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  1. mmcdonald21

    mmcdonald21: intro

    Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  2. Hello Im new here. Thank you for taking time to read this if you are. :) I have been on Mirt for only 12 days at 15 mg. Im looking to come off due to side effects, its just not suited for me. I was going to do 11.25 for 4 days, 7.5 for 4 days, 3.75 for 4 days, then off. Is that too quickly? I thought not since I have only been on it for 12 days at 15 mg. I appreciate everyones input and advice! :)
  3. I have been taking Trazadone since January 2014. I started with .75 Traz and have been slowly tapering the past six months. I am now down to .38 Traz after making a cut 2 nights ago from .45 Traz.. I take it at night to sleep along with 7.5 Remeron. I have been doing well with sleeping on the .45 which I have been holding the past 2 months. Last night my sleep was very light and fitful after the cut. I doubt I got that much sleep. Also, this October I will be on year off Ambien 10 mg. I am looking for some encouragement from folks who have been down this road before with Trazadone. Any success stories out there? How did you feel along the way with tapering? How was your sleep? How did you feel one week off Traz, three weeks off, a month off?
  4. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  5. Hi I'm new here although I have been lurking for a couple months. Long story short, I ended up on Remeron this past February after my brain went 'tilt' and I went into a severe depression brought about by severe insomnia brought about by my body going into perimenopause. I am one of the ones who truly needed medication and I am fortunate that the first med they put me on was successful in curbing the depression. But I've put on over 30 lbs and I am tired of not feeling 'myself' and having no motivation. I started tapering in October. I am now down to 24 mg of Remeron. The only W/D symptoms I've had so far was, twice I was woken up from a sound sleep from early morning cortisol surges. I am doing the 10% of your last dose method that I found on this forum. Only problem is that my scale goes down only to .01 grams instead of .001 grams. I'm hoping my taper goes well enough that I won't need to purchase another scale but I will if it becomes necessary. Today is the first time I feel more 'normal' than I ever have since this whole ordeal started. I actually baked some pumpkin bread. And I actually feel like doing some house cleaning - something that has gone by the wayside since this past February. So I thought I'd post here that way I can kinda keep track and have an anonymous journal of sorts. Thanks to those who have contributed all of the valuable information in this forum. I wouldn't have felt comfortable starting a taper without it. I probably would have asked my Dr. who most likely would have had me taper much too fast.
  6. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  7. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  8. Hi all, First off--I am sooooo grateful for this website and forum. Thank you to whoever thought of creating this site and brought it into reality however many years ago! I've been on a very low does of Mirtazapine/Remeron--I take an 1/8th of a 7.5mg pill (so about 0.9mg)--for over a year. Prior to that, I was on anywhere from 1.87mg (quarter tablet) to 3.5mg (half a tablet) for about 4 years. I started taking it when I was going to school and working full-time and I was getting approximately 4 hours a sleep a night. I am very grateful that it cured my insomnia 5 years ago, but now I'm sleeping fine and life is good and I think that it's time to get off of it. When I tried stopping two weeks ago, I thought that I would be alright--I've read a lot of people's experiences through this site, and I realize that I'm taking an extremely small dose compared to others. The trouble--I'm assuming--is that I've been taking it for so long that my brain has adjusted and become dependent on this small amount. Currently, I have no trouble falling asleep and I've been exercising a lot to try and make sure that i'm tired, at the end of the day but I just can't for the life of me stay asleep for longer than 4 hours! It's been about two weeks of receiving very little sleep and I'm wondering what else I can do to ween myself further off this drug. For my sanity, I think that I'll go back on my little dose for now. What do you think my next step should be? I'm already using a razor blade and cutting the pill into pretty much as small of a bit as I can. I've looked at getting a scale, but would a .001 g scale show amounts that are less than 1mg? At this point, I would need something that allows me to go from 0.9 mg to 0.7mg. Thank you in advance for any help or advice that you can offer!
  9. I am so glad that I came across this forum! I feel like crying when reading peoples stories and their struggle with coming off the antidepressants! I was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety and Depression which I have been suffering for years! Mainly anxiety and panic disorder! I am otherwise healthy. Zoloft caused PGAD that has caused me so much anguish, I feel like I am living in a nightmare! I only took Zoloft for 3 days 25mg and this happened to me! I wanted to and still have thoughts of suicide! I felt that I was some kind of a freak and pervert! It has been 4 weeks and things have improved but not completely gone! I constantly feel burning sensation, and tingles that drive me crazy! I can deal with the burning sensations but tingles I can not stand! I got better then I took a herbal supplement for anxiety and it has come back today! I am taking fish oil supplement and I wonder if I am now sensitive to fish oil too??? Should I stop or cut back on fish oil? I just don't know what to take anymore! I never could imagine that this could happen to me as I was not aware! The doctor did not mention anything so I had no idea! I am naturally a slim person and my only worry at the time was if I was going to gain weight while on antidepressants, and my doctor reassured me "Very Unlikely". I took her word for it and I took the medication. In did not want to deal with, anxiety, depression and plus weight issues as a result of antidepressants! I told my doctor what happened to me and like many others have reported "she has never heard of it". That made me feel so humiliated and embarrassed. The point is that the doctors are not educated in regards to this issue. I recently went back to her and told her that I am still experiencing issued down below, burning sensation ever since Zoloft and she said that it is a coincidence! I am sick of doctors, they are full of ****! You tell them one thing and they turn it around! I just prey this eventually goes away and settles down! If this does not settle down I would consider removing sensitive part of my anatomy! I hate it! I can't stand it! How is everyone else coping with this? What have you found that helps? I have not felt peaceful down below for the last 4 weeks! I have never heard of this condition prior to taking antidepressants. Please help, Thank you.
  10. Wow! First of all I would like to say how relieved I was to have found this forum. For the years I've been struggling with this I have gotten so tired of other people (including doctors and therapists!) telling me that what I've experienced isn't possible and that I'm either making it all up or still sick. Everything started in my junior year of college. I had struggled with varying levels of depression and anxiety for most of my life, even resorting to SI when I was younger, but had finally hit a point where I thought that I needed some professional help. Looking back, I'm sure that the sudden drop was situational as much as anything. Most of my friends had moved away or graduated, my family was going through some money trouble, and I was working more hours to be able to be more self-sufficient. I started to become more withdrawn and my academics started to drop. I was an A and B student so this was very stressful to me. Thinking I was being proactive and doing the right thing, I went to my school's counseling center who then referred me to the campus clinic. The psychiatric nurse practitioner prescribed Prozac (20mg). About two weeks later I was hit with the worse anxiety I had ever had. I barely left my house unless I had to for class or work, would start shaking at random times, and had near constant chest pain. I tried to wait it out but eventually gave up and went back. She switched me to lexapro(20mg). This seemed to do the trick so I stayed on it though the end of the semester and over the summer. Unfortunately, when I started back up at school I started to struggle again. I'd tried to make positive changes in my life: made some new friends, got in contact with old ones, and started trying to date. Then, as it happens all too often in college, the guy I was seeing got me drunk and took advantage. This led to me having a bit of a breakdown and my friends urged me to go to the hospital. While there they switched me to zoloft(50mg), remeron(15mg), and lorazapam(2mg as needed). This is where things start to get really wonky. At first I thought it was helping but about a month after I got out of the hospital I started having these intense intrusive self-harm thoughts. Violent and strong enough to scare me. I had a medication review and those three were dropped and I was put on WellbutrinXL(150mg). Again things were better for a little while but about a month later started to go south. The intrusive thoughts were back and I had started to feel very unlike myself. Impulsive and disconnected. I later learned that this was probably a kind of dissociation. One night all of the stress and darkness got to me and I impulsively decided to chase the rest of my pills with half a bottle of vodka. It was strange because I wasn't trying to kill myself, the mindset was more: "I wonder what this will do. It can't be worse that what I'm already feeling." It didn't feel real, like it was happening to someone else. That put me back in the hospital where I then dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. I had to be on a wait list but eventually I started seeing a new psychiatrist who decided to diagnose me with Bipolar based on the impulsiveness and out of character behavior I had while taking Wellbutrin. She called it agitated depression or mixed mania. At the time I believed her. I was scared, desperate, and seriously doubting my sanity, and I felt like I couldn't trust myself. She started out by prescribing me Abilify(15mg) and Effexor (75mg). This was my second nightmare. A few days later I started having akathisia and had similar feelings of impulsiveness and feeling out of control. When I told my doctor she urged me to wait it out which led to me relapsing into SI for the first time in over 6 years to cope. That combination was obviously stopped and I had the most physical withdrawal symptoms that I had so far. I couldn't leave my bed for two days I was so nauseous and dizzy. I feel like I should point out at this point that I was on most of these medications for max of a few months and didn't taper at all. Cold turkey then right on to another. Next on the list was Latuda(40mg - 60mg). My insurance ended up not really covering that one so what I ended up on as my final medication was Lithium. This was a blessing in a way because it didn't really do anything, which turns out, is what I needed. At one point I was up to 1600mg a day to control my "symptoms" which I'm now convinced was almost entirely side effects mixed with withdrawal. That dose completely destroyed my short term memory. After finally stabilizing, I had gone back to school and this was making classwork almost impossible, so after much debating the dosage was stepped down to 800mg. Finally, in the summer of 2017, I took a summer job working at a research station in the forest. After a lot of solo time hiking in nature I had an epiphany. This was the best I had felt in years and that all of my serious problems started after I sought "help." When I got back to see my doctor I told her my plan to stop taking medication. She was extremely judgemental and basically told me I'd be back when I had a relapse and just told me to tapper off with the what I had left (about a weeks worth). I'm very happy to say that she was wrong. All I've done since then is get better. I still struggle with some depression and anxiety but if that is the trade off I will gladly live with that. After a year and a half of being free of psychiatric drugs I'm surprised at the difference. On medication I was dissociating, having panic attacks, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. I felt like a complete basket case. It's terrifying to me how easy it is to get stuck in a downward spiral like that. Not ONE of the doctors or therapists that I'd seen even considered that the medication could be what was causing me to get worse and worse. They just saw worsening "symptoms" that they had to "get ahead of" and I believed it too. Now, even that the worst is over, the experience still haunts me. I feel so guilty about the way that I behaved and I have no idea how much was my fault versus the medication. I know that it was a factor but I remember making the decisions to hurt myself and destroy my life and I'm not really sure how to live with that. I have nightmares where I'm back in the worst of it feeling like I'm slowly losing my mind and I have permanent scars from the SI. I saw a new primary care doctor recently and the first thing she tried to do was get me back on mood stabilizers after seeing "bipolar" on my chart. I don't know how to get that removed or if I even can. The only people who believe me are my friends and family who saw me go from a somewhat stressed young adult to nonfunctional almost overnight. I know that this hasn't ruined my life... but it certainly feels like it sometimes. I'm sorry that anyone else had to go through this hell but I'm so, so glad that I'm not alone in this. Even now I'm not sure that I'm completely recovered. I guess time will tell.
  11. Community of healing, hello. my name is dave. in february of 2012, things started going terribly wrong. i have always been a person with some anxiety and depression. in fact my parents began medicating me for this when i was in the first grade, when the nuns at the parochial school i attended informed them i wasn't "living up to expectations." at this time (early 80s), the medications were as heavy as they are today - in fact, many of the drugs that were put into my childhood body are currently considered barbaric in standard medical practice. nice. anyway, in my teen years and early 20s, i tried many different medications. prozac, paxil, zoloft, blah blah blah. i wanted to put out the fire - i wanted to mellow out and not feel the anxiety. i wanted to not feel the sadness. i was taught that those things were not ok to feel - that these human emotions were to be avoided at all costs. the line-up that my doctors settled upon were remeron and ativan. the remeron was 7.5mg daily, the ativan .5mg as needed. for over a decade, i kept the remeron between 3.75 and 7.5 - the ativan, between .25 and .5. i've always been a "little dab will do you" individual. when i still consumed alcoholic beverages, i was a totally cheap date. 1 drink felt good, 2 drinks was a nap on the couch. my system has always been highly sensitive, as so many of ours are. in late 2011, the ativan wasn't working anymore. the doctors threw in some xanax and bumped the ativan dose. it helped a little. in early 2012, i noticed some profound dizziness - like i was walking on a swaying ship. i had actually been noticing this for a year or more, doctors could find no pathology to explain it. but it was getting worse. i suspected it was the remeron. my doctor said, "well, stop taking it." so, i ditched the 7.5mg of remeron cold turkey YAHOOOOO! and my system went nuts. i could not eat, i could not sleep. i began losing weight - lots. in hindsight, i realize i was in full benzodiazepine tolerance withdrawal and remeron withdrawal. my doctors said it was "just the anxiety getting worse." they were just about ready to throw some klonopin into the mix when i bailed. i started a rapid taper that essentially amounted to a cold turkey from the ativan and began to suffer intensely. between the months of april 2012 and june 2012, i went from being a solidly built 162lb marathon runner to a 129lb human who could not lift his head off the pillow, barely acknowledged his wife and children, was confused as to who the president was and what month it was, and finally, began having intense violent intrusive thoughts - both suicidal and outwardly motivated. i checked myself into a hospital. i was so scared. i figured that was the thing i needed to do. get fixed. as soon as i got in, they tried to get me to reinstate the benzodiazepines. i refused. in my lucid moments, i had read too much online to do it. they put me on seroquil, which produced serious side effects. they switched me to risperidone and left me with that. i wanted out of the hospital. they became fairly insistent that if i were to do so, i would need to be on another medication. i mentioned reinstating the remeron. they liked that idea. they put me back on 7.5mg. a day later, they bumped me up to 15mg, a day later, they bumped me up to 30mg. my whole body was vibrating. i was having nocturnal emissions nightly in the hospital bed. the intrusive thoughts and all the other withdrawal symptoms skipped along merrily, unaffected by the drugs, but the hospital thought i was "good to go." so off i went. oh, and they handed me a script for valium on the way out "just in case." in the hospital, i mentioned both benzo and antidepressant withdrawal. even offering to show them the ins and outs of the ashton manual, which in the benzo world, is fairly revered. the doctors took a position that what i had to say was of little consequence. they were the doctors after all, they should know best. and any words on my part were greeted as a questioning of their authority. the next 8 to 12 months were essentially hell. i kicked the risperidone to the curb almost immediately. if anything, that anti-psychotic was making things worse. the 30mg of remeron was so damn activating, i wanted to jump out of my skin and climb up trees daily. but i felt stuck on it. when i began experiencing intermittent periods of gradually extending "windows" and "waves," i began to taper the remeron slowly. things were very bad for a very long time. very bad. did i mention that things were VERY VERY BAD? i managed to keep my job. it wasn't easy. when i was at my very worst, i would work from my bed at home. getting up to puke, sitting in a stupor, trying to answer e-mails and phone calls as if my brain were not a bashed-up mess. trying to put together sentences. when i was able to return to work, the intrusive thoughts were so bad, i either stayed glued to my desk, or else went back behind my office building and fought off the daily urge to throw myself into the waters. i wanted to die so bad. those waters were almost calling me into them. i fought back. and i am glad, beyond, that i fought. by the 8 to 9 month mark, things started improving somewhat quickly, the tapering of the remeron was becoming somewhat easier, the benzo symptoms were easing. the windows got longer and longer until the waves became basically a couple hours during a day or two per month. i need to cut this short. i could literally write a book about this whole experience, but i don't want to waste your time and i myself have to boogie. let me just say this. i am still tapering - i am now at 2mg of liquid remeron. i have a pharmacy compound for me. i make 10% cuts, hold for 4 to 6 weeks in between, and go in for another round. when i cut, i feel it the day after i make it - an intensification of the symptoms. things settle for a short while. around the 2 week mark after a cut, it kicks me harder. usually restless legs, nausea, intestinal disturbance, mild insomnia, intensification of anxiety and the desire to cry for no reason at all. the intrusive thoughts are totally gone. i don't experience these anymore. and i am thankful. they were my worst symptom. they plagued me and plagued me and plagued me and they are gone. i try to eat as clean as possible. higher protein, lower carbs, almost no refined sugars. i short-circuit the cortisol response by waking at 0345hrs each morning. i am at the gym very early, i put in a workout, i go to work. i could not exercise at all for the first year after withdrawal. it would activate my central nervous system to much. but now i lift weights and lift heavy and i do only enough cardio to keep that system as optimal as i feel it needs to be. i supplement with whey protein, vitamin d, b vitamin/folic acid, magnesium, and some occasional omegas in the form of either fish oil or hemp protein. i do not drink alcohol. i do not use pot. i consider these substances a colossal waste of time. i do not use any other chemicals that will interfere with my brain chemistry. i'm not sure how much of a hassle these last 2mg will be. i think i will probably be all done with the remeron by the end of 2015, if things keep ticking along. that is my goal at least. after benzo withdrawal, and the remeron withdrawal that followed, i know i can weather whatever storm. i'll own the pain. i'm not a tough guy at all. but withdrawal has showed me two things: that i can live through hell on earth and that the anxiety and depression that underlies my personal psychology is "normal," and manageable without the use of chemical substances. thanks for taking the time to read this. and no matter where you are on your own journey, hang in there. when i was 129lbs and barely able to move, barely cognizant of who i was, i doubted that i would ever heal. i am almost there, community. you will be too. hang in there...
  12. BuddhaMama

    BuddhaMama: Intro

    Hello everyone, I am a longtime lurker, only first posting now as I get ready to begin my taper from Remeron (Mirtazipine). I am seeking support here for my taper as I cannot count on support from my doctors. My husband is minimal support as he has his own mental health issues and we have a new baby. I'm ready to come off the Remeron mostly because I don't want to be on it forever and I feel like it got me through the hump of the early postpartum period, which was what I needed. I have gained 15-20lb on this med which is annoying because I am not one to gain weight normally, so I know it's the drug. I lost all the baby weight within the first month after I delivered and didn't start Remeron until month 2. I feel tired all the time (though it does help me sleep as i take it at night), and it makes me crave sugar and carbs like crazy. I'm also now starting to experience bodyside joint pain, which I've never had before. That seems to go away somewhat when i eliminate wheat from my diet. I have gotten my doctor to order me a solution of mirtazipine from compounding pharmacy, but after paying $54 fir an Rx that I usually get for free, I think I will try making my own solution using the tablets and the Oraplus I read about in the forums here. I'm nervous to begin my taper because the first time I tried at the beginning of December I went down by a 1/4 tablet for a week and every day I had excruciating headaches. BY the end of that week I was experiencing nausea and anxiety. AS SOON as I reinstated my full dose, all symptoms disappeared. I have a feeling I'll need to begin my taper at 5% rather than 10% given how sensitive I am. I would love to hear some encouraging success stories of coming of this drug slowly, as it seems it will take me long rot get off it that I was even on it to begin with. Other relevant info: I am 5 months post partum, have been on Remeron for 4 of those 5 months. I am married and have another child who is nearly 11 years old. I work part time and used to have regular exercise and meditation practices that have both fallen by the wayside with the new baby. I also can no longer tolerate alcohol. I've been off alcohol for several years (not because of AA or addiction issue, but because it makes me feel awful), and recently I thought I would try a half glass of wine with the holidays. Big mistake. Major depression and anxiety the next day. Good riddance.I'd much rather feel well and not drink at all. I think that's it for now!
  13. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Hibari: Swtich from Ativan to Clonazapam Hi, I have been Remeron since April 2014 reaching a dosage between 37.50-41.25 I also have been on Lamictal since September 2014 reaching a dosage of 200mg. I began a taper of the Remeron with my psychiatrists knowlege, I think at the end of February/March? Hard to remember with my somewhat foggy brain. I am now down to 28.125-tapering at about 10% for each cut. My withdrawal has follwed a specific pattern. I make the cut, feel some nausea but okay, then after about 2-3 weeks have a crash, depression, crying, and anxiety. Then I pop through and move into a more stable period. I think I let myself stabilize for about 10 days and then make another drop. My question is about starting a slow Lamictal withdrawal at the same time. I may be overeacting but when I read about what Lamictal can do to the brain, along with other antidepressants, I want to start the taper now. I do have some professional obligations happening over the next few months but I don't want to stop my progress. I like many others I have read am very impatient about getting off these medictions. They served their purpose to help me after a long stressful period of caretaking-7 years-and then the death of my mom 2 1/2 years ago. Any thoughts or experience about taper from two drugs at the same time. Thanks. Hibari 28.125 Remeron 200mgs Lamictal
  14. Hello all, i had found this site on google before and have some questions. I took 15 mg Mirtazapine 6 months and stopped 5 months ago, now i'm in big trouble. After stopping i slowly started losing my emotions and feelings but now i'm complete dead inside, it feels like my soul has gone, there is only silence in me, no matter what i'm doing i can't enjoy things anymore because i'm not connected to it in any way like emotions, thinking about it etc.. and it's almost impossible to sleep, because i simply don't feel anything and don't even know when i'm tired, when i read my name or see some old pictures of myself, i don't feel connected to it in any way, same thing if i look in the mirror, it simply is like there is nothing inside me anymore. I don't have panic attacks or feel sad, i can't say how i'm feeling because feelings are no longer there. If i remember some things i can't get some emotions or feel deep about something that was very important to me, i lost interest in everything that i loved, its hard to concentrate without feeling anything, or know what todo, what is important or not, what is right or wrong..... it's also almost imposible for me to go out or visit some friends, but i know that i'm in reality and never had hallucinations, some time after stopping mirtazapine i was manic My question now is what could this be? Is it permanent braindamage or is it some sort of DP? I had DR before but i had feelings and panic attacks, now i simply don't feel anything. I had depression for years but this for sure is no depression anymore. Please let me know anyone what i can do about this because im very suicidal the last time, but i don't want to give up and die in this condition, i had many plans for my life, i can't belive all that could happen to me and i don't wish such condition to anyone, well maybe to the doc only that gave me that pills... Regards, helpless.
  15. I joined this forum last June before I began an unsuccessful taper from Celexa, however, this is my first post. I honestly had no idea until then how horrific untethering from these substances is, and how devastating it can be long term. What I really need is some good news. Is there any good news in the midst of this real-life horror story? Right now I feel completely alone. I haven't found a medical practitioner to forge a partnership for helping me discontinue successfully--or even reach the psych NP who prescribed my meds for a change when things went really wrong. So, there is no "discussing anything with a trusted healthcare practitioner". All I have is you all. So, I'm sort of pleading with you for guidance. I am still not sleeping well. I slept fine, for years on Celexa, then weaned off and threw everything out of balance. To be fair, the year prior to my discontinuation was incredibly stressful. I abruptly ended Trintellix this week (because I ran out and can't get anymore) and am taking approximately 10mg of Prozac (approximately because I'm splitting 20mg of powder roughly in half) as of today. The Prozac instantly quelled my WD symptoms from the Trintellix within the hour, and my plan is to either formulate a liquid suspension of this drug or find a doctor who will prescribe one. I have exhaustively researched how to overcome this problem. I'm an athlete, so I've stacked as many cards in my favor with diet, lifestyle and nutrition as well as I possibly can. But I can't seem to find a way through this, or make a plan that makes sense, and I'm scared I'll never be okay.
  16. I have been on Prozac for about 25 years. I tried to taper few times in the past, but it didn't work. So what can be different this time? I am hoping this board will make the difference. I know I can't do it alone. I am now taking 10 mg Prozac daily. I was on 40 mg about 2 years ago, and took it down very slowly, cutting 5 mg every few months. One reason that it took so long was because I was also tapering clonazepam. Another reason was the failed attempts in the past. What I learned from tapering clonazepam I hope to put into use while tapering Prozac. One lesson that I learned is that you need to do it slow. There is just no other way. Another lesson is that you need support. I am looking for my next cut in a few months and my goal is to be completely drug free by the end of the year. I have been on disability during the last couple of years while recovering from clonazepam withdrawal. It's been hell and I'm still not completely recovered. I am looking to get back to work as soon as I can but I know it could still take more time. The biggest challenge will be to deal with withdrawal and setbacks without going back on Prozac. My hope is that I will be able to do that with the help of this board.
  17. Moderator's note: link to benzo forum thread - EmmiseA: Can I taper an antidepressant and benzo at same time? Hello, I came on here for some much needed advice/ reassurance. Back in March 2018 I had a horrific reaction to being put on Sertraline 25mg for postnatal anxiety/depression. After 2 weeks, the insomnia was dreadful, anxiety and depression was through the roof. I switched onto citalopram 10mg and after no change in symptoms after a few days apart from developing horrible Hypnic jerks, I was told to come off it by my psychiatrist. The brain zaps, skin crawling, heart palpitations and other side effects lessened over a few weeks but I couldn’t sleep due to these awful jerks and my anxiety and depression were through the roof. I went back to my psychiatrist who put me on quitiepine and pregabalin and 1mg clonazepam. I slept on the clonazepam no problem, but still noticed a few jerks on sleep onset. I successfully tapered off the pregabalin, quitiepine and clonazepam with no new effects but the doctors decided I needed an antidepressant and put me on 30mg of Mirtazapine. I am now on Mirtazipine and down to 0.375mg clonazepam, this being given to me again to help the jerks. 5 months later I still have the Hypnic jerks and muscle fasciculations. They haven’t got any worse on the Mirtazapine - if anything they have got somewhat better - but I still have a few nights a month even when I’m this low dose of clonazepam where they don’t allow me any sleep at all, the twitching is so bad. I really really need to hear some success stories of the jerks going away, please!! I’m afraid to touch anything at the moment in terms of the antidepressant, but am still tapering clonazepam with the aim of being off it soon. My aim is to try and get stable with these jerks and my sleep patterns and then very slowly taper off mirtazipine. Please no horror stories, my nerves just can’t take it!! I need to hear success stories. Many thanks xxx
  18. I am trying to taper off 7.5mg of Remeron (Mirtazapine). I want to use the titration method since my CNS is so sensitized at this point.
  19. I'm 45 years old. I have been on psychiatric drugs since I was 25. For years, 17, I was on Paxil 20mg and tegretol 200mg. I believed I tripped off my first depression after using ecstasy, which I think altered my brain's serotonin functioning. Four years ago I went to my gynecologist seeking help for worsening pms, as I believed perimenopause was coming into play. I failed to consult with my psychiatrist and trusted her. After a too-quick taper off of Paxil and onto Lexapro things just completely deteriorated. After 6 months I was a wreck, did another, even shorter, taper off of Lexapro back onto Paxil. But I was sunk...I think my central nervous system was wrecked. The ensuing year of onto and off of a variety of drugs was nothing short of a nightmare. Sparing all the details, I landed on the following drugs: Remeron 15mg Paxil 20mg Lamictal 125mg Pristiq 100mg Lithium 600mg Klonopin .5mg Trazodone 50mg It's criminal. A John's Hopkins psychiatrist specializing in women's hormone related mood issues said my gynecologist's cavalier actions verged on malpractice. A recent, and current, rash believe to be pityriasis rosea prompted my current psychiatrist to insist I stop Lamictal cold turkey. The dermatologist diagnosed it. He, without seeing the rash himself, is insistent. In light of what I feel is a damaged central nervous system I have decided to trust my dermatologist. That said, this situation has prompted me to consider the idea of eliminating the Lamictal. It's a start. I also believe Lamictal in some way tinkers with estrogen, something I'd like to avoid. It has been a hellish journey. I do not trust the psychiatric industry. I believe that how my case has been handled, so carelessly and without regard to actual true health, is shameful. I never, ever thought I'd be on multiple drugs like this. I am a high functioning, intelligent woman with a constitution sensitive to endocrine changes. I have been terrified of even considering touching any of this. While in the back of my mind wondering....what will happen to me after years of being on so many drugs? For the record, I have never been manic, ever. Lithium does function for me as an antidepressant. I understand that I'm somewhere on the spectrum, and because of long periods of happiness and wellbeing interrupted by 3 episodes of major depression, each with clear origins, I have been labeled bipolar2. I don't care much for labels. All I know is I'm on a serious amount of drugs. And I'm finally willing to find the courage to wrap up this bizarre ride. Lamictal first. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement or feedback gladly welcomed. Hope
  20. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  21. After 15 years on 7.5mgs of Remeron I decided to taper off on April 1, 2019. I cut in half to 3.75 mgs for 25 days. Then I stopped taking it since April 25th. About a week later I started itching and having all kinds of skin burning symptoms. After 5 days of this I realized that I might be having withdrawal symptoms. I just reinstated at 7.5mgs two days ago but am having all kinds of spaciness and discomfort. I know it will take about a week for my blood levels of Remeron to stabilize and hope this stops the withdrawal. I now realize that I should have tapered very slowly and just did not realize how strong even my low dose of 7.5mgs could be. I was totally stable until a week ago so I hope that I caught this quickly enough. So my history is: 7.5mgs Remeron for 15 years....very stable and no issues. Cut to 3.75mgs Remeron for 25 days. Stopped completely for 7 days before any withdrawal symptoms started on May 2nd, 2019 Reinstated 7.5 mgs on day 12 of cold turkey on May 7th, 2019 Itching symptoms have stopped almost completely after 2 days of reinstating but having spaciness and general body discomfort and edginess. My thought is to stabilize and wait a few months before tapering again at no more than 10% per month as recommended. Any advise would be much appreciated. I hope I am doing this right to stabilize? Thanks!
  22. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  23. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  24. Muddles

    Muddles: desperate

    Hi there! Need a bit of advice. My father passed away Christmas Eve :-( I have been on mirtazapine 15mg for 4 years. Since my father passed I have been experiencing a lot of strange & worrying stuff which I can only explain as withdrawal symptoms from mirtazapine. Depression - severe, insomnia, mind chatter, body buzzing, twitches, jerks of legs/arms, panick attack, anxiety etc. I went to see my doctor as my friends and family are concerned. She wants me to up my dose but am not sure i should do it. Could it make things worse? I feel upping may cause more problems. I felt sooo depressed this morning and slowly withdrawing from everybody...scared! Thanks in advance.
  25. My first post here... I have been taking Remeron (Mirtazapine) for 16 years. I tried to come off of it in October, but I weaned too fast and have had problems ever since. I tried to taper off of 15 mg. I ignored my doctor's fast tapering plan and tapered from 15 mg. to 10 mg. The first part of the month was fine, but then a delayed withdrawal hit with horrible symptoms including insomnia. At that point I was only sleeping about 4 hours a night. I reinstated so that I could continue to work... back to 15 mg. In hindsight I realized now I shouldn't have been changing doses so fast. After having reinstated now for about a month, I am still waking up every night in the middle of the night wired! Why??? Could I still be having withdrawal symptoms even after I've been back to my original dose that I was sleeping well on? I want to try to withdraw again, even slower but I don't know how I'll do this if my sleep is already so poor! Thank you!!!
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