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  1. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  2. 9 years ago, I was prescribed 10mg of generic Prozac after a traumatic incident in my life that left me nearly catatonic. I continued on that dose for 7 years. Approximately 2 years ago, after a stressful work situation, my primary care doctor suggested I switch my antidepressant as he thought it became ineffective after so many years. He switched me to a dosage equivalent of generic Lexapro for a short time. I complained about a spike in anxiety so he then switched me to 50 mg of generic Zoloft. Shortly thereafter, I experienced major depersonalization and brain fog. I eventually went down to 25 mg of Zoloft and, somewhere in the midst of this, I experienced some other obscure health symptoms (pressure in head, tinnitus, dizziness, fatigue, neck and head pain, etc). I saw many specialists who all said my health checked out. I ultimately decided I wanted off of my antidepressant and my doctor recommended halving my dose for a week, and another, then stopping. I experienced some peculiar insomnia/hypomania, agitation and flatness the first few weeks, but, overall, I faired well. It wasn’t until about 2-3 months later, I would know literal hell. I have been imploding with anxiety, trembling, not eating, experiencing an avalanche of panic attacks, and not sleeping for 24 hours at a time- during which time I have rapid, intrusive thoughts teetering on hallucinations. I can feel my nervous system destabilizing and have an overwhelming feeling of dread. It has felt as if I’m on the precipice of permanent insanity. Sunday, I went to urgent care where I was prescribed Hydroxyzine for sleep and I was told I could not experience withdrawals 2-3 months after discontinuation; I was told I was experiencing a relapse. I have never experienced this kind of insomnia and anxiety prior to antidepressants. Yesterday, I started back on 25 mg of Zoloft. Today, I was prescribed 7.5 of Mirtazapine for sleep until the Zoloft takes effect. I will eventually address tapering again, but it won’t be through the suggestions of healthcare providers. Hopefully, I can rely on another’s experience for a successful taper. For now, I feel highly skeptical and disappointed in modern practitioners. I am hoping to stabilize my nervous system soon.
  3. Hi all. I really need some advice about reinstating. I was on Prozac for about 5 years (started at 20mg and was at 60mg for the last 1.5 years) for seasonal affective disorder and anxiety. A couple years ago, I started Adderall for suspected narcolepsy. My narcolepsy got much worse the following year and another stimulant, armodafinil, was added. I finally got approved for a treatment that treats the root problem by normalizing the sleep cycle and started Xywav in September 2021. A few weeks in, I woke up feeling rested for the first time in my life, but with some very unusual symptoms atypical for Xywav. Going down on the Xywav did not get rid of it. I did stop armodafinil which helped a bit. I was referred to a psychiatrist (scheduled 3 months out) and neurologist (scheduled 7 months out). I went 3 months with these symptoms (SEVERE anxiety, dizziness, tremor, muscle twitching and stiffness, feeling agitated by noise and light, and sensory overloads) and was finally diagnosed with serotonin toxicity from the psychiatrist. I did a rapid taper from 60mg to 20mg over 3 months. Each drop I made, I had withdrawal, then stabilized quickly and had the toxicity come back. My psychiatrist and I decided to try holding at 20mg because of a longer withdrawal period, but then I started to feel like the toxicity was coming back. I kept going and taking the pill because I didn't see how it could be toxicity at that point, but I kept getting worse each time I took it. I started having spasms and burning sensations on my skin and was very hyper-reflexive. I was eventually instructed to CT at 20mg. I immediately felt better the next day, pain and spasms were gone within 3 days and I improved dramatically over the next couple months with only mild withdrawal symptoms. I did treat the mild withdrawal by taking 0.25-0.5mg microdoses of Prozac as needed (which I realize now was probably a bad idea, but it worked at the time). At 4 weeks, I started to have mild tingling in my legs but didn't think much of it. At 6-7 weeks out I felt almost completely recovered and back to normal and then week 8 everything started going downhill with the burning and tingling sensations in my legs amping up. I tried my last microdose of 1mg on June 6 and didn't have much change in symptoms. Over the next several weeks, I developed burning and tingling in my arms, back/spine, chest, neck, face, and now stomach. Along with this, I also have had severe muscle spasms in various areas, stiffness/tightness, cramping, and general muscle/joint pain. Posting this, I have now been off for 4 months and am going through wave and window episodes of severe pain and less pain. Each wave I seem to have burning/tingling neuropathic type pain, muscle pain, spasm, or stiffness developing in a new area of my body, so it’s now widespread. The pain is milder during the day, but gets so much worse at night and is causing lots of fear and anxiety. Since starting 5-htp, curcumin, and modified cictrus pectin (recommend by a naturopath) I seem to be having a few more windows through the day of a lot less pain and even 1-2 nights a week where the pain does not become severe at night. My mental symptoms are anxiety/fear, detachment (happens 6-8pm everyday) and some mood swings/low mood. The intense fear caused by the pain is the worst one. Most of my other symptoms are physical (blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite). I know reinstating can be a bit risky this far out, but I am a grad student and the semester will be starting soon. I would like to be more functional than I am... and in less pain. So is it worth trying a reinstatement at this point to see if the pain will go away or should I just try to wait this out? If I do choose to reinstate, my psychiatrist suggested reinstating 5mg, but would it be better to start at 1-2mg and work up? 4 months off at end of July and primary symptoms are pain (burning/tingling neuropathic pain, spasms, stiffness, aches bodywide), blurred vision, dizziness, detachment, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth and eyes, mood swings, and a lot of anxiety and fear. A couple other things. One thing I have working for me in withdrawal is my Xywav. I always get 8 hours of quality sleep a night with no insomnia, so maybe that will help me to stabilize just a bit faster than normal (or maybe its wistful thinking...). I also don't think I have a chemical sensitivity. I have started supplements, an antiviral (acyclovir), and lowered the adderall without any obvious worsening of symptoms. Also is there anybody here who can relate to this and has developed a lot of pain in withdrawal? I’m 24 and never had pain before. I have had a full autoimmune and blood work up as well as a brain mri. All normal, so hopefully it's just withdrawal. Sorry for the long post, but thank you for reading and any advice you can offer.
  4. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  5. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  6. Hello, my name is Ben from Germany, I am 26 years old. I stopped taking Fluoxetin 20mg After 4 weeks because of the immens problems with the medicine. I had stomache, brain and health problems, lost Libido and nearly no erection and lost feelings in my genitals. Now after 5 months off I still have so many Problems. I feel sick, have Brain/ thinking Problems and I am Always tired and have no power at all. I dont want to do anything... sad :( and I dont have any erection... its like if he‘s dead. So now I am wondering what could/ should I do? My girlfriend is really nice but I think she needs sex :( and I cant. Was the Cold turkey a bad decision? What would u recommend to me? Thanks for your answers, Ben (26)
  7. 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
  8. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  9. I will keep this short as I can. I gave up fluoxetine in my early 60s when I had the opportunity to retire, having been taking ADs for previous 15 years or so. I didn’t taper having tried it before, and with my personality type I was keen just to turn my back on the whole lot of it and see what happened. At the same time, this is 2018, my friend tried to give up by tapering. Now 4 years later having tried cutting down many times she has just been prescribed yet another type of AD this time stronger than ever. I went through hell giving up but you do come out of the other and I feel sorry for my friend who is still stuck and suffering. First six months. Pure unadulterated hell. I spent a lot of time crying. The psychological pain found a focus in the state of the world and the intense cruelty of humans towards animals (even thought of all the farm creatures penned up with no freedom felt like a hideous knife twisting into my heart). Everything was unbearable, I didn’t sleep well and woke hideously early.I could barely go out, would try having coffee with sympathetic friends and would end up just sitting in silence with tears running down my cheeks. 6 months to one year. Still a hellish existence, those close to me started losing patience and sympathy. I started getting comments like ‘maybe you’re just one of those people who always need to take them’, or ‘have you tried mindfulness/etc’ while putting on a why isn’t she pulling herself together by now face. The second year of withdrawal. At this point I realised it is all about the brain chemicals. There is not a thing you can do until your brain has had time to heal and recover and find its own balance and that will take as long as it takes, so don’t give up, nothing external really seems to help you just need time. I was still trying all sorts of things, eg cold swimming when I could, but it’s not a miracle cure nothing is. You just need to keep fighting it for another day, day after day. Realise that 99%of the advice and suggestions, both medical and ‘alternative’ are bullsh*t. People confuse their journey battling low mood where it worked for them to take that supplement and do that meditation with people like you and I who are suffering a chemical depression where every home grown good feeling the body can create has fled and won’t be coming back for a good long while. Hang in there! After about 18 months it was starting to ease in that by mid to late afternoon my mood was starting to lift and I was even getting some prolonged moments of inner peace from the tortured thoughts that continually plagued me. But really for the first two years there was a pattern; wake up (too early) and feel normal for about 30 seconds then countdown to the plunge into the abyss as the cortisol kicked in. And I really do mean the abyss. Third year. Generally started actually feeling I was on the road to recovery. The daily cortisol plunge was being shaken off earlier as each month went by. I still had terribly sensitive emotions related to my pain focus of choice (world/animals) and just hearing about the wrong thing would do the trick. My courage started to return in lots of little ways and life started to get back to normal although everything had changed at the same time. Looking back, some things that provided temporary relief: being outdoors, taking a walk, doing some gardening, cold swimming or showering, repeating a mantra to crowd out the repetitive negative thoughts - pick your own. I chose the Vedic spiritual mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna… etc find it on the internet. This is with the greatest respect to that great Indian tradition from which the mantra comes, I followed transcendental meditation for many years so it had a spiritual meaning for me. A practical tip the mantra should be soothing, easy to repeat over and over. Late afternoons I started to look forward to a strong cocktail sipped in the garden with a little puff of homegrown (also the only reason why I was able to sleep at all). Obvious warning - if you have an addictive personality you will be particularly vulnerable during withdrawal so watch out. Now four years later. I am definitely 100% over it and have been for a while, now getting psychologically stronger all the time and better than ever before. if you are suffering at the start or in the middle of your journey that sounds like an awfully long time, almost too much to bear. But you must bear it for your long term benefit and when you are free you will finally have your life back in a way that you never truly had been able to perceive it before. You will have been through hell and survived. The great statesman Winston Churchill kept me going, I repeated a quote to myself all the time ‘if you find yourself in hell, keep going’. If you are young and have been prescribed these medications for anxiety and depression the one thing that will help you terminate your trajectory into lifelong suffering is the one thing in this modern world that is kept in short supply - peace and healing nature. This will be so difficult for you as the modern consuming lifestyle by which we are all tethered and controlled relies on providing constant dopamine hits from clicks and thrills, it is ultra addictive poison - avoid if you have any desire and hope of building a peaceful and meaningful life, and spend as much time in nature and with pets and other animals as you can. (IMHO of course!). For the first 18 months I scoured this website multiple times a day because the one thing that helped was hearing about other people’s experiences and knowing there were others like me suffering on this awful journey that we can only travel alone. As I started to get better I promised myself I would thank this website and the good people who run it for the support and for keeping hope alive that there is actually something worthwhile at the end of the long dark tunnel we’ve had to travel. I hope my experience is of benefit to you. Just keep going, if you do I promise you that the outcome will be unavoidable - freedom and relief.
  10. Hi! Thank you for including me here ❤️ I have been taking lexapro since April 2021 (went from 5 to 10 in March, then to 15 in September and increased to 20 in October). In December I realized the sedation and headaches I had been having might be due to lexapro, so I tapered off it quite fast (in 10 days from 20 to zero). Inmediately, I had huge GI issues, so I went back to lexapro 7,5 mg. In January I tried to switch to Prozac and cross tapered in 2 weeks. My GI became awful and (sorry for the detail 🙈) I begun burping nonstop, constantly, uncontrollably, every 2 seconds. I thought it was due to Prozac so after a week on Prozac (completely off lex), I quit prozac and returned to lexapro 7,5. However, my GI symptoms continue after a month and especially the burping is horrible. I have read that both lexapro and lexapro withdrawal can cause this symptom, so I don’t know whether it may be caused by having reduced the dose or by being on it… I wonder whether to wait and give my body more time time to adjust to this dose, or to try and lower the dose / taper off. Please, I would really appreciate if someone could help me. THANK YOU SO MUCH IN ADVANCE
  11. Hi all, I've been tapering off cymbalta for, several years, after having taken it on and off for about 15 years. For at least the past year I've taken 5 mg (1 bead from the Lupin generic). I took my last 5 mg dose about six weeks ago. I felt fine for about a week, but then briefly had brain zaps. Twitching in my feet and legs (a minor no big deal thing that happens to my anyhow) got significantly worse, to the point where it is interfering with my sleep. I'm also generally not sleeping well, and so my mood is labile. Or it's just labile because of the withdrawal? My question is does it seem legit that this could be withdrawal even though 5 mg is such a low dose? I'm considering taking a dose to see if the symptoms go away, but I worry that might start the process over. Any ideas, feedback, suggestions are appreciated. Thanks! karla posted this back in 2017 in the PSSD topic (only one post made):
  12. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  13. Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to start with a quick synopsis of my medical background below. I took SSRI antidepressants for 17+ years. I started with Prozac for 5 years from 15-21. Then I took Escitalopram from 22-32. Along the way I was put on Trazodone, Buspar, Ambien and Wellbutrin as well. All in an attempts to control my anxiety/depression and inability to sleep. Also a little mental history - I was bullied from about the age of 9 to the age of 16. It's pretty obvious in hindsight why I was depressed/anxious. I thought the people in this world were mean. I thought everywhere I went was an unsafe place because at this time it was. In response to this I took up boxing and working out so I could become stronger than my bullies. In all honesty it worked. As soon as I became strong and in shape I became popular out of nowhere, which was an interesting transition. Anyways, that's another story for another time. At 15 I visited the doctor because I always held things to myself because I never told my parents I was being bullied or that life outside of my bedroom sucked. They just thought I was sad/depressed. Depression also runs deep in my family. My mother has been on an extreme cocktail of antidepressants since she was about 20. Although this cocktail has been quite a rollercoaster for her as well. She thought this was the only way to help. I had no one to talk to and I felt like the world was an unsafe and scary place so when the doctor prescribed anti depressants and the anxiety disappeared I thought it was a miracle. At this time the extreme side effects didn't matter to me. The fact I lost my ability to feel empathy because I was numb didn't matter because I didn't like people enough to care to empathize with them. I thought I was going to make it in this world on my own come hell or high water. This idea set me off on a path of perfectionism, egocentrism, hedonism and drug abuse. This life is not meant to be lived alone. To make sure this story doesn't become a novel I'm going to go ahead and summarize it here. For 16 years I went on a binger of sorts. Chasing all the highs this world has to offer. Whether this be dating multiple women, chasing drugs and festival culture, chasing adrenaline highs in the form of mountain biking, power lifting or cliff diving. I kept chasing thrills to fill the emotional void left by the SSRI. I also had to be perfect at this point. I had to have a straight A's in college. A quick aside (I had a long period of alcohol addiction that ran in parallel with my SSRI usage from about 16-21). This caused me to fall behind in life so I felt like I had to catch-up quick, mixed with the perfectionism created from early bullying it caused an immense amount of anxiety in my day to day life. I wasn't allowed to rest, make a mistake or simply apologize when I was wrong. This caused insane amounts of chaos in my relationships throughout these years. Finally when I hit about 31 I decided I had enough of this chaos. A 6-year relationship and all of my life long friendships finally collapsed on me. They were built on a false human. They were built on a man that didn't exist. I see myself as two people honestly. The person that was on anti-depressants is not the same human I am off them. Honestly in my mind half the withdrawal is realizing you built a life not suitable to the person you are off the medicine. I moved to a new area and started a new life. I also quit my anti-depressants. I began hiking and looking inward. It took about 6 months from the insomnia, brain zaps, panic attacks and extreme social anxiety to subside. I managed these symptoms with extreme self inquiry. I also started walking daily. I'm running out of time to write this so let me summarize this pretty quickly here. I'm not perfectly better now. I think anxiety/depression are a part of existence now. I accept there will be days I'm tired/scared and will have panic attacks, but I've learned to sit with these emotions and understand this too shall pass. Getting of my anti-depressant also gave me my empathy back. I built closer connections with people than I've had in the past 17 years. It was extremely hard to rebuild a social support system and a new life while quitting the SSRI though. I would say overall life feels deeper now though. In summary: 1) Took SSRI's for 17+ years. Felt like a zombie. I won't say it was all bad. If you are suicidal and have no other options I would say these are better than that alternative. If you believe you have any other options though I would urge you to try them all out. 2) Quit SSRI's at 32. Created a new life. 3) Anxiety/depression still exists but I now just believe these to be a part of life as opposed to something to get rid of. 4) Found a social support system that saved me, built around the real me. Sorry for jumping around so much on this post. I was trying to work from home at the same time. So I kept jumping back into it. If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know!
  14. Hi all. I’m writing on behalf of my husband. Bit of background: 2003 was put on Prozac for 3 months- no adverse reaction and subsequently various doses of venlafaxine which he successfully came off of with no issues. 2013 was switched from Venlafaxine to sertraline. Had ‘activation syndrome’ (extreme anxiety) for 8 weeks (always thought it was him) but went away once body used to drug. August 2021 had been on 25mg for years and thought he would taper over 2 months, successfully came off no issues or problems. january 2022- I was having a C section and he was a bit worried, nothing extreme though, just normal worry and decided to reinstate the Sertraline. Within days, ‘activation syndrome’ was back. He stayed on for 5 weeks and then doctor said ‘come off as you weren’t anxious or depressed to start with’ symptoms of withdrawal started but manageable. He thought after 6 weeks that it wasn’t withdrawal as nhs website said it should have gone after 2 weeks! March 2022- started mirtazapine at 15mg going up to 30mg. Fine for 3 weeks, but then developed activation syndrome and quickly came off. GP advised to go back on to sertraline at a bigger dose- ended up in a and e, so agitated! 3 weeks later, he thought that the mirtazapine might be less activating at a smaller dose, so went back on at 15mg… alas, 3 weeks later, activation syndrome is back! june 5th came off and has been battling severe anxiety, but generally, every other day! I am aware of windows and waves but don’t understand this. One day he’s perfect and the next can’t leave the house! He also started propanalol in June which we feel makes it worse as apparently it blocks seritonin to a degree, but makes anxiety a lot worse if he reduces (or maybe he did too big a jump). NHS have left us to it, no help! Have a private appointment on Monday. Questions are: If he is getting windows this early on, is it a good sign?! The only symptom he has is extreme anxiety/agitation which seems more a reaction to lack of seritonin, thus firing out tons of cortisol? Could he go on a low dose of Prozac to see if that helps? Prozac is the only antidepressant he doesn’t think caused activation syndrome?! is there any experiences with propanalol making matters worse? I think there is a slight improvement in the anxiety but considering it’s only been out of his system for 6 weeks I expect takes a lot longer to build new pathways etc/level out. Thanks for reading. Just want my husband back, it’s destroying me and him!
  15. Hi, I'm new, thanks for letting me join. I started Prozac 7 years ago after having severe anxiety after my daughter was born. My anxiety particularly revolved around sleep. 7 years later and after CBT I felt ready to taper off them which I did slowly over months. I had the usual withdrawal symptoms tiredness, highly irritable, brain fog, sadness and a little anxiety. And some weird symptoms - Im hungry all the time for sweet things and constantly want an alcoholic drink. And the sensation of my eyes wanting to cry when I don't feel sad. Also all my emotions that had been numbed came flooding back - I cry at sad movies and have empathy again. The positive side is that my terrible drug induced sweating problem is gone which is so wonderful! I didn't revert to the sleep anxiety or panic attacks I had before so I thought hey, I'm succeeding, I'm doing ok. I'm now 6 weeks on but I have suddenly started feeling very sad and tearful and I'm worrying I'm going backwards. Is this normal? I didn't actually start the antidepressants for depression but that's how I'm starting to feel.
  16. ADMIN NOTE: Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to fluoxetine. Be sure to read details and cautions below . Consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner before changing medications. Also see Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac) Switching or bridging with another related drug, usually of a longer half-life, is a medically recognized way to get off psychiatric drugs, particularly if you find tapering your original drug to be intolerable. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug. For many doctors, a switch to Prozac to go off a different antidepressant is routine. Because of the risks of switching drugs -- see below -- we recommend attempting a very gradual direct taper from your drug, with bridging with a different drug only a last resort. There are a lot of unknowns in bridging. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has the longest half-life of any of the modern antidepressants. Because it takes more than a week for a dose to be metabolized completely, a careful taper off fluoxetine is easier for many people -- see information about Tapering off Prozac. And, at least fluoxetine comes in a liquid. (Do not assume fluoxetine is "self-tapering"! We have many people here with Prozac withdrawal syndrome. While going off fluoxetine usually has less risk, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. No bridging strategy is risk-free.) Citalopram (Celexa )and its sibling escilatopram (Lexapro) have half-lives of about 35 hours, a relatively long half-life among SSRIs, and are other candidates for a bridging strategy. They also come in a liquid form. You must find a knowledgeable doctor to help you to with a bridging strategy. The cross-taper method discussed below is probably the safest way to make a change in drugs. You might wish to print this post out to discuss it with your doctor. For most people the switch goes smoothly but for some it doesn't. The drawbacks of switching to another drug to get off the first drug, described below, apply to ALL bridging strategies for ALL drugs, including benzodiazepines (where people often want to bridge with diazepam per the Ashton method). Risks of bridging A bridging strategy has the following drawbacks for a minority of those who try it: Dropping the first antidepressant in the switch may cause withdrawal symptoms even though you're taking a bridge drug. Adverse reaction to the bridge drug, such as Prozac. Serotonin toxicity or adverse effects of a drug combination. If withdrawal symptoms are already underway, switching to a bridge drug may not help. A cross-taper requires a number of careful steps. Difficulty tapering off the bridge drug. All of the bridge drugs can be difficult to taper themselves. So, like anything else, a drug switch is not guaranteed to work. When to switch or bridge "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know". A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to the substitute drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. The risk of a switch is justified if you find a taper from the original drug is simply too difficult. Usually people will do a switch when they find reducing the original antidepressant by even a small amount -- 10% or even 5% -- causes intolerable withdrawal symptoms. (I have heard doctors say they don't even try tapering off paroxetine (Paxil) or venlafaxine (Effexor ), they switch to Prozac at the beginning of the tapering process.) If you are having intolerable withdrawal or adverse effects from an antidepressant, it may be worth risking the worst case, which is that a switch to a bridge drug doesn't help and you have withdrawal syndrome anyway. If you're thinking of switching simply as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risks against the amount of convenience you would gain. Generally, switching for convenience is a bad idea. CAUTION: A switch to a bridge drug is not guaranteed to work. It's safer to slow down a taper than count on a switch. A switch really should be used only when a taper becomes unbearable or there are other serious adverse effects from the medication. You must work with a doctor who is familiar with bridging, in case you develop severe symptoms. Overview of cross-tapering method For drug switches, many doctors prefer cross-tapering, where a low dose of one drug is added and gradually increased while the first drug is reduced. For a period, both drugs are taken at the same time. Here is a graphic representation of cross-tapering: If you are making a switch to Prozac, the second antidepressant is fluoxetine (Prozac). Given fluoxetine's long half-life, it may take a couple of weeks to reach full effect. The effect of the amount you add at each stage of the cross-taper will build throughout the process. As it is possible to overshoot Prozac dosage, it's best to be very conservative about increasing fluoxetine throughout the cross-taper, you could end up with serotonin toxicity from too much fluoxetine (see below). Also see this discussion about cross-tapering with Prozac: Serotonin toxicity and serotonin syndrome You run the risk of serotonin toxicity if you are taking too much serotonergic. Most antidepressants (and some other drugs, such as triptans and MDMA) are serotonergics. Serotonergic effects of antidepressants are added when you take more than one of them, particularly if you add an SSRI (such as Prozac, Celexa, or Lexapro) to an SNRI (such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima)). (Other types of antidepressants should not be combined with tricyclics or MAOIs.) Symptoms of too much serotonergic can be: Nervousness, anxiety, akathisia, sleeplessness, fast heartbeat. Symptoms of serotonin toxicity can be these plus disorientation, sweating, and others. Serotonin syndrome is even more serious. See Serotonin Syndrome or Serotonin Toxicity Reduction of the drug dose should resolve serotonin toxicity. Note that if you cross-taper, you will be taking 2 drugs at once for part of the time. Because of the potential of serotonin toxicity by overdosing SSRIs as well as in combination with SNRIs, it's safest to err on the lower side of a Prozac dose "equivalent" -- such as 5mg -- to your original drug. This is why doctors familiar with the Prozac switch will cross-taper by adding an initial LOW DOSE of Prozac to an SNRI. Start low, the effect of fluoxetine will increase over several weeks. Another concern: Escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs. If you add 10mg escilatopram to the high dose of 60mg duloxetine (Cymbalta), for example, you run the risk of serotonergic toxicity -- 10mg escilatopram is equal to approximately 20mg-30mg duloxetine. How much fluoxetine (Prozac) to substitute for my drug? Since fluoxetine's half-life is so much longer than those of other antdepressants, its effect is a little different. It's not a stronger antidepressant, but the effect of each dose lasts much longer. This may be the reason a lower dose of fluoxetine often seems to adequately substitute for other antidepressants. For an idea of equivalent doses of your medication to fluoxetine (Prozac) read this post (January 7, 2018) in this topic. It compares fluoxetine 40mg/day (a fairly high dose of Prozac) to other antidepressants. Source of that data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911132 If you have tapered to a lower dose of an antidepressant, an even lower dose of Prozac may be more tolerable. If you are about half-way down, you might want to try 10mg Prozac. If you have decreased further, you may wish to try 5mg Prozac. If you have substituted fluoxetine for your drug and after two weeks, you feel you have withdrawal symptoms, you may wish to gradually the fluoxetine dosage. After each change in fluoxetine, wait at least 2 weeks to see the effect before deciding on another increase. More is not better for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. EXAMPLES OF THE PROZAC SWITCH Below is information I've gathered from doctors about how to do the Prozac switch. You will see there is no standard protocol. Healy 2009 method for the Prozac switch From Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines: Phelps-Kelly 2010 method for Prozac switch From Clinicians share information about slow tapering (2010) Jim Phelps, one of the authors of the above, posted in 2005 in some detail about the so-called "Prozac bridging" strategy. He said it is described in Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash, maybe in the chapter titled of "Held Hostage." The technique Dr. Phelps described in this post skips doses and finishes with alternating dosages, which we do not recommend for people who are sensitive to withdrawal symptoms. Given that fluoxetine liquid is available, this is completely unnecessary. Foster 2012 method for Prozac switch Dr. Mark Foster, a GP whose mission is to get people safely off psychiatric drugs includes this in a presentation he gives to doctors. http://www.gobhi.org/spring_conference_powerpoints/safewithdrawal_of_psychotropics%5Bautosaved%5D.ppt. His method involves overlapping Prozac with the other antidepressant -- cross-tapering. Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler) For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil (20mg) or Cymbalta (20mg), he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge." The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excessive serotonergic stimulation (serotonin toxicity) from the combination of the two antidepressants during the overlap period. Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be easier than tapering off Effexor. Smoothing out a transition to fluoxetine Even with a cross-taper, your system might feel a jolt after you finally drop the initial antidepressant, particularly if it is an SNRI, such as Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta, or other drug that is not an SSRI like fluoxetine. (Other SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro). If you go through a rough patch after the transition, patients find they can take a tiny chip of the original drug (or a bead or two, if it's a capsule containing beads) for a week or two to smooth out the transition. Eventually, you'd take a chip as needed only when you feel a wave of withdrawal from the original drug, and then finally leave the original drug entirely behind. (A gelatin capsule might make a tablet fragment easier to get down, but it is not necessary if you can wash it down with a good swallow of water. The gelatin capsule quickly dissolves in your stomach.) Here's an example. There is no shame in doing this. Whatever works, works.
  17. Hello everyone, I'm urgently seeking advice on my current situation, which is scary, unfortunate, and a complete mess. I'm a 30 year old female who has been on-and-off fluoxetine (20-40 mg) for depression and anxiety over the past 13 years. Due to personal instability, I was constantly moving around and seeing new providers. A cycle began where I would discontinue and within 4-6 months be put back on the drug due to a "recurrent episode." I now believe that these recurrent episodes were in fact withdrawal symptoms. I knew nothing about the long-term effects of the drug, and how these periods of discontinuation and reinstatement were priming me for hypersensitivity. The last time I discontinued the drug (fluoxetine 20mg), I noticed within 2 months that I could no longer tolerate, even at a very small dose, another drug that I had previously tolerated (spironolactone). That was the first sign that something was amiss. 4 months after discontinuing, due to severe distress and anguish, I decided to go back on fluoxetine. I started 10 mg fluoxetine for 12 days. I had some headaches, which was typical for me, but I also noticed some other physical side effects - like dizziness and just "feeling off" - which I thought was odd. I wasn't sure what was causing it, so I ceased the fluoxetine. 2.5 weeks after stopping, the physical side effects abated, and I was back to feeling normal. Then, 3 weeks after stopping, I had a huge emotional breakdown -- screaming, crying, urges to self-harm. I decided that I needed to re-start the drug immediately. I began taking the 10 mg fluoxetine again, and started having intense side effects from it that I had never had before. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was kindling. I figured I would stabilize on that dose, so I continued. While some of my side effects partially stabilized, I was still having issues, when all of a sudden a new side effect emerged at 3.5 weeks -- what appeared to be neurogenic bladder. I went to a doctor and they told me I needed to stop taking fluoxetine. With one skipped dose, the issue immediately resolved. I then went through an absolutely hellish 25 day withdrawal unlike anything I have ever experienced. The headaches and neck pain were so severe, and the insomnia so intense, that out of desperation I tried to re-instate at a low dose - approx. 2.5 mg one day, and 1.25 mg the next. This didn't seem to help, but make things worse, so I stopped. However, I'm now 4 days past the botched re-instatement, and I can tell it has had some improvement. The headaches have stopped, but now I am in almost a hypo-manic, jittery state from the increased dose. I'm at a loss as to what the next step should be, and my current provider is no help. Now that I've come to this website, I've realized all the errors I have made. I believe I have basically kindled twice, and I can tell that I have become extremely hyper-sensitive to the drug. At this point, is my nervous system so shot that I need to just give up on the fluoxetine and try to survive the second withdrawal? The only other option I can think of is to try to stabilize on a lower dose -- try taking 0.1 mg? 0.5 mg? -- but I'm not sure if that's feasible given my sensitivity and fluoxetine's long half-life, which will make the levels fluctuate in my blood for awhile before becoming consistent. I'm very scared, and none of the doctors or psychiatrists I've talked to understand what has happened. I'm honestly afraid that I might have a seizure and not survive this.
  18. Hello everyone, I am very thankful to be here. I am completely new to the site and looking for advice and guidance. I quit 20 mg of fluoxetine cold turkey about 7 weeks ago. I had been told by both my PCP and psych nurse practitioner that is was "such a low dose" that I would probably do fine. The first thing I noticed was irritability, followed by depressed mood, insomnia, and now anxiety/worry/fear. History: 2009 (age 27)-2019: Start 20 mg of escitalopram for eating disorder and major depressive disorder. Sxs alleviated. 2016-2019: Slow, gradual taper off of escitalopram with final dose July 2019. 3 months later: insomnia, fear/doom, excessive anxiety to the point of not functioning in life. 2020: Started 30 mg fluoxetine for anxiety sxs. 2021: Reduce to 20 mg, no problems June of 2022: Quit 20 mg of fluoxetine, cold turkey. Current complaints after 6-7 weeks: quickly noticed high irritability. Now bad insomnia. Also return of depressed mood, anxiety/fear/doom about things that are very much under control and okay, worse on days that I get very bad sleep. Occasionally able to sleep a solid night. In hindsight, I really wish I would've tapered off of the 20 mg despite it being a "small dose." Small dose but a world of difference. Motivation for getting off: I just want to see if I really need drugs to live or can my coping tools be enough. Potential future pregnancy. Worries about staying on a drug indefinitely. Experience while on Prozac: it works. No side effects that were bothersome, no emotional numbing like when I was on escitalopram. Life is good. Questions to you all: Aside from the insomnia, I'm not convinced I'm experiencing withdrawal sxs. It really just seems like a return of the emotional sxs that brought me to meds in the first place. No brainzaps, physiological oddities, etc. Just the insomnia. What is your take? Considering I quit cold turkey and shouldn't have, what are best next steps? Things are starting to get to the point where I'm getting desperate to get back on medication just to feel like my happy old self (prozac self) again. I do all the right things: good bedtime routine, regular exercise, good nutrition, no drugs, rare glass of alcohol, regular meditation, and back to seeing my therapist regularly. Could I be doing more harm by getting back on prozac rather than just waiting it out longer? Any insight is appreciated. I want to live my life free of SSRI's but I have serious doubts it's possible. Thanks for being here.
  19. If anyone can offer me some tapering advice I'd be so grateful, I'm really struggling here. I had severe OCD and Tourette's as a child, I was HEAVILY over medicated (Haldol and a bunch of other toxic ****) and then refused meds for 20+ years but smoked pot daily (so I was self medicating). 3 1/2 years ago my son was born and my OCD got significantly worse. I went to a doctor who put me on Sertraline. I was SO SENSITIVE to it - 2 weeks horrible side effects, 2 weeks lessening side effects, 2 weeks the worst side effects, 1 month lessening, 6 weeks feeling really good (better than before the meds it felt like), then wake up one day and over the next week would start to feel more and more depressed with SI that I'd never had before in my life. Then go up again. This was with 12.5 mg increases. I tried liquid but even a .5 increase would cause the same pattern so I just muscled through on the 12.5 increases. Once I got to 200 mg, the same pooping out would happen after 3 months, and the doctor started talking about 300 or 400 mg. I decided I had to do something else. I started Ketamine IV. The initial round of 6 helped with the mood and OCD a TON. However, in the week following, every day I woke up feeling like my sertraline does had doubled. I was drowning in serotonin (or whatever it was that was happening!). I very quickly dropped down to 150 and then 125 and felt better for a month or two, while getting ketamine IV every 3 weeks. I had 0 side effects from the quick drop, but that probably has something to do with the ketamine. But 3 months later, the same crapping out happened. Just one day I'm sobbing and hitting my head and thinking I don't deserve to be alive. Got a new doctor who thought Prozac might be better with the longer half life. Switched to 40 prozac, barely had any side effects. For 5 weeks thought answers were solved.!Then one day I woke up and it was like I was drowning in serotonin again, worse every day. Eventually it was much worse than even post the ketamine IV. So I went down to 30, but I got pretty sick, felt really bad. In retrospect, this was my first time where lowering ***** with my system. I went back to 40 but I was immediately (well, within 48 hours) snowed again. Talked to doctor who said let's try lexapro. I said, can I switch to lowest dose possible and go up if I need it? She said "sure!" Went to 5 lexapro, tapering VERY fast off the prozac over 3 weeks. That was 6 weeks ago, when hell really started. On 5 lexapro alone I started having horrible side effects after 2-3 weeks. Went up to 7.5 but had INCREASE side effects, went back to 5. At this point every dose change was making me have SI and sobbing, feeling insane, ecetera. Decided, can't do the SSRI this is madness. Found a really wonderful place that does microdosing psylocibin, started that 3 weeks ago. It for sure helps, a lot, especially on the non break days. Switched back to 5 of prozac, I had the smoothest experience on the prozac of the 3, honestly felt like Lexapro was poison to me and I was only on it for 6 weeks, half of which was on prozac. So just went back. Debated going to 5 vs 10, but I really wanted to be on the lower dose, so I did 5. My mood is more stable by the day, but I'm having severe brain zaps pretty much all day long. I found this forum, watched all the suggested videos. I now know to do a liquid tape, 5 to 2.5 to 1.25 to .6 to 0, a month at a time, and I won't even start that taper till I'm a month out from these brain zaps. My question is, given how bad my brain zaps currently are, at 2 weeks on the 5 mg of prozac, should I INCREASE the prozac until the brain zaps stop? If I did this I was thinking maybe go to 10 mg, wait 3 days to see if they stop, if they don't go up to 15, so on and so forth, then once they've stopped, at THAT POINT being the 10% taper per month? OR should I just wait at the 5mg of the prozac and once I'm a month past side effects continue. Overall I wish I could just stay at the 5mg, because I'm already here. But if the zaps could be here a LONG TIME, I just can't take that. And maybe it's too late to go back up? I just don't know. Any advice anyone could offer on the best plan, given where I'm currently at, I'd be so so grateful.
  20. Took and stopped prozac and abilify with not much problem. Following ocd depression and a panic attack took them again. After a week constant panic attack and insomnia. Doctor gives lexapro(10) and zyprexa(5). A Week later i decide i have to stop. Tried tapering zyprexa but because of the ocd coming back failed badly. Took 3 months.Some kindling in the stopping process hurt me. Quit after like a 1 mg a week and at 0.6 mg. After 2 days at 0 mg i had very good energy just breathing made me smile. Then the energy decreased and 4 days later sleep problems started so i took zyprexa again 0.6 mg maybe. After two days sleep kinda stabilised so i stopped. 10 days later im worse than i started but not taking the drug is helping me cope. I pray i didnt do damage. Should i reinstate? Also currently trying to lower lexapro.
  21. Hi, I have been struggling with hearing sensitivity and eye issues ever since I made the mistake of listening to my neurologist and trying Effexor, and then upon recommendation of a psychiatrist, Prozac. Both were for short time periods. I am a little more than 4 months out of my last prozac dose. Ears/Hearing: hypersensitive to certain sounds - sudden sounds, sharp impact sounds, crinkling plastic wrappers etc. High pitched tinnitus that is generally not too instrusive and can be better or worse but always there. No hearing loss as of post-Effexor, pre-prozac. Eyes: “tight” feeling that is somewhat better than a few months ago but still not normal. I probably have some visual snow, and my night vision is worse because it’s like my eyes are amplifying light that’s not even there. Constantly bloodshot and dry eyes - taking restasis but opthamologist didn’t see any other eye issues. Balance: generally ok but occasional unsteadiness. Other: Mild constipation: gastroenterologist didn’t see anything wrong. Some TMJ pain and minor random muscle twitches. Occasional facial tremors that are better than a few months ago but not gone. Frequent trouble sleeping- falling asleep, getting enough sleep or deep sleep. Basically I believe that these drugs hypersensitized me. I sincerely hope that this hypersensitivity will decrease over time. I have seen some improvement vs say 2 months ago, but I have a long way to go. I have read on this site that it can take a long time for the nervous system to calm down. I believe that I am generally improved on magnitude of sensitivity vs say 2 months ago, but I am clearly not on a “some people take as much as a month to recover” timeframe.
  22. Hey, my name's Leland. Last May, 2020, I started having Panic Attacks due to life stress, COVID fears, and unhealthy lifestyle habits. After a week of bad anxiety, DP/DR, I was prescribed 10 MG Prozac. The first week was managable, so I increased to 20 MG. Did all kinds of research on the drug to assuage my fears, but my side effects were pretty minimal. Panic attacks continued once a week or so, but began to slowly weaken. After one bad day in late July 2020, my doctor and I increased my dose to 30 MG. After a few weeks of this I felt pretty calm again. For the next few months, my anxiety was hit or miss, but I stopped having panic attacks, and I learned to live with the anxiety that would creep up, so largely that went away as well. I felt pretty detached and foggy with the medicine, but very calm, so it was worth it. This spring, I had gone 7 or so months without a panic attack, so I decided to taper off. My doctor recommended dropping 10 MG every 2-4 weeks, so I chose 4 weeks. Went from 30 to 20, then to 10 on May 8. On June 1 I took my last 10 MG pill. Immediately I felt withdrawal symptoms. Brain zaps, fatigue, body and head aches, and a feeling like I was underwater. Did some research on my own and found this site! Decided after 5 week of symptoms to talk to my doctor about reinstating and tapering again, from 5 MG. Before I received the liquid medicine, I went on a vacation with family and drank, a lot. Came back to California having new and severe anxiety attacks (not panic attacks, since I gained the skills to stop them from becoming panic). New feelings of DP/DR came from the anxiety. Took my first reinstated dose of 3 MG on July 30. The next week was full of dizziness, anxiety, DP/DR, aches. Came to an understanding with my Psychiatrist that binge drinking while having Withdrawal Symptoms led to my anxiety outburst. Increased to 5 MG liquid on August 7. Since then, my anxiety has lessened some, but I still have daily feelings of feeling underwater, occasional anxiety outbursts, and fatigue. Have cut my drinking by 85%, now only 2 beers per week. Sleeping well, eating well and exercising, walking to lessen my anxiety. Ultimately, I'm staying on 5 MG liquid for several more weeks before doing the 10% taper. Withdrawal symptoms *seem* better, definitely no more brain zaps. But it's hard to tell with all my new anxiety symptoms. I want to calm my anxiety holistically, instead of increasing my prozac back up to 10 or 20 MGs. The medicine really worked for me, but I want to be able to remove it from my life eventually as well. Will continue to take care of myself everyday, and hope both the medicine and anxiety symptoms even themselves out over time. Excited to have found this site!
  23. hello, this is my first time posting. I have read some of the forums on here but I still am having difficulty on how to proceed. I was on Paxil 40mg for 7 years. I hate it. I cross tapered onto prozac 40 over 9 days. I was stupid and tried to reduce the Prozac’s dose a couple days as well. The withdrawal is so bad now I can barely get up and I haven’t eaten much of anything in days. These are the same symptoms I felt from stopped Paxil before; intense nausea, headache, vertigo, lethargy, brain zaps, depressed. I can’t function at all. today and yesterday I’ve taken 40mg prozac. I’m going to call the psychiatrist on Monday but honestly they have no clue about anything related to withdrawal and never give me guidance. I have very little faith in them being able to help me. Does anyone know if this is just from stopping Paxil? Or starting prozac? Does being on another ssri not stop the withdrawal from another? I’ve tried withdrawal from Paxil on its own and it’s just impossible. I have no idea what to do at this point. If the United States had free healthcare I would go to the hospital but it doesn’t so I’m not doing that. I’m not sure how much they could even do.
  24. I've been on a daily dose of 20mg of Prozac [fluexotine] for 25 years for depression. I'd like to discontinue its use because I don't want to be dependent on Prozac any longer. I have tried to taper off slowly but have experienced weird side effects like dizziness and electrical brain zaps and a return to sadness and depression when tapering. I'm not taking any other meds for anything. I have one doctor [GP] that tells me to keep taking it if its working, the other tells me to get off the drugs entirely I shouldn't be on them for 25 years - the drugs have side effects and other dangers, so right there you have two medical doctors saying opposite things. I've tried finding a specialist [psychiatrist] to help with this but my insurance will only cover a small co-pay, and the psychiatrists listed in my insurance plan are booked up for months in advance and many of them have terrible reviews online and some don't even return calls. Reading their online user reviews and the horror stories makes me feel like maybe a psychiatrist might make things worse. I believe I am on my own to do this and have found this site to be very helpful. My question is should I start my own taper using the suggestions here of 10% monthly reduction in my dosage while waiting out the 2 month waiting period to see a psychiatrist or should I start the 10% taper and see a regular psychologist for psychotherapy, or consult a GP for tapering advice? The reviews I am reading for psychiatrists have been terrible and they seem to create more problems than they solve, often prescribing more meds rather than supervising a taper. With prescription-happy GP's and psychs abounding how is one to trust anything they say, particuarly when much of the science of mental disorders appears to be subjective?
  25. Hi there! I was recommended to this site by a few people because I have recently come off Prozac after being on them since I was 17 (I’m 33 now). I was advised by my psychiatrist to take about 6 weeks or so in between dose changes. I started at 60 mg and went down to 40 for 6 weeks, followed by 20 for a few weeks. I took it upon myself (maybe not the best idea) to go from 20 down to 10 mg for a week or so and finally stop. My last dose was June 21. Since then I have gained almost 15 pounds and am having mild/moderate side effects. One of the most difficult being the constant leg movements when I’m laying in bed, it’s becoming unbearable. My mood is erratic with lots of spontaneous crying and lashing out at my husband, and I definitely feel on edge at all times. I’m at the point where I don’t know what to do or even how long to expect these unpleasant side effects to last. Any advice would be so helpful! Thank you in advance!!
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