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  1. Hi Everyone! I consider myself the Kimmy Schmidt of internet forums, having been in seclusion for so long, but I grew tired of hiding . My disastrous dance with Big Pharma started in 2006, when I began hearing voices after months of anxiety and panic over a very traumatizing experience. Cops handcuffed me and placed me in four point restraints after I started screaming in public. The good young Doc at the local hospital they shipped me to gave me Zyprexa, never once asking if I had a family history of diabetes. I DC the drug after a week and about 5-6 months later I had another episode. 2007-2011 A true blur. 4 hospitalizations (two in 2007, one in 2008 and the last in 2011). Three months of sleeplessness due to Zyprexa withdrawal (someone in my life at that time told me that their family member discontinued cocaine in 3 days after years of abuse and I should due the same with Zyprexa - huge mistake), lost many friends due to neglecting their needs and my own, and a crazy amount of weight gain. My voices pestered me to the brink of despair. Yet, I still held on... 2011-2015 The breakthrough years. Switched from Zyprexa to Abilify without major impact on my sleep. Started working again although, not employed at this moment. After a spiritual breakthrough and addressing the demons of my past, I am on my way to permanently breaking up with Big Pharma. I attribute this breakthrough to trusting God and the guiding spirits, reading stories from those who have triumphed or in the process of triumphing over psyche drugs, and seeking support from family (although they still believe in the medical model of my so-called condition). Critical Psychiatry sites that delve into the rampant fraud and fear-mongering present in modern US Psychiatry also provided an alternative narrative to the chemical imbalance-broken forever label that my pdocs dumped on me. For the first time in years, hope blooms in my heart and mind. Will I be the same pre-drug woman? No and in many respects, I don't want to be. Those years in spite of the intensity of emotion that I felt and the warm and love in my heart, I could not take care of myself or establish healthy boundaries. Now I do a much better job of that. I don't eat as much sugar, and I have cut out caffeine and alcohol completely. I'm grateful for the victories, great and small. I want to document this journey for my brothers and sisters in the struggle and build community, because I believe in the healing power of relationships and knowledge sharing over BigPharma's so-called quickfixes. Also, I understand that I need to do the work on my own, to self-care regardless of my situation. A balancing act, for sure. Towards a drug-free me and a brighter tomorrow.
  2. Hi, this is my first post on here. First, I want to say thank you to everyone who is bold enough to post on here, look beyond western Medicince, and having the courage to fight this absolute nightmare of a battle. This forum has helped me tremendously. Now I want to shed some hope. Ive been on Celexa for 10 years at 20mg. It helped me through nursing school as I became depressed seeing suffering and dying people for the first time. What should have been a short stent with and AD and therapy turned into an10 year ordeal with at least one unsuccessful attempt to wean off. Being the nurse that I am, I attempted to take my tapering into my own hands and went down 5 mg a month. I was absolutely great during the whole tapering and had one really good week completely off of the Celexa then it all came crashing down week two after my taper. I experienced extreme panic attacks and doom, chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, feeling numb, derealization, crying spells, severe agitation, mood swings that you can’t just snap out of no matter how hard I try, fatigue, a really bad itchy rash, memory issues, sleep paralysis, and just feeling so uneasy in my skin like nothing could be comfortable or peaceful. It’s like the nervous system thinks you’re about to get on a plane that will crash only you’re safe and in your own home. I felt like I had had 20 cups of coffee at times. Here is my hope. After reading some stories on here and hearing about how some people are on this journey for years at a time, I became very discouraged. How could I live like this for even a minute longer? Which is how I feel during a wave. It often seems it will last forever but the waves do pass. I have experienced the waves and windows and try to soak up every minute of every window. I decided last night to reinstate at 5mg to help with the discontinuation bc at the time the wave I was in was just unbearable. I am glad I did it. I already notice a difference. I felt pretty good today and have hope that a slower taper from 5mg over a longer time will help. It was nice to be able to work today and not have panic and/dizziness and I didn’t want to snap at anyone. Thank goodness. I don’t want to be on Celexa. I wish it was something I could just move on from but I now know after my second attempt to taper, that this will be a longer process than I though and that in time I will get my life back. Discontinuation for me has been hard. I realized I am not Superman and reinstated. It can look like a set back (which I felt at first) but I truly believe it was the right choice for me with noticing a difference and feeling better overnight. This is my story and everyone is different. I know it all depends on how long you’ve been off. I reinstated 6 weeks after my last dose. I believe the sooner the better. I hope this helps someone on here. Praying for all of you. There truly is no pain or torture than we all have been so unfortunate to know. It will get better.
  3. StillSinging

    My journey to be off psych drugs

    I always took my medication without thinking really. I had a psychotic episode (due to insomnia, stress, and anxiety most likely) after Christmas in 2007. I was 13. I had been taking Lexapro for a few months. My M.D. prescribed it for me. I don't quite remember why. I think I might probably have been depressed and anxious. I only now realize that taking the Lexapro could very well have caused the insomnia and resultant delusions. Anyway, I had a breakdown. I was seen by a psych. She (Dr. S.) prescribed Lamotrigine. It seemed to quell the delusions. I was back at school, medicated and delusion free. Over the years I developed fatigue, irritability, and apathy. I kept taking the drugs. For fatigue, I was prescribed Bupropion (Wellbutrin). I can't remember if it helped or not. I did develop hypomanic episodes at some point which further supported my bipolar 2 diagnosis. I would also have bouts of depression. Not the crying kind. Just apathy and mild anhedonia. I say mild because I still did some things I loved such as piano, art, singing. I did eventually lose my passion for art though. It showed up now and then sometimes. I always was told by my mother "It will get better", and "It won't always be this way." It didnt comfort me much. Though, looking back, it did get better. Eventually. It took around a decade. But I'm not off meds yet. I moved with my parents to a smaller comfy house in 2014 and joined our local Orthodox Church, met some loving, supportive people and made a really good friend. It did get better. But I still didn't know that there was an alternative for taking medication. I took my meds. I needed them. Or I thought I did. So did my mother. Now, my mother really has been with me all way. She's taking psych drugs too since I was in first grade for depression and anxiety. I went to 2 mental institutes. Thankfully never the hospital psych ward. I know a lot of you on here have been. From what I hear it's not fun and can be traumatic. I remember the people I met at the institutes. Broken, struggling people trying to get by and looking for a little hope. I connected with them. I still miss them and hope they're still fighting. I have a long story so I'll cut it up some in chunks. This is my first post. I'll write later about my experience at college (traumatic) and other things. I have some funny memories too so I'll put those in there as well. Don't give up! Anyone's welcome to share their experiences and stories too. -StillSinging
  4. I recently weaned off of Citalopram after 14 years of use. Based on what I've read here it was an aggressive weaning. I was at 40mg, went to 20 mg for 4 weeks, 10 mg for 10 weeks, 5 mg for 8 weeks. This was under the direction of a general practice physician. I have now been off for 7 weeks. I am past physical withdrawal symptoms of head buzzing, etc. but I am really struggling emotionally. Lots of crying, everything tinged with darkness, anxiety, near panic. I want to be normal. I want to be happy again. I only got off the drugs to remove dependency, sick of buzzes if I missed a pill, felt like I had lost a mental edge I had prior to the drug. I need help, I have a psychiatrist appt in 4 weeks. I see a therapist, but need expertise with these drugs. Should I resume the drugs? St. John's Wort? Anything else? Is there a quick fix? Do I just tough it out?
  5. I have two experiences of taking and stopping antidepressants. The first time was in 2003. I was in graduate school, we had just moved into a new house that needed lots of work, we had a 3 year old, and my best friend was given 5 months to a year to live. It was a horrible time in my life. I knew that I had to get through this time without completely shutting down. I went to my doctor and told her I needed anything that would help. She set me up for counseling twice a week and a prescription for Prozac 10 mg, increasing to 20 mg. The Prozac was a miracle for me. I took it for 1 year and had little issues. I did have some strange side effects like greater risk taking (spontaneously bought a new car without consulting my spouse). The car was the biggest thing. I had sexual side effects that are considered normal. When the worst of it was over I knew I didn't need it anymore. I told my MD and we made a tapering plan that I followed. There were some possible issues that I realize, looking back. More intense feelings of anger, disappointment, and sadness. But it was mixed with a difficult time in life so I couldn't really see the possible symptoms. Fast forward 15 years. I hit another part of my life that I felt I could benefit from an antianxiety or antidepressant. After being married for 19 years and having three kids my wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II. She had been treated for depression for several years but the meds and antidepressants never seemed to be a good fit. So my life was consistently up and down for years. At this time though, I was experience some early menopause symptoms (perimenopause) and my own emotions were on a roller coaster. Being our family's stability anchor I knew that I needed help to get through this. I found myself yelling at my kids for very small issues then apologizing over and over. That was not typically me. Since I had a good experience with Prozac I talked to my MD about it. She agreed but prescribed me Celexa (citalopram) 10 mg with increasing to 20 mg over time. At first she told me to take it prior to my cycle 5 days before, but my cycles became so irregular that was not possible. I ended up taking it daily for 5 years. Then I did something really stupid. I was not taking it regularly (on 3 days off 4) over and over due to a very hectic travel schedule for work. After one of my week long work trips in Nov 2017 I discovered that I had not taken it in 10+ days and I decided that I didn't need it anymore....so I stopped, cold turkey. For about 4 weeks I was fine...then on a long flight home from another trip, I broke down. I started crying about all the issues in my life, my kids life, life in general. I am mostly a positive and strong person but I could only see the futility in things. The cycle of climbing a hill only for gravity to pull us down. The pointlessness of all our real efforts. I came home feeling dead inside. I was an emotional zombie. After a couple of days I decided to lay this all out to my wife. She was surprised but decided that I was exhausted emotionally and physically and needed a rest. She took over most of the responsibilities with the house and kids that I had. She let me rest. But rest did not make it better. She checks in often and ask me how my day was going, my text answers are something like, dead inside, vacant, empty, I miss myself, I feel nothing, I have no desire to do anything, I don't care about anything, etc.Outwardly though, I am tense, easily angered, overwhelmed, discontent, agitated, nervous, and obsessive about stupid stuff, etc. I have never suffered from depression and my life was better than it has ever been, but it often seemed like depression. That's when I started looking for answers. That's when I found SA. Everything started making sense. The pains I have, the insomnia, the depression, all of it. It's been 3 1/2 months and I don't think that taking them again and tapering down is going to be a better option for me. I've been going through the HELL OF IT and I don't want to do it again for any reason. I have to get through this. I have to get better. I have not gone back to my doctor to tell her this story. I don't know what it would matter but to prove how stupid I was. Afterall, she DID tell me that I would need to taper and I didn't. I justified it thinking inconsistency WAS tapering...it is NOT. Now what? Everyday I feel miserable. Every.day. But it's inconsistent. Sometimes it lifts for a while and doesn't come back as severe. I call that progress. I'm hanging on to that. I regret not tapering but I'm in too deep at this point and I will suffer it out as long as I am able. Having a BP wife has helped because REALLY understands. Thanks for the read. I'm so glad I found this community. I'm in here somewhere trapped in the neurochemical eclipse and you probably are too. Stay strong.
  6. NaturalBorn

    Help Me

    i'm hopeless man, completely hopeless, i can't express my pain, i can't express how bad i feel when i realize that this will go on for YEARS. from the severety of what i felt i can just say that this will not pass in a few months. how can i live like this?, knowing that everything i will do from now on will be poor quality? i met a lot of people with drug problems, NONE of them felt the kind of sickness we felt, i really just wish that i could see some light in the end of the tunnel, because when i was off drugs i did not got one single day of improvement it was just like watching my health being sucked away and there's nothing i can do about it. i wish i could skip 5 years of my life to see if i will be fine then... this is just worst than any drug related problem i can imagine. REALLY, so please guys just help me i can't stand my life anymore
  7. My name is Natalie and I've been on an anti depressant of some sort since I was 16, I"m 29. For the first time in my life I got off Lexapro 5.5 months ago after tapering for 3 months. Things seemed a little more manageable after the horrific first few months but the past month or so it has been very bad again and I"m scared. I cry all the time, I have insomnia, I have a hard time working-super tired/anxious/irritable. Sometimes my anxiety is debilitating. Lack of hope or motivation. Lots of fear. My fear is this is either just how I am without them or I was on them for so long my brain needs them to be at least moderately functional and if I don't get back on I will end up on disability or something. Has anyone experienced this? Does it get better? Does it just take longer? Or am I kidding myself? It was so hard to get off of them I feel like if I get back on them I will be committed for life, but I also don't want to have to check into a psych ward either :/ lol, funny but not really cause I"m not really kidding THANKS!
  8. Hi, my name is Alex, I am 31 years old and live in Germany. There is a German forum for antidepressent withdrawal and thats where I got a hint to this site. The topic of withdrawal problems is widely unknown in Germany and so I hope that I can get more information here. You can see my history in the signature. I lost my job, my boyfriend, my friends, had to move closer to my parents because I can hardly manage my every day life. My symptoms are ALL the symptoms you find in the SSRI-withdrawal descriptions. Nowadays its mostly bloodcirculation problems, sudden fatigues that border on fainting, heart arrhythmea, vertigo, pain along the spine that is quite unusual, feeling of numbness and pressure in legs and arms, body symptoms of too much stress (hairloss, acne, muscle spasms, sleep deprived, severe allergy symptoms), tinnitus.... Well, its actually more than I can type right now. Its bad. I try not to loose hope, but all thats left of my life is my willpower. I am severly traumatized by my body and the lack of responsibility from the doctors. Thankfully, I have no classic depression symptoms, but I AM very unhappy and very lonely (because I cannot take part in an active life with others). I battle on. Sigh.
  9. Hi -- Livrwort here. I found this site while looking for some hope. I have been dealing with depression off and on for years. there is definitely a family connection, but I feel like I'm ready to be drug free, if i can be. I have tried Zoloft, Paxil,Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Buspar, and been on and off each, usually fed up with side effects. My first "anti-depressant" - so I thought at the time - was alcohol, which I quit 16 yrs ago. About 4 or 5 years ago, i started Cymbalta, which I thought helped me. However, i gained weight and didn't feel things too much anymore. About a year ago, i decided i didn't want to be addicted to it anymore, and started tapering off. I had tried going to every other day before, with bad results, so this time I went from 7 days to 6 days to 5 days, etc., giving myself about 6-8 weeks between steps. I didn't know anything about the granule-counting business -- probably should have looked it up. Anyway, it has been tough, but i am completely off Cymbalta now, for 3 weeks. This past 3 weeks has been the toughest thing i have ever been through. Physically, I feel ok -- I have a very physical job, and I think that has helped, but the worst thing physically is these "adrenaline rushes" I get. I don't know if this is common, but it is very tiring, and I have to fight the panic 100 times a day. Mentally, it is a fight every day with overwhelming feelings of being useless and worthless, and feeling like there is no point to life. I don't have suicidal thoughts, per se, because there is no way I would ever do that to my husband and kids. But - I feel pretty bad much of the time, and have crying spells (very unlike me) almost daily, if I hear of see anything sad or even just "touching." That makes me feel like a complete idiot. I do still get what people call "brain zaps," if I roll my eyes - I have always called this "maraca head syndrome," because my head "sounds" inside like a maraca when it happens. There are still humorous moments - I guess that is a good sign. I should mention that there has been a lot going on this past year. We have 5 children, and the last left home last Sept., so for the first time in 30 years, I don't have kids at home. Several friends have moved away, and I started the menopause journey as well, this fall. I donated a kidney to a friend in November, and my mother hasn't talked to me since, which has been rough, to say the least. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful husband, and kids, and I appreciate that they are supportive. None of them have taken anti-depressants, and I don't think they understand that the effects of stopping are not just a week or two of discomfort. It's a hard thing to communicate to someone who hasn't experienced it. My greatest hope is that this is a common experience, and that I will emerge from this terrible time and be ok. I don't want to be dependent on Cymbalta or anything else, if I don't have to be. I appreciate that there are so many people out there who are doing it, and I applaud you. I look forward to learning from you.
  10. Hi All, Since this post isn't exactly about a symptom, I'm not sure if it will stay up or not, but I wanted to make the post anyway. With no disrespect to any religions or non-religions out there, I just want to say that I hope you all have a beautiful holiday season and new year. I think we all deserve to hear kind words from someone at this time of year—at EVERY time of year, really—but I know the holidays hit many of us hard, especially dealing with withdrawal. Thanks to those of you on this site who have responded kindly to my frantic posts. You can't know how much your encouragement means. Everybody on this site is in my thoughts this season and always. May we all recover and come back to help others with theirs. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! Best, WiggleIt
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