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  1. After many years I am working on getting off Effexor (Venlafaxine) XR 75mg. Four days ago I switched from Venlafaxine XR 75mg to Venlafaxine 75mg, and am feeling some withdrawal symptoms! Emotionally upset, and constipation and gas. Should I be splitting this non-extended tablet and taking it every 12 hours? If anyone knows, please let me know. I am planning to taper very slowly, in small increments. Will see how it goes. Also, seven years ago I began developing a neck spasm, which developed and was diagnosed as Cervical Dystonia, also called Spastic Torticollis. It is painful and debilitating. Also have at this point soreness in my neck muscles, and spine, these symptoms have developed since the past year of not sleeping well (another symptom). Only in recent months I began to find that the drug may have caused this condition.
  2. I have gotten off of many things in the last 3 years… currently 139 days Benzo free. Antipsychotic free, mood stabilizer free etc. I have an aggressive movement disorder and dystonia… I read where appropriate because some of those things, but it likely occurred from one of the many drugs I was prescribed. ( see signature for details )… i’m wondering if there is a contingency here because of my movement disorder to move faster? I already have 1 million side effects and I’ve never been stable on any of the tapers? I may have access to a compounding pharmacy. My math skills are dubious and so is my dexterity as I am mostly bedridden. I haven’t figured out how to use the site yet… I’m of that new. Thank you so much.
  3. So this is kind of a long and winding story but I really need advice and am not feeling good at all. I have taken Zoloft over the course of approximately the last 15 years. I have only ever taken Zoloft up until this most recent episode. I slowly weened off Zoloft the last time over the course of a year or longer to very tiny doses. Started to feel what I thought was relapse but now looking back was probably withdrawal in July 2020. Restarted Zoloft very small dose on 7/27/2020 and gradually raised to 75mg. Did 75 mg for a week then went back down to 50mg due to adverse reaction where I was for a few weeks then rapidly went down to 25 mg then 12.5 mg over the course of a couple days. Stopped pretty much C/T due to adverse reaction. Got what I know now to be most likely akathisia and Dystonia. From almost the first dose I was up pacing almost all night and day along with what felt to be an allergic reaction severe head and neck pressure, hard time swallowing, jerking out of sleep, felt like I couldn’t move my eyes. Very weird symptoms. I thought well maybe these are just start up side effects but soon realized something wasn’t rightAnd had never felt this before. But at the time I thought I was going crazy so I went to a psychiatrist and they gave me Topamax 25 mg because he thought I was manic even though I have never had any episodes. I took two doses and felt worse so stopped. That was about the same time I quit the Zoloft from 50mg to 12.5mg in a few days. Then I felt even worse the akathisia was even worse so I went to a mental hospital and checked myself inpatient (even though I had never been to a mental hospital before). They prescribed Lexapro 10mg and Risperidone .5mg and 1mg. I only took one dose of 10 mg Lexapro and two doses of Risperidone .5mg and one dose of 1mg all of which made me feel 10x worse. I left the hospital and they said you have akathisia and It will go away sent me home with propranolol and Benadryl each of which I took for about 7-10 days and it didn’t help and only made me feel worse. I was desperate to relieve the feeling so I contacted the psychiatrist and told them that what they gave me at the hospital wasn’t working so they prescribed benztropine. Which I only took for 3 days and didn’t help and made me feel worse. I let the doctor know again and she prescribed mirtazipine and Klonopin. I was too scared to try the mirtazipine since it is an antidepressant but I tried one dose of Klonopin .5mg and it helped a little but I still felt bad. I have also tried several supplements over the course of this time period to help but nothing has. So now I feel like I had an adverse reaction to Zoloft and probably all the other meds and I’m in withdrawal on top of it. I’m scared to try and reinstate the Zoloft since I had such a bad reaction to it which I am still having but I feel like everything is now 10x worse with withdrawal symptoms as well. I am currently not taking anything. The worst of my symptoms are: Severe muscle tightness especially in head and neck (before and after Zoloft) Pressure in head especially forehead (before and after Zoloft) Eyeballs feel like they are rapidly twitching every few minutes (after stopping Zoloft) Around and evening behind eyeballs feel itchy and tingly (after stopping Zoloft) Eyes And eyelids red and itchy (after stopping Zoloft) Pacing nonstop (before and more after Zoloft) Urge to move constantly creepy crawly feeling/electrical sensations (started with Zoloft but getting worse) Muscle pain (mostly after stopping Zoloft) Trouble swallowing (before and after Zoloft) Roof of mouth itches and ears feel full (before and after Zoloft) Chest tingly (after Zoloft) Very tight muscles on the side of neck (before and after Zoloft) Very disoriented and out of it (Before and afternoon zoloft) Spaced out feeling (before and after Zoloft) Feel like memory is gone (before and especially after Zoloft) Cant concentrate (before and especially after Zoloft) Electric zap sensation in my face when falling asleep (Got brain zaps when starting Zoloft but theses sensations feel different after Zoloft) The worst part of it all it the feeling in my eyes. It feels like my actual eyeballs are twitching rapidly every few minutes and they feel itchy and tingly behind and underneath which is really getting to me. The Klonopin helped with some of the other symptoms but doesn’t help with the eye symptoms which is very distressing. It’s like an itch you can’t scratch. Then of course the constant urge to pace and keep moving. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I know this is very long and complicated but I really need some input and advice. I don’t trust the doctors since they don’t even really believe in withdrawal. I thought I would feel better by now since I haven’t taken the Zoloft for over a month but I feel almost worse in a way. I’m afraid to reinstate because I had such a bad reaction but I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place because I had an adverse reaction but I seem to also be in withdrawals. I feel like I would have been better off never reinstating the Zoloft back in July. This is a nightmare. Im afraid it will never end! I have been reading the forums here for the last couple months and I just decided I need help. So that’s why I am finally posting. I have read a lot of horror stories on here of people who have this 5, 7, 20 years out. I am so scared. I know everyone is different but I’m still very scared! Any advice would be very much appreciated.
  4. Hello. My story is somewhat strange and I could really use some help and advice. I have been on fluoxetine from age 25 to 38. I did try and taper off it twice during that time and it didn't turn out well. It was originally prescribed for anxiety by a PCP. Right away I noticed muscle spasms, tics and twitches, and brain zaps but doctor said this wasn't a big deal. It made me feel better to be on it, so I stayed on it. About 4 years ago I had a bad period of depression and suicidal thoughts while on this drug. It was very unlike me as I had never really been a depressed person, mainly an anxious person. I started drinking too much wine to cope. Then dose was raised from 20-40mg. Over the last few years I noticed I often felt "keyed up" and aggravated, which I thought was anxiety, but didn't really feel like regular anxiety. I had to do a lot of physical exercise to exhaust myself and relieve the feeling. Then I started having parathesia and muscle pain, which was diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Then I developed what seemed to be a movement disorder starting in 2018? Tremors, muscle weakness, coordination problems, and being shaky and wobbly all the time. I suspected the prozac and planned to get off of it. In June 2019 I had a vaccine reaction, was prescribed prednisone 20mg tablets for 3 days, and had a horrible reaction to it which sent me to ER with hallucinations and many other symptoms including worse tremors and balance issues and hyperarousal. I have been extremely ill ever since. After the prednisone episode, due to continuing symptoms I wanted off the prozac too, so was tapered over a month. I originally did ok until I hit the 1-2 month mark. The akathesia that started after prednisone (I'm not sure if that is what I have. I can hold still but feel jittery inside, shaky inside, with constant internal tremors all over) got worse, tremors inside and out are worse, brain zaps, fatigue, parkinsonism and possible dystonia in my hands, trouble walking, migraines, smaller pupils, nausea, etc. I feel like I am going through a horrible withdrawal, and I don't know what to do. I have been seeing neurologists to rule out diseases and have had MRI, emg, nerve conduction study, etc. (which have come back normal.) Have had extensive bloodwork. Doctors blame the drugs. Psychiatrist wanted to put me on Gabapentin but I have been holding off because I am worried about side effects and withdrawal from that as well. I have migraine and am very sensitive to prescriptions. The doctors I am seeing are at Mayo clinic and appts are a month or more apart. I feel like I am not getting the treatment I need. I am also having some neck and spine issues on top of this which could be causing some of the numbness, but MRI'S aren't showing anything that could cause all the coordination problems I am having. At this point I am having trouble walking and functioning. It is terrifying. I am extremely stiff. Everything cramps up when I try to do things. Especially if I tense up even a little. I am extremely hyperaroused. Everything bothers me, sounds, lights, etc. I have no stress tolerance, no cold tolerance. I am fatigued and jittery at the same time. I have insomnia, poor appetite and I keep losing weight. I hurt all over. I am tingly all over. I have blurred vision (had eyes checked too). My hands and arms feel disconnected from my body. The tremors just keep getting worse. So... I do not know what to do here. The withdrawal is horrible. The tremors are getting worse in my face, tongue, eyes and neck. I am worried what they will progress to. I am scared to go back on prozac, but what else can I do? If I go back on, how much do I start with? Worried this is just going to keep getting worse, but since the prozac was probably causing or exacerbating a movement disorder, should I go back on? Also, doctors don't seem to know what to do with me and I'm worried about taking the wrong treatment. Should I stay off prozac and take the Gabapentin? Thank you for reading this and for any help you can give. I am only 38, with a young son. I am going through hell and very scared.
  5. In hindsight, I realize that I have been challenged most of my life with manic depression, little manic euphoria. I also now see the mental health issues which re-appear throughout my father's side of the family. Suddenly when I was in my mid 40's I started experiencing manic euphoric episodes.I was Baker Acted, mis-diagnosed, had another attack, hospitalized, forced to resign from a lucrative career that was the love of my life. In 2008 was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.( I have been at or below the poverty line since with the work I have been able to perform.) I was prescribed Zypreza and started a long depressed state, lethargic, and weight gain of at least 70 lbs. I was weaned off Zyprexa and have since been prescribed over different times drugs such as Celexa, Saphris, Artane, and Lamotrigine. As I was being taken off Zyprexa, my mood lifted, the weight started coming off but the movement disorder had already started in my face. Initially it was diagnosed by my doctor as tardive dyskinesia. The symptoms have continued to worsen to a now debilitating condition. As recent as yesterday, a new doctor, a neurologist thinks the condition is best defined , diagnosed as dystonia. In any event, the outlook is the same, no known cure. I never in a million years thought I would be so disabled and unable to provide for myself and others. But beside all these recent challenges, my weight is well managed, my spirits are good, my faith is strong. I know who I am. I just wish my body would cooperate!! I am going through the disability process now and as of the end of the month, I will lose my health insurance benefits through my last employer.
  6. Hello Everyone, This is my first post to introduce myself to this seemingly wonderful community of fellow survivors in the struggle. About 13 years ago, I had reached my threshold in my struggle with social anxiety, general anxiety, OCD, and depression. Around the time there had been a deluge of commercials on tv promoting SSRIs. I fell prey to a Paxil commercial and soon after decided that I wanted that same smile on my face as the actors on the commercial. I quickly got a prescription of Paxil and was on that for about 2 years and initially found it very helpful. I will admit as I look back that it had made me quite a different person -- much more confident, outspoken, and much less of a worrier. It was my huge mistake as I look back though that I did not couple the medication with CBT. I suppose it would have helped quite a bit if my PCP cared enough to push me towards that sort of therapy. Instead I got continued reassurance that SSRIs were a safe form of treatment. At some point two years later, I switched to Lexapro for a short time and then to Zoloft soon after. I stayed on Zoloft for the next 10 years or so. During that time there were countless occasions where I had decided that i wanted to get off the drug as I was skeptical that staying on any form of medication for an indefinite period of time was a good idea. In fact I soon began to realize that I was developing a lot of behavioral issues as a result of being on this drug. So I tried and tried but just could not complete my taper. Fast foward to January of 2015 I finally achieved the goal of completely coming off SSRIs. Sounds like a huge accomplishment but, that is when my problems just started. I started to develop a twisting in my torso. Initially I thought I was experiencing a hiatal hernia. It always felt like I had a lump in my throat. Then it started to get much more severe. While on the treadmill one day, I noticed that I could not maintain my stride and my jogging would turn into a gallop. It felt as if my pelvis completely started to just "drop" and sag from my body if that makes any sense. Eventually my neck would get involved along with my shoulders. And the one thing that I relished in life -- exercise and being active -- was taken away from me. Just walking it feels like my pelvis is just sort of swimming around and rocking back and forth with each stride. Sitting in a chair is not an easy or comfortable thing to do as it causes my body to twist more and more. Basically it's gotten to the point where just having as little physical activity during the day is the only way to manage my symptoms. Everyday I pray that this thing will somehow resolve itself. I am very sad and feel like I have so much life left to live. Somehow it's come to this where I hope that I will eat that one bowl of Chipotle containing e coli. In general I have a lot of morbid thoughts, because consciousness is a minute by minute struggle and suffering. I should stop here as ... as there is no benefit to anyone just dumping all of my sadness and regret onto these pages. Just wanted to introduce myself and hopefully be able to look back at this post one day in order to write my story of redemption and hope (I believe that God is good in spite of all this.)
  7. I'm very pleased to have found this site. Looking back over the last 19 years it is incredible how much I see myself in many of the posts on this site. Due to severe dystonia I've reduced Prozac from 40mg to 5mg over the last month and a half since. In December I read the book Prozac Backlash (PB) that describes many people that have this "EPS" response and that doctors DONT usually know about it (even though it apparently happened to the first human given Prozac in the late 70s) , and that people are typically unaware that it is happening unless asked, and also that it gets mistaken for or looks like "worse depression." I've felt SO much better since decreasing the dosage that I have hardly noticed anything that even comes close to as bad as having my neck, Jaw and shoulders locked together in dystonia. In fact it was so bad that I was sent to a neurosurgeon to be evaluated for surgery since my brachial plexus nerve on my right arm was severed by the vertebrae's c4-c5, causing me to lose the majority of my right bicep and triceps permanently I did not notice any negative signs until I started going down below 20mg. I did feel beat and tired intermittently, but I have felt like this for the last ten years easy. I noticed the windows and waves and they have not been too bad. I have found EMDR therapy to be a godsend and works very good to decrease emotional disturbances (guilt, anxiety anger, resentment etc.) triggered by thoughts or memories. My biggest problem at this point is not having anyone to talk to about this AND the dismissal I receive from people is very demoralizing. The windows have been quite nice (almost like reuniting with my old self) but I know I am becoming more and more sensitive. I'm currently raising my 2.5 yrs daughter and her mother clams up any time I talk about it and is so nonchalant. I have to beat this for my daughter who is the light of my entire universe ANY help, encouragement, ideas, conversations or support would be so very helpful. Thanks!!! Craig
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