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  1. This site is a go-to to reassure myself that others are traveling and have traveled this road. The discussions about emotional spirals (check) and anxiety, rumination and dread on waking up (check) and depression even worse than before medication (check) have been helpful. I am being extra mindful now of taking Mag powder in the morning and before bed. I started AA and kundalini yoga in mid-May which have both been helpful. Although I really didn't drink much, it was enough (and mostly alone, not social) and any depressant when you are coming off an antidepressant can't be helpful. Also, I changed from hatha/vinyasa yoga to kundalini yoga which is more focused on the spiritual component of yoga. I won't lie: at 4 months, I still fall daily into waves of depression and loneliness. But I do find that there are glimmers of happier times and I am getting clearer -- I hope -- about how to handle the tough times (for instance, I just now think that my beloved dog has a fever and am trying not to emotionally spiral -- ugh). I will be reading this site like mad just to remind myself that I am not alone. Farm Girl Works Tapered 75mg Sertraline March 2017 in 4weeks after 6 years mostly on with a few unsuccessful WD Stopped Sertraline April 1, 2017
  2. I've been on antipsychotics for nearly 20 years after I had a psychotic breakdown whilst I was taking an antedepressant and experiencing several major life stressors. I've tried to withdraw numerous times but have always become psychotic very quickly. My memory has been affected, I now have diabetes and my weight soared as I put on 10 stone. I'm here because several people recommended this site. I currently take 300mg amisulpride plus medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  3. I would like to say hello and thank this website for giving me hope. I have spent the last few days reading a lot of the posts and have found them to be full of information and great advice. The success stories are wonderful to read. I have never been in a medical situation like this and I was feeling lost and alone until I found Surviving Antidepressants. I was put on Zoloft (50 mg then upped to 100mg) in February 2016 due to depression over a long-term illness that at that time was still un-diagnosed. I got a diagnosis for my illness in April of 2016. I was hospitalized for that illness both in April and March and it was eventually brought under control. Once I got home from the hospital (both times) I was very weak and I had very confused thinking. I had multiple at-home treatments and medications to keep track of. Somewhere in there I messed up my Zoloft and either went cold turkey or was only taking it intermittently, but did not realize it at the time. Starting in May and ramping up in June I had all sorts of symptoms, which nobody in the medical field could figure out, including me. I was put on Gabapentin (600mg then upped to 900mg) to help with the symptoms. My symptoms included headaches, nausea, feeling hot and sweating but having a low body temperature, as well as the feeling of internal tremors in arms and legs, and actual external tremors. I also had jerky arm movements. I had what I call “vertigo light”, the whole room didn’t spin, just the floor moved when I tried to walk; I felt like I was drunk. I had brain zaps, motion sickness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and pressure in the ears like when flying on a plane. My memory was also bad. After endless nights of searching the Internet with my symptoms I realized I had withdrawal. Counting the actual amount of pills in the bottle and looking at the day it was prescribed confirmed that I had not been taking my medication. Once I realized what was going on I contacted my psychiatrist and I went back on at 50mg, which was twelve days ago. A dosage that high might be a mistake after reading about “reinstating” here on this sight, I don’t know yet. Since reinstating the brain zaps and vertigo have disappeared, and the other symptoms have gone down in intensity, however I am getting them more frequently. I’m now getting them every day, for at least a few hours and sometimes all day. Before going back on Zoloft they were really brutal but only for a few hours at a time, none of this all day stuff. Klonopin seems to help however my psychiatrist has suggested that I use it sparingly, he said that the Gabapentin should be helping with the symptoms. By the way, I feel I have an excellent psychiatrist. He did warn me when he put me on Zoloft not to go off of it without talking to him first and that there was tapering involved. He also responds to my frequent and desperate e-mails on a timely basis. I do recognize though that I need to be proactive when it comes to my health. This is my first time with a drug in the SSRI class. At this moment my goal is to stabilize. Eventually I would like to get off, but right now I just want the physical symptoms to go away. By the way, the depression, which was acute in February, seems to have disappeared, both while on and off the Zoloft. I am open to opinions, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  4. GirlfromD

    GirlfromD: insomnia

    Hi im new, I will update my storie when I am feeling better than now. At the moment i can't sleep, i fall a sleep in the morning at 7 or 8. the other day i tried to change it by staying awake for 25 hours straight. And i got a little bit of sleep last night. But today im feeling odd, like i haven't slept for 3 days or something, could the insomania return, in that case me staying awake for so long is a total waste of time!? Should i just go with the insomania and sleep when I can not try to force myself into a better sleeping pattern. Please help! And sorry for my English.
  5. I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years. Previous 4 years or so I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this. I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged. I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't. One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.
  6. 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 . . .
  7. Yes, it will feel like a miracle when it happens for you; and it will happen for you, it is just a matter of time. I want to get that out there first thing; it is my belief that we will all heal in time; it has happened for me and is continuing to happen and it will happen for you. Am I completely 100% done healing? No. Am I so, so much better? Oh yes! Now for some basics: Male, mid 50s, took zoloft for over 20 year, quit cold turkey 3.5 years ago, was off 5 months, thought I was relapsing, so started prozac for 3.5 months and then quit that cold turkey. Then I found S.A. and discovered what I was dealing with was not a relapse but withdrawal (and recovery). So yes, I did everything completely wrong and more than once! I am proof that given time we can heal. I currently just celebrated 30 months of being drug free. Now, how to begin to describe the inhumane torture that I have endured until very recently; not sure but I will try. I have gone through both the windows and waves pattern and the continuous misery pattern. I was one of those that suffered a great deal after quitting, but really got slammed at about 6 months off. At 1 year I was barely functioning; at 1.5 years I was still miserable, and at 2 years off I was wondering if I was doomed to endless suffering with no end. But now as I have hit the 2.5 year mark I feel as if I have turned the corner. Windows and waves general comprised the first year and then it became continuous misery for pretty much the next 6 to 12 months or more; and then back to windows and waves. My last serious wave was in months 25-26 and now finally what feels like solid progress the last month or so. I am hesitant to list symptoms because I know how much it use to scare me to read what others were going through; but on the other hand it really helped when a new symptom would start, because I knew it was part of the recovery process and not some disease or sickness, and most of these are gone or have become minimal although they lasted for months or years. And just because I experienced them does not mean that you will, we all have a very individual road to recovery; so here they are in no specific order: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, tremors and pain in the back of my legs and calves, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, extreme bloating and stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, feeling like a bomb had gone off in my head, floating head feeling, super-hot face, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite and weight loss, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, I could not read, listen to music, or meditate, heart palpitations, random traveling aching and stabbing pain throughout my body, headaches, and so many other symptoms that I can’t remember. The torture, pain, misery, suffering and utter despair was never ending…until it did finally start to end for me and it will for you too. Did anything help me along the way? I tried many things; acupuncture, vitamins and supplements, alpha-stim, gluten free diet, no sugar diet, no caffeine, no alcohol, and anything else I could do to try and feel better. Did it work? In a sense it all worked because it kept me focused on recovery and gave me hope when I had none, and the possibility that I might feel better. But time passing has been the real healing agent; although that was the last thing I wanted to hear when I was suffering so intensely. I did find that mindfulness, breathing exercises and physical exercise helped when all else failed and I was so truly desperate. Many hours were spent just trying to pay attention to my breath going in and out; and I still use this practice as a relaxation method. It also helped me greatly to visit this website daily as well as Benzo-Buddies. I read success stories for hours at a time, read the Bloom in Wellness facebook page each day and anything by Baylissa Frederick and also Don Killian. So, what remains for me? I still have tinnitus (although it has gotten much better over the last month), stomach bloating and pain on occassion, nerve pain, some brain zaps at night, fatigue and tiredness, and sleep issues. If I had to put some percentages on where I am at now I would say physically I am at about 85-90% healed and mentally/emotionally at 90-95% healed. I now eat anything that I choose although I eat as healthily as possible because I value life so much now and I want to live as long as possible; I exercise regularly and it feels wonderful; I enjoy caffeinated drinks including regular tea and coffee which I had given up for many months; I also drink wine and beer a couple times a week if I choose to and enjoy it. I am in the best shape since high school, and have lost 75 pounds (on purpose). Life is good again and just the simple things are more than enough to bring joy and happiness. So that is my story and I hope it will encourage you as you read it that you will recover and become yourself again. I remember reading similar statements in success stories and thinking, “Yea, right, that is easy for you to say, you are not suffering through this terrible hell right now!” And maybe you are thinking the same thing as I did, but please listen to my words; you will make it, you will recover, you will feel better, and you will join me in loving life once again; just please don’t give up or give in and keep going! As I sit here with a cup of coffee and contemplate what I have been through the last several years, it all seems so strange and foreign. Success stories promised that I would make it to recovery, and they were right, so now it is my turn to tell you that you will make it, “You will make it!”. Wishing everyone here all the best and a quick recovery. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to try and help. All my love. Pug
  8. bubbles

    Bubbles

    Hi everyone I'm in my pre-taper phase of going off 20mg of Lexapro, which I've been on for 5 years. I've got an appointment to get Lexapro in liquid form to aid the taper in a couple of weeks. I've tried this before, and not succeeded, but am determined to get off them this time. At the moment I'm spending a few weeks setting myself up to have a good run at this. I'm: * filling up my freezer with home made meals for bad days.. * getting really organized at home. * taking a good multi, folate, magnesium and fish oil. * lining up some distractions, like audio books and a (hobby) evening course. * getting enough sleep. * cutting out caffeine. * doing clinical pilates as a way to transition into some more exercise. * getting some sunshine and fresh air every day. * introducing mindfulness meditations as a daily thing. * might start that tapping EFT thing I've seen at Dr Mercola's website - just can't hurt! At this stage I expect to start my taper at the end of the month. Or so... Bubbles
  9. Hello, I’m new and I’m drowning. My husband of nearly 20 years told me a month ago that his love for me has faded away and he wants to separate (still loves and respects me but doesn’t love me ‘like that’). It was a huge huge shock. I didn’t see it coming (and neither did any of our friends or our 2 beautiful daughters, 18 and 20). I feel shattered into a million pieces and more heartbroken than I thought it was possible to be. I’ve thought of nothing else for the past month. He’s been on 100mg Sertraline for general anxiety for about 3 years and it was only after he told me that I went looking for answers and discovered the insidious relationship/attachment destroying nature of SSRIs. I’m now clinging to this as it ticks all the boxes for being the major cause of his loss of feelings. He definitely suffered from the sexual side effects (loss of desire/libido, inability to ejaculate) and it was this that both started my search and lead me down the rabbit hole of discovery about the other effects, and also convinced him that it was worth considering and tapering to see if that made a difference to his feelings. He’s not convinced it will. But he’s not convinced it won’t either (as evidenced by his easy willingness to taper). I showed him him all the evidence and he’s agreed to taper off the medication. Unfortunately before we found the detailed information on this site about tapering very very slowly (and the reasons why this is so important) he self-tapered from 100 to 75mg about 3 weeks ago. He says he hasn’t had any WD symptoms so far but also doesn’t feel any different. Our situation is complicated because a week or two before he told me he wanted out he met another woman. So far he tells me this is just an emotional connection because they’ve agreed they can’t ‘do anything’ until he’s sorted his marriage out. Even though he’s agreed to taper and see if that makes a difference to his feelings for me, he refuses to stop talking to and seeing her on the weekends he comes ‘home’ (he works and stays 3 hours away during the week and is usually ‘home’ most weekends). This is very odd behaviour and especially odd for him. He genuinely doesn’t see anything inappropriate about seeing her because in his mind ‘we’re separated’... even though our finances are still combined, his toothbrush is still in our bathroom, his clothes are still in our wardrobe etc etc and he has still slept in our bed when he returns. This is incredibly out of character for him and another reason I think the medication is effecting his ability to think rationally. So, I am here to seek support. I feel like I’m in a small boat in huge seas and my only course of action is to batten down the hatches and ride out this storm. It is truly truly terrifying. But I truly love this man. We have a GOOD marriage and I know he loves me (he still says so). I just want my husband and my marriage and my life back. Not sure that’s possible. And I know it will be different. But I must fight for it. No other option for me.
  10. Hello all, long time reader first time poster. Firstly I just wanted to say how awesome it is to have such a place to go and receive help for what can only be described as a nightmare that thousands of people seem to go through. So here is my story which I will end with a few questions I have. As you can see from my signature, I was placed on 50mg of Sertraline (Zoloft) in September 2009. This is when my life was turned upside down. I was originally placed on this drug because I visited my local doctor comlaining about some anxiety that I was getting after I drank alcohol. I must say that for a period of about 8 years I was a heavy binge drinker. I was a typical 18 year old who went out every weekend and got blind drunk with his mates. This was obviously starting to take its toll on me once I hit 25 years of age and that is why I visited my doctor. Well I was in there for a total of about 10 minutes before he prescribed me 50mg of Zoloft telling me this would help with taking the edge off of my anxiety. I did what he suggested and this was the worst mistake of my life. I returned to the doctor within 10 days of starting 50mg complaining of the worst symptoms (severe agitation, anxiety and now depression). Unfortunatley I could not see the original doctor so I saw another doctor there at the time. He said I must need a higher dose and that 100mg was the normal dose he puts his patients on. He also prescribed valium to me (which I took a couple of times). The next 3 months of my life was like a horror film. I became suicidal with severe symptoms that I had never experienced before going on the drug. I seem to settle after about 3 months, but it must be said I never was without symptoms, but they were less severe. Around 12 months after starting the drug, I began to get more severe symtoms. I returned to the doctor and he once again up'd my dosage to 150mg. The next 3 months were a nightmare again, severe agitation etc. For the next 6 years I floated between 100mg and 150mg. I spent thousands of dollars on therapy to treat an apparent panic disorder; although I didn't mind the therapist, the information we went through just didn't seem to apply to me i.e. I wasn't thinking any of the ways he was suggesting was causing my symptoms. It wasn't until I started looking into more natural ways and researching antidepressants that I realised that maybe the drug could be the problem! Lightbulb moment! I have read a lot of books from authors like Peter Breggin, Joseph Glenmullen, etc. which I am sure most of you have read. I also have been doing a lot of work with a nutritionist. I had a 23andme test done and found out a couple of interesting points. I have a COMT gene mutation which means I break down adrenaline and dopamine slower and I also have a mutation in another gene which I can't remember the name of which means I break down serotonin slower. What this actually suggests to me and my nutritionist agrees is that I may have been quite toxic with levels of serotonin which was causing serotonin syndrome. Alot of my symptoms were a mirror image of serotonin syndrome (agitation etc.). So as you can see from my signature, I began tapering in February 2016. My problem now is that I seem to have hit a huge brick wall. I may have tapered a little fast and was hit with severe withdrawal symptoms which have not gone away. I have been holding at my current dose of 60mg for almost 4 months now. This past 4 months has been the worst 4 months of my life. It started with severe symptoms like pounding headaches, vomitting, insomnia, not being able to sit still (severe agitation) as well as some depression. It has progressed from there to now being just severe depression. I am not depressed about anything in particular other than the way I feel. It is like I am completely numb with emotions aside from being really upset. I have no appetite and really struggle to get through each day. I am very fatigued and lack motivation to do the most basic of things. I am pushing through it as best I can still working fulltime and excercising a couple of times a week plus playing golf on the weekend. I must say that I have a great life. I love my job, I have a beautiful wife and young son (8 months) and honestly have everything to live for. It is just these horrendous symptoms are ruining it all. So finally to my questions and looking for advice from some veterans on here. What should I do next? Should I continue to hold at 60mg until things get better, or should I continue at a 10% taper and see if things get worse or perhaps better? From previous drops, I seem to have a period of improvement on symptoms for about 2-4 weeks, and then it begins to decline until I drop again. I am not sure whether that means I should keep reducing or slow down. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
  11. Hello everyone, first of all, I wanna thank everyone in this forum for giving me hope and for making me feel less alone. After being AD free for exactly 3 weeks today, I decided to create my own profile so I could tell my story and update you on my journey towards recovery. Let's start with the basics: female, mid-twenties, working and studying at the same time. I've suffered from anxiety and panic issues my whole life, so I guess it wasn't a surprise when I finally developed OCD when I was a teenager (health related obsessions are my the most persisting obsessions, so I guess you could say I suffer from hypochondria as well). Specialists have 'officially' diagnosed me with OCD, anxiety disorder (not specified which one apart from OCD) and, as of late, depression (but we'll get to that in a minute). July 2015 I was prescribed Seroxat 20 mg (Paxil) because I was severely impaired due to my anxiety disorder and OCD. It seemed to work like magic! Life was so much better for a year or so: my obsessions returned to being just thoughts that I could easily ignore, I hung out with friends and family a lot more, I could get outside of my house without feeling panicky, my work life was SO much better, I didn't feel as anxious... I didn't suffer from any major side effects, apart from weight gain. My psychiatrist never warned me that coming off the meds would be so hard. He never mentioned withdrawal, or discontinuation syndrome. I expressed him my concerns about being on the drug for a long time (my common sense told me you aren't supposed to be on this medication for a long period of time). He asked me if I was having any major side effects from taking it, I said no, he said: "then why the hurry? you will be able to come off of it once you're feeling better." *sigh* So I took it for 3 years... I went to him one other time to tell him that, whenever I missed my dose for one day, I'd get really weird head sensations that I'd never experienced before (now I know it's the famous BRAIN ZAPS!), alongside nausea. He said that this was a normal thing that happens when you stop taking the medication, but he said I was probably very sensitive to Seroxat and that's why it happened after only one day of not taking it. Since my symptoms went away once I took my normal dose again, I never thought much of it. So, fast forward to February 2018: I was sick and tired of taking meds. Yes, I wasn't feeling especially bad while being on them, but I just had the feeling that I'd been taking them for long enough and I genuinely thought it wouldn't make a difference on my mental health to stop taking them, since I felt stable (albeit a bit anxious, that's why i thought meds weren't doing anything anymore). I wasn't living in the same country anymore, so seeing my psychiatrist wasn't possible. Now, this is the part where I understand I messed up: I started tapering, but I did it as I pleased, basically. I know now that this was EXTREMELY irresponsible. I wish I had informed myself better, and I also wish my doctor hadn't given me the impression that SSRI's are not difficult to get off. I didn't follow a schedule, I just tried listening to my body: I went from taking 20mg each day, to taking 20 mg one day, 10 mg the next, then 20 mg. the next (I don't know if I'm explaining myself: for example; Monday 20 mg, Tuesday 10 mg, Wed. 20 mg, Thursday, 10 mg... and so on). Once I was done doing it (I did indeed feel a bit more anxious and suffered from brain zaps and nausea for a while, but it went away), I reduced the meds again and took 20 mg. every other day. I followed this last routine for at least 3/4 months and, even though I felt worse, it was still manageable. I suffered from nausea, derealization and brain zaps for a while, but they eventually went away. July 2018 (5/6 months after 'tapering') I decided to take it to the next level: I'd take 10 mg. every day. After 2 weeks of following that routine, I took 10 mg. every other day. Now, that was the point when withdrawal showed its ugly head: derealization, panic attacks, anxiety for no reason, obsessions, brain zaps, nausea and nightmares begun. This was end july-beginning of august. I went back on them (10 mg. a day), and symptoms definitely alleviated. A month later, I tried again - I tried stopping taking them completely at a point in my life where I had a lot of changes coming up (moving countries, change in job, last year of uni, quitting birth control meds...), and that's when hell broke loose. I now feel so bad about it, I wish I had made things differently I don't understand how I could act so irresponsibly. What happened was, I suffered a major OCD relapse, anxiety was present 24/7. I tried going on Seroxat again, 20 mg. for a month, following my psychiatrists orders (I was back in my country, so I contacted him immediately). It didn't seem to work (although my nightmares stopped). This relapse was so bad I started suffering from really bad depression. My psychiatrist told me to be patient. He said Seroxat would start working at some point. After a month of taking Seroxat and seeing no improvement, my new therapist suggested I started treatment with this other psychiatrist. I was so desperate, I went to see him. After hearing my whole story, this new psych. told me that Seroxat wasn't working for me anymore. He prescribed Sertraline/Zoloft (100 mg.). I followed his instructions, and so I went from 20 mg. of Seroxat daily, to 10 mg. daily for a week, then stopping it completely the next. I started Zoloft 50 mg. while tapering off Seroxat. After one week, I went from 50 mg. Zoloft to 100. IT WAS HELL: agitation, panic attacks (yes, even more panic attacks!), vivid dreams (I had never experienced something like that before, EVER), suicidal ideation (sorry)... those were the most prominent symptoms. I waited a month to see if it improved: it never did, even though I tried everything - changing the time I took the meds, taking a lower dose (all of this by doctor's orders). He finally told me that Zoloft wasn't working for me either, and told me to taper off of it (quickly...). He then said to wait for a week without any meds to see how I was feeling. After I week I'd start taking Fluvoxamine / Luvox (yet another med!). This was 4 weeks ago. 3 weeks ago I completely went off the meds, as instructed, and never dared to try fluvoxamine. I've already gone through enough. I feel so upset because no doctor actually thinks this is real. Yes, he told me AD discontinuation happens, and yes, he said Paxil is one of the harder drugs to quit, but he said the discontinuation syndrome would only last for 3 or 4 days! How delusional can they be? I told my doctor about this, expressed him my concerns about still being in withdrawal and he said that I should try going back to Seroxat, 5 mg. I still haven't followed his advice. What do you think I should do? I'm already 3 weeks in recovery from AD... So, how do I feel now? Here's a list of my main symptoms: When I stopped taking Seroxat and I begun taking Sertraline, daily vivid dreams started. My doctor thought it was a side effect of taking Zoloft, but I believe it's a side effect from Seroxat withdrawal, since I already had a taste of them when I tried tapering off of Seroxat a few months prior to this. Also, I did cross taper, so I started taking Sertraline when I was weaning myself off Seroxat. I still suffer from them almost every day. I wake up with an emotional hungover that lasts for hours. I sometimes hear loud sounds that aren't really there while drifting off to sleep or when I wake up. Sounds like bangs, alarm clocks... Doctor says it's stress, I say it's withdrawal. Nocturnal panic attacks / panic in dreams: I wake up with my heart racing and a feeling of impending doom (I take a small dose of a benzodiazepine most nights to help me sleep at least a little. I know it's not the best thing to do, but I had no other choice, believe me.) This had never happened to me before all of this withdrawal process. Fewer hours of sleep. It's not drastic, but I do sleep fewer hours. 6 hours a day more or less. Brain zaps. These were most intense during the first week and a half of quitting Sertraline. I still have them, but they aren't as intense and the frequency has also decreased A LOT (like 70%). Feeling dizzy. This symptom is the one that bothers me the least. It happens rarely and the intensity is low. It started happening to me on week 2. Hyperarousal. This, alongside vivid dreaming, is the worst symptom for me. This manifests itself in the form of agitation, suddenly feeling panicky, feeling the adrenaline inside my body all of a sudden. Increased obsessions. This is basically my OCD coming back, full force. Irritability. I become aggresive for absolutely NO reason! I don't act on those feelings, of course, but I sometimes scream at people or give them a bad attitude because of stupid reasons. I immediately apologize like a minute later, because I know I overreacted. Mood swings - including crying spells, intense feelings of depression and hopelessness. I am experiencing windows and waves at this point, to be honest. I didn't think it was really a thing until I started experiencing it for myself. This gives me hope... What am I doing to help myself? I'm starting meditation. I'm also starting EFT tapping. I'm trying to slowly eat healthier. I'm moving my body for at least 45 min. a day (gentle exercising, such as swimming slowly or walking). I've tried acupuncture... I'm unsure of its efficacy. Thank you so much for reading my story. I'm so grateful for this site. If you have any questions, I'm here for you
  12. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  13. Hello, I have been off Sertraline for 15 months and ever since my last dose my hormones have been out of whack! Immediately after I took the last pill I didn't get my period for a month (after taking some Adrenal supplements it returned). Over the course of the year I have gotten progressively more moody and lethargic with still no signs of a sex drive returning. Along with these, I now have cramps with every period, headaches and a very irregular flow. The only day I feel slightly better is the first day my cycle begins, after that and for the rest of the month it's just a foggy, tired, slump. I am wondering if anyone else who has gone off antidepressants has experienced anything like this? If so, what did you to do balance your hormones and do you feel better?
  14. Hello: I am new to this forum. I am tapering zyprexa. I was put on 10 mg in the hospital at the beginning of December. In the first week of January, I cut down to 8.50, then 7.5. for 10 days. Right now I am at 6.25 mg, and have been at that level for 1 week. They decided to put me on zoloft in the hospital as it "works fast" the doctors said, and is being used "until the zoloft kicks in". I am very impatient to get off zyprexa, and figured if I join your group, I would get support from people to help me be patient and wait enough time between cuts. Still figuring out how to do the signature. Will add it when I do. I am also on a whopping dose of 200 mg Zoloft, also given in the hospital. Before that, I had been 6 months free of Zoloft after tapering it for at least 3 years or even more. It was a huge disappointment to end up in the hospital and to have to go on it again.
  15. Hi, I was on 50mg of sertraline for 4 mths. I'm 53 years old and consider myself pretty intelligent. I allowed a Dr to let me think the medicine would help me be able to cope on some UPCOMING things that I shared with her...that my life was pretty overwhelming. I have an 88yr old Mother that lives with me, she had had a recent stroke and just her years of life coming to a close and needing to deal with that....my last child of 5 was going to be going away to college so I was GONNA be an empty nester.....my daughter that has my grandchildren was GONNA be moving further and I was loving them being 7 miles away. ALLLL of those things were coming in the future - NOTHING had happened and she put me on it as a precaution. Im still soooo mad that I took it. SOOO...4 mths on, I had nasal congestion the whole time, no sex drive & my sleep was messed up. The 1st mth I felt so beyond WEIRD on it. Very disconnected and kinda floating feeling. I pretty much cold-turkey'd off of the 50mg. I was ok for the 1st 10 days. Then the VERY DAY we moved our son in to his dorm...my life stopped as I knew it. I had crazy dizziness, TOTAL exhaustion feeling, just barely could put 1 foot in front of the other. Slept for days that 1st week or 10 days. My brain just felt weird - I just really dont know how to explain it. I had a few brain zaps but mine came with fast motion of my head sideways or up and down - so i did NOT do that. I could move my eyes sideways or look up...it was awful. In the night i couldnt turn over much because it would send me into vertigo spin. NOW...all of that mostly has gone - I'm 3 mths into WD! But the dizziness hasnt left. It's not like the beginning where I couldnt walk anywhere straight - I ran into everything. But my head just feels weird. I'll go shopping (never by myself because I don't think I can drive) and I will feel good -- but then the next time I'll feel floaty the whole time... My question that I asked -- am I dumb... I've had some xanax that when I have to do something important I take 1 and I don't even know if it helps but I'm desperate to feel normal... Is the Xanax starting some of my WD all over again or making me hold on to the dizziness. In 3 mths I've probably take 8 & they are low dose (not sure what mg) -- but am I shooting myself in the foot?? I've also had some numbness around my lip, nose, eye - that's hung on and my tongue is slightly numb and burns some. I think alot of that is anxiety. Anyways - I appreciate anyones thoughts. Im soooo beyond grateful my WD havent been mental - all physical. I just found SA and Im gonna be praying for you all. Took sertraline for 4 mths and i'm beginning my 4th month of this WD junk. Blessings to you all!!
  16. Hey! I recently switched from pills to liquid form Sertraline. I took 1ml (20mg) liquid today and 1-2 hours later i get hard to controll to anxiety, almost went in to a anxiety attack. Should hold on to do this switch since it easier to taper liquid or should i switch back to pills? Im very sensitive to meds. Regards L
  17. Hello! Im suspecting that antidepressant (or maybe any substance) is less potent in liquid than pill form. When i was on Lexapro (Escitalopram) i tried liquid form, the exact same dose, even though this I experienced more anxiety, and my cognitive ability began to increase (that's when I know the dose is lowered, because they screw up my mental ability). Fast forward. Half year ago i wanted to switch to a less potent ssri, so i went for Zoloft. Eventually i tried liquid form. I went from the same manufacturer, from pill to liquid. And also this time i experienced anxiety, panic attacks, increased mental ability. Which tells me that it somehow is less effective, so I went back to pill form Zoloft, then I was alright. Both time, if I recall correctly I mixed these liquids with water, stirred around and then drank it. I would love to have liquid instead of pill form, so i dont have to weigh it, because it is less time consuming with liquid, and less messy. Anyone know if im doing something wrong, or why it is like this?
  18. Hello everyone, It is very good that I finally found a place to talk about my issues. Started sertraline in June, overdosed in August, now cold turkey with serotonin syndrome So, as stated above, I've been going through many things in a short frame of time. I've had anxiety problems as long as I could remember. As a kid, I was anxious. As a teen, I was anxious. My anxiety problem got out of control this year, as I started university and many things that I couldn't control happened simultaneously (mainly family stuff - mum's verbally abusive, my sibling has a cognitive disability, and my dad has health issues). I was getting constantly frustrated and depressed, and ultimately developed a suicidal ideation around June. That is when I first went to a GP to talk about my mental issue and the GP prescribed me with 50mg of sertraline. At first, it helped me a lot with my anxiety but when I think about it now, what sertraline did was numbing all my emotions; tranquilising my mind. As soon as I started taking the pills, I had several side-effects, including severe insomnia and lack of appetite which never really disappeared until I went cold turkey. I could barely sleep for 4-5 hours per day for several months. From the beginning, I had problems with my dosage. A few weeks after initially taking pills, I increased the dose by myself to 100mg because it was during the exam period, I was extremely anxious and wanted to die because of the stress and anxiety. I've told my GP later and she said it'd be ok to continue taking 100mg if I'm good with taking it. So from then on, I took 100mg per day. However, I was going nuts as I wasn't getting enough sleep and there were persisting side-effects that kept me from being functional. I could barely concentrate on anything. Although I believed I wasn't anxious anymore, I was seriously getting depressed due to the physical fatigue and other things that were going around me. I think I went through some personality changes as I started acting more impulsively without thinking about the consequences. Probably because nothing was rewarding as all my emotions were blunted due to the pills. I overdosed myself with sertraline during late August. It was during the exam period (again), I couldn't study properly because I couldn't concentrate, I was suffering from insomnia. I talked about the insomnia problem to my GP and she told me exposure to sunlight, drinking warm milk and exercising mindfulness activities would help... which didn't. I was also very depressed during that time. I took a blood test around that time due to irregular menstruation and the GP told me that there were two hormonal abnormalities and they could be either because I was too stressed/due to the antidepressant, or because I had PCOS and a tumour on my pineal gland. Everything accumulated and I was getting extremely anxious. So, without thinking much about the consequences, I started binge-eating my pills. I had no intention of committing suicide as I researched beforehand and the case study I read stated that overdosing a very high amount did not kill the person. Moreover, whenever I was getting anxious, I had cravings with my pills because I wanted to numb all my feelings (I still do sometimes, even after going through serotonin syndrome - so I started suspecting that the pill may be addictive despite what everyone's saying). Additionally, I had access to plenty of sertraline as I had 2 prescriptions - one for 50mg, and one for 100mg. Now when I think about it, one of the things that contributed me to overdosing was the generic pills; sometimes I went to other pharmacies and they only had the generic ones. Because I didn't know that the generic ones may have a different effect in terms of time, I just took generic ones and found them not as effective as the brand pills and took even more to gain the effect. I did know that sertraline did not have instant effects (well the side-effects were quite instant though). My highest overdose on 1 day was 450mg. I didn't take the pills at the same time; it was more like 100mg in the morning, 150 in the afternoon, and 200 at night. during that insane week, I took a total of 1500mg, which was more than double my supposed weekly dose (700mg). The effects of sertraline syndrome were instant. I've acquired high blood pressure (around 150) and fast heart rate, to the extent that I woke up in the middle of the night because my heart was beating so quickly and my blood vessels were constricting. My hands started to tremble constantly. I went to my GP on that following Monday. And... the interesting thing was that the GP advised me to keep taking my usual dose (100mg) because she was worried about the withdrawal syndrome. She told me that the symptoms should cease several weeks later. Well, I should've realised that GPs don't have much knowledge regarding the psychiatric drugs because I saw her searching up about sertraline on her computer. Anyways, I kept taking the usual dose, thinking that I would get better within a few weeks. Then like a week later I self-decreased my dose to 50mg because the symptoms were getting severe. The trembling spread through my entire upper limb. I've developed bilateral upper limb clonus, spasticity, and hypertonia - I was jerking my upper limb violently all the time except when I was asleep. All my upper limb muscles (including the rotator cuff muscles) were contracting involuntarily. I was suffering from constant muscle ache, tendon ache as well as severe insomnia. So, in mid-September, around 3 weeks after the overdose, I finally decided to go to the hospital emergency department although I initially planned to wait until I see the psychiatrist in mid-October. Serotonin finally screwed up my autonomic nervous system as well - I developed problems breathing and regulating my body temperature. I was in constant agony as I had neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, ANS problems as well as insomnia and other antidepressant side effects. Muscle spasticity finally started to spread to my lower limbs as well. Because of those problems I was very depressed at that time. I finally went to the emergency department and the doctors and people from the toxicology department assessed me. I was given a pill of valium and IV fluids. The doctor there advised me to stop taking the pills and told me that my problems are probably a combination of serotonin syndrome and withdrawal syndrome (from overdosing then quickly decreasing my dose). From then on, I was cold turkey with sertraline. The week after the trip to the emergency department, my dad took me to his GP. I told him (the GP) that I went to the hospital, and had serotonin syndrome. I also told him that I had insomnia. My dad's GP gave me a weeks supply of valdoxan (aglomelatine - melatonin based antidepressant) and told me that I could start taking it from that day (although I raised concerns about taking new antidepressant while having serotonin syndrome) because it won't interact with serotonin and it doesn't have many side-effects. But the funny thing about valdoxan is that you need to get blood test done every month to check your liver enzyme level. It can potentially damage and fail your liver but isn't it ironic how the doctors say it doesn't have many side-effects?!? I started taking valdoxan but had to quit it after 4 days because the side-effects were immense. It could've been serotonin syndrome but as soon as I started valdoxan, I had constant dizziness, nausea, headaches (brain zaps?) and severe fatigue for several weeks even after I quit it. The only good thing about valdoxan was that it instantly fixed my insomnia; I no longer have sleeping problems which I had for several months. So, around late September to mid-October, I had serotonin syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, and the side-effect from the new antidepressant at the same time - which was excruciatingly painful. Then around mid-late October, I finally met the psychiatrist. I booked the appointment like 3 months before... then finally saw him. He asked me about my family issues, where my depression and anxiety stemmed from, but he didn't really discuss with me about all the pill-related issues. Whilst he agreed with me in not prescribing any psychiatric pills, when I told him about my upper limb trembling due to the serotonin syndrome, he told me that I can't have serotonin syndrome because it's been a while since I stopped taking it and the trembling must be because of my anxiety issue. The thing I don't get is that I still do have trembling, as well as bilateral clonus, spasticity, and muscle hypertonia right now as I write this down. I can't fully stretch some of my fingers because they are curled up!!!! IT'S A NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEM, NOT SIMPLY ANXIETY STUFF. I didn't tremble all day because of anxiety before I started taking pills, even though I was struggling with anxiety! Now, I'm currently having CBT with a clinical psychologist which is also my university lecturer of the psychology course. It's going well, but I'm still suffering a lot from the pill side-effects. I still have neuromuscular issues and other issues I've acquired since starting sertraline - hypersensitivity with food, fatigue, and many other things. Before taking pills, I at least knew why I was depressed. Nowadays I get depressed out of blue. I think taking sertraline made my mood-swings and depression worse. I'm not anxious anymore, but I don't know if it's because my anxiety has been cured by the pills or it's just that I don't care anymore about my original problems which made me depressed because the pills made me really sick. I think the whole experience with antidepressants really lowered my pain tolerance threshold and now I'm in constant, chronic pain. My muscles still contract involuntarily all day, my hands and arms still tremble, and there's nothing I can do about the pain right now except taking painkillers which are effective for a few hours. I don't think the GPs and the psychiatrist can do much about it either. Any recommendations? Anyways, thanks for reading my long post.
  19. I am a 27 years old man. I was on sertraline 100mg for about 8 years. While being on the medication I could not attain penile erection. Tried to have sex with my girlfriend multiple times but failed everytime. My penis felt unresponsive to any sexual stimulus. This was very distressing and hence I stopped taking the medicine by slowly tapering it off. It has been 10 months since I last ingested the medicine but the sexual dysfunction is persistent. I still cannot attain erection and in an addition I have been facing the problem of severe premature ejaculation since I stopped taking the SSRI.Moreover, my memory has been highly affected by the drug. I struggle to remember everyday things. I cannot concentrate. I don't feel emotions. It feels like I am dead from inside. And I almost always feel a burning sensation in my brain. The drug has profoundly impacted my brain functions. I am very helpless right now. My life has become an unbearable tragedy. I don't know what I should do now. I am in a long distance relationship with a girl who wants to marry me. I am desperate to have a family. But I am afraid to go further given my condition. I am completely helpless and somehow surviving the distress caused by PSSD. I am eagerly waiting to hear from my peers in this forum.
  20. Hi everyone, just wanted to share my story (and hopefully my eventual recovery). I am 20 years old, and was 19 when I started on 50mg of Sertraline I was prescribed it in Feb 2015 for social anxiety and took it for a month. Quit cold turkey because I felt pretty depersonalised, and cause of the sexual side effects. All of my symptoms came on during my time on the drug or shortly afterwards. They are: Dulling of emotion/Anhedonia - Have felt sadness a few times, and anger a few times. No joy, no passion, maybe some flashes of love but that's it. Unable to relate to characters in books/TV. Dimunition of visual imagination - I used to daydream constantly prior to taking the drug. Since cold turkeying the pictures in my mind are very blurred and I am no longer able to daydream. Loss of creativity - Before the drug I used to read a lot, and when I read I always felt like ideas were constantly popping into my brain. Since I stopped medication this no longer happens. I feel like I am reading the words on the page very superficially.. Physical numbness in brain - Feels like there's a great pressure in the frontal lobe of my head, almost like it is torn (but there is no pain) PSSD - No libido, anorgasmia, difficulty getting and maintaining erections (too much information but I want to be thorough here) No fatigue behind eyes - this one isn't necessarily negative, but since stopping the drug my eyes never get tired regardless of how much time I spend using screens or reading. Possible other symptoms that could be unrelated: Muscle twinges (very mild), worsening of eyesight (20/20 vision pre medication), urine delay (is considerably better now) Improvements - I saw very positive changes when it came to anorgasmia and erections around 6 months into my withdrawal. Unfortunately it seems like in the past 2 months things have gone back to square one. The physical pressure in my head varies a lot, and is definitely much better than it was at the start of my withdrawal (though it still gets very bad). I couldn't read for the first 6 months of this withdrawal because I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it and that was depressing because I used to love reading prior to the drug. Now I read a bit, and it feels nicer than doing nothing I guess, but seriously if that's an improvement in my anhedonia then it's 0% to 1%, because I still have zero positive emotion. General - I feel hopeless about recovery a lot of the time. I have suicidal thoughts but would never commit suicide because of the effect that would have on my mum. I browse through the forums looking for recovery stories, but it seems like most people who recover haven't had this constant anhedonia, and were in a more turbulent emotional withdrawal. If anyone who is in my position, or anyone who was in my position but recovered, could reply I'd be very grateful. Many thanks, Raven
  21. Female. Anxious disposition even as child. Did well making friends and enjoying life as a child. Struggled with getting to sleep though, due to worries. Displayed some ocd behaviour in teens ( maybe even before). Took and E aged 16 - big mistake. This exacerbated my anxiety and induced subsequent panic attacks. Age 19 ish ( 2001) was put on seroxat (not sure on dosage -it a strange time; experienced a lot of weird goings on with feeling weird, insomnia, - cant remember if this was before or on starting seroxat). started to feel better while on Seroxat. After a year or two, ( age 21) the doc, due to reports of suicidal behaviour on seroxat, decided to swap me to Citalopram ( 20mg i think). On starting Citalopram, I became very suicidal! Not sure why I wasn't swapped back but I perservered and must have evened out. Took Citalopram for 2 years and I felt good. Met my, now, husbandat 23 and thought life was brill and I did not need Citalopram anymore. Didn't follow any kind of tapering ( didnt know I needed to) and must have stopped cold turkey. Felt very suicidal so went back on Citalopram and evened out again. Must have cut fown to 10 mg and stayed on this for 4 years, functioning well. I did my degree. Am a bit of a perfectionist so worked very hard ( too hard), as well as working 16 hours. End of 4th year at Uni, I was burnt out. Overloaded, overwhelmed, run diwn physically and mentally. A 'nervous breakdown' ensued. I tried to go back to uni to finish the last couple of months but couldn't. I finished my dissertation abd transferred my degree so I still gained a 1st class degree but was very ill. I, nearly straight after became pregnant. I, however, suffered a horrid missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. I had told the docs that I thought something was wrong, 5 weeks earlier, but was dismissed. I took 2 months off work and was a mess. The doctor gave me diazepam and zopiclone which helped me ride the worst. Somehow I survived and became pregnant again not long after. Pregnancy was hard ( pains and bleeding) but I lasted. When my baby was born, it was tricky ( so much new to learn; I developed some ocd habits to help me feel in control but it was ok. Things leveled out. I was still on 10 mg Citalopram ( docs aware of this). I was doing well. I had snother baby a couple of years later, aged 29. Pregnancy was s bit better than the previous one but I still had bleeding, so was nervous but it was ok. I continued on 10 mg of Citalopram and was doing ok. When my son was 1 though, I took on too much. ( Lots of voluntary work with high expectations and serious responsibilities. I juggled trying to be a good mum, with several voluntary roles, housekeeping, got a small part time job too. over this time, for some reason i was slowly tapering Citalopram down ( no guidance really other than from the doc that you can take them every other day (? Is this where things started to go wrong?). I thought I was doing ok, although on reflection I was burning the candle at both ends. At the age of 32 I began to experience sciatica and fatigue. Doc suggested I try coming off the pill. This didn't help. This got worse until I developed severe abdominal pain/ heavy periods/ Nausea/ severe IBS - doc queried cfs but i was not yet referred. I was probably taking 5 mg of citalopram a couple of times a week ( not great I now realise as not steady) but as much as I was feeling physically crap, I was still functioning I stopped the Citalopram and took nothing for 10 months. The voluntary work took on another level; I imploded and had a 'nervous breakdown' ( I had a ridiculous amount of stress which was causing me to struggle with sleep and I was beginning to get suicidal ideation and brain fog before this, on top of the other physical issues, then a stressful voluntary work event sent me into a breakdown ( crying/ anxious/ ocd/ sleeplessness/ some kind of sleep apnea where id wake up gasping for breath.. I was put back onto Citalopram. I quit all voluntary work. I requested to start what i thought was low - 5mg. They pushed me to go to 10, saying 5 was ridiculous. At the same time, it was thought I may have endometriosis, so in 2017, aged 35 I had a laparoscopy operation to check; it was not. I think the operation and anaesthetic helped finish me off. The Citalopram made me increading suicidal to the point where I had suicidal ideation 24/7. i was somehow still getting sleep at this point but obe day was so suidsl, I went to A&E. Saw a psychiatrist for the first time in my life ( aged 35). Was tild to stip Citalopram strainght away. Discussed alternatives ( antipsychotics/ Mirtazipine, other ssris etc). I took nothing fir a week then another team of psychiatrists advised on possible meds. It was decided I would try Sertraline ( another Ssri??? why did i do that) I started it on 12.5 mg ( much to dismay of psychiatrists) but I was not given time to level out; They kept bumping up dose so i would get to the 'theraputic' dose of 50mg. Another level of Hell ensured which I hadn't yet visited. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, jitters, suicidsl ideation in the extreme, depression, muscle twitching, increased brain fog, intrusive thoughts, rapid weight loss, hellish insomnia. This on top of the fatigue and pain and ibs i was already experiencing. Despite my reaction, I was told to persist; I think they thought it wss my normal behaviour ( never felt this bad even when I wss 18 before starting Seroxat). Things levelled a bit after about 3 1/2 months. I was able to function a bit and go to my part time work and look after the home but it was tough. I developped tinnitus on Sertraline and had increasing brain fog. I also now suffered from depersonalisation and still had IBS and fatigue and body pain. In November last yesr, Another doc suggested i try the fodmap diet. i tried this and after 2 months it was very apparent that I had a gluten intolerance. Stopping gluten cleared up my IBS and most of the body pain. I still however battled with increasing brain fog and fatigue and severe depersonalisation to the point i couldnt go out at times and battled with it on the way to/ at work. Sertraline was not for me. I decided to cut down. the only advice id had about tapering was every other day from my doc but I thought Id do it slower. i cut miniscule amounts off from April 17, no real structure. I did this slowly but without checking i was stabilising, from April to August when i got to about 25mg. July and August, my brain fog became unbearable; unable to do shopping, unable to have a proper conversation, overwhelmed by simple questions, I became hypersensitive to light and sound. I often wore shades even on cloudy days ( looking back, noide and light sensitivity started with sertraline). I wore earplugs to limit noise at home with loud children. I became snappy due to loud noises. July August this got worse and worse but I was still functioning. I began doing sertraline every other day at 25 mg in August I think, maybe before then BAM one night in early September I had severe anxiety and total insomnia. This was relentless. I was desperate. I needed advice. Do i go back? Stop? go down? even dose to take each day. I was severely suicidal and devepped what seemed to be fit type episodes where i would be breathless, painful stomach, weird tingly head, palpitations, neck pain and lower back pain, loss of appetite, feeling flu like, becoming extremely dehydrated to the point i would guzzle water down cup after cup, My body contorted in painand tension, I eould then becime cold snd shiver. these episodes could last a couple of minutes but up to 16 hours at times. i was desperate for advise. over September/ early october, I visited A&E 4 times, desperately suicidal; I spoke to my doctor, I spoke to the nhs 111 line, I paid to dpeak to a psychiatrist but NO ONE would advise me, passing me round like a hot potato, telling me to do CBT and wait fir an appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist in december! I wouldn't live until then! I stayed with my mum as I felt so out of control with these fit type things ( including one where paramedics came and I was growling/ disorientated/ confused/ dehydrated so my eyeballs snd skin were dry- I was agressive ( never been like this in my life). I didnt want to be near my family due to my behaviour so I stayed with my mum for a few days. she lives in another county. I went to A&E there and they listened to me and made me feel worthwhile. they referred me to their home treatment team, who visited me but once again were unwilling to discuss specifics of medication. i was given zopiclone and diazepam. my husband and i didnt know what to do. we saw this website but I was still confused. I 'evened' out the 25 mg every other day dose to 12.5 in September. This may have made things worse, not sure which is why i wanted advice. The home treatment team managed to get my appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist movef to early october. I saw her and she laughed at my idea that it was withdrawal. she suggested I try an snri or mirtazapine. After reading this site, I wad reluctant. I am still referred with that team of psychiatrists but another appointment is in 2 months and they just want to throw more meds at me without showing any understanding of withdrawal. 5 weeks ago at an extreme point, before seeing the psychiatrist, I stopped Sertraline. I have been off it for 5 weeks. The fits seem to have all but stopped. but my anxiety is through the roof. I have severe stomach pain, reactions to shsmpoo, brain buzzy feeling whch zaps at times, particularly with high pitched loud noises. my sensitivity to sound is horrendous, as are my emotions and sensitivity to stress. I am overwhelmed by anxiety and ocd type ruminating thoughts about the situation and about my children's health. I am in sick leave from work since 2 months ago, as is my husband ( to look after me and the children). I have managed to taper off zopiclone and my sleep varies depending on my anxiety at night ( minutes up to 6 hours, broken sleep). I took dome diazepam but the ladt dose in September affected my breathing and I became severely breathless for 4 hours andmy gums bled so i haven't taken it since. I have applied for pip disability living allowance. we are shortly going to have no miney coming in and do t know if and my husband will be able to go back to work or if he will be fired ( I assume i will). I read this site but felt I couldnt reinstate as I never felt good on Sertraline. what now? do I try to ride it out? So suicidal and hopeless at times. Do I reinstate to citalopram instead? Do i try something else? Low dose mood stabiliser/ antipsychotic? Ps, I was referred a month ago to the ME/ Cfs people for diagnosis. Still waiting to hear.
  22. VincentV

    Lobotomised feeling

    Its a feeling that's very difficult for me to comprehend, literally get my head around, and I'm just wondering if the forum could shed some light on it. Maybe other people experience this as well or maybe there's already another post on it (I have tried to look)? There was a BBC report on SSRI withdrawal and one woman said she'd had this 'lobotomised feeling' and the words struck a chord with me. I've had this odd sense since about week 8 after I took my last dose of sertraline of not being able to grasp all my own thoughts and feelings and hold them in my mind in their entirety (It sounds clumsy but that's the best way I can sum it up). I call it the 'lobotomised feeling' and 'brick/ hole in my brain" feeling. Somethings missing and I cant figure out what it is. Sometimes I just call it brain fog, because I often feel spaced out and detached, but I'm not entirely sure if its accurate to call it that. It doesn't quite feel like depersonalisation either (though again it feels close, but I've had to a small degree before and this feels kind of different and worse somehow) Its like I try and take stock, or audit how I'm feeling, try to take a look at me, 'myself' and I just can't. I'm completely on autopilot and have been ever since, like big bits of my subjective experience, maybe all of it are missing. Yet I'm still aware that I feeling things like depression, or agitation or anxiety. I'm just not sure what's feeling them I'm not even sure who, or what is writing this, really. I mean I know its me, but I'm not here? I know this sounds crazy and ridiculous. Can anyone understand or relate or shed some light?
  23. Hi everybody! I’m a 33 year old girl from Canada Looking for some guidance on how to go about coming off this poison. I guess I’ll start with telling you guys my history: 2009- cipralex 20mg + seroquel 50mg + clonazepam 0.5mg (stopped seroquel after a month with no wd- never took it again) took clonazepam here and there as needed 2010-2014 zoplicone on and off for sleep - stopped in 2014 with no wd noted 2009-2015 clonazepam as needed (once or 2x a week - no dependency and no wd when stopping. Haven’t touched one since then.) Cipralex CT in 2013 because I couldn’t take anymore weight gain. Started Wellbutrin for a few weeks after a month of CT and then moved to Prozac. 2013 - 2015 Prozac 20mg - still having panic attacks so rapid taper over a month and started 25mg Zoloft then bumped up after 3 weeks to 50mg. 2015 - present - Zoloft 50mg I was originally put on these meds for OCD (which I definitely had, hardly see any sign of it now adays) and anxiety. In total since starting meds I’ve put on 50 lbs of weight and have terrible short term memory, concentration, and motivation. I’ve done a ton of self work over the years and am a counsellor so I definitely have some good coping skills and am ready to tackle this beast. However, after reading around this site both my doctor and the compounding pharmacy said they’ve never heard of liquid sertraline, so not sure how to proceed. Thanks for reading!
  24. Hi, I do appreciate this supportive website. My story: I had been on Celexa for anxiety for at least 10 years at doses of between 10 and 20 mg. At 15 to 20 mg at times it really seemed to help the anxiety and lift my mood. Last Dec. I went on Zoloft because the anxiety seemed to be breaking through with the Celexa. (However, I now wonder if lowering the dose on my own was actually giving me symptoms of anxiety). I went one month on 25mg Zoloft, then 50mg Zoloft for 3 months. It never seemed to really help with anxiety or low mood, and also gave me GI upset with diarrhea. I decided to stop on my own, tapering over 6 weeks. While tapering and since stopping I have been taking Fish oil and probiotic, hoping both of those supplements would help with anxiety/depression. During the taper and since stopping, I have been having additional GI problems, plus very bad histamine intolerance. Foods that I had not problem eating while on SSRI, now give me headache, dizziness (to the point where I haven't driven on the freeway for 3 months!), fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. By the way, I would occasionally have these symptoms when lowering the Celexa dose, but then it would go away soon, so I attributed it to anxiety. So weird and awful. I've done lots of reading and discovered that in some people this can happen after SSRI discontinuation. One theory is that the SSRI has acted as an anti-histamine therefore the cells in the GI tract don't need to make the DAO enzyme that breaks down histamine. So when going off the SSRI, there is nothing to break down the histamine. I am currently on a low histamine diet. Trying Quercetin and Vit. C to help with the high histamine. The glutamine/aloe vera supplement made me feel extremely fatigued so had to stop. It's been 2 months since stopping Zoloft. Of course I'm praying my body will return to normal sometime soon, and fearful this may last a long time. My primary care doctor said the body doesn't even start to feel normal until 3 months post-stopping. I would appreciate any input from folks who have had similar issues, and would love to hear some positive stories of healing from this. Needless to say, will never take SSRI again! Thank you
  25. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
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