg after about 2 weeks on 20mg. I'm not sure if my symptoms were improved after dropping back to 10mg because they were still very bad. When I saw the psychiatrist again, he told me that the physical symptoms I was having were clearly not related to the medication both because they weren't improving on the meds, and he'd never heard of anyone having eye pain or flushing due to antidepressants. So, I decided not to see him again and went to get my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist. She couldn't find anything, so assumed eye inflammation and prescribed steroid drops that didn't help. I also asked my excellent primary care doctor to take over managing my antidepressant journey and he agreed. At this point I was taking so little medication in comparison to what I had been before June 2021, and my googling had me convinced that I was having some sort of serotonin toxicity with the flushing and diarrhea, so my irrational conclusion was that I must have a carcinoid tumor. That fear consumed me and I had my doctor run the urine test for carcinoid tumors which came back negative. At this point, my husband, who has been very supportive, started searching for other answers and found survivingantidepressants.org. He suggested I try doing a very slow taper and see if I could get off the medication and see if my body would reset. I talked to my primary care provider about this, and I got discouraged when my doctor found out the local compounding pharmacy would need at least two weeks before they could provide my first taper dose. I didn't want to continue with the current situation any longer, so I discontinued the citalopram at the end of September after being back at 10mg for about 3 weeks. My symptoms are still awful, but they have improved a bit after being off the medication a week and seem so be in a positive trend. I have slightly fewer crying bouts/meltdowns. My flushing is fainter and the facial telangiectasias that developed have faded considerably. My eye pain happens in shorter segments throughout the day. I still have stomach cramping at times of the day and night, but the diarrhea has become less frequent and less severe. My sleep is still terrible, and I forgot to mention that during this four month journey I've tried clonazepam, trazadone, Lunesta, Ambien, and Xanax for sleep, and I'm still on the Ambien and Xanax. Even with those drugs I struggle to fall asleep, wake up one or more times per night, and often feel pretty hung over in the morning. Thankfully, after spending time on this site, I have at least realized that whatever is going on is likely a nervous system reaction to the antidepressant changes that have occurred and it has given me hope that I will recover. My questions are these: 1. What does it sound like happened when I tried to go back on the meds and developed physiological and mental symptoms and couldn't tolerate the medication? Does that sound like a sensitized nervous system that didn't want to readjust? Does it sound like I was in withdrawal the whole time? Is this likely just because of the speed and flip-floppy nature of all the changes? 2. Has anyone out there had eye burning and pain and neck and facial flushing as side effects/symptoms going on or off antidepressants? 3. Now that I've been off the medications over a week and have had some improvement, does it make sense to try to go back on to something and slowly taper or just continue to try to heal from withdrawal? 4. I have no idea what to do about the sleep meds. This is the first time in my life I've had trouble sleeping aside from one week in 2004 when I was starting citalopram. This poor sleep has been going on for four months and I'm scared. Should I stay on them until I hopefully have some improvement in sleeping on my own or try to wean off now? 5. I've been taking LDN for autoimmune disease for a few years now and it has been amazing for me. However, in trying to rebalance my nervous system, it seems like anything that affects neurotransmitters might be a problem right now? Plus there is a little bit of evidence that suggests naltrexone might affect serotonin and norepinephrine, in addition to, dopamine. Should I discontinue it, reduce it, or leave it alone? Thank you so much for reading and for any advice/experience you can offer!
  13. 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)
  14. I think I’ve made an awful mistake. I did a too fast taper off of Citalopram in Jan/ Feb and have been having awful withdrawal symptoms for about a month now. I thought the symptoms would resolve themselves after a few weeks, but they haven’t and I fear that I may have now permanently damaged my brain. I was prescribed 20mg paroxetine in 2001 for depression and anxiety. It worked really well. Life was wonderful and I felt fantastic for about a year. Then the Paroxetine lost it’s effectiveness. I took it for another year before deciding that it wasn’t doing anything and that I was cured so could just stop taking it. I relapsed six months later and was put on 20mg Citalopram in 2003. Over the years I have made three attempts at withdrawing from Citalopram. I had very little help from my doctor who told me that I could just stop cold turkey and then go back on them if the depression/ anxiety returned, which it always did. My last attempt to withdraw was in 2011. It was disastrous, I ended up a quivering wreck and was convinced I was going to die. Went back on citalopram and was told I would probably need to stay on SSRI’s for life. Stabilised after a couple of months, but didn’t feel quite right so was put on 10mg Ecitalopram. Over the last few years I made some significant lifestyle changes; moved into a new house, started getting some regular exercise, improved diet, reduced alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Nov 2014 - was switched back to citalopram 20mg. No explanation as to why, I went to collect the repeat prescription and it contained citalopram with a note saying this was a new course. Anyway, i took what I was given and assumed the doctor knew what he was doing. 15 Jan 2015 - Life seemed more positive and i once again felt the urge to quit the anti-depressants and be free of the side effects (agoraphobia, emotional numbness, twitching muscles, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, tiredness). I took 10mg for 2 weeks, then 5mg for two weeks and 2.5mg for a further two weeks, before jumping off. Mar 2015 - I had two weeks of feeling really good. I had tons of energy, was getting out more, was starting to make plans for the future, my emotions were coming back, best of all, I was starting to feel like me again. I had a few brain zaps and headaches, but nothing that I couldn't cope with. I felt that this time things would be different and that I would finally be free of these drugs. Then I crashed. I woke up very early one morning with a feeling of dread, terror and loneliness. Everything had changed overnight. I had severe anxiety, a tight chest, knotted stomach, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. The world seemed unreal. Everything had suddenly become a huge effort. I was unable to spend any time alone and was worrying about the most ridiculous things. In hindsight, it was at this point that I should have reinstated, but I was determined to be A.D. free, so I put up some blackout curtains to help with the early waking, stopped drinking coffee and tried to distract myself by keeping busy. April 2015 - I discovered this site and learnt about withdrawal symptoms, windows and waves, supplements and tapering. The information gave me some relief as I now knew what was happening to me. I have been taking supplements for a few weeks (300mg magnesium, 1300mg omega 3 and 25mg diphenhydramine) which I feel has eased some of the symptoms. However, I have been reluctant to reinstate because I had a window that lasted for two days and thought I was making progress. That was a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling awful again now. It is becoming clear that I’m probably sensitised to SSRI’s after long term use and that I might have to suffer a protracted withdrawal. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a new doctor. Im going to ask her for a low dose of citalopram and something to help me get a proper night’s sleep. I just hope that I haven’t left it too late to reinstate, stabilise and conduct a very slow taper. I really wish I had found this site back in January and had not had to suffer this cold turkey hell.
  15. Hi to all I'm Chuck, Italian guy of 33 years old, have PSSD after adverse reactions to Citalopram 7 drops of 3 years ago,now I'M total drug free I'm Old pp members, I hope someone remember me in these years I had some improvement better erections, more sensitivity. My story of AD and psychiatric drugs start around 2001, in my first college years I have degree in Biology and now I'm in the third year of MD school, for some months in 01/02 psichyatry put on me on Amisulpride and Seroquel, and After mutabon mite(amytryptaline) and i stay on It for 3 months, i try some SSRIs but I always vomit it at the first dose, after this evrything gos is fine, and I stay drug free for around 10 years, in december 2013 after a period of discouragement I go to psychiatric and he is prescribed me Citaloprom 10 drops, I take only 7 drops and I have horrible adverse reaction with 11 discharges of diarrhea and since I developed in PSSD. But on Monday I had a virtual colonoscopy, for rectal bleeding due to hemorrhoids, Virtual colonoscopy did not find anything abnormal, no polyps, and no cancerous lesion, the colon is perfectly clean and healthy. But the preparation for Virtual Colonoscopy was brutal, I used two laxatives , one Lovoldyl pill, and 3 glasses of Lovol ESSE (polyethylene glycol ), I think is the same product of Miralax, I had a serious adverse reaction to this product with Eighteen discharges of bloody diarrhea abdominal pain and cramps that I have and even PSSD symptoms seem worse, and despite this strong rectal bleeding due to inflamed hemorrhoids, the doctor decided to make the virtual colonoscopy, drenching with less air. Can this preparation for colonoscopy have worsened PSSD? I read that the polyethylene glycol is neurotoxic, and can damage the kidneys, I am very afraid of developing kidney damage in the future, this is possible? I'm also afraid of not being able to eat and drink as before, or develop Diverticulosis another possible side effects of colonoscopy,I have strong pangs in the stomach and burning, I have read of people after the colonoscopy for years can eat only liquid food, This screening for early detection of cancer is very barbaric, and brutal, both the classic version and virtual, it would definitely prohibited and find safer alternatives. Thx to all.
  16. One year ago I completed what I now know to have been a too rapid taper off Citalopram, going from 20mg on 2nd Jan 2018 to 0.1mg on 23rd April 2018 by successively halving the doses. A year on and my condition has been steadily deteriorating. I’ve read about the Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization, but over the last year I seem to have been caught in an ever deepening wave with little to no relief. I’d been taking 20mg of Escitalopram for major depression since 2003. In 2014 my doctor changed my prescription to 20mg Citalopram as a result of an NHS cost cutting measure that required patients on Escitalopram (which, at the time, was still under patent) to be swapped to Citalopram. I found the Citalopram caused significantly more side effects than the Escitalopram and then, in November 2017, I went into tachyphylaxis and started suffering discontinuation symptoms. My doctor changed my prescription to 30mg Mirtazapine and a short course of 3.75mg Zopiclone since I was barely sleeping. I was told to go from taking the full dose of Citalopram to nothing for two days and then start the full dose of Mirtazapine. I couldn’t stand the Zopiclone: it heavily sedated me and the effect lasted through most of the next day. Going cold turkey with the Citalopram, even if only for two days, magnified the discontinuation symptoms so I went back to my previous 20mg dose: when I told my doctor about this her response was simply: “How do you expect me to help you if you won’t co-operate with me?” So I did, and the result was terrible. I stopped the Citalopram, waited two days and then, over the next four days, managed to take four doses of Mirtazapine. Each successive dose made the electric shocks / brain zaps I was experiencing as a result of the Citalopram discontinuation worse, and the more active I was the more intense they became. After the fourth dose they were happening multiple times a second and there was no way to get any relief. This was accompanied by what I can only describe as a murderous rage, totally at odds with my normal self: I don’t know how I managed to contain it, but I was able to hold it down long enough to call my brother for help. He told me afterwards that he was deeply shocked by the state I was in when he arrived, and he was on the verge of calling an ambulance to get me into hospital. I eventually managed to calm down enough that he thought it safe to leave me overnight. The following day I saw my doctor again. When I told her what had happened and described the rage I’d been feeling her response, in the most patronising and contemptuous voice imaginable, was “Well, we’ll just have to give you something to calm you down then, won’t we”. I told her that I wasn’t willing to take any more drugs and that I wanted to come off the Citalopram. This wasn’t remotely well received, but I was eventually given a prescription for liquid Citalopram with the comment it would let me take as long as I wanted to come off it. It was also made very clear that this was the limit of the help I was going to get. The liquid Citalopram had a life of four months once opened so I had a limited time to complete the taper. Back in 2001, at the suggestion of a doctor at my local hospital, I’d come off Paroxetine by successively halving the dose over a period of about two months. This had been unpleasant but had worked. I decided to taper off in the same way and get the dose as low as possible before stopping. The actual taper wasn’t too bad: each successive decrease would leave me with the usual electric shock symptoms, digestive problems and headaches, but these generally didn’t last more than a week or so. I was typically reducing the dose every other week as a result, apart from one bad spell at around 0.5mg where the symptoms went on for about a fortnight. After I stopped completely everything initially seemed fine. Then I started to notice I was having strange dizzy spells: no vertigo, I was just oddly off-balance. This got progressively worse. I used to ride a motorbike a lot, but the dizziness compromised my abilities so seriously I had to give it up. It also made driving a car any distance very unpleasant. In early August 2018 I experienced my first wave: all the symptoms I’d associated with the discontinuation returned and I also started to feel permanently cold. August was a very warm month, but I remember one day when the temperature was 86 Fahrenheit and I was so cold I had goosebumps and couldn’t stop shivering. September saw me waking up the moment it started to get light with terrible feelings of panic. By late November I was virtually housebound; the dizziness was so bad that I couldn’t walk without a stick to help me keep my balance. It was around this time that I found this site and started to understand exactly what was happening. I tried the two suggestions of magnesium and fish oil to no discernable effect, but blacking out my bedroom window and taking vitamin C helped reduce the early morning anxiety. In January 2019 there was a brief respite where the dizziness lessened to the point that I could walk without a stick, and that particular aspect seems to have held. But in February everything took a severe downward turn. The headaches reached a level where I couldn’t bear any light or sound and were very migraine-like, often concentrated behind one eye. The morning anxiety became more intense. I couldn’t concentrate on anything and became unable to work - a real problem since I’m a self-employed software developer. Then my emotions went haywire: I’d have bouts of completely irrational grief where I’d cry for hours. I’d become seriously angry for no reason and blindly latch on to something - anything - no matter how minor - as the cause and act in a terrible way towards anyone I associated with the problem. And I started to get very tired very easily: even a short walk would leave me incrediby tired for days afterwards. Two months later and this just hasn’t let up. I have virtually no support and am really not sure what to do. Other than the brief period in January where the dizziness lessened, I seem to be stuck in an ever deepening wave with the symptoms continually getting worse. Is this likely so far out from a too quick taper? I absolutely don’t want to go back to my wretched doctor - or any other doctor - because I’m now deeply afraid of any form of psychiatric medication, but I’m starting to feel like I can’t cope any more and have no other option.
  17. Hi everyone, I had flu last week and couldn't get out to get my Prozac prescription (40mg). I have run out and it has now been a week since I took them. I feel fine. I have been on antidepressants since late 2015 and have tried to come off them before but my doctor just put me back on when I was struggling with withdrawal effects (at the time I was on 40mg of citalopram). I changed from Citalopram to Prozac in Feb this year as a review with my doctor suggested that I was getting absolutely no effect from Citalopram and it was perhaps making me anxiety worse and I was having some depressive episodes. I was put straight onto Prozac at 20mg and then this was increased to 40mg after 2 months. I just want to stop medicating every day. I have left a horrid marriage, started my own business and feel more control of my life and content in my own skin than I ever have. I have had zero side effects from Prozac other than feeling generally numb and demotivated. I cannot be bothered working but know I have to in order to make money. The question I have is, has anyone just come off Prozac and coped? I appreciate the withdrawals will come but I want to try to just live with them until they are gone. Any advice or experiences that anyone could share would be appreciated!
  18. Hello, After nearly 20 years of my love-hate relationship with citalopram, I would love to taper. My doctor just boosted by prescription from 30mg to 40 mg a few weeks ago - and the old subtle shakes have started up. Makes me extremely uneasy. I've tried to taper myself many times over the years, usually by chopping off larger and larger bits of my pill. Was able to get down to 15 mg or so, but was never successful -- and was DEFINTELY not a precisely measured approach. Tapering feels intimidating to me. Actually feels insurmountable, but I know it is possible. I do have 13 years of sobriety from booze, smokes, etc. so I know it's possible. Thanks for being here.
  19. Brussellsprout's Success Story: brussellsprout-you-will-make-it-through-and-thrive Hi all, here is my story. I started with dizziness about 10 months ago. My doctor thought it was Vestibular migraine and put me on Celexa 20 mg for two months. Did nothing. They then weaned be off over 10 days before putting me on nortriptyline, getting up to 30 mg over three months. It started to affect me by giving me panic attacks so I weaned off of that over another month. While weaning off of the nortriptyline, once I got down to 15 mg, the doctor started me on Effexor. I started at a quarter of a 37.5 mg tablet and worked up to 37.5 mg over three weeks. I was then on 37.5 mg for two weeks and had awful side effects so started tapering off over a three-week period. Basically, I was on and off of Effexor a total of seven weeks. Then, the doctor put me on Klonopin for two weeks to try to help me come off of the Effexor. I refused to take it for more than two weeks. However, I am now 45 days off all of the medication and I'm having really bad muscle twitches, unsteadiness still, sensations of the floor feeling squishy beneath my feet and a constant feeling of like my brain is cracking. Not to mention emotional upheaval Has anyone here noticed significant improvement in recovery after short term use of these drugs? I'm terrified they permanently altered me and I won't get back to homeostasis.
  20. Hello everyone, I am another who was previously at another forum which has closed down. I'm very grateful that there is another good AD forum as I really don't want to be doing this alone. I already know a lot of other members here. My history in summary: 2001 Had a baby, a few days later got hit with severe anxiety and insomnia, diagnosed with post partum distress, anxiety, and hyperventilation syndrome. A psychiatrist prescribed Aropax (paroxetine), Mellaril (thioridazine - an anti-psychotic used as an anxiolytic at lower doses to cover the SSRI start-up) and zopiclone for sleep short-term. Stayed on Aropax for about six months then tapered off over a couple of months, with just a few mild withdrawal symptoms. 2003 Had second baby, repeat of above process but with Cipramil(citalopram) and midazolam for sleep. 2004 Had just got off citalopram when a very stressful situation occurred at my workplace (company was bought by two other companies and split, our part then integrated with one of the two buying companies). Spent a huge amount of energy and effort job-hunting and not coping well with the situation. Eight months of unrelenting stress later had a breakdown, similar symptoms to before, decided to go back on Aropax since it had worked well before (stupid, stupid). 2005-2006 Work situation still stressful, kept trying to taper dose down but couldn't cope below 10mg. 2007 Crashed at around 5mg, straight back to 20mg. A few months later searched the internet and found information about slow tapering. Began a slow taper which went well initially. 2008 Crashed around April after dropping from 5mg to 4.5mg. Went straight back to 5mg which didn't help. Went through a couple of months of pure hell (stupidly did not updose). Couldn't sleep, eat or keep still. Off-the-scale akathisia, didn't sleep for a whole week, couldn't keep anything down, spent my days and nights pacing around until my feet hurt and I couldn't even wear shoes. Began relaxation exercises which calmed things down enough to struggle through for a while but unable to work to support my family. Lots of pressure to get back to work. Updosed back to 10mg in June and 20mg in July. GP prescribed zopiclone for sleep, then psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel to switch over to from the zopiclone. Nasty drug, gave me big muscle twitches in my legs. Restabilised by October, tapered off Seroquel fairly quickly. Began tapering paroxetine again in December. 2009-2014 Tapered at a glacial pace, some years hardly dropped at all due to instability for months. Eventually was doing only 0.1mg drops and for a while 0.05mg drops which sound so tiny as to be ridiculous but I felt every drop. Was afraid of crashing again at 4.5mg but got through it and am now down to 3.45mg. Last drop was 0.15mg instead of 0.1mg as drops seem to be getting a little easier recently. Still very afraid of crashing. In 2011 decided I had to get out of my stressful job/career, felt like I would never get off meds as long as I stayed. The lower my dose got the more toxic the environment felt. I think the meds had helped me stay in the job by numbing me out somewhat. April 2011 was offered and took paid redundancy, 2012 back to uni to retrain as teacher, 2013-2014 unsuccessful job hunting, bits and pieces of part-time work, feeling mostly happy apart from worry about lack of income. No regrets about tossing old career in spite of not really having a new one. All in all, far too many years of having these meds in my life, rather over the whole thing by now. If you actually read all of this, you deserve a chocolate fish.
  21. 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
  22. Hello all, I could use some help determining whats happening to me. Went to bed around 11pm and woke up around 2pm. Woke in panic around 6am to write an email, uncomfortable sleep (pain in ribs), headache, feeling like withdrawal but I haven't started tapering yet. Sorry for (TMI) but I had significant diarrhea earlier and havent had an appetite; slight ringing in my ears also. Can someone help with this? Thanks so much.
  23. Hello everybody, First of al I would like to excuse for my English, since it is not my native language. In august 2020 I started using citalopram (first 2 weeks 10 mg and then raised to 20 mg). I used it until february 2021 and quit cold turkey midst february 2021. One of the side effects of citalopram was intolerable concentration problems. I used to have very sharp cognitive abilities, but almost immediately after starting with citalopram my cognitive abilities declined. My memory was awful and I could not conceptualize and make connections any more. I first thought that it was a temporary phenomenon, but it did not fade away. In february 2021 I started with a new job, which requires high intellectual effort. I kind of got in to panic because of the still present cognitive issues. Midst the month february I decided to quit cold turkey. The first two weeks were really not different to hell on earth. I had awful physical symptoms and enormous brain fog. I expected the problems to fade away within 3 to 4 weeks because that was the official indication. The reality was however very different. the physical symptoms faded away within 3 weeks but the mental ones still are with me. I have been having awful headaches and and indescribable awful form of brain fog. It has been 4 months now since i have quit cold turkey. The first three months were awful, and I thought I would never ever recover. Since this month however I finally have clear moments. The development of the clear moments gives me hope. The length of their presence is getting longer each day now. I expect to get fully recovered. The only sad thing is that it seems that it takes a hell of a long time to get recovered fully. I wanted to share my experience with people who are in the same position. For now my message is: don't loose hope we will get better! One thing I also want to share with you is that I have been in contact with two psychiatrist. I was really shocked by the fact that that they really did not have any knowledge about possible long-term side effect of ssri's. It was really frustrating. Luckily I found other sources on the internet like this website where I could find an explanation and recognition.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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