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  1. Hey all, I'm really glad to be here. I'm currently on Lamictal (118) and tapering off of it I was doing pill splitting before but I did my research and learned that wasn't a good idea and not as accurate. I would like some help finding support with measuring and factoring the water into the measuring for the liquid taper method. Back in 2017, I did the first half of my taper and went from 250-150. I remember struggling with a host of physical symptoms, especially GI symptoms with all felt quite disruptive but something I was able to tolerate at the time and at the rate I was going. Low mood and irritability was hard too. what I struggled with most was the brain fog and cognitive difficulties, and not only that but feeling really awful and depressed and hopeless about the brain fog and cognitive difficulties. I imagine feeling bad about all of that is something I might struggle with again as I start part two of my withdrawal after a long pause. I’m going slower this time but I know it gets harder near the end. I have very strong feelings of wanting to be off Meds, especially lamictal, which I’ll go into in my background story. ————————— Here's a little background about me: I was put on psych meds (Dexedrine) at age 8 against my will- my mom took me into both therapy and a psychiatrist hoping it would 'fix me'. My mom kept going on and on about how it was a miracle drug and how it would change my life for the better and fix something that was missing within me. She saw ‘outward results’ Meanwhile my inner world, I had skyrocketing anxiety and felt rigid, overly measured and controlled on this med. But no one seemed to care because I was more compliant and ‘successful’ and had very good grades. No one seemed to care about my inner experience, how I felt like a former shell of myself, or about the trauma growing up or the ptsd. All that seemed to matter to those around me was that I was functional and compliant. I’ve spent most of my life recovering and learning to believe that I don’t need fixing. I remember parts of my personality and essence before the meds. I was bright creative and curious. I was very sensitive and easily excitable and saw patterns all over the place. I embodied this chaotic non conformist energy and I once felt comfortable with that. I’m definitely neurodivergent but I remember what it was like to embody and bask in that without shame when I was younger. People quickly saw me as too much. I want to discover who I am as an adult without meds and the freedom to embrace my essence. —————————— My Lamictal and bipolar diagnosis story is a whole other thing but felt similar to my Dexedrine story in some ways, even though I felt quite different on this one. As a young adult, I was living with a deeply controlling roommate who saw my natural exuberance and my neurodivergence. She saw me fumbling through CPTSD and trying to recover but having a lot of big stressful life events and not a whole lot of support. In her mind, she was convinced I had bipolar and wanted to ‘help’. She urged me to talk to a psychiatrist— say certain things to them to get a bipolar diagnosis and get on meds. She was very pushy about it eventually threatened to kick me out if I didn’t get on meds. I admired her a lot at the time, was deep in my own shame, had not learned how to stand up for myself and scared of losing housing….so I did exactly when she suggested. I was put on a whole host of psych meds before I landed on Lamictal. I will write more about it in another post in this thread, but being on lamictal has been an awful ride and I felt numb spaced out and checked out. I just can’t any more and I need to get off of them and get my life back. I'm exploring ways outside of the mental health and Pharma industries to recover and treat myself with kindness as I heal I want to move as far as possible from the broken brain model. I'm struggling with brain fog and cognition issues due to lamictal and withdrawal and often feel stuck and lost and so far away from my essence and dreams. and I often feel shame around what I've lost due to the meds and I wonder if I can get it back. I wonder who I am without meds and what it will be like to live in my body and to think and connect authentically and fully embrace what I discover. I'm withdrawing to come back to all that and embrace deep interconnection. I value creativity, connection, interdependence and embracing every day magic and a sense of wonder. I'm non conforming on many counts and are hoping to find connection with others who want to embrace their authenticity and co create a world where others feel free to do the same. working on coming out of my shell and accepting myself. I'm leftist and *****. I absolutely love playing music and singing, connecting with plants and the more than human realm. I love in-depth astrology (hellenistic) and the spiritual realm
  2. I started to taper off Prozac 20mg 5/2020. I got down to 3mg 11/2020. I became depressed. Under the care of my Doctor Psychiatrist, From 12/2020 to 5/2021 I have started and stopped 5 different meds and increase and decrease Lamictal. My brain is a mess. I have had every thing from Brain zapping, brain numbing, paranoia, headaches, insomnia, muscle weakness, unexplainable fear, intrusive thought that have turned into ocd, left side of my face and eye hurt on and off, unable think clearly, slow speech, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, nausea, weight loss, I can't even name it all. On 5mg Lexapro 37.5mg lamictal, and 25mg of trazadone Started Lexapro 4/3/2021 Slow titration,, my brain is very, very drug sensitive, 4/14 7.5mg. side effects so bad, and anger, anxiety through the roof, doctor encouraged my to go up 4/30 10mg. Could not take the side effects dropped 4/10 7.5mg. Doctor said he does know if he can help me. Told me to stop Lexapro, and go on a med holiday . 4/16 Lexapro 5mg. Holding,. don't know what to do? Do I hold here for awhile. Doctor is no help. He thinks I can stop Lexapro with in 2 weeks. Since I dropped down lexapro 5mg and started L theanine and Magnesium glycinate, things are slightly better. I found a new doctor but can not get in until the end of June. Since I am so close to no drugs I would like to see if I can continue my goal of being drug free. Med history 1995? Prozac 20mg not help anxiety ? Paxil Caused anger stop Serzone More depressed 1998 St Johns wart stop 1998 Prozac 20mg 1998 trazadone 50mg took for a few months stop 2000 lexapro 20mg. 2015 taper off Lexapro, fast taper a few month crash tried to reinstate Lexapro did not work Tried Effexor, did not work stop Oct 2015 Hospital 1 week Seroquel xr 50mg Viibryd 20mg. Did not even get up to 20mg. So drugged, I could not hardly work 30 minutes after taking so dizzy. Stopped at home 12/2016 Abilify, couldn't tolerate stop 12/16 Wellbutrin couldn't tolerate stop 12/16 Stopped Seroquel xr 50mg. To nauseated and couldn't eat. Heartburn Don't remember tapering 1/2016 Prozac 20mg. slight improvement 5/2016 Lamictal 200mg. 5/2020 through 11/2020 taper Prozac down to 3mg. depression and anxiety insomnia 12/2/2020 Zoloft 12.5mg 12/13 25mg. 12/24 37.5mg 12/28 50mg. Bad side effects Felt like brain sitting on eclectic fence 4 day tapper stop 1/5/2021 up lamictal from 200mg to 300mg. 1/13 lamictal 400mg. Brain started ruminating and obsessing 1/17 lamictal 300mg. 1/22 lamictal 200mg 1/22/2021 Seroquel 50mg for sleep Became paranoid. nausea headaches 1/29 stopped 1/29/2021 Trazadone 50mg 4/25 25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg. 2/24 100mg 4/9 75mg 4/21 37.5 2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg. Became hypo manic 2/16 stopped 2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr 3/3 100mg 3/17 150mg side effects to much, arm and leg muscles became very week, nausea headaches 4/23/2021 panicked and stopped. doc not return my call Brain went crazy, paranoia ( should have learned, not to try it again) 4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg 4/14 7.5mg 4/30 10mg 5/10 7.5mg 5/16 5mg Now: 5mg Lexapro 37.5 Lamictal 25mg trazadone L theanine 200mg Magnesium glycinate 100mg Omega 3 2000mg Turmeric 1500mg .5 mg melatonin
  3. My history with medication started when I took a leave of absense from college in 2001, after my first semester. I moved back across the country, lived in a friend's dorm room, got a job, got an apartment, and decided to seek help for depression and trouble focusing. I was prescribed Ritalin. Over the years (see signature for meds), I was given meds for depression, sleep problems, ADHD, and eventually Bipolar II. In October of 2013, I left a job both over ethical concerns and because I wanted to work for myself. I lost access to the medications I was on at the time, though, because of an insurance SNAFU. By mid-2014, I was practically non-functional, though I was also trying new meds and working with a therapist. In 2015, I ended up unable to work, moving to my parent's home, and getting SSDI. Many of the meds I've tried since then (and before) gave me immediate adverse effects, or soon after I started taking them. In 2021, Lexapro was added, and that gave me constant nausea, but I was determined to stick it out. I had to use cannabis constantly in order to not feel like throwing up. Then, when I learned about laws in a couple states passing that explicitly allowed medical providers to deny care for "religious or ethical reasons," targeting queer people (I'm a trans* guy and gay), I threw temper tantrums like a two-year-old at both my therapist and mother for two days, and became extremely activated. At first I was ranting out of terror, and then angry at their lack of empathy. It was both called-for and out-of-line. Then began a flurry of activity. I felt like myself, and like I was developing good boundaries. I told people about many painful things from the past. I was also, in retrospect, not well, but when my APRN told me to stop taking Lexapro because "people say you've been acting out of character," I was livid, because I finally felt like myself again, and it was traumatizing to hear about those laws being passed and have people to tell me to calm down because it wasn't an immediate threat. I told her that sometimes when someone experiences something new, they act in a new way; it's objectively true. I don't know. I developed panic attack symptoms, had trouble regulating my body temperature, had more than the usual variations in energy level, and had a lot of sleep disturbances. My proprioception was often way off. I compulsively spent money, but in a way that made half-sense. A few months into the Lexapro, I developed some movement disorder symptoms, sort of only half-controllable unwinding stretching, triggered also by physical therapy for severe pain and stiffness in the right side of my neck. The stretching felt good, but then I got tight again. That was particularly weird. I often had very firm boundaries over the spring and summer, getting to the point of yelling when my concerns about my safety as a queer person were being thrown back in my face. Some people told me I was hard to follow, but others could follow me fine. All of my emotions were amplified. At one point I hit a wall with my fist in my mother's house, and dented it. I offered to fix it or pay to have it fixed, but that offer was rejected. In the fall, without prior warning, my family changed the locks on my place, and threw away whatever they thought was trash, and I lived in long-term Airbnbs until March. I somehow managed to close on a house in February, and started living in it in March. The place was indeed horrible, in terms of cleanlinees, but advance notice and dealing with it more directly would've been better. Of course, they don't know what my living spaces always look like. Throughout the winter and spring, I had migraines a lot of the time. In March of 2022, things got psychedelic. I've never done hallucinogens, actually. I've also never had any hallucinations or delusions... until maybe this stuff. I was in part wrapped up in fantasies about finding a way back to having my family in my life, and in part seeing patterns and thinking I had outsized influence on the world if I interacted with them right. I saw problems and became fixated on them. I was sometimes, in my thinking, straight-up delusional. I went for lots of drives, exploring patterns - real ones having to do with the development of the highway system - but why? I became very tuned-in to my emotional intelligence, and spent a lot of time dancing and acting to music, and feeling through the layers of meanings in the lyrics. I can't remember if I'd decided to stop/cut back the Xanax before or after this. In late March, I ran out of gas on the highway, without my phone, really only needed a tow truck, but since I didn't have anyone to call for help and was very amped up, I ended up involuntarily hospitalized in another state, with no way to reach anyone. First, I was in an emergency room, and got the bends very bad from something. I was lucid dreaming, and spinning around in the bed. They injected me with something, I don't know what. When I got to the hospital, I half-thought it was all a mistake and someone might come get me. I opted to be there for three days under my own power. Since I had no access to my meds, this lead to my going cold-turkey off of Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Adderall, Xanax, and Lexapro. No one evaluated me there, but they tried to get me to take something (wouldn't tell me what). I felt pretty much fine, but half-believed it must be some kind of elaborate prank, under the influence of drugs, trauma, or both. From then on, things got even weirder. I started to forget to pay bills, I became convinced there was something seriously wrong with the electricity in my home, and no consequences mattered. I had total blindness to how my actions affected others. In May, I again ended up needing a tow truck (the gearshift became disengaged), without my phone. I got extremely sick in the car, got a tow truck instead of a hospital this time, but got kicked out by the driver of the tow truck because of the smell. I had auditory and mild visual hallucinations, very "creative" thoughts, and ended up taking two weeks to get back home. I simply let the car go, bought another car (but got a ticket for driving without insurance and driving an unregistered vehicle, and now have a warrant out for me in another state), worked on it a little but lost focus and bought an even more messed-up vehicle, worked on that, and then stopped caring. I developed bad chemical sensitivity for a month or a few (even my skin barrier was weird), and had movement disorder symptoms spring up after exposure to chlorine, followed by lotion and CBD oil. Could also be psychological, in part. I got a big lump on my scalp, a rash on first the left and then the right side of my neck, ingrown hairs on my knees. I had to re-wash everything I'd washed at a laundromat. I'd have to make movements in response to sounds, or feel prickling or burning in my toes response to seeing certain people, or other unknown causes. It's still happening a bit. I trashed the office space I was renting, because I had increased sensitivity in my nerves, and thought there was something corrosive going on I needed to clean up with salt, baking soda, some natural cleaning supplies, and clean cat litter, but also couldn't focus, and ended up leaving behind a massive mess and giving the owner no notice, after being two weeks late with rent, after the guy I'd hired decided he wasn't going to stick around. I've had a lot of scary physical symptoms that felt like they could become blood clots or heart attacks, but those haven't happened for months. For a while I had so much tension in my trunk area, it felt like my pelvic bones were eating themselves, all prickly. I have more feeling on my left side than my right. Usually when I wake up, some part of one or both of my hands is numb. I had a lot of strong anxiety, on and off. There's a lot I've left out. These days, I'm dissociated and flat, but also have extreme avoidance behaviors, a different kind of anxiety. My frustration/obstacle tolerance is almost nothing. I don't have a temper about it, my brain just short-circuits. Pretty much I sit around smoking hand-rolled cigarettes, and drinking filtered water with ginger in it, thoughts about my family or others swirling around, wishing I could trust new people and/or had local friends. I wish I could hand power of attorney to someone and tell them what to take care of. If I can get started on something, I manage to change my address somewhere, or make a payment plan on a credit card, or do some small thing, like pre-rinse clothes in the sink. The stuff I paid to have packed and stored, whatever was at the apartment that wasn't thrown away, I haven't been able to face and has probably been thrown out for non-payment by now. I've been to a primary care doctor twice, and have an appointment with a neurologist in October. I got basic bloodwork done and was fine; tried to get a toxin or heavy metal panel done but couldn't. Probably what I thought was toxin exposure was in fact withdrawal stuff, though. I've been trying to find a therapist who I can get to without a car and who takes my Medicare plan, but no luck so far. As far as I can tell, what's happening is CPTSD, PTSD, and polypharmacy withdrawal interacting. As weird and bad as things are, it's not like they weren't often like this even before I was ever prescribed anything. For example, I've almost never been able to care about "self-care," unless it's to make sure I'm not judged or otherwise for another's benefit. I can see a lot of "self-sabotage" in many of the things I've done, pathological narcissistic acting-out, some victim/savior/persecutor dynamics, but it all seems a bit extreme for it to be "just" trauma.
  4. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  5. Giulietta

    Giulietta

    Hello all, I am new to the forum after reviewing some of the posts intermittently since December 2018. I have posted my intro as a PDF (note: pasted below). When I tried to post it - the fonts and spacing were inconsistent and I couldn't edit it. This is my first online forum on any subject so please bear with me on the technical goofs I will make. 😉 Fortunately I did find the emoji and finally get the introduction written. Thank you! PDF information pasted below (CC manually reformatted as best as possible): Hello all, I am a new member and trying to liberate myself from duloxetine/Cymbalta 20 mg (compounded in a LIQUID). My goal is mood management without medication – and being able to cope positively with unwelcome (or sometimes welcome) events. I have been viewing information on the web site off and on since last December. My thanks and empathy to all of you on this site who are ridding themselves of Cymbalta and other ADs, benzos, etc. I remain optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an oncoming locomotive. J I am grateful for having found SurvivingAD and to the subject matter experts and people who administer it. I have been tapering duloxetine 20 mg (compounded) since December 15, 2018 under the care of an MD. I am at 10 mg (3.3 ml) as of July 20, 2019. I am decreasing by about 10% a month. I am also taking clonazepam 2 mg (my next taper goal) as well as meds for a childhood neurological illness (lamotrigine XR 600 mg and gabapentin 1000 mg). I have taken many medications since age 9 due to the latter. Because of my medical history and the many meds tried or used over the years to manage it, their efficacy, safety and side effects – I am anxious about medications. Anxiety exacerbates the neurological health issue. I was prescribed ADs about 15 years ago (and the clonazepam) to manage moods amid traumatic life events. I took Duloxetine for about the last 4 or 5 years; the highest dose was 60 mg. About my taper: The taper started in December 2018. However – before I knew better – I stopped cold turkey (per prescriber’s advice) in August 2018. I endured subsequent bouts of panic, elevated anxiety, auras and some agoraphobia - so I restarted the duloxetine and the symptoms went away. I figured out that cutting the medication maybe caused the symptoms. I found a new MD who reluctantly agreed to the taper. After learning I lack the fine motor skills to count beads, I found a compounding pharmacy and get the duloxetine in an oil-suspension. I decreased by 2 MG (10%) per his direction and I experienced 3 weeks of bad symptoms. Thereafter I tried a ‘micro-taper’ approach – a series of mini-cuts - per this website. This approach seems to have moderated many of the side effects– but the symptoms are still a problem a good proportion of the time. My process for the micro-taper is to reduce by about .5 mg a week (about 2 mg a month total) – with mini decrements across the week (in ml). I have symptoms for a few days, then a few days where I am feeling mostly OK, and then I make another mini-cut. This is fatiguing and difficult to manage. Some side effects I experience(d) on this medication at 20 mg– and they continue: • Hot flushing over head and torso and perspiration (in 70 F) and not attributable to endocrine function. • Blurry vision • Short-term memory impact • Focus and concentration and recall • Insomnia – awakening 2-3x night many nights…. • SSRI/SNRI sexual side –effects • And many more… Withdrawal effects Generally - the most consistent and prevalent withdrawal effects (thus far) have been: • Anxiety - which may often be markedly worse in mid to late afternoon and into the evening (about 7-8 hours after my dose). • Jitteriness/tremors/shakiness • Auras and other sensations (related to the neurological illness) which may be extremely uncomfortable • Tinnitus (hearing loss was ruled out as a cause) • Insomnia • Lower GI (one extreme or the other) • Appetite issues (one extreme or the other) • Maybe more sensitive to cloudy days – particulary when they cluster Less consistent: • Dizziness when quickly turning my head • Postural hypotension • Sinus headaches • Lightheadedness • Panic • Dysphoria • Short-term memory impact – worse at times during this taper than on the full dose • Focus and concentration and recall– worse at times during this taper than on the full dose June – July Withdrawal Symptoms Out of the blue in June I experienced additional and horrendous symptoms for 2-3 weeks (see ‘less consistent’ above). They were so acute I asked myself if this is worth it, whether I will ever get off this drug and so on with the nefarious what if’s. I have no idea what caused it but I made it through and I am now doing much better. Looking for another MD or NP The psych MD (started in December 2018) does not have my full confidence to taper me successfully off Duloxetine. I am looking for an MD or NP who sincerely wants to taper me off and take a holistic approach to mood management moving forward. Spending much time online and looking things up (like about ADs, tapering, etc.) elevates my anxiety to unhealthy levels. It’s therefore important to have an MD or NP on whom I may depend for this information. If it had not been for information I found on Surviving AD and other web sites – he would have tapered me to Viibryd or off duloxetine in 4 weeks. What I am doing to help myself • Joining Surviving AD and searching for an in person support group • Helping others through this and letting everyone I know about Cymbalta and AD withdrawal • (Re-) learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Meditate (10 – 15 minutes a day I practice this – but 5 minutes are better than no minutes) – this may take me a while to learn…. • Exercise daily ( 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning (and it would be good to do some walking in the afternoon). • Physical therapy and hand weight exercises most nights. • Eating plenty of protein, healthy (whole grain) carbohydrates, salad a day, nuts, and could do better with vegetables • Searching for a faith that aligns (mostly) with mine • Looking for a group to volunteer with • Write down (most days) what I am grateful for – even if I need to repeat things from one day to another J A few things I have learned – and wish I had known earlier – about exercise and diet and spending too much time online Maybe this may help someone out… 1. You may not want to start a ketogenic (or low carb) diet (depending on your medical circumstances). My personal experience with this: I was advised/told to restrict carbs (40%) to lower my a1c. I did 50% - and I suffered more anxiety, panic, etc. Ended up in ER with panic. No one told me about this and my MD wasn’t aware. Learn more about keto diets and psych meds: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201803/ketogenic-diets-andpsychiatric- medications. 2. Activate dopamine receptors and generate serotonin by EXERCISE (aerobic and/or weight lifting) and PROTEIN. Exercise releases endorphins and helps with dopamine receptor activation. Activating dopamine receptors is ‘critical’ to this process. A diet rich in protein helps with this. (this from the neuro RN) 3. A good snack in the mid to late afternoon – whole grains and protein - may help me with anxiety. It helps with blood glucose management –and a low BG will cause anxiety and a number of the symptoms that are also caused by AD withdrawal 4. To help cope with anxiety – I have found that doing something anything physical or with your hand (and focusing on it) can help (for example, clean the bathroom, knit, weed, etc.). I have a few questions, which I will post separately – and I would really appreciate your comments. Thank you Surviving AD Intro.pdf
  6. 2013 - 50mg Zoloft 2016 - increase to 150mg Zoloft 2016 - Lamictal in addition to Zoloft 2018 - Serequel in addition to Zoloft 2019 - 5mg Abilify in addition to Zoloft 2022 - tapered off Zoloft decrease of 25mg per week over 6 weeks and then tapered off Abilify 5mg over 2 weeks. It has been 4 weeks since my last dose of Zoloft and 2 weeks since last dose of Abilify. I had no withdrawal symptoms until 4 days ago. For the last 4 days, I have had severe anxiety that is constant and will not go away. The anxiety has contributed to difficulty sleeping as well. I tapered under the supervision and guidance of my doctor. Is this anxiety a withdrawal symptom? Is this a relapse? Should I reinstate? Reinstate at a low dose? 25mg or 50mg reinstate? Is there any hope for not reinstating? I don't know what to do...I'm so scared...I had no idea coming off the meds was going to be this hard. Please help!
  7. Neeta

    Neeta: Hi

    Hi everyone. So grateful to still be here to be here!! Been a long 30 years! Am hoping to titrate down from last 10 mg of Prozac using the liquid form. Does starting with the 1 mg a month make sense? See how it goes? Finish off 1 mg of Valium first? Yes, scared to let go of the last milligram of safety net. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Moments of regret for ever having gone done the med road, but so very ready to "heal" what only covered up....sound too familiar? Best wishes and thank you!! 1992 – 1999 Prozac 80 mg, Klonopin 4 mg, Buspar 1999 – 2000 Stop Prozac cold turkey 1 year. Hell. 4 mg Klonopin. 2000 – 2003 Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft. Cycle through each med. None work. Highest dosages. 2004 – Effexor, Klonopin, Zyprexa, Lamictal, Provigal, Sonata. Always high dosages. Don’t remember mgs…. 2005 – Klonopin, Lamictal, Seroquel, Anafranil, Luvox 2006 – Klonopin 4 - 6 mg, Prozac 120 mg 2009 – 2013 – Prozac 80 mg, Kononpin 1 mg (Titrate from 120 mg to 80, and 4 mg to 2 mg) 2013 – 2019– Prozac 30 mg, Klonopin 1 mg (Titrate from 80 mg to 30 and 2 mg to 1 mg) 2019 – Ashton Protocol. Convert Klonopin to 20 mg Valium 2021 – Valium 1 mg. Titrate Prozac 15 mg to 10 mg in 2 months. HELL. TOO FAST.
  8. ItsNearlyMedlessKateAgain

    ☼ ItsNearlyMedlessKateAgain

    Hi, I'm Kate. Hope I'm welcome here. I have successfully withdrawn from antidepressants and recently from an antipsychotic but am in Lamictal hell. I have a long history with the mental health system since the age of 5 - court ordered due to sexual trauma. I'm 37 and have had 25 years of therapy. I went to weekly therapy for 7 years from age 5 to age 12 when I refused to keep going and was sent to a group home. I think therapy did MUCH MUCH MUCH more harm than good to me as a child. I went back to therapy in 2002 and was in therapy continuously until October of 2015. I found I was dreading going and would become anxious the day before because I did not want to go talk about my problems without any therapist ever giving me any kind of insight or advice and so I quit. It was far more upsetting than helpful. I am so much happier since I stopped focusing on my problems and am doing other things to care for myself like diet (organic vegan for 4.5 years), exercise (for about the last 8 months I've been walking, practicing yoga, and swimming) and supplements (zinc, B-complex, and high dose DHA/EPA). Dx have included - Post-partum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, DDNOS, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, C-PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder. The PTSD and mild BPD are the only two that sort of make any sense. I do not and never have had DID despite doctors and therapists trying to bring out my "alters" for years. I believe the mania Dx as Bipolar is solely due to antidepressant use. I have been officially disabled since 2002 but I believe this is due to the meds rather than severe illness. Instead of being offered help with my abusive situation, I was heavily medicated when I went to my PCP (who is actually an OB-Gyn) complaining of depression and extreme spousal abuse (actual pummeling and threats with guns). I also believe I was funneled onto the disability system by my psychologist who told me I would definitely be approved because his brother was an ALJ and he'd make sure it was approved. I was approved the first time in 7 months. I didn't realize until recently when starting to put the pieces together that my life fell apart after I was medicated wth Effexor and had a severe mania with psychosis which led to two major suicide attempts in two months. This was before the black box warning for young people. I was only 23. I have made four major suicide attempts while on antidepressants. This led to a complete breakdown after which my young daughter was taken from me. My current diagnosis is Bipolar 1 which I do not believe I have since I have only ever been manic when taking an antidepressant. I have been off antidepressants completely since August '15 and have not experienced either a mania or depression since that time. I don't think I would qualify for any Dx at this point were I to be honest with my doctor about my symptom reduction since going off meds. When I stopped going to therapy and refused my psychiatrist's admonitions to continue, her response was "You don't listen to anyone!" which I heard in Cartman's voice from Southpark "Respect my authoritay!" After that I declined to tell her I've been tapering from my meds. It is not her decision and I no longer care about being a good compliant patient. My husband goes in with me to every appointment since I was experiencing memory loss due to the Latuda, so he has witnessed my psychiatrist basically dismissing my desires and telling me what my treatment will be. It was his idea for me to try going off meds to see what happened. We now have a script we use with the psychiatrist when we go in and know exactly what we will tell her to make her think I am still on meds and compliant. I will tell her after I am off the Lamictal and sure I am going to be able to stay off. At this point, that is looking like some time next year. I am trying not to rush getting off Lamictal but I want the rest of my life back. I feel like the last 15 years have been stolen from me. I want to go back to work and do something with my life. I used to hold onto my identity as mentally ill because it made my fucked up life seem like it was not my fault. Now I know it was neither my fault that the trauma happened, nor my fault how I reacted to it, nor my fault for treatment providers putting me on drugs that drastically changed my behaviour, nor my fault in any kind of genetic or biological way. I can recognize where I've made truly awful decisions when I was younger but I have matured and my life does not even resemble anything like what it was then. I have incredible support in doing this from my husband, my mother, and my best friend who all wholeheartedly agree with my assessment that this is medication induced. I went for ten years without treatment entirely as a teen and young adult until I cracked under abuse and then was treated as if I was the one with the problem. No one ever addressed my husband's abuse. I have recently been emboldened in my decision to quit psychiatry by websites like Mad in America and Beyond Meds. Let's do this! (Sorry if this was too much information...) Here is my med history: Meds as a child: Elavil - 1991 - took for two months, quit cold turkey, no withdrawal Lithium 1992 - took for 28 days, gained 49 pounds, withdrew cold turkey, no negative effects Prozac 1992 - made me extremely aggressive, taken off after a few days Thorazine 1992 - injection used nearly daily during ~8 month hospitalization for behaviour control (basically way too smart for my own good and got into trouble out of boredom) There must have been more drugs as I remember taking a boatload of them, but I was too drugged to remember, or may not have been told what I was being given. To my parents credit, they never kept me on the drugs once I was released. I was drug and therapy free for ten years. Meds as an adult: Paxil - '00 - six weeks for PPD, didn't work Wellbutrin '01 - three weeks to try to quit smoking, withdrew due to agitation, no withdrawal Amitryptaline - late '01-'02, low dose no effect Trazodone '2002 - no effect Effexor - '02_'05 - became severely manic until put on Topamax, transitioned to Lexapro Lexapro - '05-'15 - multiple depressions and manias during treatment, withdrawal uncomplicated over three weeks Buspar '02-'03 - little effect, no withdrawal Xanax & Klonopin - '02-'16 Developed extreme sensitivity, can no longer take, Took 2-3 mg a day at my highest Concerta - '05-'07 no withdrawal, supposedly had ADHD during college Straterra - '05 no effect Depokote - '06 gained over 20 lbs in two weeks, quit Topamax - '03 (and '10-'13) caused partial complex seizures above 100 mg Suboxone - '10 - seven weeks while inpatient used as antidepressant, not for drug/alcohol treatment, quit once out of hospital, no withdrawal Latuda - '14-'16 (only with zofran due to vomiting) withdrew in early April 2016 after developing delusions and hallucinations (I'm not schizophrenic) along with parkinsonism, akathesia, and mild respiratory dyskinesia Withdrawal experienced with: Seroquel - '06 -'09 Withdrew cold turkey, became manic for 8 months (while taking Lexapro) and '09-'12 withdrew over a few weeks, became somewhat manic for about 8 months before becoming severely depressed for two years, while taking Lexapro) Gabapentin - '01-'15 Experienced Gabapetin withdrawal syndrome twice with emergency medical treatment twice before successfully withdrawing over three months in late 2015 Lamictal - '05-'12 withdrew too quickly over about two months, had to restart -- '12-'16, currently withdrawing at 1 mg/day Currently only on Lamictal and hope to complete withdrawal within 6 months. I have tried doing step reductions and found that I got really angry and agitated for days after a 10 mg reduction, but as my husband is a chemist and able to weigh the pills to within a mg, so we tried a gradual taper by 1 mg a day and that worked so well that we tried to increase the taper to 1.5 mg a day and I became extremely irritable and snappy so we are currently holding for a few days at this dose and will try 1 mg a day again early next week. If anyone is still reading at this point, you're a real trooper!
  9. Hi everyone! In order to understand how i came where i am in my life, i will try to give you brief story of my life. Born if dysfuntional family with alcoholic father who was making living hell of the lives of my family and me. During one of those events i was almost killed at the age of 7. All of that lasted for 10 years. Then war broke out, years of insecurity, danger, poverty, never knowing what next day might bring. Anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, horrible self-esteem and confidence were following me throughout my life. At one point of my life, i decided to leave my homeland and look for the happiness somewhere else and i landed in Malta, tiny island in the Mediterranean. Only once i was removed from such environment i was able to focus on myself and look for help. My doctor that i met in Malta diagnosed me with cyclothimia, or bipolar disorder. I was put on lithium carbonate in july of 2018. But, for years i havent seen improvment, i was suicidal every now and then, my relationships were chaotic. Then, in 2020 i met my trauma specialized psychotherapist who told me after first season that i am having CPTSD. When i told that my pdoctor, after one low phase due to relationship issues he placee me on Lamictal in june 2020. I worked with my psychotherapist for 1,5 at the time when Lamictal dose rose again to 150mg. Since the introduction of Lamictal my life was a nightmare, but my doctor kept rising the dose, even though i told him in a few emails that i am afraid how it is affecting me, that i am highly suicidal and anxious. He told me to rise it to 200mg and never replied to my emails again. After a month and a half of that dose of 150mg I got overdosed on painkillers and ended up in the hospital. Since i was convinced that Lamictal made all of that mess, i was removed from it completely in the hospital. I was on 150mg at that point. That was the breaking point for me and thats when i decided to go off all medication. I continued with psychotherapy, changed my lifestyle, started doing brazilian jiu-jitsu,stopped abusing weed and my life changed for 180°, which was another sign that meds were doing me only bad and that i have to get off them. In September i went from 800mg of lithium to 600mg on my own. I changed my doctor eho, regardless of my whole history i told him, kept bipolar disorder diagnosis with PTSD, even though i did not have one, but reccurent traumas that lasted for more than a decade. Then i made a break until may of 2022 and my psynurse lowered it from 600 to 400mg. I got flu like symptoms, nausea, i was vomiting for 2 days, my whole body was sore. On the next check up in june of 2022 they did not want to lower my dose more, so i realize i do not have their support and that i had to do it on my own. I was on that dose for 2 months and at the mid of July i went down from 400 to 300mg and withdrawl symptoms were horrible, same flu like symptoms and such weakness in my body that i could not walk 10 meters. I had horrible nightmares for days. On 12th of August i lowered from 300mg to 200mg and even though i feel a bit down, my worst side effect are nightmares that are with me for the last 10 days. I was looking for forum like this for literally a year and i know it would be much easier for me to taper it down without a lot of trouble, but it is what it is. What should be my next step? Should i continue with 10% rule? Thank you for all of your support and time you are putting into helping.
  10. Hello I am an Spanish 67 years old mother polydrugged for many years. I never wanted to take psychiatric drugs with problems of depression and psychotic symptoms like I don't have money to buy food. I was raised years after the Spanish Civil War. I don't think I need all these evil drugs I am in, Zyprexa,lithium carbonate, Anafranil and lamotrigine. I had multiple stays in psy wards where they changed me drugs or I CT them.My family took me there when I was bad like refusing to eat because I was psychotic. I want to come off of this dreadful cocktail. If not possible with all of them then with some. I think I kindled because of multiple CTs or irrational taper plans. Last time like 3 or four years ago I was forced to come off of zyprexa 15mg to 7,5mg. That is a huge drop. When they made that cut i could keep my back straight. I was like that for many months. I have arthrosis and osteoporosis. My last visit to my psychiatrist he suggests going to Zyprexa 5mg tablets. I was on 7,5mg of Zyprexa or Zolafren 7,5mg capsules here in Spain. I want to know how can I taper this awful poison with the least risks. Thank you for reading my story, Maria Casais
  11. Hi I am presently very foggy and unsure how to go about composing this but I’ll do my best. About eight days ago (May 20) I took one dose of a 20mg adderall XR prescription I had recently been given for ADHD. If I’m remembering correctly my focus was improved and I was able to get a lot of things done without incurring much fatigue the way I normally do, but it immediately caused some pretty intense side effects, including elevated anxiety (nearly to the point of panic frankly), sexual dysfunction, appetite suppressing, GI problems, numbness/tingling in my extremities, and insomnia. I discontinued after the first dose and some of the symptoms subsided, but many didn’t and fairly quickly some new ones emerged. Presently I’m experiencing severe brain fog, anhedonia, sexual dysfunction (v low libido and genital insensitivity), difficulty w speech, heavy fatigue, dissociation (maybe depersonalization/derealization? It’s hard to tell), tremors in my hands and head and some involuntary movements, numbness/tingling in extremities (different from when on the med, less of a squeezing more like “drained”, I think I read that adderall affects blood flow), difficulty eating (also a different quality to the appetite suppressing effects of the meds), occasional insomnia, altered perception of time (everything feels much slower) and very intense depression and anxiety. I am very distressed ab these. I’m a trans woman w a history of sexual abuse and medication-induced sexual dysfunction (both very distressing! tho the dysfunction was never quite persistent iirc) as well as long term dissociation due to dysphoria who has only within the last year (since I fully came out and started hormone replacement therapy) that I’ve begun to heal and enjoy being present in my body and to experience a sexuality that doesn’t feel poisonous to me, and it has been more or less heartbreaking to feel as though the like. Fruits of my progress have been taken away from me. Additionally, I’m a survivor of long-term withdrawal from other meds, most notably lamictal, and it’s very triggering to be experiencing symptoms that so closely parallel my experiences with that. I’m hoping very much I’ll experience some relief soon because I don’t feel remotely like myself. I haven’t been able to engage with any of my interests in any sustained way since the dose. I’m very afraid I’ve given myself a case of PSSD in a roundabout way, though I’m trying to stop myself from jumping to conclusions. I am going to pursue specialized treatment for PTSD w/o meds in the meantime. I would appreciate any comfort, reassurance, advice, etc — (until I figure out how to pin a signature I’ll just put one here manually) extensive history of prior psych meds usage for adhd, depression, anxiety lamictal march-august 2018 (abrupt taper over latter four months, don’t remember dose) abilify, three days september 2018 concerta September-October 2018 reinstated lamictal at microdose, then tapered off probably too abruptly May 2019-July 2019 Estradiol, Spironolactone, Progesterone April 2021-present 💗 Adderall XR 20mg May 20, 2022
  12. Link to Hibari's Introduction topic: hibari-tapering-remeron-and-want-to-start-tapering-lamictal I first want to say that we do heal and life does get better. I am someone who was poly-drugged, on benzos twice, and now am 15 months off all medications. I made mistake like forgetting doses, getting misdiagnosed with Lyme, taking supplements for my adrenals and being treated badly by both doctors and holistic practitioners. I still made it off the medications. I feel well most of the time and optimistic about life. I couldn't feel that at all when I was on medication, (benzos in particular) and while I tapered, so I now know it was the medication. Thank you @Altostrata for starting this site and collecting all the information needed planning and tapering. Med History: Put on and off a variety of medications for short periods of time after having a nervous system breakdown from excessive caregiving and overworking. (You can see my signature). What helped me: One thing that helped me during benzo withdrawal was to look up the side effects, not withdrawal symptoms, of Clonzapam. I saw that depression was one of the main side effects of the medication and even though I felt deep despair at the higher doses, I keep reminding myself that the medication itself was causing my crushing depression. Support In addition to the support I received on this site and benzo buddies, the first two things on this list I wish I had known about earlier. 1. I worked with a Psych-K practitioner (psychological kinesiology). This practitioner had gotten off of a cocktail of medications using the Psych-K technique. I met her by chance, heard about the work and decided to try it. This method helps to balance the brain and body. With this support I was able to continue tapering my benzo 20% a month till the end. We worked remotely even pre-pandemic and I found it incredibly helpful. I continue with her to this day. If anyone wants more information on this, please PM me. 2. The second thing was that I worked with a benzo coach from Lucid Lane, a fee for service support site for any medication dependence. I spoke or should say, cried to my coach on a regular basis. I found it really helpful to talk with someone who understood my pain. Here is their website. https://lucidlane.com/ 3. I connected to some wonderful people on this site @freespirit @Shep @Santino @leahy @brassmonkey and others who I’m sure I’m forgetting. I found the people who I resonated with the most and they were a lifeline to me. Not everyone here will be the right fit for you nor have the right guidance for you and that’s okay. 4. Advice: Take what you like and leave the rest. This site has wonderful resources and offers very solid advice on tapering. And you also have to trust yourself. That might mean sometimes going against what works for others and that’s okay. For example, I couldn’t handle fish oil during my tapers, it had the opposite effect. I didn’t try and push it once I discovered that. Some supplements like L-Theanine worked during my Remeron/Mirtazapine taper but not during my benzo taper. Your body has a lot of wisdom and if it’s saying no, it’s no. 5. Mental: Two shifts occurred during this process. The first occurred when I finally realized that being stable enough to taper did not mean, feeling great. For me it meant, being functional enough to make the bed, wash the dishes and stare at the TV. Later it meant, I could go for a walk, meet a friend and then start working a bit. I got confused for a while thinking that if I were stable, I would feel more upbeat but that was not what stable was for me. It was all about being functional enough to keep going in my taper. I used a scale from 1-10. If I was in the 5, 6, 7 range, which was uncomfortable but tolerable, I kept going. If I went to an 8 or 9, I held till I was back to a 6 or 7. Tracking this way helped me move forward and also allowed me to see if there were any patterns of when my cuts hit. The second occurred, during my final taper. I realized that I whenever I wanted to change something in my taper-the method, the rate, the brand-that it was me trying desperately to have some control over the process. This hurt me especially at the end of my Lamictal taper. I am very compassionate about it now and saw it was my attempt to feel more in charge of something I felt helpless about. I had to really fight that urge during my final year of tapering and it worked to my benefit. 6. Belief: You don’t have to believe you will heal to heal. I had a lot of despair and fear during my tapers and especially during my final benzo taper. I thought I was actually a depressed person and was unable to meditate, exercise or do anything that seemed to work for others (until the Psych-K work) and I still kept healing. I know now that it was hard for me to believe that I would feel good again because of the temporary brain injury and withdrawal. Now I know for sure I am not a depressed person and look forward to life. 7. Food: I lost my appetite at times and could not eat much for different periods. For the most part I ate cleanly, no sugar, alcohol, or caffeine during a majority of my taper. I was not perfect and did eat candy at times when that was what was going to get me through the next hour. I now drink a cup of coffee a day and am fine. I do eat healthy now about 95% of the time. I did put on 30lbs during the time I was taking Remeron/Mirtazapine and when I went off, I lost 25lbs in about 2 months without dieting. It was all medication weight. Choose what works for you, whether it’s plant based or keto-you get to decide. 8. Supplements: The only supplements I really take are Magnesium Glycinate, which I took on and off during my tapers. I take between 50-150 mgs at night to help me relax into sleep. I do drink an Adrenal Cocktail, 1/2 cup natural OJ, 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt and 1/4 tsp of creme of tartar to support my adrenals. I drink it now as needed but when I was in withdrawal and too revved up to relax at night, I drank it 2x a day at 10AM and 2PM. In about 10 days the hyper feeling subsided and I started to sleep better, which at that time was about 3 hours a night with many nights of little sleep. There are versions of this cocktail that use other liquids if you can't handle OJ. You can Google those recipes. 9. Exercise. I walked my dog during withdrawal but during the last part of my Lamictal/benzo withdrawal I did not exercise much due to the agoraphobia and weakness. I also tried exercising more vigorously after I stepped off the benzo, but it would cause mini waves. I went back to exercising at about 13 months off and can now handle dance classes and fitness classes. I’m out of share but optimistic I will get physically fit again. 10. Spirituality/Faith: I do believe I was transformed for the better by going through this. I felt pretty spiritually abandoned especially during benzo withdrawal but my spiritual beliefs were not so solid to begin with. That has changed over the past year. I also had to learn a hard lesson about how I was living my life pre-medication. My habit of giving too much and doing too much wore me down. Now after meds, I have to continue to keep an eye on that tendency though it is so much better. 11. COVID: I think I may have gotten Covid early on but was never tested. I had a very bad sore throat in the fall of 2020. It was so bad I took an antibiotic (which I could handle) and it cleared it up. I have been vaccinated 3 times and the first time I was vaccinated I was off benzos for 3 months. Aside from the usual reaction to a vaccine, aches, chills, etc, I was fine. I am someone who never got flu shots and don’t plan on getting them in the future but I knew a handful of people who got very sick with COVID including two who now have long COVID so I was willing to take the vaccine. What Remains: My sleep has gotten better though it is not where it was at pre-medication. However, I have gone from very light sleep, waking every hour or so to sleeping 6-7 hours a night and waking up between 2 or 3 times. Dropping off is still not as easy but I’m not wired or hyper. I just think I’m still low on something the brain and body produces to ease me into sleep. I also occasionally get some temperature fluctuations/hot flashes but am okay with them. When I first stepped off of Remeron/Mirtazapine, the sweat poured off of me at night and I was so drenched I had to get up and change. I was post-menopausal so I knew it was the medication. That’s it for now. As with anything I've mentioned above, please do your research and learn to trust your body's responses. The capacity for our brains and bodies to heal is real. I'm wishing everyone on this journey continued strength to keep going. Remember how courageous you are to take on this challenge. You will heal and have the life you want for yourself again. Hibari
  13. A little back story in 2019 I got into a car accident and it completely changed my life. I can't remember if I hit my head or something inside my brain triggered something. I had extreme anxiety and didnt leave my house for three months, that is when i first put on my first medication Prestiq and Busbar. They worked for about a year and then it stopped throughout the years I have been on so many different medications. I feel like this year was completely different. This was my last year of college and I couldn't get through the day without an anxiety attack or feeling like I was going to faint. my doctor decided to put me on Quetiapine, Gabapentin, Busbar, Zoloft, and then take Hydroxzyne as needed for the panic attacks. None of these really worked and I was suffering everyday pushing myself during student teaching. I made it through and graduated but feel like I lost myself a little bit. I feel like being on five medications at once damaged me or something but how am I supposed to know that? I am supposed to trust my doctor to help me. A couple of weeks after graduation I noticed my anxiety became full on even more than before and I started to feel disconnected or out of it all the time every single day. That is when I decided to switch doctors. I decided to go to a different doctor and I got off of four of the medications so now I am just on Zoloft. She decided to put me on Lamictal because she thought I needed a mood stabilizer. That lasted about three weeks and I said no it's not working I want to get off of all the medication. I am off of Lamictal and just on 50 mg of Zoloft. I have come off of Zoloft before switching to another medication but I haven't not been on any medications in four years. I am scared that I have done so much damage to myself already and that my body or mind won't heal. The only struggle that I am having is the disassociation. That is something that goes on all day every single day of my life for about a couple of months now. I can't even leave the house most days and now I am looking for an online job for now because it is becoming difficult. I am only 25 but I just feel like this is taking away parts of my life that I should be enjoying. I am trying to stay positive by eating healthy and clean, working out, doing yoga, pushing myself to go out every day ( even though most days I can't), taking vitamins, trying superfoods, and communicating with my family, friends and therapist. Some things that I have been experiencing are: -Feeling out of it -Lack of energy -Headaches/Dizziness -Sadness I feel that the only symptom that is holding me back is being out of it or disconnected. It is holding me back from doing a lot of the things that I want to be doing. If i wasn't feeling that all of the time I feel like I could "function" better and push myself more. Next week I go to 25 mg of Zoloft. Hopefully this is the start of my own success story!
  14. Hello. I'm 21 y.o. male. My story with ADs. I was taking Cytalopram ~8 months in 2019, then I stopped it myself as I was not seeing any effect. 07.07.2022 I took first 30mg of prescribed duloxetine before sleep. (Also I was prescribed it with Lamotrigine, Atarax. I strated them a week or two before.) After 2.5h of sleep I woke up with strange feeling. It was difficult to focus, it was getting dark in my eyes. Seems like my pressure got low so I even called to ambulance, but they said ti is just adverse effect and it's ok. Then it got better, but it was a strange feeling in my head all next day. I drank a lot of water (~6 liters) to decrease this drug effect. I was trying to sleep, but wake up every 1-2 hous. I read about a possible PSSD, even after a few days of taking it. Fortunately, yesturday I tried and it seems like it was ok with orgasm. Also I slept today and seems I'm feeling better, but have slight kind of lightheadedness. Of course, I wouldn't take this drugs anymore. Maybe you can reassure me that nothing terrible will happen to my brain from one pill? I would like advice about some lifestyle changes/supplement/diet to minimize effects of this drugs and reduce anxiety. Btw last few months I used to go to the gym and eat healthy diet. When is the best time for me to exercise? Thank you in advance. I appreciate this community.
  15. Original topic title before shortening: a story of lamictal, prozac, cymbalta all switched or tapered too fast, ending in a disastrous bout with an antipsychotic. Thank you for your amazing service. I was a very anxious child. And i started feeling depressive episodes as early as 7 years old. In my adolescence I self medicated with alcohol and quickly developed an addiction to this and other drugs as I grew into an adult. I mostlyd loved drinking (anti anxiety) and i loved psychedelics (anti depressive). In 2001 I was in my early twenties and spent a year living in New York, I was working in the Twin Towers when the attacks occurred. The experience triggered my addictive behaviors and my life in NY became very destructive. I entered a severe depression, complicated by substance abuse. I returned to my home in Mexico. I was in therapy but after some months my therapist said we were not advancing, she considered I could benefit from seeing a psychiatrist and getting some extra help for what seemed to her like a chemical imbalance. The psychiatrist prescribed me 50 mg of Lamictal. it helped me tremendously, I still had all the feelings, but I had an ability to distance myself from them, not let them pull me down into a hole. My life got back on track. I worked a lot, I made successful pieces, I started exhibiting my work, I got married, I found some stability. the only problem was the allergies, In my childhood I had been allergic to cats, but as an adult I adopted a pair, I was really allergic to them at first and slowly the allergies subsided. When I started taking Lamictal the allergies came back, but I solved it taking antihistamines almost daily (!!!) Then one day, after eating some strawberries I had a severe allergic reaction, my throat started closing up, my skin was full of red spots. I had to go to the pharmacy to get a shot. After that I always carried an epi pen with me, as it kept happening with different things I was not previously allergic to. Shrimp, Nuts, Concrete. My doctor related it to the Lamictal and decided I should go off it with a quick taper, as my psychiatrist recommended. After that I went back to drinking and drugging heavily. In 2007 I went to do an artist residency in Madrid, where my drug consumption led to me having a psychotic break. i was convinced I was on a mission, everything spoke to me, everything was a message. I never felt more connected. This trip was disastrous to my life, my career seemed to be thriving but my marriage was really hurt. I returned to Mexico and my husband and I separated. I hit a new bottom, I wanted to cut back on my drinking, I had never been more depressed. I would stop drinking for a few months but I always relapsed. I had no support, no tools to do it. I continued struggling with anxiety and depression, but considered them to be a normal part of my hangovers and periods of withdrawal from alcohol. In 2009 I met someone who lived in Barcelona, he suggested I should see a psychiatrist, I did and was put on 5 mg of Lexapro, I had a hard time adapting to it, especially because it caused me terrible nightmares, and when i drank I would immediately blackout, in the months that followed I moved to Spain, I was in love but still struggling with depression, the medication seemed to help but my emotional instability was intensifying, I was still drinking and doing psychedelics once in a while. We moved back to Mexico in 2010, I am ashamed as I write this since I realize how messy I was, taking medication while being an active alcoholic. I would go on and off the medication, I knew I shouldn't drink when on it because of the blackouts and so sometimes I would stop the medication in order to drink the way I wished to, then I would stop drinking and go back on the medication. Meanwhile my depression and anxiety were worse than ever. I kept cancelling everything, sometimes i would stay in the car crying unable to go into the grocery store, sometimes I couldn't get out of bed, but i was able to keep making work on the good days. I eventually went off the Lexapro completely, probably with a very fast taper. In 2012 I went to a new psychiatrist who started me on 20 mg of Prozac, I was on Prozac for years, every 6 months or so I would try to get off it. It was always a fast taper and I always failed, it felt like I relapsed (now I know it was ADWD), so i was put back on it and usually upped the dosage to 20 mg one day and 40 mg the next. I was on 40 mg daily for a while, and when i was feeling better went back down to 20. Prozac was easier, the only side effects I had were a constantly clenched jaw and I was anorgasmic (which at this time in my life I didn't mind). In 2015 I began my recovery from drugs and alcohol, I had been going to meetings for a while, but in 2015 I finally stopped relapsing ( I am over 7 years clean today). When I quit drinking and drugging my emotional stability got better. I still had ups and downs but the downs lasted a lot lot less, just a couple days tops. But usually just one day of being out of commission. In 2016 When I was one year clean, I tried going off Prozac, I thought being clean I would be able to do it, i felt good. I did (what i now know was) a fast taper (as my doctor suggested) one day on, one day off, one day on, two days off, etc. (I now know this is terrible) My body collapsed, I was in so much physical pain I couldn't walk. I had brain fog, I had panic attacks, I was in bed for weeks with the pain. I saw many doctors, I had an MRI, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, inflammation of the nerves, dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, one osteopath said i would have to be on opiates from now on for the pain (Luckily being an addict in recovery I turned them down). Let down by allopathic medicine I went to see a naturopath, She put me on an elimination diet. I went off gluten, dairy and sugar and was able to walk again as the pain stopped. It was a scary episode that lasted around three months. I had gone back on the Prozac after 6 weeks of being off it, but my depression came back and I went to see the psychiatrist, when i explained the pain I had had she said i probably had fibromyalgia, she switched me to Cymbalta 60 mg. The switch was easy, my mood got better, the pain didn't come back. The major side effect with Cymbalta was that I was just perpetually constipated, I had to really watch my diet and take psyllium husk everyday if i wanted to go to the bathroom every other day. I did not like this but it was ok considering how horribly i had felt when off the medication. I was on Cymbalta from 2016 thru 2019, several times i tried to go off it with a taper (which I now know was extremely fast) as my doctor recommended. Usually cutting down to half my dose for a couple weeks and then half again. Every time I tried i failed and had to go back on it with a higher dose than before. (up to 120 mg when i had been taking 60mg) I was tired of being constipated forever. I was ready to go off the Cymbalta. I switched Psychiatrists, he said we could do it, first he switched me back to Prozac, and then we tapered off (again, not slowly enough!) For the first time in my life I was not able to work. I have not been able to work since 2020. When the depression came back the psychiatrist put me on another antidepressant (not an SSRI, something relatively new... I cant remember what!) i was on that for a month and when it wasn't working he proposed we switch to an antipsychotic, Sulpiride 200 mg, ( I think its not available in the US). The antipsychotic made me very calm, my mood was pleasant, but i felt as if my body was almost shutting down. And then it actually did, my libido was gone and then my period stopped. I thought maybe I was an early menopauser (I am 46) but after 6 months I suddenly started lactating. I went to a doctor, had some tests done and my hormones were all over the place, I had dangerous levels of prolactin and extremely low progesterone and estrogen. The doctor was shocked and asked if I was on any medication, when I mentioned the Sulpiride she said I have to go immediately off it. She mentioned i was at risk of developing a small tumor in my pituitary so i had to go off it and fast. I was afraid to go off the medication. I knew i had tried many times in the past and the results had been bad. So this is my recent experience going off medication: I tried to do it right this time, I am so bummed I hadn't found this site. I made A LOT of mistakes. I now know. First I got a Journal, so its all written down, I tapered of the 200 mg of Sulpiride during the course of 4 weeks, going from 200 mg to 150 the next week, to 100 the next, to 50 the next, one day on one day off the next. (this was the instruction from my psychiatrist) After only a week off the Sulpiride, on April 11th 2021, I started microdosing with psilocybin, i did the Paul Stamets protocol. I was told it would help my brain create "new connections", it sounded good. It actually was a mess. I went into the highest anxiety period of my life. I woke up feeling someone turned on a high voltage switch in my chest. My whole body vibrated. I felt like i was choking all day. I couldn't see people, I couldn't be indoors as the walls caved in, I couldn't be in the street as I was paranoid. I spent my days in the garden looking up at a tree, trying to breath. I was convinced the psilocybin would help me through the transition, but I am sure now that it only made my WD symptoms much worse. I was on the Psylocibin protocol for 2 weeks, then i decided to stop. The anxiety continued for another month, in that time I saw my naturopath and she prescribed St. Johns Wort 900mg daily, GABA supplement at night to sleep. Ive been practicing CBT techniques, EDT tapping, Ive been praying, I have a strong network of support from my 12step group, my boyfriend, my family, Ive been calling people everyday, Ive had so much help. But still it felt unbearable. On May 30th the anxiety stopped! I fell into deep sadness and cried for 3 days, but compared to the anxiety it was a huge relief to be crying. I then found your site and started reading non stop and getting informed. I got off the St. Johns Wort. I am still taking the GABA to be able to sleep. (Should I stop it?) Every day I have different symptoms, the anxiety has subsided mostly, but waves of depression hit me two days at a time, I lose all hope, I feel there is no help, I lose my faith. I have intrusive obsessive thoughts, too. But I am no longer maintaining suicidal thoughts. I have been able to label them as unreal and turn them off. Some days the anxiety comes back but nothing like the days on the psilocybin. These past 3 days my nerve and joint pain came back, I spent two days in bed since i could hardly move around. Its better today. But these days of pain my mood has been good. My last day on Sulpiride was April 10th. Its been three months and my period is back, Ive been testing my hormones and they are still off but getting slowly back to their normal levels. I feel like apart from the WD I am also dealing with a really tremendous hormonal imbalance caused by taking the Sulpiride. I feel like three months is too long now to reinstate, but Im not sure about this, and reinstating Sulpiride is out of the question due to my very bad reaction to the medication. Im very grateful for this forum, just knowing more about why I feel and how I feel is enough to make it more bearable. I was already losing hope and dreading the fact that i might have to go back on another antidepressant and probably be on them for life. I now know that is not true and i am willing to navigate the WD however long it takes. I feel that is possible because i wont have to do it alone. I am shocked by all the information shared here on this forum and feel it is so important to inform others who are on medication about how to get off them safely. Even if I didn't find out in time, I am so grateful to have found this valuable resource. Thank you for all your work.
  16. Hi, I'm new to this site. As far as my background, in 2018, after 25 years of taking Paxil and feeling good and stable, I decided to reduce my dose of 40 mg. down to 20 mg. over the course of three months (May-Aug) as I wanted to get rid of sexual side effects. After some back and forth with the dose, I reduced my dose to 20 mg in August and began to experience bad SSRI withdrawal and particularly intense anxiety. It got so bad I eventually ended going back up to my baseline dose of 40 mg of Paxil but it no longer was working to control my anxiety, etc. In addition, I began to experience a new cyclical mood disorder, whereby I could feel fine for several weeks or a month or more and then I would have an episode where for 7-10 days I would wake up with intense suicidal depression that would generally start lifting a few hours after waking. I have been working with a cadre of psychiatrists and other healthcare providers to get stable again, my anxiety is under control but so far nothing has worked to address this mood disorder which has been diagnosed as an atypical presentation of cyclothymia and which has been life-altering. In addition to reinstating the 40 mgs of Paxil, I am now on Seroquel (300 mg), Lamotrigine (75 mg) and recently started Lithium Carbonate (300 mg). My questions: is it possible that my attempts to go off Paxil (including some back and forth with increasing and then lowering dose) after so many years could have instigated this new mood disorder I'm dealing with?
  17. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  18. Rhi's Introduction topic I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area. Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is. As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages. Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble. After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself. Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much. Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious. Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice. Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again! And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun! It's GREAT. So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses. The lower the doses go, the better I feel. There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening. For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs. I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it. I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health. And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!
  19. AJS74

    AJS74

    So sorry to everyone going through this. I’ve gone through withdrawal from lots of meds, because they didn’t help. They just physically hooked me and were an easy bandaid for DRs compared to the therapy I desperately needed. I’m currently coming off of Lamictal after two years of trauma therapy and then 3 years depression free. I’ve been on for 5 years total and the main problem was that if I forgot to take it, I’d have horrendous neuropathy to the point that I’d have to leave work by 10 am. When I told my p doc about it she just looked at me funny and said something like “that doesn’t happen”. And I used to just sort of accept that because I hadn’t really felt self worth. I think it’s safe to say she never reported my symptoms. Last year I told her I wanted to taper off and she said that I only need two weeks- if I don’t feel good it’s just because I’m going back to my natural MDD state, not withdrawal. Hmmm… this is where having a diagnosis allows people to try to strip away all your credibility. My symptoms of MDD had never been a sudden onset of debilitating brain fog and tingling face, hands, and feet like when I forget to take my meds. Anyway…. One year later and I’ve done it myself over 3 months. It was still so painful but I kept researching and decided to try hi dose B vitamins (Folate and B-12) and vit E. And it’s working. I’m still not the sharpest- it’s only been a week w the supplements and writing this is taxing my brain but so much less painful. It’s a huge huge win for me. I knew I couldn’t get back on Lamictal and I was starting to get terrified my brain would always be numb. I really wanted to share and look forward to participating w everyone more when forming sentences isn’t so challenging 🫠 I hope this helps someone- the vitamins are a no- brainer and I can’t believe I’d never read about it anywhere.
  20. I apologize in advance for the long winded post while trying to keep it as short as possible...Been on so many AD's over the years since being diagnosed (hospitalized) in 1996 with MDD and severe OCD (rumination) Did inpatient ECT treatment in 2009 while on Zoloft as well...I couldn't remember all the timelines and noticed I forgot a few meds when signing up...Months ago I was struggling on a dose of 60mg Paxil combined with Lamotrigine 250mg.....Seemed like the meds had lost effectiveness which has happened many times over the years usual 3-5 is the most I get out of a med...Been on Paxil/Lamotrigine approx 7 years this time and this combo is 1 of only 3 that had worked effectively since 1996 with alot of struggling in between.Anyway started taking some naturopathic stuff that seemed to help and decided to come off the prescription meds thinking if I could be stable great if not I needed to switch anyway.From past experience in my case when meds stop working or don't work they do more harm than good. When my Doc had me increase the lamotrigine I realized it was aggravating a psoriasis skin condition so I tapered off that.(likely way to fast)....After a few weeks off lamotrigine I started reducing my Paxil dose of 60mg...Went to 50mg for a week,then 40,then 30 and I was feeling great,as good as I ever have...Ignorance truly is bliss as I had NO idea what I was about to be in for...I reduced my further to 20 then 10 after each week still feeling pretty good.Within a week my anxiety gradually soars,can't sleep,brain zaps when moving eyes,nausea and to make matters worse my sense of taste has gone haywire....I eat because I have to but don't enjoy eating anything and can't stomach the taste of some foods I once loved. March 18th was my last dose of Paxil at the time...I looking online for what had helped other people (benadryl,Nyquill,green Gatorade) at various places when I came across this site and thankyou in advance for having it. 2 Days ago after 2.5 months the withdrawals were not easing up so I reinstated 10mg of Paxil hoping to alleviate the withdrawal...So far my anxiety has diminished and I can sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time...I'm a self employed mechanic and the past 2 months have been crazy busy and I needed to do something to get some relief as the withdrawals were not letting up anytime soon although the brain zaps were far better and few and far between. My biggest concern at the moment is this nasty taste to food and obviously I need to get some sleep as I'm still working.Very tired and not feeling great but all things considered not bad,just running out of energy and hope to get stabalized for awhile..I have a Doctors appointment next week and am looking for some advice in advance as I try to come up with a plan moving forward....Any input is appreciated
  21. Original topic title before reducing the length of it: I cold turkey’d too many things, the worst being Celexa, due to misdiagnosis and emotional blunting. I’m struggling. Let me preface this by saying I have had unstable mental health as far back as I can remember. I was an anxious and depressed child. I used to SH as a teenager and was put on Paxil, but I hated it and quit after a couple months. I did not use medication for any mental health reasons for at least 10 years after that. I have been told I’m bipolar by people close to me, and I think doctors eat that up and once you’re branded bipolar, that’s your identity. But that’s neither here nor there; the main takeaway from that is I was put on several different medications and hated the way I felt on all of them. My first return to psych meds was in the summer of 2015 with a diagnosis of GAD which turned into GAD and bipolar 2. I was put on Celexa 20mg. It was pretty good for a while. I was then put on Lamictal 150mg and took both, but the Lamictal made me feel like a zombie so I didn’t take that long. I kept up with the Celexa. After my gastric bypass surgery, the Celexa didn’t work as well. I was then bumped to 40mg and that’s where I stayed. I was starting to feel severely depressed, emotionally numb, and had anxiety creep back in so I was put on Wellbutrin 300mg and buspar 15mg on top of the Celexa. I took this combo for maybe a year but I was horribly noncompliant for the most part and it never really did much for me. I CT’d the buspar and Wellbutrin. I was to a point (and still am) where laughing felt like a chore. Crying is almost non existent unless it is a major sad event (death). Interest in things and smiling are difficult to come by. The only emotion I felt was rage. I was either apathetic or enraged. That’s when I was given the ultimatum to treat my bipolar disorder, as I was often verbally abusive to my SO and would have meltdowns. Jesus this is embarrassing. I finally gave in and started seeing a psych through telehealth. Big mistake, told them about my previous dx. That was enough to not even evaluate me, and I was started on some antipsychotics in addition to the Celexa. This was the beginning of a long spiral of multiple medications that ended with Latuda that made me so depressed I cried constantly. There was no tapering involved really, maybe just a two week period of dropping while introducing something else. I went through Abilify, Trileptal, Latuda, Abilify again, and Lamictal. My brain felt so fried at this point I said I’m done, and stopped taking everything except my Celexa. After stopping all of these meds I was so far depressed and anhedonic I decided I was done taking everything and needed a brain reset. I ended up taking 10mg Celexa a few weeks and then dropped to nothing after 6.5 years. After reading this forum, I realized this was probably one of my big mistakes. Now not only did I have severe mood disturbances, I felt physically sick. The physical symptoms went away after a few weeks. The last time I took Celexa was at the end of February this year. Now I am dealing with a whole host of other issues. It turns out I’m not bipolar, I have ADHD. Again, not knowing any better that I shouldn’t take anything that alters my brain, I’ve been on stimulants and back to Wellbutrin. NOTHING is helping. The anhedonia and apathy are killing me. I feel no emotion towards anyone. I am not interested in anything. Every moment is painful. ADHD meds are doing nothing for me. I guess I am looking for support. Advice. Anything. Something that tells me my brain damage isn’t permanent. Something that tells me I will feel emotions again, that I won’t think my favorite past times are a waste of time, that I will feel love towards my SO and family again. I felt emotional blunting with Celexa, but nothing like this. I don’t know what to do, and my doctor is useless when it comes to this.
  22. Hello, I’ve been on this site for months and finally decided to post. I can’t even write because I’m in so much pain so my wife is typing for me. I tapered for 6 months off of lamictal, lexapro and Wellbutrin (which I was on for 16 years) and took my last dose in June. Since then I’ve had all the symptoms-loss of self, insomnia, nerve pain, headaches, brain fog/feeling dumb like my brain doesn’t work, emotional symptoms- anxiety, depression, etc., and the worst of all is akathesia. This feeling of discomfort in my body is hell. I want to crawl out of my skin. It feels like my body is on fire. Ive had twitching and convulsing and lots of suicidal ideation but the inner akathesia is the worst. I’m currently at atmc and they pushed Ativan on me. I eventually gave in because I was in so much pain and I regret it with every ounce of my being. Ive been on it for 3 weeks now and I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do. Should I slowly taper? They’re telling me to just stop because it hasn’t been that long, but what do I do with the akathesia pain? I’ve gone down to 1/2 dose the last two nights and it’s been ok but the akathesia has started to return. While I was tapering I was working with a therapist who did “journey work”. Basically I had a full day session on MDMA, another one with mdma and psyilicibin, and another one with mushrooms and ketamine late june. He also had me microdosing for a few months in the spring but I stopped that because it wasn’t doing much. ive read that reinstating lamictal helped alto. Since I was already on it I’ve considered it at a very low dose like she suggests, but I haven’t found a psychiatrist I trust and I’m pretty scared of everything now that I’m living in hell. I’ve already been hospitalized once and to atmc and another mental health facility. Barely holding it together. any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks Ps. My testerone is really low too and I’ve been doing injections twice a week. Im wondering if I should stop that or continue. Everything in my body is thrown off 2008- lexapro 40 and Wellbutrin 450 2011- cold turkey went off everything. Deep depression. Reinstated pretty quickly 2018 tapered lexapro down to 20, Wellbutrin down to 300 added lamictal at 400mg 2021- January I started to slowly taper over the next 6 months. 2021 april/may/June’s mdma, mushrooms/psilocybin (microdosing) and ketamine. I continued the ketamine into October. 2021 September started testosterone because I was tested and was very low 2021 september- went to the hospital and got Delodid for stomach pain (very suicidal the next day) 2021- October lithium for 1.5 weeks December 2021-now- Ativan I take many supplements- fish oil, magnesium, theanine, etc.
  23. I had been on some form of anti-depressant and mood stabilizer/anti-psychotic since high school, 2002 or 2003. Initially I was put on Zoloft for depression which caused me to become "manic" which lead me to be put on Lithium, Abilify and Risperdal (not sure doses or when). Starting around 2008 I was put on Cymbalta and Lamotrigine/Lamictal. I got off the Cymbalta & Lamictal cold turkey on my own in 2011 and it resulted in brain-zaps and then a deep deep depression. I reluctantly got back on my meds. Beginning in 2020 (exact date I'm trying to find), my psychiatrist agreed to help me taper off my meds. I was able to get off the Cymbalta it seems fairly easily, which I have been off since the end of the Summer 2020. After getting off that I began tapering off the Lamictal ... I'm trying to find information on how much I lowered initially, etc., and don't have it right now. I do know I got down to 100mg by November 2020 and had to go back up to 150mg over the winter due to debilitating depression. Starting in ~March 2021 I began tapering again (again don't have exact dates/dosages as of now). I have detailed records of my tapering beginning in May 2021 when I began using the 25mg tabs to taper: 5/18/21 (May 18) - 6/13/21 (June 13): I alternated daily between 87.5 mg one day and 100 mg the next day (87.5mg/100mg/87.5/100) 6/14/21 - 6/21/21: 87.5mg each day 6/22/21 - 7/11/21: 75mg/87.5mg/75/87.5 7/12/21 - 7/26/21: 75mg each day 7/27/21 - 8/8/21: 62.5mg/75mg/62.5/75 8/9/21 - 8/30/21: 62.5mg each day 8/31/21 - 9/12/21: 50mg/62.5mg/50/62.5 9/13/21 - 9/26/21: 50 mg/day 9/27/21 - 10/10/21: 37.5mg/50mg/37.5/50 10/11/21 - 10/24/21: 37.5mg/day 10/25/21 - 11/7/21: 25mg/37.5mg/25/37.5 *On November 1, 2021, my dog and best friend of 10+ years, the Big Guy (110lb. half boxer/half mastiff), died after a brief fight with cancer... in retrospect I should have ceased tapering at this point; instead I continued my tapering in earnest and began to self medicate excessively with alcohol and cannabis 11/8/21 - 11/21/21: 25mg/day 11/22/21 - 12/5/21: 12.5mg/25mg/12.5/25 12/6/21 - 12/20/21: 12.5mg/day 12/21/21 - 12/31/21: 0mg/12.5mg/0/12.5 January 1, 2022 - Present: Off Lamicital Completely I had no idea about this site or a couple days ago. I have been realllllly struggling this whole year but especially the past couple weeks. Some days I am so depressed I can hardly get out of bed. Some days I am "functional." I have major brain fog where I can hardly think most of the time (which is not good for my job!). I can't hardly make even the most basic decision. It is bad. I am desperate. I do not know what to do. I really don't want to get back on the Rx. I'm looking for suggestions on how to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. I have been sober (no alcohol or cannabis) since January 1st as well. I workout, do Wim Hoff breathing, garden, meditate/pray and eat mostly organic. Supplements: EMPowerPlus Lighting Sticks, 5-HTP, Vitamins C, D, B-complex (6&12) & K2, Magnesium Glyinate, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract; Just started taking St. John's Wort a couple weeks ago I don't really recall withdraw symptoms (depression) prior to my Dog being diagnosed with cancer in September 2021 (which coincides with me getting down to 50mg/day)--since he was diagnosed and then passed Nov. 1st, I have been mostly depressed. The brain fog didn't really start that I recall until ~January of this year when I was totally off -- but I could be wrong. Since November of last year, it has kind of been a blur. On another note, while not directly related to withdrawal, I am very unhappy with my current career and have been for some time. I think doing something that goes against my values and not really knowing what my purpose is has a big impact on me feeling depressed. However, right now with my brain fog and depression, I am having a really hard time doing any work whatsoever. So my purpose now is to get past these withdrawal symptoms so I can find my purpose in this world and what gift I can offer to other people. I am VERY wary of getting back on any RX and do not want to go that route if at all possible. Thank you if you read this far and I appreciate any advice on how I should proceed!! -Will
  24. Hi everyone. first off all i want to say how strong and brave all of you are to be dealing with these nightmare drugs... i have been on and off of these psychiatric drugs,for 5 years. specifically srris (prozac + zoloft) wellbutrin + gabapentin, abilify, and now currently taking lamictal (150 mg.) i am 36 weeks pregnant and terrified of the near future and as i haven't really been able to fully enjoy my pregnancy. or most of my youth... i don't even know what i am thinking or doing. i feel really alone. the reason of going on these meds was from dealing with depression + anxiety most of my life, and bpd + ptsd from abusive narcissistic parents. i attempted suicide right before. took about 50 pills. i had a very dysfunctional family. i am 22 now. i feel lost, most days i feel empty ,hopeless. i don't go out of my house, besides grocery shopping. i have no friends. maybe 1 but i barely ever see her , i have a social phobia ever since starting and withdrawing from these drugs. i developed major anhedonia from stopping the prozac + zoloft. even though i took one of the lowest doses possible. i had only been on these for 9 months or less. i remember stopping, as i was sick of depending on these. they told me they werent addicting and i could stop anytime,they told me nobody has ever had these symptoms, they lookde at me like i was crazy. made me feel isolated. i regret going cold turkey.. i remember being manic on them. severe anxiety, hallucinations insomnia, crawling sensations brain zaps major anhedonia, memory loss, etc. i hadn't been myself since. i was grieving my old self, it is one of the worst things you could ever experience. i didnt even know was possible. but here we are... anyways, i have been off the prozac + zoloft for almost 6 years now and wouldnt ever touch those things again. i took abilify for only a few weeks. amitryptiline once or twice. ambien, once. ativan only for a week. ive been off the gabapentin for almsot 3 years now. i tapered that one. after going off cold turkey off the srris, i went on wellbutrin and took that for 3 years, and gabapentin for 2 years. i went off the wellbutrin for a year, then went back on, which i regret once again. i took the wellbutrin for 9 months then stopped, again,to get pregnant at 150 mg. then went back on... at 8 weeks pregnant for about a month. then stopped. then started a drug called lamictal , i am now at 150 mg. i am just over all of this and wish to be drug free, but it seems impossible at this point and afraid ill never recover completely. i am afraid of experiencing anhedonia memory loss as i did before with the srris + wellbutrin. i have sever memroy loss. i feel like i cant even keep up with a conversation because my mind goes blank.. i have depersonalization now. i just dont want to accept this is the end, this is it,,. it can't be. but how is this any way to live? how am i supposed to raise a child into this world.. it all seems unfair and i feel like an absolute idiot for getting pregnant, i thought it was meant to be at the time, but im second guessing it all now. im very afraid. do you think i could stop the lamictal and get back to my old self one day? ive thought about natural holistic alternatives such as turmeric + lions mane, ginger + l theanine, magnesium, ashwaghanda rhodiola + brahmi + holy basil + cacao coffee, etc. and some work but i dont know if i should continue taking after the pregnancy and just rely on these. i dont want to exist if this is truly how life is.. i wish i never took these awful drugs. i feel its the worst thing that i could have ever done, i want my old life back even if it was so painful. atleast then i still felt alive in a sense. thank you all, i wish you all the best in your recorvery + healing journeys.
  25. hello team and fellow sufferers, I am a woman in early 30's who has used antidepressants since 21 due to depression, anxiety, panic disorder etc. My mother growing up had mental healthy issues and lupus which made her physical abuse toward me start at age 5. After beatings and narcissistic love I grew up to be a broken adult, lonely, mentally sick and now a manic depressive according to doctors. I have been on prozac, lexapro, Seroquel and now lamictal. I have not being able to make friends or date and I am a virgin at this age which is lonely and embarrassing. I have lost about 45 jobs where I argue with people, feel they attack or bully me and due to panic I cannot make any friends. due to medicine I have gain weight and lost hair. My sister is healthy compared to me and she had it easy she was golden child, I am angry at this and I will never get over it. I have irrational fears and being obsessed with God is the only thing that helps me live. I am a lONER. I SAW a new doctor recently. He said I have anxiety and mania BP 2 I THINK. he is giving me lamictal 400 mg. I cold turkey prozac in January and my brain withdrawal was hell. I cannot handle any stress, I feel in depression when I argue with people. my question is: WHAT IS MY SALVATION? LAMICTAL does solve my issues, I am about to lose another job. I live in NYC which makes this story even more scary. I have severe fear of intimacy even tho I seek love. IS THERE HOPE FOR ME? Please please offer me some hoping advice. thank you and prayers for all of you WAARIORS!!
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