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  1. Hi all, In 2013 I received the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I started having therapy for the first time in my life - I was 23 then. I've been anxious through my teens and early adulthood, and also suffered from bouts of low mood, but did not think much of it - I thought it was just how I was. In 2013 because I was at a particularly bad phase in college, I went to a psychiatrist through which I started taking 20mg Lexapro (I take the generic - Escitalopram). Everything improved a lot. Anxiety greatly reduced, mood also better, more drive to do stuff. And basically no side effects. So I kept taking it religiously, and basically forgot about it. About 3 years later, it started to bug me that I was taking a drug to keep myself mentally stable. I knew nothing about how bad the withdrawals from this type of drug were, and I felt good, so I just cold turkey'd - 20 to 0. You can imagine how this goes. After some days I was hit by what I thought was the worst flu I had ever had. I could not leave bed. That was odd. Didn't think just stopping that drug would cause that, as the effect of the drug is pretty much non-noticeable (it's not like taking a benzo where you feel drowsy and so on) and you just feel pretty much like the normal you. Either way, just to be safe I went back on the 20mg and all the symptoms disappeared after some time and again I did not think much about it anymore. I think I attempted cold turkeying again after some time just to experience exactly the same symptoms. So I thought "alright, this really is the Lexapro, not a flu". From then on I started being more uncomfortable for taking the Lexapro. Here's this drug that apparently makes me feel stable, but I stop taking it and I'm completely wrecked. This doesn't feel right. So in 2018 I started a slow tapper, or at least what I considered a slow tapper. I was reducing around 2.5mg every month or every other month. I was going linearly - no percentage reduction. That was the logical thing for me to do as my doctor never told me about the liquid form of Lexapro and with the tablets available where I live it's impossible to do a precise lower division lower than 2.5mg. Throughout the tapper I felt what I now acknowledge as withdrawal symptoms, but again I did not think much of it. I was in a difficult life situation, living abroad and always extremely stressed, so I thought the life situation was what was causing that. In May 2019, I was down to already 2.5mg. Not feeling that well, but that was such a low dose that I thought it was insignificant and dropped to zero. This overlapped with a break-up and with starting a job that was really quite demanding. That's when I got into hell. I started waking up at night with panic attacks. In the morning my arms and legs were burning - I felt the anxiety burning my body. I just wanted to leave my body and my mind, that feeling was just too unbearable. Crying non-stop, huge feelings of rage - I just wanted to destroy stuff and just felt this huge urge sometimes to beat up anyone that did something even mildly annoying (and mind that I've always been quite a controled person - this was not at all me). I also had muscle spasms, couldn't digest anything properly and lost a bunch of weight. I had never been so thin in my life. That's when I started thinking I had to have something serious in my brain - I even forgot about the Lexapro then - I thought I was developing a neurological disease. This person was not me. My psychiatrist had tried to put me on other antidepressants - Fluvoxamine and Mirtazapine. None of them worked. Then I was put back on the Lexapro (only 10mg). And I wasn't seeing much improvement on my state. I started becoming suicidal. I did not want to go through the realization that I had a disease that would invalidate me for the rest of my days. I was going to doctor after doctor, doing exam after exam, and they didn't seem to find anything wrong which left me feeling even more helpless. I thought that was never going to end. I started thinking every day about suicide. That's all I thought about. I just could not bear that reality. That's when I told my parents - "I need to be checked in at the hospital. I won't last much longer like this." So I was checked in at the hospital. Even the doctors who checked me in did not believe I was in such a bad state - I guess even in that state I kept my composure. I spent 2 weeks there, in what was the most horrible experience of my life. The people there were for sure much worse than I was - most of them had even lost touch with reality. But deep down I know this was the experience I needed to snap out of it. While I was there the doctor who was supervising me increased my Lexapro dose to 20mg. I became reeeaally sleepy after that. Just as I had become the first time I went into 20mg back in 2013. By then I still did not believe I did not have a horrifying disease. It was really hard to believe this was coming just from a psychological source. And it took quite long for me to become convinced that was the case. The months right after the hospital were tough. I was sleeping a lot - around 12 hours a day. Very, very slowly things started improving. Too slowly for me to even notice a difference. But little by little I started sleeping less, recovered my appetite, some days even saw a glimpse of contentment. At some point I was feeling good more often than I was feeling bad. I started exercising every day, having psychotherapy twice a week, taking supplements, getting sun light, meditating. Everything I could do to improve, I did. Around April of this year, I was already entering a pretty stable stage. Some days I still had energy and mood breaks which I had no idea where they came from and were pretty demotivating - now I realize they are likely something akin to the "waves" that I've seen mentioned here at SA. I also still had some lingering symptoms such as some vague leg pain here and there, as well as teeth pain. But those bad days and lingering symptoms started becoming more and more rare. So for some months I was doing really good. Feeling drive and contentment with life. Optimistic. Last month I had an appointment with my psychiatrist, and as I really want to be med-free he suggested that I attempted a new reduction again. At first he suggested me to drop to 15mg, but I thought it was better to go first down to 17.5mg instead. And that's the dosage I'm at right now. The reduction was not that large, but I can for sure feel the withdrawals - even though I know the reduction was larger than the 10% recommended here at SA - my next drops I will follow that guidance. After the drop to 17.5mg, I started having more of those down days. Also the days right afterwards I had rebound anxiety, which has already disappeared. Some days my energy and mood breaks. And I'm more irritable, less drive, etc. Also those lingering pains I mentioned are back sometimes. Furthermore, I feel like I can't train at the gym at the same level I did - even though my body weight and composition is exactly the same as it was before the drop to 17.5mg, I feel significantly less strength some days. So for now I will stick with cardio. Now I know much better than I did in the past and will wait to fully stabilize from the current withdrawal until I attempt another reduction. I am also building a sauna at my place, which I have read has many benefits for mood, so that's another resource I will have to deal with the tapering process. Hope this post can be useful for someone.
  2. Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25+ Years of Use One-year post taper “success story” – http://survivingantidepressants.org Elbee (male) - August 27, 2020 At the time of this success story post, I have passed the one-year mark (15+ months) living drug-free. I am speaking to you from “the other side” of hell to let you know I made it through the nightmare of psychiatric drug withdrawal -- and so can you. I want to start by saying that everyone’s withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is going to differ – no two paths are the same. While there will be commonalities in what we each experience, there will also be differences. I also believe that none of us are uniquely or irreparably “broken,” and that each of us can find a path to living much fuller, healthier lives in greater freedom. To be clear, I had doubts throughout this process . . . believing that somehow, I was MORE “broken,” and that I wouldn’t find my way out of the darkness. But the natural, innate healing power we each possess is profoundly AWESOME, and it quietly, patiently works in the background in each of our lives. . . even if we can’t see it, and even if we don’t trust it. For me, the psychiatric drug withdrawal / tapering process turned out to be an invitation to learn how to live my life differently. It became clear to me in this journey that I could never go back to some idealized place I vaguely imagined myself clinging to . . . I could only move forward to somewhere I had not yet been. I need to be honest: It is still hard to revisit and write about just how painful this drug withdrawal process was. Now that I’m feeling so much better, a part of me wants to forget the whole ordeal . . . as if looking in a rear-view mirror, driving ever-further away. And the reality is that this rear-view mirror perspective is very much real -- I’m SO grateful not to be suffocating in such intense pain anymore! But it is also true I will carry the scars of this experience with me for the rest of my life. It is clear to me now that some of me died through this drug withdrawal process. It is also true that the most precious parts of me came back to life. And I am still healing. I was very much disabled through the most intensive parts of the drug taper. I was on these psych drugs for panic attacks, anxiety, and depression my entire adult life, over 25 years. Additionally, I was drinking alcohol abusively, and relying on multiple pots of coffee and a pack of cigarettes to get me through each day. Even before I had decided to get off the meds, I was utterly exhausted most of the time, barely functional, and unconsciously stumbling through life like a zombie. I knew I had to fundamentally change how I was living. The first step in my detox efforts was to quit alcohol in April of 2014, 30 years after taking my first drink as a kid. Thankfully, I was able to release alcohol from my life relatively easily. Whatever boost alcohol had given me previously was gone, and it was clear to me as a 44 year old man that the devastating hangovers I experienced were getting more difficult. Then, over that following summer and under doctor supervision, I “tapered” entirely off both the Lorazepam and Zoloft that I had been taking for 24 years. I experienced tons of anxiety in the process, but I did it, and after the 4-month ordeal, I thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, about six weeks after taking my last dose of Zoloft, what I now know to be protracted withdrawal hit, and my life spun into a depth of hell that words cannot describe. Instead of re-instating the same drugs I had been taking, the doctors took me on an 8-month “trial-and-error” roller coaster ride of psychiatric drug experimentation. I finally ended up on higher doses of the drugs I had originally quit, plus Remeron added in for good measure. Through all of this, I landed in a very bad place – exhausted, functionally disabled, unable to work, and unsure what to do next. I had some savings in the bank I could live on for a few years, so I decided to “hole up” to do a new taper, following the much slower tapering protocol of the SurvivingAntidepressants.org website. But my savings were limited, so I used the 10% reduction protocol as a baseline, and pushed the taper as fast as I could without killing myself in the process. I’m not sure I would suggest this approach to anyone else, but in my situation, that’s what I did. Note: I’m going to refrain from listing out all the symptomatic horrors I experienced (there were many) as I write this success story. Here is the link, if you’re interested, to my introductory thread which details my four-year psychiatric drug withdrawal process: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/11862-%E2%98%BC-elbee-25-years-of-meds/ And I want to take a moment here to say how incredibly grateful I am to @Altostrata, @Shep @brassmonkey, @bubble, @apace41, @Gridley, @Rhiannon (her writings), @JanCarol, @KarenB, @ChessieCat, @Petunia, @scallywag and all the folks at SurvivingAntidepressants.org who helped save my life. I also came across Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic around the same time I found this site, and from these resources, I knew I had stumbled into truth. It became clear to me that so much of what the mainstream medical establishment had told me about these drugs, and about my so-called “chemical imbalance,” was false -- I had been lied to. SurvivingAntidepressants.org helped me anchor into this truth and set me on a new course. THANK YOU! With these new resources, I came to understand that getting off the drugs wasn’t just a simple matter of refraining from ingesting chemicals, or even about waiting for those chemicals to dissipate out of my body. I learned that my brain had restructured itself around the presence of the drugs all these years and that by removing the drugs, my brain would have to, very slowly, restructure itself again to a healthy state. The metaphor of a plant (my brain) growing on a trellis (the drugs) for support is so profound to me. How can I expect to abruptly rip out the trellis and think that it won’t damage the plant in devastating ways? This metaphor was such a clear illustration to me of how a neuroplastic human brain builds tolerance, and how we can so easily become entangled in the physiological mechanisms of addiction. And to be very clear, our brains develop tolerance to psychiatric drugs just like they do street drugs, and the mechanics of addiction and withdrawal in each are the same. Gaining this knowledge and allowing it to sink in was probably one of the most important early milestones in my healing process. In preparing for writing this success story, I re-read my entire introductory thread. Several pivotal posts stood out to me as other milestones in my healing process, and while this testimonial might go long, I think it could be useful to touch on some of them . . . In my very first post, I am already talking about the value of meditation. Sitting with myself quietly and focusing on my breath helped me slow down my mind and learn to relax. As I continued with the practice, though, I began experiencing periods of discomfort. I had initially taken the psychiatric drugs to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings, and as I practiced meditating space was again created for those feelings to arise. Learning to slowly sit with and tolerate whatever thoughts and feelings arose began to nullify my need to run away, and therefore, lesson my urge to drug the discomfort. Meditation became a cornerstone of my self-care practice, and self-care is what I ultimately found to replace the drugs. Next milestone -- about a year later, I wrote an entry about a decision I was struggling with on whether to consult with a renowned psychiatrist. A relative was able to get me an appointment for a psychiatric medication evaluation from a “leader in the field” (at the bargain price of $2,000). Looking back, it was then I decided I no longer believed in the efficacy of psychiatric drugs, nor the system that deals in them. I wrote: Next, in the summer of 2016, still early in my tapering and recovery process, I went on a 111-day, 9,000-mile solo road trip across the U.S. In retrospect, I was probably looking for something “out there” that was missing “in here.” I did a four-day vision fast in the wilderness, hiked a 14,000-foot mountain, roamed Death Valley, did a week-long silent meditation retreat, camped under redwoods, hiked numerous National Parks, etc. Was it really a good idea to take this pilgrimage in such a compromised state? I can’t say for sure, but it’s what I did, and I think it cracked through defenses that needed to open. In the Hoh Forest of Olympic National Park in Washington state, I experienced a release of emotions like I had never felt before. It was in that moment I finally realized that releasing stored emotional blockages could ease my anxiety: Another milestone: Upon returning home to Florida later that fall, I dove more deeply into my involvement with the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) 12-Step program. In conjunction with doing EMDR with a skilled, compassionate trauma therapist, ACA helped me crack through layers of protective childhood denial that I had carried into adulthood. Some people advise NOT deliberately digging into the unconscious too much while going through psychiatric drug withdrawal, but my path has been that of heavy digging. I accepted living in a disabled state for a period of time and felt that if I was going to get off these drugs, I needed to address what drove me to take them in the first place. By early summer of 2017, my commitment to this recovery approach had strengthened. Along with addressing the trauma associated with childhood family dysfunction, I opened another door . . . into the shame and terror I experienced hiding as a closeted young gay boy and gay teen. I had initially come out 25 years earlier at age 20 (the same time I started taking the psych drugs), but that was only part of my truth I was hiding. The secrets of my sexual orientation were built upon the secrets of having grown up in family dysfunction: Homophobia turned out to be compounding trauma, and I had been living in a closet within a closet. I had more inner work to do. Perhaps one of my most significant milestones was realizing how important it was for me to take the lead in my healing, and how easily I had deferred to the “expertise of authorities” in my life. By June of 2017, I had navigated my way off the benzos completely, and I recognized the importance of building an internal sense of trust – connecting with my more authentic self to discover a new inner compass. Despite appearing outwardly confident most of my life, inner trust was something I lacked. By allowing myself to fully feel, I had opened to recognizing my own authentic needs, to directly and respectfully communicating my needs, and to setting healthy limits and boundaries. By learning these important skills that I had missed earlier in life, I discovered greater internal trust with myself, and greater discernment in trusting others. By January of 2018, I had another important insight: I more fully recognized I was going through an internal chemical withdrawal process in addition to detoxing from the drugs I was ingesting. Behavioral (or process) compulsions and addictions all have physiological and neurological correlates, and I had been heavily “dosing” throughout my life using my own “internal drug store.” This realization profoundly shifted my perspective on my psychiatric drug withdrawal process, seeing it in a more comprehensive context. A lot of my recovery has involved working with an “inner critic” that had been driving me most of my life, born and sustained from a lack of unconditional love. Ironically, this harshness was so pervasive that I had never consciously known it was there. My inner critic constantly pushed me into the extremes of all-nothing thinking. Again, meditative practices more than anything helped me identify this was going on, and ACA reparenting (inner child work) has allowed me to soften it. By the end of 2018, I started discovering something that had evaded me my whole life – moderation, and a general sense of “OK-ness.” By April 2019, I had found a new pace in life to accompany my new inner compass, and I was nearing the full completion of my psychiatric drug taper. I was one-year benzo-free at this point, and at times, I was overwhelmed with heights of new sensations and emotions. I was feeling things I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager because I had been drugged my entire adult life. It was overpowering in many ways, but I was so grateful to be “awakening” to a much more fully human life. On April 28, 2019, I was finally free from Zoloft, and my psychiatric drug taper was complete. I had found a way out of the darkness, and I had survived. I couldn’t remember having ever felt so alive. So, while this isn’t my entire recovery story, I’m fulfilling my promise to report back and share my continuing journey with others. Where do things stand today, 15 months after taking a psychiatric drug for the last time ever? No need to panic. I’m not experiencing depersonalization, derealization (DP/DR), or panic attacks in frightening ways. I do still feel what I might call different states of consciousness, but often there is a positive, expansive quality to these experiences. Perhaps some might call this bliss? I haven’t really found ways to talk about it yet clearly, but I don’t experience panic attacks in the ways I used to. I still have fears of them returning, but less so with time. I also get “eerie” feelings now and again, but I have found ways to work with that when it happens, and it doesn’t usually last long. Scariest weirdness has ceased. Most of the “unexplainable” adverse reactions I experienced don’t happen anymore. I would get terrible flu-like symptoms for days at a time . . . hot flashes and chills, body aches, cramps, twitches, headaches, fogginess and disorientation, exhaustion, etc. Sometimes my heart would start racing for no apparent reason, or I would have trouble breathing. I had chronic digestion issues. I had intense agoraphobia, even paranoia at times. I had problems making the simplest decisions. All of this, for the most part, has subsided. Consistent rest. My sleep has changed dramatically, and I’m so grateful. I have struggled with sleep my entire life . . . unable to fall asleep at night and feeling anxious and “hungover” with crippling anxiety each morning. For as long as I can remember, I wanted nothing more than to sleep “normally” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and wake-up feeling well-rested. Today, more times than not, my sleep resembles very much what I used to wish for. I wrote an entry summarizing what I’ve done to address my sleep issues here. Keep gently working with triggers. I still have intense anxiety at times and find myself in hypervigilant states. I’ve come to understand this as a trauma response, and I can usually identify what has triggered me and/or how my inner critic has become activated. I’ve developed self-care routines that help to reduce these reactions, and that help me come out of this state much more quickly and easily. Some old wounds have healed permanently – some things that used to trigger me no longer do. AND I want to emphasize there are days now, thankfully, I live virtually anxiety-free. Self-care (reparenting) is my new drug. I had SO much resistance to doing self-care my whole life (for many reasons I won’t get into here). And by self-care, I don’t mean treating myself to a spa day (though that probably doesn’t hurt). I mean the day-in and day-out routines of physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually tending to myself like I’m the most precious being in the world. Self-care is what got me to where I am today, and it will be the practice of my lifetime. Don’t overdo it. As my life continues to get fuller, I can easily start “checking-out” again. If I stay dissociated for too long, I will pay for it. If I overcommit while on autopilot, I will have adverse reactions when I reconnect with myself. If I try to shortcut too much on the self-care, I will most definitely feel it, and I will struggle. Moving forward, I have to be very careful not to take on too much too quickly, and simply take next best steps. The worst is over. I’ve come to accept that I will never know how much of the excruciating symptoms I experienced these past years were due directly to the psychiatric drug withdrawal, versus how much was due to all the “inner work” I was doing. What I can say is that the symptoms from folks going through psychiatric drug withdrawal and folks doing inner transformative (trauma) work tend to be very much the same. It’s uncanny really, and I can’t explain it. But these two processes seem to very much mirror each other. What I can say is that while there will still be “windows and waves” as my brain keeps healing, and while I still have more “inner work” to do, I’m confident the heaviest lifting for me is done now. Perhaps most indicative of the healing I’ve experienced, I’m feeling well enough now that I’m back in school earning a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) – I’m going to become a therapist. While I’m a bit uneasy stepping towards healthcare systems that betrayed me so deeply, I also feel this is how I can be of most benefit. I’ve come to fully believe that my wounds are intrinsically linked to my gifts, and as I continue to heal my wounds, my gifts will become increasingly available. I’ve been doing volunteer work for some time now, which has helped me to “move back out into the world,” and I hope to transition into paid work soon. I’ve been meeting with people in support capacities, and I envision “coaching” people at some point until I more formally earn my credentials. I plan to be very open about my history with psychiatric drugs, as well as my recovery process. I journaled extensively all throughout my recovery process, and perhaps I will share the “long version” of my story in the future (yes, this is the short version). For now, writing this success story is an important next step in my “coming out.” Thank you for witnessing my healing. Elbee-Success-Story_Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25 years on them.pdf
  3. Hello all, I am fairly new this forum. Im a 35 yo female living in Singapore, currently Im facing challenges on tapering off Lexapro. back story : I was prescribed a mixture of medicines in October 2017 for GAD. Back then I have never think of anything wrong with it as I trusted my psychiatrist (BIG horrible mistake). My mixture is listed below : amytriphiline 7 mg frixitas (alprazolam) 0.25 mg lexapro (cipralex) 10 mg I took it as prescribe without even knowing the dangers of coming off these devils. in April 2020, I was ready to be off this medicine because Im planning to get pregnant, I told my psychiatrist and She said I can just stop it CT. The next day I was feeling angry and easily agitated, and I feel so weak. I didnt even know that these all are withdrawal symptoms.. In early June 2020, I started to get really depressed and suicidal, and my anxiety skyrocketed. I cannot sleep anymore, I lost my appetite and I kept losing weight. I feel like dying, It was extremely horrible and I wouldnt even want to wish it on my worst enemy. I called 5 psychiatrists (the wellknown ones) and describef my symptoms, ALL of them said I was in relapse. They confidently told me it was not withdrawals. I trusted them and went back to my original psychiatrist and reinstate the whole thing. But only for 10 days I weaned off the amytripiline and alprazolam. I waited and listen to my body, I was unwell and I have this weird headache that is constantly bothering me. It was tightening my scalp. August 19, 2020 - I have commited myself to wean off the Lexapro. I was on 10 mg and my psychiatrist told me to taper off as below : 1 month : 10 mg to 7.5 mg 1 month : 7.5 mg to 5 mg 1 month : 5 mg to 2.5 mg 2.5 mg to 0 I googled and got alot of informations thus I found this site. so August 19, I cut 25% to 7,5 mg. So far I have experienced : -constant headache -sensitive to light -irritability -vertigo (this is the worst so far) -nausea -dizzyness Some days are okay but these 2 days when the vertigo hit I am practically bedbound. I read the 10% very slow taper method. But I am sad because it will take sooooo long to get rid of this poison as my time is ticking and I really want to have a baby. I am sad right now and I regretted the day I went to the psychiatrist and took their advice.. how could they do this to us.. My life is deteriorating now as I am feeling very down and confused. I dont want to struggle with these for many years as I grow older the chances of having a baby will be lessened.. please help me....
  4. Hey everyone, i’m new to the website.I’m so glad i’ve found it now that i’m ready to taper. I’m sorry if i’m posting in the wrong topic. I’m being prescribed citalopram 20mg around 7months ago and i’m now ready to taper off as i feel theyhave already stopped working, and i want to do it with the 10% method. I’m currently taking tablets of 20mg(weight 0.18 g). Would it be better/easier switching to the liquid or i can make it with the tablet?should i crash it or dilute it in water? Did anyone experience bad withdrawals even using this method? Thank you so much for your help🙂
  5. Hello, I have been looking for ways to support my spouse that has been suffering severely from ssri withdrawal for a few years now. It has been very challenging as our relationship dynamic has completely changed. I have become more of a caregiver and our relationship is not the same as it first was. There have been more challenging times than others over the course of the withdrawal period. We used to be able to socialize and go out on a regular basis but this has all changed where we really don't do that anymore. Does anyone have any advice that may have or is going through this sort of thing? It's as if our lives have been ripped out from underneath our feet and it is a scary thing to see what the future holds. I have remained incredibly optimistic and hopeful that this will come to pass however it is now becoming rather taxing on my confidence and self esteem. I know self-help is very important and I am working on that to improve on my outlook. I have always looked forward to spending the rest of my life with my spouse and raising a happy family. I appreciate everyone's feedback to offer!
  6. My stats: Male Age 19 Green eyes Good body 6ft tall Tall handsome looking for love, passion. Well endowed. Basically I've got a giant...whoopsss, wrong forum! Forgive me! Shame because I have got a massive....problem! Hi all! How are my fellow ssri buddies who are/were going toe to toe with these drugs? I'm new and here, and am here to talk about my withdrawal, Representing the many of us who have been lied too, deliberately forced, left in denial and lost are own true self to oblivion. For those of us who are pushing on forwards redeeming our full potential becoming the strongest version of our self. Because all of this is just experience really isn't it? We took these medications as a result of how we were feeling, a by-product of the demons we battle with inside us. Life tests us, these walls and road blocks that are put in front of us mould us. They make or break us. It is our choice if we choose to slide backwards or push on through. Anyhow! Enough of the dramatic, pretentious, opening introductory literature rubbish! Of which I am compensating for my tiny brain, But of which I hope some will find enlightening. I am no uneducated peasant Ill have you know my good sir! I do ramble don't I?! haha Anyway, I've had an underlying mood disorder, or mental illness...what ever you want to call it for as long as I can possibly remember. Bad anxity, OCD and deppression, cue violins and sympathetic music! But funnily enough I was convinced I hadn't. Up until last year I was sure that my problems were biological, Or perhaps a tad In denial when I look back! Even with the fact that both my parents and sister are on ssri of one sort or another who lack the emotional capacity of a butter knife and are practically robots... I respectively refuse to became chemically lobotomized and join your robo-cult! Anyways I dropped out of college down to extreme tiredness and lack of ability to think etc.. and turned to alcohol. More wine squire! vida did flowww! Unfortunately like pringles once you pop you cant stop! This didn't help obviously and promised myself that I would find out what was truly wrong with me. I went down the medical route. Unfortunately being a Brit unlike our trans atlantic cousins, with your 'medical insurance' and 'healthcare viewed as a consumer product' ensuring the patients health is treated optimally! Over here Its different. Although the healthcare is national and public for all, it is socialist in nature- I succeeded In avoiding the word communist their. I did this to avoid America breaking ties with our country ending are special relationship forever to associate us with extreme evil! Yes well here its here all about the functionality of the patient and spent over a thousand pounds going private to several doctors getting blood tests all under the sun to try and discover that mystery illness! The last doctor I went to admitted that biologically I was fine, which was ruled out that I had something psychology wrong with me and gave me the ssri citalopram 20mg as casually as that. How dare you! I have nether been more insulted In my entire life I Cried! How dare you give me the stigma of a mental illness! Not even an evaluation! This is immoral! inhuman! unethical! I shall not being subjected to this! I demand I see your doctors degree! Call the guards! Off with his head! Obviously that never happened. I simply got my meds and left. After taking them for 6 weeks with all manner of side effects that I won't go into now I stopped them. ended It. finished it. Because I didn't like who I was becoming... Because I didn't want to have to take a drug to escape reality instead of dealing with it myself! Redemption come within ma brothers! So I stopped cold turkey... Because I couldn't get any more tablets? Because I just didn't want anymore of this poison in my body? Or because I'm becoming a full time bad man? I don't know! haha I've been off for 5 weeks! cue applause! My withdrawl! 1st week vertigo, dizziness, headaches! mood swings! 2nd week, just dizziness and depression 3rd week improvement! 4th improvement! 5th week which Is what I'm In now! I've noticed I'm getting a lot of brain fog? Like It takes me longer to say what I wanted to say? Cognitively impaired and my short term memory is suffering! Very annoying and affecting my work! Any advice would be much appreciated on how to approach this thank you everyone for reading much love to you all and best of wishes! Ps. Big pharma you are a rotten cancer criminal organisation! Your deadly pills ravage the western world like a plague stealing the lives of people! You should all be shot at dawn!
  7. Hi Everyone, My name is Daniel, I'm 19, and I'm new to this site. I'd like to hear other people's experience with SSRI withdrawal and what they've done to help alleviate it/speed the process. A little bit about my background to start. I'd like to apologize in advance for the long, long post but if you have the time please hear me out, or at least look at the main points listed at the end. As a young child, I always felt different from and alienated from my family. My parents are very religious people, so I was raised in a really strict, sheltered environment. From a young age I was always hyper and impulsive, which didn't go will with my father's dictatorial parenting style, and looking back was more a result of the way he treated me. I was put on my first SSRI, luvox (fluvoxamine) at age 6, because of anxiety (which was partially caused by my relationship with my dad). I took it for a few years. Ritalin was added to my cocktail when I was 7 due to "ADHD", and I was on it until 14. I experienced crashes at the end of the day and could not function at all if I missed a dose. I know that these two meds at such a young age caused irreversible changes to my brain structure, although I don't recall any serious negative withdrawal effects (I was tapered off of it). I was put on numerous other non SSRI medications between 7-14, including abilify, other stimulants, and non stimulant ADHD meds. I never really knew what "normal" felt like because I was always being medicated. I was also diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 11, and have been gluten free since then. I had stopped growing for a few years, which led to the diagnosis. I'm sure eating gluten for all those years also had a detrimental effect on my anxiety and ability to focus. At 14, I came out to my parents as gay. Things in my life devolved from here. I wasn't accepted for who I was and began to experience depression. My behavior became more erratic as the feedback loop of being yelled at and punished led me to continue to act out. At 15, I was admitted to a psych hospital where I developed depersonalization from the stress. I was given 20mg celexa, 300mg wellbutrin, 1mg tenex (guanfacine) twice a day, and 50mg seroquel for depression, "ADHD", and anxiety. I have a wonderful memory, but my time on SSRIs is definitely more blurry in my mind. I was (wronfully) in a residential psych facility for six month (my parents didn't know what to do with their "trouble child". My father announced that I was being sent to a Christian boarding school in Texas, ans at this point I called CPS on my parents. The state determined that they were not fit to take care of me and were emotionally abusive. Through my first 3 years in foster care, I stayed on the Celexa/Wellbutrin/Tenex/Seroquel cocktail, but decided to taper off because I didn't want to be on meds anymore (June 2014, age 18). My sorry excuse for a psychiatrist that was employed by the foster care agency I was placed under refused to let me get off them, so I decided to do it myself. Looking back at this blurry time of my life, I can tell that I was an emotionless euphoric zombie the whole time, and emotionally did not grow at all as a result. Not knowing what I was in for, I tapered off all my meds in two weeks. I also started smoking weed regularly around this time because I was not feeling as good as I used to (meds completely destroyed my ability to regulate my mood, which would be bad enough without traumatic memories of emotional abuse, false imprisonment, etc.) It provided me relief from my withdrawal symptoms, but I was smoking too much so I've slowed down considerably because it doesn't solve any problems. I don't think that my depersonalization ever really went away when I was started on meds, but I got used to the new normal of chemical euphoria. After a few months of no meds, I got rebound depression, anxiety, and depersonalization like I've never had it before. I never had out of body experiences, but my dissociation was very severe. Anyone who's experienced this terrible symptom knows how hellish it can be. My mind could longer smoothly synthesizes my sense of perception and consciousness like it used to. Every waking moment since I've stopped these meds has been a perceptual mind****. I am in a full scholarship college program and I work 2 nights a week in order to have money to get by, so my life is ridiculously busy and stressful. I wonder sometimes how I manage all of it without breaking down. Since getting off my meds, I feel maybe 20% of the range of emotions I used to. I feel almost numb. The worst part is that I can never sit still, have a much harder time focusing than ever before, have trouble falling asleep but then sleep for way too long and have a hard time getting up. I'm dysphoric almost all the time, and my anxiety has been terrible. I overthink everything in ways I never used to and feel trapped in my body and mind. I sweat way more than I should, and my muscles got so tense about 6 months ago (beginning of 2015) that I started to develop small biceps. It's been 16 months or so since I got off my meds, and I've noticed about a 30 % reduction in my withdrawal symptoms including depersonalization, but I still feel trapped and terrible most of the time. I eat pretty well, follow my GF diet, and take 5-HTP to supplement my brain with serotonin as well as vitamins and minerals. When I'm awake, I feel dissociated (sometimes I feel like I'm just a sum of what's around me in the present moment), worn out with little energy and motivation, and pretty emotionless. By the time evening comes, it feels like my brain has used up all available serotonin and I feel like an anxious, dysphoric zombie. My way of perceiving the world is not smoothly integrated and my mind jumps around. I forget where I put things 5 seconds ago, and it feels like I'm only 30% here. I'm a very intelligent person and I know that if I'm able to feel better and have a more concrete sense of self and feel focused and in a decent mood like I used to feel before I was ever started on the pills from hell, I can do a lot for this world. About 2 weeks ago, I started on 10mg Prozac (against the advice of my psychiatrist, who wants me to wait the withdrawals out but doesn't really understand how terrible I feel) because I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown with school starting. Within 2 days, my brain felt like it could finally breathe and I have been functioning much better. I've stopped sweating, my body is relaxed, and my brain is thankful for the serotonin, but emotions have disappeared and I still feel like a zombie, just a more relaxed one, completely numb and it feels very fake. I don't really feel alive. I missed my dose today and the depression I felt this evening before loading with a high dose of 5-HTP was much worse than the usual withdrawal, and I've decided that it's not worth it, I'm done with meds for good!!! But I'm tired of being in this hell. I'm tired of life being a perceptual mind****. I'm tired of being on edge and anxious and depressed and dissociated. I've been in psychotherapy for almost 2 years and have made remarkable psychological progress, but the physiological/mental symptoms of my withdrawal are a living hell and it's often hard to distinguish withdrawal symptoms from symptoms of underlying problems. THANK YOU FOR READING!!! In summary: -Stopped SSRI and SNRI (doses were way too high), with way too fast tapering, about 16 months ago -Symptoms have reduced by about 30% but are still hard to bear. Depersonalization, bad anxiety, sweating, trouble falling asleep/waking, lack of concentration, altered perception, emotional blunting up to 80%, dysphoria, lack of energy -Taking high dose of 5-HTP/vitamins Any additional supplement/herb recommendations, personal withdrawal timelines, or any other suggestions will be highly appreciated!! Thank you so much! -Daniel
  8. https://scitechdaily.com/ssri-antidepressants-associated-with-increase-in-violent-crime-in-some-people/ Stockholm, Sweden: Scientists have found that some people being treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a greater tendency to commit violent crime. In addition, this effect seems to continue for up to 12 weeks after stopping SSRI treatment. This work is published in the peer-reviewed journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, alongside a linked comment. The authors of both the paper and the comment note that the work indicates an association (rather than cause and effect) and urge caution in how the findings are interpreted. First author Tyra Lagerberg at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, said: “This work shows that SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) treatment appears to be associated with an increased risk for violent criminality in adults as well as adolescents, though the risk appears restricted to a small group of individuals. We don’t claim that SSRIs cause the increased risk we see in our data. It is possible that the disorders that SSRIs are prescribed to treat, such as depression, are driving the association. In that case, our findings may mean that SSRIs are unable to fully remove this tendency towards violent crime, which is also a potentially important insight. Previous work has found an association between SSRI use and violence in young individuals, but not in adults. Ours is a much bigger study which allows us to confirm that there is an association in adults as well.” The researchers examined the records of 785,337 people aged 15 to 60 years who were prescribed an SSRI in Sweden in 2006 through 2013. These patients were followed up for an average of around 7 years, which included periods when individuals took SSRIs and when they did not. Individuals in the study were found to have committed 6306 violent crimes while taking SSRIs, and 25,897 when not taking SSRIs. After accounting for follow-up time and variables that were associated both with the probability of getting SSRI treatment and with the risk for violence, the researchers found that the risk of committing a violent crime was on average 26% higher during periods when individuals took SSRIs compared to periods when they did not, though only a small proportion of individuals went on to commit violent crimes regardless of treatment (<3% in the study sample). Due to the rarity of violent crimes, periods of SSRI medication are expected to coincide with only a small increase in the rate of this event. When the researchers subdivided the study follow-up according to time since start and end of SSRI treatment, they found that the risk for violent crime was higher throughout treated periods. The increased risk also persisted for up to 12 weeks after the estimated end of SSRI treatment, after which the risk returned to levels before start of SSRI treatment. The researchers showed that the association between SSRI treatment and violent crime existed in young adults as well as in adults aged up to 60 years (the study did not investigate the association in adults older than 60 years). However, only 2.7% of individuals in the study committed violent crimes during the study period, meaning the increased risk applied to a small subgroup of SSRI users. Tyra Lagerberg commented: “Previous studies have shown that depression itself is associated with a 3-fold increase in the risk for violent crime, and of course many SSRIs are prescribed for depression; so it may be the underlying depression that causes the association with violent crime, rather than any effect of the SSRI. More work is needed to uncover the causes of this association. Our results suggest there may be a need for clinical awareness of the risk for violence during and possibly after SSRI treatment across age groups. However, a large majority of SSRI-users, around 97% in our sample, will not experience the outcome of violent crime, so our work needs to be understood in this context. Our findings do not affect the vast majority of people taking antidepressants and should not be used as basis for individuals to stop their SSRI treatment, nor for prescribers to withhold treatment from individuals who might benefit from it. Nevertheless, clinicians should be attentive when prescribing SSRIs to individuals with aggressive tendencies. More work is necessary to identify what further individual characteristics might give someone a higher risk of committing violent crimes during SSRI treatment, regardless of whether the risk is increased because of the SSRI or because of the underlying disorder that indicates an individual for treatment with these medications”. An associated commentary, explores possible explanations for the increase. Lead author, Professor Eduard Vieta (University of Barcelona) said: “This observational study presents a firm basis for further investigations on SSRI use and criminality. However, as the authors themselves say, we need to emphasize that the study shows an association between violent crime and SSRI use in a small subset of patients, it doesn’t show that one causes the other. The study also shows that past offenders were more likely to commit a violent crime during SSRI treatment: this in itself is an interesting finding, which could be the main focus of future research on the topic”. Reference: “Associations between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and violent crime in adolescents, young, and older adults – a Swedish register-based study” by Tyra Lagerberg, Seena Fazel, Yasmina Molero, Mikael Andersson Franko, Qi Chen, Clara Hellner, Paul Lichtenstein, Zheng Chang, 29 May 2020, European Neuropsychopharmacology (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.03.024 Commentary: “Association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and violent crime – could underlying psychopathology be the cause?” by Aiste Lengvenyte and Eduard Vieta, 29 May 2020, European Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.04.005
  9. NOSEXscitalopram I am a 23 years old male and I was prescribed antidepressants 2 years ago, which permanently damaged my sexuality. It was Spring 2017, after a stressful period of time caused by anemia, I began experiencing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. I started having depersonalization, a state in which a person feels "detached" from their mind, thoughts, and emotions. I tried psychotherapy for 2 months, but it was not beneficial for me at all, therefore my next decision was to make an appointment with a private psychiatrist. He prescribed me an antidepressant called ‘Escitalopram’ (also known under the brand names of Cipralex and Lexapro) and said that these medications were well tolerated and the ‘only side effects’ that most of his patients experienced was a dry mouth. A couple of days after starting the antidepressant, my genitals became numb and my sexual functioning decreased by around 50%. I literally felt like I was 90 years old! During my second appointment, I reported this side effect to the psychiatrist, and he reacted by prescribing a different antidepressant. Unfortunately, it was causing the same problem. We then tried a third one which caused more sexual side effects. I kept taking it for about 3 weeks and decided to quit as I had had enough. My psychiatrist informed me, that I might get withdrawal symptoms which are mild and last around a week. When I discontinued the medications, I went through hell! I experienced horrible brain zaps, anxiety, sadness, shaking, insomnia, sweating, and severe problems with concentration - it all lasted about 7 weeks. Additionally, the sexual side effects still persisted at that time - I thought that it could not be possible, so I visited my GP. I had all sorts of medical tests that revealed no abnormalities. Furthermore, I got back to my psychiatrist with the issue, who said that in some cases antidepressants cause permanent sexual dysfunctions. I was terrified. Then I got referred to a urologist, who confirmed that my problem was caused by the antidepressant and unfortunately there was no treatment for it. I am now stuck with permanent damage from these medications and there is no help for me and many sufferers at all. This issue was first reported to regulators in 1991 and the first time any regulator actually confirmed the problem and requested updates of all SSRI/SNRI leaflets was the European Medication Agency in May 2019. Still, there is no research into it and many GPs say that PSSD does not exist. How horrible life can be when you have a condition, which existence is denied by pharmaceutical companies and even medical professionals. I am in an anhedonia state, which negatively affected my progress at university, and destroyed my relationship. I do not think that I will ever be able to have my own family that I have always dreamt of. Antidepressants permanently damaged my sexuality and left me suicidal. But of course, these medications are still recognized as safe and there are more and more people who are prescribed and take them worldwide.
  10. About six months ago I went to my doctor because I was having chest pain which she shrugged off as anxiety and prescribed 10 mg of lexapro once a day. it ended up being a serious heart condition but that's another story. I wasn't depressed or anxious at the time but I took the lexapro anyways just to prove my doctor wrong. After about 30 minutes of my first dose I felt a rush of euphoria like I never felt before; music sounded so much intense,energetic and wonderful even music that normally felt blah;I couldn't help but dance and sing along. memes,jokes and things on tv were the funniest thing ever at the time and I was laughing at everything; I would rarely laugh otherwise. I couldn't sleep at night because I had too much excitement; my mind was full of different ideas,thoughts and things I wanted to do. I ended up impulse buying a lot of useless things that I felt like I just had to have at the time using my savings. I did a complete wardrobe overhaul and went through a goth,sport,vintage,hipster phase all in the course of a week. ended up completely redecorating my room. it felt impossible to answer question in class or do my homework which would have been easy before taking lexapro; but I kept taking it anyways because of how good it felt, it was like a constant high. I pick up hobbies that I hadn't done in forever like model trains and photography; but there wasn't many interesting things to take pictures of where I lived so I had the great idea of dropping everything I was doing at the time and driving across the country to sight see and take pictures. so I packed my things and went with no real plan of how I was gong to do that. I only ended up diving about 50 miles away before my double vision, lack of coordination and reflexes started to come back a side effect of the lexapro. I ended up crashing into a tree; I walked out with only a few scratches but the car was wrecked. I realized I could have seriously hurt or killed someone. I flushed my medication down the toilet so I wouldn't be tempted to take it again. a day afterwards everything that I had done had hit me at once; I felt flabbergasted and even though I only took it for a week I spiraled into a deep depression that lasted over a month. But I resisted the urge to claim I lost my medication and take it again. I got a second opinion and found another doctor that actually found what was really wrong and just in time too. now it's been about six months since I last took lexapro and recently I've been having urges to take it again for fun; life feels boring sober. Especially with everything closed and being alone stuck in quarantine. I found a merchant on the dark web selling lexapro; so I went to a bitcoin ATM added funds to an account and opened a PO box but I manged to stop myself before I bought it.I haven't tried any illegal drugs so I can't imagine those would make me feel but the drug I have the urge to try is lexapro. So do you guys have any advice on how to stop the cravings.
  11. Hi all, I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA. I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms. I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise. In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years. By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families). Here is a history: 2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017 Below is tapering instructed by doctor 6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms 12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is tapering by myself 7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms 8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. OTHER INFO: Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale Supplement: fish oil Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me. Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support. Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.
  12. Hi there This is my first post here so apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong place. I'm currently in withdrawal from citalopram which I stopped taking 18 months ago. For the first 6 to 9 months I had the windows and waves pattern. But from around 9 months off the medication onwards the windows and waves have stopped and I've been in a constant state win a number of symptoms. My symptoms are insomnia, lack of appetite stomach and bowel problems, complete emotional blunting, constant sexual dysfunction, fatigue, eyesight problems like blurred vision and some visual disterbance particularly in my left eye and there are other symptoms but those are the main ones. I'm in a constant state with these symptoms which I have been in for around a year now with no windows and waves at all. I'm just a little bit confused about why I'm not getting the windows and waves anymore and what this means or if anyone else has any experience with this? I know the windows and waves are a commonly reported part of this so I'm a bit confused about why I'm not getting this anymore. If anybody knows anything on this subject would be great to hear from you. Thanks and take care xx
  13. Mod Note: See the following links which may help you to distinguish if it is withdrawal or relapse: This post and this one, distinguishing withdrawal from relapse ______________________________________________________________________________________________ I was just wondering as I am 6 years off and still suffering from horrible symptoms when is it time to say "this cannot be still withdrawl"? Howmuch longer with this repair work take or is this as good as it gets for me.
  14. I had started this heavy headed ness in December 2018..The feeling was like someone tying strong knot around my head and its getting tighter...with NO relief in site....I ddint knw at that time , it was related to depression. So i kept hoping that it will ultimately subside after diet change, sleep patterns etc.. but nothing worked ....After 6 months of this unbearable pain.I visited psychiatrist.In our society and family , visiting psychitrist is taboo, so visit was late...I feel if I started this early, i would have better by now. He has Started off with amixide-h, SSRI...it helped me ...I got recovered to some extent .But not completely. then my doctor advised me to visit another doc at metropolitan area. so i did... he started with having SSRI and betacap 20 ....and increased dosage gradually... I recovered but new monster arose infront of me 'ANHEDONIA/emotional blunting/numbness' ...It was making me disassociated from everyone i am closer and affecting every relations i have.There was no feeling, no interest in activities which i enjoy, ....There was like no feeling of emotions except anger, rage, hate , frustration etc negative one.. Then i talked this to doctor, he changed tab to Dulexetin , buproprien and betacap for this emotional apathy .....This has really helped me in relieving some symptoms of depression ..Anhedonia but remained ... After 4-5 month of treatment , Now i am recovered to the extent but last problem for me remains. In between i tried supplements like MUCUNA pruriens for dopamine, its very effective for me with libido increase, sexual pleasure, but not helped much with anhedonia. Now i started on with AGOMELATINE for this anhedonia thing...so will update about its effectiveness after 1 -2 months. If anyone has gone through plaese reply and suggest any new thing for anhedonia...LETS beat this.... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pills amixide h , flunil 20- from june 19 to july 19 galop 10 , betacap 20 - from aug 19 to nov 19 with variations dulexetine 20, bupropriion 150 - dec 19 to march 20.
  15. Zpssd

    Zpssd: Plz help

    I stopped fluvoxamine 2 months ago and started expiriencing sexual dysfunction so i went to my psychiatrist and he added bupropraon(wellbutrin).its been 4 days and i am not noticing any improvement.i need to know that my syptoms wont worsen as long as i am on ssri again
  16. Hi guys, Long time visitor to the site, but just registered to get some answers if possible. I’ll start with my history on Lexapro. I was convinced back in 2010 I was dying from a brain tumor and got very anxious and scared of what I was feeling. I remember getting the fight or flight sensations and it terrified me and I didn’t know what was happening. Doctor prescribed 5mg lexapro and then that went to 10mg. After about 1 - 2 years on it I wanted to get off it so the doctor recommend half the tablet and taper over the course of 4weeks. Followed his instructions and did that. Maybe 6-8 weeks the withdraw set in, brain zaps feeling of doom etc etc. Doc put me on the tablets again 10mg. So I stayed on them for about 5 more years and I think at 1 point went up to 20mg for about 4 months in 2011. Mainly I’ve been on 10mg. So fast forward to 2019. My anxiety was still here and doctor wanted me on 15mg of lexapro. So I did that, April 2019 started 15mg of Lex, and then in August I decided to taper but slowly. By November 24th I was on 5.5mg of Lexapro. I tried to see if I would stabilise one this dose but come January 2020 I didn’t and began to increase to 6.6, then next week 7.7 and then I stuck on 8mg from January 25th till February 15. I started to feel more anxiety and not only that depression came and I never suffered with depression so it was strange, nothing interests me or it’s just blah feeling. I am now 9 days on lexapro 10mg again and feeing like I failed. I must mention that when I went back up to 8mg from 5.5mg dosage I’m not sure if coincidence but my legs are feeling very heavy. I still have the depression symptoms too and I’m wondering if I am still in some type of withdrawal. Any advice regarding my recent increase? Should I stay on the 10mg ? I really want to get off these meds and will follow the 10% taper from this website but I just ask when would be the time to taper? I feel like the meds are now making me depressed and loss of interest in activities and my job too. thanks for reading if you got through all that lol -Jack
  17. Dapoxetine (Priligy) * has ruined my life for 7 years. Need some advice to get my life back! Hello. I'm new to this forum. I'm a 26 year old male from India. Everything before 7 years for which I'm still suffering housebound. I'm an asthmatic & I bought some asthma medications over the counter. I started taking the medicine for some days but found no change. I thought that it was a low dose & took 5 tablets at once. Sometime after my asthma resolved. Suddenly 4 days after taking the medicine I didn't sleep the following night. I didn't sleep even a minute with runny nose along with hives. A week later i lost most oty speaking skills. No one understood that what I said. My memory became like a sparrow's memory. I couldn't hold up conversations & it took several hours to understand a sentence in the text book. My muscles are so tight & rigid. My penis permanently shrunk less than a 12 year Old's penis. I couldn't drive a motorcycle or perform complex dance steps. My insomnia lasted for 3 years. I quit college as I went from a class topper to a fail in all subjects. After an year getting the symptoms I went to a psychiatrist & he diagnosed me with anxiety disorder although I had no reason to worry at the time of getting symptoms. I went to multiple doctors & everyone diagnosed me with a mental illness prescribing me SSRI or Benzos. Symptoms never resolved. But after ten years I get a substantial amount of sleep & my memory has improved quite. Everything is improving but at a very slow pace. It's been 3 years since I stopped going to the doctor. I'm housebound & jobless. I never gave up & started researching on the internet using my symptoms. Till now I have gone through thousands of medical literature & notes. I cut upon the causes to Autoimmune disorders, encephalitis, Allergy, rare medical conditions, seep deprivation. I went for brain imaging, multiple blood tests, mineral tests, harmone tests & to my disappointment everything came back normal. After few days an empty tablet packet in my old backpack named Priligy*. That was the medicine I was given by the pharmacist for asthma. He gave me a premature ejaculation drug for asthma. So i got curious & went through the overdose symptoms. I qualified for every symptom with a hallmark symptom of SSRI side effect- Sexual dysfunction (Small Penis). Some people on the internet said that SSRI side effects or withdrawal syndrome won't last long more than 6 months. But I've seen people experiencing sexual & cognitive decline like me for many years. So I took 6mg of ropinirole at a night as it is used to overcome the extra pyramidal side effects of antidepressants. After waking up in the morning I was a new man. My symptoms improved like 70% overnight. It's been three days since I took ropinirole but I didn't take any other drug in-between. My symptoms seem to be waxing & waning. Sometimes it get better while sometimes it decreases although at any point I feel better not like the terrible times I had. My tremors & muscle rigidity gets better & decreases. My penis grows & shrinks. Same for cognition. I don't know when this cycle stops. I wish my symptoms go away permanently. I have few questions. 1. What am I experiencing? Withdrawal effects or overdose symptoms? 2. Is there any effective way to come out of this permanently & become a normal man because I have suffered enough & I have my parents to look upon. 3. Are there anyone with similar stories in terms of long time effects or symptoms? If so how did you treat? 4. Doctors at India are terrible so what would you suggest me to say them during my next visit? Please take time to share your thoughts. * PRILIGY, containing the active ingredient dapoxetine, is a type of drug called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and belongs to a group of drugs known as other urologicals. PRILIGY increases your time to ejaculation
  18. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  19. Hi all, I had been taking 20mg Lexapro for about 8 years. About 3 months ago I was having a very bad bout of depression, anxiety etc. and was suggested by my doctor to change to 100mg Sertraline. In early November 2019 I CT'd the Lexapro, waited 24 hours and started taking the Sertraline (doctor's recommendation). I immediately suffered from extreme brain fog. Over the next 5 weeks the brain fog didn't ease up. I thought the brain fog was due to the Sertraline, so I stopped taking the Sertraline (fast taper over 3 weeks). I wanted to see how my mind and body would function without any medication so I did not reinstate the Lexapro (psychologist's recommendation). It has been about 4 weeks since I have stopped taking the Sertraline, and almost 3 months since I stopped taking the Lexapro. My anxiety and depression is ok (I am attending regular therapy to cope here, and have made positive life changes which has helped a lot). However, my heavy brain fog is still present, and my general concentration is far lower then what I am accustomed to. I have now come to realise that the brain fog was not caused by starting the Sertraline, but was due to withdrawal from the Lexapro. After doing some research over the past couple of weeks, and in particular reading stories about very slow tapering, it would seem going Lexapro CT was definitely the wrong choice! I am approaching 3 months out from stopping the Lexapro. I am thinking of possibly reinstating as I work as an engineer, and brain fog and lack of concentration is a major issue for me (as it would be for any job really). However, as I am almost 3 months out from taking my last dose of Lexapro, and my anxiety and depression is under control, and it is only the brain fog/concentration that is the issue, I am thinking it would probably be best if I don't reinstate, and hope that in the coming months (or even years as I have read) my brain slowly starts firing again. I guess I am looking for any form of advice about the possibility of reinstating, stabilising, and then slow tapering over a year or more (will this even cure my brain fog in the short term??), or am I best just to live with the brain fog and hope that it will fade in due time. What are some people's time frame for brain fog to disappear? Thanks everyone Dean
  20. Hi everyone I am almost 29 years old I have been on Flouxitine for about 8 years. I decided to get it off about 4 months ago. Instead of it, i am drinking st John's wort 4-5 a day, 1500 mg Nicine and 1500 tryptohan. I also use Cbd oil from time to time. I do not have any brain zaps or big anxiety but my sleep is still not good. In previous 2 weeks i almost did not sleep at all i started to be unbearable for my family. Yesterday i took trozdon because of the holidays. Do you have any tips ? Do you also drink some herbs or take some suplemments ?
  21. Hey everyone, Just thought i'd post this topic on this board.... I've heard talk from various people assuming that adverse reactions from SSRIs whilst still a teenager, or being put on SSRIs as a teen (or even child) puts them in a worse position than if their brain was fully developed. This was my first instinct when i joined these forums last year, however everyone everywhere kept talking about how young people always heal better, faster, etc that being young is an advantage. People always say "don't do drugs kids" because "your brain is still developing"... Well what does that even mean? What are the potential consequences of doing said drugs when your brain is "still developing" ? Are these consequences more persistent or brain-altering? I was always lead to believe that you can't permanently change your brain, especially when you're a kid because its so plastic and malleable. So what's the deal? if one has been prescribed an SSRI under the age of 18, and they had an adverse reaction from going on or had protracted withdrawal after coming off (all before turning 18) - do they have the same chances of recovering than someone who went on at an older age. I've heard that teens have a higher chance of adverse reaction - and we all hear about the school shootings/suicides, etc - but if these kids were to get off the drugs - would they all recover back to normal? This is kind of bothering me since i went on celexa at 14 and a half... Although i haven't been the same since (just turned 18 now, 3 and a half years later) i initially didn't notice much of a difference until like 2 years later when i got off zoloft (thats when everything came crashing down - at 16). I'm wondering will i ever "feel" the way i used too... emotionally, physically, etc... I'm so sick of this PSSD and anhedonia and all the other symptoms. I'm 19 months out still waiting to see some significant improvements.. I dont care how long it takes ... I just really need to know i will recover at least 50% I know no one will have the perfect answer since nobody knows for sure... But if anyone can share positive stories or experiences or even positive information in general that would be great.
  22. Hello Everyone, I always intended to return when I felt that my recovery was at such a stage as to be no longer the main focus of my existence. For me that was a sign of 'success'. I probably reached that point over a year ago. This was my original thread in 'Intro's and Updates'. Like others my withdrawal developed in clear stages:- Months 0-3: Nausea, sweating, increased energy etc Months 4 - 12: everything listed in my topic. Hell on earth. My topic doesn't do it justice. Months 12 onwards: The major symptoms (acute anxiety, suicidal ideation, chronic fatigue, intense rage, an inability to function at any level as a human being) are gone. Residual issues: my sleep is lighter and more broken than it was whilst on the AD's and pre AD's. Memory problems relating to name recall. Neither issue impacts my quality of life to any great degree. Today? I feel well, my pre-drug personality has been fully restored (for better and worse) and I deal with the emotional problems that first led me to the drugs with exercise and a well-practised shrug of the shoulders. If that fails the odd hour of stewing in a pot of my own self-pity never did me any harm! Those days are thankfully rare and are alleviated by a swift kick to my own ample arse😃 I always thought I'd write more in my 'success story' but my ordeal feels very much a part of my past now. Things have returned to normal... 'normal' in this case meaning being free from the maelstrom of chemically-induced madness that is acute withdrawal from an SSRI. Looking back that is the only way to accurately describe it. My only advice (if I may be so bold) is to never ever think what you are going through will stay the same. There will be deep despair and flickers of hope. There will be false dawns and genuine improvements. REGARDLESS, YOU WILL GET BETTER. It just takes time. As a wise-owl once wrote on here 'it takes at least a year' if you cold-turkey from these drugs after prolonged use. That's pretty much what it took for me to return to a sense of normality. The improvements in the 2nd year off the drugs were immeasurable. As Claire Weekes once wrote about recovery from nervous breakdown (and which equally applies to withdrawal-induced breakdown IMHO): "Once you are on the right road to recovery, recovery is inevitable, however protracted your illness may have been" If anyone has any questions I'm more than happy to answer them. I know how much I needed some perspective and reassurance when I was in the pit of despair. For those who supported me in my thread you will never know how much I needed and appreciated it. A huge heartfelt thanks. A huge thanks also to the owners and the mods who do such a selfless and brilliant job. . To everyone else. Keep going. It will come right. xxx
  23. Redrag

    Redrag

    I've been on the max dose of 200mg per day of Sertraline, an SSRI, since 1990. To begin with it was great. I was working faster, and for longer hours, than was really good for me, physically; but the Dopamine "highs" were so rewarding. Sertraline enabled me to cope - and work even harder. I was getting high on the success I was getting from work and get driving harder and harder. In 1996 I had a stroke, but returned to work after one year and resumed my "workaholicism". I never equated the SSRI as a possible contributing factor to my stroke, but that possibility has dawned on me recently. I had been diagnosed with "depression" but, in fact, my doctor should have diagnosed me with "workaholism". I'm not looking to apportion blame for my stroke - I take full responsibility for it - but in the lack of any physiological signs at the time my theory that Sertraline may have supported my "crash" is one that I hang out there. I retired in 2008, but remained on 200mg per day of the SSRI, simply because I had always considered the drug to be a "mood improver", rather than a "work enabler". My theory may be wrong, but I soon came to realise that, without the "high" that hard work was giving me, supported by the SSRI, I didn't like the person I had become during retirement. I assumed it was due to the change in lifestyle and I would soon relax and be more positive. After much reflection, I realised that the SSRI was, in fact, numbing my emotions; I was only ever pretending to enjoy myself and didn't get excited about anything. At first, I was in denial over this and kept organising grand projects and long holidays for myself. I realise that I was simply trying to escape who I'd become. A grandson came on the scene but I was doing all I could to avoid seeing him, my daughter, my friends - everybody. I was/ am like a zombie and I felt I could act as a normal person should anymore. It was as if I had had a chemical frontal lobotomy, the symptoms of which only became apparent when work ceased to be my "raison d'ertre". in 2019 I decided to come off Sertraline and try to recover my personality. I applied to be on a University Trial for psilocybin as a substitute for SSRI but was rejected due to my medical history. I decided to mirror the trial anyway and started tapering at a rate of 10% of the drug per week, commencing in April, 2019. After that, the plan was to wait a further 6 weeks to completely flush-out my system and then to experiment with 25mg of psilocybin. Psilocybin is, of course, an illegal substance in the UK, so I have to guess what weight of magic mushrooms represents 25mg of psilocybin. But, having got to that point, I have become troubled by some side-effects that I had not anticipated. I anticipated mood changes and emotional difficulties but, since mid-way through the tapering process, I have had severe pain in my right hand (the "weak" side following the stroke) and also a developing problem with my right hip. I have also lost all enjoyment of food and drink and have a constant "shooshing" in my head. The list goes on, but these are three most prominent symptoms. I had deliberately not acquainted myself with the possible withdrawal symptoms before I embarked on this because I did not want my subconscious to use them as a "shopping list" for my body! However, I am now preoccupied with a number of questions and feel "paralised" at this point until I can find answers: Is the pain, and the other physical symptoms I am experiencing, genuine symptoms of withdrawal, or are they something that the SSRI drug was masking (in the same way that it masked certain emotions)? (There is no physiological damage to any joints). If these are symptoms of withdrawal then: Will they ease naturally, and over how long? Will taking the planned alternative medicines help, or hinder recovery from these? If these symptoms were, in fact, entirely separate from the SSRI, but were being "masked" by it, then: Are these symptoms of chronic conditions that will only be eased by returning to the SSRI? Or can they be cured by traditional methods? Unless I am prepared to pay mega-bucks, the answers to these questions will only come very slowly. My hand has been examined at the local hospital who gave me a clean bill of health ("perhaps a little arthritis"). Given the severe pain I am experiencing, and have been unable to ease through painkillers, that diagnosis did not provide much reassurance! Anyway, moving on... Although the medical profession is set up very well to put one on to antidepressants, I have found that there is no support for someone coming off them. To be fair, I was offered CBT, but it soon became apparent that this approach was not appropriate. So I feel very alone, frighteningly so. I went back to the University who was conducting the trials into psilocybin and they referred to me cepuk.org; I followed links from their website and this forum is one of those links. In a search for answers I have followed other links from Cepuk and read papers by highly qualified individuals whose opinions vary from: Doctor Stuart Shipko, a Californian psychiatrist who has published on SSRI withdrawal, no longer advises patients who have been on SSRIs for more than ten years to try to stop unless they are willing to risk disabling symptoms, including a state of agitation and inner restlessness which he calls ‘tardive akathisia’. He states that his ‘clinical observation is that long lasting symptoms occur even in patients who taper very slowly, not just those who stop quickly, and that there is no guarantee that these symptoms will go away no matter how long the patient waits’. Medicalnewstoday.com, (a site referred to me by my CBT counsellor), which indicates that "Discontinuation symptoms tends to last for 1 to 2 weeks, but can last longer in some cases" So I'm no further forward; that's where I am at present (4 August, 2019). No answers, just more questions; I can only follow my instincts and take all that I read/ hear with a good degree of scepticism. The story continues.......
  24. ________________________________________________ See this post regarding mouthguard issues ________________________________________________ Hi there, all through my withdrawal my right ear has felt blocked,although is actually isnt so my doc says, but since last October i feel like my ears have both become a lot worse, constant pressure/pain in both. Today it is driving me insane as the pain is in my ears, head,jaw and gums. Ok so iv had allergies all my life ie hay fever and cat allergies but can never remember it affecting my ears like this so im not sure if seasonal allergies are to blame, but then again it was snowing this winter and they were bad then too. This comes and goes but seems to be pretty persistent for the last 9 months now and it isn't shifting. Does anyone else suffer badly with their ears? i know the blocked feeling is common in withdrawal but not sure if many have the pressure?
  25. tryingtosurvive

    Writing a book together?

    Hi, have you too been damaged by SSRI? Would you be interested sharing your story in a book together with other people ? To get these stories out there, to warn and help others as well as informing the autorities in the debate that we are quite many who's lives has been destroyed by SSRI... Reply here or send me a pm if interested! /Trying to survive and live!
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