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  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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!
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 :(?
  16. Hi everyone. I've been on SSRIs of one sort or another for 23 years. I had depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and severe social anxiety my entire childhood, and felt like I only became myself when I got on Prozac at age 12. My social skills hadn't developed normally because I had been too scared and depressed to interact with other children, but I was able to catch up in my teens with the help of medication. I tried to get off a couple times, once in my late teens and once in my mid-20s, but it didn't go well. With medication, I have mostly done well, except for chronic insomnia that can at times be crippling. I have gone through many kinds of treatments, therapies, medications, and lifestyle changes in an effort to manage my insomnia. Now I'm 35, and until a couple months ago, I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life. I was recently married, had an exciting career, and was mostly keeping the insomnia under control through a strict cognitive behavior therapy regimen. I was taking 50 mg of Zoloft, a low dose that I had slowly reduced to over several years. I started a two-month taper using a liquid formulation with the goal of starting a family medication-free. I know Zoloft is considered one of the safest SSRIs during pregnancy. But I really wanted to be medication-free for my baby, and it seemed with all the life skills and support systems I had built, that should be within reach. All seemed to be going well until I got down to about 20 mg. Then I started having awful, crippling bouts of insomnia that would leave me sobbing in despair and frustration for hours at night. I became emotionally hyper-reactive to everything; even something silly like not being able to find my socks could send me into violent fantasies, yells and sobs. I also had physical symptoms -- excessive sweating, diarrhea, and nausea. I held steady at 5 mg for a couple weeks, and it seemed to be getting better, so I slowly dropped the rest of the way. Things were rocky for a few days, then seemed to ease off, and I relaxed thinking I was on the way out. I've been off Zoloft completely for just over two weeks now, and it's suddenly gotten much much worse. That makes no sense to me because Zoloft has a short half-life, so I wasn't expecting a delayed reaction. But my insomnia is so bad lately that just thinking about my bed makes my throat close up, dreading the hours and hours of torture that will be my night. Half the time I am so tired that I can't function, literally not safe to drive to work. And for the past few days I have felt a rising cloud of depression and constant misery. A big part of me now believes on a bone-deep level that I am worthless and have never done anything worthwhile in my entire life. It seems obvious to me that the things I took pride in while I was on medication were stupid delusions, and I was just making a fool of myself with everything I did. Part of me does not want to go back on medication, even though I know it would fix this, because I don't want to be the stupid pathetic deluded fool again. Better to huddle in clear-eyed torment. And I can't bring myself to believe that it's okay to have a baby on Zoloft, even if my medicated self would have said I was being irrational. I know that untreated depression during pregnancy is associated with worse outcomes than taking Zoloft. So having a baby like this isn't an option either. But right now that seems moot, because I no longer feel I have the right or capacity to bring a child into the world. When I leave the house now or do anything besides curl up and cry, I am like a puppet-master pulling the strings of my own body, putting on a grisly charade of a functional living human.
  17. Hi, I'm feeling both shock and gratitude for having discovered your website and beginning to education myself about what's happening to me. I began to wake up in the middle of the night ("the morning cortisol spike"), every night, in November 2018. I don't know why this started happening but my guess is that it was a result of progress in my meditation practice that started to give me access to PTSD. It felt like I had opened a door to trauma and I tried everything I could to close the door again (because I didn't want the sleep disruption) but to no avail. Shortly after that I started a new job and it was hell trying to get through the workday with inadequate sleep every day. In January 2019 I saw a sleep expert and told him that I intended to see a doctor to get a sleeping pill. He told me that patients take sleeping pills only once every 3 days to avoid habituation but that at least they get a night of good sleep every few days that way, and that the pill currently in vogue is probably Trazodone. The next day I saw a doctor. He spent a lot of time warning me away from Ambien, and for that I am grateful, but when I mentioned Trazodone (from my conversation with the sleep expert) he prescribed 50 mg for me. I asked him about the 3 day rule and he had never heard of it—he said he thought people took the pill daily. I think I remember him telling me it was non-addictive. I started taking Trazodone 2x/week and it helped with my sleep. A week later, with the doctor's permission, I increased the dose to 100 mg. Things were generally manageable for the next month or so until I started taking Trazodone more frequently, here and there, like the night before an important meeting at work. I figured this was OK because the pill bottle read, "Take 1 tablet by mouth at bedtime as needed for insomnia." I also experimented with different dosages, increasing my dose if I was overtired or reducing it (by 25%) if I had slept well lately. I started having suicidal thoughts and two nights in which I was unable to sleep at all, which has never happened to me before. Now I can't fall asleep without the Trazodone and it had been easy for me to fall asleep before I started taking it. On 2019 May 3 I started doing research on the Internet, found this website, and realized that I had become addicted to Trazodone and that I had been giving myself inconsistent dosages and frequencies. As an attempt to stabilize I started taking 100 mg every night. This gave me good sleep for two nights and then last night I was able to sleep for only 2 hours. I'm shocked that I wasn't warned about how dangerous this drug is and wish I'd never taken it. Please advise me: I understand the importance of tapering 10% but I don't know where I should start because my dosage hasn't been consistent. I took a guess 3 days ago and chose 100 mg. That seemed to work for two nights but last night was hell. Should I continue to take 100 mg every night and hope for stability, or what would be best? Thank you, Courageous P. S. I am also grateful for my meditation practice because without it I think I'd be going insane and spiraling into depression right now.
  18. I started Effexor (venflaxine) excuse my spelling 75mg and buspirone 7.5 mg on Wednesday last week. Friday night I had an adverse reaction. Skin burning, dizzy, tremors, rapid heart beat, dilated pupils, muscle stiffness, I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting right now. I did not take the meds after Friday night. Now Thursday (4am) I’ve been having withdrawal symptoms. Tremors, anxiety, insomnia, no appetite. I see my pysch today at 130. I actually went to the hospital twice in the same day because I could not sleep, eat, or relax. I couldn’t go to work but I am going to try today. I was wondering if maybe Prozac or sertraline would help me ease these withdrawal symptoms or if anyone else has experienced this after on three days of being on meds!!!
  19. I recently discontinued Seroquel 150mg (prescribed for agitated anxiety and insomnia), and now on Trazodone 250mg and Mirtazapine 30mg. I had been on Seroquel since Sept. 2018 . I feel awful - sleeping less, agitated, angry, depressed, don’t want to get out of bed, lack focus and hard to think straight. I feel dumber and want to avoid. Any insights on how long it may last or how to make it easier? I’m concerned that none of the meds have really helped me with anxiety/depression beyond getting some sleep. I am doing therapy, EMDR, exercise and meditation. I feel like a weird version of myself and don’t want to be around people. I get feeling hopeless about feeling better or like myself again.
  20. This is my first post and I am so glad to be among you. Your stories are so close to mine that it feels like we are good friends already. I totally did not know about the 10% weaning schedule, and neither did the psychiatrist that I was working with. Two months was the longest I have taken to wean which is probably why I was never successful. I have a new psychiatrist that I will meet the beginning of March and I want to start the 10% program at that time to wean off of Zoloft. Though I am a researcher about problems that I have, for some reason I missed the info that has been out for years about these drugs with new issues popping up all the time. No one in my behavior health clinic seems aware of it either. I am about to cause a stir! In the past when trying to wean off of celexa or Lexapro my first real problem was insomnia. Exhaustion and stress start to build quickly and then comes everything else. My psychiatrist recommended melatonin to use when I can't sleep even on a SSRI. (which is not regularly) It works really well and I would like to continue using it as I wean, but I have reservations because I have heard some vague criticisms of it. My doc likes it (tho this does not give me much confidence) and it works great now. No idea how it will work as I wean. Any information on melatonin or other sleeping meds or techniques that you can share with me? I do not want to just go into a new set of problems with another drug - but sleep is essential. Medication History: 2007 to 2010 20 mg of celexa, Tried to wean off about 4 times during that time. 2010 tried Wellbutrin which did not work, back to celexa. 2010 to 2013 On lexapro but it had the same side effects that I had with celexa. Tried Wellbutrin again and mirtazapine, Back to Lexapro 2014 mostly on Lexapro Sept of 2015 stopped Lexapro and started Zoloft 50 mg - now have been on it for 6 months
  21. I require urgent help please. Over the past 18 months I have had several medication changes due to going off 150mg Effexor cold turkey in July 2017. I didn't know how to do it any other way at the time and I told no-one what I was doing, not even my doctor. it just wasn't working any more. I had been off Effexor for about 3 months and thought I had got through the worst of it although still had some withdrawal affects going on but I was functioning okay and sleeping. I thought I'd call my doctor and let him know what I did and that is where I went wrong. He told me to reinstate Effexor immediately at 75mg from memory, which I did because I felt like I had done something terribly wrong. Upon reinstatement my whole body went into shock and I couldn't move. It was shocking. My doctor told me to go into hospital and that he'd help fix it. By the time I left hospital I think I was on the minimum effective dose of Zoloft. After leaving hospital I found that the Zoloft was overstimulating and I didn't sleep for a week. I had to take 25mg of seroquel for sleep. Zoloft wasn't the right antidepressant for me. Without tapering off Zoloft, my doctor would try me on several different antidepressants over the next 6 weeks, including prozac, mirtazapine, brintalex, valdoxen, lexapro. I had adverse side affects to all of these medications and can't remember what dose he started me on. I believe now that my brain/body couldn't tolerate medication anymore. I needed to go back to hospital and I needed to find another doctor. I found another doctor and I think in February 2018 from memory, and I apologise that my memory is very vague due to my recent round of ECT. I think I started taking 20mg of Prozac, which did have it's challenges. I underwent a round of ECT, in April 2018 and left hosptial feeling better on 20mg of Prozac and Olanzapine - I can't remember this dose - maybe 5mg because 10mg was too much and I couldn't function on that amount. I agreed to take the Olanzapine only for 3 months to get myself back to work an back to life. When my doctor took me off the olanzapine I think she did it too quickly and the withdrawal was intense. It was so intense that I tried to commit suicide. Next step, back to hospital when my doctor suggested that I should go back onto Effexor as it had worked for me in the past. I was desperate, I didn't feel comfortable about it, but she's the doctor and knows best right? The current situation is that I came off Effexor 150mg (the original dose was 225mg), under the guidance of my psychiatrist in November 2018. She tapered me off the medication over 2 weeks. The reason I needed to come off Effexor was due to the fact that I just wasn't able to function whilst taking it, I actually felt worse. The hell that followed was horrendous and I did try and reinstate a low dose of Effexor although it just made matters worse. She had be do a course of TMS treatment and then my doctor suggested ECT . I agreed because I thought it was supposed to help with the withdrawal, although in hindsight I think she was trying to treat depression, when I told her I wasn't depressed and that I was experiencing was withdrawal. The ECT was a really bad idea. After the 9th ECT treatment I felt as though I was losing my mind, I felt like my brain was on fire. This sensation lasted quite a number of days and the only thing that helped was 5mg of valium as a PRN, which I took for about 6 days. I am now in such a state. I don't know where to turn. I can't sleep and I can't turn to my doctor for help because she has totally screwed me over. Please help me, I am so desperate. I am currently taking the following vitamins and supplements. Fish Oil 2000mg 4 x day N-acetylcysteine 1000mg 2 x per day Vitamin D 1 x day Vitamin C 1 x day Nux Vomica IM (when nauseous) Magnesium amino acid chalate - 1 scoop 2 x per day Naturopath remedies - Wellbeing mix 3 x day, soothing drops 3 x day, sleep support 2 x per day, Sleep and Rejuva Sleep Forte 4 x day, compounded melatonin 5mg for sleep.
  22. I am an almost 30 year old wife and mom of 2 beautiful kiddos. I stumbled across this website while trying to figure out if the current issues I have been having were from tapering off of Zoloft in November 2017. I started SSRI's (Paxil) at 11 years when diagnosed with OCD tendencies. (recurring thoughts, perfection/control issues). Switched to Celexa after weight gain issues after starting Paxil. Had issues with body image and eating (over eating and restriction). I started restricting heavily and binging and purging at 20 years old and was switched to Prozac. I also was on adderall for ADHD in my early 20's for a brief period. (I was mostly concerned about not being able to concentrate, brain fog, and irritability). I was diagnosed as anorexic with bulimic tendencies at inpatient care for eating disorder at 24 (2012). Had a couple of relapses after inpatient, but then became pregnant in 2013 and haven't relapsed since. I switched to Zoloft (100 mg) during early pregnancy (2013). In Summer of 2017 I realized that my medication didn't seem to be helping me at all anymore. I suffered from insomnia, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog. I decided to taper from the 100mg of Zoloft I was on. I dropped to 75 mg for a month, then 50 mg for a month, 25 mg for a month, and have been medication free as of November 2017!!! I had no withdrawal symptoms, but still had irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and brain fog. In February 2018 I started getting super itchy at night. I would get hives and I couldn't fall asleep. It was maddening!!! I switched laundry detergents, made sure I used fragrance free soap. I took all the normal precautions for skin issues and nothing helped. I tried relaxing through the issues and it has helped the itching, but I have developed Dermatographia (skin writing). I will get hive like marks where clothes rubs or any extra stimulation has occured on my skin (for example: if I carry a bag, I get tons of hive like marks where the bag was resting in the exact shape of the bag handles) Skin issues seem to occur more in the evening hours, but still can happen during the day, usually more mild. I do sometimes get a burning/tingly sensation in areas (usually hands or feet), but that goes away rather quickly. In April 2018, I started a new job and have had less issues with insomnia. Just a random night here and there where it is difficult to sleep, but I work a 12 hour rotation on first shift and have 2 young children, so that could very well play into that 😉 I also started having recurring stomach issues. Lots of gas/bloating. Sometimes it is super painful. I get so bloated at times I look like I'm in early pregnancy! It is usually more painful during the evening hours. I have diarrhea/loose stools every day. I do follow a balanced Vegan diet (dairy and egg introlerances) and I am very active, but it has never seemed to be an issue before. The fatigue just has me constantly feeling like I want to take a nap and thinking of picking up my 30 pound toddler or walking up a flight of stairs just exhausts me. It's hard to even push my kids on the swings. My last period was March 5th and I have never been this late (NOT pregnant.... husband has a vasectomy and I took 5 tests 😆) I am unsure of whether this is a result of being off of SSRI's or if it is a different health issue. It is driving me crazy trying to figure it out!!! I just want to enjoy my time with my family and function properly. I have a doctor appointment in June for a pap and to talk about my symptoms, but wanted to see if anyone else has went through something similar (and I honestly think the doctor may tell me I'm crazy-- lol). 💜a7xbabydoll 2000 - Paxil A few months later - Celexa 2010 - Prozac 2012 - Brief period of Adderall 2013 - Zoloft (100 mg) 8/2017 - 75 mg, 9/2017 - 50 mg, 10/2017 - 25 mg November 2017 - MED FREE!!!
  23. I I was given zyprexa, lamictal, and remeron for chronic insomnia roughly 2 years ago. I stayed on these drugs for 1 1/2 years and after building up a tolerance still wasn’t sleeping 1 to 2 nights per week. My psychiatrust diagnosed me w GAD and severe insomnia. He gave me lamictal during the day as he said he wanted to keep me alert as I have a stressful, high profile job. It actually made me anxious. When the meds started becoming even less effective and I developed horrible side effects (which I believe were caused by zyprexa, extreme weight gain, high blood sugar, dysphasia, tremors, etc.), my psychiatrist told me to quit them cold turkey and that I wouldn’t experience any side effects. He gave me klonopin which I’m now addicted to and doesn’t help me to sleep more than 2 hours if I sleep at all. I wish I had never listened to him. Since stopping these drugs I only sleep 0-2 hours per night (confirmed by 2 sleep studies), my cortisol levels are 5 times higher than an average person, I have developed GERD and irritable bowel, and because of my complete and utter exhaustion have injured myself by falling down the stairs several times due to dizziness and the inability to focus. I have been working like this for 5 months and can no longer live this way. My quality of life is zero, I’m constantly exhausted and a bundle of nerves (even w klonopin and natural supplements). I’ve tried meditation, CBT-I (has this been effective for anyone?), natural vitamins and supplements, have been to numerous doctors including sleep specialists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, neurologist, therapist, nutritionist and an acupuncturist. No one has been able to help me. If anything, I seem to be getting worse. Could someone please offer some guidance? I don’t know where to turn. I can’t keep living, functioning and working on 0-2 hours sleep and with cortisol levels that are through the roof. Thanks so much for your help!
  24. Hello! Seeking advice and support having discovered how dependent I am after over 20 yrs of taking paroxetine. Withdrawal symptoms of extreme sustained insomnia, excessive sweating and intense anxiety are making life unbearable and I am horrified at how ignorant I have been about my meds. I now realise GP probably made things worse by suggesting a change to mirtazapine before returning to paroxetine. GP suggested back to 20mg but I couldn't bare the thought of possibly having to repeat the withdrawal so decided on ½ dose (10mg). Not sure if I've done the right thing as still have severe symptoms after 7 days. I now realise all these changes were far too fast but do I hang on to this dose to see if I stabilise and how long do I give it?? I'm just beginning to realise that this is likely to be life changing....not what I'd planned at 58....as may well loose my job and it's a huge strain on family and friends. It's confusing and frightening. See gp on Thurs and feel it would be good to have an idea of what I should be aiming for re medication. He gave me propranolol (a beta blocker) for the anxiety but I've since discovered it could be contributing to the insomnia. Has anyone got any experience of that? With thanks and hoping to be able to share experiences!
  25. M1111

    M1111

    I'm currently 5 months off fluroxetine (25mg daily for 10 years) and sleeping 2 hours a night if I'm lucky.. tried so many different supplements and sleep aids.. nothing works. My anxiety is at a constant high level and feel like if I could just get some hours sleep it might improve.. any tips?
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