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  1. MOD NOTE: This is Gemma92's topic. Before Gemma joined SA her sister icerose posted requesting assistance. I've merged the two topics so that all of Gemma's history is in one place. _________________________________ Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
  2. Hello Im new here. Thank you for taking time to read this if you are. :) I have been on Mirt for only 12 days at 15 mg. Im looking to come off due to side effects, its just not suited for me. I was going to do 11.25 for 4 days, 7.5 for 4 days, 3.75 for 4 days, then off. Is that too quickly? I thought not since I have only been on it for 12 days at 15 mg. I appreciate everyones input and advice! :)
  3. Hello I started 7.5 Mirtazapine to stimulate my appetite in late October 2016. It also helped me with Ativan withdrawals and my insomnia. I had my gallbladder out in November and appetite returned but decided to keep taking the Mirtazapine because it helped me sleep. I decided in March that it was making me too tired during the day and I didn't want it anymore. About 2-3 weeks after quitting in mid April insomnia got real bad and nothing that I took would help me sleep. Then the withdrawals got real bad, horrible waves of cortisol surges; I've never felt anything like this before. I couldn't handle it so I started back on the pills at 3.75 mg. Finally stabilized but still had insomnia. Took same dose every night for about 5 weeks but still couldn't sleep. Started 7.5 mg on Monday May 15 slept good one night then few hours so went to doctor and he put me on 15 mg Thursday night and slept good one night. Last night didn't sleep at all and don't know what to do. I'm wondering if the anxiety from worrying about getting to sleep is keeping me awake since I haven't really slept well in weeks. I've had so many nights with just a few hours sleep so bedtime is not a relaxing time for me. Or maybe the pills aren't working for me anymore. I would like to stay on these for at least a year before going off of them so I can heal myself because I realize how sensitive my system is, that is if I can start sleeping again. I would just wonder if anyone thinks I have a chance at sleeping again soon. I can't do this much longer as ive already missed too much work.
  4. Hi all. I have been on a combo of Risperdal and Zoloft since 2012. I reached 3mg risperdal and 200mg zoloft in early 2016, tried to taper off both starting in June of that year, and had a bout of insomnia in November, at which time I reinstated along with an additional 15mg remeron. Adding the remeron, I've learned, was a huge mistake and most likely unnecessary. Since then I've slept at most 6 hours instead of my usual 8. For the first 2 months on remeron I avoided caffeine and tobacco. Then, after picking up both again, my sleep suffered, and I eventually had nights with 2-3 hours. I've since learned that caffeine and tobacco induce the enzyme CYP1A2, which metabolizes remeron, explaining this. By abstaining from both, my sleep has returned. I have also tried shaving a sliver off my 15mg pill with no luck...getting a full night without sleep. I would like to be able to drink coffee and smoke again. That leaves me with 2 options, get off the remeron (seemingly impossible) or tolerate the lack of sleep. If I do the latter, will my sleep eventually not recover even when abstinent due to repeated withdrawals? I had been planning to use coffee and cigs only sporadically, letting my sleep return before using them again, or using only on the weekends. If I that is not sustainable, then how do you recommend I get off the remeron, given my sensitivity to even a small dose decrease? My doc has suggested trazodone as a replacement, but that med interacts with my other meds and a post about it here scared me away. Thank you so much for your help.
  5. Cloudskishawna

    Cloudskishawna: 5 weeks on Remeron / mirtazapine

    1 month 1 week on mirtazapine So I just came to a conclusion that on Sept 10 is where I had been this medication for a month and now I'm really scared because I thought I was only on it for 2 weeks because I wasn't keeping track that was my mistake so now I'm wondering is if will I be able to heal from this and now I'm down to a quarter of this pill should I just restart
  6. Hi, I was healthy, happy person until 2017. Unfortunately I went through situational stressfull period in the beginning of 2018 and was prescribed Mirtazapin to calm down and to go it over easier. I took 7.5mg for 2 months. Already 3rd day on it neuroanxiety started, I was scared to death but accepted it as starting symptom (I even didn't know it was anxiety). Overall I slept 13hrs a day, felt dizzy and anxiety was there about twice a week so after 2 months I stopped CT knowing nothing about ad wd. 6weeks after non-stop massive anxiety started, I was put on Sertraline, which caused 100% insomnia, fever, vomitting so stopped after 10 days and I was put back od Mirtazapin and stepwisely went to 30mg to "cure" neuroanxiety from Mirt (I didn't know it, I was thinking having serious anxiety disorder)...however anxiety persisted even in lesser extent and I slept good...After 1 month on 30mg I started to be extremely agitated and shortly after anxiety increased and my sleep crashed to 4hrs as well some melancholic spells started. I finally started to google in English and found out that Mirtazapin is cause of my state.. Since Nov 2018 I started tapering 10% every 2 weeks, I know, fast taper but still manageable for me (I had absolutely no pattern in wd sxs). I was on sick leave and still am. Last cut was to 4mg (23rd June). Since July I hit the wall as severe nonstop anxiety hit me again with high BP spikes and terrible other symptoms (sxs were at scale from 1-10 at 5 until June, since July 9-10), I'm bedridden. I hardly sleep, waking from anxiety, sweating terribly, up at 4 a.m. I have to say I have never had anxiety, depression, insomnia my whole life as well any disposition to it (no childhood trauma, very sociable), I have hormonal issues. Currently I know I will have to hold to stabilize. But I'm desperate because my anxiety is so severe it is unbearable for me. Should it be unavoidable during wd I'm not able to go through...I lost already 20lbs on Mirt and have no more reserves. Just I have feeling I'm stuck in this forever but feeling terribly so it can't go on so. Any supportive words?
  7. I have been taking Trazadone since January 2014. I started with .75 Traz and have been slowly tapering the past six months. I am now down to .38 Traz after making a cut 2 nights ago from .45 Traz.. I take it at night to sleep along with 7.5 Remeron. I have been doing well with sleeping on the .45 which I have been holding the past 2 months. Last night my sleep was very light and fitful after the cut. I doubt I got that much sleep. Also, this October I will be on year off Ambien 10 mg. I am looking for some encouragement from folks who have been down this road before with Trazadone. Any success stories out there? How did you feel along the way with tapering? How was your sleep? How did you feel one week off Traz, three weeks off, a month off?
  8. I've been trying to come off Mirtazapine, which I have been taking for 12 years, for 15 months now. I gradually reduced my dose from 15mg and then started tapering properly by 10% from 3mg 6 months ago. I got down to 1.8 mg and last week my doctor said I could just stop as it is not a therapeutic dose, which I did. I feel ok, sleep is a bit more disturbed, but I'm worried this may not have been a low enough dose to stop at. If so, what is?
  9. Hello- I am new here. I've been on psychiatric drugs for almost two decades now. I currently take Zoloft 300mg, Adderall 60mg, Abilify 15mg, Mirtazapine 45mg, Trazodone 100mg and Klonopin .5mg. I've only ever been diagnosed with depression which started in 2002. I don't have ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia or any other known disorder. After suffering for many years and wanting to get off these medications I am finally going to do it. I am wondering if anyone has used the tapering strips from Dr. Groot? I am highly sensitive to these medications and from the withdrawal effects I've had briefly in the past- they were excruciating. I currently reside in Arizona but will be moving home to Michigan to start the withdrawal process very soon. Thank you and God bless us all. If you'd like to learn more about my story and experience or if I can be of help to anyone please let me know.
  10. Hi Guys. I have been on every SSRI over the past 2 years, apart from Paroxetine. This all started from some situational anxiety at work. Each time i took a medication i was on them for about 3 month without any benefit at all. I would loose time at work, cold turkey and return back to work. Each time i did this i was getting worse and worse. I would then return back to the doctor and ve started on something else. This has basically gone on for 2 years. All this time i have got worse. I have now come to understand withdrawal and the fact i could have well been prescribed numerous medications due to an illness been mistaken for withdrawal. 8 weeks ago after stopping my second attempt of Escitalopram for 3 months i decided to stop for good with a fast taper. I feel anxious, dizzy, fatigued, poor cognition and inability to focus. I know if i take a dose of SSRI that this will improve however i will return to the Zombie state of meds. I am finished with medication!!! On reflection my problems i encountered prior to any medication was far easier than the problems i have had the past 2 years on medications. I think i have been a victim of Psychiatry! I dont think i ever needed medication! My chemical imbalance was created by meds! If i had no knowledge of this i would be stuck in Psychiatry! I just want to know ppls experiences and can i still be in withdrawal at 8 weeks after 2 years of messing about with meds. Thanks Lee
  11. mmcdonald21

    mmcdonald21: intro

    Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  12. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  13. Hi, I am currently on 15 mg of remeron. I tried to stop when tapered sucessfully down to 3.75. I had withdrawals with anxiety that made me sucidal and I had to go to the hospital. I have come off all other drugs sucessfully in the past. I am scared to death about ever coming off and wondering if I ever should come off. I keep wondering what happens in the future if some reason I can't get the drug. I constantantly obsess now about getting off the drug to the point I've had to go back on tranxene to keep the anxiety down from worring about coming of this drug some day. Should I just stay on it. If it permantly damages the receptors and they don't repair in your brain would it be best to just stay on it. I have GAD so I may need to stay on a drug for life. I got off prozac some years ago and lived symptom free for 4 years until a bad life trauma caused me to have debilitating anxiety for months. I could not work and could not eat. I dropped down to 100 lbs and had to be hospitalized. I have been stabilized on remeron now for over 2 years. Should I try to stop or would it be best for me just to stay on? If I stay on I'm just going to worry about it until I crack up. Right now I found a doctor in Ashville NC, Dr. Daniel Johnson who specializes in helping people safely withdraw from these meds. He has not returned my calls at all. Maybe he is on vacation or something. I even tried contacting Dr. Peter Breggin.. I'm so scared that if I try to come off my brain will be damaged permantely and will not recover. I know I should think like this but even the slightest anixiety can make me suicidal. I don't know if I can ever risk a withdrawal. I had to go to the hospital for my first attempt at this withdrawal. Some of it could have been extra anxiety by worring about the withdrawal rather than the withdrawel itself, but I don't know. Help, I'm scared to even try. Cheryl
  14. I feel low & numb & anxious & stuck in my own head & struggling with intrusive sucidal thoughts. I first started panic attacks through a couple hangovers didn't no much about them which they were scary, went to doctors to ask advice straight away given citalopram told to take once a day did so for a few weeks till I realised I didn't want to be on these and they were antidepressants, then the trouble started panic attacks everyday so went back to doc & given sertaline tried for less than a week and symptoms was to bad stopped then went back to doc & given citalopram liquid tried for couple weeks had like a high effect which wasn't good & finally given mirtazapine was on it for over a month with really bad lows and symptoms at first then started to ease but I still didn't want to be on a mind altering drugs! So I got told to just stop. Now from July 10th 2018 that's when all the issues have started been a rocky road ups & downs but I'm sat here thinking what's the next steps as I feel low and numb and sucidal thoughts all the time shall I go back to the drugs or ??? Struggling with no sleep Sucidal thoughts Anxiousness Low mood Snappyniess No interests in life
  15. Hello everyone i’m a 26 years old male. End of 2017 the doctor give me mirtazapine because I was sleeping very bad for over a year. She said it wasn’t addictive and if I dont like it I can stop anytime. I never had depression or anxiety in my life the only thing was the lack of sleep. I started it in december 2017 at 15mgs in the evening. The first day I take it I got some kind of panic attack I couldnt think, everthing feels strange and my hands were tingling. I went back and asked if it was the medicine but she thinks it was just a panic attack because of the lack of sleep. I stop taking it for a couple of days. Then I started it again because the doctor assured it wasnt the medicine. When I started again the only thing I noticed when I took them are some kind of brain zaps and restless legs. But that did go away after a few weeks. Everything went good after that for 4 months,I sleep during that 4 months the only side effects i noticed were that I eat a lot and sometimes I got the tingling in my hand and feet. After the 4 months I became very scared because I was just sitting at home and out of nowhere I getting very scared and noticed that what I now know getting intrusive thoughts. I never had them in my live. Then I started googling and find out I wasnt the only one who has problems with this drug. I was so scared that I decided to quit the drugs so I went to the doctor again. This was around March 2018. She tould me to take 7,5mg for 3 weeks and after that 3,75mg for 3 weeks and then quit. When I jumped to 7,5 mg I felt great for a few weeks then I go to the 3,75mg and felt terrible I couldnt function at all I was very tired and even watching television became to much. I couldnt eat,sleep and noticed I get tinnitus and my ears got very sensitive to sounds. I hold it for a couple of weeks but then I cant take it anymore so I went back to 7,5mg and felt relief after three days. That worked for a couple of weeks but after that I noticed the intrusive thoughts are back and they would get worse. After that I googled the whole day and became obsessed about the withdrawal. I hold at the 7,5mg for a couple of months because I was to scared to decrease. Sometimes I felt good but most of the time I felt realy bad and scared that I never get better. In July of this year I decided to taper because the symptoms get very bad again. I went to the doctor and asked for the liquid mirtazapine and she agreed. At the moment I am doing a four month taper, every 2 weeks I am going to drop 1mg and at the moment Im at 4,5mg. I know it is way too fast but I never stabilize on a dose and Im already sick all the time. At this moment my symptoms are: Racing thoughts Tinnitus Nausea cant eat much losing weight. Obsessive about withdrawing Some kind of brain zaps/tension in head. Muscle twitching I get some sleep I think 4 or 5 hours but some days i dont sleep at all. I follow some topics here about mirtazapine for a while and I know it is a very bad drug.
  16. After being on Abroad for 10 years, I had a stomach ulcer and an eroded stomach lining. The doc changed me to Mirtazapine 30mg about 9 years ago. It has a gentler effect on the stomach... I did have trouble with side effects but persisted .. I was getting worse panic attacks, anxiety and phobias so the doc changed me to escitalopram.20mg. CT. No taper or wash out. My nightmare started from that night onwards. Symptoms : brain zaps fried brain feeling couldn't think to even make breakfast, drive a car, remember anything at all from one moment to the next, couldn't even think of anything to say to anyone. sweats, insomnia tinnitus loss of balance constant pain in the cheek bones pins and needles pain in the stomach nausea burning mouth and tongue constant itching and redness constipation, still using movicol to keep things moving lots of other things but you probably know those already. it wasn't till nearly 6 months before some of these things started to settle. I felt Ill the whole time. My GP didn't believe me and said I'd googled the symptoms. I was too scared to go to the hospital in case they changed my drugs and id have to go through another round of symptoms. I had to give up work and basically lost the whole of 2017. then I'd get an odd say where I didn't feel too bad.. but not for long. 2 years on and I'm just starting to be able to remember a bit. Still have a buzzing head, terrible insomnia. Only sleep for 1.30 ~ 2 hour stints. my whole life has changed. I could always do 3 things at once before. Now I'm flat out doing much at all. I tried taking magnesium L~Threonate but after a couple of weeks I had nausea etc so have dropped the dose on that. If too much happens, I get a terrible headache, my eyes can't focus and my tinnitus gets worse.. I still have itching and a gripping feeling on my back, like some one is touching my left ear and around my chin... also am worried as my tongue feels like I've bitten it really hard every now and then.. any help or advice would be most welcome as I feel like I'm struggling along without any advice... I get told I'm just super sensitive to the meds.. like its my fault all this happened. It so frustrating. cheers.
  17. savinggrace

    savinggrace

    Moderator note: link to members-only benzo thread - Savinggrace: missed dose Hello, I have been following Surviving Antidepressants, off and on, for a few years but feel I must join now, as I could use some feedback. I have been poly-drugged for 15 years and on anti-depressants for 35 years. I am not sure how much I should write about how/why all this happened, but surely in the first decades, I just let it happen because I trusted my doctors and had no idea what I was setting myself up for. Since the internet made information so much easier to get, I have spent a lot of time learning about what these drugs have done to my brain, my body and and my life. I am joining this forum for two reasons...I am a person who has to taper extremely slowly. In fact, I just read a post of a man (2012) who planned to take 12 years to taper 25 mg. valium and I thought, "well, that sounds about right for me." On other forums, I have been almost laughed at when I admit how slow I have been, and must continue to taper. The other reason I like this forum is that it addresses the poly-drugging situation that so many of us have gotten ourselves into. This poly-drugging, in my opinion, has made everything so much more difficult. I guess there is a third reason, and that is that I have followed Rhiannon on BenzoBuddies and before that on a Yahoo group for years. She seems so rational, calm, and non-judgmental about all this. I have read many posts about not tapering from a place of feeling w/d symptoms. What if I said I have been in tolerance w/d (if that term is used here) for at least 14 years? I have not felt well, and in fact, have been quite sick all that time. About 6-7 years ago I got the courage, after tons of reading to start tapering. After making a 1 mg. cut (less than 10%) of valium, and suffering a near-seizure on the 5th day (that's what my doctor told me was happening and I believe him because 1 mg. valium relieved everything), I started tapering .5 mg/ month. (my signature will explain what happened before that) I did that for a few a year or so, but "hit the wall" so to speak, and tried .25 cuts (cut and suffer method). Very long story as short as possible, I only went from 17mg. down to 13 mg. before I was not able to cut any more and remain even remotely functional. A year or so ago, I decided if I couldn't cut valium, I would try another of my drugs. I have managed to taper 25% with small cuts and holds over a year, but again feel totally dysfunctional and unable to proceed. I think, at this point, up-dosing any of my drugs would require too big of an up-dose, and likely an unsuccessful one at that. I am holding now, but the reality is, I have many co-exisitng medical conditions, some caused by these drugs I suspect, and some not, that I really can't treat w/ meds as they interact with my psych meds and de-stabilize me immediately. I suffer a lot. I have no quality of life. I am 61. I can't go back; only forward. I am currently holding my trileptal cut to give my brain a rest. There is a lot more to share about myself but this was way too long already. How long should I hold? I feel like it will take quite some time before I feel like my brain has adjusted to this 25% cut. (done in 5-10 mg. increments, holding about a month w/ each cut) Here is my signature because I am not sure where to post it: Amitriptyline for 20 years and then remeron, 4 mg currently , ambien 10-15 mg. for 5 years and then updosed klonopin to get off ambien in 2011; klonopin 2 mg. for 10 years and then crossed over to valium 17.5 mg in 2010. 300 mg. trileptal for 13 years; tapered down to 225 in the last year. Holding on everything right now.
  18. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  19. Hi all , I am 8 months off reinstated sertraline for a month ( by doc) and Aripropazole. History Its around 4 years back when i passed out my college and not get placed even after making to finals in many interviews .. that i decided to write competitive exam for PG. I had taken coaching but just before exam I came back and found myself unable to recall things. My brain is just like nothing in it. I found myself in despair and stopped studying. This fog is happening all the time since my engineering but I managed to get average marks sometimes and sometimes very good . There is more in back history but I ll get to it later. So, my parents took me to a psychiatrist ( family known) and he put me to Olanzapine and one more thing. He diganosed me bipolar2. I got about 10 pounds on it but its not help . Meanwhile after 4 months, with the help of a relative , I got intern in a company and I moved out with fog to a distant city. TThere in a hospital, they put me on floxetine and Amisulpride for 3 months . Then i moved to a private psychiatrist ... where it starts getting haywire . He stopped fluoxetine and Amisulpride . And put me on Venlafaxine and Seroquel... As i was interning, i get usual heat racing in between job times but my doctor convinced me to stay with it . 4 months and I just started feeling agitated due to stress. It happened that I slapped a senior on abusing me and there I left a job I never happened to get physical in my school or college .. but it happened. Doctor told me to scrap the prescription he wrote of raising Venlafaxine. And he put me paroxetine + Oxcarbazepine. In his words , it is best tolerable and has lesser side effects. I managed to get a job by my own and cracking first time. But this time there is lot of work and culture pressure. Its a startup with full of politics . Boss and his boss .. all keep on putting things. Let office aside, I started feeling some well .. overly casual ... excited .. raged .. Iits about 25 mg Paroxetine and 300/600 mg Oxcarbazepine. I had unusual violent acts .. had hit a school friend .. insomnia.. I decided to leave the paxil by asking the doctor . He said half in a week and then other half a week to off. Thats when it all started , i cannot sleep whole night and with day light i start getting a nap. I left going office with fear of state i was in . I cannot wake and even if I .. i was too tired and angry . Doctor then gave me Mirtazapine which didn't help . I resigned job telling muly boss about all and came back home. It was Nov,2015. I start getting yhese uncontrollable rage that I locked myself in a room. Parents took to a local shrink who put me on Venlafaxine+ Mirtazapine(CRF), lamotrigine, resperidal, Seroquel. The NEXT Day I woke up so fresh .. all calm like 12 yrs back .. i was smiling happy.. but it lasted only 4 hrs .. and i am doomed again . I took those meds 10 days and i decided to go off. Physical Damage. I got brain zaps as sounds with eye movement .. While on Paxil I got severe neck stiffness and movement pains - which came out as Osteophytes. Anger , heart race , memory, fog , chest pains , fatigue ... All I beared for 4 months. Reinstatement after 4 months. Father took me to another psych who put me on Sertraline+ Aripropazole+ Seroquel. I started having increases restless legs than before and the doctor asked me not to go over net. After 2 visits and when he said it wslas Aripropazole for restlessness all time.. and he is cutting it . I stopped all meds . Withdrawals in 8 months. All first symptoms with some new like utter sensitivity in teeth. It is while breathe in most of the teeth . Muscles gone from forearms .. My left hands gone ulnar neuropathy and i got surgery done when no hope lived. Right hand has stiffness too . MAnger I am living with .. I have stopped talking .. I have decided to go sit on my Shop but I was unable to understand the talk . In spite anger biuts and memory makes it difficult to adjust. I keep forgetting people faces .. important talks . So i stopped . Now I am muted all the time with burst inside . Read success stories and play CoC. This is the most I can write now.
  20. Worthy

    Worthy

    Hello. I am wanting some advice on withdrawing from the drugs I am currently on. I am taking 60 mg cymbalta, 5 mg zyprexa and 7.5 mg mirtazapine. I would like to withdraw from all 3 at the same time. Is this possible
  21. Hi I'm new here although I have been lurking for a couple months. Long story short, I ended up on Remeron this past February after my brain went 'tilt' and I went into a severe depression brought about by severe insomnia brought about by my body going into perimenopause. I am one of the ones who truly needed medication and I am fortunate that the first med they put me on was successful in curbing the depression. But I've put on over 30 lbs and I am tired of not feeling 'myself' and having no motivation. I started tapering in October. I am now down to 24 mg of Remeron. The only W/D symptoms I've had so far was, twice I was woken up from a sound sleep from early morning cortisol surges. I am doing the 10% of your last dose method that I found on this forum. Only problem is that my scale goes down only to .01 grams instead of .001 grams. I'm hoping my taper goes well enough that I won't need to purchase another scale but I will if it becomes necessary. Today is the first time I feel more 'normal' than I ever have since this whole ordeal started. I actually baked some pumpkin bread. And I actually feel like doing some house cleaning - something that has gone by the wayside since this past February. So I thought I'd post here that way I can kinda keep track and have an anonymous journal of sorts. Thanks to those who have contributed all of the valuable information in this forum. I wouldn't have felt comfortable starting a taper without it. I probably would have asked my Dr. who most likely would have had me taper much too fast.
  22. Hi to everybody, I just signed up to the forum to contribute and to get support for my issues. The "Intro" part: I always considered myself a very "stable" person, psychological issues were for others, not for me. I have seen quite some people in my environment struggle with that (siblings, colleagues), I tried to be understanding and helpful - but I never thought that something similar could affect me. That changed when I voluntarily changed my job last year, from an employee working more than a decade for a big company to a self employed consultant. Unluckily I did not have the time to take a break in between my jobs, so I left my old office and started the training and preparations for the new job right away. Everything went well for the first couple of months but it was extremely stressful. My sleep quality degraded more and more, I was unable to relax and by end of October 2018 I had the first breakdown in my life. I could not stop ruminating, endless negative thoughts, no sleep, no future ... I started taking St. John's Wort and it became somewhat better within 2-3 weeks. But then I experienced a panic attack, likely caused by the AD. So I reduced the medication within 2 weeks and stopped taking anything. All in all I was on the med/herb extract for maybe 7 weeks including the fast taper. I felt really OK afterwards, but for maybe 2 weeks only ... then the combination of bad sleep (early morning awakening) and low mood became worse and worse again. The mornings were unbearable ... in the evenings I sometimes felt 100% normal. So beginning of this year I made an appointment with my GP and was put on mirtazapine (30 mg/d) for sleep and citalopram (10 mg/d, later increased to 20 mg/d) to treat the depression + one shot of a neuroleptic substance for instant relief. I improved a bit, but the symptoms never disappeared. I managed to work a bit and keep my business alive, but not enough to really get the business going. And after some weeks I panicked again. That seems to be a pattern for me: After two/three weeks with a (new) AD, something strange happens ... the web search led to the term "acivation syndrome" and I kept taking the meds. Since February this year I am visiting a therapist for talk therapy which helps quite of lot. We went through some issues during my childhood and I was diagnosed as a "hypersensitive person" (HSP). At first I was a bit reluctant to accept that, but it explains a lot of behaviors and issues I had in the past. As HSPs may also be more sensitive to drugs (I can kill nearly every pain with 100 mg of Ibuprofene ...) and the side effects of the ADs were really bothersome I reduced them by half and continued to reduce them stepwise ever since. In comparison to the recommendations here in the forum rather fast, far beyond the 10% / month ... I was not yet aware of how slow some people have to taper. So finally my question: How do you distinguish between AD side effects / WD symptoms and recurrence of the depression? My last reduction step of mirtazapine (5mg -> 3.75 mg/d) was 16 days ago and the morning lows are pretty bad right now. Sleep is OK, but I am also very tired throughout the day, not much energy to do anything. The citalopram I currently keep at 5mg/d. In the past as soon as I got better I did the next step to reduce the side effects of the ADs ... probably way too fast. On the other hand I only took them for a couple of months. Now my plan is to stabilize on the current dosage but when my mood is low I really have a hard time to resist the urge to change my meds (up or down) ... just want to try out something to make it better instead of just waiting .... Any ideas are highly appreciated ... thanks!
  23. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  24. Hi everyone, I am writing to seek support during what has become a frightening experience for me. I have a history of severe depression and as I started to come out of the last one in the middle of 2018, I accepted the proposition put by al psychiatrist that I needed to be on high doses of psychiatric drugs. The two most significant were Lexapro at 45mgs and Mirtazapine at 90mgs daily. He also had me on Epilim and Propanolol to counter the impact of the benzodiazepines I was withdrawing from. The Lexapro was causing me to be uncomfortable with wind and I came off it over a couple of weeks at the end of last year without any difficulty. The Epilim and Propanolol were also removed. The massive dose of Mirtazapine remained, however. Even though it is prescribed off label for sleep, I was finding getting to sleep increasingly difficult. This is what led me to make a mistake seven weeks ago. Without consulting anyone I reduced the drug to 45mgs for three nights. This led to the onset of a nasty nauseous sensation in my body. I rang the psychiatrist and he told me that if I reinstated the dose the symptoms would go away. They didn't. So we reduced the dosage to 67.5mgs to see if that would enable me to stabilise on the drug. The symptoms continued. So we agreed to get off the drugs. Over the course of a week the drug was reduced to zero. Now after three nights the symptoms are worse and I am getting little sleep. This morning I was aching so much that I got up and tried to watch the cricket. My mistake was that I assumed as anti- depressants are not addictive and that because I had come off the Lexapro so easily that a reduction in my Mirtazapine dosage would cause me no problems. Moreover, I did come off 30mgs on another occasion with no problems. As as it looks as if reinstatement is not an option given the nature of my symptoms, I simply don't know where to turn. I fear that I am looking at an extended period of massive discomfort which could lead to a return of the depression.
  25. Hi, I just came across this peer support group and am delighted as I am really nervous about how I will cope with the withdrawal symptoms. Not looking forward to getting more depressive feelings, suicidal thoughts, crying jags, mood swings, energy slumps. At least with support I can hopefully surf the waves. I still get PMS (32 years and counting!) every 3 weeks and feel like the world is too horrible a place to keep going on - and then my period arrives and I go "Aha! So THAT's what it was!"
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