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  1. 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
  2. Hello to all. I cannot write much or often due to tardive dyskinesia (or dystonia?) of my right eye, arm, neck, tongue and face. Reading, writing and using my phone, tablet and desktop exacerbate this condition. However, I would like to add my voice here and say two things that I feel are important: 1. You will in all likelihood get better - much better, and 2. If a moderator suggests that you reinstate, please read the horror stories of those of us who did not have that chance before you decide that you "do not want to go "backwards."" I believe I developed serious side effects in 2005 or 2006 including dyskinesia, but I did not know that the drugs could cause that. Before that, I developed anxiety in 2002 or earlier which I did not have to any appreciable degree before taking Celexa. I sit here now in disbelief that I suffered from increasing anxiety for 9 years on Celexa (and 5 years on Zoloft), and the doctors simply raised the dose, not by a little, but by 50 percent each time for Celexa. I also realize now that I developed dystonia in my feet and toes and my chest and neck, but I had no idea what it was, and doctors' appointments resulted in no doctor suggesting the medication could be the culprit. I didn't even know the terms dyskinesia or dystonia. No one mentioned them either. In 2011 I gave birth to a girl. That very night, the OB at the hospital switched me from Celexa 150 mg to Zoloft 10 mg with no cross taper, no advice and no warning of the Hell I was about to endure. After many nights with no sleep due to this switch I finally started to sleep again. Then, over the next 6 years the doctors kept raising the dose by large amounts despite increasing anxiety and what I now know to be akathesia, dyskinesia, and various other side effects including cognitive decline, increasing OCD, and inability to see reality. I threw more and more amazing parties, and I became a hoarder. Buying things on eBay became my job it seemed. I became obsessed with organizing my home, but it was impossible without a professional to help, and I could not see that. Until my child was about 4 I was functioning, but I thought I was a bad organizer, a bad mother, and a terrible wife. After having had horrendously stressful jobs that I managed pretty well, I could not understand why I was so bad at being a wife and mother with a much less stressful job. Eventually, I showed some signs of serotonin syndrome and mania, but I was probably spellbound by the medication (as Breggin suggests can occur.) I believed I was normal, right about everything, etc., and my husband could not convince me otherwise. I enjoyed all the energy I had and could not understand why almost everything I tried to do did not work. All my projects caused a lot of anxiety for me and my husband, it was nearly impossible to complete any of them, and I would often start a new one whilst struggling to complete a previous project. I could not believe what my husband was saying -- that a professional carpenter, bricklayer, party planner, etcetera would be needed. I began to cut corners or abandon plans in order to complete a project or be ready for a party. I had a great deal of trouble leaving the house by 2015. I could not be prepared for all of the possible disasters while I was out. I had to cancel or be late to many activities. I couldn't keep the house, cook or do laundry or organize clothing, toys, kitchen supplies, etc. I count NOT THINK straight at all. I became unable to socialize well by mid 2015. I stopped working in early 2016. I was not willing to cut corners for work so I stopped altogether intending to start again very soon. I could never do that. I continued to develop dystonia of my foot and toes and my neck and chest on my right side and slightly of my left toes, but, again, I didn't know these terms, I never connected this to Zoloft or Celexa, and I thought I was just not stretching or exercising enough. In late 2016 I decided to stop taking Zoloft. Using Xanax had worked for a few hours for anxiety, but I knew it was addictive. So, I used it only once every 3 days until I realized that after it wore off I became very angry. My child was 5, and I could not bear it if I yelled at her. I decided that discontinuing Zoloft was my only hope. If I micromanaged my child and taught her to feel anxiety over every mistake, I would not be able to live with that. I knew which behaviors were harmful to her even though my personality was utterly changed since I began medication. I could not, however, see how harmful my behavior was to my husband. He had begged me to stop with the projects and the hoarding, but I could not, and I could not see how it harmed him. I did recognize that I was not perceiving reality, and that I needed Xanax to get through all activities that were ordinary or not. I marveled at how other mothers with 2 or 3 children managed so much better than I did, and it worried me that I could not work. Something was very, very wrong and it was very likely to be the Zoloft. I looked up how to stop Zoloft on webmd or maybe a different site, and I checked many others to verify the information on other "reputable sites." All I found were instructions that parroted the quick taper that the pharm cies and doctors knew. I never saw anything about this site or Breggin or any other doctor who was aware of tardive withdrawal, PAWS, etc with regard to SSRIs. So, I made the worst mistake of my life - I "tapered" 150 mg in about 6-8 weeks. I found SA after it was too late to reinstate. I am a person who doesn't trust the pharm cies. I don't feel comfortable with the high number of vaccines for babies and young children. I'm suspicious of the flu vaccine, statins, and, of course, benzos. I try to eat organic food and even if I don't I make sure my child has organic eggs and milk. Despite that predisposed mistrust of pharmacology, I never thought to question a quick taper of Zoloft because I believed it was not "addictive!" I had a honeymoon period for about 5-6 months until August or Sept 2017. I am now medication free for 10 months. It has been HELL a hundred times over. I am still experiencing waves. It's been a few weeks, 2 or 3, since I wanted to die, and all my symptoms are less intense and less frequent except right side bruxism and dyskinesia/dystonia of my face, neck, jaw, chest and eye plus numbness on my right side in my arm, hand, face, nose, eye, jaw, hip, leg, foot and toes. I am no longer living in terror and fear and wishing an accident would take me from this world. I still have cortisol mornings in a wave, and I need to keep my mind occupied at all times, but I am not exhausted and weak all the time. The insomnia I had in Sept and October is gone seemingly for good. There are many other mental and physical symptoms that are gone or are less intense. Thank you for reading and I look forward to meeting each of you. I hope you all recover quickly and take some solace in seeing the progress I have made. Peace, Rosetta
  3. I have been suffering from this unique sleeping disorder. I dream whole night continuously and wakeup exhausted every morning. Most of the people think it's any kind of psychological disorder even doctors just prescribe antidepressants and sleeping pills. Familly members are supportive but they could only give advice like wake early, do exercise. I nearly browsed the whole internet to get an ultimate cure for this problem but got nothing except "the change your routine"advice. There are many old forums where people discussed the similar problem but now they are closed without any conclusion. I have this problem from 2013 when I was searching a job During that time I felt some anxiety so went to a psychiatrist and he prescribed me 1.Clozapam 2. Paxip Cr/Citalopram. after some days i stopped it abrupty and from that day i didnot sleep a dreamless night.
  4. Hello everyone! I'm a 23 year old male from Finland My story pretty much goes like this. Got really depressed when I was around 17-18, which led me to see a doctor. They made me see a doctor and I scored really high points on their "depression test". At around 18 years old I was quite suicidal. I was almost instantly put on 20 mg of citalopram and with 3-4 months I was doing a lot better. Fast forward 5 years and I have eaten the same medication for around 4 years now (had some breaks when I tried to quit). I think I ate 20 mg for around 2.5 years and 10mg for around 1.5 years. Troughout these years my depression has become a better, however I've had periods in my life where it got quite bad. Right now I'm studying at a business school and around 8 months ago I really decided that it's the right time to get off the meds. I quit my 10mg citalopram cold turkey, which in hindsight wasn't a good idea and I don't reccomend it to anyone. I got really bored of living in a somewhat medicated state of mind and really just wanted to feel like a normal human being. During these 8 months of withdrawal the first 2 months were filled with the basic withdrawal symptoms that almost everyone has. Month 2-5 was a time period where I felt a lot of anxiety and since around month 5-6 to now I've been in a state where I find it hard to get enjoyment out of life. I think it's called anhedonia or something. And also my emotions haven't come back and I feel a little bit weird still. It's also worth pointing out that both of my previous relationships have ended, while I was in wd, which I completely understand now. So I just pretty much briefly explained my situation atm and I've been thinking of doing this for weeks now. The reason is that after getting over my darkest depression I've been left with a feeling of wanting to help other people going trough the same thing. I created this account in order to show everyone else my progess, what I'm doing, to be able to give advice and to motivate others. Right now I'm in a quite sh*tty situation, where my relationship of 1.5 years is going quite ****, I don't feel that much emotions and I feel a little bit depressed sometimes. I will show you how to get trough this!
  5. 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 =)
  6. Hi all, I'm at a complete loss regarding my situation so I'll start from the beginning. During the summer of 2016 around july I began taking Sertraline 20mg for what I would now describe as mild anxiety, when struggling with initial sides of increased anxiety and sudden insomnia my doctor prescribed me flupentixol which I then took with the sertraline for around 3 months and then went cold turkey on due to severe drowsiness. I continued the sertraline for around 9 months before going cold turkey. I'm so confused regarding my situation because in order to cope with the insomnia I also smoked weed every night whilst taking it to help me sleep which seemed to work wonders. Even after dropping the sertraline I continued smoking weed in order to help me sleep. I had actually never smoked weed prior to this insomnia (I was 26 BTW) and it was a friend's suggestion. Anyway I attempted to quit smoking several times last year after dropping the ssri but noticed an extreme feeling of anxiety at all times whenever I did and and inability to sleep until early hours of the morning. This pattern went on until early this year where I smoked once again before bed internally praying that I would be able to stop somehow. That night and for the next month I suffered the most extreme anxiety attacks I never thought possible, which definitly helped me to cut the weed permanantly. The strange thing is, ever since then I have experienced various symptoms associated with withdrawal which are, Extreme rage/anxiety/depression constantly alternating. Headaches sometimes unbearable migraines. Horrendous restlessness which after reading some accounts on this site I think is akathisia. Burning and aching throughout my body. Extreme hatred towards family and friends which comes and goes. Blurred vison Awful digestive problems (burping nonstop everyday, diarrhea and constipation and bleeding. Bloating Brain fog feels as though someone has hold of my brain smothering it. Vibrating in my ears. Sometimes I spend the entire day crying uncontrollably with anguish twisting my hands and feet with worry and anxiety. Muscles twitching all day and almost zero appetite. I guess my question is, Can withdrawal sometimes take a year to fully manifest? because the weed aswell as cbd oil seemed to keep the anxiety and insomnia at bay then suddenly almost a year after dropping the sertraline I developed all these mental and physical symptoms. Or is there something else wrong with me because I've had cameras in me, been to three different doctors and various homeopaths and they say everything seems fine when it clearly isn't. I've lost my job my friends three stones and it feels as if I've lost control over my entire body and mind. Someone please help lol. I have many other symptoms to an extreme degree but I've actually lost track of everything I'm going through. Still sane though I think.(hope)
  7. Hi all, I am so glad I found this site. I am dealing with what I now know is ssri withdrawal and this place has given me hope, knowledge, and peace of mind. It’s crazy what these drugs can do. To start, I will give you my story. Looking back, I grew up with low self esteem and emotional issues that I never faced. Through school and going into college, I still managed to adjust well, make friends, and didn’t have especially bad anxiety or anything. In high school and college I abused alcohol frequently, probably due to emotional distress. I never was addicted, but was a binge drinker. In my 2nd year of college, even drinking became stressful and not fun. I began to have a lot of social anxiety, and couldn’t handle any alcohol. Depression started to set in, and I was in denial for a long time. Because of this, I let it get worse, I let people hurt me, and I ended up in the ER because I realized I couldn’t function and was suicidal. There they decided to send me to an outpatient treatment facility, and there my medication history began. I first was given seetraline, then Effexor, neither for longer than a week. The side effects were too much. So the doc deicided to try Prozac with me. That one seemed to have me feeling better, so I stayed on that for the time being. Started at 20mg around May 2017, 40mg for a few months, then 60mg for a long duration. I was only at this outpatient thing for a couple months, then I started seeing a new doctor. She basically just kept giving me the Prozac, and I’d just say I’m fine. I guess I felt fine, but I was more or less a zombie that just went to work and slept. The thing is though that Prozac is what lifted me out of the horrible depression I was in, and helped my anxiety. I thought of it as miraculous. The one thing that made it a lot less miraculous was that I gained nearly 100 pounds in a year! This prompted my doctor to lower my dose to 40mg, which made me realize how much Prozac dulled me out. I felt so much more awake and clear headed, so I figured I should get off the meds totally! It’ll only be good news, or so I thought. So I went down to 20mg a couple months later around November 2018. Afterwards is when withdrawal started to hit. I really noticed it while visiting family for Christmas. I just wasn’t myself. The anxiety was back in full force, and that was enough to hinder my social ability. It sucks to think family members see me like that and don’t know what’s going on, that maybe they just think I’m mentally ill. Oh well. I went down to 10mg in February, and jumped clear off in March. I now know this was far to fast of a taper, but I didn’t know this at the time. My doctor obviously didn’t either, but she probably also thinks Prozac doesn’t give people withdrawals. Once at 10mg I started to have the very sever symptoms. Extreme anxiety, irritability, anger, sensitivity to movement light and sounds, depersonalization, tightness in chest and neck, paranoia, numbness, and headaches (sometimes long lasting). Once I went to 0 they got a little worse for a bit, and it was gradually improved since then. I’ve only been totally off the Prozac for about a month right now. My god has it improved since a month ago! I still wouldn’t say I’m doing well by any means but I at least feel kind of normal. I felt like everybody was staring at me when I went outside or drove around at first (still kind of do sometimes), so much so that I just felt overwhelmed and crazy. I quit my job, not super important since it was just a silly job to pay rent. All I can really say about the symptoms is that they are still there, and it feels like they’ve been gradually receding ever so slowly. I seem to have the windows and waves, but mine have been short, maybe only hour long windows sometimes. I just pray that I will not only feel normal again but find real happiness and relief. I’m currently taking D3 and fish oil daily, nothing else. Does anyone have any advice about those supplements and others I could try? That would be great. I’m also just wondering if my story sounds familiar to anyone and what to expect. But most of all, it’s just nice to get this all out. Feel free to ask me questions!
  8. G'day SA community My name is Anthony and I have been lurking on this site for a few weeks and thought it time that I start my contribution. And hopefully get some well needed support without being too selfish. I would firstly like to preface my intro by thanking all the members, staff, moderators and founders of this site. It is helping me get through a dark time in my life that I have never ever experienced before. And it has been and still is scary. My story is long (as is most sufferers) so I will do my utmost to be as concise yet brief as possible without losing the important information. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Aeroman in particular as His success story is what I have needed and his time and investment in answering all the questions from the members relating to his journey has been inspiring to say the least. I won't go into the usual diatribe about how I suffered as a child in a dysfunctional home from physical, emotional and mental abuse of which was the case but my story is more about the incompetent people in white coats we see as all knowing, professional, caring and are in their chosen field because they like helping people and not the money! It all started when I was 21 years old. I had recently finished my apprenticeship with a National Manufacturer as a HVAC & R Technician (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and was around two years into starting my own business. Things were going very well when all of a sudden and out of nowhere my heart started racing and I was feeling faint. It was fortunate and by coincidence that I was working next door to a Medical Centre. I literally crawled into the Medical Centre and was dragged by a lovely receptionist wo a consultation room. She got me glass of water and informed a doctor. Unfortunately by the time the doctor arrived my heart had suddenly reverted back to normal and I was feeling fine. Tired but, well. He did all the usual work up of tests, including a 24hr Holter monitor to check my heart but basically put it down to either dehydration (as it was the middle of summer here in Australia) or anxiety/stress. Anyway, I was given the all clear. A couple of years later, with out any warning, the same thing happened again. And then again. and then again and again and again. There would be sporadic episodes of this that would last from anywhere from 3 minutes to as long as three hours. It would also involve many Emergency Department visits, ambulance call outs, blood tests, tests for this or that, tests for something else more visits with a GP and yet nothing could be found other than that old chestnut. ANXIETY......STRESS......DEPRESSION. Duh...of course I'm stressed out, I am as anxious as all get up because I feel like my heart is either about to stop or beat so fast its going flop out of my chest.......and nobody can find what the...is wrong with me. So fast forward a couple more years and with still no answers I decided to start seeing psychologists, Chinese medicine Practioners, hypnotists, more GP's, more Psychologists, even a Psychiatrist who suggested the bad word.....Anti Depressants.........of which I have never been one to even take a paracetamol for a headache let alone nasty stuff like that. Well, they all promised they could resolve my anxiety and stress related heart problems but none of them ever did. I was eventually convinced by a psychologist (and my wife) to try Zoloft because I was one of those people that was either born with a chemical imbalance or I acquired one due to my childhood traumas. Well lets just say that those three days were what I thought at that time to be pure hell on earth. Stopped CT and straight in the bin with the free sample. With all the money I spent over the years I could have bought my own little Island retreat somewhere in the Pacific Islands. Fast Forward a few more years and continually dealing with my heart palpitations I got married, had two daughters, multiple businesses and generally a reasonably good time even though that this heart issue was hanging over my head constantly my Quality of Life was very restricted. Fast forward a few more years and Feeling pretty bad about this and being at that age where I wanted more out of life I hunted down a new GP who was the mother of my daughters best friend at school, I had known her a few years personally and my wife thought she would be able to help with this trouble that I was enduring. Well now is where trouble really starts but I did know that till recently. Into the first consultation and boom, out comes the Mental assessment questionnaire and what do you know, I have anxiety and stress bordering on depression. WTF? Being tired of all this I caved in, desperate for my heart to be normal I took the free sample of Lexapro with my tail between my legs, went home and told my wife who was ecstatic (in her defence she only wanted the best for me and a happy life with her husband and the big house and cars and white picket fence and she believed all the doctors saying I was mental blah blah blah). Sucked back my first tablet and went back to my life. Yeah, I thought my life was coming back and that these medicines really do work, why didn't I persist last time because I don't even think about my heart anymore.......A year down the track I went back to my doctor and told her that it feels like it wasn't working like it was 6 months ago, boom, up my dosed from 10mg to 20mg. Well well well, wouldn't you know it. 11pm on a Tuesday night I woke up, my heart was going crazy, I was ill, vomiting, fainting and feeling like I was going to die. Told myself to suck it up, it was all mental, I was mental, I have something seriously mentally wrong with me, the doctors and everyone said so.........three hours later I called for an ambulance, woke up my wife and kids and told them what was happening, my kids were freaking out......The ambulance arrived and as the paramedics came into my bedroom a thud and my heart slowed down to normal, I felt okay, all the stress and anxiety and ill feeling gone just like that. A two day stay in hospital with all the usual tests again and the doctor comes to see me, "Yep, unable to find anything, must be stress or anxiety". Great I thought. So much for Lexapro, time to get off this rubbish because I don't feel anything anymore, no fun, no anger, no happiness, nada......Two weeks later I tapered as per doctors advice and against her wishes I was off the AD's for good. Three months later I was back in her office begging for some relief, I was in bad shape, out of work and my wife again seriously wanted to go back on the meds or there would be repercussions maritally speaking. This time the Doctor said I now had Major Depression Disorder, those words alone stressed me out. Anyway, time to start the heavy hitting SNRI now, I was in bad shape she said..........Well two days later I ended up having another heart episode that was the worst I had ever had, I really thought that I was going to die, I screamed at my wife to call the ambulance, my kids started crying immediately, the Ambulance sent an Urgent care Hi-Priority paramedic who was in my bedroom hooking my with ECG leads all over my body, cannulas in both arms and then said quite casually..."It okay mate, no worries, your not dying....you got SVT. Just relax and Ill fix it for you in a minute I just have to get this ECG trace to show the docs and will get it done" What? SVT? Did I eat something bad, what is SVT. Isn't it anxiety? I asked the Paramedic. 'Nah" he says. Got nothing to do with anxiety. you may have anxiety from having this but having this is definitely not from anxiety" Anyway, a few valslva manoeuvres and a couple of jokes when the transport ambo turns up later I'm feeling quite calm. Off to the hospital for further tests and the Paramedics hang around for a while and with the Doctor explain to me what SVT is. Also known as PSVT (Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). 24 years of my life chasing this, never not once did any medical or other professional suggest I go see a cardiologist but they were all too willing to take my money...............For those of you who don't know what PSVT is or don't want to use google, I had AVNRT (Atrio ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia) type of heart arrhythmia, there are several, of which I had an additional pathway next to my AV node causing my heart electrical conduction system to short circuit causing my heart to beat at extremely high rates which was captured on the ECG at 230bpm. Diagnosis meant that it was not life threatening, just very unpredictable and uncomfortable...No Joke! After my hospital stay I was referred to a cardiologist for follow but decided I should see my GP so I can stop the Prisitq because I have found out, after 24 years, that I am not mental, or at least the reason why I am a bit skiddish is because the actual heart problem. Again, my wife and GP convince me to stay on the Pristiq to just help get over the next couple of months until I sort out this heart arrhythmia and me, after all these years being brainwashed what did I do....I agreed, good idea, just to get me over the next hurdle because now I have to go and have a heart operation I need to be in the right mindset..............how stoopid am I? I am now back at home waiting to see the specialist cardiologist and everyday my mood is getting worse and worse. I am constantly crying, panicking, thinking I am going to die and I haven't even seen the cardiologist yet. This snowballs to the point that during my Consultation with the Cardio I was in a very bad emotional state my wife had to talk for me. When the Cardiologist found out I was on Prisitq he asked me why I was on this junk, I should get off it as quickly as possible, and medications like these are only for people who are in dire need of help and in Hospital. The Heart operation, Electrophysiology Study and Cather Abalation will resolve the heart issues and I won't have to worry about heart arrhythmias ever again. I informed him that my GP told me I needed to stay on them, well after that there was some correspondence back and forth from my Cardioligist and GP about this and finally my Cardiologist gave up. Operation day arrives and I go to the hospital, supposed to be a day procedure, should be home that night.......Two procedures and two weeks later I am sent home with some complications that the Electrophysiologist had some trouble sorting out. I wouldn't want to go into detail but I was an emotional wreck, my kids were destroyed emotionally as well I am happy to delve further into the complications during and after the procedure if anyone wants to know but, .Lets just say that I had almost, almost was going to have a pacemaker installed but thankfully it was found out that I had some complications from some "Medications" Namely a SNRI Pristiq. Basically I am still not right after three months and I am diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate sinus tachycardia that needs to be controlled with some heart medications. Hopefully this will resolve with time. Nonetheless, I was totally traumatised by that event and I am struggling with it mentally still. So out of hospital I meet with my GP as I had lots of Chest pain, and irregular heartbeats etc etc and to finally get off the Prisitq. But no. now that I am in pretty much an uncontrollable state she suggests and refers me to a Psychiatrist to re-evaluate and possibly change medications and wants me to look at going to a Mental Hospital and to help get through the next few days while I am waiting for the Psych Doc appointment that I should start on Valium and Sleeping tabs to get me through. Wait, what. Now I'm treating this med with another med. Anyway, I'm so desperate ill do whatever......... Finally see the Psych doctor and she DSM's me as Panic Disorder only, stops the Pristiq immediately, but after three days break I need to start Lexapro again at 10mgs and then three days after that start 20mgs. Oh by the way, its because you have a chemical imbalance disease in your brain, you will need these the rest of your life, its like insulin for diabetics, most people are on these now, its what you need to live and get by........................................These nasty people play on your vulnerability!. Well I stopped the pristiq on a Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up like a new person. No Crying, energy back, no dizziness, my heart was beating regularly and slowly and I felt brilliant. I told my wife that I didn't want to go on the Lexapro again but after some heated discussion, what she and the kids had been through recently and the potential issues going forward I handed my genitals back to her to put in her purse for safe keeping..........Start sucking those poison pills down again as directed by all those who had never been on this rubbish, two more weeks in bed feeling like death warmed up, headache, nausea, sore mouth, teeth sore everything, could not talk could not eat, that's when I woke up one morning and trashed the lot of pills in the bin. That was the day I Cold Turkey again Wrong move I know but boy, was I sick. The suicide ideation, the gory vivid dreams, the grim reaper and death is all thought about for those two weeks mixed in with insomnia. Well, I haven't recovered from these two weeks of Lexapro, they have changed something in me and I didn't get the relief I got from when I stopped Pristiq. This time Lexapro, only for two weeks has done something to me and I feel these withdrawal symptoms are going to take something special from me to get through...................These drug pushers need punishment for their actions. All these years of feeling intimidated by these charlatans and all along I had an issue that should have been resolved with a day procedure. Yes it was heart surgery nonetheless but still, my family and I are in a world of hurt now that was unnecessary. Thank You for letting me to get this out, I needed it. I am struggling with the WD side effects and I am concerned for the future and pain that is coming from this but I will no longer be controlled by these poison pills..........................
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Hi, I will try to write my story as briefly as possible. I´m from Europe, Czech Republic so the names of the medicine can be different from those in US. Let´s start with why i started to take SSRI´s. I believe that what started my problems was long cumulated stress and tension i experienced. I grown up with my mother, missing dad, i was with him one day a week but it wasn´t enough. My mother had like 2 boyfriends, since i was born, so every problem she experienced in jobs or personal life was thrown right to my ears when she came back home and I was really burdened by her problems since i was little. I suffer with emotional block from her till now. I don´t blame her, because she did what she could to feed me, but it really didn´t help my psychical health. Ok the heavy tension and stress started in the 2nd class of my high school, they bullied me mentally cause i was different and didn´t want to be shallow like they were... I experienced heavy anxiety pains in my legs everyday I was in school for about a year. Then i repeated a 2nd class because of Mathematics and dropped to better class where my tension was released. In 2016 i started a dj career and that´s where the tension and stress boomed my anxiety. I did it for like a year and than i experienced a really big trauma. I had a really heavy quarell with my competition and their people started to spread rumors about me and my whole city splitted into two groups - one hated me a lot and other one loved me. Off course more people hated me. I started to have fears to go somewhere in town to not meet those which hated me. I really feared that they can beat me up or something. I stopped my dj career after a big ridicule of my persona on facebook by one of those people from competition. A month later i started to have panic attacks, and heavy anxiety. Started skipping school and didn´t know what was happening with me (now i know a lot about psychical illnesses). It went like that for a 3-4 months, i was closed in my room, with very bad sleeping and heavy anxiety, with panic attacks. Then it started to ease out as i started to ignore my symptoms a lot, i stopped caring about it and it really eased, still experienced a lot of anxiety but not as much as before.The problem was teachers in my school. They didn´t believed i have problems, and told me i was simulating and went against me. I choose a radical way to not fall out from school...I went to Psychiatric hospital with hope that they can fix me up. Anyway i don´t think that what I was experiencing was panic disorder (what my doctor told me), I think that it was and it is much more OCD in extreme way, because what I´m experiencing last year or two really looks like a strange OCD. I had fears that my heart will stop, but in rational way, like you have no certainty that your heart just won´t stop in a next minute. In psychiatric hospital they started to give me Zoloft and it was horrible. They started with 50 mg and i had extreme anxiety for like 3 weeks. My final dose was 150mg (a horse dose i think). Then i came back home and i took it for like a half year or less till the summer. Than me and my psychiatric doctor agreed on withdrawal. I withdrawed extremely fast, 1,5 month and felt really good for a month or two after a withdrawal. Then i started to feel extreme anxiety even from the tiniest discomoforts and started to sleep really bad because of problems with falling asleep with anxiety. I had a really trouble with concentrating not just on things but even on my own thoughts patterns. I was saying something and in front of a sentence i couldn´t say a next word and was really troubled to concentrate on what someone is saying to me. So i went to my doctor and we started a new medication, Seropram 40mg/ml which i believe is named LEXAPRO in US. It is a liquid and is dosed in drops. It was much more comfortable than zoloft. I started with a one drop and my final dose was 8 drops/day. Boom my problems with concentration vanished and i felt like i can handle my life a little again. I took it again for like a half year and i wanted to stop, because i wanted my feelings back. I wanted to be able to laugh again, to experience normal feelings like normal person :/. On SSRI´s you feel like a real numb person and i really don´t like it. It´s like living a empty life. So i started a new withdrawal after my graduation which i fortunately earned. It was again a really fast withdrawal and it took it´tax. I felt really good for a month or two and now I´m experiencing really hard anxiety from the tiniest discomforts daily, same as last year. The concentration is same as last. I can´t concentrate or anything even on my thoughts patterns and I´m suffering from depression now, i have feelings for crying everyday. I believe it´s not a relapse cause my feelings are different than it was before SSRI´s. It´s strong uncontrolled anxiety, oversensitivness and troubled concentration + depression. I never had depression before SSRI´s. Yes I was really deeply thinking about a meaning of life and was really troubled by it, but...it was in OCD way. What to do now? I really don´t want to stay on SSRI´s for the whole life. 😕 Thx for answer
  12. Teppo125 Hi you all! This is my first post here, but I have been here and reading stuff for many months. Sorry for my poor english, but maybe you will understand. I had many adversities in 2018-2019 and I began to have panic attacks, chest pains and air hunger. I had all of these in 2012 as well, but I was checked and there was nothing wrong with me. The panic attacks and chest pains all got away in a few months. I went to the private doctor which we had because of our job. And he recommended for me to go to the psychologist. The psychologist said that he recommends me to seek psychotherapist, because of my illness. Well I didn't do anything and the panic attacks didn't go away. I had to call an ambulance two times and they took me to the ER both times because I thought I was going to die. I went to the psychologist again and I told him that I would like to get some medications started. He said that he doesn't recommend medication, because I would start to trust the medication and it could be hard to stop (Oh how right he was..). Well I didn't seek a psychotherapist, but I went to the public hospital, because I wanted the medication, because I thought it would help. I called the psychiatric nurse and after the first appointment she sent me to the doctor and mid july in 2019 I was prescribed Escitalopram (Lexapro I think in you're language) 10mg/day. First week 2,5mg. Second week 5mg. And then 10mg. After first week psychiatric nurse wanted to see me and asked how I was doing. I was doing better, but I started to have some mild suicidal thoughts. What I never had before. We didn't notice them at all. At second week the thoughts became louder. Then I lifted the dose to 10mg and after a few days it wasn't only thoughts, but also suicidal behavior. I couldn't think anything else, only that that I'm going to kill myself. I noticed that something was very very wrong. I thought that the same goes for me what my cousin did earlier in the year, because he was deeply depressed and committed suicide. I was diagnosed mild depression and I had those horrible thoughts. I called the nurse and I wanted too se her. At this point the nurse was changed to another person. The previous nurse was only temporary and the right nurse came back from vacation. She didn't know at all what had happened to me, and neither did I. I didn't know that this DRUG could cause this kind of stuff. Also I am pretty good at sleeping and with this drug I had major sleeping troubles. Then we lowered the dose to 5mg and it helped a lot. Thoughts were still there, but I continued eating them and continued my life. I played football and another sports in the summer, but the thoughts were still there all the time. After 8 weeks(I think) I recognize that when I watched a mirror, I became to hate my self. Then I decided to call the nurse and I told her that I want quit this medication, because I was not feeling good with this drug. She said that I'm now fearing the drug and she doesn't want that I quit the escitalopram. Well, after a long conversation she gave me permission to stop the drug and I could do it cold turkey, because such a low dose and I haven't ate it a long time. And you all know what happened then. But I didn't. I have never before ate any drugs. Only ibuprofen for hangovers some times. I quit the medication propably mid september and I feel pretty good. But after 1,5 - 2 weeks I was thrown behind the hell. And the hell last, it last enormously long time. After two weeks of quitting the drug my girlfriend told me to go privat psychotherapist, because I felt so awful. I though that I am insane that I have tilted some way 😃 (I can laugh sometimes now). The psychotherapist said that it is almost impossible that you are insane, because you are too old to become lunatic and it happens almost every time in 20's or earlier(I'm 30 years now). That helped a little bit. After 4 months of quitting CT, I went to psychiatric and told her what I was going throw. She said that the drug(withdrawal) couldn't be anymore the reason how I felt and prescribe me ketiapine (Qetiapin maybe in English?) for that enormous anxiety what I have. But she also said that just last year people and media are been talking about those side effects and withdrawal in Finland caused by antidepressants. I crashed. I didn't want to live anymore, because my life was awful hell. And it wasn't the withdrawal anymore. I took that ketiapin for month or two 12,5 mg or less for sleeping and anxiety and then I quit it, because I don't want eat any drugs anymore EVER. But somehow I find a group at Facebook. It was Finnish(I'm Finnish also)group about SSRI withdrawal and I noticed that maybe I'm not a lunatic. And then I found there also this site. I also went back to another psychotherapist after 5 months of cold turkey and she said that my biggest problem was the drug withdrawal. I wasn't insane because that couldn't be possible. Or it could be possible, but there should be some sings before if I was for example scitzofrenic or bibolar. I was happier than ever. I continued the therapy which is conditional behavioral psychotherapy. Now I'm almost 8 months free of the drug. I'm not fine, but I think that I survive this. This is not a success story yet, but I write that too then when I'm firmly on my feet. If anyone could help me somehow what I should do in this withdrawal please leave me a comment. Or is it only time what heels me?
  13. hi,all been on &off antidepressants for 20 yrs but never felt this crummy.since stopping Paroxetine have had flu-like symptoms ,then fatigue loss of appetite,taste changes,eye problems(excessive blinking actually started while on it,that's why I quit).depression,anxiety,just miserable,wondering if I should reinstate or just try & hang in there.I was on it about 6 mos.stopped May 4 after about 7 wk taper.thanks for any suggestions
  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. Hello fellow travelers, I am a recovering user of many psychotropic prescriptions (which I at first thought were good for me). After finally being able to taper off and learning much more, I've revised my thinking a bit: about the drugs, about the doctors, about the medical profession in general and about what I can reasonably be certain is healthy. I've got pretty decent working knowledge of psychotropics now, but still have much to learn. I have read the Ashton Manual, a few scholarly articles by people like Guy Chouinard, and have some experience helping people with withdrawal and post-withdrawal. I also have a bit of an interest in general medicine. Drugs taken include: Remeron, Effexor, Clonazepam, Triazolam, Escitalopram, too much Olanzapine and a few other compounds with varying levels of harm. I am now around two years post-withdrawal of Clonazepam, having begun my odyssey taking amitryptaline for sleep, and am still recovering from extreme insomnia, gastro problems and general fatigue. I can't really say it was worth it, but you live and you learn.
  16. I was incredibly ignorant and did not realise how important it was to taper off mirtazapine, and basically came off 30mg cold turkey at the start of January. I KNOW this is a huge mistake and I didn't realise it at the time and my doc didn't think anything of it either. I had no physical symptoms to speak of like a headache or dizziness or brain zaps or anything like that, so I thought I was fine. However, since coming off mirtazapine, I have had terrible anhedonia and emotional numbness, zero motivation and energy, zero appetite and significant sexual dysfunction/low libido. These were not symptoms for me during or prior to taking mirtazapine. It has almost been four months now and have seen little improvement. I am very concerned but want to stay positive. Can you please tell me if there is a way out of this for me? Thank you so much. (The one thing that helps in all of this is vitamin D3, however it seems to lose its effectiveness if I take it too many days in a row, so it's not a sustainable solution for me.)
  17. 🙂 I'm new to the site. Couple of questions. Had a couple of bouts with GAD 18 years ago. Lexapro fixed the problem both times and stopped both times with no problems after a few months. June 2018 felt depressed. Doctor prescribed Lexapro for six months (Dec. 2018). Then quit over 11 days by skipping doses as he suggested. Some symptoms returned and we tried Zoloft the end of March 2019. Worked up to 100 mgs. by June 21 but having very loose stools. Quick 6 day taper August 22 with plans to begin Cymbalta. Just quit instead and contacted Doctor to advise her. It's now been 6 months off AD's and the first couple were ok. Began having some problems third month. Experiencing bad mornings (anxiety) and waking early. Also stomach ache and kind of dizzy sometimes. 1. Is anyone experiencing the same symptoms? 2. Can this be withdrawal after 6 months with no AD's 3. Could this be a relapse?
  18. Success story: trying-to-havehope-off-latuda-october-2015 Hello everyone. First off I want to say that I know this site is largely about antidepressants and my latest experience is about an antipsychotic but I could really use the support, guidance and insight that you might have. I'm going to try to make this as cLear and short at possible. I've always had depression and I've been on and off antidepressants since I was a teenager. The side effects not being worth the lil they did for me was always why I got off. Well I hadn't been on for 4 years and I just got tired of my depression again. I have ptsd and am in therapy and I thought it would help with the stuff it was kicking up. I have pcos and I told my psychiatrist that I had mood swings. And I should also note that I went to see him the year before and he prescribed me lamictal but I got so scared by the side effects I didn't take it. A year later around the same time (winter/spring when my depression gets worse) I went and he diagnosed me as bipolar still and gave me Latuda. I took the Latuda for 5 months. I wanted to get off of it cause I really couldn't cry on it and I felt so blah about everything. Seemed hard to get interested in anything. Well ironically the day I talked to my pdoc about it...with him obviously not supporting me getting off cause he told me I won't live a quality life without meds...I had some anxiety that was triggered by something but it was electrified. I had never experienced anxiety like this. I was so scared. That weekend I had mood swings and horrible anxiety and I started the taper. I was on 60mg of it. He originally told me if I wanted to come off just go down half for a week and stop. WRONNGGGG. This was the beginning of the most horrible time in my life. This happened at the end of august. What happened going off this med...first the horrible electrified anxiety and mood swings. Then...the depression. I have had depression my whole life. This depression has been worse than anything I thought was humanly possible. The mood swings. I don't understand how going off a med could do that. My perception has been off which I can't really explain. I have had nightmares. It seems like this med distorted my memories (can it even ******* do that???). I'm so scared all the time which I guess is anxiety. My concentration is horrible. I'm obsessive. OH YEA. I completely lost my appetite with the anxiety and lost 30 pounds in 2 and a half months... I have been wondering if I will be forced to go back on meds. How could I manage (hard but was still doable) without meds for 4 years and have this experience and feel so ready to end my life. Between him telling me I can't have a quality life on meds and reading so many experiences of people on meds....it's like what's the point? Will I ever be able to go back to my old depressed self? I used to be able to binge watch tv and enjoy food at least. Will that happen again? I know no one can really anwser these questions right. I have lost so much hope. I don't know if I'm coming or going. I feel like I've been traumatized by this experience. I don't mean to sound dramatic but I really do. How can a med randomly do that and the taper cause all this? I feel like it attacked me. And I am obsessed with researching things online which makes things worse. Can you live well without meds with depression? Also, how do you stop hating yourself for going on meds? I keep thinking please turn back the time. Please god. Why did I do this to me? I knew meds sucked. Why would I think this time they would help? How could I be so niave. Now I'm stuck. Oh and by the way. I ended up going to 40mg for 2 weeks then 1 week 20. Probably still too fast but the med was causing so much **** and I thought I would get immediately better off. It's been 2 months being off and I'm still off. My sleep is now normal. The electrified anxiety is gone but now I'm scared a lot with random terror feelings. The depression has improved but still feels worse than before. I cry all day every day. Eating has improved but not 100 back to normal. Any tips. Insights. Support. Oh and I take vitamin c, vitamin d, and I read on here to do magnesium so I do that at a low dose too. Even if all you did was just read this...thank you.
  19. My story is a little different....at 33 years old, I quit smoking. About 6 months later, I ran into a situation that required me to confront someone. As that time approached, I became increasingly anxious about my ability to handle the situation....to the point I went to my doctor for help. He immediately threw 20 mg of Prozac at me which I started taking, not knowing or having been told to taper “on” the drug. In a matter of days, the mild anxiety I was experiencing morphed into catastrophic anxiety....I lost my mind. (I now know, after genetic testing, that my body did not produce enough “glutathione”, a major antioxidant that we need to detox and process chemicals) ....I needed help. I left my GP and sought out the top Psychiatrist in my city...By this time, I was such a mess due to the effects of the Prozac, I was diagnosed with GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I came off the 20 mg of Prozac and we tried several other types of antidepressants over the following months....Each one effecting me the same way. I finally ended up back on 5 mg of Prozac...over much time, my body eventually regulated and absorbed the medication, I healed from the experience and thrived. Over the last 20 years I ran into a few occasions that required the medication to be increased....Again, I would lose my mind! It would take weeks, sometimes months for my brain to absorb and metabolize the increase of Prozac...I was told this was happening because I was “sensitive” to antidepressants and that I’d have to tough it out because I needed to be on them forever. Still not knowing about my lack of the major antioxidant, and hating the Prozac, I suggested to my doctor that we try another brand...He switched me to Lexapro in 2014...same story...massive anxiety...barely surviving...but finally after weeks/months I regulated and made it through to better times. All this time I prayed fervently that God would tell me when I could come off of these horrid drugs that were on the verge of destroying my life....My father and grandfather had both taken their lives. I didn’t want to continue this legacy. I had managed to build a beautiful family and a solid marriage....all I wanted to do is live without the meds....my biggest prayer for myself and enjoy the blessings bestowed upon me. In the spring of 2019, after 20 years, I heard what I was waiting for...not audibly, but in my spirit I heard that it was time. I could come off this medication. I started in March with a razor blade, scraping off “dust” from the 10 mg of Lexapro. I had heard of withdrawals from antidepressants but thought if I took it extra slow I could avoid them..I tapered all year. If I started to develop withdrawal symptoms, I would stop tapering and camp where I was at for awhile until I stabilized. I was doing it! All went well until August of last year. I had gotten down to 2.5 mg and thought I could stop there. So I did. After 4 days I started getting nauseous and dizzy. I called my doctor and told him what I was doing...(He didn’t know I was tapering off...he was the one who told me I would be on them for life) He called in liquid Lexapro and told me to go back on where I left off (2.5 mg) and taper more slowly. The problem with this is...the medicine level had dropped in my system so with the reintroduction of the medicine, I LOST MY MIND YET AGAIN! I became almost suicidal...but I stuck with it. I slowly tapered completely off with the liquid and took my last dose on November 11, 2019. Here I am 4 1/2 months out. If you are on this site, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it has been. I will say that in tapering off that slow (over 8 months) I didn’t experience the brain zaps and nausea as well as some of the other symptoms but I have experienced constant anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, dips of depression and hopelessness at times. I’ve needed constant affirmation from my support group that all that I’m going through are withdrawal symptoms and that I’m NOT relapsing or going crazy. I pushed through even the hardest of days and have not missed a day of work since that last day of meds in November. A friend of mine suggested that I go see her a Integrative Doctor about the time that I reinstated the 2.5 mg due to the withdrawals in August which turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in all of this. This doctor did the genetic testing and found out the root of why I was losing my crap every time the meds were increased and promptly started me on Gluathione IV’s as well as a cream and started me on a protocol of supplements and an anti inflammatory diet (no gluten, dairy, processed foods, or sugar) He also ran a sensitivity test to find out what other foods I was allergic or sensitive to. Did you know that 70 plus % of your serotonin is manufactured your gut? So it is imperative to heal your gut for optimal serotonin production. I will list the supplements that I’m on...of course these are taylored for me and my genes.....B2, B6, B9, B12 (shots), Magnesium Malate, Lithium Orotate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, 3 different probiotics (Megaspore, Florassist Mood Improve, Restore) Lemon Balm tincture, melatonin, and the mother of them all, 5HTP (converts directly into serotonin). I am 4 1/2 months out...I’m about 85-90% healed and my symptoms are decreasing consistently. I’m certain that I will reach 100% at some point this year...but am still having good days and bad days..Aside from the Integrative medicine, the things that have helped me most are: devotions and reading my Bible every morning, journaling, EXERCISING EVERY DAY, drink a lot of water to keep your mind sharp and to detox, anti inflammatory diet, routine, talking to my counselor, and TRYING to get as much sleep as possible....This is hard, because everyone I’ve talked to going through this is NOT sleeping. I don’t want to but I take Benedryl to sleep, however, I have been able to cut back on some of it. I am so thankful and encouraged by the bravery and courage of all of the warriors on this website and looking forward to hearing your success stories. Thanks for reading my story. Blessings to you all...ByTheGrace
  20. Hi all, I’m absolutely Terrified at the moment so please bear with me. I was started on a low dose of amitriptyline 25 mg for nerve pain that I was having in my teeth. I started having panic attacks almost immediately. My doctor thinking that it was just anxiety continually updated the dose. So from 25 mg I went to 50 mg for two weeks and then 100 mg for three days causing such severe panic attacks that I was having sensory Overload. She immediately took me off and I had a very quick tapering schedule. 50 mg for Three days then 25 mg for three days then 12.5 mg for three days and then I did 6 mg for two days because the anxiety and panic attacks were so severe I couldn’t bear taking it anymore. I’m currently on day 12 of not taking the amitriptyline and withdraw has been nothing short of brutal. Just this week from about day nine I have been having brains zap at night all night That have been causing me to get less than 2 to 3 hours sleep. I am now on day two of having approximately 2 to 3 hours sleep per day. My doctor keeps suggesting that I should take 5 mg of Cipralex to help my brain adjust And To ease the withdrawal symptoms. I seem to have every symptom in the book anxiety panic pounding heart dissociation where I feel like I don’t even belong in my own body or I’m sleepwalking and that things aren’t even real and now more recently the brains zaps difficulty concentrating hot flashes and nausea and insomnia. I can’t keep going on like this although I’m absolutely terrified to start taking the cipralex. I know no one can tell me whether or not I am going to have a reaction or not but I have taken cipralex in the past successfully. And weaned off of it successfully. I just don’t know what to do and I don’t know how long this withdrawal symptoms are going to last and I don’t know how long these brain zaps are going to last but I need some sleep and I needed some reprieve from these terrible symptoms. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Total time on Amitriptyline - 50 days including a 1.5 week very fast taper. Withdrawal symptoms started immediately. On day 12 of no amitriptyline. Dose was never stable. 12.5 for two days, 25 for 1 week, 50 for two weeks, 100 mg for 3 days, back down to 50 for 3 days, 25 for 3 days, 12.5 for 3 days, 6 for 3 days. Oh, and I don’t want to start the cipralex but I’m so scared. Things I’m doing- taking supplements and exercising every day. Thank you in advance. Avrgejane
  21. Hello everbody. I have been on BB remeron support group, but they tend to speak mostly benzo concerns. Now i need your help. My story is like that: i have been using prozac until last year with on and offs and i was supposing i had bruxism. In fact, it was ct but i didnt know. Last year in november a pdoc gave me abilify 2.5 mg. I took it for two months and didnt work and quit it. After that i had a bad anx., i tried many ads, but they didnt work. Lastly, i found myself in hospital in May. They gave me brintellix 10 mg, lamictal 100mg, remeron 30 mg. They brought me to the point i couldnt work so i stopped in hospital after 20 days. Then,my world turned into the hell. I lived dp dr,severe head pressure etc. Then, i started to remeron 15 for sleep issues within one month. My intention was starting to 100 day taper, but my buddies on BB said that, you were going too fast, first you should be stable. Then, after reaching to 12 mg, i listened them and now i have been holding it. I decided to go forward with that plan no matter how long it lasts. But, last week i started to take new sxs like nausea, diarrhera, gi issues, heart palps(1 months) which i never took them even in acute phase of my CTs. I think i lost the support from BB and came here to take some support. My anx. is bad and hardly i could go to the work. Every day, i consider to CT because of getting no stabilization. These drugs are terrible. Thank you for responses from now...
  22. Hi, new member here. This forum is a God-send. A few years ago I was casually put on Cipralex (a.k.a Lexapro) within 15 minutes of talking to a shrink and stayed on it for 2 years. Although I tapered off it slowly, I had a panic attack for the first time in my life when I went off it, followed by a period of mild anxiety, then all of a sudden many months later I was hit with a variety of bizarre physical and psychological symptoms such as electromagnetic sensitivity, brain fog, a bizarre and persistent throbbing sensation in the right side of my head, a nervous tick in my right eyebrow, hyperacusis, rage, and suicidal thoughts. Psychiatrists and psychologists passed it all off as extreme stress and anxiety (They all said "You developed a new psychological illness, anxiety, and it's merely a coincidence that you developed it after going off the medicine. Your symptoms are all psychosomatic.") I have resisted being put back on SSRIs and chose to trust my instincts, insisting that these symptoms are clearly related to the Cipralex. Online readings and seeing the feedback of others who withdrew from antidepressants have given me the reassurance to continue on my journey of healing naturally, without falling back into the cobwebs of the psycho-pharmaceutical industry. I was merely a little bit sad when I visited a shrink and needed to talk to someone, not endure a journey of medical hell. I am so happy to have come across a compassionate and immensely useful forum to help me continue my brave healing journey which, essentially, I am undertaking on my own. I have endured several recent months of indescribable agony. Some of the coping techniques that are helping me out at the moment include adding a little apple cider vinegar and honey to water first thing in the morning, supplements (rhodiola rosea in the morning and magnesium before sleep), Reiki, deep breathing, walking, and Somatic Experiencing (a form of alternative therapy to relieve mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on perceived body sensations), as well as chewing gum (helps a lot with the need to grind my teeth which is one of my withdrawal symptoms). I have also cut out gluten, coffee and alcohol from my diet. I also bought a teddy bear recently and holding it helps in anxious moments and makes me feel that I am not alone. Prayer is helpful too as it is immensely reassuring to turn to a higher power for help. I have ups and downs on this healing journey and I am literally trying everything to help me out. If anyone has been on Cipralex and has any other tips that can help me in my withdrawal process I'd be most grateful if you could please share them. May we all recover soon from our withdrawal experiences 🙏
  23. Hi all, thanks for having such an amazing and helpful forum!!! I was prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for anxiety and depression (moderate in my opinion). I started taking it. I'm so stupid... I had read about withdrawal symptoms, but I wasn't imagining it as so awful. After 5 days I got bleedings from the uterus, even though my period wasn't due. They were about as strong as a normal period, but more painful. The GP (doctor) made me stop Effexor. After 2 days I started to have the symptoms everyone reports: Crying, suicidal, self harming, fits of rage, nausea, dizziness, heart racing, trouble breathing. My GP didn't know anything about withdrawal symptoms and wanted to admit me to the psychiatric hospital. I sent him a bunch of information and finally convinced him to leave me alone and deal with it myself. I think he feels a bit guilty now, but that doesn't help me.... It's day 9 after stopping and my brain is still totally messed up. Question to you all: Do you think I need to go back on Venlafaxine and taper down slowly to prevent lasting damage to my brain? I also got some Sertraline from the GP, which I could use to switch to temporarily. I think even if the bleeding comes back, I can handle it. Iron values are ok. I had thought that after just 5 days of taking Venlafaxine, the withdrawal should be short and mild. But after reading a lot, I'm getting a bit scared. Any advice welcome! Laura PS: I really think I had a guardian angel who sent me those bleedings and made me stop before I took the medication for longer.
  24. Hey, I don't post much on here. I used to be a member on PaxilProgress. I thought I would start a topic to post some updates. I will post my original story and 3 year update below. The short version is that I took 10mg citalopram for situational depression (I had dropped out of college) for about 6 months and then I stopped. Ever since I stopped I went into hell and experienced some very debilitating symptoms. I am now just over 4 years off and I have been unable to work or live any kind of functional life during this time. In my update 1 year ago I was feeling optimistic at the time since I have been going through a little bit of a good period. Now 1 year later I feel less optimistic about my future. Since last year I have noticed very little improvement. The worst symptom for me is my inability to socialize which I fear will never recover. I always feel very withdrawn and act awkward in social situations. I have to think of what to say and try very hard to act normal. Before the drugs it just came naturally without thinking. This is a very strange symptom and I've not seen many other people mention it. It makes it very hard for me to have friendships with other people. I had a few periods early on where it went away almost completely for a week or so and it was as if someone turned a light back on in my brain. However, I have not really noticed any improvements in the past year. Something that is also very strange is that when I go into social situations for any period of time, it will trigger many symptoms and I will start to feel very bad. I wouldn't even believe it, if it wasn't happening to me but something as simple as socializing can cause physical symptoms. The symptoms generally don't come on till a few hours later. I will often notice my mood being lower than normal then I will start to feel cold and shivery and my appetite and sex drive will go down very low. In general I just feel very bad and know something is wrong. It generally takes a few days (away from social situations) before I feel back to normal. I also often get mouth ulcers. I have had about 2 or 3 a month on average for the past 4 years. They tend to go hand in hand with some pretty brutal fatigue where I just feel like I can barley lift my arms or do much of anything. Sexual function is also reduced from normal and intermittent. Sometimes my sex drive will feel close to normal but most of the time it's a little low. I have difficulty concentrating and find it hard to focus on things for any length of time. I also still have many other symptoms that come and go. I get migraines frequently, my appetite is often quite low even at the best of times, I often have digestion problems and constipation regardless of my diet. I feel like if I didn't have the social withdrawnness and symptoms triggered after a social situation then I could live a much more functional life despite the other problems. It is obvious to me that my brain is screwed up big time after going through all this for years. It's funny because I know if this had not happened to me and I was reading this then I probably wouldn't believe it was possible. I'd probably just think I am some crazy guy with social anxiety who is attributing it to drugs. I guess anyone who has been through this withdrawal knows how messed up the whole experience is. In the early period of withdrawal I read a success story by LossLeader that kept me going. He recovered after 4 and a half years. Now that I'm approaching that point I feel like perhaps these remaining symptoms are permanent. I guess I will need to hang in there for another year or two and see if things change or not. I have thought as a very last resort I may try and go back on the drug. Many of you will think that it crazy. I think it is as well. I don't even know if I would have the guts to do it. At the same time I think maybe I am just dependent on those drugs now and perhaps it would help me live a normal life for a while. I guess I would only consider that option if I knew for sure that I was never going to get any better over time and I felt like my life was still severely limited. I'll have to wait and see how things go.
  25. Hi everyone I've suffered with post SSRI sexual dysfunction for the last 7 years. This is obviously a misleading term, as there are other side effects that aren't sexual, such as anhedonia and memory loss, poor cognitive functioning. I suffered with ED while I was on citalopram, but after I tapered off it, lost all sexuality and all the other stuff. :0( I wanted to join the forum to get some support from others sufferers, but also because I want to encourage participation in patient surveys which are forming the basis of scientific research into conditions such as PSSD, Post Accutane syndrome and Post Finasteride syndrome. I'm also trying to do my best to network to raise awareness of the condition amongst researchers. I'll leave that for now, since I guess I'd better let members and moderators get accustomed to me first. :0) I wish everyone well, especially in this increasingly difficult times, and hope we can work together to make some positive changes.
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