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  1. Hi everyone, Somewhere around 2012, I was put on Lexapro to try and address life-long issues of social anxiety, and newly emerging issues with GAD, including panic attacks. About four years later in mid 2016, I was starting to have more issues with panic attacks again, and decided I'd rather get off the meds than up the dose. So I spoke with my psychiatrist and started tapering. Now, I never heard of the slow taper recommended here, but I had heard that withdrawal could be brutal. So I decided to cut it by 25% every two weeks, putting me at 0 after about 8 weeks. I imagine that provoked a cringe from half of the audience, but... I felt fine. No brain zaps, akathisia, ataxia, or any of the other scary things I read about. My anxiety was a bit higher, but I expected that. I figured that was the end of it, and I could move on. The weeks went on, but my anxiety kept increasing, so I adopted meditation to address it. It wasn't easy, but it was better than nothing. Regardless, I was starting to have panic attacks almost every other day. I figured I could just fight my way through them and they'd eventually go away. Then I had some kind of super panic attack that pulled me out of sleep and racing to the ER. Pretty much ever since that night, my sleep has been an absolute disaster. Back then, I could barely get 3-4 hours a night if I was lucky. Nothing seemed to work either. Supplements? Name one, none worked. OTC sleep aids like Benadryl or Unisom? Paradoxical responder to all of them. Prescription antihistamines like hydroxyzine? Even worse, and somehow made me completely sleepless for the entire half-life. Benzos? Used sparingly, they are/were a relief, but I didn't want to get addicted, so never more than once or twice per week. Z-drugs? Helped slightly falling asleep, but that wasn't my problem. I had developed intractable and aggressive sleep maintenance insomnia. I also started having problems with chronic pain and spasms along my surface muscles mostly in my lower extremities, but also around my chest. All of that has persisted since then, but by far the most disruptive is the insomnia. I've managed to get back up to 5-6 hours according to my Fitbit Alta HR, but I still feel exhausted most of the time. And too often, I won't sleep at all and will end up reading in another room to avoid screwing up my sleep hygiene. At this point, I've gotten that to a science: pink noise, blue blockers 2 hours before bed, 300mcg melatonin 1 hour before bed, bedroom only used for sleeping, no TV or electronic devices late at night, etc. I did CBTI with a sleep psychologist, and he said I was doing everything right. But of course that won't undo neurological damage, nor will it prevent me from waking up at 4:30 AM to use the bathroom, and being unable to fall back asleep afterwards. This has taken a huge toll on my QOL, and I wish I never even heard of SSRIs. I'm not suicidal, but my sense of humor on the subject has gotten considerably darker. I used to be the kind of person who would sleep through an air-raid siren. It always took me longer to fall asleep than most (30+ minutes), but I slept like the dead. Now it feels like I wake up at the slightest provocation, and if my Fitbit is at all accurate, my slow-wave deep sleep is about half what it should be for someone my age. I briefly considered going back on Lexapro, if even just for some relief, but then I remembered it put me here in the first place, and I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy. Then I read that might not work anyway. I can't go back in time and slap the prescription out of my hand, or explain to myself about implementing a much slower taper, so I feel like I'm basically SOL. It's been almost four years, and I'm still fighting this. I've even begun watching for research that we finally discover how to manually trigger various sleep phases, and stumbled across the recent studies on the VLPO region of the brain. I'm desperate and poking at anything I can find. I'm just so tired.
  2. Hi I took effaxor for 5 months 75mg. I stopped 4.5 months ago and still stuck with PSSD. How hopeful should I be, do people here recover substantially from PSSD?
  3. Hi--I'm so glad this site exists. I took my last dose of Prozac on December 15, 2018. 3 days later, what I call the Horror, began. I had been on ssri's for over 20 years during which time I had become constantly sick. It never occurred to any doctor that my illnesses were medication related. Eventually I began to link studies of the ssri's to my problems. I tapered over a 6 month span, and now realize with the discovery of SA that it was probably too quick. I'm frightened because I still don't sleep well, suffer from akinesia, bone-crunching depression, suicidal ideation, especially in the night and mornings, tinnitus, extreme weight loss, blurred vision, and obsessive ruminations. This mental state is a million times worse than anything I experienced before starting on Zoloft. At that time, my husband had been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and during the first 2 years Zoloft did seem to help me cope. After that, it never worked the same, though the dose was consistently increased. Eventually my doctor had read that Zoloft was associated with an increased risk of stroke in those over 60, and he switched me to Prozac. Over these years I lost my hair, had an oophorectomy for cysts on my ovaries, had appendix removed, two heart attacks, and was put on Enalapril for HBP, Metformin for diabetes. I always had digestive problems during this time--including hiccups! And terrible sweating-- Three days after my last dose of Prozac, I was admitted to ER with BP of 250/150ish. Administered clonidine. Back to ER again about a week later with same high BP which had never gone down. My urine was pink. My body and mind could barely function. I was given a diagnosis of Serotonin Syndrome by the ER toxicologist. Since then I have tapered off the Ace inhibitor in 2019, and Metformin, the last dose being in March 2020. About 8 months in, it seemed I might be improving somewhat, but the final withdrawal from Metformin has set me back again. A couple of months ago, the mental nightmare had become so unrelenting I considered reinstating, but haven't. I still can't watch movies, read novels, or enjoy music the way I did. But the good news is that my blood pressure is now normal. This month I've slowly returned to my job part time after nearly a year away. Thank you for all that you all contribute here. I hope I can offer support as well. Your journeys mean a ton to me--life rafts, in fact. Zoloft: 1995 - 2015 Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from July to December) Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019 Enalapril: 2010 - 2019 Lipitor: 2017 -2017 Metformin: 2000 - 2020 Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019 Levothyroxine: 2000 - Happy to be here, Arbor
  4. hope for improvement- very difficult time- not sure pssd or protracted withdrawal or both i am a 29 year old female who teaches kindergarten and loves my family and puppy. I would really like to feel like myself again. basically I was on and off Lexapro 5 and sometimes 10 mg the last two years. As well as Xanax or Benadryl few nights a week to sleep. A few months on, stopped due to sexual side effects, those always went away and then I went back on due to severe anxiety. Longest period I was on them was January 2021 through July 2022. Then a month off and picked back up in August 2022 through November 22. I had the classic withdrawal symptoms of brain zaps lethargy and headache each time, some times worse than others. This last time I was on Wellbutrin as well simultaneously and didn’t notice it being as uncomfortable. Then I went to start taking a few doses of 5mg Lexapro in February due to anxiety but didn’t continue due to sever genital numbness that went away I thought. I stayed on Wellbutrin until end of February then stopped. Noticed intermittently some sexual side effects like slight numbness a few times and delayed orgasm. But no other issues and felt great and like myself. took some 5htp supplements for anxiety. Then beginning of May I notice I feel depressed, mood is low, gaining weight, headache, easily upset, little arousal and delayed orgasm. Ask to go back on Wellbutrin and immediate boost in everything- feel hyper sexual, etc. but big bouts of severe anxiety and panic about health and safety and job. cue more panic about why this big difference in sexual functioning and lots of researching, stop Wellbutrin, fall into crippling anxiety about pssd- psych prescribed low dose buspar which I took only a few doses, Xanax sparingly. since late May I’ve stopped everything. It was awful at first. Then things seemed to be getting better emotionally and sexually for a few weeks. Now they seem worse! I have no energy, even less sensation down there, feel anhedonic now which I didn’t before, and like I can’t get out of bed. I used to love poetry and now it just isn’t the same. Emotionally blunted and just overall very blah. I’m singly and going to be 30 soon and always went crazy for handsome men, and now it’s just not happening. Nothing seems to get me excited sexually or otherwise. Sometimes I am able to cry and emote strongly and other times I’m not. I have insane insomnia sometimes with akathasia where I am very restless and move my legs and toss and turn continuously. Perpetual headache. Eyes hurt. Occasional tinnitus. Sometimes dpdr. Anxiety turned to severe depression now. Sometimes when I can convince myself things will pass and get better and I can have an enjoyable day. But that is getting harder. i read the pssd forums and there are some recoveries but everything out of Dr. Healy is so permanent and soul crushing. I am looking for help and hope. The SD is not even the concern anymore, I want to feel excited and happy and energetic again. Is there hope for me?
  5. MOD NOTE: See this post for information about Dominal Hello everybody, first excuse for the english I'm from Germany but hope that everything is understandable. Also sorry that the story is a little longer. I am male 41 years old. In 2003, my doctor prescribed Paroxetine (Paxil) for me. Diagnosis depression. Today I do not believe it anymore. One year later I tried to abruptly stop what went wrong of course, as I approached my doctor he said I should just take it all my life. I thought maybe I was sick and so took the stuff like many others. I have not thought about it for a long time and kept taking it, mostly 20mg some time also 40mg. but the last few years 20mg. Over the years, I had more and more stomach problems, everything was clarified and found nothing in recent years, the stomach problems were getting worse so I weighed only about 60kg at 1.85m height and I finally came to the fact that it must be the paroxetine. So I informed myself on the internet (unfortunately not thoroughly enough) and reduced the paroxetine from August to December 2018 in 4 week intervals 20mg, 10mg, 7,5mg, 5mg, 2,5mg all about without scales. that works good I had in between brainzaps and my stomach problems were not better but otherwise almost no problems. I took my last 2.5mg pill one week before Christmas 2018. About 2 weeks later I could not sleep in some nights, I thought that was over. In the middle of January I could not sleep at all and there was a lot of dizziness. I briefly took zolpidem for a total of maybe 5-7 tablets over two to three weeks. I was only able to sleep for 2-3 hours with zolpidem. Then I researched further and found the German forum they advised me to try again dosing that I did it after 7 weeks. Only 0.25mg then 0.5mg, etc. the dizziness disappeared but the insomnia remained. Then I stupidly continued high doses Gradually to 5mg but the insomnia has remained. then I went to a clinic that increased the paroxetine to 10mg and only prescribed trimipramim 25mg from which I was able to sleep a little bit and then switched to Dominal 40mg after 4 weeks. My sleep did not get much better and it became more and more scary until today. I stayed for 4.5 months on 10mg Paroxetine and 40mg Dominal which I temporarily increased to 60mg in the meantime but also brought no success. In the meantime, I have reduced paroxetine again, my current medication is 8.5mg Paroxetine in the morning and 45mg Dominal in the evening. I am absolutely terrible for 12 months and cannot work. It's changing all the time, but it's still terrible. Although I have physical symptoms such as shaking, freezing, transpire, sore muscles, internal vibration, moving like a robot etc. but the mental are the worst and I do not know how long I can stand it. meanwhile I can sleep mostly 3-6 hours at night it is a bad easy sleep and feels totally different in the old days. I hardly ever have windows, sometimes I feel 50% like in the past. The worst of all is the fear she comes in the morning from 5 o'clock and then increases in the immeasurable I can barely breathe, before 12 o´clock sometimes has to go to the toilet 7 times (in German we say for the big job) but not because of the stomach but out of fear. I curl up in fear and can barely stand upright. it is a feeling to be crushed. and to go crazy. I have to cry in despair because I cannot stand it anymore. I've read a lot about the morning cortisol boost. but in my case, it actually has to be more that feeling and that fear often lasts until the evening and is indescribable. The second thing that worried me a lot and where I have not read in any form is that I have absolutely no peace as soon as I am awake I have no peace anymore I can barely sit, let alone rest or relax my body is always on full power a continuous flight or fight mode without a break for 11 months. and the worst thing ever is sometimes I'm so exhausted that I can barely move then I'm sitting somewhere and then something hard to explain. I fall like in a trance my eyes fall to it the body they go back I sometimes see pictures half open eyes closed like daydreams I often did not know have eyes closed or were they open. 1 second later I do not remember the picture and I see again with my eyes open. I ´ve also have that for 11 Month. and my biggest justified fear is that I'll never get rid of it and get stuck in a Daydream or psychosis. When I consciously close my eyes during the day, my stomach immediately contracts and I get scared. I have read a lot and also posted in the German forum. So now I know a lot about these devil stuff and about cortisol, histamine and also the paroxetine which is probably the worst ssri. Meanwhile, I have a theory why I am in a state of emergency. Of course, when I reduced last year, I was way too fast and my nervous system has gone into the absolute alarm mode. then I dosed in much too late and went up too far again. meanwhile I do not tolerate the Paroxetine anymore and it does not work anymore so I'm still hanging in the withdrawal last year. In addition, I probably have many side effects due to intolerance my body actually does not want the paroxetine anymore. if I reduce now come the next withdrawal symptoms of one and the same drug. and the Dominal does not really help me, at least I do not notice any tiredness even an hour after taking it. my nervous system is just too irritated. I read a part of the story of altostrata at the beginning of the German forum and was shocked since then I cannot get it out of my head and I think what if you feel the same way. Paroxetine and insomnia it's the same thing. It has been a daily struggle for survival for a very long time without being able to find peace or relax. My brain is working 24 hours a day. As soon as I try to find peace and quiet during the day, I get scared as if the mind wants to point me to danger. I often describe the condition as if the mind is separate from the body. I feel this often in exhaustion my body wants to rest and relax but the mind does not allow it. actually I know that there is only one way no doctor in the world and no one else can help me there is only one way I have to get rid of the paroxetine and this is probably only with slow reduce. although I feel so bad and it is a daily struggle for survival. I still have few questions and although can I do anything to make my situation bearable its on the edge of ability to live. If necessary, I take 0.5mg Tavor but only every few weeks and it almost does not work. I have many symptoms but the fear of going crazy and sleep is the worst. So, is this the right way to continue stubbornly every 4-6 weeks to reduce 5% -10%, or do I have to continue pausing to try to achieve stability, but i think i can´t reach that? the second question is I have read in some other threats that Altostrata recommends changing from about 5mg paroxetine to prozac. I never heard that. I was thinking of not taking any other SSRI. so I could write much more but now I come to the end and thank you in advance !! Kind regards Arti
  6. Extremely severe PSSD at 20, need help ASAP I had been on venlafaxine for 3 years up until February when I was told by my doctor to taper off over a span of a few weeks. I had no withdrawal symptoms initially but since around May a very large amount of physical and mental symptoms have manifested and gradually seemed to have gotten worse over time. I have been on 150 mg of wellbutrin for about a month after being admitted to the psych ward due to the mental state I am in, helped quite a bit in the early days but seems to have worn off or is making me worse. Currently taking magnesium and fish oil to combat head issues, but I just can't take this anymore and its only been a couple months of symptoms when many others here have had them last for years - Severe brain fog, constant - Short-term memory loss, unable to remember names and faces of anyone new I meet - Regular migraines, three times a week and usually develops towards end of day - Pressure feeling banded around head, constant - Visual snow, even more severe when eyes are closed - Blurred vision - Extremely severe dullness of emotions, totally unable to feel love, happiness, anger. Crying is extremely difficult and takes effort and extreme distress. Cannot even laugh. Constant - Total loss of creativity, unable to come up with original ideas - Mind feels completely blank and thoughts are not racing like they used to. Did improve with wellbutrin but not even close to 100% - Inability to compile thoughts, not capable of thinking of even half of these symptoms without writing them down ahead of time - Social skills completely disappeared, went from being talkative to socially paralyzed and cannot come up with the words to say. Maintaining conversations causes mental agony, have to fake emotions - Difficulty finding words I previously used regularly in my vocabulary - Extremely severe depression, feeling of total hopelessness all the time. This DID NOT develop until after other head symptoms, head issues popped up during a content period of my life - Feeling of dizziness and strange vision when moving head back and forth - Occasional severe confusion and total disorientation. Happens probably once every few days for an hour or two - Feeling of being in a dream or a daze, feel like I'm spectating someone else living my life - Extremely vivid dreams, seem more real than reality - Occasional sensitivity to light - Total loss of appetite, eating anything more than a very small quantity of food makes me nauseous. This developed about two weeks ago, much later than other symptoms. Went very quickly from eating a lot to eating nothing - Total lack of interest in any hobbies that I was in love with a month prior - Irregular stool, liquid most of the time. - Constant exhaustion - Muscle weakness and soreness - Nausea - Heart pounding when I lay down, distracting when I try to sleep - Heart palpitations - Sharp chest pain. - Insomnia, have been taking melatonin to put me to bed but I wake up very early in the morning and cannot go back to sleep due to how horrible I feel - Brain zaps, seem to have lessened recently but were often - Stiff neck - Total loss of sexual interest. Extremely difficult to get and maintain an erection - Shriveled penis - Pins and needles sensation occasionally in fingers - Stiff neck for a few hours a day - Lower back pain - Itchy red bumps popping up all over - Derealization. Hoping to God that this is just a bad dream or a hallucination. I feel like a shell of myself to say the least, feel as if I have died Much of this was copied from my post on the pssd subreddit from a few weeks ago, I would write a new summary of my issues but my brain has gotten so much worse that I am seriously struggling to even read and write and I am totally forgetting what medications I am on and such. I honestly do not even care about the sexual or other physical side effects because my head condition is so awful. I am in total crisis mode and need relief like right now, I don't know who to turn to because people in my life just do not understand what is going on, I have been to the hospital 4 times in the past couple months for these issues and have been given a different and stupid diagnosis each time, the last time was when they had enough and put me in the psych ward for a week. I did not want to take any meds but I felt it was forced upon me with how bad my condition was and I have been totally stuck on wellbutrin since. Its helping a little but I am terrified about staying on it as I believe my condition will worsen as it has and I am also terrified of going off of it because my condition will also worsen then. I have been to several doctors and psychiatrists and they are just trying to give me more ssris and such and do not believe I am still having withdrawal from venlafaxine. I have completely lost all sense of self and my memory is getting worse and worse by the day, I am forgetting the names of family members and massive events that happened in my life. In my hopsital visits I was blood tested every time, urine tested every time, given a CT scan on my brain, EKGs and such and nothing came up abnormal except for magnesium being low. My brain is in such bad condition, it feels like I am completely incapable of feeling any sort of stimulation and I am clearly declining mentally and emotionally on a day-by-day basis. I am on the verge of trying re-instatement or just going back to the hospital so they put me on more drugs because this is so unbearable I don't even know if I can last another day. Caffeine, alcohol, and small amounts of junk food have caused me severe crashes and I am extremely hyper-aware of literally everything I put in my body. I do not feel anything besides pain and fear, I know there probably isnt much that people here can help with but I am looking for a miracle here. This is unbelievable pain and if I make it through this it will certainly be the most I will ever have to struggle in my life, but I am seriously doubting my ability to recover due to the severity of my case and it seemingly getting worse. I have appointments with a neurologist and GI doctor but they are backed up and it will be 6 weeks until I can see them. I live with my parents because I'm 20 and cant work or drive or do anything in this condition and they are also going through torture because of how unbearable it is to be around me like this
  7. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  8. hello. i'm going to attempt an introduction. i reserve any possible ambition about a coherent, comprehensive history for a potential future recovery success story. i'll do what i can for now. first and foremost, THANK YOU to everyone here at SA. THANK YOU for starting this website, for contributing, for keeping it going, for sharing, for being here, for fighting the good fight. in regards to tapering safely i did not find you in time; but since i found you it has helped immeasurably. before i found SA i'd been suffering through PW and PAWS for well over 3 years with no clear understanding of what the F was happening to me. although i had a working strategy of how to approach the embodied experience i was living, it took up a lot of energy not having an official explanation. i had a kind of makeshift, workaround idea along the lines of "maybe this is latent C-PTSD that has surfaced in the wake of SSRI cessation" and "clearly my nervous system is hypersensitive and destabilized, and i am intolerant of stress, possibly also as a result of a lifetime of chronic stress and trauma", etc. somewhat luckily these working hypotheses led me to a variety of tools that were entirely applicable to dealing with withdrawal syndrome, and so, ultimately, i was practicing many of the same non-drug coping strategies that i have since seen recommended on this site. for years i was on my own and it was trial and error. the bottom line is, it has been so much better since finding SA and knowing that i'm not alone and finally figuring out, "oh, this is what's going on!" (not that one cannot have C-PTSD / chronic stress / or the like in addition to WS, but WS is certainly also its own thing in addition to whatever underlying vulnerabilities may present) anyway -- THANK YOU to everyone for everything. i am currently in my fifth year of protracted withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome following an incorrect, too-fast taper of lexapro/escitalopram that basically amounted to CT + decades' worth of going on and off dozens of different psych drugs/cocktails, incl. most recently vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine, etc. i don't have energy or access right now to write in more detail about the long and illustrious drug history and the numerous failed attempts to get out of psychiatry (it's clear to me now that i've been in protracted withdrawal with PAWS multiple times before, but at the time i didn't know what it was and when i sought help consistently received a new and more extreme diagnosis every time; it seemed, according to psychiatry, that i was getting sicker and sicker, and would get more heavily drugged each time around -- psychiatry suffers from munchhausen by proxy in its absurd closed-loop system) bottom line -- TODAY I AM DRUG-FREE. i was first committed to a psych ward as a minor (below the age of consent), that's where i was first drugged. i clearly remember being so overmedicated that my hands were shaking non-stop, i couldn't properly hold a fork to eat or a pencil/pen to write. i fainted in the shower. i knew it was the drugs, i knew they were giving me too much, i know i said as much. i have no recollection of being listened to. my first ever "psychotic episodes" also occurred during this first ever hospitalization, subsequent to which my diagnosis was augmented to include my being labeled as "psychotic". i am convinced the sensory hallucinations were caused by the drugs they were giving me. i have spent my entire adult life thus far (approx. 17 y.o. - 42 y.o.) under the influence of psychiatric drugs. WTF. although i am currently drug-free i don't consider myself out of the woods yet as i'm still very much in recovery and reeling from the extensive physiological and psychological/existential harm. i cannot even begin to really truly process that. i don't dwell on it, i try not to think about it, really, although of course the thoughts come occasionally, but for the most part i let them pass bc my thinking is currently rather unreliable and murky, colored as it is by WS (monkey mind chatter which does not allow for proper processing). maybe one day when my cognitive/emotional/spiritual/etc. capacities are healed, if it is still relevant and required, i will mourn any loss as necessary. for now i sometimes touch upon grief (primarily on behalf of our collective loss and the tragedy of psychiatric violence afflicting countless human beings and indeed our global ecosystem as a whole) but my mind is too feeble to truly grasp the staggering atrocity / swirling galaxy of bullsh*t. for the time being i'm mostly just sorta left stunned and reeling; and sometimes in a moment of clarity i feel a call to arms and long to spring into action and up onto the barricades (etc.), but i lack the abilities for any kind of follow-through, which can be distressing as i think, "i'm not doing my part to save my fellow suffererers out there!" in these moments i have to remind myself that first i have to get better, and for now i just gotta hang on to my own life raft, bc that's pretty much all i can do, and most of the time it's a tall order as is, at least for now. i have to tell myself that what i cannot currently comprehend, is not currently my job. i try to do the tasks i am able to do, that is what is for me to do here and now. for example: currently i am able to shower once a week, sometimes twice a week. i am able to do a gentle yoga session about once a week. leaving the house is very difficult, but i manage to get out about twice a week. i am able to do my own grocery shopping (usually once a week), which brings me a sense of satisfaction and purpose. i am able to cook for myself (i've been on a self-designed, tried-and-true nutritional regimen for a couple of years now, which works quite well for me); nourishing myself is a vital part of my day and one of the few ways i'm able to actively engage with life on a daily basis. there are many, many things i'm unable to do and many, many ways in which i'm functionally disabled. i don't feel like getting into that now. in this moment i'd like to focus on markers of progress. for example: here i am, writing an introduction post. i have not posted here before bc writing and verbal communication, esp. disembodied/virtual kind without being in the physical presence of the other person, is something that has been extremely difficult for me in withdrawal and continues to be very, very challenging. so this is really hard and scary right now; and at the same time it is a marker of progress that i am able to be here writing this at all, since for so long i have not been able to and now i'm giving it a try. we'll see how it goes. these days i feel like i'm in my little WS groove. doing my thing, doing the best i can. i tell myself that this too shall pass -- based on the accounts of people on this site and the many success stories, it's possible to recover and heal. i trust that this is true; which means that there's a finite number of WS days/hours/moments (that number is unknown and unknowable, i call it X). and so it follows that every single day/hour/moment of WS-related suffering is 1 down, X to go and brings me that much closer to the conclusion. this is my way of conceptualizing the unpleasantness and discomfort as healing-in-process. instead of thinking of it as "i'm still sick" (which connotates stuck-ness and static state), reminding myself "i'm continously healing" (which conveys movement and development and some notion of constructive progress). it's very, very hard. i do feel like things are getting better ... lately one of the odd things about feeling better is that the WS symptoms have decreased somewhat in intensity, and now that some of the WS symptoms are less extreme, it's as though it's less clear to me that they are indeed WS symptoms. i sometimes find myself thinking, "wait, what if this particular thing is no longer WS and now this is just 'me'?" overall i tell myself that this line of thinking is still WS, as these are "anxiety thoughts" and fear-based, and i pay them as little mind as possible. it's a strange sign of progress that as WS is gradually lessening in intensity the lines between "syndrome" and "self" seem to be blurring more and more. this is, of course, compounded by an underlying all-pervasive tension around the question, "who am i?" at this point i accept that i have no idea who i am. i don't know who i am now, i don't know who i was before, i don't know who i will be after. my sense of identity is flimsy at best, i have difficulty with any sense of continuity or understanding "me", "my life", or anything along those lines. it's okay. i'm not sure my sense of self has ever been that strong to begin with. i don't know where i'll be dumped at the end of this fun-house-mirror-lined chute of WS bizarro-world ... it's kinda funny sometimes, when i think about it. it's all so absurd. all these illusions and so many people out there running around all serious and self-important and convinced of what's "real". maybe i'll feel like that one day, who knows? ... (feel free to skip to the end of the book, eh?) anyway. i don't have much more to say for now. this is the most words i've used in any one sitting in any context possibly in years. i mostly don't like social contact due to conventions/exigencies of verbal communication (i don't mind context of shared social presence as long as there is no speaking/conversation involved) and so i spend most of my time alone. i'm actually surprised this many words have come out of me! and now i'm babbling, i've got the feeling this is all very messy. but the most important part is: ABSTRACT hello. thank you. i'm here. ain't that a trip with love, "me" 1996-2018: various polypharmacy combinations incl. SSRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzodiazepines, stimulants, etc. (approx. 30+ different drugs over the years) 2018 - inadvertently CTed lexapro/escitalopram from 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg (over the course of 6 months, and under the "supervision" of a psychiatrist whom i trusted at the time) July 2018 - 0mg lexapro/escitalopram 2017 - 2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 70mg 2020 - 2021 - tapered off of vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine from 70mg down to 0mg (gradually but unsystematically and probably too quickly) July 2021 - 0mg vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine February 2022 - 0mg - no psychopharmaceuticals - no drugs/medications of any kind supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 2mg melatonin at 9pm
  9. I started taking MMJ two years ago to help “manage” my anxiety so I could come off of 50 mg of Amitriptyline and .50 of Klonopin. My doctor was completely on board with this as he said it’s “natural” and really wanted me off Klonopin. This past February I ended up accidentally overdosing on MMJ and started to hallucinate. I was told my metabolism must have changed and that I would have to readjust the dose. Even in my state of mind I knew that was a horrible idea and CT’ed the MMJ. I had NO idea what I was doing or what was in store for me. I was put on 2 mg of Abilify and was told that it would help “speed the withdrawal process.” I never even decreased the Amitriptyline or Klonopin the entire time I took the MMJ. I was told after a month to just stop the Abilify. I can’t even attempt to describe the terror I felt the next two months. I had de realization, depersonalization, disordered thinking, panic attacks, it goes on and on. I didn’t sleep AT ALL the first month and then the second month I was getting 1-2 hours a night. I didn’t even know that it was physically possible to go that long without sleep. I developed paradoxical insomnia as well as a fear of insomnia. I stopped the Ability after one month. I decided by the third month I would taper the Amitriptyline since I initially took it for sleep and it wasn’t helping. Did I mention I had NO idea what I was doing? I went from 50mg to 6mg in two months. I honestly was about to throw in the towel at this point and go on an antidepressant but then found this site. I knew at this point I was in PAWS from MMJ but didn’t realize cutting the Amitriptyline this fast was a contributing factor. I thought that this was my “mental illness” coming back. I increased back to 10 mg in July and am holding steady. I am currently on 10 mg Amitriptyline and .50 mg Klonopin. Seven months later I still have a lot of issues. More importantly I have a lot of hope. I worked with a wonderful hypnotist and am at the point where I don’t worry about sleep. I eat well and exercise every day. I practice gratitude and am learning to live in the moment. I still wake up every 1-2 hours a night; most nights I fall back asleep and I am grateful for that. I’m learning to observe my thoughts and use my anxiety and fear as guides. I am already the strongest person I know. I’m only starting my journey but wanted to share early hope for those that may be struggling with acceptance. I also want to thank everyone on this site, you have been a part of my journey.
  10. I'm writing to hopefully get some insight, see if anyone had problems they assumed were WD, but turned out to be something else that once addressed led to noticeable improvement, and see if anyone has symptoms not shared by most others here (i.e. my insane hunger/destroyed cues). Even if you don't read this whole post (long, sorry) answering 2 or 3 would be great! Long story short, I was recovering from anorexia when put on Celexa. My body was unstable then, and the drugs made it worse. A month in I had increased hunger, looser bowel movements, insomnia, etc. Slowly I developed food sensitivities, dairy first, then gluten, and now it seems a whole host of things. Recently went to a gastro, was diagnosed with sibo. Took xifaxan for 2 weeks, saw some really good improvement the first week, then worsened the 2nd. Back to where I started before the antibiotic by now. I'm struggling to determine if the sibo is what has actually caused my food sensitivities, leaky gut, increased hunger, weight gain (really driving me crazy, especially since I worked so hard to gain weight/stay stable after anorexia), etc. or if my gut is just messed up b/c of the meds and sibo is a result, reinforcing the above issues. Part of me doesn't think it's entirely WD, since I don't see many people here with the problems I'm facing. But hunger, etc. problems got to be the worst both times I tapered before, slowly evening out to my state now (not driving me suicidal) which makes me think the sibo/issues are tied to WD (also since the sibo problems seemed to come back immediately after the antibiotic). I'm going crazy trying to figure everything out (between anorexia recovery, celexa side effects, and now WD, I don't know what 'stability' is). Keep messing around with my diet in the meantime, with little success. moderator note: SIBO = small intestine bacterial overgrowth
  11. I have been off zoloft for 14 months and still have nausea and anxiety. I am considering reinstatement but have read on the forum that it might be a bad idea after such a long time. . I'm scared to try it and make matters worse.
  12. First of all I want to apologize for my language as I am not a native speaker. I am a 37, female. Had an episode of major depression in the teenage years, which had completely resolved with a six months duration of prozac treatment. did not have withdrawal in that period. Until this year I did not have anxiety disorder or major depression, and did not used any antidepressants. In may I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder (after a major gastric surgery) and prescribed escitalopram. But could not tolerated as I have gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Then the psychiatrist prescribed mirtazapine 7,5 mg (for insomnia) and tianeptine (Stablon, an atypical tricyclic antidepressant) 12,5 mg 3x1. after 2 months I gave up mirtazapine cold turkey (as told by the doctor). withdrawal: anxiety, lightheadedness for 3-5 days, but severe nausea for 3 weeks. at the 3 months duration of tianeptine treatment. I got sinusitis and used clarithromycin (just 1 tablet), and ended up with severe anxiety, agitation, nausea, palpitations, insomnia. although the doctor did not agreed with me, I gave up tianeptine cold turkey (3 months, 12,5 mg 3x1). today is the 46 th day. I still have withdrawal symptoms: nausea, severe gastritis, insomnia (not every night), severe severe depression, sometimes anxiety. Am I right? Is it withdrawal or my depression is back?
  13. Hey, I want to intodruce myself on this site because I´m suffering a lot from the Paxil withdrawal even though I have not taken Paxil for a very long time. I was prescribed to Paxil in January 2016 because of a Burn Out / Depression. While Cipralex has not taken the huge panic from me when my Depression/Burn Out started my Doctor said we should try Paxil. My mood was very quickly a lot better with the help of Cipralex but the panic was huge. I´ve never experienced a depression in my life so it was very frigthening to feel such a huge impact in such a negative way. Anyways after about 1 Month on Cipralex my doctor decided to switch on Paxil because "he made good experiences" with this drug. I asked him on which dose I should take it whereon he answered that 40mg should be fine. At this time I had no experiences with Antidepressents so I completly trusted his words and I took my first pill. I remember the first day on Paxil I woke up in the middle of the night and my whole body was tingling and I´ve sweated a lot. There were a few more symptoms but I can´t really remember this time. So after 5 month on 40mg I decided to quit Paxil. (See from my signature) As the symptoms from my depression slowly dissapeared I felt more and more that new symptoms are getting stronger. At this time I thought that I still suffer from my depression and that it will never ever end although I was doing sports at least 3 times a week and going to the psychologist once a week to talk about my problems which really helped me in a way. It´s hard to put my thoughts and epxeriences since 2015 in proper english so I hope you guys can understand me. So in October 2016 I found a german forum for problems with antidepressent and they were very helpful with me and my symptoms. This was the first time someone told me how dangerous Paxil can be and how tremendous the effects to some people on paxil are. They also tried to convince me to taper the drug really slowly off but I thought the earlier my body is clear from this drug the earlier I get my old life back. The impact when I stopped taking Paxil 6 month ago were massive. While tapering it off it was really hard sometimes as well but the time I reached 0mg felt like the hell on earth. I wake up every morning with the feeling I just came out of a night club where I drank a bottle of vodka and snorted 1 g of cocaine. These are the symptoms I suffered the whole time on paxil. Some became stronger the lower I got, some started to fade away and some dissapeared. I copied some from a success story because it is exactly the same hope its okay: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, lots of preassure in my head, floating head feeling, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, my brain was not able to give the "command" watch left before you cross the street even though I know how to do it ?!, derealization, feeling of never getting healthy again, feeling quite healthy for a few days and then feeling like dying again, intense nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night sweaty with delusions and disorientation, sometimes things seemed to moved very slowly or a street looked like it never ends or I was walking treadmill. As I said some dissapeared but some like the derealization or the dizziness, mood swings, ear buzzing, brain fog and so on are still there. But I´ve the windows and waves which is a good sign, right? I´m writing you because I can´t find something similar in the german forum. Next to the symptoms above I´m suffering a lot from Injuries. Almost every month I have a new injury and today I´m not able to do any sports because of the inflammation of my muscles and tendons. Sport was the only thing besides meditation which helped me to cope with the symptoms. A few days ago I was at my doctor again and we did a full blood analysis. He called me one day later and told me that my blood is totally fine but my CK-Level is very high (1200) normal is ca 200. I called a neurologist which checked me at the same day with a few standard tests. They were all good as well. Last year I checked my thyroid & my brain with MRT everything completely normal. Do you have experiences with injuries during wd? Is it normal to suffer a lot from Paxil even though I´ve taken it only for 1 year? I read that Paxil can cause damage on the immune system? Is this the reason for my injuries? If my immune system is damaged, is it for ever or can it heal like the brain? Best regards, Maggie
  14. My brain going into dream condition but not into sleep condition every night or day when ever I attempt to sleep I have believed the information about remote neural monitoring in all over internet and browsed internet 2 years heavily which resulted heavy thought process ,doubts and suspicion over near and dear. So I went to a psychiatrist and requested to bring me out of heavy thoughts.He made me use lorazepam for 10 days ,risperidone and trihexyphenidyl combination drug for 30 days.After 30 days my thoughts reduced so I did not go to doctor again.What a mistake ,I was ignorant of how psychiatry medicines work and slow tapering nor my doctor warned me while prescribing an anti psychotic.It is happened in july 2016. From then my brain going into dreams when ever I attempt to sleep.In october 2016 again I went to the same doctor and reported about the condition I am in.He prescribed olanzapine silently.I started using olanzapine ignorantly and innocently.When i was experiencing stomach upset that is when I researched in the internet about risperidone and olanzapine. Now this is june 2017 I have tapered risperidone and olanzapine safely and became drug free safely.But the thing is my brain still into dream condition and not allowing me to sleep when ever i attempt.My querry is what risperidone and trihexyphenidyl and lorazapam [10 days]did to my brain?what chemicals they blocked.Now stopping them cold turkey did what on my brain?what chemical i should take to get my sleep pattern back.?If I wait patiently with time will the brain correct its condition naturally?Any brain researcher please help.
  15. Hey guys, I'm just going to create a topic about myself, my current situation and my experience with antidepressants/benzos as well as ask for some advice for what to do next. This is going to be a full picture. Lorazepam = Ativan Sertraline = Zoloft I'm a 22 year old. Starting the 19th November - I caught respiratory infection due to being extremely stressed and highly anxious (never before seen in my life, literally pulling my hair out from irrational worries) Starting the 26th November - I started to get headaches and nausea, most likely due to this stress. On the 1st December - stress ended, but the nausea and loss of appetite with the headaches persisted. 20th December - I started to take a beta blocker for stress due to paranoia about the headaches (thinking it could be a tumour due to the continued headaches with loss of appetite) 23rd December - I was prescribed Sertraline to help with the stress and freaking out about the headaches and health issues. I took one pill, where I noticed my pupils went completely dilated for the next week. I didn't continue the drug after that one pill as it gave me insomnia. It may be worth considering serotonin syndrome? Around the 23rd December - I started to get a numbness squeezing/bandlike pain in my foot that climbed all the way up to the top of my leg over the next few days, my current hypothesis that this was either, stress, the beta blocker, or starting the sertraline that caused this. 25/26/27 December - I went to Accident and Emergency, where the Doctors thought I could have MS and didn't consider ask about current drugs. This sent me into a big spiral as I worried a lot about this. Around this time my headaches, nausea and loss of appetite stopped. 27th December - I started Lorazepam (2mg) 31st December - Started up Sertraline 50mg at the advice of the doctors to help with my stress. My head MRI came back fine, all normal (So not MS). 5th January - Muscle cramps, and widespread pain with bandlike sensations in legs and arms. 14th January - 3mg Lorazepam with and increase to 100mg advised by my doctor. 19th January - Tapered off lorazepam and started to notice stiffness in back, legs and wrists. 26th January - completed off lorazepam. 1st February - Reduction of symptoms around this time, except obvious lorazepam withdrawal of shaking and sweating. The only other symptom that persisted was very tight calves. 2nd February - Reduced to 50mg of Sertraline. 6th February - Started to get a whole host of symptoms -Burning Legs and lower spine, muscle spasms, vibrating left eye, nausea, diarrhoea, dark stools, less appetite, insomnia, numbness/tightness in limbs, vertigo, enhanced smell - (I could smell empty wine glass from the other side of the room, slight instability. 10th February - Reduction to 25mg Sertraline. 14th February - Saw a neurologist who told me the sertraline had nothing to do with this since I was on such a low dose, but also said everything seemed fine from an neurological assessment (I could walk fine, I could feel everything he done). Thus, he told me to stop taking the Sertraline completely. ( I now see this as a big mistake.) Present day (3rd March) - Many of those symptoms have gone, although currently persisting: Much rarer burning (less than before), muscle spasms (less than before), slight instability, nausea, tight bandlike sensations in legs and arms, hyper sensitivity to cold (causes pain if something too cold touches me, almost like my nerves are hyper sensitive to everything. I did start to have really bad physical ticks for a week after stopping the sertraline completely, but they seem to have stopped completely now. I also got brain zaps, but that seems to be very rare now. I was thinking about going back on the Sertraline to help with the burning sensations and muscle pains (and other symptoms.) It's interesting to note that these were also the same symptoms I had first coming on/ upping my sertraline dose. Does anyone have any advice whether it would be best to: A.) Wait out the withdrawal, and if so, how long until I'm back to normal again? Will these symptoms eventually go? The muscle tight band pain is definitely the worst effect I have. B.) Reinstate at a low dose. If so, how low a dose should I reinstate back at? How long should I stay on that dose for before dropping the dose? How much should I drop the dose? I also wonder if some of these effects could be lorazepam protracted withdrawal coinciding with the sertraline side effects/withdrawal. It seems the lorazepam could have been masking some of the side effects I may have had from the sertraline. Thank you for reading, any advice would be much appreciated. I'll be sure to return the favour once I'm well and help others suffering from withdrawal and antidepressant mis-advice from doctors.
  16. Hi All, I've been reading up on the forum for the last few months and decided i might put a post in as would be keen to hear your thoughts and also share my experience. I've been on Effexor XR for around 10 years in total. Original condition was OCD - obsessive thoughts about food poisoning and my food being drugged - didn't help that i would feel strange after eating food & then become anxious / paranoid about it. This resulted in depression along with inability to function in social settings and a downward spiral. Originally was on Paxil in the beginning which didn't really work and then was transferred to Effexor XR 150mg. Have been on 75mg for the last few years though. In all honesty the effexor worked great and it helped me pull myself together and make a good life for myself. Education, job, family etc. Then about 2 years ago i thought that my life was going really well, so i didn't need the effexor any more. Attempted to stop it without tapering which didn't last long due to the brain zaps. Then tried a second time by a slow tapering process over 6 months from 75mg to nothing. Got off it without too many side effects (brain zaps and irritability, brain fog mainly). The brain fog was a bit of an issue and i just didn't cope well with stress any more. An incident last year at work got me back on to the effexor and i started to feel better. Until.... About 3 months into starting the effexor again i started getting strange physical symptoms including numbness and tingling, nausea and the OCD returned - would only get the symptoms around 2-3 hours a night after eating and taking my effexor. Now i did change brands of effexor (generic) during that period and to be honest i cant remember if i took generic effexor or the branded one for the previous 9 years. I honestly don't know if these symptoms were caused by the effexor though or by something else. With the strange physical symptoms and resurgence of OCD i decided i would quickly taper off the effexor. I went down 60mg to nothing (erratically cutting dose amounts as quick as i could) in about 4 weeks. Its now been 2 months and i have had plenty of strange symptoms including hives, numbness / tingling in limbs, memory loss / confusion, headaches & constant pressure in forehead, some nausea, tightness in chest, strange physical sensations and stabbing pains, feeling like ive had allergic reactions. The WORST symptom i have experienced is derealization - I've been in a state where everything i see seems surreal and often wondered if i was actually in a coma. This seems to have gotten a little better over the last week so i hope to god that its not a permanent thing. The brain fog is quite annoying and affecting my ability to do my job - i work in IT so not being able to concentrate is a real problem. From what i have read on the forum i wouldn't class my experience anywhere near as bad as what some other people have been through. I would say the symptoms have ranged from mild to moderate, but i guess without knowing how long this is going to go on for its a bit depressing. I've been using fish oil and magnesium / b vitamins which seems to have helped - fish oil got rid of most of the brain zaps. I do have some questions for other people who might have gone through similar experiences. Has anyone tried using st johns wort during the withdrawal phase to counter effect the effexor withdrawal? Is a small re-instatement of effexor likely to result in a bad medication reaction after 2 months of not having it? Has anyone had the derealization symptom during withdrawal? Is this likely to improve? I had a cholesterol level test whilst i was on effexor which returned a high result. After coming off the effexor i had a second test done and my cholesterol was back to normal - no diet change or new medications etc. I read somewhere that effexor can increase cholesterol levels? I guess im at an impasse at the moment. Ive got a bit to loose if i cant 'pull' myself together. Getting off medications all together would be great, but if it means i need to battle this for a long time and possibly loose my job and have it affect my home life i may need to consider re-instatement of at-least a small dose or some other alternative. Im reluctant to try other drugs as effexor is the devil i know. I also know that if i restart the effexor and the symptoms go away and everything returns to normal im likely to stay on it for the rest of my life as i wont want to gamble with coming off it again. Anyways thanks for reading & if you have any thoughts or similar experiences feel free to share =)
  17. I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  18. I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years. Previous 4 years or so I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this. I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged. I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't. One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.
  19. hello all, i want to write to you about my experience with antidepressants. these drugs were damaging to me. after i quit these drugs( which i knew that i didnt need them at all), i was saying to my doctor that i wasn't bad like that before starting the drugs but he is obliged that this is the anxiety i have, but i sware i havn't like that at all. my problem wasn't with relation to anxiety disorder at all but it is very easy for a psychiatrist to put you on antidepressants, it is much more dangerous than they think. i will be sorry to tell you that i completed the way of weaning off of antidepressants 2 times before that time, and every time i take a long time for some problems to get better like equilibrium but because i think iam not fully ok like first and no doctor can give advice about waiting, i start to think that i cant live without the drugs although they were harmful and what makes it worse is that my problem i was suffering from isn't solved with drugs or without them but because stopping drugs make your nerves and body and mentality in a bad case, you be obliged to start them again and live any way but i cant accept that, i was ok before these poisons and some sessions and information and entertainment could help me with my problem or make it hide. i won't accept to live with half of my power because antidepressants force me to that. iam now weaning off of my last antidepressants use, i write this after about 5.5 months from very rapid taper. suffering from disequilibrium which i think will ned some more time to be ok and very bad depersonalization. iam sorry to tell that when i walk in the street i think plus to depersonalization that i cant see things and people but the good news is that every thing is getting better. i lived the experience it self before but without understanding any thing. i wish i waited before to all the withdrawals to go away and there i would have decided not to be back to antidepressants at all but i will wait this time. my suffer now is feeling my head is numb, cant think logically or form thoughts nor remember in details in addition to the depersonalization but these problems was very very severe at the beginning of weaning off and now a lot better but not totally improved. i think i will be better after a while and this time i will through antidepressants in the rubbish box.
  20. Hallo everyone. I am from Germany, so sorry for my "bad" english sometimes.. i am 32 years old and i took lexapro for 9 years. 27 months ago i quit lexapro "cold" from 4 mg to 0 mg. The time before i tapered off my medicament about 6 months from 10 to 4 mg. Later i recognized that it was much too fast. I got a lot of horrible(!) symptoms after quitting, i think the list of the withdrawal symptoms is too long to describe it now. I have accepted my protracted withdrawal now with many waves and a very small amount of little "windows". The strongest symptom now is the extreme fatigue. It is not a common tiredness , it is so heavy and it comes in waves, nearly every day. Most of the time it comes along with headaches and heart racing. , brain fog /and or depersonalisation. Sometimes i feel drunk or i have drunk alcohol the day before. This feeling is so bad and i wanted to know if anyone here has similar problems after lexapro or other antidepressants. It is to despair 😕 Thank you very much for your response!!🙂
  21. 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
  22. Hello. I have been on antidepressants since the late 1980’s. My first, for severe panic and anxiety, was Nardil. I was switched after three or so years to Paxil. Paxil gave me a movement disorder so I was then changed to Effexor around 1992 and Bupropion was added around 2000. On was on those two for the next eighteen years. In November of 2018 I thought I was starting to have movement disorder symptoms again which frightened me so much that I discontinued both medications abruptly, unaware of the consequences (Effexor 150 mg, Bupropion 100mg). This (Neurologist now calling it a severe Akathisia) went on for five months with no reinstatement of antidepressants during which time I also quit drinking alcohol thinking it might be a contributing factor. The movements resolved and stopped completely in April 2019. However, I then developed dizziness that is more of a swaying and am still suffering with this 14 months later. Some days it can be quite debilitating. As you can well assume, I have had everything tested medically and all are negative for anything that could be a cause or a concern. I still wonder if this is withdrawal, if there is anything I could do or try and if I will still heal? Oh, and I am 63. Thank you for reading. Any feedback is greatly welcome.
  23. Hi! i have been in Protracted Withdrawal for 2 years and 9 months and have been seeing healing and making progress until... i took a half dose of a laxative Miralax and had a slight reaction but was ok and later on that night i took my magnesium glycinate/magnesium oxide and it upped my reaction greatly. I basically had incredible burning nerve pain for hours on end. the next night scared of my constipation i took 1/4 dose of the laxative and had another bad reaction. Same thing burning nerve pain all over my intestinal tract and back. I did not take my magnesium combo that night. the next day things improved and i took all my supplements like always with no issues. the next day was good too until i took my magnesium/combo at night and had a horrible reaction. Same thing again with intense burning nerve pain all over my intestinal tract. First 24 hours after reaction: i only took 1 probiotic and 1 digestive enzyme so things could heal without causing issues. I reacted to my glaucoma eye drops that night though with twitching/spasms in my head all night First 48 hours after reaction: i took everything as normal except no magnesium and i didnt seem to have a reaction to my eye drops and at supper only had some muscle spasms but not that bad didnt even think it was a reaction. First 72 hours after reaction: Morning, lunch took supplements fine. Supper took digestive enzyme, fish oil, curcumin and had a reaction that lasted prob an hour, hour 15 min with bad spasms in my guts, hot flashes, tight feeling vocal cords, some slight burning nerve pain in my intestines/back. my daily regimin of supplements/medicines i take morning dose: 1 fish oil, 1 curcumin, 1 digestive enzyme, probiotics Lunch: 1 digestive enzyme evening dose: 1 fish oil, 1 curcumin, 1 digestive enzyme not taking magnesium anymore at this time bed time: 1 drop in each eye of my Latanoprost drops for glaucoma Ive already stopped my magnesium and am afraid if i stop my fish oil and curcumin then i wont be able to tolerate my glaucoma drops at night because the night i didnt take them i had a reaction to my eye drops. i dont know what to do. I was thinking of trying to split up my curcumin and fish oil and waiting 12 hours in between each one to see if that helps. For others of you this has happened to do you think the sensitivity will go away in a few days/weeks and is it ok to keep just letting the reactions happen even though they scare me until my body accepts them again? only other option is to just stop everything but my eye drops keep my glaucoma from advancing so im hesitant to just stop them. please help! I dont know what to do. Thank you!
  24. Hello Everyone I have been an observer of this site for the past 4 years, using it to guide me in coming off antidepressants and withdrawal. So, thank you all for all you've shared. I want to create an introduction finally, as I have gotten through what feels like the worst of the experience and would like to relate my current challenges. It seems that the experience of withdrawal itself created disruption in all my systems. I originally went on antidepressants for symptoms related to PTSD but they have had nothing to do with my healing from PTSD. Since the experience of withdrawal, which was for me a distinct period of windows and waves-experiencing a very wide range of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms that I had never experienced before-that lasted about 14 months, I have experienced complete changes in how my digestive, immune, endocrine, and autonomic systems are functioning. I never had any of these issues either before or during taking antidepressants, and many of the current issues I struggle with today started during withdrawal. For example, urinary frequency/urge incontinence, lack of menstruation and irregular periods, IBS, change in sex drive/sensation, chronic fatigue, chronic pain/stiffness, getting sick/infections more easily. I have seen 16 practitioners total ranging from the traditional to non for these issues and have had many tests done all coming back normal. I will say that I have been reviewing literature on this topic including scientific research (like I am sure many others on here have as well) over the past decade (since being put on medication). The only professional speculation that seems near the ballpark of what makes sense to be occurring is that withdrawal could have potentially caused limbic system dysregulation, and that while the windows and waves period of withdrawal has clearly been over for about 1.5 years, I have been left with the physiological after effects of that experience OR this is simply what protracted withdrawal looks like and things will get better over time. I do have an undying belief in the plasticity and healing capacity of the brain and body, and know that things will get better. My instincts are telling me now to try two things to help with these symptoms: working with the vagus nerve and programs like DNRS to help decrease overall inflammation and work with the brain. What are other people's thoughts are on this who experienced something similar? Is there any advice you'd give or things you've tried that helped return the brain and body to health other than time? I will say I recently attended the International Institute on Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal's 1st annual conference as well, so I am aware of the many limitations regarding understanding what is happening and resources to help. I will add briefly as well that keeping things simple, same, and steady worked great for me during withdrawal, along with the following practices (I also did not take supplements except those I was on already-vitamin D, magnesium, and omega 3): Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra (especially Molly Birkholm, she is amazing), Meditation, Walking in Nature, Painting/Drawing, Audio Books, Knitting, Comedy, Associative Awareness Technique Physical Therapy, Bob Lancer's The Method (on YouTube), Guided Visualizations, and being in loving, happy company. I do have an incredibly supportive partner as well who has never doubted my experience and this has helped immensely. Thank You
  25. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
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