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  1. Guilietta

    Guilietta

    Hello all, I am new to the forum after reviewing some of the posts intermittently since December 2018. I have posted my intro as a PDF (note: pasted below). When I tried to post it - the fonts and spacing were inconsistent and I couldn't edit it. This is my first online forum on any subject so please bear with me on the technical goofs I will make. 😉 Fortunately I did find the emoji and finally get the introduction written. Thank you! PDF information pasted below (CC manually reformatted as best as possible): Hello all, I am a new member and trying to liberate myself from duloxetine/Cymbalta 20 mg (compounded in a LIQUID). My goal is mood management without medication – and being able to cope positively with unwelcome (or sometimes welcome) events. I have been viewing information on the web site off and on since last December. My thanks and empathy to all of you on this site who are ridding themselves of Cymbalta and other ADs, benzos, etc. I remain optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an oncoming locomotive. J I am grateful for having found SurvivingAD and to the subject matter experts and people who administer it. I have been tapering duloxetine 20 mg (compounded) since December 15, 2018 under the care of an MD. I am at 10 mg (3.3 ml) as of July 20, 2019. I am decreasing by about 10% a month. I am also taking clonazepam 2 mg (my next taper goal) as well as meds for a childhood neurological illness (lamotrigine XR 600 mg and gabapentin 1000 mg). I have taken many medications since age 9 due to the latter. Because of my medical history and the many meds tried or used over the years to manage it, their efficacy, safety and side effects – I am anxious about medications. Anxiety exacerbates the neurological health issue. I was prescribed ADs about 15 years ago (and the clonazepam) to manage moods amid traumatic life events. I took Duloxetine for about the last 4 or 5 years; the highest dose was 60 mg. About my taper: The taper started in December 2018. However – before I knew better – I stopped cold turkey (per prescriber’s advice) in August 2018. I endured subsequent bouts of panic, elevated anxiety, auras and some agoraphobia - so I restarted the duloxetine and the symptoms went away. I figured out that cutting the medication maybe caused the symptoms. I found a new MD who reluctantly agreed to the taper. After learning I lack the fine motor skills to count beads, I found a compounding pharmacy and get the duloxetine in an oil-suspension. I decreased by 2 MG (10%) per his direction and I experienced 3 weeks of bad symptoms. Thereafter I tried a ‘micro-taper’ approach – a series of mini-cuts - per this website. This approach seems to have moderated many of the side effects– but the symptoms are still a problem a good proportion of the time. My process for the micro-taper is to reduce by about .5 mg a week (about 2 mg a month total) – with mini decrements across the week (in ml). I have symptoms for a few days, then a few days where I am feeling mostly OK, and then I make another mini-cut. This is fatiguing and difficult to manage. Some side effects I experience(d) on this medication at 20 mg– and they continue: • Hot flushing over head and torso and perspiration (in 70 F) and not attributable to endocrine function. • Blurry vision • Short-term memory impact • Focus and concentration and recall • Insomnia – awakening 2-3x night many nights…. • SSRI/SNRI sexual side –effects • And many more… Withdrawal effects Generally - the most consistent and prevalent withdrawal effects (thus far) have been: • Anxiety - which may often be markedly worse in mid to late afternoon and into the evening (about 7-8 hours after my dose). • Jitteriness/tremors/shakiness • Auras and other sensations (related to the neurological illness) which may be extremely uncomfortable • Tinnitus (hearing loss was ruled out as a cause) • Insomnia • Lower GI (one extreme or the other) • Appetite issues (one extreme or the other) • Maybe more sensitive to cloudy days – particulary when they cluster Less consistent: • Dizziness when quickly turning my head • Postural hypotension • Sinus headaches • Lightheadedness • Panic • Dysphoria • Short-term memory impact – worse at times during this taper than on the full dose • Focus and concentration and recall– worse at times during this taper than on the full dose June – July Withdrawal Symptoms Out of the blue in June I experienced additional and horrendous symptoms for 2-3 weeks (see ‘less consistent’ above). They were so acute I asked myself if this is worth it, whether I will ever get off this drug and so on with the nefarious what if’s. I have no idea what caused it but I made it through and I am now doing much better. Looking for another MD or NP The psych MD (started in December 2018) does not have my full confidence to taper me successfully off Duloxetine. I am looking for an MD or NP who sincerely wants to taper me off and take a holistic approach to mood management moving forward. Spending much time online and looking things up (like about ADs, tapering, etc.) elevates my anxiety to unhealthy levels. It’s therefore important to have an MD or NP on whom I may depend for this information. If it had not been for information I found on Surviving AD and other web sites – he would have tapered me to Viibryd or off duloxetine in 4 weeks. What I am doing to help myself • Joining Surviving AD and searching for an in person support group • Helping others through this and letting everyone I know about Cymbalta and AD withdrawal • (Re-) learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Meditate (10 – 15 minutes a day I practice this – but 5 minutes are better than no minutes) – this may take me a while to learn…. • Exercise daily ( 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning (and it would be good to do some walking in the afternoon). • Physical therapy and hand weight exercises most nights. • Eating plenty of protein, healthy (whole grain) carbohydrates, salad a day, nuts, and could do better with vegetables • Searching for a faith that aligns (mostly) with mine • Looking for a group to volunteer with • Write down (most days) what I am grateful for – even if I need to repeat things from one day to another J A few things I have learned – and wish I had known earlier – about exercise and diet and spending too much time online Maybe this may help someone out… 1. You may not want to start a ketogenic (or low carb) diet (depending on your medical circumstances). My personal experience with this: I was advised/told to restrict carbs (40%) to lower my a1c. I did 50% - and I suffered more anxiety, panic, etc. Ended up in ER with panic. No one told me about this and my MD wasn’t aware. Learn more about keto diets and psych meds: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201803/ketogenic-diets-andpsychiatric- medications. 2. Activate dopamine receptors and generate serotonin by EXERCISE (aerobic and/or weight lifting) and PROTEIN. Exercise releases endorphins and helps with dopamine receptor activation. Activating dopamine receptors is ‘critical’ to this process. A diet rich in protein helps with this. (this from the neuro RN) 3. A good snack in the mid to late afternoon – whole grains and protein - may help me with anxiety. It helps with blood glucose management –and a low BG will cause anxiety and a number of the symptoms that are also caused by AD withdrawal 4. To help cope with anxiety – I have found that doing something anything physical or with your hand (and focusing on it) can help (for example, clean the bathroom, knit, weed, etc.). I have a few questions, which I will post separately – and I would really appreciate your comments. Thank you Surviving AD Intro.pdf
  2. Kristine

    Kristine: not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  3. Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Rabe: questions re how ro navigate clonazepam, viibryd, and amiloride Hi, I am new on the site having been so impressed with the knowledge and personal experience that I have read as I continue my journey of tapering psychiatric medications. I have been on Clonazepam for many years for a severe panic disorder with agoraphobia and had no problems with it until I moved, had surgery, was exposed to environmental toxins and my doctor doubled the dose. I broke out in a weeping rash and was so very ill. I tried tapering on my own and became very very ill, lost weight, muscle and fat and was extremely depressed. My children brought me to a treatment center to get help with the tapering but instead I was put on an antidepressant. I am now finding myself tapering the Clonazepam and the Viibryd with a doctors help, but his knowledge seems quite limited. We did taper the Viibryd to 10mg in the spring and it was not too bad. I tried tapering by about 10% now and had horrible HA, nightmares, depression, stomach upset, agitation, anxiety, headache, electrical feelings in my head, weakness... I saw the doctor today and he would like to split the dose to 5 in AM and 5 in PM to help in tapering. My concern is that I take Premarin and the larger Clonazepam dose at night and I am concerned about having to eat that late d/t GERD, about less anxiety coverage during the day as well as the sleepiness from both the Viibryd and Clonazepam together at night. I was wanting to get any thoughts or experience on this if possible. Thank you so very much. This has been such an overwhelming and physically and mentally draining experience with little support for almost 2 years. I am grateful to be here!
  4. I was given 20 mg of Prozac back in 1997 for depression. I was still technically a minor back then. I had an initial "high" from the Prozac which was mistaken for me not being depressed anymore. A few months later, Prozac stopped working and I had completely lost my sexual functioning. I told my doctor about this, so I was switched to Effexor. I kept on being switched from medication to medication in an attempt to achieve the initial "high" of the Prozac and to reverse the sexual functioning but things just got worse. One day I was put on a medication called Wellbutrin and that caused a manic episode from the first dose which caused me to have to be put into an inpatient facility. I was now switched from just being depressed to having bipolar disorder. I was put on Depakote which stopped the manic episode. Depakote caused me a lot of suffering, so I decided to cold turkey the medication about 6 months later. This led to another inpatient hospitalization and now I was polydrugged with Depakote and Zyprexa. This was the first polydrug combination I was on. This combination of medications was even worse because I was sleeping at least 16 hours a day. After another 6 months or so, I cold turkeyed both of these medications and that led to another inpatient hospitalization. I was fortunate in some ways to have the Zyprexa removed and be able to function somewhat ok on just Depakote and now Klonopin. I stayed on Depakote for years but my sexual issues were never solved and I had a lot of other side effects from Depakote such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease like symptoms. In around 2005, I discovered the first person who had described the same sexual issues I experienced. It was called Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. I discovered forums similar to this one, and consumed books by people like Dr. Breggin. In 2007, I was able to successfully withdraw safely from all medications by switching over to lithium and valium and using a compound pharmacy to taper down. I felt a lot better and recovered from some of the damages caused by the medications. I began social drinking in 2008 because I felt like I missed out on such a big part of my life. About 6 months later, I completely lost my ability to sleep probably due to the alcohol damaging what the benzos had already damaged. I was forced into a state psych ward and given a diagnosis of bipolar NOS, psychosis, anxiety etc. After 3 or 4 months in the state psych ward, I left on a combination of Depakote ER and Ativan. I had to eventually updose the Depakote ER and switch to Klonopin again. So for the last 3 years or so, I've been on 1250 mg of Depakote ER and 3 mg of Klonopin. While I am not suffering nearly as much as I did when I was bombarded with antipsychotics like Haldol and Geodon, life isn't nearly as good as I know it could be. That's why I want to get help in coming off of the Depakote ER and Klonopin safely. My confidence level is a bit low because I feel like I may be damaged beyond repair due to being on dozens of psychiatric medications and due to the past experience with insomnia I freak out when I cannot sleep and that is what is happening now. I started to taper off of Depakote ER on 11/24/2014 and I'm on 750 mg Depakote ER now and 3 mg of Klonopin. That's my intro but I'm not sure what to do next...
  5. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  6. Hello, my name is Mike. I am a 52 yo man who was first put on psych meds over 12 years ago. I'm sure my story is similar to many of yours: go to the family doc depressed, get a scrip for an antidepressant, get worse, get sent to a psychiatrist, get put on more meds, get worse, go inpatient.... It goes on and on. I have been hospitalized 5 times in the past 12 years and at my worst I was taking 6 meds daily (14 pills). I have been on 24 different meds and nothing has worked. For the past year my pdoc has been pushing ECT. I am diagnosed Bipolar II, GAD, and OCD. About a year ago I started reading on the internet about iatrogenisis on mental patients and decided with the help of my pdoc to start whittling down some of these meds. It has taken all that time but I am now down to two meds, both low dose (geodon and Luvox) and I am tapering both of those now. Geodon will be last to go because it has been the only one that has had a positive effect, it will be hard to quit I think. It has been tough but I am feeling better, more stable than in years and I've even lost a bunch of weight that the meds put on. I happily stumbled across this site today and hope to get and give help to others who are in a similar situation.
  7. marsha-preparing-for-my-librium-taper Hi. I hope I'm in the right place because antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants and benzodiazepines have caused permanent brain damage and I have trouble navigating on this sight. Is it possible to taper off geodon before gabapentin? I have read in the Road Back Program that I must taper off gabapentin and clonazepam before I can finish tapering off geodon. I am terrified of antipsychotic drugs. I want to get off it after I finish tapering off clonazepam. I successfully completed tapering off trazodone and propranolol and have tapered the clonazepam to 1 mg and have tapered the geodon down to 80 mgs. I was misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia and now am working with a team of doctors to taper me slowly off the drugs that robbed me of my memory and pleasure and motivation. I am desperate to get off these terrible drugs. Especially the clonazepam and geodon. I'm tapering off slowly the clonazepam right now. I have read that if you taper off geodon before gabapentin and clonazepam it increases the clearance time of clonazepam and gabapentin by as much as 50% causing you to go into clonazepam and gabapentin withdrawal even without lowering the dosage of the clonazepam and gabapentin. However, I have also read in the book "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal" by Peter breggin md that you should make it a priority to get off the antipsychotic drug first especially if you are non psychotic. My doctor thinks I can just stop taking the geodon but I know that is wrong. I appreciate any help you can give me.
  8. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  9. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  10. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  11. Kristeebee

    Kristeebee: hi there

    Hi my name is Kristy. I am during doing a slow taper of Zoloft (50 mg). Because my system cant handle going higher than that snd gives me more anxiety. At this point, I'm not sure if Zoloft is giving me more anxiety or not. I have tried most antidepressants with anxiety being worse. I am currently on Clonzasapam, which I really want to come off of but I am scared. Im looking for support. I am 2 weeks into the taper and its been tough already and I dont know how I will survive the 10 month plan and beyond that.
  12. Hello, New member here. Had been on Klonopin for 15 months for insomnia caused by hypothyroidism. Been off K for 10 months now, with the help of 75 mg Trazodone for sleep. About 2 months ago, T was losing its effectiveness and I decided it's time for a drug-free me. I went from 75 mg to 50 with no problems; at 50, withdrawal hit hard. Insomnia (of course), shakiness, anxiety, you name it. I did a fast taper as I did not have it in me to go through another long taper after the K experience. In 2 months, I went from 75, down by 1mg every night to 50, to 25 for 2 weeks, 12.5 for another 2 and finally off. I have been off for only about 3 nights. Withdrawal after quitting seems manageable so far, although it is too early to tell if it will get worse. My main issue is with insomnia. I feel if I can manage this, I will be OK, especially after the horrific K withdrawal. My question for those who have used Trazodone: how long did it take for sleep to return after quitting trazodone? Please include how long you had been using T and the dosage. Thanks for your input and hope we all survive the trials of psychotropic drugs. Survivor1
  13. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Pattypan: Benzo Taper when it's only PRN Hello, I am new here. I have a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive DIsorder- I have had this for as long as I can remember. I was first medicated for it ( in my teens) 20+ years ago. I was on and off meds throughout my teens/20's. In 2015- I had an OCD "episode" that scared me to death and back on medications I went. After a few trial and errors I was stable on Lexapro for 4.5 years. I recently took myself down from 30mg to 20mg ( over the course of 1 week- yes- i had headaches, involuntary movements and brain zaps). As of yesterday I tapered to 15mg. I am feeling pretty bad today... and I understand I should be decreasing by 10% but for some reason that seems unreasonable to me.... ( in the past I have successfully tapered off of prozac, wellbutrin, celexa, zoloft and don't recall any of those being notable- I DO remember tapering off of Luvox was terrible) Any supplements or advice you may have to ease these taper symptoms? My goal is to be completely off of Lexapro in 1 month. Too soon? also- No i am not involving my doctors in this decision or this taper... I just don't trust that they know enough in regards to how to taper and they wont respect my decision to taper. Thanks in advance!
  14. Moderator note: link to Linus' benzo thread - Linus: Klonopin question Hi everyone, I like this forum, I think the moderators are sensible people who give good advice, compared to some other websites. I have already come a long way with regards to withdrawing from Escitalopram, from 30mg to 1.8 mg. It has been hell but hey here I am I know that by now even small cuts are problematic. My first question would be if anyone has a clue as to whether there comes a point in the withdrawal where things get easier (like at 1mg or 0.8 mg) or does it stay funky all the way down to zero?
  15. Hello all, I`m new here. I`m also a member of benzobuddies.org forum. English is not my first language so I appologize for possible grammar mistakes in advance. The reason I joined your forum is that I`d like to come off Mirtazapine and Buspirone asap. I`ve been suffering from anxiety disorders since I was a teenager (I`m 37). I was diagnosed with GAD and SF. In the course of time a depression developed too, but nothing serious. In June 2013 I started to attend a psychotherapy due to social phobia which helped me much. My issues with psych drugs started after a renal colic followed by a surgery in April 2015. In May 2015 I first saw a psychiatrist in my life. I was looking for some relief. A huge mistake! She prescribed me Zoloft 50mg. At the very first night I got a horrible panic attack which I`d never had before. This repeated next night. I went to ER next morning and got prescribed Rivotril 0.5 mg twice a day. I had to stop taking Zoloft two weeks afterwards and got another antidepressant called Trittico (trazodone) which had no positive effect. I tried to come off Rivotril after two months, tapering 1/4 of the pill every week. I had terrible withrawal symptoms. I only survived a few weeks without Rivotril and then started to get panic attacks at night. So I began to take Rivotril again, this time only 0.5 mg divided into two daily doses which was sufficient for me. It was last September. I also went to another psychiatrist`s. We`ve tried severeal meds like escitalopram, moclobemidum, venlafaxinum, olanzapin, lamotriginum, mianserin so far to help me get rid of Rivotril. Only venlafaxinum (Olwexya) helped me with my depression, but it had side effects like restless legs and bad sleep with severe sweating so I had to stop taking it after six months (at the begining of April). I made three unsuccessful attempts to come off Rivotril while I was taking Olwexya. My depression returned, I started to feel drowsy and tired all day. I started my next taper attempt at the end of June. I took one 1/4 of the pill in the morning and 1/2 of the pill in the evening. One week later I took 1/4 of the pill both in the morning and evening. At night I had a nightmare, slept very bad. My withdrawal symptoms were: sleep disturbances, increased anxiety, social phobia, perceptual distortions, depression, poor memory and concentration, intrusive memories, weakness, fatigue, influenza-like symptoms, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, metallic taste, sweating, halucinations. My doctor said I couldn`t be phyzically addicted only on 0.5 mg. Very funny. At the end of July when I was on dose 0.2mg, I was hospitalized because I couldn`t go to work. They stopped giving me Rivotril almost immediatelly. I didn`t want to take any new pills. I just wanted some help to survive the withdrawal. I agreed with Buspirone because I considered it the least harmful. But later they tried to give me something to beat my insomnia - Atarax, Quetiapine, Valdoxan. Mitrazapine was the first one which alowed me to sleep. I didn`t feel any side efects besides horrible dizziness when I went to the toilet at night. Two weeks later they added Venlafaxine (California rocket fuel). I had many side effects including terrible panic attacks which I complained about. After all the meds my dizziness got worse. On September 9th I was released from the hospital. I agreed with my doctor to stop Venlafaxine 75mg within 10 days (I took it only for three weeks). Last Wednesday when I was still on 25mg withdrawal hit me. I had vivid dreams, influenza-like symptoms, mood swings and cry spells and terrible dizziness. It`s much better now except the dizziness. The dizziness is literaly ruining my life. I feel like I was constantly drunk. I can`t drive and I even refrain from walking. I suspect both Buspirone and Mirtazapine are the cause. I definetely can`t live with Mirtazapine because I sleep 12 hours day and still feell drowsy and tired all the time. I have no energy. They say my dizziness is somatized anxiety but I don`t believe it. Anyways, current medication has done nothing with it. I`d like to ask for your opinion which one I should start to taper first or whether I can taper them both at the same time? I`ve been taking them only for about two months. 10% taper a month seems very slow to me. I`ve never had big issues when coming of antidepressants. What do you think? Thank you.
  16. hey, my new heroes... I am feeling afraid and lost. This started for me in February 2018 when my retired psychiatrist's replacement said that I had to come off the klonopin or I would end up with dementia like my mom. (I will be 60 in August). With no suggestions as to how to taper, I found myself on Dr. Goggle and cut 1/4. Horrible withdrawals while maintaining a stressful position at work. Adding to my stress was a new partner who had moved from another state to move in with me. We never had time to stabilize our situation before my taper began and mom was diagnosed with advanced dementia. I had a maddening search for a doctor to help me through this process and found an internist who upped the cymbalta to 90 mg and then later to 120 mg late summer after I tapered the klonopin to .25 mg and back down to 90 mg in the fall. (I had been on cymbalta 60 mg and .5 klonopin since 2006. I started out with 75mg effexor and the .5 mg klonopin but I had withdrawals from the effoxor after missing 4 days of meds when out of town. Psychiatrist started me on the 60 mg Cymbalta. I remember the transition being a smooth one). In an attempt to continue with my Klonopin taper and to deal with the debilitating withdrawlas from what I now were Cymbalta-related, a different psychiatrist (still searching for competency at this point) was trying to cross me over back to the effexor and off of cymbalta. BIG issues with this process. In February she dropped me to 60 Cymbalta and added 37.5 Effoxor. I did this for 2 weeks then dropped the Cymbalta to 40 mg and continued with the 37.5 mg effexor. I did this for 2 weeks but ended up in the ER with what I think was akastaisis. Was discharged with both a script for a beta blocker and an antihistamine. I finally was able, in my fear-induced panic, to take the antihistimine and sleep in the ER. To date, I have used neither. I've white-knuckled and CBTed my way through the last couple of months. I saw the psychiatrist in a few days after my ER visit and she dropped the cymbalta to 20 mg and stopped the effexor. I opted at this point to take my Family Medical Leave option and entered a 2-month long out patient CBT program which started on March 18th. During this time I was working with a psychiatrist for meds. The psychiatrist affiliated with the outpatient program was a young man whose name I recognized and it turned out that he had developed a name for himself as a benzo withdrawal expert (Mad In America continues to ask him to blog). The entire two months in the program I did nothing but cry and I had my first full blown panic attack in 20 years. Meds at this point were 20 mg Cymbalta and .25 mg klonopin. I was being told that I needed to make another klonopin cut so I chose the date of April 19th, Good Friday, as I thought that fitting for my need for symbolism and to make a spiritual connection. I started by cutting that little pill into pieces but have ended up using a compounding pharmacy and have been taking 7.5 ml (.1875 mg) daily. He kept telling me that I was on such a low dose of the klonopin that I could jump if I wished. We never discussed the issues related to what I think are cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. I told me that I could be med free soon and regaining my new life. The program ended on May 18th and I left with no med changes. Life got worse. I've had some good days but mostly they have been filled with crying and dread; a lack of meaning and a huge sense of loss. (I was having to make decisions about the future of my professional career which ends on July 24th. I've had no income now for 2 months and became eligible to apply for our agency's Disability plan on June 19th. I have applied and am waiting, hopeful, but waiting. My new relationship is suffering and I feel very misunderstood.) Within the past 2 weeks I finally found doctors in town that have successfully tapered others off of benzos and Antidepressants. Three different opinions on med changes but they all share the thought that I need to stabilize before finishing the benzo WD. Yet, I question the plan. I need your wisdom. SOOOOOOO, they all wanted to try new meds while finishing the cymbalta taper which wasn't even registering in my mind as a cause perhaps for my current state of being. One wanted Lamictal, one suggested Lexapro and another zoloft because I have family members living mostly stable lives on this drug. (multiple SSRIs from 1986 - 1998 were tried, nothing worked for me until we found the cocktail with klonopin). Diagnosed as GAD. The plan that was written up is this: Start .25 zoloft on 6/24/19 and take this for a week with the 7.5 ml klonopin and 20 mg Cymbalta. So far, I have been less anxious but the foggy head and fear are still fairly high. I hate this spacey feeling. I've spent a lot of time alone in my room, afraid and tired but not able to sleep. My night time sleep has been affected a bit since starting the zoloft. I have trouble getting to sleep.) tomorrow she wants me to start 50 mg zoloft and drop the cymbalta while maintaining the klonopin. OR, take the cymbalta every other day. She wants me to stay at 50 mg to see how I am doing. We will up it if needed. (I felt an almost immediate shift in attitude the first two days on the .25 Zoloft but this has since gone downhill. I am triggered by the thought of putting new meds into my body.) How long will it take me to get off of the cymbalta and is switching over to zoloft a good idea? I AM SO FREAKING AFRAID!!!!!! Please share your support and wisdom. HOPE, is there hope for me. The compounding pharmacy will fill cymbalta capsales but I need a plan as I fear that dropping another 20 mg is too much, too soon. How long can I take the cymbalta and zoloft together without SS? Looking forward to hearing back soon. Trying to make today a good day but I am feeling victimized and adrift. With much appreciation. fearbegone
  17. i thought i was withdrawing successfully from gabapentin. i am apparently very bad off because i had to go very very slow. i thought i was doing ok and i upped very slowly the amount of dissolved liquid i was withdrawing from the beaker. i was stressed, but every night would go back down in dose to get a good sleep. i was unable to tolerate attempts to withdraw more so i went back to the dose that seemed comfortable. i was no longer comfortable. at all. then i upped the dose 30% i thought acc. to the rules here. i am radically uncomfortable now at any dose. i am desperate and there is no end. i am thinking of going to a doctor to see if i can get a lot of benzos to withdraw. i am afraid of compounding my problem. i was take 300 mg. gaba 6xs a day. i was getting breakthrough symptoms anyway but didn't realize it.
  18. Hi. I have been taking Lexapro for 14 years. I was also taking Clonazepam but I finished tapering that one on January. I didn´t know I had to taper the AD first. I have been reading the posts about that in this forum and I think I made a big mistake by not doing the tapering in the right order, but I will not go back to benzos to help me with SSRI´s withdrawal. I started tapering lexapro (15 mg) on february. My original dose was 20 mg but I reduced it before reducing benzos. I had to hold the dose 2 months ago because I started having awful panic attacks. This week I restarted the tapering, but I don´t have a scale. I was just cutting the pills. I restarted the taper from what I think that were 8.5 mg and changed it to 7.5 mg. I´m sure now I´m taking 7.5 mg because I´m taking 3/4 of 1 pill. Each pill is equal to 10 mg. Now, since I reduced the dose I´ve been feeling really bad: vertigo, crying spells, more fear, a lot of depression, and other symptoms. I´d like to know if changing the dose from 8.5 to 7.5 was too much. I have benzos withdrawal, I´m feeling really bad already, but I don´t know if reducing 10 mg of Lexapro each month is OK. I also want to ask how do I switch from pills to drops. Do I have to get a 10mg solution? How many milliliters are equal to 1 mg? How many milliliters would I need to take? I´m sorry if I´m asking silly questions but I have a lot of mental confusion because of benzos withdrawal. Thanks for reading this post. P.S.: I´m sorry if my english is not very good.
  19. I have been on Prozac for about 25 years. I tried to taper few times in the past, but it didn't work. So what can be different this time? I am hoping this board will make the difference. I know I can't do it alone. I am now taking 10 mg Prozac daily. I was on 40 mg about 2 years ago, and took it down very slowly, cutting 5 mg every few months. One reason that it took so long was because I was also tapering clonazepam. Another reason was the failed attempts in the past. What I learned from tapering clonazepam I hope to put into use while tapering Prozac. One lesson that I learned is that you need to do it slow. There is just no other way. Another lesson is that you need support. I am looking for my next cut in a few months and my goal is to be completely drug free by the end of the year. I have been on disability during the last couple of years while recovering from clonazepam withdrawal. It's been hell and I'm still not completely recovered. I am looking to get back to work as soon as I can but I know it could still take more time. The biggest challenge will be to deal with withdrawal and setbacks without going back on Prozac. My hope is that I will be able to do that with the help of this board.
  20. Moderator's note: link to benzo forum thread - EmmiseA: Can I taper an antidepressant and benzo at same time? Hello, I came on here for some much needed advice/ reassurance. Back in March 2018 I had a horrific reaction to being put on Sertraline 25mg for postnatal anxiety/depression. After 2 weeks, the insomnia was dreadful, anxiety and depression was through the roof. I switched onto citalopram 10mg and after no change in symptoms after a few days apart from developing horrible Hypnic jerks, I was told to come off it by my psychiatrist. The brain zaps, skin crawling, heart palpitations and other side effects lessened over a few weeks but I couldn’t sleep due to these awful jerks and my anxiety and depression were through the roof. I went back to my psychiatrist who put me on quitiepine and pregabalin and 1mg clonazepam. I slept on the clonazepam no problem, but still noticed a few jerks on sleep onset. I successfully tapered off the pregabalin, quitiepine and clonazepam with no new effects but the doctors decided I needed an antidepressant and put me on 30mg of Mirtazapine. I am now on Mirtazipine and down to 0.375mg clonazepam, this being given to me again to help the jerks. 5 months later I still have the Hypnic jerks and muscle fasciculations. They haven’t got any worse on the Mirtazapine - if anything they have got somewhat better - but I still have a few nights a month even when I’m this low dose of clonazepam where they don’t allow me any sleep at all, the twitching is so bad. I really really need to hear some success stories of the jerks going away, please!! I’m afraid to touch anything at the moment in terms of the antidepressant, but am still tapering clonazepam with the aim of being off it soon. My aim is to try and get stable with these jerks and my sleep patterns and then very slowly taper off mirtazipine. Please no horror stories, my nerves just can’t take it!! I need to hear success stories. Many thanks xxx
  21. Summersun

    Summersun: Advice

    Hi, new to this forum. Clonazapam 27 yrs, Effexor 22 yrs..weaned off April 9, 2019 ..Seroquel 5yrs, Gabapentin 5 yrs. supplements: magnesium, D3!, B100, plus CBD oil. Over the past 3 yrs I've been tappering above meds on a rotation..Clonazapam 3 mg 2015 ,May 2019 .50 morning- .75 evening. Seroquel 300mg 2015 ,May 2019 25mg... Gabapentin 2015 900 mg 300 x3 times a day..May 2019-200mg 100mg x2 times a day.. I have tried to taper off 25mg going down to 12.5 of seroquel 3 times ,but had to reinstate..That was before going off Effexor a month and a half ago..I've recently 4 days ago tried to cut Seroquel in half but found the taper to be to difficult...I thought I would be okay because of been off Effexor but maybe I should of held longer after going off Effexor..It was rough. I'm not sure what my next taper should be..?..Is it better to taper Gabapentin till off completely before Clonazepam? I'm really feeling quite worn out any encouragement or advice would be much appreciated..I've been doing this on my own for so long ,except for the Ashton manual, so I much appreciate finding this group..🙎‍♀️
  22. I am a 67 year old retired Medical Office manager of 18 years. I have been bridged on various anti-depressants for several years...Zoloft, Lexapro, for generalized musculoskelatal pains that the drs attributed to "depression". 20+ years ago I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Approximately 10+ years ago was bridged to Cymbalta. It seemed to help generalized pains, anxiety for awhile but then slowly over time I didn't feel like it was working any longer, and my dr increased to 2-60mg q d....I didn't see a difference in improvement...so being clueless...I dc'd the additional 60mg in the morning...looking back, I was clueless that this could cause me problems!!! I forged on...approximately 18 months ago, I noticed that my anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia were getting worse...my dr then started me on Ambien 10mg for sleep, and this worked great...when I was stressed or nervous I could take my pill and go to bed for 10-12 hours of sound sleep. I later still struggled with nervousness and dr started clomazepam lowest dose and said I could take 1-2 a day. I very rarely took one but over time I found myself taking one regularly and occasionally take 2. I would find myself waking up 1:00-2:00 AM and could not go back to sleep and frustrated and desperate to sleep I would get up and take another 1/2 Ambien...when my Ambien script ran out the pharmacy called and said the dr REFUSED to refill it because they are saying you used too much. I scheduled an appointment and went in with my husband and explained to the dr what I had been doing....He still REFUSED to refill...so I was c/t off of Ambien and c/t off clomazepam...and I was STRUGGLING!!!! Anxiety, nervousness, GI issues, dizziness, severe headaches (I guess ya'll call them brain zaps) so I started reading and saw where I should have never had to go c/t on the Ambien or Clomazepam...so I started reading on my Cymbalta...and boy was that eye opening!!! and right then I decied I'm getting off. So I found the on facebook called Cymbalta Hurts Worse and they explained about the slow taper no greater than 2-10% and holding for 10-14 days. So I started...and man I have been sick ever since...going on 2 months. So here I am...old and shaky and counting beads out of a capsule and refilling with exact amount needed and am currently on hold due to symtoms....no quality of life...and wondering will I ever be normal again?
  23. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  24. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  25. Mort81

    Mort81

    Hello everyone glad I found somewhere to find good information and support . I'll just give a little introduction. I've been off Ciprelex 30mg for 6 months now after being on the ssri for 7 years.The side effects were far out weighing the benefits. My doctors seemed clueless when it came to the tapering, from what I know now as well as the withdrawal I am currently feeling . I tapered fairly fast from what I read on this forum.My main symptom at first was abdominal pain,panic, discomfort and very poor digestion. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and I know for some people that's good but for my build, not so good. Most of my symptoms at first were digestive related and my doctors didn't suggest withdrawal. Has anyone in here experienced horrible digestive issues right away ? So I had a million tests run, which came with months of worrying about every disease in the book. My tests came back clean which was good. However I am still feeling alot of discomfort, sensitivity in the stomach(feels like I'm bruised) coupled with fatigue, vivid dreams and insomnia. I have been experiencing all this while working a Fulltime job, which I love. I have missed more days than I wanted to for the obvious reasons. However I've decided to ask for time off because my body hasn't recovered and I feel the only way for a better recovery is to get away from my schedule and take extra time for myself. I see two different doctors. The one I saw today wants me to start a pain med and believes my stomach pain is related to migraines I used to get, which at times still show up. I am so scared of all medication but want this stomach pain to go away. I have improved over the 6 months so I'm leaning towards staying the natural course. Does 5HTP help for withdrawal?? After all the suffering I have gone through in the last 6 months you would think my doctor would give a note to go on sick leave,but apparently that's like pulling teeth. They just see a healthy young man complaining . Either way I need time for myself and recovery and sorry if I'm ranting. I'm glad to be hear in this forum and look forward to have a place for support and information because I feel my doctors are out too lunch on this topic. Mort
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