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  1. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  2. 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!
  3. Community of Healing, hello. In December of 2014, just a bit more than 6 years ago, I came to this site after already weathering two years of nearly life-terminating withdrawal. I'd been on psychotropic medications for most of my life and in my estimation, my nervous system had decided it'd had enough. From February 2012 to approximately March of 2014, I felt I was literally living in hell. I was hospitalized twice, lost long-running friendships and new career opportunities, tried a plethora of medications, supplements, and herbs in an attempt to "fix" withdrawal, and ultimately came to the realization that pharmaceutical medications would not be the answer to my suffering. Pharmaceutical medications had been the cause of my suffering. And what my brain and body needed was support, tenderness, forgiveness, care and time... TIME... to heal. Benzodiazepines had been the first drugs I withdrew from. That was a brutal, nightmarish withdrawal, but relatively short-lived (acute @ 8 months). Tapering from Mirtazapine proved a longer journey, a much longer journey that I shared here. So this is my success story, my chapter-turning post. This is my declaration that I have been successful in tapering from medications that had deranged my nervous system to such a degree that I was scarcely able to operate in the world anymore. I took much time to make this declaration of success as I am by nature skeptical, and wanted to be sure that healing had indeed come - and come to stay. I feel that it has. I discontinued Mirtazapine, my last psychotropic medication, on June 15, 2019. There are still some echos of it that I deal with in day to day life. My issues with histamine intolerance I believe are directly attributable to Mirtazapine's affinity for histamine receptor occupancy. I manage this issue with dietary and exercise modifications as well as use of select vitamins and herbs. It is not life-deterring. It can be inconvenient and sometimes unpleasant, but it is nowhere near as debilitating as withdrawal itself had been. Despite posting this success story, I'm not going anywhere really. I am always happy to answer questions about my journey. When I was in the worst of my own withdrawal, the feedback from moderators and members of this community and elsewhere were absolute lifelines. Not that anyone could necessarily fix my problems - but I could walk away with sound, compassionate advice and if nothing else, the knowledge that my suffering had been heard, and that someone ultimately cared about me. Your suffering is heard, and someone ultimately cares about you. I want to thank @Altostrata and every moderator past and present for their kind forbearance, compassion, and dedication. I want to thank every member for their strength, endurance, bravery, and perseverance towards a healthy life free of the chemicals that have caused them harm. You all have something, many things, to be proud of. I believe in every human's potential to heal. Take your time, taper well, make the most sound choices you can, and know that healing is absolutely within your power to achieve. Hang in there, Dave
  4. marsha-preparing-for-my-librium-taper Hi. I hope I'm in the right place because antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants and benzodiazepines have caused permanent brain damage and I have trouble navigating on this sight. Is it possible to taper off geodon before gabapentin? I have read in the Road Back Program that I must taper off gabapentin and clonazepam before I can finish tapering off geodon. I am terrified of antipsychotic drugs. I want to get off it after I finish tapering off clonazepam. I successfully completed tapering off trazodone and propranolol and have tapered the clonazepam to 1 mg and have tapered the geodon down to 80 mgs. I was misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia and now am working with a team of doctors to taper me slowly off the drugs that robbed me of my memory and pleasure and motivation. I am desperate to get off these terrible drugs. Especially the clonazepam and geodon. I'm tapering off slowly the clonazepam right now. I have read that if you taper off geodon before gabapentin and clonazepam it increases the clearance time of clonazepam and gabapentin by as much as 50% causing you to go into clonazepam and gabapentin withdrawal even without lowering the dosage of the clonazepam and gabapentin. However, I have also read in the book "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal" by Peter breggin md that you should make it a priority to get off the antipsychotic drug first especially if you are non psychotic. My doctor thinks I can just stop taking the geodon but I know that is wrong. I appreciate any help you can give me.
  5. I have been reading posts about magnesium on the forum , and I decided to try magnesium glycinate. 2 weeks ago I tapered from 65 mg. Ellavil to 63 mg. I went slow to test the waters. My w/d symptoms have been some insomnia and feeling a bit hyper. So far, it's manageable with exersize and magnesium for sleep. After 30 days ,I intend to go down to 60 mg.which would be a 5 percent taper and see how that goes. I wanted to see if anyone knows about mag. Threonate which I hear is the only one that goes thru the blood. /brain barrier. Would that be beneficial for w/d symptoms or too much for the brain to handle?
  6. ADMIN NOTE moved initial posts from Mission of Surviving Antidepressants Hello. What do you exactly mean "if the symptoms are from and adverse or paradoxical reaction to medication, the medication has to be gradually withdrawn for recovery."? Is three to four months of gradual withdrawel enough? Thats what I did.
  7. Hi Everyone. I'm wondering how long it should take to stabilize after a cut from Gabapentin. I've been on only 100 mg for about 6 months, maybe more. I decided to get off of it and start tapering on April 10th. I went way too fast (25% every 5 days). When I began having severe withdrawal symptoms, I bumped my dose from 50 mg to 75 mg in hopes of stabilizing. That was 10 days ago. Do you know how long it takes to stabilize after something like this? I should mention, I'm obviously very sensitive to meds and was tapering off Valium last year but had to stop at 8 mg because my doctor was asking me to cut too much, too fast. I've decided I would rather get off the Gabapentin first and then go back to tapering Valium. Thanks so much
  8. i thought i was withdrawing successfully from gabapentin. i am apparently very bad off because i had to go very very slow. i thought i was doing ok and i upped very slowly the amount of dissolved liquid i was withdrawing from the beaker. i was stressed, but every night would go back down in dose to get a good sleep. i was unable to tolerate attempts to withdraw more so i went back to the dose that seemed comfortable. i was no longer comfortable. at all. then i upped the dose 30% i thought acc. to the rules here. i am radically uncomfortable now at any dose. i am desperate and there is no end. i am thinking of going to a doctor to see if i can get a lot of benzos to withdraw. i am afraid of compounding my problem. i was take 300 mg. gaba 6xs a day. i was getting breakthrough symptoms anyway but didn't realize it.
  9. fully-functional-undiagnosed1 Hello all, New to the site. A little about my situation, After being prescribed 300mg gabapentin twice a day + 900mg before bed, 15mg remeron before bed, and 100mg trazodone before bed for what's said to be anxiety disorder that appeared out of no where. I visited a psychiatrist per the hospital. It took me two weeks to find one to see me, upon my visit she says that she wanted to get me off as much as possible as she thought the gabapentin should be all I needed. She stated that I should be able to stop the Trazodone and remeron right away with no issues. I questioned weather this was a good idea.... Anyways I decided that the trazodone had to go first because of the side effects I was having from it tapered from 100mg to 75 for two days then fifty for two days noticed a slight down feeling then 25 for 4 days "what a mistake" on the forth day I felt so bad racing thoughts of hurting myself, really bad depression "which I have never had" and more than an hour of servere anxiety if not for the gabapentin surely I would have been flailing around like a fish out of water. I found this site that night after everything seem to calm down and decided to updose. I owned a mg scale and went back up to 37.5mg. First day was great present day not so good, pretty ok morning around 12pm started having stomach issues and some feeling down laid on the couch for several hours started to feel better so I went to the gym and did my daily 8 mile bike ride. My problem is that I am supposed to return to work on the 30th or lose my job and insurance.I don't know if I updosed correctly or how to stabilize enough to return to work. I would appreciate any advice I can get at this point. So upset because this is the first time in my life I have had to take any meds daily, feeling so lost.
  10. staystrong

    staystrong: My story

    In 2007 I experienced Neurological Malignant Syndrome after using a small amount of Geodon with Nardil my AD at the time. I was unconscious when my 13 yr. old daughter found me at around 3:30 pm. I recall feeling tired that morning at about 10-10.30ish and lying down. Next I know I am bolting upright in ITC not having a clue what happened. For the next 5 days I slipped in and out of delirium. But luckily I got better after 3-4 weeks. My p-doc on the psych ward, cause that's where they moved me, told me to stop the Geodon but never told me never to take an anti-psychotic again. He did not make it sound serious at all and I was so whacked out on Nardil I never gave it a second thought. In fact I had no idea neuroleptics and antipsychotics were the same thing and did not make the connection. My own doctor never mentioned it either. He just told me to get off the Geodon in a very casual way. No red flags from anyone. Fast forward to 2015 when I was going through some serious trauma issues. I was forcibly admitted to another psych ward and some pathetic intern put me on 25mg Thorazine!!! Like a good little patient who still trusted all doctors I actually took it. After release, I added Vyvance which I had been on prior to the Thorazine with great results, at least so I thought. I was OK from Sept. 2015 to Feb. 2016. I actually felt great! Then one morning after my am dose I literally heard a 'pop' in my head. I was alone so I stumbled around for a bit in total confusion and then slept like the dead for many hours. The following am when I tried to take my dose the anxiety was horrendous. CT'ed the Thorazine but the Vyvance was just as intolerable. Ct'ed from that. My dr put me back on Parnate a drug that once made me euphoric. I lasted 7 months with increasingly bad side effects. Dr had me ct that and then on to Lexapro 5mg. Lasted until Jan 1st 2017 and had to Ct that too. Dr kept pushing. From Jan 2017 to mid-June 2017 I was on Lithium/Lamictal/Concerta/Prozac and Lexapro (again) before I had to throw in the towel and stop. Meanwhile he jacked up my Klonopin to 6mg!! (currently down to 4mg) and added 900mg Gabapentin, (down to 300mg.) At first I thought the GBN was helping but now not so much and I experience severe WD when tapering so staying with the 300mg for now. It also affects my language skills/cognition etc. This is a noted SDX of GBN. Has anyone else found it brutal to withdraw, enen taper from GBN? I want so much off this drug which I have been on since Aug. 1st. Almost 4 months. Do you think my brain damage is permanent? My CNS is so shocked right now and my SDX are: deep depression/anxiety, apathy/anhedonia and agoraphobia. Some days a little better but lately slipping backwards. Guess you would say I CT'ed from all AD's in mid-June so that makes4 months in AD WD. Support and thoughts so welcome.................stay strong/be brave....................lilla
  11. Hi all, just been given a prescription of Gabapentin today to help me with pain/sleep as Diazepam/Temazepam/ higher doses of Seroquel doing nothing for the latter - have histamine intolerance though, thus came across this site and these posts [in undiagnosed1's introduction topic]. May I ask does Gabapentin decrease or increase histamine? It's unclear. Look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards. S
  12. Hi my name is Sherry and I am on my second day of tapering off of Gabapentin 400 2x daily. I have been on it since last September. I have gained 28 lbs. on this jacked up medication. I just can't sit around and wait until it's even more out of hand. If anyone has already gone through it please leave me any helpful tips. I have the capsules and I have cut down to 400 in am and 200 at night. Thanks.
  13. Hello everyone. I NEED to get off Gabapentin before this goes into a territory that I can't manage. I did a fast taper off of a Benzo after being 5 years on. I am almost 2 years off of that, but STILL still from withdrawals. It's unbelievable. The Gabapentin has not done a thing for me. I have gained over 30 pounds on this drug. Jan 2018 will be two years on this drug. I'm on 600mg. Basically I'm only taking it to take it because it does not a damn thing. It hasn't helped AT ALL with the Benzo symptoms. I have read too many conflicting things about liquid taper from this drug so would prefer not to be steered in that direction unless there is proof that that method has worked with members here. On the other hand, someone told me the best way to taper Gabapentin is to open the capsule, mix up the ingredients-apparently one side is the actual drug, and the other side is the fillers- then take a percentage away-I would have had to weigh the capsule ahead. Then I would need to recapsule the drug. I have empty gelatin capsules. What do you guys think of that? And has anyone done that here? Thank you very much.
  14. Moderator Note: Link to Maresat's benzo thread Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:08 PM Hi , I'm new here .... I've read a lot of posts and found some great advice and wisdom relative to WDs . I started my Valium taper at 10 mgs June 2016 , after a very difficult cross from klonopin that was pretty horrific. I kinda wished I had been more informed and had tried tapering direct from klonopin , but I only knew the Ashton method at that point and thought it was the way to go. Anyway , since June , I don't know if I was ever really stable on the V. My nervous system was so messed up from the crossover, ( and I think from my steroid CT ) but I thought I could just go ahead and begin the V taper at the Ashton rate. After the first mg things got really bad. ( mostly bed bound, terrible burning flesh and skin, stomach pains , concrete head, memory issues, difficulty walking , zero stress tolerance, hypersensitivity to sound and more) By September I had to hold my taper at 81/4 mgs V. every time I have tried to cut the tiniest amount ( liquid MT), I get thrown back into crippling WDs . I am hypersensitive to everything , cannot work or even socialize in any way, a lot of pain and constant burning skin and flesh. I hate how sedating the V is , I dose three times a day. Most of my symptoms are physical . I have managed to get down almost to 8 mgs Since the end of September, just making little reductions here and there, but they always hit me really hard and take weeks to recover from. I don't know how to proceed. It seems my only option is to keep holding and trying to cut little bits when I feel I can. I was only on benzos daily for 6 months , and can't believe this is so hard. Is anyone else THIS sensitive ? I have reduced my gabapentin from 900 mgs to 415 mgs , I'm not absolutely sure when I started that , sometime in 2016. I have been advised that for now it would best to hold tapering the gabapentin , as even though I haven't felt any particular WDs from it , it could be influencing my Valium taper. I definitely feel the Valium cuts very specifically though. I do want to get lower in dose on my Valium , that I feel is my first priority. I haven't been non symptomatic since the start of this taper. I'd really like to find a way to taper where I can have a bit of a life while I do it. I just wonder if anyone else has similar experience . I will feel 1/30th of a 1/4 mg cut of V! At this rate it would take me 6-8 years to come off.... i suppose I wouldn't mind if I can live a life in the meantime. Thanks in advance for any experience or encouragement you may have. Maresat Ps , I couldn't fit my supplements in my sig, so here they are- I do take magnesium in a liquid sea mineral form , and know to take it 2 hours away from gabapentin - about 100 mgs day Milk thistle, biotin-1,000 mg, Pantethine-300 mg, ester c-100mg, krill oil-1000 mg,saffron-88 mgs, lactium-167 mgs, citicoline-300 mgs,niacinamide-500-1,000 mgs, l-lysine-500 mg, zinc piconolate-15 mg
  15. Hello all - I am 1 month post taper of Klonopin. Took over 4 months liquid titration. I was given the neurontin to take to assist with the withdrawal process. I take anywhere between 300-900 mg every other day to every third day over the past 3 month. However, I think I am having a bad reaction. I feel suicidal and cry all the time. Since I was not taking alot and was not taking it every day, can I just take a week of oif work and let it get out of my system? Considering it makes me have those horrible suicidal thoughts, I would prefer not to taper, but if you feel that is better let me know. I am so not ready to taper another med and deal with more withdrawls after the hell of the Klonopion, but I need to do what is safest and best for me. Im close to losing my job from suffering job performance due to the Klonopin taper/withdrawl and the fact I sleep once every three days. My brain is a mess. Please help me!
  16. I'm having a hard time taper off 2.5 mg of zyprexa. I went every other day for 7 days then quit taking it and only managed to go two nights before insomnia and anxiety kicked in. I'm on zyprexa for sleeping anyway, is there hope for me getting off this drug?
  17. Hello everyone, I'd like to introduce myself after reading many relevant and helpful posts during the last few weeks. About 6 or 7 weeks ago I became suddenly and inexplicably very ill. I had a fever of 102, vomiting, heart pain, shortness of breath, chest pressure, severe diarrhea, muscle contractions and associated pain. Worst of all were the behavioral/mental/emotional symptoms: anger/aggression, agitation, uncontrollable crying and severe emotional distress that stood on its own and was not a reaction to the physical symptoms. I could not understand what was happening and scanned recent events in my mind for any clue. I had stopped taking gabapentin a couple of days earlier, but had done so many times over the last 6 months without a problem. I started gabapentin to help get off Seroquel 50mg at bedtime for sleep which I'd been taking for many years and wanted off of it. I would stop gabapentin when it became ineffective, then restart some weeks later with renewed efficacy. This was in collaboration with my physician. I was told it was important to titrate up when starting up, but was unaware of the importance to taper off of it slowly. Hours into being so sick, exhausted from vomiting and the pain of other symptoms, it occurred to me to look up issues related to gabapentin discontinuation online. After realizing what was happening, I took a dose and was relieved of symptoms within 3 hours. I went to work the next day and on the way home I began getting sick again. 102 fever and everything else except no diarrhea or vomiting. After going from twice daily dosing of 1800mg to 600/600/600, the symptoms smoothed out with the exception of residual mood/mind challenges. This medication was insidious and disgusting to me, and so I pushed the taper too fast, reducing each dose by 100mg with only a few days in between. Withdrawal symptoms returned, (with emotional/mental being the worst) so I began opening the 100mg capsules and went back up 50mg, not wanting to resume the original dose. The inaccuracy of this method prolonged my symptoms which smoothed out again after getting the liquid version which allows the precise dosing my sensitivity requires. The level of self-hatred and despair I was describing to my doctor scared him. Fortunately my personal values would never allow for suicide as a consideration, but I understand how someone without such protection would come to that place. This all coincided with an already planned leave to care for my mother at the end of her life, which included unfortunate and nasty family discord and chaos. She died more quickly than I'd prepared for, and that's why I didn't initially recognize the return of withdrawal symptoms, I really assumed it was grief - extreme emotions, a heart that was physically aching and inability to take a full breath. This withdrawal has been the most disruptive and intrusive thing to have ever happened to me. Those who know me would be surprised to hear me say that because I've had much bigger, more serious sounding headlines in my life. In the last weeks however, I've gone from resentment and self-blame/hatred for getting into this situation, to accepting this as advanced training. This is a big my part of my curriculum now - and I've known a long time now that we don't get to choose our curriculum, only whether or not we pick it up and work with it. I'm already very close to saying that it may all be worth it just because it brought magnesium into my life. I'd read on this and other boards about its helpfulness with withdrawal symptoms. I am sleeping deeply through the night for the first time in many, many years. After lots of research, I'm taking magnesium glycinate 200mg 4x daily and taking strongly concentrated baths using magnesium chloride flakes (much better absorption than epsom salts; I'm going through 15lb bags ordered on Amazon). The effect is very strong, very relaxing, and I can say I've gone from having lost my mind, to not even having frustrating thoughts and feeling grounded and steady. I've had I have magnesium oil as well for topical application, but haven't used it much at this point. I ordered Re-Mag, which if you've looked into magnesium for w/drawal then you've likely heard of it. I believe my magnesium depletion pre-dates withdrawal and has been a factor in many problems I've had. I look forward to connecting with others who have gone through this or are going through it now. Thanks for being here.
  18. Hello, I've been reading posts on this site for a while but am reaching out for support in initiating a Gabapentin taper. I am currently taking both Ativan and Gabapentin, with the Gabapentin having been prescribed to me to aid in Ativan withdrawal and sleep. I was originally taking 600-700 mg at bedtime and another 100-200 mg in the middle of the night to extend my sleep. I had no doctor advising me on how best to take the medicine, so I wasn't totally consistent. Back in late January, I forgot to take my bedtime dose and woke up at 5:00 am and decided against taking the full 700 mg at that point. Instead I took 100 mg and thought I would resume dosing again that night. I had very bad withdrawals by early afternoon and decided to take 500 mg to get through the day. At that point I decided moving forward I would only take the 700 mg at bedtime, since I was not needing the middle of the night dose any more. I made it almost two weeks before reinstating the 100 mg in the middle of the night due to extreme anxiety symptoms. Another 10 days later, and more afternoon anxiety, I decided to reinstate 200 mg in the early morning. I'm now at 150 mg between 4:00 - 5:00 am and 700 mg at bedtime and still struggling to get stable. My Ativan taper has been on hold for almost a month while I try to stabilize, and I'm now seriously considering tapering the Gabapentin before the Ativan. I know that I need to be very consistent with my Gabapentin doses and timing in order to stabilize, and I'm reaching out for advice both on whether I need to ultimately consider adding an afternoon dose of Gabapentin to avoid afternoon anxiety, and whether I should consider tapering Gabapentin first. I really don't like this drug, and am concerned about continuing at this high amount for another year or more of an Ativan taper. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice. NW Guy
  19. Hello, I am in quite the conundrum currently. My CNS is completely destabilized due to several factors. Firstly, I have been on lorazepam for nearly 8 years. I was initially prescribed 1 mg three times a day along with 10 mg zolpidem after my mom died in August 2008 and I had a panic attack. I took the lorazepam basically at this full dose up until June 2013 when I was ripped off of the lorazepam after my previous doctor left his practice and ended up with a ruthless doctor. He prescribed me 30 mg for a month and that was it. I was able to obtain some diazepam which helped with this abrupt withdrawal. I was off of all gaba drugs and functioning in society with manageable symptoms until April 2014 when the stress of noisy neighbors pushed me over the edge. At this time, I didn't know how dangerous benzodiazepines really were, so I sought out an old psychiatrist who prescribed me 2 mg lorazepam daily plus 10 mg zaleplon at night for the ongoing insomnia. Fast forward to October 2014, when I had a life changing incident. I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, which to this day has affected me greatly. I was going to school to be a chemical engineer but this injury caused me to have major issues with light, sound sensitivity, brain fog, fatigue. I managed to finish the semester barely. In February 2015, while attempting to start the next semester with a lighter course load, I bumped my head again. This is when all hell broke loose. The symptoms got so bad that I couldn't be in classrooms and I had to withdraw from university due to the light/sound sensitivity. In May 2015, I was prescribed gabapentin by my neurologist. I know this isn't a benzodiazepine but it does seem to have some gaba/glutamate action. Anyway, it seemed to help me at first for my anxiety. At this point I was forced to stay inside and wear sunglasses and earplugs a lot of the time. I could no longer read as I once did. Over the course of the summer I started to improve slightly, and I began tapering of the gabapentin. All the while I was still taking the 2 mg/ lorazepam daily. I didn't use the z-drugs often but I still had a supply that I used occasionally. It was clear that I wasn't going back to school any time soon. It was then that a tragedy occurred. My brother lost his life to a drug overdose. He was my only brother and I loved him dearly. This event took a lot out of me, emotionally and physically. I started to decline. I went to my psychiatrist and he upped me back to 3mg lorazepam/day and renewed a zolpidem prescription. My neurologist upped my gabapentin to 1800 mg/day. (It had been at 900mg over the course of the summer). Shortly after my brother died, my girlfriend and I moved to a quiet town in the hopes that I would heal with less noise bothering me. She became distant and left me in January 2016. This is when I hit rock bottom. I was suffering strange symptoms that seemed to be withdrawal even though I had increased dosages of both medications. I somehow managed to realize that the medications were not helping and I needed to get off of them. I spent 2016 reducing my gabapentin dosage from 1800 mg (600 mg three times a day) down to 300 mg (100 mg three times a day). This was not easy given that I have not been able to work, or go to school due to intense symptoms of sensory overstimulation. I can barely go for walks due to light sensitivity and driving in cars is just as bad due to sound/motion sensitivity. Over the course of 2016, I tried to convert over to a longer acting benzo twice. I tried using clonazepam for a few weeks using the Ashton conversion table. This didn't work well as I felt much worse on the clonazepam. In July I tried to convert to diazepam. I only took two 10 mg doses to replace one of my 1 mg doses of lorazepam on consecutive days. This caused a significant increase in visual symptoms I have been experiencing since 2015 and a failed SSRI effort. This visual phenomenon is known as visual snow and I have all the trademark symptoms now - palinospia, starburts, the static field over my vision, etc. along with tinnitus. So, anyway as it stands now, I have a pretty poor quality of life and I am basically on my own emotionally - no family support. My present dose is 1 mg lorazepam three times a day, and 100 mg gabapentin three times a day. I have not taken any other medications since the diazepam in July. My last zolpidem dose was in March, nearly a year ago. The last cut I made with the gabapentin was 5/31/2016. Prior to that I was making 100 mg cuts weekly as directed by my doctor. Looking back, I'm sure this was much too fast. One of my doctors has been quite sympathetic to my situation and he prescribed me the lorazepam solution to begin a taper. He seems to be willing to work at a slow pace that I'm comfortable with. I actually started writing out a plan for tapering with the liquid. I plan on cutting 5% over the course of the next month using a 0.1mg/mL solution. Thanks for reading, and take care to all.
  20. Ok so I was taking Cymbalta 60mg, Suboxone 16mg, and Klonopin and Xanax(off and on) for nearly 7 years.. Over that time I became severely depressed. I wanted off all of it.. about 6 months ago I started eliminating them one at a time.. first i did the klonopin and xanax because it was off and on and thought i wasnt very dependent on it but it ended me in a hospital for 7 days. Then within a week of that i was in rehab for a month to come off of the suboxone.. 4 months ago I came home doing better and was able to stop the Cymbalta with only minor issues(brain zaps for a couple of weeks) it seemed.. Maybe because in rehab I was given Gabapentin .. i thought it was helping me. I seemed to be doing ok for the last couple of months, just some depression and anxiety but not that bad. Now im pretty sure Ive become dependent on the gabapentin .. i was taking 1200mg a day and started feeling terrible.. very strange symptoms .. i almost feel like im coming off benzos again. So I went down to 900mg and things got a lot worse.. I had no idea this medication could do anything like that. I went through hell the first time i stopped benzodiazapines many years ago.. interdose withdrawals, panic attacks, severe nerve pain, you name it.. I feel like the same is happening with the gabapentin.. the longer i stay on it the worse it gets so how can i taper off it? I'm really just lost, I'm sure Ive done a number on myself coming off so many meds so fast but I felt like I was going to die on them and wanted off.. I felt better by far before the cycle of going from med to med started years ago. should i try to dose back up to 1200mg and do the 10% taper? I was only on the gabapentin for about 5 months and im sure its been masking some of the effects from stopping everything else. If its anything like benzos were, I couldn't taper at all. I had severe interdose withdrawals, and my tolerance went up very fast once I became dependent on them having worse and worse side effects over time.. trying to taper when my tolerance seems to be going up rapidly seems impossible.. Im waking up to panic attacks now, having flu like symptoms, severe pain all over, i feel out of breath and super fatigued all the time. None of which was happening even just a couple of months ago. I just want to be free of it but i dont know if i can handle another benzo like withdrawal. Sorry if this indroduction is a mess but im really scatter brained at the moment..
  21. The reason I wanted to post was to see if anyone else had experienced what I have found the most personally disturbing effects of withdrawal from the Seroquel, Celexa and Gabapentin I was on for ten years. I was on Seroquel (100 mg), Gabapentin (600 mg) and Celexa (20 mg) for just over 10 years. Over the course of the summer, I tapered everything, but I am still on 15 mg of Celexa—I plan on dropping this once I stabilize. To be honest, the first couple of months after the taper (September and October) weren’t that bad because I knew what to expect: the mood swings, sleep problems, itching, nausea, crying spells, and floods of both good and bad emotions. None of these were enough to prevent me from feeling so proud that I finally was almost off all psych meds. Regardless of the uncomfortable symptoms, it was a big rush for me. To backtrack, the main reasons I wanted to get off Seroquel and Gabapentin were a fear of the long term effects and the fact that many days of the week for those ten years, I felt like I was walking around, living my life half asleep, zoned out and “out of it.” I got into the habit of drinking a lot of coffee as a way to cope, but no matter how much I drank, many days of the week I still felt sedated. So it was a big, horrible surprise for me when about two and half months after getting off the Seroquel and Gabapentin, that old feeling of not being fully awake returned. It started as the days got shorter, in mid-November, about two and a half months after stopping these meds and reducing my Celexa. I seemed to be especially sensitive to the changing light, and this feeling of not being awake was starting to happen every day, along with massive feelings of panic, doom and dread that somehow seemed to come on every afternoon as it got dark. When it’s at its worst, I feel like I am walking around in a dark nightmare that won’t go away, asking myself, “How is it possible to be feeling this? What has happened to my brain?” Along with these feelings, I’m experiencing troubling symptoms that I would best describe as cognitive or perceptual, and I’m really curious if anyone has felt this before, especially so long after finishing a taper of Seroquel or Gabapentin. This is how I would describe these differences in thinking and perception. I guess they could all be called “brain fog” of some sort: -Sudden problems with directions and orienting myself, even in familiar environments. I get lost and then panic. We all have mental maps that we use to get around. I feel like I can’t fully access mine anymore. I sometimes get confused about landmarks. -Vision problems. Issues with depth perception, especially at night. -Getting confused a lot. Especially with regards to time. Trouble remembering what day it is or when something recent happened. Also getting distracted and confused when a lot is going. Difficulty multitasking. -Lots of issues with short term and long-term memory. Forgetting a lot. Slower to retrieve memories. -Tons of trouble concentrating and focusing on anything that demands intense thought. Feeling like I can’t figure stuff out, or that I can’t think deeply about complex issues. Lots of mistakes counting change, getting confused during conversations, forgetting what I was planning to do. -A constant feeling that some parts of my brain aren’t working and that I’m having to do everything differently, like using other parts of my brain to do what I would have done easily before. -Feeling like the experience of talking and communicating with others is completely different than when I was on the meds. Like conversations are sped up and I get lost and anxious in them as I’m talking. Lots of odd experiences…I wonder if this is permanent, or even if this is normal and I just got used to being on the meds. I think it’s most troubling because it didn’t start immediately, but took several months before it began. When these issues happen, I usually begin to freak out and sometimes it turns into a panic attack. Has anyone out there been through anything like this?
  22. Back in late November I got off of clonazepam "cold turkey", and it was HORRIBLE! A few months before that I got off of hydrocodone, but that was quite literally nothing in comparison... But then I made the idiotic mistake of trusting another doctor/medication that "wasn't addictive", and it goes by the name of neurontin (or gabapentin)... I'm not addicted to it as in I want more, but my body is apparently dependent on it. I first realized this a couple months ago when I missed a dose and started feeling like I was back in the first week of benzo withdrawals. I haven't been on it for more than maybe 4 months now, but that doesn't seem to matter, and I'm really scared! Nevertheless, I want off of it! I finally talked to my doctor about 3 weeks ago about it, and he decreased the mg by over half : / I was supposed to be on 900 mg a day, but for some reason I only got up to 600 (which is a good thing). He only prescribed me 200 mg (a day) though. For the past 3 weeks I've been using my "extra" pills to tide me over while I've been bugging my doctor to change the mg to something more like 500, but I finally gave up today and went and got the 200 mg script. I still have 7 of the 300 mg pills, so I'm thinking I could use them to taper, but it'll just have to be a really fast taper... Like 2 days of 500, 2 days of 400, and 3 days of 300, then I can stay at 200 until I "chill out"? I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be freaking out so much, but coming off of benzo's was insane! I saw the forum that said something about water soluble, but I don't have any test tubes... Granted, I should probably read the whole article, but I saw what was needed and clicked out of it in frustration. ANY advice would be HIGHLY/GREATLY appreciated!!!!! I'm in college and last semester was so rough that I can't do as poorly this semester, but I swear this Neurontin makes me feel worse. I also really believe that it's caused me to have "negative" thoughts, paranoia, and to top it all off... weight gain! But seriously, I can't go on like this, but I'm scared of the time between now, and being off of them... I'll shut up now though, thanks in advance! P.S. One of my biggest reasons for being "scared" is because I'm alone a lot. I live in a "dorm", but I have my own (tiny) room that nobody ever really comes into. So if I were to have a seizure (or whatever) because of coming off of this stuff, I doubt I'd "be found" for at least a week : ( Maybe it would be more like a few days, but still...
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