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  1. Kristine

    Kristine: not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  2. Introduction Hi everyone. I have been lurking here since last year but decided to start my thread as my waves are getting more frequent. I am trying to stabilize at 20mg of generic Prozac (fluoxetine) daily, and have been taking it for 6 months. I thought stabilization was finally happening in January this year but waves are now weekly. I am here to see if anyone can shed light on why my horrible waves are more frequent now. I've read “The windows and waves pattern of recovery” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/). Maybe I'm missing something? I'm not feeling very bright since WD hit me! Wave and window frequency Stabilization seemed to work right away and my intense waves were about every 14 to 21 days (3 to 4 weeks). Last month and this month, waves have increased frequency to about every week and last 2 to 5 days, with a window inbetween. Currently working on a graph based on my daily notes to visualize my stabilization journey. WD waves This is how I recall them now but I will update this description when I consult my notes next during a window. A headache and dizziness accompany a vice-like tightness around my head. I then get intensely irritable, depressed, and quite sleepy. I then get akathisia, mostly in the legs. I have tried pushing through it but I find it very hard to concentrate on anything and I just can’t bring myself to talk or interact with anyone. Any conversation or touch terrifies me and I just have to dismiss myself and apologize to whoever is around me at the time and hope they don’t take my sudden departure personally. I then go to sleep. When I wake, I feel better but the wave is still there. I tend to get better over the next day or two, only for the cycle to repeat as mentioned above. Aside from sleeping the only relief I get, for but a moment, is when my rescue cat comes home and deigns to grace me with her presence on the bed next to me or in my chair. This WD has meant that I can no longer keep many commitments, I can only work on a casual basis (i.e. I put in a few hours a day in a window), and my relationships have become skeletal. My life is slowly falling apart and I am now dependent on my partner. She is understanding of my withdrawal, having been on SSRIs herself but luckily avoided a protracted WD. Sadly though, I just feel so guilty and frustrated at how I am now a slave to this window and wave cycle, and largely a useless partner. Windows (something positive) I am myself: productive, fairly positive, happy, thoughtful of others, and able to tackle my anxiety properly. I still live in fear of waves but I am learning to try not to ruminate on them. I feel a willingness to connect with people. I am starting to put too much pressure on myself to do everything during a window and that is leading to problems. To be fair to myself though, my waves are iatrogenic and I must forgive myself for feeling wretched, even during a window, because SSRI withdrawal is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and it has ruined my life. Why are my waves more frequent? I will share some of my hypotheses below regarding why my waves are more frequent. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know, I’d love to hear them. I’ve learned so much from SA already. As mentioned in my signature I am working on compiling all the daily data I have into a graph so I can get a better picture of my stabilization journey (and what proceeded it). I don’t know when that will happen as my windows are now spent doing all the things I put off in my waves and just improving my loosening grip on the good things in life. I know though that I have to finish this data processing as soon as I can in case the waves merge into one big, long one. 1. My SSRI history during the last two years is peppered with ignorant tapering attempts, maybe it is catching up with me? 2. The optimist inside me is hoping that the frequency is increasing because it could be a pattern that occurs prior to a period of flatter frequencies (perhaps the ebbs and flows of homeostasis). I am perhaps just fantasizing but I imagine that if the frequency increases so much, like in a radio wave, the peaks and troughs (waves and windows) will be indistinguishable, which could be what homeostasis looks like. I am laughing at this hypothesis as I can see I am desperate for some good news XD 3. Maybe my reinstatement/stabilization dose was a little too low (considering I was on 40mg daily for the longest time) and I am catching up with the WD that it would have caused in recent months. If this is the case, I can’t see any benefit in updosing now anyway. Sure, it could always get worse but I think it would definitely get worse if I start guessing at an updose level. I could be wrong. 4. Some of my family wish to visit me later this month for a few days. I haven’t seen them in years. They planned it during one of my windows in December and I felt positive about it all. I also felt optimistic that given about 6 months of trying to stabilize, my waves would be a thing of the past, or a rarer occasion. I tried to get them to postpone but they can’t change their plans without losing all their money. I don’t want them to stop their holiday for me but as the reason for travelling is to see me, I have warned them that I may be in bed, only able to talk to them for a few minutes. I hope I have a window when they are here but I think I’ve had a huge amount of stress about the visit because I just don’t need the guilt I will undoubtedly feel when I am only able to see them for a few minutes. In other words, perhaps stressors and other factors in my life are making waves more frequent. My expectations for stabilization and my tapering plan I didn’t expect stabilization to take this long but after reading “After reinstating or updosing how long to stabilize” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4244-after-reinstating-or-updosing-how-long-to-stabilize/?hl=%2Bhow+%2Blong+%2Bstabilize) I realize it could take a long time, maybe years based on how much damage my ignorant tapering did in the past. When I stabilize (I suppose I have to believe that I will) I plan to do an SA taper, spanning years, with water titration (I have done a few trial runs of it and it’s very easy to get accurate doses this way). I have the syringes ready but it could be a long time before I get to use them! My current plan is to keep plodding along at 20mg until I can get a more stable window and wave frequency. I don’t expect my waves to disappear completely but this increase in frequency means I am questioning things and hope that someone out there may have an idea about what’s happening and what I may expect to happen for the next 6 months. Lifestyle As for my lifestyle, I am healthy, eat well, and exercise most days. I take some supplements but I don’t think they’ve made much of a difference either way. I will list them later when I can manage it but they include B12, magnesium, and fish oil. Sadly, during waves I mostly lie in bed as it provides me some relief. One of the side effects from fluoxetine is sleepiness and lethargy, which I've always had, so that contributes to me lying about a lot. It took so much out of me to write this but I am glad I did it now! Good luck to you all and I wish you the best, regardless of what stage of withdrawal and recovery you are. Kittygiggles
  3. My story.. I have had a year from hell and scared and traumatised. Typically a high functioning professional person working full time until May last year when psychiatrist changed my medication from citalopram 40mg to fluoxeteine. This was because of episodes I experienced following drinking alcohol usually when tired and run down, I may drink 3-4 glasses of wine wake up with a hangover and crash. A crash involved feelings of severe anxiety and I would take 1-2 mg Diazepam and hanker down in bed for one sometimes two weeks and would gradually come right and life would go on as normal for years. The occurrence of theses crashes were becoming more frequent potentially because of work and family stressors so the decision was made to switch from citalopram to fluoxteine. From here I had 3 major mental health crisis which involved outpatient treatment at local psych hospital my medication regime was changed (see signature)and I completed a 11 week programme at anxiety disorders clinic based on CBD ending in December last year. While useful I continued until now to have a couple of good weeks followed by weeks where I felt terrible mainly with with physical symptoms anxiety, bowel and bladder hypersensitivity, unable to wind down, fatigued, breathless, weight gain +++ very speedy and fast in processing then crashing when i stop. Since January 2019 I have been trying to cut back the diazepam unsuccessfully an have currently given up on this idea. Have just been back to my GP as am struggling big time with the current combinations of medications (in signature) and do not feel they are helping me. She wrote to the psychiatrist who a recommended Psychiatrist recommending not commenced as yet Continuing with diazepam 3 mg daily not reducing while making changes to medication Reduction of Mirtazapin at 15mg increments prior to this decreasing mirtazapine increasing fluoxteine to 60 mg In the mean time I have had another crash needing to take a week off work. I should mention I resigned from my initial job after taking 3 months sick leave and started a new Job in February this year which is only 4 days a week. One day I go to yoga and have a quite day. Would be grateful for any advice support, I feel like i have lost my life and wonder how much of this is related to medication or combination of .?
  4. i've been off 60mg 40mg (see Post #4) of prozac for 2 months after tapering very quickly over 2 months. i took prozac for 20 years. i have really bad headaches most days, something i never used to have before unless i was dehydrated. i have terrible mood swings - i shout at people in the street if they're badly parked, i get road rage when i'm driving, i scream at the kids and my husband. fatigue is a big problem - i can fall asleep at any point during the day and often do. i sleep all night but am still exhausted the next day. i have constant vivid dreams and nightmares. my ocd is creeping back (which is what i was prescribed the prozac for in the first place). i thought i had it under control until my kids told me i needed to stop posting on social media so much as it was dominating my life. i was also alienating people online. i have constant diarrhoea. i cannot stop eating -i'm constantly ravenous, especially for carbs - crisps and potatoes are my downfall and i've put on a stone in weight since stopping. i have lots of pains in my joints and limbs. i did have crawling under my skin, especially in my knees and feet but this seems to have subsided. i'm scared of seeing or talking to people. this has always been a problem for me but it is worse right now. thankyou for listening if you made it this far. today is a bad day and i keep asking myself why i gave up the pills in the first place? i hoped i would have more energy, feel more emotionally, lose weight etc. but it was only after i stopped that i started to read up on protracted withdrawals. i had no idea it could be so bad to stop the drugs.
  5. Hi everyone I was on Paxil 20mg for 19 years- most of which time it worked well (except for some weight gain and bloating). While studying at grad school I started taking Adderall for four years until it developed until a problem and managed to come off it inn July 2017. Went through the PAWs from that which lasted for a long time (and is maybe still ongoing). However, since I came off the Adderall, the Paxil appeared to have stopped working (either than or the PAWs from the Adderall was overriding its effects). So 5 months ago I decided to do the Prozac bridge to see if Prozac would work for me. I did a straight switch to Prozac 20 mg without any tapering and felt some withdrawals and also felt weird most likely from starting on the Prozac as well. While taking Prozac I have been up and down, with good weeks and bad. However, in the last two weeks I have had what seem suspiciously like the 'waves' I hear about on this site. I have felt the worst I have ever felt in my life and it seems very much like SSRI withdrawal to me (I've experienced withdrawals from Paxil several times before when I either ran out or tried to quit). This time symptoms include a sense of impending doom, nausea, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression. It seems unusual to be suddenly hit with withdrawal symptoms 5 months after giving up Paxil and while still taking Prozac right? So my question is- is this some delayed withdrawal to the Paxil I stopped taking 5 months ago or is it some adverse reaction to the Prozac (even though I have had periods of feeling fine on it). I am leaning towards to the possibility of coming off the Prozac and reinstating the Paxil. Even though I was feeling pretty depressed when I was on Paxil last I didn't feel like this now where I basically feel like I'm losing my mind. Any recommendations on what I should do?
  6. Hi, I thought I would introduce myself. Have joined this forum after experiencing horrendous withdrawals from anti-depressants. I am 34, female. Currently 3 months completely off of Prozac which I took for 6 years at the highest dose I understand is allowed to be prescribed in the UK (60mg daily). I weaned down from 60mg to 0mg over 5 months. Have had 3 months of pure hell since stopping taking Prozac completely - symptoms ranging from suicidal depression, nausea, migraines, loss of appetite, the most debilitating anxiety and panic. Weakness, crying spells, the most excruciating emotional and psychic pain that I have ever had to endure. All the symptoms I have read others have experienced except I haven't had brain zaps - not sure why. Am determined to stay off of Prozac and just go through what I need to. Very grateful to have come across this forum and hopefully to be able to share how I am getting through and to hear how others have managed and hopefully to offer support too. I am aware that there seems to be no other way that through this - keen to connect with others who are finding a way through. Very keen to connect and speak further to anyone else having to go through this. Very determined to get through although very aware it feels like you just don't know what each day will bring or when you really are finally on solid ground. Very keen to hear others experiences. I am using the idea of windows and waves to navigate through currently. Very keen to connect with others. Natalie
  7. Hi Guys. I have been on every SSRI over the past 2 years, apart from Paroxetine. This all started from some situational anxiety at work. Each time i took a medication i was on them for about 3 month without any benefit at all. I would loose time at work, cold turkey and return back to work. Each time i did this i was getting worse and worse. I would then return back to the doctor and ve started on something else. This has basically gone on for 2 years. All this time i have got worse. I have now come to understand withdrawal and the fact i could have well been prescribed numerous medications due to an illness been mistaken for withdrawal. 8 weeks ago after stopping my second attempt of Escitalopram for 3 months i decided to stop for good with a fast taper. I feel anxious, dizzy, fatigued, poor cognition and inability to focus. I know if i take a dose of SSRI that this will improve however i will return to the Zombie state of meds. I am finished with medication!!! On reflection my problems i encountered prior to any medication was far easier than the problems i have had the past 2 years on medications. I think i have been a victim of Psychiatry! I dont think i ever needed medication! My chemical imbalance was created by meds! If i had no knowledge of this i would be stuck in Psychiatry! I just want to know ppls experiences and can i still be in withdrawal at 8 weeks after 2 years of messing about with meds. Thanks Lee
  8. All of my symptoms in bolded, for ease of quick scanning for relevance by anyone interested. I have ended up on this website after lots and lots of google research to pin down the cause of my incessant symptoms of a low-grade migraine headache and constant nausea that I have been experiencing for 10 days straight now. My Migraine History: I have been getting migraines fairly regularly (about 2 or 3 each month) since middle school. but they are pretty mild, as migraines go. About 25% of the time, one will be preceded by an aura that is a lightening-shaped blind spot or blurry vision and then the headache will be very severe. And occasionally, one will be accompanied by severe nausea. But normally, my migraines are just quite painful headaches accompanied by heightened sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. With ibuprofen and extra sleep, they are usually completely gone within 30 hours. During puberty and especially pregnancy, my migraines were more severe in all aspects: nausea, sensory sensitivity, and pain. My Venlafaxine Withdrawal/Discontinuation Symptoms: I did not connect these symptoms to the cessation of Venlafaxine until recently because 1. I did not know that physical symptoms could be related to the cessation of antidepressants. 2. The onset of symptoms did not occur until 5 days after my last half dose of Venlafaxine. 3. I was only on Venlafaxine for 27 days (including a half-dose for the last 7 days). I only made this correlation after several days of googling possible causes, and after including symptoms that I had previously dismissed as insignificant and inconsequential in my internet searches I started experiencing a persistent nausea that did not seem like food poisoning or stomach flu (no stomach cramping, etc.) 14 days ago. There were/are waves when the nausea is worse throughout the day, and a constant malaise otherwise. Unlike the stomach "flu" or food poisoning, there is/was no stomach cramping or urge to vomit. On the 4th day of no relief, I realized that it was just like the nausea I get that sometimes accompanies my migraines. I hadn't equated it with a migraine previously, because there was no headache. I started taking ibuprofen periodically, treating it as if it were a migraine. On about the 5th day, I could feel a headache "trying to set in", which is my usual precursor to an impending migraine (although historically the nausea, if it develops, does not come on until after the headache presents). Since then, I have had no improvement in symptoms. On about day 6, I started googling possible migraine prescriptions and was considering seeing my M.D. the following day, if there was no improvement. I also started googling the combination of all my other mild/querky symptoms to see what else it could possibly be, if not a migraine. These other sporadic symptoms had each seemed inconsequential as they had come and gone here and there, and were easily dismissed. But I was starting to realize they might be related. Muscle Weakness in my biceps that I had noticed when using a steering wheel or when filing through clothing racks while shopping. Crying and/or the feeling that I needed a good cry, without provocation, that felt very similar to PMS (although this was about 10 days after my last menses). Brain Fog in the middle of conversation. I will have to concentrate really hard to remember what the conversation is about, and what I was going to say next. I will forget what my husband told me just minutes ago. Word Recall Difficulty both while texting/typing (spelling) and in conversation (vocabulary). High Pulse Rate of 88pm, which was noted at the medical appointment that I had on the fourth day after my last dose of Venlafaxine, when I felt great. Chills Hot Flashes/Feeling Flushed Sinus Congestion which was present before, but is now much worse, especially at night. Nausea that feels like "Morning" Sickness when there is 0% that I am pregnant. Yes, 0%. At times, I can tell that I will feel better if I eat, and at other times I can tell that eating will make me feel worse. My best time of day is the first 3-4 hours after waking up. Shivers not related to body temperature this one I just experienced last night, and suspect (hope!) is more likely related to my inadverdently taking 2 different antihistamines (diphenhydramine and cetrizine) at the same time! Very pronounced and fast onset of "prune skin" on the soles of my feet, followed by Extreme itchiness on the soles of my feet Another really bizarre symptom that I think might have another cause. ??? I had sprayed the soles of my feet at bedtime with magnesium oil two nights in a row, as I have done in the past when experiencing a severe migraine. I did not bathe or shower until a third night. 5 minutes into my bath, my feet (and only my feet) were EXTREMELY pruny, as if I had been soaking for more than an hour! I have found nothing online indicating that this wierd fluke may be related to the magnesium oil, nor to antidepressant withdrawal/discontinuation. After the bath, my feet were excruciatingly itchy (just the skin, not the nerves) for at least 30 minutes! After much reading on this and other similar forums, I contacted my P.A. that has been assisting in my medication management for the last 3 months. I am going to reintroduce 5 beads of Venlfaxine tonight and see if it makes a difference by the time my afternoon appointment rolls around tomorrow. She is doubtful that any of these symptoms are related to the antidepressant, so I hope this works. I really hope that my experience, along with the litany of literature I will be leaving with her tomorrow, convinces her of this very real and very under-reported issue!
  9. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  10. Lollypops

    Lollypops

    Hi, I was on cymbalta for 7 years and previous to that I was taking Effexor for 3 years. It was very hard to withdrawal from Effexor (at 21 years old), it 6 took months of rest and klonipin to stop panic attack, brain zaps, irritability, anxiety, agoraphobia, anger, abnormal sensation in my body, dizziness, nausea.. the list goes on. I don’t remember the exact dose I was on because it was so long ago but my new psychiatrist at the time mentioned it was too high for someone with my body weight and severity of depression. The doctor said I needed to establish my routine and force myself to follow through with getting through work each day while I withdrew. Needless to say, I got passed the withdrawal but by far that was the worst I ever felt in my life. I was 29 when I came off of cymbalta( 90mg), it only took 2 months to withdrawal. I had severe mood swings and excessive hunger... I did not have any sensation issues or brain zaps. I was taking a prenatal vitamin because my husband and I were planning to have another baby (one baby came out being twins btw) I think that what made it easier to withdrawal from cymbalta was the vitamins I was on. I still remember 2 days after being off cymbalta, I was having really bad temper problems! I also suffered from memory issues and slight paranoia but it was fairly quick to get rid of those symptoms. I don’t think I mentioned this already but I suffer from major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia, and really terrible panic and anxiety disorder. I was able to successfully withdrawal from the cymbalta and Effexor with routine, vitamins, plenty of rest, and a lot of encouragement from family. I am now 35 and have been on Prozac for about 5 years. About 3 weeks ago, my psychiatrist took me off of the Prozac (60mg) cold turkey and put me on Wellbutrin. I have to say, I was feeling really good until about a week ago when I started experiencing the brain zaps, dizziness, sleepiness, frequent body pain, headaches, and vertigo. Today I started having irritability issues and feel like I am going to snap at anyone who talks to me in any sort of way that I feel is aggressive, almost like someone else is taking over!! I really hope that I am successful getting off of prozac because I almost feel like I could go off the deep end when I start to feel the irritability coming on. Personally, I think cold turkey is the wrong move for me coming off Prozac.
  11. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  12. Hi everyone, I am new and super happy to be here. I have been on Prozac 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300 for twenty five years. I have tried to get off a few times but was not successful. I started to taper in Jan and was down to half doses on May first. The withdraw, specifically anger and self hate became too intense and I went back to old doses two weeks ago. Now I feel like crap. Side effects are harsh and benefit little. I feel like I have let an angry tiger out of the cage and can't get it back in. I am thinking of going back to the half doses and just dealing with the emotional stuff by working out. I started yoga in Jan but maybe harder cardio is the way to get the anger out. Problem is that I am also very tired. I work and come home and go to bed. I journal, go to AA meetings been sober over 15 years. I feel like I am a mess. I am wondering about some of the natural antidepressants like SamE or 5HTP? I just feel like my brain is raw and hurts. Any ideas on how to supplement and sooth my brain? thanks, and I also will stop the taper and work with my doctor but can't see him for another month so that is why I am thinking of going back to the Prozac 10 and Wellbutrin 150 that I have been taking for the past couple of months.
  13. Orangeblossom77

    Orangeblossom77

    What about the Tricyclic antidepressants? Brake or accelerator?
  14. Hi All, I'm feeling so fortunate to have stumbled upon this site. I've read several books, research papers, and blogs over the past two months. I haven't had a chance to do a signature or proper intro yet, but will get to that as soon as I can. I'm tapering prozac and lamictal and down to 20 mg and 150 mg, respectively, and so far so good. There are weird symptoms that I wonder if others have experienced and will get to that later. Right now I'm wondering if anyone has found something to ease the alcohol cravings? While the prozac was at 40 mg beginning of August, and it's down by half, I feel like such a lush still. While it is a relief to know it's probably due to the bleeping prozac, I don't want to keep drinking a 6 pack of 9% beer on weekend nights...sometimes during the week too. Thank you in advance for any info you can provide.
  15. Prince1924

    Prince1924: Prozac

    I have just read this advice about keeping a withdrawal programme Simple ie 3KIS. Not sure but there doesn't seem to be a support network like this in the UK? Only one I've come across is the Royal College of psychiatrists which is a in the form of a video). I've taken great comfort from all this advice as I makes me feel I can try and come off Prozac one more time.
  16. Hi. I was on Venlafaxine for 4 weeks - 2 weeks at 37.5mg and 2 weeks at 75mg but I had a bad reaction to it so my doctor changed me to 29mg of Fluoxetine. I had to take 37.5 of Venlafaxine with the Fluoxetine for a week and then stoo the Venlafaxine. I have been on just the 20mg of Fluoxetine for 2 weeks and feel awful! I am sweating, shaky, nauseous and anxious. Is this the withdrawals from Venlafaxine or side effects of Fluoxetine please? Would appreciate some advice and how to deal with it. Thanks.
  17. Bluebird2009

    Bluebird2009

    Hi 8 am from the UK and was on Prozac for 18years but had been unwell and having physical problems the past few years but tests where all clear. I realised it was the drug that was the problem. I was taken off too quickly and my body went into shock and I have been in protracted withdrawal ever since which is 9months now. Every month I'm getting new symptoms and really struggling with living. I can't tolerate even a pain relieve tablet without a reaction. I have awful lung and chest pain, blurred vision, severe headache which has just started this week and feel like I'm dying. I feel I maybe shouldn't have came of but then maybe it's better to get the poison out of my body. Really need some positive vibes at the moment and if anyone else in UK can help please do as I'm frightened that I'm going to die.
  18. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  19. WuGang

    WuGang: hello all

    Hello, I am new to this website. A little about me; I suffer anxiety, panic attacks and was diagnosed depression. Many years ago, when I was around 14-15 years old, I was placed on antidepressants (Seroxat). I was later put on Fluoxetine and Amitriptyline for close to 20 years, I'm now 33. This year I made the decision I didn't want to keep taking these drugs and arranged with my doctor to slowly stop them, one at a time of course. It took a couple of months in total with his instructions. It's now been around 2 months off the Fluoxetine and a month off the Amitriptyline. I have been struggling with the side effects since. On and off sleeping difficulties, wild mood swings, constantly angry and easy to temper, and a really bad temper! Depression. But also, problems with my mind, brain fog, difficulty concentrating. It's really hard to explain, I feel dumber since stopping the meds, I know my mind, know how it works and I can tell it just isn't right. I don't recognize my own mind anymore. I struggle to enjoy anything that I used to, struggle to understand or concentrate on the things I used to like. And to be honest, it's been scaring me, I've been really tempted to go back on the drugs just so that I can be me again. Still struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Anyway, that's a little about my story.
  20. Hi i wanted to ask if anyone in here experienced extreme fatigue ? All day I feel so tired and the only activity I can manage is an hour walk but even through walking I feel very weak.. the mornings are the worst when I wake up after 10 hrs sleep I have no energy my body just lies in bed but have absolutely no energy did anyone experienced something similar ? Thank you in advance
  21. Nuttinanna

    Nuttinanna

    Hi I am a 71 yr old nana who has had Lupus for 30+ years. I have been on Fluoxetine for approx 14 yrs. Started on 40mg. In 2013 reduced to 20 mg. After tons of therapy and other improvements in lifestyle I now believe that Fluoxetine is not doing me any good and am trying to stop. Started 8 weeks ago skipping doses every 4 days which had no effects after 2 weeks. So skipped one every 3 days and after a week started with withdrawal symptoms that have intensified. This has been going on for 6 weeks now and showing no sign of stabilising. Am now thinking I should go back and start again more slowly and get the liquid form. will be talking to Doc but although a great doctor she knows less about withdrawal than I do. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated. Also take Hydroxychloroquine, Ramapril, Bendroflumathiazide, Omeprazole,Thyroxine, Cod Liver Oil, Multivitamins. Many thanks
  22. Hello! I have been following this forum for a while, but haven't been able to find time and energy to write my own introduction. I found this site after searching relentlessly for other answers to mental wellness besides antidepressants. Besides lots of other informative books I read Whitaker's "Anatomy of Epidemics", and understood better what happened to me last year when I had a big relapse, which I'm still recovering from. Medications didn't help anymore. Things only started improving when I started taking supplements (Daily Essential Nutrients, which is former Empowerplus), and applied gluten free casein free diet. And since then, I have carefully tapered down with medications. But I write briefly about my story from the beginning. I have difficult background and lot's of things I have had to work through psychologically, because my dear mother suffered from severe depression for many years and finally it ended with her suicide in 2002. But I don't go into depths about that, but try to give you general idea of what has happened over the years. It was very hard after her death, and with difficult relationship at the same time, so I ended up taking antidepressants for some time. I was really paranoid about them, and agreed to take only small amount - 10mg citalopram, for like 5-6 months. As time went on, I started to get really bad mood swings myself in 2005. In summer 2006 I ended taking birth control pills I had been taking for 8 years. At the same time there was high pressure at work and another relationship that didn't work out. Few months after quitting the pills, I fell into hole I hadn't even been able to imagine before. Severe depression with even small amount of psychotic symptoms (delusional guilt thoughts). It was really, really bad. There was a psychiatrist, that put me on citalopram "because it worked before". 40g, which, in hindsight, was really high and I probably suffered a lot from not only the illness, but AD side-effects. I didn't really feel that the pills were helping, although after a few months I was out from the most awful state of mind. I continued to take the meds for some months, but then dropped it - I just didn't want to take them (I saw my mom deteriorating on AD-s, and didn't believe in them). But I was not the same after this crisis. I'd lost something in me. And as time went on, I started to sink down again. Until in 2008 (3 years suffering), it was so bad that I had no other way than to search for help again. I started cognitive-behavioural therapy, and did it vigorously, but it didn't help. And then I started meds again. After first tries that didn't work, I started prozac (20mg) - and it's effect was amazing and very strong!!! I got flashes and glimpses of my warm and good memories, I felt like a ton had fallen from my shoulders, it was quite dramatic improvement. I continued to get better gradually for at least a year. I felt that I gained about 80% of my wellness. As things were going well, I thought it's ok to stop them now. I was still very wary about taking those drugs long term. I gradually stopped it, I think during 1-2 months. I remember I had withdrawal (feeling very angry and irritated), but pushed through it. I had learned a lot in therapy and thought I can handle myself. I was really emotional after ending it, cried a lot and it put a strain on my new relationship. After a couple of months I was really going down again, I felt really bad, depressed, awful, and anxious about the relationship. my pdoc restarted prozac. It didn't work anymore! It was awful... to realize that the drug doesn't help anymore. We tried duloxetine, which gave bad side-effects. and then sertraline (zoloft), which, after 3-4 weeks started giving relief. So the dynamics was such: I stopped the drug, restarted it about 4 months later, waited for 5 weeks, then started new one (1-2 weeks), and then new one, which eventually started to work. The relationship still ended though, after a few more months. I didn't fall into pieces after that, although it was hard. 2009-2011 I was on Zoloft then (50mg). Looking back, things were more stable. not perfect, but I was able to live my life. In July-August 2011, I was in love, and thought I could do better if I reduced my antidepressant. I took 3/4 pill for a week and then half, since the beginning of August. By the end of August I was quite a mess. I didn't think about meds at all because I was dealing with relationship and I thought this all is psychological, and due to past traumas and my own illness, etc. I felt very raw psychological pain at this time, and it took a long time to get out of this hole - I remember hurting like hell all autumn. And we (me and psychiatrist) started messing with meds. I think at first we upped zoloft, to 1,5 tablets (75mg). I think it didn't help - therefore we switched me to citalopram. I think first at 1 tablet, then 1,5. it helped for a little, but then I think caused me to be very tired and stoned. I think I then reduced it again, and went to 0,5 tablets (somewhere in November). And then, in the end of January 2012 I quit that entirely. I ran out of meds, and then thought, what the hell, I don't want to take them at all. I realized that they were not helping very much, but I totally did NOT realize how much harm they are doing, especially if withdrawing! During all this autumn 2011, I was making intensive progress in therapy, so I attributed a lot of my feelings to psychological things. And at the end, we did quite remarking breakthrough, and I also felt better, so I naturally thought about dropping the pills. I experienced sudden and dramatic IMPROVEMENT in my condition, especially psychologically! I felt alive, sensitive, feeling, lighter, more awake, really connected to life and people and things! wow! I saw very vivid dreams and I swore that I even visually saw more clearly! I did feel also psysical sypmtoms - like dizziness, little nausea. but nothing so bad that I couldn't tolerate. In april, my mood starts swinging. I managed it with lots of meditation, and running, etc. but it continues and gets worse. Until in the end of June - boom - suddenly during a period of one week, I suddenly crashed so deep, it's hard to even describe it. The relapse was very sudden and steep. I deteriorated into suffering which is unimaginable. I had been through very, very painful mental illness periods before, but this was one of the two most awful crisis. and it didn't go away. new pdoc, at first reinstated zoloft, I think. didn't help. then swithed to paroxetine. things only got worse, paroxetine gave me horrible side-effects, besides everything else. then switched to buproprion. didn't help. at all. I ended up in the hospital. they started me on Prozac again. plus 50mg seroquel for sleep. This was in August, last year, 2012. Things actually did not improve after that, or improved really, really little. And I developed hypersomnia - sleeping 14-16 hours a day. But still feeling tired. We increased Prozac to 40mg, but after that I was reluctant to do any more changes. I felt that meds just don't help me anymore. And it proved to be correct, because for 8 months, there was very little improvement (all that time I stayed on 40mg prozac + 50mg seroquel). I started reading about meds. Before that, I had done ALL possible with psychological interventions. CBT, EMDR, intensive therapy, group therapy, ect. all things very helpful for personal growth, but unhelpful for feeling so bad still. now I started reading about meds. And vitamins and minerals. I read Whitaker's book, and finally understand what happened last year - that the horrible condition I ended up with, might be because of ending drugs too abruptly. It helped to give me back some security - at least I understood, what happened, and what almost caused me my life. I also read a lot about vitamins and minerals and mental health. I started taking lots of supplements in March, and noticed small improvement in my hypersomnia. Then I switched to Daily Essential Nutrients (former EmpowerPlus) in April. At the end of April I started tapering down Prozac, by 1/10 amount in month or more time. In June, I started gluten-free-casein-free diet (with the help of nutritional therapist). I have been improving since April. When I started DEN, it made me more tired for a week or so. And then, I think it started detoxification process in my body - I had violent headaches, woke up with swollen face, didn't tolerate alcohol at all (half glass of champagne gave me horrible hangover the next day). But those things passed - I think the headaches stopped completely when I started GFCF diet. My mood has definitely improved, if I look back a couple of months. I don't think about death anymore. I have more concentration, and my memory is better. although I'm not by any means in good shape, I'm out of crisis. My energy has improved more slowly, and hypersomnia as well, but they, too, are improving. There are days now when I can sleep 10 hours, and I'm very glad about it. I'm able to do more things. I think I feel prozac withdrawal after two weeks when I have reduced it. I plan to go in the same pace (4mg down each month) until 20mg, and after that go 2mg/month. and at the same time, reduce also seroquel. Whoah, that was a long story to write down. Thank you for anybody who had the energy to read it through! I have some questions for you, too... - does it also seem to you, that lot's of my problems are drug-induced - withdrawal-induced? - what about illness itself? lots of people here discuss how they were put on AD-s which in hindsight were not needed, and then developed problems. I had small depression even before drugs. after my moms death I was on low dosage and for little time (half a year). And I did have bad trauma in my life. My mood swings and depressions were bad without AD-s... - my first biggest crash coincided with quitting baby pills (hormones). I have long suspected there was a link. I think I was sensitive to chemical changes, and the stress and traumas had built up, but my body couldn't handle it anymore. I also think taking long time baby pills can deplete the body from some important vitamins/minerals, and cause biochemical mess in the body. I think I will have more questions down the way. It's nice to finally write and introduce myself to you!
  23. Help777

    Help777: journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  24. Hello, Part 1, Intro. I would like to start by sincerly thanking websites such as Survivingantidepressants for essentially helping me to understand my plight more accurately. I have found the success story sections to be particularly helpful, and have turned to these wonderful stories to help raise my spirits in times of utter hopelesssness. After lurking around on these websites, often too incapacitated to do much in the way of meaninful writing, I decided that it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared a little bit about myself. This is going to be a long post, and I understand that some folks going through the ringer will not be able to read this post in its entirety due to eye issues, or just information processing issues. I've been there, I couldn't read for probably a year in total. Nevertheless, I hope that you can eventually read this and garner some useful information, or at least some knowledge that you are not alone out there going through this unjust, cruel, and totally unecessary hell that we've been subjected and in my opinion, decived into undertaking. 2 Background. To give a brief background, in January of 2013 I was prescribed 50mg of pristiq, had a bad reaction to it, then switched to effexor 75mg for ~2 months, and then after requesting a medication that doesn't give me sexual dysfunction, prescribed 30mg of cymbalta. All said, I spent about 6 months on medication and I must say that it definitely relieved my moderate depression and my above average anxiety. Simultaneously, I was taking ~10-15 mg of adderall nearly daily for over 7 years to relieve "ADHD". Unfortunately, after going on cymbalta, I had a severe manic and borderline psycotic reaction to all of this stimulating medication, and proceeded to spend a tremendous amount of money over a short period of time because I became convinced that the economy was going to crash and that I needed to prepare NOW. At the time, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong, but I always trusted my brain's intuition, and my ideas just seemed "right". So I basically bought 400 pounds of non-perishable food, and nearly 4 grand worth of prep supplies and equipment. Seeing that I was employed as a graduate student, earning my PhD, my funding was very small, so this basically bankrupted me and I had to borrow money from my family just to stay out of debt. I also opted for a very invasive, and not entirely necessary shoulder survery to correct a torn labrum that had been annoying me for years. I went ahead and had the proceedur finished, and was excited at the prospect of having a fully functional shoulder again. As it turns out, my intentions were pure, but life had other plans for me (if you'll read on and bear with me). At the end of my 6 month stint on this medication, I started to have severe memory issues. I would be trying to explain something to someone, and all of a sudden I would hit a "road block" and couldn't figure out the correct word to say. Obviously, as a PhD student, this would not do, so I told my doctor I wanted off of this stuff and I wanted my old brain back. Well, I tapered from 30mg to 10mg somewhat quickly (as I have now learned), over about 1 month and from there, based on my doctors advice, I "bit the bullet" as he said, and went from 10mg to 0mg. What proceeded to happen was that I went through very similar symptoms over a 1 week period as people often describe for benzodiazapine withdrawal. Indeed, I had been prescribed clonopin for 5 years, and withdrew from thsi medication back in 2012, and for 3 whole months I was basically bedridden and completely incapactated before being able to function in the world again. At that time, I swore I would NEVER EVER take a benzo again for the rest of my life. Unfortuantely, I was unaware of the fact that SSRI/SNRI's could produce similar symptoms. I was even moreso unaware of the fact that SSRI's could produce symtpoms that were even worse and even more debilitating. To make a long and disappointing story short, I went on an epic vacation just 30 days after I quit taking the medication. I had planned this trip very meticulously during my medication induced mania, and spent a tremendous amount of money on this trip - it was essentially meant to be the trip of a lifetime. Instead, it became one of the more awful experiences of my life. Try navigating 5 countries and managing an expliciting budget just 30 days after coming off SNRIs and having awful symptoms. It was just really hellish, but by the halway point I was hoping that my symptoms would abate within 60 days and I would be able to resume normal functioning at the unviersity. I was hoping to put all of this behind me. Upon returning, I discovered to my horror that I was not much improved after 2 months. My symptoms included, but are not limited to: severe memory loss, burning sensations, problems with my eyes (blurry vision, floaters, etc), difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking, hot flashes, vertigo, and depersonalization/derealization, fatigue, etc. You guys and gals know the deal, it was GRIM, GRIM, GRIM. Looking back however, I actually had it pretty good. 3. From bad to worse This is where the story goes from bad to worse. As a PhD student, I had worked exremely hard to make a good career for myself once I graduated. One way of doing this way to teach a college level class. So upon returning from my trip, I was meant to teach a laboratory class in an advanced course in Biological Sciences in the summer for 1 month. I was so severely depersonalized/derealized, and with all the other symptoms I listed above, that I could barely remember any of my students names, and I certainly couldn't remember any of the subject matter that I was supposed to be an expert in and deticated the last 6 years of my life to memorizing. Ouch. Nevertheless, I pressed on because the course had to be taught. So I did, and the student's didn't seem to mind, although I was acutely aware of the fact that I had lost a tremendous amount of intelectual ability and could no longer "speak off the cuff" and go on intelectual tangents. I recall one student asking me about a relatively simple mathematical formula, and my inability to easily answer this question that drove me to the point of calling my ex-psyciatrist back and demanding a meeting. In this meeting, he indicated that a quick fix for my problems would be a prescription of prozac which has a long half-life, and reinstating this medciation for about a month or two, and then going off of it again. I thought "well, this better work" and went ahead and tried. As I had mentioned earlier, I had shoulder surgery, and as a consequence I needed to take some pain meds to help me through the immensly painful physical therapy sessions. So I was prescribed tramadol, which is an SNRI (UH OH!). One day I will never forget, I took this tramadol, about 1 week after being on prozac, and I had an adverse reaction to this combination that has haunted me for about 1.5 years now. My entire body went numb, particularly my sensory neurons, and I felt like an strange tickling and itching sensation over all of my skin. I never took tramadol again, but as I continued to take prozac over the next couple of weeks, I began to have an odd sensation over all of my skin: it felt as if I had wet paper bags over my entire body, and my face was becoming anesthetized. I returned to the doctor, and told him about this a couple of times and he basically told me "how could that possibly happen, you're probably just anxious". At the 1 month mark, things were not improving, and all of the original cymbalta withdrawal symptoms were still there. Instead of taking me off the medication, like any reasonable human being would have done, this doctor UPPED my dose to 20mg (from 10mg) after I told him about these adverse effects. After just 2-3 days of this, I started having insomia, and I said "**** it" and tapered off quickly in a 4 day period. It was around September 1st, 2013 when I had my last SSRI/SNRI. I should note here that I was miraculously able to finish teaching the course in anatomy and physiology with decent reviews - the prozac did help in the sense that it produced a mild mania again, which allowed me to sort of interact with the students better. What also helped me was the fact that it was around this time that I got together with my then girlfriend who saw me through the worst of the issues, so I was not completely alone thorugh this hell. It was really this wonderfully patient and kind woman who, amongst others, I attribute to saving my degree and possibly my life. 4. Recovery begins Afer coming to the realization that reinstatement was not an option for my body, I had to deal with the fact that my reinstatment attempt was not only a failure, but it made my symptoms like 40% worse. Now I also had tingling and numbness in all of my limbs, profound sinous headaches, and trigeminal nerve problems, and more serious eye problems than before. I was seeing a psyciatrist through all of this, because I was still taking adderall and had developed quite a habit for this pill (later on, I did successfully quit), which was the only way I was going to write my dissertation and complete my degree. This doctor told me that many of these symptoms may disappear after 3 months, so I waited patiently and tried my best to be physcially active and write my dissertation. Unfortunatley, releif came VERY slowly, and it wasn't until the 6 month point that I began to feel substantially better (Feburary-March 2014). At this point, with the help of my wonderful girlfriend, and a moderate dose of adderall, I began to be able to write my dissertation, and in the next ~2 months I wrote a massive chunk of this work. The symptoms sort of started to melt away, and I began to be able to read and function again - although I was still severely damaged and had not recovered. In anticipation of the fact that this might take a very long time, I scheduled my PhD defense for Summer of 2014, so that I could be at my very best. I also began applying for jobs, and succeeded in securing an interview. One unfortunate event that I should mention is that I reinjured my shoulder, so that now it was worse than it was before I got surgery in the first place. I attribute my reinjury of the shoulder to the SSRI withdrawals, and the adderall - the level of fatigue and the lack of awareness of my body due to sensory nerve damage (or what ever the heck it is - I'm still not entirely sure I understand what precise physiological mechanism is responsible for all of the symptoms I experienced) caused me to just not work on my shoulder exercises like I should have, and to play with it the wrong ways while in bed one morning. 5. Hypersensitivity This is a very important part of my story because it explains my great downfall and what happened next most precisely. Basically, as I've read on this website, and others (particularly paxilprogress.com, which was my very favorite and brings me great disappointment to see it taken offline), many people experience an inexplicable hypersensitivity to various substances when going through an adverse reaction or an ssri withdrawal. I too had this experience, most profoundly after my issues with prozac and tramadol. For example, I would drink 1 beer and be totally incapacitated and brain dead for 3 days, and if I got drunk, I would be seriously messed up for no less than 14 days. This was also true for niccotine, or any central nervous sytem agent - and it severely limited what I could do and how I could enjoy my life. Thankfully, I was still able to escape my horrible existance by watching movies and playing videogames. Indeed, videogames very effectively passed time for me in the early stages of withdrawal. Anyways, I also noticed this in regards to other medication - I took one, ONE .5 mg clonopin pill to help releive the "rebound anxiety", if you can really call it that, during my recovery process in the spring of 2014, and it completely incapacitated me for like 2 weeks. I then took a valarin root to try to see if that might help calm my nerves, and another 2 weeks of my life were gone. It's very scary to realize that small doses of commonly taken medication can completely incapacitate oneself, and I seriously had no answer for any of this other than to very cautiously avoid any and all substances if it could be helped. I should have taken this as a warning for things to come, but unfortunately I did not. One night, with my girlfirend, I had ingested a marijuana brownie in an attempt to have a good time and to escape from my unimaginable horror of losing my intellectual ability, my career, and everythign that was important to me (especially losing my emotions, the anhedonia was SEVERE and pathlogoically bad - instead of feeling emotions, I would just feel a vague burning sensation in the frontal part of my brain). This pot brownie was suprisingly effective and I had a good night with her and her friends. The only reason I mention this is because that pot browning made me believe that I could handle a small dose of marijuana without any ill effect - maybe I could find a way to medicinally deal with the agony of my condition. 6. True hell: Boy was I wrong. One night I shall never forget, my friend and college invited me to a party where people were smoking some pot in a casual way. I was just coming down from a daily dose of adderall, so I was a bit anxious and thought I would now have an opportunity to relax and enjoy myself with these folks and have a nice weekend. I smoked the pot, and what happened next was that I went from euphoria stright to utter terror. It's still very difficult for me to write this, and I'm having some emotional issues with articulating what happened, but I basically had a terror (panic) attack for like 12 straight hours, and proceeded not to sleep for the next 2 months. Yes, you read that correctly, I did not sleep for 2 months. The hell of SNRI withdrawals and an adverse reaction PALED in comparison to what I experienced when I smoked pot. ALL of the original symtpoms came back in full force, simultaneously. I went from being partially recovered to fully incapacitated again, and this time I had the awful experience of constant panic attacks that could be set off from any little thing, and PROFOUND bodily anesthesia, in addition to profound derealization and depersonalization. I had esentially lost all progress I had made over the previous 10 months, and became WORSE than I was before any of this started. As I am still recovering from this experience, I can say with some confidence that what happened was that I overdosed on marijuana. The weed in California is NOT the weed I remember back in NY - it's VERY strong and one can overdose on just a couple of hits. I personally took 4 hits I think. I know this is not a forum for drugs, but I must be explicit in my story and explian this because I do not EVER want ANYONE to go through what I went through. Please, if you're on the fence about doing drugs to help edicinally allieviate your SSRI withdrawal symptoms, do not do it. Please, I beg of you, with all of my heart, please do not risk it. 7. Partial Recovery I'm not going to go into all the fallout from my terrible mistake of overdosing on that pot, perhaps I will once it's all over. I should just say that I just BARELY clung onto reality well enough to finish. I thank God every day that I lived alone, and that I was in contact with a very understanding Aunt who had gone through similarly difficult situations. She basically saved both my career and probably my life in the 6 months or so that I endured absolutel hell as a result of smoking that stuff. At this time, I also started attending 12 step meetings of AA, and these kind and amazing people helped me out so very much. I will forever be grateful to these wondeful people for their kindness during this time - these meetings esentially kept me out of the psych ward and off of medication. I want to point out and focus on the positive: I successfully completed my Phd in Biological sciences from a prestigous institution, and defended my PhD in front of the entire department and no one suspected a thing. I also stayed with some friends after I lost the lease in my appartment due to graduation, and then found an appartment in the state of California nearby my old university that I was able to hang out in until I was well enough to make the drive across the country back to my father's house in Pensilvania. I survived, barely. Just barely. *In the very unlikely, by theoretically possible chance that someone else in this wide world is experiencing something similar to that which I have just described, I would like to describe my timeline of recovery. First 3 months, absolute hell - but by the end of the 3rd month, I was able to be somewhat peaceful and calm from time to time. At the end of 6 months I was still having panic attacks from time to time, but I was getting pretty good sleep 75% of the time time and I was able to enjoy myself sometimes. At the end of 9 months is when the panic attacks stopped, and I just had bad migranes most of the time. This is when I began to be able to read and write fairly well, and enjoy life even more from time to time. I'm currently at 11 months, and still feeling pretty bad, but I'm much much better and get good sleep nearly every single night. *If someone else is also trying to quit a stimulant while going through SSRI withdrawal hell like I did, I can outline my timeline for recovery if it might help you. By the 3 month mark, I had all of my phiscal stamia back, and just lacked motivation. By the 6-7 month mark, I have begun to recover intellectual motivation, but I'm still beset by migraine headaches most of the time. I tapered from 10mg to 2.5mg and then off completely over a 6-7 week period. 8. Closing statements Now, I'm currently on the mend. I quit taking adderall immediately after completing my degree, and have been off that toxic and dangerous drug for about 7 months to date. I am also 20 months free from SSRIS, and certainly will never go back that route again for the rest of my life. I'm not employed, and really am not employable at all. I will probably have to find a job at some point, but I'll most likely not be able to go back into academia until my brain fully recovers. I don't know when that will be. For now, I'm grateful to A) be alive, and be able to enjoy some things again. I'm grateful for the fact that I have my health coming back, that I'm able to write somewhat articulately again, and that most of my symptoms are slowly improving. I apologize for this massive essay - I know first hand how difficult it is to focus on things like this when you're going through withdrawal, but I just felt inspired this evening enough to write this post. I hope that this helped someone in some way, and please let me know if you have any questions. There is A LOT that I've left out from my story, especially in regards to the hell I experienced after smoking the marijuana. I learned a tremendous amount about life that I really never wanted to learn, and I've learned a great deal about recovering from ssris, what works, and what doesn't. there's a lot that I don't really know yet, and I could use some advice from the community on a few things. 1) how the heck does one make money and support themselves through this? I'm not entirely sure how to proceed from here. I've attempted to figure out if there's another medical condition that I'm experiencing that is unrelated to ssri withdrawals - got an MRI (totally normal, from what the doctors at the ER said). One doctor said it's possibly a neuropathy, or a metabolic disorder - but nothing concrete. I'm scheduled to go see another doctor in an attempt to get an actual diagnosis so that I could possibly apply for disability, but I'm not too sure what to do. I'm not so sure if going back to western medicine is a great idea, but I did get a lot of releif from knowing that there's nothing highly abnormal with my MRI, so I figure it might be good to rule out common disorders that can cause the symtpoms I'm still experiencing. If there's one thing I've learned from all of this it's that the worst thing I can do to help myself is to introduce new chemicals in my body in order to fix the problem. I've read countless recovery stories on this website and on paxilprogress, and I've been able to determine that if what I'm going through is SSRI withdrawal/adverse reaction, the only real cure for all of this is: time. From what I've read, it takes between 6 months and 5 years for people to recover completely. That's a long time, and I'm not sure how to survive for that long. I've just barely made it through 2 years. Just BARELY. I've thought about taking my life so many countless numbers of times over the past 2 years, but never did it - I don't think I will either. I just think about it, because the pain is so severe and unending. Although things have improved a LOT, and I mean A LOT from last may when I smoked that pot, I'm still far from recovered. I have hope that I'll recover in the future, but I think this process will take a long time. Thank you for reading.
  25. Link to father's topic: paranoidandroid Hello everyone, Iv'e actually been looking at this site for quite a while now to get me through and decided to make an account now I feel in a slightly better place to do so. Currently I'd just like peoples opinions on my situation.. do you think I'll ever fully recover? My history in the signature sums it up quite concisely so if you want to ask any questions please do. I believe I will but I just want to hear it from other people, as you may know this can be a lonely place to be. I wasn't aware for all this time how damaging these drugs are and assumed my visual snow and DP was just related to anxiety. But now I have no doubt in my mind they caused these symptoms. I may not go back to exactly how I was 6 years ago, which is upsetting, but as long as going forward I'll be able to make a better reality for myself, then I think I'll be okay. I'd also be very interested in what people think of my diet and if you think I should refine it in any way.
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