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  1. Needing Encouragement just hit another wave 5 years out I am a mother of two and have been on this journey to find healing both from the trauma from being in mental health system and a very long withdrawal. I have been in withdrawal from a too fast taper and have now been off for 51/2 years. This CT withdrawal was recommended by a doctor as I was pregnant. In some ways I don’t know if i would do it differently, as I had an unmedicated pregnancy. Much improvements since the. and probably back to 65%-75% of my normal self. My sleep returned at year four. I now sleep through the night on a regular basis. I also have days where I feel absolutely wonderful, as if it’s all over. I think I attribute my long withdrawal from too short of taper and having had given birth and cared for two small children during my withdrawal, with the hormones being very hard to deal with and exasperated all of my symptoms to the nth degree. I was diagnosed with PTSD from all of this, ironically enough. There was specifically a very terrifying time after I gave birth to my first daughter after having CT during her pregnancy. I am mostly healed from that, but a big part of that has required me to identify, name and grieve the ways the mental health system took my power, created fear in me, contributed to a lot of shame, made the first few years of my daughters lives very dark by virtue of an unwell mom and damaged my nervous system. This has been one of my biggest losses, the loss of how a mother daughter relationship should have went. I still wonder about the ways they have been affected, it just devastates me. I have been thinking about composing a letter to the Canadian psychiatrist association to close that chapter soon. I still have waves, where my sympathetic nervous system gets very heightened and it mentally feels awful, especially sensitive to sound. I still get muscle spasms, tinnitus, palpitations, brain zaps and very tight muscles. The muscle pain is the worst. I still have random bouts of terror and anhedonia. Also blood sugar issues, no diagnoses just a reaction to changes in blood sugar and very bad PMS. I have still been drinking coffee and alcohol not in huge amounts, but may try to come off to hopefully heal the rest of the wAy. This ones a hard one for me as it’s a way I bond with my friends and find a bit of joy in this long process, with a nice glass of wine or late. Hopefully now that my ptsd is slightly better this may help too. I sometimes don’t know what symptoms are from which, PTSD or withdrawal. I do know that through it all, a greater healing and restoration is taking place. Four years into withdrawal, I deeply felt in my heart God making a promise of restoration to me. So I keep going. I have had to learn to deal with my anxiety in ways I never thought I could as withdrawal forced me, since the anxiety and dread is like no other. if you have any encouragement for people this far out still healing, I would appreciate it. Thank you alto strata, I am so glad I found your site. Thank you for your advocacy for all of our devastating losses we have had in this journey. My heart is forever grateful to you. 2013 CT from 20mg celexa after 4 years being on it. Was pregnant at the time 2014 baby born crashed HARD went back on celexa at 15mg thinking I had ppd, now see was also withdrawal. 2015 started to stabilize but had ptsd from crashing so hard, wasn’t diagnosed until five years later 2015 started to taper over 8 months coming off entirely by July 2016, been in withdrAwal ever since December 2018, gave birth to second daughter December 2021- 65-75% healed Take magnesium, Mag07, Vit d (although recently had a bad reaction when I tried to increase it), vitamin c, Ashwaghanda helped me in my postpartum with my second child but took only as needed Bad reaction to fish oil, 5htp, same
  2. Dear withdrawees ... I hope i find you all well... Or at least amidst a window rather than a wave . I've been scouring SA for some time now, picking up whatever bits of helpful and positive information i can about this horrific ordeal. I now feel its time to introduce myself and my history on AD's to the community with the hope of being provided with additional support and a view helping others in the future when this experience is more of a bad memory rather than a living hell . I have been taking Sertraline on and off for the last 6 years since 2013 after a series of horrific circumstances happened one after another. Despite the drugs having good effect, I've always been uncomfortable with masking what are obviously important emotions using a daily consumption of a drug. This has led me to unwittingly withdraw multiple times across the 6 year period which lead me to believe i was confined to a life of drug taking, this was until June this year when I first found SA and became aware of SSRI withdrawal . Of course I was left somewhat shocked but not surprised after feeling neglected previously on multiple occasions by the medical sector. Despite that though i found a new sense of hope knowing that a life beyond drugs was not only possible, but likely. Recent Drug History OCT 2016 - I quit Sertraline 50 mg CT after a family bereavement had turned my life upside down .. as a result it felt the drug was totally ineffective. MAY 2017- After what had been an appalling 6 months (which i thought was horrific grief but now realise it is likely withdrawal is the more likely culprit) I reinstated Sertraline at 50 mg before raising the dose to 100 mg due to not feeling any effect (again this is something that makes sense now). In time i had started to feel normal again and presumed it was because I had worked my way through my prolonged grief. FEB 2019 - Life was now back on track and decided it was time to try and rid myself of the shameful daily pill pop that is AD's. I quit Sertraline Via a fast taper... but may aswell have been a CT. JUN 2019 - I found SA . .. realised i was withdrawing .. and had inadvertently made multiple mistakes along the way. NOV 2019 - I'm roughly 8-9 months into withdrawal & STRUGGLING MY SYMPTOMS: A thick brain fog Anxiety an inability to feel emotions / make connections with people Loss of communication skills & wit muscle weakness Fatigue As I've said previously.... i am currently at the 9 month mark and I'm coping okay (I Think🤔 ) when i compare my battles to that of others.. but i am beginning to really struggle with the isolation that seems to be a natural part of the process. I have always naturally been an extroverted person who loves talking to people and being at the centre of attention although currently this couldn't be further from the truth and is taking a huge toll on my daily life. Every time I am confronted with some form of social situation my brain draws a blank. Its as if the lights are on but nobody's home. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CHARM AND CHARISMA? I wanted to ask for advice from anyone whose been in a similar situation: What can i do right here and now to aid myself when dealing with these symptoms? If you've surpassed the 9 month point of withdrawal with these symptoms still rearing their ugly head, at what stage did you notice a marked improvement? Has anyone any advice on how to work towards improving other areas of my life, such as love or working life and learning new skills whilst withdrawing? If you've made it this far thanks for reading and i look forward to any replies? Cheers
  3. Hello, I am a young adult under 24. I've been depressed since 2015 (it also runs in my family). I also suffer from anxiety but this started later. I have gone through periods where I have been managing it well and periods where it has completely crippled and controlled me. Since the start of the whole covid mess I have moved back home and been in a difficult patch. My family and doctor had been pushing me to try an antidepressant for a long time despite my aversion to them. I caved at the start of this summer (2021) and let my doctor prescribe one. I picked bupropion (wellbutrin) because it seemed to have the least amount of serious side effects and members of my family have tolerated it in the past or continue to use it (actually found this site while trying to decide). I still did not like the idea and got prescribed the lowest dose available (150 mg wellbutrin xl). I picked the prescription up a month later and left on a shelf for another because I decided I still didn't want it and I had been improving myself by exercising again (I had stopped with the move when I was in a bad patch) and getting out and doing things. On August 21 (2021) I took the first pill in the middle of a breakdown and I was considering trying other drugs, in hopes it would maybe fix something (I also thought having taken a prescription may support my case for taking less courses at university like my doctor had said, it definately weighed in). That day I felt incredibly motion sick from walking (walking is my coping mechanism, how I sort things out in my head and feel most at peace) I couldn't even get more than a kilometre without feeling awful. I didn't feel great emotionally either. I wanted to stop then but my family said I can't just stop and the side effects would fade. My brain felt even more dull than before and I felt worse about myself. After three days the nausia started to fade but my nerve endings seemed to be less sensitive (everywhere) and I was experiencing headaches, my eyesight also seemed to go weird. On the 27th of August 2021 (7th day) I had a much worse break down and decided I wasn't going to take them anymore. I decided that at best they were having a nocebo effect because I hated myself and resented every time I took a pill and at worse they were actually messing with my brain and body in a bad way like suspected. During the week I had delt with a family emergancy and everything was completely opposite to the "possitive new habits/therapy" that are supposed to accompany the start of taking them. I tried to throw the last tablet up while I was upset (no it didn't work and no I am not bulimic, I was just upset). I just haven't been taking them since then. I have had a worsened head ache, reduced nuasia, still feel worse cognitively than what I would consider my normal and things appear to be worse sensitivity wise. Now my questions are: 1) has anyone else experienced the same side effects while taking wellbutrin? (Nausia, cognitive decline, vision changes, headaches, short term memory issues, reduced sensitivity (I thought that bupropion didn't cause sexual issues!)) 2) I have since read that anti antidepressents permanently change the structure of/damage the brain even with only one tablet! Most of this research seems to be with SSRI's and I could only find this case study for wellbutrin .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662168/. (It sounds positive in this case but not in other articles) I don't feel like my self and I am honestly terrified that I'll never get my old brain back (And body/eyes). Can I fix it or did I make an idiotic mistake one week that will ruin the rest of my life? This is my main concern and why I am writing today. 3) I know I'm asking this early on but do the majority of people find that they go back to the way they were before after taking these medications, especially if they have only taken them for a short time? 4) is clitoral atrophy a thing with antidepressants?! I hadn't even heard of it until I started googling my symptoms this morning. (I know that is an awful idea.) Between those articles and all the antidepressents ruined my life comments on every article I click on I think I seriously screwed up. 3) Is physical exhaustion/ mental stress mostly responsible for all these issues? (I have had a lifelong issue with insomnia that gets worse with depression) the last week and a half has been hell first with the drugs and then with everything else. Is it psychosomatic? A little extra info. I will be moving to another city to start university in less than a week. I will be going alone as one parent is hospitalized in the icu and the other has to keep visiting them and the rest of the family functioning. I've been out of school for a while and it took a lot to force myself to apply and get everything ready. I feel completely underprepared and the most stupid and incapable I have ever felt. I am scared I will not keep up, fail, drop out before I start and just wind up wasting all my money and preparation. (I may manage to get councling through the school and will finally get extended medical at least) My parent who was my main person to talk to (not hospitalized) understandably doesn't want to deal with my situation now. I my apologies if I've been over dramatic in my post and especially if my last little rant is not what this forum is for, but I think it gives an accurate representation of where I'm at. I just want the old me back and think I may have ruined my brain right when I was improving and before something I was terrified to start in the first place.
  4. LCatherine Hello, I am 25 and sometimes feel that my life is over because of Lexapro that was only taken for just shy of two months. I don't know where else to turn, my family and doctors do not believe me and my friends have never been through this hell, so they don't understand. I was a healthy, happy girl for 24 years. Mild anxiety, mild depression, but no severe mental health issues, especially compared to what I've experienced over the last 9 months. It started in September of 2019 when I decided to go on a hormonal birth control for the first time in years. Horrible mistake, I was immediately hit with crippling anxiety and waves of panic attacks. I could barely leave my home and cried all of the time because I didn't know what was happening. I had to go to work so I saw my primary care doctor and he prescribed me Zoloft. I had taken Zoloft roughly a year and a half prior for mild depression (again, NOTHING compared to what I've experienced recently) and it made me feel okay at the time so I thought I would give it another shot. It heightened my anxiety and made me very suicidal the second time, I believe because my hormones were out of whack so it wasn't really ME that it was treating if that makes sense. I went back to my doctor after only taking it for a week and he prescribed me 5mg Lexapro. This was the beginning of October. The first few days I thought maybe it was working, my anxiety was down and I felt calm. Something was instantly not right though, and I felt extremely off. I wrote in my journal that when I was speaking it felt like it was not really me, like there was a space between my thoughts and my words. My inner dialogue was completely silenced which was terrifying. Brain fog set in, things didn't connect or make sense, I felt nothing. I couldn't eat, I couldn't leave my bed and the next two months were a blur that I still have trouble remembering. My head constantly hurt, my ears rang, my vision was compromised, I was dizzy all of the time, had severe depersonalization/derealization and it felt like I had severe inflammation of the brian. I had adverse side effects and it truly felt like I was in hell. I was bumped up to 10mg despite feeling horrible. On Thanksgiving I was sitting with my mom and childhood best friend and her mother. I didn't care if I died, if they died, I just wanted to disappear and I knew I had to get off of Lexapro. I didn't have proper medical guidance and stopped cold turkey. It's been 5 months since stopping, and I would love to say that everything is back to normal, however that is not the case. The bizarre brian sensations, which I later learned were brain zaps, have subsided, but I still have horrible brain fog, waves of DP/DR, my inner voice is much quieter than it once was, and when I get stressed or anxious I feel like I may pass out. I still have ringing in my ears and eye floaters. I have been to the ER several times, I had an MRI done and multiple tests and everything came back fine. I have seen two different psychiatrists who just pushed more drugs, most of which I did not take. I did take a low dose of Amitriptyline briefly but stopped because it made me feel sort of manic and had other weird side effects. I should mention that I have been very sensitive to medication my entire life. I asked my psychiatrist if Lexapro could still be causing these symptoms and he said no, that when people come off of antidepressants they experienced flu like symptoms for 1-2 weeks and then are fine. I had to do research myself, because I never experienced any of these symptoms until I took Lexapro. I could feel it destroying my brain, and it has not recovered. It feels as if my nervous system is wrecked. I take fish oil, D3 daily and occasionally magnesium. My mom believes that the symptoms I'm experiencing are caused from breast implants that I got when I was 22, although I had them for years with no side effects, or due to vaping which I also had no problems with for a year prior to all of this. My question is, will it get better? Sometimes it feels like I will never be myself again. I have lost all pleasure in things I used to love. The idea of going back to school and starting a career seems impossible, and sometimes I feel like I will just be a vegetable and waste away. I try to stay positive most of the time, I have read success stories that give me hope, but other times I feel very hopeless. I don't want to go the rest of my life feeling brain dead and like I have no purpose because of a pill I was prescribed for two months. Please help.
  5. Hi Everyone I just wanted to introduce myself. I have been lurking this forum for long enough now. 🙂 Male, 28 My story starts in November 2018 when I went partying with a few friends and consumed different recreational drugs (MDMA, Cocaine, Speed and Alcohol). I wasn't new to these drugs but I made the huge mistake to not test any substance and not dosing correctly. However I didn't feel bad throughout that weekend and the hangover was as expected. After four days the panic attacks and the depression started and it just did not get any better over time. A month later I had enough and went to my GP who immediately put me on Effexor and Seroquel. Later on Seroquel has been exchanged first to Mirtazapine and then Trazodone (see signature). The drugs definitely helped with the panic attacks but Side Effect were just unbearable I felt 40 years older, manic, aggressive, suicidal, without any motivation and completely emotionally numb. There was just no way I would stay on this horrible stuff any longer so I went cold turkey after two months. The first two months were kind of ok but I still felt drugged. After that the emotional symptoms kicked in and it became a fight for survival day by day. I will not go into detail about it because you probably all know what I am talking about. Sixth month later I made some progress, the symptoms became a little bit less intense and I had some windows. Over the next four months I made some further minuscule improvements, windows became longer. I started to feel kind of stable in my recovery, it gave me some hope that I didn't lose my job and my girlfriend throughout all this time. Next month I will be drug free for a year but it is still a massive struggle every day. Right now I seem to be in a long wave (5 weeks so far) with a great change of symptoms. The anxiety and the panic attacks have become a lot worse recently and there are a lot of physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and generally feeling miserable. I have become less active, less motivated to exercise but on the other hand I am also feeling kind of ok with it. Also my sleep seems to have changed quite a bit, I didn't have very bad insomnia so far only very intense and draining dreams. They are mostly gone now but instead I am sleeping two to three hours less per night. I try to see these changes as my brain being at work 🙂 I can't differentiate if I am still in Withdrawal or if this is the after effect of the recreational drug incident (any ideas?). All I can hope for is that my brain will heal the same way as it does if I had taken psychiatric drugs only. Throughout my life I only had a few bouts of mild depression and anxiety (and three mild panic attacks), nothing I couldn't cope with. I also have never been on any psychiatric drug. I will try to document my recovery in this topic. Massive thanks to the people of this forum without you I would probably have gone back on psychiatric drugs a long time ago. You can't imagine how much hope I got reading through these pages! 🙂
  6. Hi, I'm trying to get off psych meds because they've been making my short term memory really bad. An example of this could be putting a water bottle somewhere and within 10 to 15 seconds forgetting where I put it. I also other have problems with sleep and want to get off psych meds. I've been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Thanks.
  7. Hi everyone, I’ve just come across this website and sounds like there is some great forums and support. So hoping for some guidance and assurance! So I’ve taken 100mg of Sertraline for approximately 10yrs. Initially prescribed for post natal depression and anxiety. While on medication I experienced a traumatic incident, therefore medication was increased to support with the depression and PTSD. I’ve attempted to taper off Sertraline before, without success. I had recently forgot to collect my prescription and after around 3 days of no medication. I thought it could be an opportunity to cold turkey from the medication. I am now on day 7 and having the worst withdrawal symptoms ever! Feeling tired, headaches, brain zaps, feeling so irritable! I’m awful to be around! And so emotional, just breaking down and sobbing. I feel helpless and and so low. I’m being irrational and not being thinking straight at all. Now I suppose my query is, has anyone else experienced this, how long for, is it worth trying to hang in there? How long does this awful feeling last? I’m a senior manager at work and need to be focused, I can’t take time out either, it’s a new promotion. Any support or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thank you everyone 😊
  8. Hey im a 23 year old female, i got on paxil at 18 years old so 5 years ago, iv been off cold turkey since febuary 20th of this year so 112 days. I tried to reisnstate 2 weeks ago i took the medication i think 4 times got an adverse reaction it caused extreme akathisia almost immediately. I stoped taking it and the akathisa is gone now. I knoq every single story is different every person is different, does anyone have a similar story to mine, of how long they were on the medication, the dose and when they started to feel better, sorry if this post is all over the place. I have severe issues concetrating, severe confusion alot and no deep emotions and i just cant think, dont feel connected. I just want atleast a full day or two that i feel like i can think and feel emotions i want to see when some of you guys broke through that wall when going cold turkey from a high dose of paxil and around 5 years being on it prior than you!!!
  9. It has been 3 months since i quit using sertraline 50mg and mirtazapine 15mg. I have used mirtazapine 15mg for 4 months with sucess and had a bad adverse reaction to prozac after using it for 3 weeks before this. But i have been going downhill ever since. It started with being slightly unfocused but now i can't remember what happened few hours ago! I lost every ounce of personality i ever had. I have no problem solving skills and i am not intelligent anymore. I am losing all my acquired skills too. I lost my musical ear and i am not as good as i used to be with speaking English (not my native language.) It feels like i never even started playing piano 3 years ago and it drives me nuts! I lost everything in my life because of my need to ease anxiety. No one thinks this could be true. Psychiatrist thinks this is good ole anxiety and threatens me to put on antipsychotics. My family refuses to believe me and prefer to listen to ''professionals'' instead of me. I have a few friends to listen to but none to truly understand (or want to understand) what i am going through. I can feel the stress literally burning my mind 24/7 non stop. I really do feel my mind burning and it does not look like it will go away soon. I have lost everything yet it still destroys me nonstop. I just want this to end. If this goes on like this i don't think i will want to live much longer. I am just a whiny depressed person in other peoples' eyes and i refuse to recover by not taking pills. They won't acknowledge anything i say about losing myself with the introduction of the drugs or the stress-like burning mind sensation that started with the drugs. Anything i say and do is being used against me to show how depressed or anxious i am and how much i need meds. I have lost all hope and i am expected to attend university in 2 years with the mind of an 8 year old. So if i don't show any prowess after 2 years i will end it all without a single doubt. I don't want to live a life i am not happy in. Please share anything that you can relate to this issue. Have you ever experienced something like this? When did you start to recover? How much did you lose and how much did you manage to recover? Even the tiniest bit of hope is enough to make my day and push me forward. Right now all i can do is crying.
  10. Hello out there! I'm 10 months into quitting lithium and citalopram cold turkey after more than 10 years of use. I've always been a highly functioning overachiever but became increasingly depressed, agitated and anxious at the age of 15. I was soon diagnosed with bi-polar II disorder and put on dozens of different medicines at the request of my parents and many doctors. But after gaining 50 pounds from seroquel, experiencing an increase in anxiety and anger and a host of new symptoms I decided to get off. The bad news... This has been the HARDEST 10 months of my entire life. From suicidal depression to random aches and pains, muscle stiffness, intrusive thoughts and now obsessive compulsions I can't believe I'm still here! This has been incredibly hard on me, but also on my family. Being in social situations is difficult and many of the things I use to enjoy, no longer make me happy. On top of all that I work a 9-5 which means I mask my symptoms 8 hours a day, 5 days a week so I can pay rent. Life is generally unpredictable and overwhelming... The good news... In 10 months I lost 35 pounds- down 50 from from my heaviest. Everything is SO vivid and bright-all my senses are heightened and I experience a state of awareness I never knew existed. On top of that, getting off medicine led me to a spiritual awakening. Now meditation, mindfulness and intentional living fill the space between the windows and waves. Despite my mood swings and anxiety, I am more in touch with my spirit than ever before and HOPEFUL that the worst of the depression and physical pain is OVER. Now if only the anxiety and compulsions would end....
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