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  1. Hello everyone, I’ve read many of your stories on this forum. It makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one going through Olanzapine withdrawal hell (or psych med withdrawal in general, whatever meds you are on) although after reading them I worry about what may come. Right now my major unresolved problem is severe insomnia. I was put on 40mg of Olanzapine back in 2004 because I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and I was on that dosage for 12 years. During that time I developed diabetes, my cholesterol and triglyceride levels skyrocketed and I gained about 60 lbs. After all that I was concerned about my physical health so I gradually reduced myself down to 15mg without any problems at all. I lost some weight, reduced my diabetes and cholesterol meds and went off my triglyceride meds. I was on 15mg for about another 4 years and was doing fine but then it stopped working and I had to switch to Latuda for psychotic symptoms which so far is working well. It's not the Latuda that is causing my problems, I tried quitting Olanzapine once in the past (before I was taking Latuda) and ran into the same problems. From 15mg of Olanzapine I reduced 2.5mg at a time over a period of 3 months down to zero. Once I got down to 2.5mg my brain felt like it was always “on”, I don’t know how to describe that but if it’s happening to you you’ll understand. I also had pressure in my head and my brain felt inflamed, CBD oil has helped tremendously with all that. I take about 0.5ml of 1000mg oil (20mg) of CBD twice a day sublingually (Hold it under the tongue for 45 seconds until it absorbs and sometimes swallow the little that’s left over). I’ve tried CBD capsules as well however digesting takes a while so they take longer to kick in and sometimes are not as effective for me. There are many types of CBD and everyone is different so experiment and don’t give up after trying just one. I find it helps with anxiety too although anxiety isn't a major problem of mine. Anyways about 5 days after stopping Olanzapine I started having major problems with insomnia. I can’t sleep. I tried telling my pdoc but he says it’s not a problem with Olanzapine withdrawal because it’s not in the literature. I get maybe an hour a night if I’m lucky. I can take ativan (0.5mg or sometimes 1mg) to sleep and that helps sometimes but I don’t want to become dependent on it so I am trying to avoid it. Maybe once or twice a week but when you are so tired it’s hard. I’m beginning the process of trying different herbal and non prescription alternatives to try and sleep, anyone have any suggestions on what to try or any information on what helped you? If anyone has experienced major insomnia due to Olanzapine withdrawal I would appreciate any tips on falling asleep. I lay in bed for 8 hours with my eyes shut, maybe once a night I drift off but most of that time I am just resting. My brain won’t make the transition from resting to sleep. The times I do fall asleep I usually wake up within an hour and can’t get back to sleep again. I feel like a cell phone with a 20% charge when I get up. If I take it easy during the day I can get by but if I exert myself I get tired quickly, yet still can’t sleep at night. For those who’ve experienced insomnia during Olanzapine withdrawal how long did it last? Did things get better after a month, 3 months, 6months etc… I’ve been off Olanzapine for about 2.5 weeks now and the insomnia over the last week and a half has been brutal. I guess the only good news is I've lost 15 lbs since tapering down and going off Olanzapine. P.S. Since this website is called surviving antidepressents I was also on Effexor (Venlafaxine) 75mg for about 12 years. I quit that and the withdrawal was brutal too and lasted about 2.5 months. Really bad brain zaps but also zaps all throughout my body, anxiety, nausea, weakness. It was awful but I have fully recovered from that. It was several years ago.
  2. I know this is an odd question. I have been struggling on and off with anhedonia, insomnia, head pressure, blurry vision and sexual dysfunction for two months. I will have windows where I feel almost completely normal and then add something to my body to make it worse. I was starting to feel better earlier this week after a long wave and had huge windows of improvement. Had some B12 because my doctor said I have a major deficiency and that it was important to get some B12. I had two small drops on two different days to test out. I had trouble sleeping but it was followed by great days emotionally and physically. I was finding music beautiful again and finding men attractive. I decided to try looking at porn, because my attraction was coming back. Almost immediately after, I was thrown into another wave. My vision was blurred, I became foggy and anhedonic. All attraction for men was gone again. I became restless and slept 3 hours the following night. It's been three days and I haven't seen much change. Sleep hasn't improved either and I have major headaches. Has looking at pornography ever thrown anyone into a wave?
  3. readyfortheworld

    Introduction from Texas

    Hello everyone, I’m a 25 year old male from Texas. My journey started January 2016, when I experienced a panic attack (that appeared to come out of the blue) on my way to visit my sister while I was riding a bus. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was about to pass out. From that day on, I started to have panic attacks that would last all day for several days. I wasn’t sure what was going on so I asked my mom to take me to the doctor. The doctor said I was having panic attacks and also anxiety. He prescribed me a Mexican medication named Adepsique (I live in a border town and decided to go there since health care is way cheaper there than in the US). I took that medication for around 6 months and started to have suicidal ideation and just felt in a low mood most of the time. I attributed those symptoms to the medication and “tapered” off it fairly quick. Once I was fully off it, I started to have unbearable insomnia/anxiety and wasn’t able to sleep for about two days. I felt like I was going crazy so I asked my mom if she could take me to an actual psychiatrist and she obliged. The psychiatrist prescribed me 10 mg of escitalopram and 2.5 mg of olanzapine. I don’t really feel like it helped that much but I felt better on it. I decided I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life so I decided to start tapering it off. I might’ve tapered too quickly off it but I was just anxious to get off those medications. I don’t really remember how long the taper lasted but I was off both medications by the last week of April 2018. I dealt with several withdrawal symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, anxiety, mild motion sickness, insomnia, irritably, aggression and intrusive thoughts. That lasted most of 2018. Around October of that year, I started dealing with IBS-like symptoms such as stomach pain, frequent gas, constant bowel movements and urgent bowel movements. Most of my other withdrawal symptoms have been reduced but I’m still stuck with the IBS issues to this day. Although I’ve been suffering for these last couple of years, I’ve felt like I’ve grown a lot as a person. I have changed my diet to a whole-foods plant based diet, I exercise daily, and do things I wouldn’t have thought I would do when I was younger. Sorry if this post is too long.
  4. Hello, So I was switched from one Anti-Psychotic{s} (AP{s}) Zyprexa [Olanzapine], to another AP Abilify [Aripiprazole]. I decided to stop taking the medication between the switch as I've only been on Zyprexa for 3 months. APs have left my head as scrambled eggs and I cannot function clearly on them. Much too much Zombie. November I was put in hospital for a breakdown, given 5mg -> 7.5mg ->10mg Zyprexa over a month. Since leaving Hospital I agreed with a GP to reduce down to 5mg in one fell swoop, not knowing that this is actually very risky - since that point my sleep is not good; I seem to get only 3 hours per night and spend the remainder tossing, turning and feeling so incredibly low about life... It has been driving me slightly loopy. I reduced to 3.75/2.5mg (however I could cut them up semi-accurately) for one week and have now run out of Zyprexa except 2x 5mg tablets as the Dr switched me over and the supply ran out, so tapering is not an option.... Before I start a different AP I have decided to just stop taking APs while I have support in a family setting. I am unsure what the cut-down from 3.75mg to nothing will do to me after 3 months going from 5-7.5-10-5-3.75/2.5mg supply. I am extremely concerned having read countless horror stories. My breakdown in hospital was drug/alcohol induced but I lied about it and ended up on medication probably unsuited; I was just high and drunk. I do not feel like I have bipolarity, I do feel that the medication has made me zombified (anhedonic [sp*?]) and I am not myself anymore. Before the timeline gets too long I wanted to just stop and escape the trap of Pharma and APs. I wanted to try SSRIs for my lack of motivation especially after abuse of Cannabis (before hospital 2g/day of the super strong stuff) or just normalise without any medication to see if I can cope. The APs make it incredibly difficult to work effectively and I have been off work for too long to take something that will make concentration so difficult. This is a risk as I am unsure what the effect will be. So far I have Constipation and Amnesia after 3 hours every night. At 10mg I was sleeping most of the night; but the fallout in the mornings was awful. I have 7 days of sleeping pills prescribed to help me sleep - i might space them out to try and get a good nights rest every several days as I'm unsure if the GP (UK Doctor) will give me more. Any advice from people for me. I am taking a risk I feel but I do not know if there is another route out without prescriptions for the medicines to taper off. So the task is: ~3mg Zyprexa to 0mg (or use the 2x 5mg tablets somehow) 7x sleeping pills. Amnesia & constipation - early morning depression from 3am to 2pm. All advice welcome.
  5. Hi all, I’m so grateful for websites like these. I was on Mirtazapine for over a year at 15mg/day for sleep. Can’t remember exactly how long. I’m so stupid I stopped cold turkey. I just didn’t want to be on them anymore. I did not keep record of timeline but I believe after 8-12 or more weeks of stopping all of a sudden I couldn’t sleep. However, I’ve been going through a lot of relationship issues that has caused me emotional pain and anxiety which I though it was that until I researched withdrawal. I panicked and took a dose of 7.5mg and 15mg here and there. It wasn’t working like it used to so I decided to go on 7.5mg everyday for last two weeks. Panicked and up it to 15mg for a few days. Now back to 7.5mg. I’m so scared. I can’t sleep. Some night I can’t sleep at all. In the last week I sleep for four hrs and automatically always up same time every night (4hrs of sleep). I don’t know what to do. I jus want to come off again and deal with the insomnia. No other symptoms except for what I’m feeling with my personal issues. I shouldn’t of come back on and just went with insomnia. Should I just stop it all together again since I cannot sleep anyway?
  6. Hi, my signature basically says it all. I got into psychiatry over 2 years ago and got on seroquel and Mirtazapine for my depression & sleep problems. The opposite happened. I stopped sleeping & had severe adverse reactions. I could not stop sleeping & started to have akathisia & dyskinesia from the first tablet I took but continued to take it as I thought it was my depression getting worse or I thought I got food poisoning or something. Anyway... stopped CT both drugs at psychiatry after finding this site due to severe adverse reaction. No sleep for 1 month straight. Very acute symptoms for 3-4 months (about 20-30) What is left now is that I feel my brain is permanently on. I never get tired, have naps or sleep. Like the brain has no off switch. It's like A rubber band has been streched for over 2 years and two months but it didn't get back into it's position but stretches itself... Instead of going back into it's original form. Like You wake up and stretch it... you go to sleep and wake up and it is back into it's original form. This is my only symptom basically... I've read a few similar stories of people having similar experiences but it seems they are rather rare, maybe due to the fact that I C/Ted an antipsychotic? Or is it possible to have cortisol/adrenaline spikes for 2 years and 2 months off? (I feel like I have way more energy but in a toxic kind of way)
  7. I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years, I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death, I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?
  8. Hi everyone I am almost 29 years old I have been on Flouxitine for about 8 years. I decided to get it off about 4 months ago. Instead of it, i am drinking st John's wort 4-5 a day, 1500 mg Nicine and 1500 tryptohan. I also use Cbd oil from time to time. I do not have any brain zaps or big anxiety but my sleep is still not good. In previous 2 weeks i almost did not sleep at all i started to be unbearable for my family. Yesterday i took trozdon because of the holidays. Do you have any tips ? Do you also drink some herbs or take some suplemments ?
  9. Hi I took last dose of seroquel on 12/31/19 and now have insomnia. I've titrated down from 20 mg to 5mg of Trintellix and 15 mg to 5mg of lorazepam. That's the last of the drugs. I have residual tinnitus from going off Effexor too fast 20 years ago. Now I have 4-alarm ringing in left ear from Lamotrigine withdrawal. I know there's no cure for the tinnitus - so am going to ENT specialist next week for hearing tests and to look into use of new hearing aid to mask noise. I had cut the 5mg lorazepam in half - but was only getting about 2-3 hours of sleep, so I'm back up to the 5mg. I'm 72 and have been on various cocktails of drugs for over 30 years. Original diagnosis was depression then bi-polar and now the current psychiatrist says I'm not bi-polar but have ADHD. He has no knowledge of tapering. I really need suggestions on next steps. I want off these drugs. Thanks,
  10. I need some advice, and reassurance. I have been on Zoloft (Setraline) for about 5 years and I have never really had any problems going on it from what I remember, I was on 50mg and never went up any higher occasionally if I forgot a dose I would be reminded with brain zaps, I occasionally got dilated pupils which may have been the zoloft and thats really the only issues I got. Then one day I went to my Dr about some issue and she then decided to up my dose to 100mg. Faithfully like a good patient I took it and about a month later I had horrible insomnia and racing heart so I was put back on 50mg. The side effects subsided within a week and that all was fine until, 2 months being back on the 50mg I got the same symptoms again, racing heart and insomnia, so I decided to quit them. After about a week my heart is back to normal but 3 weeks later i'm still suffering really bad insomnia.... Will this go away... I have never had any issues falling asleep before but now I can lay awake trying to sleep for hours! Sometimes I will try all night and sleep won't come, its given me really bad anxiety about bed time, I also seem to never feel tired.. I will have to force sleep even after a day without it, This is horrible and giving me real anxiety over it. The Dr gave me Quitapine 25mg for sleep but I just want my normal sleep back. Is this the Zoloft? Will this fade?
  11. Hi everyone, Somewhere around 2012, I was put on Lexapro to try and address life-long issues of social anxiety, and newly emerging issues with GAD, including panic attacks. About four years later in mid 2016, I was starting to have more issues with panic attacks again, and decided I'd rather get off the meds than up the dose. So I spoke with my psychiatrist and started tapering. Now, I never heard of the slow taper recommended here, but I had heard that withdrawal could be brutal. So I decided to cut it by 25% every two weeks, putting me at 0 after about 8 weeks. I imagine that provoked a cringe from half of the audience, but... I felt fine. No brain zaps, akathisia, ataxia, or any of the other scary things I read about. My anxiety was a bit higher, but I expected that. I figured that was the end of it, and I could move on. The weeks went on, but my anxiety kept increasing, so I adopted meditation to address it. It wasn't easy, but it was better than nothing. Regardless, I was starting to have panic attacks almost every other day. I figured I could just fight my way through them and they'd eventually go away. Then I had some kind of super panic attack that pulled me out of sleep and racing to the ER. Pretty much ever since that night, my sleep has been an absolute disaster. Back then, I could barely get 3-4 hours a night if I was lucky. Nothing seemed to work either. Supplements? Name one, none worked. OTC sleep aids like Benadryl or Unisom? Paradoxical responder to all of them. Prescription antihistamines like hydroxyzine? Even worse, and somehow made me completely sleepless for the entire half-life. Benzos? Used sparingly, they are/were a relief, but I didn't want to get addicted, so never more than once or twice per week. Z-drugs? Helped slightly falling asleep, but that wasn't my problem. I had developed intractable and aggressive sleep maintenance insomnia. I also started having problems with chronic pain and spasms along my surface muscles mostly in my lower extremities, but also around my chest. All of that has persisted since then, but by far the most disruptive is the insomnia. I've managed to get back up to 5-6 hours according to my Fitbit Alta HR, but I still feel exhausted most of the time. And too often, I won't sleep at all and will end up reading in another room to avoid screwing up my sleep hygiene. At this point, I've gotten that to a science: pink noise, blue blockers 2 hours before bed, 300mcg melatonin 1 hour before bed, bedroom only used for sleeping, no TV or electronic devices late at night, etc. I did CBTI with a sleep psychologist, and he said I was doing everything right. But of course that won't undo neurological damage, nor will it prevent me from waking up at 4:30 AM to use the bathroom, and being unable to fall back asleep afterwards. This has taken a huge toll on my QOL, and I wish I never even heard of SSRIs. I'm not suicidal, but my sense of humor on the subject has gotten considerably darker. I used to be the kind of person who would sleep through an air-raid siren. It always took me longer to fall asleep than most (30+ minutes), but I slept like the dead. Now it feels like I wake up at the slightest provocation, and if my Fitbit is at all accurate, my slow-wave deep sleep is about half what it should be for someone my age. I briefly considered going back on Lexapro, if even just for some relief, but then I remembered it put me here in the first place, and I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy. Then I read that might not work anyway. I can't go back in time and slap the prescription out of my hand, or explain to myself about implementing a much slower taper, so I feel like I'm basically SOL. It's been almost four years, and I'm still fighting this. I've even begun watching for research that we finally discover how to manually trigger various sleep phases, and stumbled across the recent studies on the VLPO region of the brain. I'm desperate and poking at anything I can find. I'm just so tired.
  12. I was on mirtazipine for 13 weeks which included a fast taper of 3.5 weeks from 30mg to 7.5mg then off. Never had insomnia in my life before this drug. Insomnia started when on 30mg and has just got worse and worse. Now 7 weeks off and can only get 2 hours sleep some nights. I am a very elderly woman Will it end. Psychiatrist says this is impossible. GP insisting i,must get some sleep so has prescribed zopiclone7.5mg gives me 3.5 hrs sleep. Terrible anxiety and panic attacks. It is ruining my life and my husband’s. At my age, will this ever end. Has anyone experienced insomnia and how long does it go on. I think anx would lessen if I could sleep naturally as I always did before Mirtazipine
  13. Hi, everybody. I've been off citalopram for eight weeks now, but I'm still taking Zolpidem. This is my history with medication: On 2012, I started having panic attacks after the loss of a loved one. I had had a few in the two previous years, but I didn’t understand what I was feeling and they were undiagnosed. My GP prescribed 0.50mg of Alprazolam twice a day. I took it for a couple of months, got better and stopped. On 2015, when I was getting my Master’s, I started suffering from anxiety and severe insomnia (which I had always been prone to throughout my life). My psychiatrist prescribed 20mg of Citalopram. After an initial period of increased anxiety, I felt like I was myself again. I gained maybe five or six pounds, but had no other side effects. I took it for six months and stopped after I got my degree. I tapered slowly and was fine for about six months. On September 2016, after a bad fight with my husband and while we were going through a stressful period, my insomnia returned. I took Zolpidem (started with 10 mg, then took 12.5) and sometimes Clonazepam (0.25mg or 0.50) to cope. After two months with no real improvement I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to take an antidepressant again. This time, she put me on 10mg of Lexapro (liquid form). I was on Lexapro for about six months, until May 2017. During this period, a lot of weight, almost thirty pounds. Then, I started tapering off very slowly, one drop every two weeks. Every time I started taking one less drop, I would be fine for a couple of days, then felt very anxious, then would go back to feeling normal. On September 2017, my insomnia returned. I also felt very anxious, had gloomy thoughts, would cry for no reason. I went back to taking Zolpidem and Clonazepam to cope (same dose as before). I also tried between 2mg and 5mg of melatonin for a while but felt no difference whatever. And I also tried meditation and exercise more steadily than in my previous attempt to quit. This time, I only stayed off antidepressants for four months. On January 2018, I went back on 20mg of Citalopram and stayed on it for a year. I gained maybe 5 or 6 pounds (on top of all those other ones that I had already gained, and which I never lost), but had no other side effects. I started sleeping well again, but had to take Clonazepam occasionally as well, especially near my period. Then, on January 2019, I lowered my dose to 10mg of Citalopram. I didn’t feel any difference. On October of the same year, I lowered my dose to 5mg and started taking 5mg of Zolpidem to prevent my insomnia from coming back. After six weeks, on November 25, I quit the Citalopram. I had a couple of days of insomnia even with the Zolpidem, but was fine otherwise. Then, on January 2nd, my insomnia came back. Even with the Zolpidem and 0.25 or 0.50mg of Clonazepam, I was sleeping badly, crying a lot. Then, I was fine again for a couple of weeks. I’ve been exercising more regularly, which I think helps. I also went back to therapy, which I had quit three years ago. Today I had possibly the worst day of this process this time around. I’m having PMS, which always makes my anxiety worse. Even with 5mg of Zolpidem (which I’ve been taking every night for months), I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. When I tried to take a nap in the afternoon (which I know isn’t advisable, but I was just so tired), I started getting palpitations, my hands felt cold and I had to pee five or six times in one hour. I took 0.25mg of Clonazepam and now I feel better. I don’t want to rely on meds all my life, but when I’m feeling this way, I confess that I miss my antidepressant. I wonder if quitting was the right choice or if I should just stay on it. I don’t want to offend anybody by saying this, but am afraid that my doctor (who I will see again in four weeks) might push me to go back on medication. Maybe this isn’t fair, since she was always very supportive when I wanted to stop and I was the one who asked to go back the last two times. I don’t want to ask again and that’s why I’m here. I’m sorry if I rambled on!
  14. Hi, my name is phill, I really need help and im really desperate because I do not know what to do, so I took sertraline for 2 years about 1 year and a half ago symptoms of insomnia started happening and I would wake up while sleeping, after 1 year and half on sertraline my doc prescribed risperidone for the insomnia took it for 6 months with sertraline after 2 years on sertraline and 6 months on risperidone and my insomnia was really bothering me a lot and doctor didnt help I decided to cold turkey stop both at the same time and I remember the first 2 weeks went so well I slept so great but after these 2 weeks symptoms of insomnia started I would only get 2-4 hour of sleep every 2 days and after stopping cold turkey after 6 months I remember that I would sleep almost everyday for about 5 hours, I would still get some days I wouldnt sleep but now its been 14 months and I get maximum 5 hours of sleep and now for some reason things seems to be worse I stay awake for couple days without sleep and some days in a row I get sleep(5hours ) some dont, today was going to be my third day awake but I managed to get (broken) sleep for about 3-4 hours after 9 am and im only 20 I do not know if it could be fatal familial insomnia or im still actually experiencing withdraws from this sickening drug, please anyone offer me some advice or opnions about these symptoms I been having, I been feelling tired the entire day and completely exhhausted not working nothing, so its been 14 months, abt 2-5 months ago I started feeling weird heart palpitations, now im feeling like I will have a heart attack during some episodes of anxiety and this is just all so crazy I have no idea if this has happened to somebody else too please help me
  15. I'm desperate to get off lamotrigine. I started it a bit more than a year ago, tapered up to 100 mg over the course of a couple months, along with trialing escitalopram, quetiapine, and settling on sertraline (now 25 - 37.5 mg/day, with the higher dose during PMS time). It was fine at first, I went from not being able to make myself any food more complicated than opening a bag and getting extreme exhaustion from trying to hang my clothes to dry to being able to cook and clean more or less normally. But then I started getting migraines and restless leg syndrome more often than normal. Both are things I've had before, and they are definitely influenced by my menstrual cycle, but I've been getting them more and more frequently in the past months. Now it's gotten to the point where it's hard to get a night of sleep, because I wake up like clockwork at about 4:50 - 5 am with my legs just not able to find a comfortable position. Only it's not just my legs. It's my entire spine, and my stomach even. Previously I'd only gotten it in my legs, and just the couple days before my period (unless I was dehydrated or had been drinking or... the point is, it was predictable and I knew my triggers). I also had about a week of peripheral neuropathy, my hands and feet constantly felt like they were asleep. About a month and a half ago, when I went to my psychiatrist to renew my prescriptions, I brought it up. She told me to just stop taking the sertraline and see if that helped. It did NOT. I did a half assed taper (a few days of 1/2 the dose), then was basically cold turkey on sertraline for two weeks. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but my restless-everything didn't improve one bit. And it was hard to not get in fights with my partner. So my next appointment, she told me to try taking half of my lamotrigine dose and see if that helps. I did a bit more of a taper than she suggested (dropped to 75 mg for around a week before dropping to 50 mg), and now I'm doing something like 25-50 mg. My pharmacy only has 100 mg pills so they're pretty hard to split accuately. So now I'm about two weeks into the taper and feeling awful. Since yesterday I've fully been feeling like I have the flu. Body aches, that back of the neck head and shoulder pain, congestion.... Fully exhausted. Also having a real hard time relating to other people, to the point of having a hard time getting basic shopping conversations done. (Doesn't help that I'm in a country that's not my native language.) I know I didn't taper right, but I don't know if I should go back up in dose or what. Not sleeping is driving me crazy!! Before I started doing the taper, I was skipping doses occasionally to try to get at least one night here there without waking up before sunrise and needing to move. I didn't notice any bad effects, so I thought tapering would be fine. I was probably going to say something else but I got distracted and really just want to go lie down. Basically, right now I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Try to wait out this awfulness and stay at my current low dose (about 1/3 a pill), or go back up since I didn't taper right anyway. The thing is, I am seeing a difference in the morning leg twitchies. With this lower dose, the feeling is less strong. It's still there, but a couple nights ago I was able to go back to sleep anyway. It seems like if I really try I can sleep through it at this dose. If I go back up, and I don't even know what dosage I'd go back up to, I know I won't be able to sleep without some kind of sleeping pills. I have xanax and eszopiclone. I hate sleeping on xanax, I don't think it's sleep as much as it is some chemically induced unconsciousness, and don't want to develop a dependence on the eszopiclone. Yesterday I was reading that it increases the chance of infections, and I already feel like I catch every little thing that's going around. Feeling real damned if I do, damned if I don't right now. I don't think my psychiatrist would be any help, considering she thought it'd be totally fine in the first place to just stop the sertraline, and then later thought halving the lamotrigine dose would be ok. I just *know* lamotrigine is doing something to screw with all my mineral levels, but I don't know what exactly!! On a hunch I started taking calcium when I started getting the peripheral neuropathy and it literally disappeared same night. (Coincidence?) But it doesn't seem to do anything for the restless-everything. (I read recently that the name for "restless legs syndrome" in one of the Scandinavian countries translates to "feeling of being crawled on by ants" and I feel like that captures the feeling so much better than "restless".) I've also tried magnesium and iron. Iron maybe helps but my colon gets real mad.
  16. Around sept 2012 I stopped taking Zyprexa 15 mg cold turkey. I did it because I gained 30 pounds in around 4 months. When I quit Zyprexa, I started with a lot of crying, anxiety, panic attacks, lack of appetite and insomnia. I did not sleep for three days in a row and then I slept for about three days, after that I never ever slept again naturally. I am never sleepy, never tired, never hungry (the other symptoms disappeared). I am always wide awake even after sleeping 2 -3 hours a day and some days just 1 hour. I have tried geodon, trazodon, clonopin and other medicines that I can't remember now, nothing helps, some of those meds helped me sleep some hours and then stopped working. Gabapentin was the only medication that made me sleep around 5 - 6 hours . I started with 600 mg, but after some months on that dosis, it stopped working. Now they put me on 1200 mg of gabapentin, but I have not noticed any improvement, I am only sleeping 2 -3 hours (very irregular). The only change on all these months is that now I am not dreaming so much as the beginning of the nightmare, I am having more hours of deep sleep. In 2012 I was feeling so bad and I was so ignorant about psychotropic drugs that I trusted my doctors when they told me that my insomnia and all the symptoms were for the chemical imbalance and not Zyprexa related. I took the new medications (lamictal and geodon) without complaining After two years of this nightmare I have read a lot looking for answers, help, support and a cure for my insomnia. I have found a lot of people describing the same thing, going through the same nightmare. I have not found a logical explanation or a cure. Some people have started sleeping better without help of any medication after some months, some after 22 months, there are other that have been like this for 6 years already. Some have been put back on very low dosis of Zyprexa (for some this worked, for others it didn't). My plan is: zero coffee or chocolate, a balanced diet, I try to eat turkey, bananas, do exercises. I always go to bed at the same time and take the gabapentin at the same time. I try not to use the computer or electronic 2 -3 hours before bed time. I take a warm bath before going to bed, read a book, drink warm milk. I read in other forums that a scientist at Harvard found that there is still Zyprexa binded to receptors after 6 months that the person has stopped taking it. Maybe I just need more time, my brain need time to heal and recover. Could be possible that Zyprexa permanent damage my brain? Could be possible that the anxiety and stress response went haywire on my body? Why I am never sleepy or hungry? sorry for my English skills, English is not my first language
  17. Hi all. I was admitted in the psych ward and was given Abilify 15mg for 2 weeks and then a 400mg Abilify Maintena Injection that's good for a month. I wasn't aware that Abilify was an antipsychotic and I was clueless about its brain damaging effects. I thought it was given to me simply for my anxiety and depression and I'm not schizophrenic at all. Now I'm suffering from the damage done to me by Abilify. I'm now 2 months off Abilify. I'm off all medication and just waiting for the side effects to come off. I'm in a state of disbelief that such things are happening to me. I cannot believe my life could get any worse. Now I'm not good at explaining things in english so i'll just list down my symptoms. - Suffering from sexual dysfunction. Almost zero libido. Loss of arousal. I can still get erection but it's very weak then get little from ejaculation. - Insomnia. From the very first pill of Abilify I developed insomnia. Now I can't nap anymore, I don't feel sleepy in the afternoons anymore. I never had sleeping problems before Abilify. At night I only get a poor 2-4 semi-sleep with vivid dreams. Once I wake up I just lay in bed and I close my eyes hoping I'd fall again to sleep. - Anhedonia - Loss of my interests and hobbies - Lack of care about anything. Don't even care about my appearance anymore. - No motivation. Determination, ambitions all gone. I only do things now just to distract myself not because I want to do them or they give me satisfaction or pleasure. I just distract myself now to escape the excruciating boredom. I'm waiting and still hopeful this is just withdrawal and not permanent damage to my brain. I' m giving it about 2 years and if things don't change then it's game over for me. I can't live life like a lifeless zombie without a desire for anything for the rest of my life.
  18. Hi there, I am hoping to be able to leverage the wisdom of this community to shed some light into my personal situation and help decide possible courses of action. The only people I can speak to in real life about this are my well-meaning family/friends (who think Doctors have all the answers) and my psychiatrist/doctor/psychologist who only respond with medication-related suggestions. Up until this point I have been relatively ill-informed of the pitfalls of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs and I’ve clearly made some big errors along the way. However, my goal (like many I’m sure) is to be drug-free but of course this isn’t something my psychiatrist supports. I am sorry in advance this is such an essay. [And apologies for all bold - my javascript bold function is broken!] About me: I’m a 30 year old British female living in Amsterdam, with a full-time job in Marketing. Where it all began: Just over 5 years ago, at age 25, I experienced a very intense mania with extreme psychosis and was hospitalised. The psychosis was triggered by a melange of stress, diet, lack of sleep and smoking a joint (which I used to do regularly in my teens and 20s with no ill-effects). In the psychiatric ward I was given Olanzapine at 7.5mg dose and gradually over a few weeks, the psychotic symptoms disappeared, and I was discharged. My doctor gave me the loose diagnosis as either Schizophrenia or Bipolar I, but was leaning towards Bipolar--so that’s what I’ve stuck with (but to be honest I’m not sure if it’s correct). After my discharge, I reduced the Olanzapine from 7mg to 5mg and then to 2.5mg over the next few months, and stopped taking Olanzapine completely since the side effects of weight gain and libido loss were not tolerable (with my Doctor’s blessing). For a few months, all was well, until I started getting insomnia, characterised by heart palpitations, feeling of mini panic attacks when trying to fall asleep (and therefore not being able to drift to sleep), and very poor quality sleep when I did manage to sleep. My psych recommended I try taking Seroquel instead, and started me off on 700mg per night. The (Good) Seroquel Years Over the next 4 years, I led a perfectly normal and healthy life--even moved to a new country and changed my job--taking Seroquel with minimal side effects. I managed to reduce the Seroquel from 700mg down to 100mg over 2-3 years, and was feeling better and better the lower the dose (with much less sedation and grogginess the lower the dose). I also switched to a vegan diet & cut down on booze and partying in this time which also helped a lot! Finally, I went from 100mg to 50mg around May 2017, and still felt no adverse affects (only positive improvements). My only concern was the niggling fear that I had become dependent on the Seroquel for sleep. The Disruption - coming off Seroquel cold turkey and switching to Olanzapine In August 2017, completely out of the blue, I suddenly stopped being able to sleep. What then followed was a few months of terrible broken sleep and heavy reliance on Zopiclone (alternating nights) to be able to keep up appearances at work, do my job and maintain normality. My therapist at the time suggested I increase the dose of Seroquel to counter the insomnia, so in October, I moved back up to 100mg Seroquel (occasionally 150mg). This worked a treat for the insomnia, however I suddenly started experiencing very regular involuntary muscle movements (more than a twitch, less than a jerk, around 2x per minute in all different areas of my body), and became very worried this was Tardive Dyskinesia. My Doctor (I didn’t have a psychiatrist at this point) told me I should stop the Seroquel immediately, since this was a serious side effect. I quickly got referred to a psychiatrist, who put me on Olanzapine 5mg instead. The twitching stopped, the sleep was fine, but I hated being on Olanzapine (heavily sedated/low mood/very withdrawn/binge eating/weight gain etc.). Recent struggles with Olanzapine After 2 months on 5mg Olanzapine and its shi*tty side effects, I halved the dose to 2.5mg and stayed on that for 6 weeks with no WD, but annoyingly only a very light reduction in the side effects. Complaining to my psychiatrist, she suggested I try the antipsychotic Abilify (10mg) instead, and told me to switch directly (a hard stop of Olanzapine!). Abilify does not block histamine receptor like Olanzapine and Seroquel, and it did nothing for my insomnia. My sleep started to deteriorate the second I stopped taking Olanzapine, and as soon as it was fully out of my system my insomnia returned with a vengeance - I was not able to sleep without Zopiclone, and even with Zopiclone I would only get 4 hours sleep then get woken up by loud, piercing tinnitus and moderate anxiety. I managed to live like this for only 10 nights, some nights getting no sleep at all, other nights getting less than 4 hours with Zopiclone. Annoyingly all the Olanzapine side effects stopped and I felt great, except for the crippling insomnia which stopped me functioning. I gave in and reluctantly switched back to Olanzapine, which almost brings us to the present moment. Where I'm at Today Ever since going back on the Olanzapine (2.5mg), my sleep problems haven’t really gone away: I can get off to sleep fine, but keep getting woken up by the piercing tinnitus and ‘high energy’ around 4am; often I can’t get back to sleep. I’ve tried increasing the Olanzapine back up to 5mg and that isn’t helping much. Before anyone goes there, my sleep hygeine is pretty good. I've also stopped drinking alcohol completely and have a regular bedtime of 10pm. Now I am starting to panic that not even Olanzapine can help me live a normal life. I am plagued by the fear that I am dependent on Olanzapine to get any sleep and that beneath it lies an incurable insomnia. Regardless, I cannot fathom living my life long-term on Olanzapine and I need an escape plan to give me hope (even if I’m not ready to come off it yet). Where I could use some guidance: >> I am not sure if a lot of what I am experiencing with regards to the insomnia is related to withdrawal, even though I am still on the Olanzapine - is that possible? OR is it more likely that my insomnia is the beginnings of psychosis/schizophrenia and therefore I need antipsychotics to not be psychotic. >> Clearly, I’ve messed up my system somehow with all the medication switching and dose changes (none of the reductions have been that gradual). Is there a good strategy to get me back on track? >> Has anyone had any luck with undergoing biochemical nutrient therapy to help support their taper? This is something I'm looking into. >> (Not really a question) I just find the prospect of tapering and inevitably re-living through insomnia for a sustained period of time incredibly impossible, especially with a full-time job. I just don’t know how anyone does it... I can barely last a week - and I also have the threat of having another psychosis &hospitalisation being induced by insomnia. I realise my situation is not that extreme at the moment, but I am already losing hope and am in a pretty dark place with depressive thoughts about my prospects. I am not sure how I will manage mentally and physically if things get worse (which I suspect they inevitably will). Thank you in advance for reading this far.
  19. Was administered Sertraline due to a medium depression (in hindsight probably just because I'm overloaded with work and a newborn baby). Took the first pill at night and 6 hours later I awoke with a shock and since then I haven't been able to fall asleep without help. The first 12 days I had no sleep at all. I called my doctor, being more and more frustrated. At first she told me to get some over the counter anti-histamines that did nothing. After that I went to the ER in the weekend and they prescribed some melatonin. Did nothing either. The my doctor prescribed Zopiclone. At this point I hadn't slept in over a week, so I was so messed up that Zopiclone didn't work either. I was by this time a complete crying mess and again called the doctor. This time she gave me Prometazin and told me to take everything at the same time. So that night, I took 7.5 mg Zopiclone, 50 mg Prometazin and 2 mg melatonin. BAM. I slept for 14 hours that night and the following night. After this I have experimented with how little I need to take. Currently I take 3,75 mg Zopiclone and 25 mg Prometazin and it works for sleeping. I'm tired and dizzy all day though. Sometimes I try not taking anything but I'm awake all night then and a complete depressed mess the day after. So, currently I'm in week 5 after taking that one damn pill and am just waiting for the tinnitus and lack of sleep to go away so I can go back to just being my good old semi-depressed self. SSRI's are a major no-go for me now! I must somehow be extremely sensitive to it. I take long walks and listen to specially made sleep sounds/music but nothing works. I simply cannot fall asleep by myself at all. No alcohol or caffeine. Are the others out there who have had similar experiences with only taking Sertraline for a short time and reacting the same way as I do? It's rather depressing that it's now been more than four weeks without any improvement at all and I'm getting worried for how long I can get Zopiclone and when they will stop working or whether I will get addicted to them.
  20. Hi, I'm new to this website. I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months. When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone. A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued. She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months. I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced. After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep. Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses. Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet. She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C. My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program. Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs. I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia. I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time. Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided. Past Medications: Paxil 25 mg 2010-June 2012 Prozac 20 mg January 2013 Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013 Trazadone 100 mg January 2013 Current Medications: Prozac 8 mg Trazadone 25 mg
  21. RuthS

    ☼ RuthS: Home stretch?

    Hello, I finished my taper in August 2018, fifteen months ago. I have continued to improve and wanted to share some things I learned along the way. I have a snps in many of the genes involved in methylation such as MTHFR that can cause depression and anxiety. I started following the dietary recommendations of Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com and my symptoms have completely vanished. No more agitation, anxiety, or depression. I highly recommend you check out his website for valuable information on methylation and nutrition. Thanks to Dr. Masterjohn, I also discovered the work of Weston A Price and read his fascinating book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It seems that my snps don’t matter if I obey Mother Nature and eat a nutrient dense diet that provides all the nutrients I need to support methylation. I have started eating liver once a week. I don’t enjoy it; I take it like medicine and it works! I also eat eggs almost everyday and supplement with glycine. Since incorporating these foods into my diet, my agitation and anxiety have completely resolved. I am also sleeping great. I also eat a lot of vegetables and take a trace minerals supplement with nutritional doses ( the amounts you would get from diet) as opposed to massive pharmacological doses that I think override you system like drugs. I now believe that if we work with Mother Nature rather than trying to control her, we are better off. Dr. Weston A. Price said: “Life in all its fullness is Mother Nature obeyed.” I wish everyone endeavoring to get off their drugs the best of success. Keep plugging away. It’s hard, but if you persevere, you will make it!
  22. Cloudskishawna

    Cloudskishawna: 5 weeks on Remeron / mirtazapine

    For maybe the past 5 days I've only been getting 5 hours and its starting to really get to me on those 5 days 2 of those days I had they were good but now things are starting to get dark now I'm so tired and exhausted I've been taking cbd oil 600 mg and today I smoked a hemp plant on those days I think it was on Friday where I had took unisom 50 mg and I was out for a very long time invest sleep I had in a while I have a appointment with a cranial therpist at 3 and I also took some iodine because I heard it cam help with the tinnitus please any advice I just want my sleep back
  23. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  24. Hello I started 7.5 Mirtazapine to stimulate my appetite in late October 2016. It also helped me with Ativan withdrawals and my insomnia. I had my gallbladder out in November and appetite returned but decided to keep taking the Mirtazapine because it helped me sleep. I decided in March that it was making me too tired during the day and I didn't want it anymore. About 2-3 weeks after quitting in mid April insomnia got real bad and nothing that I took would help me sleep. Then the withdrawals got real bad, horrible waves of cortisol surges; I've never felt anything like this before. I couldn't handle it so I started back on the pills at 3.75 mg. Finally stabilized but still had insomnia. Took same dose every night for about 5 weeks but still couldn't sleep. Started 7.5 mg on Monday May 15 slept good one night then few hours so went to doctor and he put me on 15 mg Thursday night and slept good one night. Last night didn't sleep at all and don't know what to do. I'm wondering if the anxiety from worrying about getting to sleep is keeping me awake since I haven't really slept well in weeks. I've had so many nights with just a few hours sleep so bedtime is not a relaxing time for me. Or maybe the pills aren't working for me anymore. I would like to stay on these for at least a year before going off of them so I can heal myself because I realize how sensitive my system is, that is if I can start sleeping again. I would just wonder if anyone thinks I have a chance at sleeping again soon. I can't do this much longer as ive already missed too much work.
  25. Back in 2012 I had an episode of major depression after a relationship break up. I was commended on duloxetine (Cymbalta) and quetiapine (Seroquel) for a couple of weeks to get sleep and appetite back. It all worked well and I had 5 very stable happy years on duloxetine 90mg. However as I have endometriosis we were due to undergo IVF to try to conceive so I very gradually weaned off duloxetine - got some brain zaps and other unpleasant symptoms but they only lasted a few days after each dose drop and i managed to get completely off. After a month or so I started to feel some depression symptoms returning (mostly lack of enthusiasm and tiredness) so in April 2018 just before IVF i went back on duloxetine but it was a COMPLETE DISASTER. Within days I was a quivering wreck, unable to sleep at all, extremely anxious (was never really anxious before), no appetite. After 10 days GP changed me onto mirtazapine (Remeron) which initially helped with sleep but then the anxiety and insomnia gradually. IVF proceeded and was successful so I am now pregnant and did due in March 2019 but mental health remains terrible Liz Transferred to care of psychiatrist and got put on quetiapine(Seroquel) too which unlike before was not successful in making me sleepy. Changed to sertraline - made me worse so stopped after 11 days - was hospitalised due to suicidal ideation. Quetiapine (Seroquel) pushed up higher and now at 500mg a day. Also give Ativan and Ambien but now tolerant and still can’t sleep. Started on Amitriptyline but anxiety did not improve so weaned off after 10 weeks. Still taking quetiapine, lorazepam (Ativan) and zolpidem (Ambien). Still nowhere near back to normal - anxious all the time and get a couple of hours of sleep max a night and wake with heart racing and feeling panicked. Terrified all these meds have not helped but I won’t be able to get off them desperate to try and get myself better before my baby is due but don’t know how :(?
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