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  1. I came off cymbalta 10 months ago after being on them 4 months. Had a bad taper from a prescriber. Bad withdrawals only I didn’t know they were withdrawals. A month later a different prescriber put me on Nortriptylene. That lasted 4 months then I weened off Nortriptylene over four months because it wasn’t helping. I’ve been off the Nortriptylene now for 6 weeks. When getting off the cymbalta my prescriber used Prozac to crossover which didn’t work. The new prescriber kept me on the Prozac while adding Nortriptylene. Im presently on 15mg of Prozac now but having withdrawals from the other two. Prior to this ive have taken Prozac for approximately 13yrs and lexapro for the next 14 years. The last year and a half were the changes to these other drugs. I’ve been on meds for a total of 28 years. I would like to start dropping the Prozac. I’m still feeling depression/anxiety/zaps/fatigue/etc from the withdrawals of the others. I was getting waves and windows pretty equally spaced apart by weeks. 2 weeks on(wave) 2 weeks off (window) After stopping the Nortriptylene it seems the windows are gone and it’s been a rough 6 weeks. Any advise would be great concerning reducing the Prozac? Is there hope after being on meds for 28 yrs to be free of them and healed?
  2. Hello, I am French sorry in advance for my English I am with Google translation. I'm happy to have found a forum that finally recognizes how much harm antidepressants can cause in our lives. Here is my story: I took 10mg seroplex for depression 2 years ago. I then switched to Brintellix 5mg for 6 months. While taking the seroplex fat fatigue for 3 weeks then I was better, except that my ejaculation was very delayed or sometimes impossible. I stopped antidepressants for 1 month recently. Result of abrupt weaning premature ejaculation, ejaculation without orgasm or very little. Insomnia, sensitivity to noise and light. My libido is it Do you think premature ejaculation will resolve over time and I will get better? I hope to recover the same for the orgasm during ejaculation that it is more pronounced as before. Before you take this **** everything is fine. I resolved my depression but this disorder when I stopped going back into it. I have another question. Do you think stopping the treatment suddenly changes anything compared to a gradual withdrawal? Apart from the symptoms that can last, does it change anything for the brain and sexuality to better recover? Thank you to everyone who can testify and help me. And courage to everyone, it is good to support this and to move forward. I exercise a lot and feed it well. I feel very tired I have some vertigo too and the insomnia is horrible I sleep during the day and stay up all night luckily I am not working at the moment. I'm 29 years old
  3. hello. i'm going to attempt an introduction. i reserve any possible ambition about a coherent, comprehensive history for a potential future recovery success story. i'll do what i can for now. first and foremost, THANK YOU to everyone here at SA. THANK YOU for starting this website, for contributing, for keeping it going, for sharing, for being here, for fighting the good fight. in regards to tapering safely i did not find you in time; but since i found you it has helped immeasurably. before i found SA i'd been suffering through PW and PAWS for well over 3 years with no clear understanding of what the F was happening to me. although i had a working strategy of how to approach the embodied experience i was living, it took up a lot of energy not having an official explanation. i had a kind of makeshift, workaround idea along the lines of "maybe this is latent C-PTSD that has surfaced in the wake of SSRI cessation" and "clearly my nervous system is hypersensitive and destabilized, and i am intolerant of stress, possibly also as a result of a lifetime of chronic stress and trauma", etc. somewhat luckily these working hypotheses led me to a variety of tools that were entirely applicable to dealing with withdrawal syndrome, and so, ultimately, i was practicing many of the same non-drug coping strategies that i have since seen recommended on this site. for years i was on my own and it was trial and error. the bottom line is, it has been so much better since finding SA and knowing that i'm not alone and finally figuring out, "oh, this is what's going on!" (not that one cannot have C-PTSD / chronic stress / or the like in addition to WS, but WS is certainly also its own thing in addition to whatever underlying vulnerabilities may present) anyway -- THANK YOU to everyone for everything. i am currently in my fifth year of protracted withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome following an incorrect, too-fast taper of lexapro/escitalopram that basically amounted to CT + decades' worth of going on and off dozens of different psych drugs/cocktails, incl. most recently vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine, etc. i don't have energy or access right now to write in more detail about the long and illustrious drug history and the numerous failed attempts to get out of psychiatry (it's clear to me now that i've been in protracted withdrawal with PAWS multiple times before, but at the time i didn't know what it was and when i sought help consistently received a new and more extreme diagnosis every time; it seemed, according to psychiatry, that i was getting sicker and sicker, and would get more heavily drugged each time around -- psychiatry suffers from munchhausen by proxy in its absurd closed-loop system) bottom line -- TODAY I AM DRUG-FREE. i was first committed to a psych ward as a minor (below the age of consent), that's where i was first drugged. i clearly remember being so overmedicated that my hands were shaking non-stop, i couldn't properly hold a fork to eat or a pencil/pen to write. i fainted in the shower. i knew it was the drugs, i knew they were giving me too much, i know i said as much. i have no recollection of being listened to. my first ever "psychotic episodes" also occurred during this first ever hospitalization, subsequent to which my diagnosis was augmented to include my being labeled as "psychotic". i am convinced the sensory hallucinations were caused by the drugs they were giving me. i have spent my entire adult life thus far (approx. 17 y.o. - 42 y.o.) under the influence of psychiatric drugs. WTF. although i am currently drug-free i don't consider myself out of the woods yet as i'm still very much in recovery and reeling from the extensive physiological and psychological/existential harm. i cannot even begin to really truly process that. i don't dwell on it, i try not to think about it, really, although of course the thoughts come occasionally, but for the most part i let them pass bc my thinking is currently rather unreliable and murky, colored as it is by WS (monkey mind chatter which does not allow for proper processing). maybe one day when my cognitive/emotional/spiritual/etc. capacities are healed, if it is still relevant and required, i will mourn any loss as necessary. for now i sometimes touch upon grief (primarily on behalf of our collective loss and the tragedy of psychiatric violence afflicting countless human beings and indeed our global ecosystem as a whole) but my mind is too feeble to truly grasp the staggering atrocity / swirling galaxy of bullsh*t. for the time being i'm mostly just sorta left stunned and reeling; and sometimes in a moment of clarity i feel a call to arms and long to spring into action and up onto the barricades (etc.), but i lack the abilities for any kind of follow-through, which can be distressing as i think, "i'm not doing my part to save my fellow suffererers out there!" in these moments i have to remind myself that first i have to get better, and for now i just gotta hang on to my own life raft, bc that's pretty much all i can do, and most of the time it's a tall order as is, at least for now. i have to tell myself that what i cannot currently comprehend, is not currently my job. i try to do the tasks i am able to do, that is what is for me to do here and now. for example: currently i am able to shower once a week, sometimes twice a week. i am able to do a gentle yoga session about once a week. leaving the house is very difficult, but i manage to get out about twice a week. i am able to do my own grocery shopping (usually once a week), which brings me a sense of satisfaction and purpose. i am able to cook for myself (i've been on a self-designed, tried-and-true nutritional regimen for a couple of years now, which works quite well for me); nourishing myself is a vital part of my day and one of the few ways i'm able to actively engage with life on a daily basis. there are many, many things i'm unable to do and many, many ways in which i'm functionally disabled. i don't feel like getting into that now. in this moment i'd like to focus on markers of progress. for example: here i am, writing an introduction post. i have not posted here before bc writing and verbal communication, esp. disembodied/virtual kind without being in the physical presence of the other person, is something that has been extremely difficult for me in withdrawal and continues to be very, very challenging. so this is really hard and scary right now; and at the same time it is a marker of progress that i am able to be here writing this at all, since for so long i have not been able to and now i'm giving it a try. we'll see how it goes. these days i feel like i'm in my little WS groove. doing my thing, doing the best i can. i tell myself that this too shall pass -- based on the accounts of people on this site and the many success stories, it's possible to recover and heal. i trust that this is true; which means that there's a finite number of WS days/hours/moments (that number is unknown and unknowable, i call it X). and so it follows that every single day/hour/moment of WS-related suffering is 1 down, X to go and brings me that much closer to the conclusion. this is my way of conceptualizing the unpleasantness and discomfort as healing-in-process. instead of thinking of it as "i'm still sick" (which connotates stuck-ness and static state), reminding myself "i'm continously healing" (which conveys movement and development and some notion of constructive progress). it's very, very hard. i do feel like things are getting better ... lately one of the odd things about feeling better is that the WS symptoms have decreased somewhat in intensity, and now that some of the WS symptoms are less extreme, it's as though it's less clear to me that they are indeed WS symptoms. i sometimes find myself thinking, "wait, what if this particular thing is no longer WS and now this is just 'me'?" overall i tell myself that this line of thinking is still WS, as these are "anxiety thoughts" and fear-based, and i pay them as little mind as possible. it's a strange sign of progress that as WS is gradually lessening in intensity the lines between "syndrome" and "self" seem to be blurring more and more. this is, of course, compounded by an underlying all-pervasive tension around the question, "who am i?" at this point i accept that i have no idea who i am. i don't know who i am now, i don't know who i was before, i don't know who i will be after. my sense of identity is flimsy at best, i have difficulty with any sense of continuity or understanding "me", "my life", or anything along those lines. it's okay. i'm not sure my sense of self has ever been that strong to begin with. i don't know where i'll be dumped at the end of this fun-house-mirror-lined chute of WS bizarro-world ... it's kinda funny sometimes, when i think about it. it's all so absurd. all these illusions and so many people out there running around all serious and self-important and convinced of what's "real". maybe i'll feel like that one day, who knows? ... (feel free to skip to the end of the book, eh?) anyway. i don't have much more to say for now. this is the most words i've used in any one sitting in any context possibly in years. i mostly don't like social contact due to conventions/exigencies of verbal communication (i don't mind context of shared social presence as long as there is no speaking/conversation involved) and so i spend most of my time alone. i'm actually surprised this many words have come out of me! and now i'm babbling, i've got the feeling this is all very messy. but the most important part is: ABSTRACT hello. thank you. i'm here. ain't that a trip with love, "me" 1996-2018: various polypharmacy combinations incl. SSRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzodiazepines, stimulants, etc. (approx. 30+ different drugs over the years) 2018 - inadvertently CTed lexapro/escitalopram from 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg (over the course of 6 months, and under the "supervision" of a psychiatrist whom i trusted at the time) July 2018 - 0mg lexapro/escitalopram 2017 - 2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 70mg 2020 - 2021 - tapered off of vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine from 70mg down to 0mg (gradually but unsystematically and probably too quickly) July 2021 - 0mg vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine February 2022 - 0mg - no psychopharmaceuticals - no drugs/medications of any kind supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 2mg melatonin at 9pm
  4. hi , i"m a single mom and was given celexa 10mg for head aches and brain fog . the side effects where too much for me from day one , so three weeks after starting i was told to just stop taking them and i did... that was feb 28th the first week was fine , 2nd week i had some anxiety feelings and now the 3rd week I'm having insomnia , the sweats , nausea , and anxiety... I can't seem to find any stories on here from people who where short timers taking an ssri , I would really love to read a success story . my question is am i going through withdraws or is this relaps , please any help would be a blessing
  5. Hello everybody. I was referred to this forum after trying to find answers about my problem on other websites for almost a year now. To somewhat quickly sum up my story. I was put on psych meds at 16 after a breakdown related to OCD. I am not sure how long I have been on Lexapro, but probably since around 2013/2014. I first started taking psych meds at 16. I was dealing with a bad APRN (who I saw for years but became worse and worse over time) who had me on 30mg of Lexapro for at least 2 to 3 years. I cannot remember how long I was on 20mg before that, and for how long. I apologize. I couldn't get a refill due to problems with my computer for an online meeting, they didn't give me enough to taper off safely (didn't even tell me to taper off or warn me about withdrawal symptoms), so I ended up having a breakdown about 3 months later, but not any cognitive issues at all. I was very paranoid and anxious, but my memory was fine along with my memory and ability to talk eloquently. I was put back on 10mg of Lexapro about 2ish weeks after the incident. I remember having a dull pain at the very top of my head for a little bit, and since that week, I've had breathing problems, sinus issues such as dryness and pain (watery mucus too, now my sinuses feel very dry recently), memory loss, brain fog, fatigue, dry mouth, chest pains, face/neck pains and a warm/tingling feeling on the left side of my face (sometimes numbness too), vomiting, throbbing headaches, high blood pressure (this has mainly gone away I think, could have been from withdrawal) jaw stiffness (my teeth would clench subconsciously while awake, that's gone away) and ear ringing. I also now have sleep apnea. I had to immediately stop taking it again due to these issues, I lasted about a week on the new dosage. It almost feels like I had a TBI without having a TBI. I don't know if the SSRI caused it or the stress of the breakdown (was put on a psych hold) and personal family problems such as my mom getting sick with cancer that eventually killed her caused it, or both. I've been feeling like this for about 10ish months now and it's not getting any better. I have sexual dysfunction problems, emotionally I feel numb, and when I try to think deeply it feels like my brain is a stalling car. My memory is also as bad as ever, and the neck/face problems are still here, I can feel them as I'm typing this. It also feels like when I speak to people, my mouth is speaking faster than my brain can think. This is something very new, and it causes me to stutter/not talk as eloquently as I used to. I used to be very well spoken and now that's gone. I can recall events in my life/childhood, but now I can no longer remember specifics of the events, such as words said. It's very odd. I've had CT/MRI scans done of my brain and neither showed real problems. I'm seeing my PCP in September because my problems are getting worse, and I'm supposed to see a neurologist in November, and I'm thinking of asking for a qEEG, SPECT, and a nerve conduction study. I'd just like some advice on what to do to feel better. Not sure if my APRN is liable for the damage done to be or not, either, but this isn't a legal forum, so I'm not expecting any advice on that front. My former APRN, who I had gone to for years, slowly became worse and worse, and got angry at my mom at times for scheduling my appointments with my APRN. When I saw my APRN again after my breakdown/psych hold, she didn't seem to care about me going off 30mg cold turkey, her not telling me to taper off of it or warning me about the problems etc. She just put me back on 10mg, and when I had to stop taking it due to my side effects, she refused to help me any further, saying she would only see me if I saw a therapist, and even when I did, she refused to talk to me about my problems because "legally I [The APRN] can't because [The APRN] doesn't see me as a client anymore". She's the one who won't see me anymore, so I don't get it at all. She was very cold and uncaring about my mom getting sick and dying of cancer, only saying "getting a job helps with anxiety" and "Medicaid is hard to get on". It's so horribly depressing to feel like you've lost what made you, you. My memory is awful, my emotions are all over the place, I stutter sometimes now when I never used to, my cognitive thinking is awful. My voice actually sounds different to me. I don't know what's going on. My personality feels so neutered. I just want some help to get a definite answer on what's causing all of this.
  6. Hello everyone Very sorry for everyone struggling here I have been tapering off Zoloft for months and transitioned to natural supplements (l theanine & fish oil) to finish my jump but I did it at WAY too high a dose I also was doing a deep cleanse and think I really exacerbated things with the chlorella and spirulina In any case, I have been having extreme withdrawal (to the point where I thought I was in Serotonin Syndrome as the symptoms nearly mirrored it, but the opinion of two physicians is withdrawal and not serontonin syndrome. I have been having ataxia and extreme mood swings. The nausea have passed and diarrhea, and getting some segments of sleep. Disturbance in gait. All tests normal from ER visits. Swinging between extreme depression and emotional bluntness. I would write more but can't tolerate the screen very well. My question. Would it be better to reinstate and attempt to negate symptoms, stabilize, then restart, or should I just push on and work with where I am at. The extreme anxiety is starting to pass, and I am getting some sleep. But, the facial numbness and muscle ataxia symptoms are disturbing. I was off for about three weeks before the extreme symptoms started. Horrible nausea and diarrhea has negated. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thank you very much ROse
  7. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm very glad to have found you. I am 36 years old and started taking antidepressants in 2003 when I was 17. At that time I had strong emotional outbursts and finally the diagnosis depression was made. At that time, I was prescribed Tavor for use at home in emergencies and have also taken it for a few mails. In the psychosomatic clinic I had Tavor for a week and at the same time was put on an antidepressant, I can't remember which one, I think an SSRI. That didn't interest me at the time. After a few weeks I felt better and after months I was released and was a new person. Happy. I'm almost certain that I stopped taking the medication around 2007. In any case, I went to the psychosomatic clinic again in 2008. I still remember that I had total restlessness and anxiety in bed and great fear of failure. It's possible it was withdrawal symptoms. In the clinic I was put on the SSRI paroxetine. And again I was released and I felt wonderful. I'm not exactly sure if I stopped taking the meds in 2011 or not. Because in 2012 I went to a clinic again. There I was either put back on paroxetine or my dose was increased. I can't remember exactly. Then I took the paroxetine until 2018. In April I tapered off the paroxetine in increments of ten. 40-30-20-10-0. I don't remember exactly how long I wormed it out, I think within four weeks. I discontinued it due to lack of libido. I knew the drug was to blame and assumed that if I stopped taking these side effects, they would go away. Then in September I was put on 150mg of bupropion. I had severe side effects from this. Laughter fits, extreme restlessness. And in March 2019 I switched back to paroxetine. I don't think I've weaned off bupropion as there is only one 150mg pill and nothing smaller. So that was cold turkey. In July 2019 I was in a clinic again, this time as a day clinic. Noticing that paroxetine was not improving my condition, I switched to Cymbalta (increased to 90mg). This was done crosswise. Went off paroxetine and started cymbalta. The paroxetine was withdrawn fairly quickly, within a few weeks. I now know that the PSSD symptoms led to the hospital stay, since depression was of course diagnosed. On December 26th, 2020 I went off Cymbalta and went cold turkey. I was fed up with it, but I didn't know that you should slowly taper it off. I figured maybe I'd have a few days of heavy withdrawal and that would be the end of it. I definitely had gastrointestinal problems for the first 10 days after cold turkey. In the course of the next few weeks/months, severe anxiety and panic attacks were added. I then did some research and came across PSSD. From 2016 I noticed more and more that I was getting worse and worse. Not just loss of libido, that's the most harmless. I noticed more and more how the emotional connection between me and my fellow human beings is missing. Castrated by the world, by the people. No more joy. No joy with my son who was born in 2017. Ever since he was born I don't feel any emotional connection to him. This is such a pain!! I lived more and more behind glass. Can see everything, but I'm no longer there. Terrible condition. These symptoms (and more...) increased drastically when Cymbalta was stopped. I ended up in hell. Everything that used to be fun and brought me joy has become almost irrelevant to me. It doesn't do anything for me anymore. I can plan to do things in everyday life, but somehow it doesn't work anymore. How I'm broken. A connection in me is somehow severed. I then got more and more anxiety attacks, panic attacks and I was researching all the time what scares me. If things come up from childhood. My body becomes stiff with these attacks. I struggled through time. I took sick leave in June. I can no longer "resonate" with people. I'm in a group, and no matter what emotional thing happens there, I can't tune in, how emotionally castrated. That's the horror. I am no longer able to live alone. I want to do things, mentally, but it doesn't work properly anymore. I am no longer able to work through several things in a row. The connection between thought and action no longer seems to be there. And that the PSSD diagnosis is so clear and there is no reliable therapy makes me even more desperate. The nearly complete sexual dysfunction doesn't bother me at all. This emotional isolation, this joylessness, complete loss of my interests, it's not worth living. And what causes my suffering is the PAIN, the emotional PAIN, when I see my son but always notice that I'm actually not there. I am in such pain. And now we move on to medication. In November 2021 I tried again to take paroxetine. After four days I stopped taking it because my body didn't want the stuff anymore. I was shaking and showing severe physical symptoms. That year, in the summer, I also had physical attacks of shaking, attacks of tremors, as if the body were cleansing itself. After I stopped taking the paroxetine, it was even worse than before. The PSSD symptoms, the anxiety, the body stiffness and shaking, brutal restlessness. Up to that point I had looked after my son every two weeks in the greatest agony, and after this attempt with paroxetine that was no longer possible either. In January of this year I went to a good psychosomatic clinic. After three weeks there, I got involved with mirtazapine. Furthermore, on bupropion, because it is said to be the only antidepressant that can have a positive effect on PSSD. I can no longer work, I can no longer look after my son, something in me no longer works. I have to go to assisted living because I realize I can't survive on my own. Does anyone understand me? Dear God, where should I get hope from? And this mental pain, it's so strong whenever I notice that I'm no longer part of life. And that's pretty much permanent. These are now just muted by lithium. And totally restless. How am I ever going to take it if I put that stuff down again? I have such a longing to live again and I don't know how to do it, how to endure it. Best regards!! Dany
  8. Dear peer forum members, I am writing here searching for hope and your support and advice. My name is Yulia, I am 27 years old and I am from Russia. Here is my sad story. There was a unfortunate point in my life when I almost had given up due to the life situation. Therefore it happened so that I had to take Lexapro antidepressant not by my wish but by insistance of my parents. First time it was introduced it when I was in a psychiatric clinic - I was given phenasepam in glass drop water and 10mg of Lexapro.. for around 2 months. It was zombifying me, giving a flat emotional state and a brain fog. After I left the clinic - as I was not feeling good with Lexapro - I have cold turkeyed it without telling the doctor and parents because they would insist on continuing and increasing the dosage. Then when the doctor got to know - it was reinstated, 5 days with 5 mg and then 10.. the reaction of the was even worse but I continued. I cold turkeyed it again after 2 months.. I understand this sounds bizzare but at that point I was very weak and couldnt take my own individual decisions and was afraid to spoil relationships with parents who were my only closest people. I cannot imagine now how could I possibly be so careless with these drugs.. they are evil. I totally understand that agreeing for the drugs first and then quitting them was a big mistake. My problem is that cold turkeying left me with severe brain fog and cognitive issues - my problem now is that it is very hard to think (blank mind), generate ideas, make plans for the future.. I just dont have any thoughts, they just do not appear in mind.. When I try to concentrate - thoughts just disappear. When I try to make a decision or weight between two options - brain doesnt give an argument for one or another.. there is just nothing. This is catastrophy.. I feel I can do well when I am told what to do, but when I need to think myself, this just doesnt work.. I feel my learning abilities decreased and the memory is not that sharp as it was before (( So far 2 months have passed since I cold turkued Lexapro the second time. I do understand that I have totally screwed up the system by these meds but I pray to God to forgive me for this mistake and give me a chance to heal..Luckily I have a source of income with a remote work. In an attempt to recover I have turned to natural methods and detox - tried dry fasting (5 days) and water fasting (planned 21 day, but I was doing this under supervision and was allowed to do only full 19 days because of the weight loss). I quit it with 5 days on juices and today had a raw dinner. I feel that the cleanse was not complete, that I need to do more. I have researched the whole internet about healing and naturopathic methods same as about cleansing and drug withdrawals. I found Gerson therapy diet plans, raw vegan lifestyle, juice fasting etc. I plan to stick to all that, also physical exercise.I do plan running twice a day, they say it increases neurogenesis, drink distilled water to flush out the toxins and stay on juices. People do incredible things trying to recover - like 90 days juice fast etc. Please tell me - do I move in the right direction? Is the detoxification the key to reducing withdrawal effect? Or do I need supplimenting? Somehow I think that detox is the key... Shall I do an orange juice fast? Distilled water, sport - what does help? I would need any possible advice on how to help the brain recover and get rid of this horrible brain fog and blank mind as it is horrifying to live further life with such situation...I would appreciate any help. Kind regards, Yulia
  9. Hello everyone, It has been hard to be able to look at the screen, so I will write briefly: I was on several different psychiatric drugs from ages 7-17 because of my mother. I can't remember all of them but have listed the ones I remember in my drug history. In 2020 I took Prozac because I was having depressive symptoms, it was for many months but hard to remember exactly how many. In 2021 I took 25mg of Setraline for 2-3 weeks because of trauma resulting from seeing a family member commit suicide in front of me and then my mother in law died. After taking Setraline for 2-3 weeks, I started to experience depersonalization/derealization. I quit Sertraline cold-turkey because I did not like how I felt. Withdrawal symptoms started 2 days later. I tried to smoke weed to alleviate it and it made my symptoms worse. Morning cortisol kicked in and more and more symptoms are appearing or changing. I don’t want to reinstate, but I am considering it. I am suffering badly and hope this ends soon. Are there any recommendations on what I should do?
  10. Hi all, I am quite new here but I think I really need help and support. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 18 years old and I was prescribed sertraline 400mg( yes 400) and fluxetine at the same time. I was using them for couple of years and I was literally sleeping all the time. I could not keep my studies or even a normal everyday life. After a few years my OCD turned into severe depression. For which I had to keep using sertraline. Since then I have been using this medicine in at least 100 mg and I have suffered hypersomnia and cognitive impairment. Back in highschool I was very good studies with some nationwide medals in science. But since i have been taking antidepressants my mind is not able to learn new things or remember stuff. I have decided to stop the medicine but I feel I have lost a lot of time and I am not sure if my mind will be able to be as sharp as it used to be. Also I have heard that there a risk of dementia. Can you please help me if you have gone through a similar process?
  11. Well, who knew you weren’t supposed to just stop taking this stuff when you felt like it? Back in January 2020, I had gone to the doctor 3 times over a one month period swearing I had kidney problems based on some symptoms I had. After the third appointment and all tests coming back normal, the doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and prescribed 25 mg Sertraline. I started taking it immediately and within a few days I had developed limb pain. I didn’t relate it to the medication and actually thought it was a symptom of anxiety. Another week or so went by and limb pain spread to joint paint and then to this feeling of being bruised or punched in my thighs, stomach, hips and chest, even though bruises never surfaced at that point. I also had an off and on lump in my throat and my voice would randomly go hoarse. By end of March, I had rigid muscles, had gained 30 lbs and clusters of red dots and small bruises were forming all over my body. I thought I was developing a serious blood disorder and since I had seen a hematologist in the past for iron deficiency anemia, I was able to get an appointment without going through my gp. A few weeks before the appointment, around mid-April (so 3 months on Sertraline), I read online that bruising was a rare but possible side effect of the medication. I quit immediately to see what would happen, and within about three weeks the bruises, red dots and some of the pain disappeared. Everything was normal at the hematologists. However, even though the bruises went away, I had started getting these other issues like “restless arm syndrome” (only way to describe it), dizziness, numbness in feet and hands, muscle twitching, panic attacks and other things I can’t remember. After my appointment, since my blood tests were fine, I reinstated the 25 mg Sertraline in early May. I had no clue these were withdrawal and assumed I had developed either a severe neurological disease or Somatic Symptom Disorder. I still can’t believe I went back on the meds, but as soon as I did all hell broke loose. The withdrawal symptoms went away but I developed horrible muscle cramping to the point I couldn’t hold a phone, pain in response to any kind of touch including my pants rubbing against my legs or someone touching my hand softly. I had pain in my ears, eyes and throat. The bruises and red dots came back immediately and with a vengeance. At this point I knew it was the Sertraline. And I was only on 25 mg!! I managed to stay on for around three more weeks then quit cold turkey again. Right away I got a plethora of symptoms: -restless feeling all over -Muscle twitching all over body -muscle weakness -this weird warm feeling that started in the back of my head and spread down my spine (I no longer have this) -loss of coordination -pulling in my thumb, forefinger and cheek on my left side like they were trying to move themselves (This doesn’t happen often anymore) -brain zaps - not really sure if that’s what it is since it feels less like a zap and more like someone holding an electric razor up to my head in different spots. -Numbness/tingling in feet, lower legs, hands (I no longer have this) -Nausea -panic attacks -short of breath -forgetfulness -dizziness -loose feeling in joints like they won’t hold my limbs together -joint pain -cracking joints -muscle pain -buzzing in legs and feet -palpitations -feeling like I would fall down (I no longer have this) -this feeling in my sinuses like they would tighten and then clear up (this is rare these days) -general soreness -lump in throat -insomnia - often only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep at night -acute fatigue (this feeling of intense fatigue that feels like I spent hours working out in the sun that will last maybe 20 minutes to an hour) -heartburn There were so many more I can’t think of. I’ve been off the medication around 4.5 months now, but not much of this has improved. A few of the scariest symptoms seem to have gone away, probably around the three month mark, and with the remaining symptoms, I have gotten a few windows recently. The body pains used to be constant, but now I get a few days off per month. This encourages me. At the same time, I’ve developed new symptoms recently like intense stomach discomfort, palpitations and the lump in my throat, although I had this when I first started the meds too. Many symptoms have gotten less severe/intense and that helps a lot. The craziest thing about all of this is that my highest dose was 25 mg! Not to mention I was only on it 4 months total. I’m really hoping I’ll be back soon to post a success story. I remember reading a post from a success story poster that basically said whenever a symptom would go away temporarily, even if it came back and hung around for a while, they knew it would be gone eventually because it had shown its weakness. I wish I could remember who it was because it’s completely true and that has really helped me get through the last few months. I'm not sure how to post my timeline in the signature, but it’s pretty short so I’ll leave it here. 25 mg Sertraline from January to mid April. Cold turkey mid April to early May. Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May for next three weeks then cold turkey again. Have been off for 4.5 months and take no meds or supplements at this point.
  12. Hi and thanks for letting me in. I would like to hear from others, who suffers a lot from physical pain in withdrawal - possibly also from anybody who did a cold turkey from both antidepressants and benzos. My story short. I got sertraline two times. First for 1.5 year, then 8 months break, and then I got it for half a year, before I stopped cold turkey. Among all that, I also took zopiclone for 5 years (benzo-like sleeping pills). These I also cold turkied 4 months after sertraline. It's now been 14 months since I stopped sertraline and 10 months since I stopped zopiclone. I stopped because, I functioned very poorly. It became harder and harder to take care of work and my three kids (I'm alone with them every second week). I realized that maybe I functioned poorly because of the drugs, and that's why I stopped. I couldn’t find any other explanations. Since then, I still suffer from fatigue, burning pain in my brain and body (like someone poured acid in my brain/body), muscle and joint ashes (especially in arms, legs, hands and feet), head aches, brain pressure, chest pain, stomach issues. In the morning it is so bad that it takes me an hour or two to get out of bed. I really try to be active, but it is soo hard to do anything with all the pain and fatigue. I had a doctor saying I got Fibromyalgia, but I think my self that it is protracted withdrawal syndrome. The symptoms are just similar, I guess. I really don't have so much windows and waves pattern. It's awful most of the time, and then - maybe - there is a very seldom window lasting a few hours, before next day, It's awful again. It has been like this since I withdrawed from sertraline the first time, and got much worse when I reinstated and did a vold turkey Can anybody relate to all this? Thank you so much for any support.
  13. Hi everyone, Hey, first off -- found you guys after being referred by some fantastic individuals who are part of several Mirtazipine Withdrawal support groups on Facebook. Thanks so much for this site! As such -- AltoStrata, I've read a ton of your stuff already, in particular the posts about Windows/Waves, Mirtazipine tapering tips and, more crucially, the post about AD reinstatement (in the event of CT WD.) Like everyone here, I have a somewhat unique story, with a bit of a twist....perhaps you guys will find it intriguing, at least. Anyway -- my experience with AD's is actually fairly short, relatively (only the last year). After a successful cervical disc replacement surgery in July of 2018, I was told by several medical doctors that B vitamins were excellent for nerve regrowth/regeneration. Since I'd had badly pinched nerves prior to the surgery, I took them up on this advice and began to take a chewable B-complex vitamin every day....which turned out to be extraordinarily high potency. Within two weeks, I was developing strong painful tingling/stinging in my hands.....and after about five or six weeks, I had developed full-blown head-to-toe neuropathy --- all as a result of what turned out to be an overdose of Vitamin B6. (If you want an interesting read, look up "Vitamin B6 Toxicity"...) I DC'd the vitamins immediately, once it was determined what the issue was, but that was just the beginning of a long ride. Shortly after the vitamins were discontinued, the nerve pain symptoms actually got far worse, and I developed runaway panic attacks, as well as various autonomic nerve issues (tachycardia, insomnia) and bizarre nerve-related other issues (couldn't sense temperature properly, lost ability to sense where arms/legs are in space (proprioception), couldn't swallow properly, the list goes on....) In any event, Starting last November of 2018, I was Rx'd a menagerie of medications by several doctors (and these were all being taken concurrently!) to help with the burning nerve pain and also psychological trauma / insomnia issues. In order: * Gabapentin (initially 400 mg / day, eventually peaked at 1200mg / day) * Lexapro (10 mg / day) * Clonazepam (1 mg / night) * Mirtazipine (15 mg / night) The next three months were hellish. I ran out of adjectives to describe the pain that coursed through seemingly every cell in my body. But luckily....with time came healing. By Feburary I was well enough to return to work. I still can't quite believe what my body went through and was able to recover from. With the nerve damage healing largely behind me, over the course of the next 7 months I slowly (and successfully) tapered off of three of the four medications, with little or no withdrawal (apart from perhaps a day or so of noticing I felt perhaps a bit "tense" after the last dose of each medication.) In order of tapering: * Tapered off from Clonazepam (last dose March 4, 2019) * Tapered off from Lexapro (last dose July 8, 2019) * Tapered off from Gabapentin (last dose September 24, 2019) *** So here's where it all gets interesting (and relevant to this forum) --- *** My plan was to follow a similar careful taper off from Mirtazipine....but fate intervened and a poor decision was made. Ideally, I would have waited until after the upcoming holidays/New Year to do the taper from Mirtazipine....but after two late nights of being out to dinner with friends, I forgot to take my 15mg Mirtazipine two nights in a row. Once I realized what I'd done (two days later), I took a quick assessment of how I felt -- which was of course totally fine -- and I made the ill-informed decision to simply DC the Mirtazipine. Now, I should mention that my Psychiatrist had told me that it was perfectly fine to simply DC Mirtazipine as well as Gabapentin (no surprise to this community, I am sure), but I had still insisted on doing a taper for everything. Why I didn't follow through and do a taper with Mirtazipine, I'll never be able to fully qualify....but it was surely a combination of eagerness to be done with this "one last simple med" and also the Psychiatrist's solid assertion that there was no need to taper with Mirtazipine. AND OF COURSE - - 11 days after DC'ing the Mirtazipine, I went into bad withdrawal. Headaches, Gastric Upset, Insomnia, highly elevated heart rate, feeling of being totally "amped" as if I'd drank 3 pots of coffee, Panicked breathing ("air hunger"), all sorts of the stuff everyone here knows all too well. - 7 days after that (a total of 18 days since DC'ing the Mirtazipine), I reinstated at 25% of my original 15mg dose, or 3.75mg. A week later I felt quite a bit better. For several days I almost felt totally "normal" -- and sleep improved, heart rate went back down, things were on a solid track. This continued for perhaps four or five days --- but then after a particularly stressful couple of days, it all seems to have reverted significantly backwards into five or six days now of feeling terrible and getting worse and worse sleep each night. So here I am. It's now been 20 days since I reinstated at 3.75mg (25% of original dose)..... .......and I'm wondering what the most logical (and intelligent) thing to do is now. Ride this out? Consider an up-dose at some point? Thanks so much for your advice (and any criticism you wish to levy at me). I am here to learn and hopefully one day to be part of helping here as well.
  14. Hallo everyone. I am from Germany, so sorry for my "bad" english sometimes.. i am 32 years old and i took lexapro for 9 years. 27 months ago i quit lexapro "cold" from 4 mg to 0 mg. The time before i tapered off my medicament about 6 months from 10 to 4 mg. Later i recognized that it was much too fast. I got a lot of horrible(!) symptoms after quitting, i think the list of the withdrawal symptoms is too long to describe it now. I have accepted my protracted withdrawal now with many waves and a very small amount of little "windows". The strongest symptom now is the extreme fatigue. It is not a common tiredness , it is so heavy and it comes in waves, nearly every day. Most of the time it comes along with headaches and heart racing. , brain fog /and or depersonalisation. Sometimes i feel drunk or i have drunk alcohol the day before. This feeling is so bad and i wanted to know if anyone here has similar problems after lexapro or other antidepressants. It is to despair 😕 Thank you very much for your response!!🙂
  15. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
  16. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  17. NeedMoreHope

    NeedMoreHope: Prozac

    Hello SA Community, I am new to the site, but have been reading a lot of info here over the past 2 1/2 years. I am in a bad place... I was on 20 mg Prozac for many years, and was told by a Dr. in Feb 2018 that I could just "stop it". Well... I crashed bad. I didn't know what was happening, and over the next year and half, I was given over 22 different meds (including back on Prozac and numerous AD's, benzos, sleeping pills, BP meds, mood stabilizers, and lastly, an antipsychotic). I deteriorated more and more and finally decided to get off everything. I am down to my last 5 mg of Prozac. I have suffered very much - my biggest symptoms have been horrible insomnia, dark depression, intense anxiety among others. I haven't had but a couple of days of windows in the past year. I am just losing hope. Will I get better? I am holding at 5 mg for a long time (just reduced 2 weeks ago). I think I did EVERYTHING wrong.... Thank you.
  18. I thought I'd write something up for the CT/ADR crew, as those who are tapering are often able to manage their symptoms well through a gradual hyperbolic taper. For those of us cast out to sea, so to speak, and with no choice but to endure suffering, I think the only thing we have control over is our attitudes and our relationship to what we're experiencing. This means that though we have no choice over what we experience, we have the power to decide whether we suffer it. I may only be 30 days into my ADR experience, but I think given the intensity of my symptoms I've done remarkably well. Part of the reason that's the case is that I'm already well versed at managing suffering by virtue of struggling with CPTSD. One of the most helpful resources I found in my trauma recovery has been Pete Walker's 13 Steps for Flashback Management. I feel Pete's strategies could similarly be helpful for those suffering symptoms from Withdrawal/ADR. CPTSD flashbacks often resemble Withdrawal/ADR symptoms in their overwhelming and intense quality, and are similarly difficult to assign meaning to. Pete's steps help people to endure and manage their suffering, and support people to develop a healing attitude towards a complex and often lifelong syndrome. So here I present to you, adapted directly from Pete's steps, Scrountz's 10 Steps for Managing Withdrawal/ADR Symptoms: 1. Say to yourself: "I am experiencing a symptom." Its important when symptoms arise to name them what they are. When in a wave it is easy to lose perspective and believe that what we are experiencing is a sign that we are going crazy, mentally ill, that our brains are broken, or that we are dying. Symptoms are not characterological defects, nor are they signs of a deeper problem. Symptoms are time limited experiences that will gradually resolve. When you name what you are experience as a symptom, you are reinforcing what is real. 2. Remind yourself: "I would not be feeling this way if it was not for the medication." Withdrawal/ADR symptoms are compelling and have a tendency to pull us in to a unique physiological reality characterized by interminable suffering. Neuro-emotions, ruminating thoughts, and unrelenting physical ailments feel so real it is sometimes hard to believe that we are experiencing is drug induced. Falling into this pit can send us into a spiral of googling symptoms, experimenting with remedies and endlessly theorizing about our condition. Reminding ourselves that it is the medication (or for withdrawal, its absence) that is causing this experience grounds us in the appropriate context for recovery. When we remind ourselves it is the medication, we open the door to taking the right action to promote recovery. 3. Own your right and need to have boundaries Remind yourself that you are injured, and have a right to do what is necessary to heal. Respectfully communicate to others when you are distressed/overwhelmed/debilitated and need space or freedom from responsibilities that may burden your already over-sensitized nervous system. Own your right to take care of yourself and put your wellness first. Remove or reduce distressing factors in your environment and focus on finding a space for you that is safe and conducive to healing. Remember you are free to leave overstimulating situations and to protect yourself from the dismissive behaviour of others. 4. Seek reassurance When symptoms arise, they can be incredibly distressing and debilitating. Many people in withdrawal feel as though their lives are ruined and they may never feel better again. Seek reassurance from loved ones and compassionate others to remind you that you will heal in time. Call your parents, talk to your spouse, connect with your counsellor, or phone a friend. Journal in your introductory topic or reach out to other members of this forum. Find whoever you can to reassure you things will get better. Often just hearing that from someone else is enough to provide some strength to keep going. 5. Deconstruct eternity thinking Withdrawal/ADR symptoms are incredibly compelling. Often when a wave of symptoms arises, one feels they will always feel this way forever. I know for me, when a wave of depression hits, I have a hard time believing it won’t last forever. The reality is that symptoms change over time. Recovery follows an unpredictable course, yet no feeling is final. Waves will always end eventually. Remind yourself that symptoms are not forever, and you will feel differently eventually. Symptom journals can be incredibly helpful in this regard, as when eternity thinking sets in, you can revisit past journals to see how your experience has changed over time. 6. Remind yourself of the resources you have While time is the only factor that truly resolves Withdrawal/ADR symptoms, there are numerous resources available to help with coping and reducing symptom severity. When distressing symptoms arise, remind yourself of the resources you have to cope. It can be helpful to make a list of the things you find helpful in managing symptoms (for me it's talking with loved ones, journaling, Qigong, Acknowledge/Accept/Float, CBT exercises). In withdrawal/ADR, you are out of control but you are not powerless. There are ways to increase comfort and help manage your experience. 7. Ease back into your body (this is copied verbatim from Pete’s flashback management as it is just as applicable to us) Gently ask your body to relax: Feel each of your major muscle groups and softly encourage them to relax. (Tight muscles send unnecessary danger signals to the brain.) Breathe deeply and slowly. (Holding the breath also signals danger). Slow down. (Rushing presses the psyche's panic button.) Find a safe place to unwind and soothe yourself. Wrap yourself in a blanket, hold a stuffed animal, lie down in a bath, take a nap Feel the fear in your body without reacting to it. Fear is just an energy in your body that cannot hurt you if you do not run from it or react self-destructively to it. 8. Resist drasticizing and catastrophizing Withdrawal/ADR symptoms throw us into a state of high distress, where it is easy to begin catastrophizing (believing the world is ending) and drasticizing (believing that something needs an immediate and severe response). It’s important to forcefully resist this, as this kind of thinking only serves to increase distress and reinforce the notion that recovery is not possible. Use whatever strength you can to push back against this thinking, reminding yourself that symptoms are not life threatening, and that this is not forever. CBT techniques that challenge catastrophic thinking are particularly helpful in managing this dimension of symptoms. 9. Allow yourself to grieve Withdrawal/ADR can be a debilitating, life altering experience that has robbed some of us years of wellness and prosperity. For many the loss of a sense of safety and trust in the medical system leaves one feeling existentially exposed. The symptoms of withdrawal/ADR can impact our relationships, sense of self and life direction. It is important to leave space to express the healthy feelings that come up as a result of this demoralizing, often traumatic experience. Pain, sadness, anger, despair and anguish all have a place in the recovery process. Give yourself permission to express whatever feelings are present in relation to the inevitable loss that withdrawal. 10. Be patient with a slow recovery process I was sobered when I read on this site that recovery takes longer than you’d like. The truth of iatrogenic injury is that there is no clear timeline for anyone’s recovery process. Everyone experiences a unique healing trajectory, with some going very slowly and others experiencing more rapid progress. Whatever the pace, it is important to be patient. You simply cannot rush your healing. Most of us will be at this for months or years. Raging against this fact only engenders needless suffering. Though in many ways the hardest step, this is the most important, and feeds back positively into the other steps. If you can take things one day at a time, you’re more likely to successfully manage your symptoms as they arise. If you’re fixated on getting well NOW, you’re less likely to do what's actually helpful (see steps 1-9). This list is far from exhaustive. I’d love to hear from the collective wisdom of this forum about other necessary “steps” in coping with hard symptoms.
  19. Hey Everyone, I'd like to start off by thanking the people who made this forum for the support they give people who are having a hard time coming off of anti-depressants. Your time and empathy is highly appreciated. I genuinely thank you. Okay so let me start off with how I got on anti-depressants. I'll try to be as detailed as possible but I might spare you the reasons why I was initially prescribed anti-depressant medication since I don't really think my back story is that important or relevant to how or why I'd like to stop taking these poisonous drugs. Was diagnosed with OCD in early 2014 and was prescribed anti-anxiety medication. I can't recall what its name is, but it doesn't matter because it didn't even work. Was prescribed a new anti-anxiety medication later on and stopped taking that since that didn't work. I can't remember what the name of that medicine is either. I was then told to go on Seroxat CR. I was perscribed a dosage of 50 mg/day. 2014 Took Seroxat for 2-3 years after that, although I took it very inconsistently. I wouldn't stick to the recommended dosage the doctor prescribed and only took them when I felt the withdrawal symptoms creeping in, basically I only took them every 3-4 days and I only took them because I didn't want to experience withdrawl. 2014-2017 I stopped cold turkey in 2017 as I didn't know I was supposed to taper off it. Experienced withdrawal symptoms for 3 weeks including, nightmares, insomnia, brain zaps, and a strong urge to urinate along with feeling tremendous pain in the tip of my penis. These withdrawal symptoms went away after a month or so and was drug-free with no signs of any withdrawal symptoms for about 4-5 months after stopping cold turkey, until I experienced an anxiety attack in early 2018, something which I don't believe was withdrawal symptoms related since I know the cause of what gave me anxiety. Decided to go back on them to relieve the anxiety I was having since it was my last semester in college and didn't want to take any chances with impeding my graduation due to anxiety/depression. 2018 Tried stopping these drugs (Seroxat) later next year (2019) and started experiencing severe pain in the tip of my penis and got this frequent urge to urinate, I would spend most of my day going to the bathroom, was urinating roughly 10-15 times a day, my sleep was disrupted due to this strong urge to urinate. Went to a urologist and was prescribed medication that would supposedly help relieve this strong urinary urge. Medicine didn’t work and didn’t have any effect at all. Went to a different doctor who reinstated me on Seroxat and prescribed me some other medication to help alleviate this strong urgency to urinate, this secondary medicine was not an anti-depressant. Saw immediate improvements with my bladder pain and stopped going to the bathroom as much after being reinstated on Seroxat. I’d still need to go and urinate slightly more often than usual but I didn’t think too much of it. Went back into old habits of taking this drug 2-3 times a week, and only taking them when these withdrawal symptoms started kicking in. Stayed like this for about 3 years (2019-2021 or early 2022) Went to see a psychiatrist as I was having a lot of trouble with my experiences at work, was let go from 3 different jobs in these last 3 years alone. I told him that I'd wanted off Seroxat because the side effects the medicine was causing (constipation, difficult time achieving orgasm, and weak libido). He told me to taper off the Seroxat until I was no longer taking it and to then start taking a new medicine, Faverin. This was in late 2021. After I stopped taking Seroxat, although the bladder problem came back again I just chalked it off as a minor withdrawl symptom that will go away with time, I decided that I wanted to stop taking Faverin, the newly perscribed anti-depressant medication I was taking recommended by the last doctor I went to. Early 2022 I was told by my psychiatrist not to stop taking it (Faverin) as he felt that I needed to take them for a longer period. I explained that I felt I didn’t need it and I could live just fine without any antidepressants. He finally agreed (reluctantly) and gave me a taper off plan off the drug (Faverin). 2022 After tapering off the drug in a period of roughly 1 month, I started getting withdrawal symptoms immediately after quitting. Early 2022 The regular withdrawal symptoms came back and were pretty harsh but nothing I hadn’t experienced before. Brain zaps were something I got very used too and didn’t get too affected by them. It was the insomnia and the nightmares that I found really upsetting. Those eventually subsided, though. I would still get nightmares/anxiety after waking up, but I tolerated them and hoped/prayed that they’d go away in time. They weren’t as severe as they initially were when I completely went off the medicine (Faverin) so I was patient and believed that they’d go away in a period of 2-3 weeks. February/March 2022 Shortly after that I started getting severe painful feeling in my bladder and in the tip of my penis. It was so bad that I couldn’t get any sleep. I even slightly involuntarily urinated myself whilst I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep with no success due to the insomnia withdrawal symptom the drug was causing. March 2022 I started getting these really dark thoughts and started worrying excessively about everything in life. I started viewing my self as a failure and a burden on my family. I began to panic and have this really bleak outlook on everything in life, and all this happened abruptly in a period of 2-3 days. I couldn’t enjoy anything, watching movies, playing video games, everything was useless and led nowhere. Mid/late march 2022 My mom told me to go back and see the psychiatrist who prescribed me the Faverin medication. Late march 2022 After going to him he told me that I suffer from a anxiety disorder and that it wouldn’t get any better without taking any medication, so he wrote me a prescription for Pristiq, with a dosage of 50/mg per day and told me to go up to 100 a month later. Late march 2022 I’ve been on Pristiq for about 13 days now, I started on April 1st, and my bladder problem hasn’t gotten any better. The main reason I stayed on Seroxat for so long was because it was the only anti-depressant that helped assuage my frequent urge to urinate. I hope you guys can give me some advice on what to do, you guys seem to be pretty well informed on how to help people get off these drugs. I'm completely aware that you guys aren't practicing doctors, but after what I've been through, I'm sure that these aren't just symptoms of depression/anxiety. They're withdrawal symptoms and they're really taking a toll on my life. I'm thinking of going back on seroxat, although I haven't taken it in roughly 4-5 months, mainly because I want these bladder problems and my urinary urgency to go away. I'm positive that if I go back on Seroxat, my bladder problems will go away and that way, I'll be able to get some sleep and not have to wake up every 2-3 hours just to go to the bathroom.
  20. leoxx

    leoxx: Pristq

    I've been taking 50mg Pristiq for about 3 or so years I think. I've had acid reflux issues with SSRI use that seem to get worse over time. It got bad enough that I wanted to go off the Pristiq. I consulted my doctor about this, but she wanted me to get in with a primary care doctor first to have my acid reflux checked. I don't currently have a PCP and with covid, it's a lot of hassle, so after a couple of months of more acid reflux, I decided to "taper" of the Pristiq. It's worth mentioning that I also take generic wellbutrin and adderall to deal with autism. Pristiq was a medicine we had tacked on to the Wellbutrin to even me out. First starting at 25mg and then moving up to 50mg. I didn't think much of it since, at the time, it didn't seem like a high dose. I cut my 50mg pills roughly in half and took a half each day for 4 days. The first 4 days were pretty okay. After that I got dizzy spells (what people call the zaps). I expected this since I down dosed so quickly. I toughed it out for about a week and then dizziness went away. So at that point I thought I was done. I've been going through a lot of life stresses lately and my mood started to tank pretty bad. I thought it was all the stress, but I'm pretty sure now that it's withdrawal. I was pretty much crippled with sensory overload, anxiety, panic, and depression. My appetite was gone and I was force-feeding myself, but I couldn't eat much. I was in extremely rough shape and desperate for help. I live alone and dealing with that emotional distress was too hard to do alone. I spent significant amounts of time on the phone with my folks. They were packing to move to the neighboring state (Colorado), otherwise I would have gone to stay with them (I thought I was having Autistic Burnout). They eventually moved and I wasn't getting any better. With them gone, my local support network was basically 0. My therapist was working overtime with me (for free) because she was so concerned about me. It got to the point where I didn't want to be around my apartment (long story, but I felt it antagonized me from the neighbor noise), so I looked at checking my into a residential treatment facility. Long story short, my insurance wouldn't cover it because I wasn't actively suicidal (thoughts, but no intention, despite the hell I was going through). I broke down sobbing on the phone with my Dad. I was desperate and didn't know what to do. I asked him if I could stay with them at their new place. He talked it over with my Mom and said sure. It was very difficult for me, but I bought a next day flight to Denver. I had insane panic attacks that night about the flight (I've almost never flown). I called a crisis center just to have someone to talk to so I didn't feel so alone. I couldn't sleep at all. I'm a day sleeper generally, so flying at noon made me sleep deprived. I don't know how i got through the whole process and flew out here to Denver, but I did. I was actually doing pretty okay at first. I was overdid it though and towards the evening I just crawled up next to my mom on her bed and sobbed. My stomach started getting really achy that night, which was more intense than it has been before. I wasn't thinking clearly. I wanted to go into the doctor but insurance would only cover ER out of state. Anyway, eventually I talked things over with a nurse practitioner over the phone and she basically told me the ER was unnecessary unless I was in extreme pain and to try some pepto and check in with an in-network doc online. I went to bed. I slept for over 16 hours straight. I was exhausted. That evening I had more panic and crying. I realized then, now that virtually all my stressors from home were gone, that this whole ordeal was very similar to the Xanax withdrawal I was going through about 3.5 years ago. I did some googling and found this site. I read through the entire page on tapering off Pristiq and pretty much any other information I could find and realized how bad the Pristiq withdrawal really is. I explained this to my folks and it made a lot more sense to them. Despite all this, since it's been I think close to 3 weeks since I first tapered, I thought I'd try to see this through to the end. Well, in addition to some anxiety and crying tonight (it seems to be getting better), my stomach is hell right now. It's been cramping to the max. I was even dry heaving earlier. This is all new. I've also been unable to sleep more than about 6 broken hours in the last 24. The other motivation is that I didn't bring the Pristiq with me to Denver, only my other meds. If i were to taper now, I'd either have to find a pharmacy that would tide me over here and pay out of pocket or go home with a costly plane flight and go back in the 50mg until I can get hold of my doctor. That said, I was hoping to stay here through Thanksgiving and really don't want to go back to the noise, stress, and loneliness of that apartment. I know withdrawal times can vary and the best course is to generally taper down. But having been through so much and knowing that Pristiq is very hard to taper off of, I almost feel it might be more convenient and less painful in the long run to just stay the course. My question is, how much longer do you think it will take for my CNS to get back to some sense of homeostasis where I can function better? So far my mood has been much better, except for some hiccups during the night where I get dysphoric. The real bear right now is my stomach. Will I be out of the woods soon?
  21. In March of 2021, just nearly one year ago, I made the very naive decision to go off my antidepressant cold turkey after years of being on something. I did not realize the mistake I was making to go off CT and wish I had learned about tapering. I did not find this page until a few months into my withdrawal. For month one I had the brain zaps, but other than that, felt pretty great actually. The zaps subsided and month 2 is when some mild to moderate depression set in. Month 4 is when severe depression, anxiety and insomnia set in and I had to go on leave at work. I also quit drinking of any kind at this time. The symptoms started to let up in Month 6 and I was able to go back to work in Month 7. I started feeling like I was healing and things were definity getting better although sleep remained an issue having mind chatter all through the night so as it would feel like I never fell asleep. In Month 8, I felt like I was almost starting to feel close to normal again and sleep had dramatically improved. Feeling good, I drank at the end of Month 8 and beginning of Month 9 and that set me off into another depressive episode that I didn’t come back out of until the beginning of Month 10. No more drinking! I felt okay for the rest of Month 10 and into Month 11. I am now in the middle of Month 12 and have been severely anxious and depressed for the last 5 weeks. The level of depression feels like it did 7 to 8 months ago, like no healing has taken place. I’m desperate and exhausted, feeling like I cannot continue living my life like this. Even in the months where I was feeling better, I was still a shell of the person I used to be, feeling like an alien talking to people, unable to connect or have conversation. I don’t know what to do at this point. TMS is an option, but I think about reinstating. Going back on meds would make me feel like the last year was completely in vain, but I am desperate to feel like a person again. I know I should never have done this CT. Any advice would be appreciated.
  22. I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October. My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only. No sleep since. So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes? I’m 72 yrs old. Since last August, I lost all my bad eating habits, and lost weight, no more high blood pressure. So I thought I could stop Amitriptyline 25mg prescribed to me for insomnia in early 90’s. Few years ago, I took only 2/3 to sleep. I thought I could stop. I failed. Very bad side effects. Finally, I saw the light, and Amitriptyline reinstatement. And tonight, I stopped cardiac coherence breathing 3xday. I’ll update my progress. I've read some topics and will read more. I discover very needed new info every day. Thank you to all for contributing to this peer support forum.
  23. Hi all, I've lurked in the forum for a little while now but thought I'd finally introduce myself to give my bit to the community and hopefully track my progress too. I took citalopram 20mg for 6 months in the first half of 2018 to try to help with symptoms of generalised anxiety. I tapered (in what I now know to be a rather quick fashion) over about 10 weeks and hence have been antidepressant-free since August 2018, one year ago. Luckily, I never really suffered with many of the physical side-effects that many describe here, whilst on the drugs, tapering, and off the drugs. But the biggest thing for me by far has been the sense of blunted emotions, anhedonia and sexual dysfunction that has arisen. I noticed these increase gradually while I was on the meds, and then increase dramatically after coming off. Whilst on the meds and even tapering, my overall experience was mixed - whilst the dulled emotions and sex drive bothered me, my anxiety was definitely reduced and I did have more of a sense of resilience to difficulties. The problems really started once off the meds. I assumed that these side effects would go away once I was off, but they actually got significantly worse. Combined, they have really led to a real sense of having lost who I was. The loss of libido has been particularly upsetting, having had quite a high sex drive previously and sex having played an important part in my life. Almost as bad is the loss of enjoyment in music, which I simply don't experience in quite the same way any more. A phrase that resonated with me a little was that of listening to an orchestra, but with the strings and percussion missing. You hear the music, but it just doesn't quite seem full or right. Emotionally I feel less empathy and love which impacted my relationship. The anxiety has still been numbed, the one small positive. But everything is numb. With regards to my sex drive, it's not at 0%, and I do have windows where things seem better, but they feel so fleeting and hard to grasp onto. And often the more I chase these feelings (via porn, say) the further away they seem. Progress seems so painfully slow and there are definitely low periods where I feel like it's never going to recover. But there are times when I can be aroused somewhat by porn/sex and a few magical times where it seemed like everything was back to normal. Recreational drugs sometimes helped me feel something too, though clearly aren't any sort of long term solution. I have found forums like this a mixed blessing. There is an awful lot of negativity around, from people sadly in a very bad place, who have been suffering for 3/5/7/10 years etc who are convinced that this is permanent, they'll never recover, life isn't worth living etc. In my bad times it can be very easy to follow this line of thinking, look at the timescales involved and fall into despair. Nevertheless the forums have been an invaluable source of information and sometimes inspiration - I tend to try to focus on the success stories and positives rather than wallowing in the tough bits. I can completely understand why most people wouldn't want to hang around here when they feel as if they've recovered - they move on with their lives - and I'm convinced that there is a lot of unreported recovery. People don't stay in the hospital when they are better, as the saying goes. Also however painful and slow, it would just seem very surprising to me if anything like this was really permanent. Brains just don't work like that and they are capable of remarkable healing, given enough time. I've recently been in quite a bad wave, brought on to a large extent by difficulties in a relationship which has now sadly ended in quite a difficult and messy way. Though I feel numbed, the end of the relationship has clearly impacted me and in a sense I guess is manifesting itself in this complete anhedonia (rather than high anxiety, which it might have done pre-meds.) Though I feel horrifically numb and flat at the moment, it's all still a bit recent and I know that I need to give myself some time and a chance to heal from the break-up. Anyway - I'll try to pop back here to post any updates I have or answer any questions from fellow forum members. Variance
  24. Hi, I am new here and terrified. Was prescribed low dosage TCAs for 2.5 years. Nortriptyline 20-30 mg from May 2012 - Dec 2013. Then desipramine from Jan 2014 - October 2014. In October, my neck and tongue started twitching. I'd been having muscle tremors since about May, but my stupid doctor couldn't ever tell me what it was. I finally looked at the side effects of the desipramine and put two and two together and quickly tapered down. I was told that was okay since I was on such low dose. Was actually told it would have been okay to abruptly stop since the dosage was low. In hindsight, I now suspect that some muscle stuff I noticed on nortriptyline were actually side effects. Now it looks like I have tardive dyskenisia, which is apparently rare from TCAs. Please, will I recover? Has anybody on here recovered from TCA-induced TD? I see that people have recovered from TD from other classes of meds. Looking for hope about my situation. It is apparently so rare with TCAs that I can't find info and I want a full recovery. Please note: meds were prescribed for pain, not mental health.
  25. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and began taking antidepressants. A year later I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and a year after that ADHD. In 10 years I have taken almost 50 different medications, the only ones that ever helped were a stimulant for ADHD and benzos for insomnia. Working with a new psychiatrist and discussing DSM 5 criteria for Bipolar we concluded it was a misdiagnosis and that ADHD symptoms and issues were actually the source of my problems, including the depression and anxiety because there is not enough for a separate diagnosis but rather triggered by ADHD issues, particularly rejection sensitivity, and childhood traumas. So after a decade of unnecessary psychotropic drugs I stopped suddenly in May of 2021 after insurance issues made getting my meds impossible. The two that were stopped abruptly were Abilify (Aririprazole) and Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine). I have always been very sensitive to withdrawal and experienced some level of symptoms with every discontinuation over the years. Beginning in May I went through withdrawal, including early wake insomnia (waking at 3am no matter what time I went to sleep, something never before experienced in my life), constant dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, constant watery running nose, eyes itchy and either dry or watering constantly, concentration issues, working memory problems, unable to focus (stimulant medication went from very effective to intermittently helpful depending on the day), and severe fatigue that has continued to worsen. As of now, almost a year later, my biggest struggles are with the fatigue that continues to worsen, making an ice coffee at home is too much work and the energy required too much as an example, trouble concentrating, unable to focus and get engaged, working memory problems, cognitive impairment, irritability, and impulsive decisions. A lack of worsening depression or anxiety along with these symptoms I believe confirms that they were related to ADHD and trauma (I was treated for the trauma with EMDR, which was incredibly effective and ever since have not had the relationship (or lack thereof) issues that I had previously experienced). I work in the mental health field, would rather not say specifics, so I am well versed in doing appropriate research and using scholarly peer reviewed articles and looking directly at clinical studies and I am usually able to find information that is helpful. But PAWS has me completely stumped. I brought it up to my new psychiatrist and he seemed dismissive of my suggestion that PAWS is causing my issues, even though all other variables have been evaluated and discounted and the Sleep Specialist I saw for adjusting my sleep schedule with the early wake insomnia agreed that withdrawal from those medications was the only possible cause of the new insomnia, went over every other variable and almost all had been static or actually improving. While he seemed dismissive, he did firmly state that there is not enough literature or studies to show any efficacy of any treatment method for PAWS, regardless of if he agreed with me or not. I could not disagree with him because I have looked exhaustively and only been able to find vague references to possible treatments, such as an anti-convulsant like Lamotrigine. The only journal articles I can find that could possibly shed any light on this are on sites that only academic researchers can access so I cannot read them. Currently what I am going through is making me so miserable that I can't put it into words and it is ruining my life. It takes every bit of physical and mental energy I have just to function in my job, other than that I can't do much of anything other than sit on my couch and watch TV. I can't do my hobbies that I am super passionate about, something as simple as playing in a game of Dungeons & Dragons, because I don't have the energy to even talk on discord for 3 hours while sitting on my couch. I am constantly miserable, if its a day where my stimulants work somewhat then I am still miserable, just slightly less so. The fatigue and cognitive issues have ups and downs but the average continues to go down and if this pattern continues I will be unable to think well enough to do my job, which ethically I am then required to not do my job, and I'd rather not think about what will happen after that. I am extremely frustrated, mainly because this has been a known issues for decades, yet the only real research conducted seems to be related to substance abuse with alcohol, benzos, and opioids, even though a clinically significant percentage of people experience PAWS from antidepressants and/or antipsychotics, but also because this could potentially go on for years or forever, no way to know, or I could miraculously feel better one day. Thanks for reading this far if you have haha, I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and vent a little to people who could understand what I am going through finally, but also would love to know if anyone can share any scholarly, peer reviewed research on any possible treatments or any other information that could be helpful. Its been impossible to find much of anything, and what I do find is not only not very helpful but paints a potentially dark future as well. Thanks for your time and any help that can be offered. Alton
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