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  1. 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
  2. Reaching out for some support. My doctor prescribed sertraline for generalized anxiety. I took 3 days at 12.5 mg, 3 days of 25 mg, 4 days of 37.5 mg, and 1 day of 50 mg. I was extremely sick from the start with nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and a fast heart rate. I kept reading how things would turn around after a couple of weeks and the side effects would go away so I didn't stop. At the bump to 25 mg, I had a panic attack which I was able to control with lorazepam. At the bump to 50 mg, I was so sick and desperate that I went to the ER hoping for some relief. I had a 10 hour panic attack which the lorazepam wouldn't touch. The ER doctor was dismissive that this was just a regular anxiety attack and not an adverse reaction. He gave me a dose of Zofran to help with the intense nausea. I'm not sure why, but that had either no effect or made the nausea worse. I was sent home with instructions to follow-up with my primary care and to continue taking the sertraline as directed and use the lorazepam. I decided on my own to discontinue the sertraline. It's clear to me that my body/brain finds it toxic. It's been 6 days since I last took the sertraline. I'm still having significant nausea and dizziness. I can hardly eat. I can only sip ice water. I'm having vivid nightmares, which reinforces to me that I've changed my brain chemistry in a major way. I'm trying not to let that freak me out, but honestly it does. The mornings are the worst. I wake up and have to lay on my arms because they feel so wired. I'm struggling right now. My doctor's nurse said the symptoms could last a couple of weeks. I've read it could be longer than that. I'm trying not to focus on how long this will last because it's not helpful and makes the anxiety worse. I've ordered some fish oil and magnesium and it should be here tomorrow. I'm not sure that there's anything else that can be done other than trying to surround myself with other people so I'm not going through this alone. I'm feeling judged, ashamed, angry, and about a dozen other emotions towards the doctors right now. I know that's not helpful. It's just where I'm at.
  3. Kernol's benzo topic Hi everyone, I was doing so well on my sertraline tapering over the last few years which i originally took for anxiety 10 years ago. It was only as I quit completely 6 weeks ago after doing my best to measure down from 25 mg to 12.5mg then 7.5mg - i must have gone too quickly as after 2 weeks completely off it I was hit with out of the blue anxiety attacks that seemed off the scale compared to anything I had experienced in my 10 years on it. I am now really struggling with these adrenaline rushes and so the doctor suggested that I go back onto 25mg to see if it was because I did it too fast. I have now been taking the 25mg for 1 week and the anxiety attacks are still very bad and frequent. I feel like I have been plugged into an electric socket. I am now starting to really panic about panicing and my biggest fear is - have I done the right thing going back on it like this? And if this anxiety doesn't settle in a week or so - then what? I am scared stiff after reading forums of people saying these drugs can cause permanent brain issues - what if I never get my anxiety under control again due to this drug. I am scared witless of people talking about months of hell of withdrawals. I just want to be stable like I was for the 10 years I was on it. I am just looking for help, guidance anything that will let me know if this should settle - could it be that this anxiety is the anxiety like when you start the drug originally? I really am scared - please somebody help me.
  4. HopefulDawn My medication and health history before I took sertraline just in case it is relevant. I realise I might be recognised by some of this but I feel if my experience can help others and possibly help research it is worth it. . Have mild athsma but rarely took inhalers. . Took antihistamine certraline 1 per day for allergic rhinitis for a number of years. . Took cocodamol fairly soon before starting sertraline. . Have a mild case of cerebral palsy from birth. spastic hemiplegia . Autistic (aspergers type) Brief overview of when things happened and symptoms: January 2018: Was struggling with a breakup, had an anxiety and issues getting to sleep; I really was hoping for counselling or someone to talk to and I believe that would have helped me but instead was given sertraline. First day I took it I was fine, second day I took it I was fine and on the 3rd day morning I began feeling unwell. My jaw started biting together on its own (like when your very cold but much more forceful), I was having numbness in different body parts, had mydriasis (really dialated pupils) I felt like I was dying in a way and I suppose that was when my personality was changed and my emotions changed. My sense of time altered. Began having movement issues where my body would freeze up and I couldnt carry out actions as my body would stop as if I was playing musical statues. Weird feelings when I moved sometimes and weird kind of pain in my body which was very uncomfortable. Feelings of terror. Emotional lability where I could not control my emotions they would just happen.Twitches. Went back to the dr: was offered propanolol but I refused it not wanting to take any more drugs. Got an MRI on my nerves as I thought I was developing MS but that wasn't the case. April 2018: I believe I developed depression which I had never had before; this lasted until January 2019. During this time I was having waves of feeling uncomfortably physically and also spells of emotional lability, movement issues and some others. Each day they would be less severe and less frequent though. During this time I pushed myself to keep busy a lot even though I could not feel positive about things as much. If I always did something like drawing or talking to a friend it would keep me distracted. I will not go into all the symptoms because there were sooo many. All of these things occurred in waves and windows pretty much like how a lot of you guys experience things. Slowly things got better and most have gone away 2019 I was back at uni but I had to take a year out as I am not as resilient physically anymore and get cognitive symptoms.If I do too much symptoms come back. Before I took sertraline I would not have considered the things I did as too much. My grades dropped as I kept having fatigue, difficulty completing actions, weird feeling skin and weird pains. I am hoping to go back to complete the year September 2020 but I feel it will be quite a struggle. April 2020 I feel as if my personality is back 100% which kind of seemed to happen overnight. I decided to join as I am still having issues mainly fatigue, weird feelings/pain in my skin and through my body, sometimes internal vibrations and tremors if I do too much (too much being walking to the shop and carrying shopping which I used to have no problem with, doing too much fitness), sometimes muscle stiffness and twitches, heavy feeling limbs, I seem to get worse with exercise, often delayed and I thought perhaps i'm developing chronic fatigue, my mum thinks I have signs of fibromyalgia but now I think it is still side effects from this drug. I still get cognitive issues sometimes which makes me worry I won't be able to go back to uni and also feelings of terror but thankfully they are much less frequent. Official diagnosis from the dr now is: movement disorder due to anxiety 😕 however my anxiety has basically gone now so I now know it is not only anxiety at all it is definitely physical. Thanks for reading I hope this helps someone
  5. Stormstrong

    Stormstrong: in pain

    Hello. I need help! I've been taking Zoloft on and off for close to ten years. Went up to 150mg last month. Since I got back from the psych hospital last month, I've been having a sensation of being stabbed repeatedly in the brain, the whole day after taking Zoloft. This is why I had to start taking it during the day time. Otherwise I cannot sleep - keep jolting up awake, as if though electrical currents of stress run through my body. Today I got up, and was quite happy, energetic. An hour later I took Zoloft. What happened?: the feeling in my body and brain is that of continuous assault by toxins. I feel at the same time very agitated, very lightheaded and sleepy, nauseous, no longer happy, with diarrhea. Music, my true love and saving grace, is now an irritant. For a long time I've been considering tapering off for good (I'd follow the 10% rule). But now it's clear to me that this medication is no longer good for me. I had my psychiatrist (of a few months) call me and I suggested that we taper me down to 135mg. He said that it's not a "good idea", and that it won't help me. I don't think I can get another psychiatrist, because I'm applying for SSI disability (for PTSD), and people at the hospital told me that my case will be quite strong, if I show that I've had the same psychiatrist for a long time. If I go against his wishes, he would never write a good letter for my SSI case. Should I just do it behind his back? Greetings, by the way!
  6. Deblou46

    Deblou46: Withdrawal

    So glad I found this page I was on citalopram for 18 years tried to come off 6 years ago and 6 weeks later thought my anxiety had come back now realise it was withdrawal! Fast forward 6 years and it was suggested to me to meet with a psychiatrist to help with my meds as citalopram 40mg had stopped working . She said taper down from 40mg in 2.5 months and start sertraline which I did went into depesssion signed off work for 7 weeks now 11 weeks later and been on 100mg for 8 weeks I am suffering severe withdrawals Bugs crawling in head Tingling on face feel like a cobweb on it Clenching jaw Anxiety Will this ever get better ?
  7. Dear all, I took Sertraline 50 (French name for Zoloft). for only a month and I have developped PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) following a too fast withdrawal. I read the story of some of your members who had PGAD when they withdrew from an antidepressant and their stories looked like mine and gave me hope and I hope they can confort me and assist me because I am in a very dark place. I read the stories of Hopefull anf Broken. Are they still on the forum ? How are they doing ? Until December 2016, I had never taken any antidepressant or a benzo in my entire life. I was leading an happy life with my husband and son in the West of France. We had a chemical accident in december. I mixed 2 products while cleaning my house, bleach and a cleaning product with acid and stupidly burnt my lungs and got a toxic choc on the 27th of december. My doctor thought I was anxious afer the accident and put me on Xanax 0.25, half a pill at night. I took it for a month in January 2017 and was sent to a psychiatrist who put me on Lisanxia 10, a pill a day. I felt suicidal because i didnt understand I was suffering from the Xanax withdrawal the doctors kept changing the pill without any tappering, I stayed on Lysanxia 10, a pill a day the whole February , then another psychiatrist decided to put me on Bromazepan 6 (4 quarter a day). I stayed on Bromazepan the entire March and he put me back on Xanax, all of that cold turkey. And that how I met my worse nightmare, the Sertraline AD: I was feeling very agitated on benzos, my lungs and entire skin were burning and everybody told me it was in my head. I didn't agree so I was hospitalised againt my wish in a psychiatrist hospital. There, they made me stop my Xanax 0.25 cold turkey and put me on Sertraline 50. This happened on Easter monday 2017 (April 17 th). After 2 weeks, I was sent home and started feeling very ill, I had tremors, agitation, fatigue, shakes, flu like symptoms and suicidal thoughts. I went to see a GP who told me I could drop the Sertraline to 25 because I had only been on it for 2 weeks and I could slowly stop it. I went on the 25 pill and then I started having violent withdrawal side effects (I don't know which ones came from Xanax or from Sertraline) : My symptoms : Sensitivity to light and smells, burning skin, hyperacusis, agitation, akathisia, tinnitus and when I thought it couldn't get worse, I started peeing every 10 minutes, got a hyperactive bladder, terrible pains in my genitalias, bladder and pelvic area and the worse of it permanent arousal. Since I have kept the tinnitus in my left ear, the akatisia and PGAD. I was sent to another mental hospital at the beginning of June because I thought they could help me with PGAD. They put me on Risperidone for a week while they made me stop the Sertraline very fast (they made me take it every 2 days for a week then they replaced it with Anafranil 25 that I kept for a week. My tinnitus got worse and my PGAD stayed the same. I was getting sicker and sicker so the psychiatrist stopped the Anafranil and the Risperidone and I was put back on Xanax. I am now back at home, my PGAD symptoms are terrible and I am considered manic and hypocondriac. My doctor wants to put me back in a mental hospital. I can't look after my family and Iam in a very dark place with suicidal thoughts My 3 main withdrawal symptoms : high pitched tinnitus, agitation and PGAD. Pins and needles in my lower back, legs and arms when the PGAD crisis start. . MY PGAD symptoms : Overactive bladder, ongoing arousal sensations in and around the genitals, having to go to the toilets every 10 minutes, pelvic pains, Pins and needle, shaking. It is atrocious and it makes me suicidal. I take 3 Xanax 0.25 a day and a Zopiclone 7 to sleep. I cannot sit because the symptoms get worse and I can barely walk because my bladder hurts. I spend my days crying on my bed with an ice pack on my lower parts. At night I cannot sleep well because of the tinnitus. I went to see an urologist, I had a cystoscopy done and they told me it is not an interstitial cysticis and gave me Lyrica (I am scared of taking it because I fear it will make my tinnitus worse). Nobody knows this symptom in France and people think i am crazy. Thank you for reading my story. Please can you reassure me ? I am terrified and I am suffering greatly. Would it go away ? Is it a withdrawal symptom ? Thank you so much for having this site on the internet. It gave me a lot of confort. Cathyfrench (I am french so I hope my English is not too bad, my apologies for my grammatical errors)
  8. My History I was originally prescribed Zoloft in winter of 2013 (age 15) to deal with unrelenting and debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. I stayed on it consistently for 3 years. I don't remember the exact dose, but I believe I was up to 150mg or maybe even 200mg. On the advice of my doctor, I did a fast taper in spring 2016. A few months after getting off the pills, I began experiencing symptoms that I attributed to a relapse of anxiety. For the next three years, I went on and off the Zoloft at least 3 separate times in an attempt to manage the symptoms. I didn't understand what I was dealing with. When taking the pills, I experienced severe symptoms of sexual dysfunction. I was prescribed Wellbutrin to counteract this, but it didn't help me at all. Eventually, I decided enough was enough. I was fed up with the sexual side effects and scared they would become permanent. I quit cold turkey 250mg of Zoloft and 300mg of Wellbutrin in May 2019. I told myself that this was it. No more going off and on, I was done for good. Coping Without Pills I didn't have any immediate or obvious withdrawal symptoms when I quit cold turkey. After about 2 weeks after quitting the medicine, my sexual function was about 75% improved. However, starting about 4 months later (in September 2019), I began experiencing severe anhedonia, depressed mood, lack of motivation, suicidal thoughts, emptiness, and fatigue. My doctor interpreted this as a relapse in my depression, and recommended I reinstate SSRIs. I refused, but my symptoms only got worse. Just a few months later, in December 2019, I was experiencing dissociation, derealization, severe panic attacks, dizziness, nausea, trouble sleeping, restlessness, brain fog, lack of appetite, and memory problems. I developed symptoms of agoraphobia and could not leave my house due to fear of panic attacks. I could barely eat due to the symptoms, and I lost 15 pounds. I was sick and not functioning. First Reinstatement Scared, and feeling as though I had no other option, I reinstated 25mg of Zoloft for exactly one month beginning mid-December 2019. My symptoms improved dramatically on only 25mg. After just one week I was nearly back to baseline, but sexual function was back down to 0%. I began panicking about the sexual side effects, and chose to quit again in mid-January 2019. Within a month, the horrible symptoms I described above had come back, and my worst fear had come true: I developed full-fledged PSSD. In addition to severe anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and depression, I now have no sexual function. My libido is nonexistent, I cannot feel sexual pleasure, and I am unable to orgasm. I have had some small windows in the PSSD symptoms, but they have been fairly consistent for the past month or so. In addition, the panic attacks are increasing in both frequency and severity. I am losing weight again due to not being able to eat. I feel like I am in a living hell. What Next? I am at a loss of what to do now. The worst part of all of this is that my doctor and my loved ones do not believe in SSRI withdrawal syndrome. They believe that all of my withdrawal symptoms are actually symptoms of my mental illnesses, and they constantly beg me to go back on the SSRIs. My partner has discussed breaking up with me if I do not take the pills. I have tried to educate them on the dangers of these pills, but they will not listen. They tell me that it's just my OCD making things up. I have stopped trying to convince them of the real reason for my suffering. After reading this forum, I understand the horrible mistakes I made in quitting cold turkey. If I had properly tapered, perhaps this wouldn't have happened. But I simply was not equipped with the knowledge to make the right decision at that time. Now, I am considering trying to reinstate 25mg Zoloft and conduct a proper taper. At the very least, I feel that being on the Zoloft for a short time will give me a brief respite from some of the horrible symptoms I am experiencing. I am looking for advice on this matter. Is reinstatement followed by a slow taper a good idea, or will going back on the drugs do more harm than good? I truly cannot live like this for much longer. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this or offers advice or support.
  9. 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.
  10. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience/knowledge regarding switching from sertraline to fluoxetine. I'm currently on 25mg of sertraline daily. I've been taking this drug for 11 years on and off and have been trying to taper, but find it very difficult. My doctor has switched me to prozac WITHOUT a crosstaper. (Because fluoxetone has a huge half-life it is easier to taper, which is why he is switching me.)He says to take 20mg of fluoxetine every 2 days and cease taking the sertraline immediately. Information on the web regarding crosstaper from sertraline to fluoxetine states to cease sertraline before starting fluoxetine. This is in contrast to other cross tapers betwenn SSRI's (e.g sertraline to paroxetine etc) which recommend crosstaper. It's all confusing. To make matters worse I start a new job a week on monday. I've ceased the sertraline yesterday and am starting the prozac 20mg every 2 days. Apparently this dose of fluoxetine is roughly equivelant to 25mg sertraline. My question is, will I be ok for my job starting in 10 days? I suffer pretty bad from nerves, so I don't want to walk into the job on the first day on the verge of apanic attack. Also, fluoxetine has a very long half-life and takes a while to build into your system, so I'm worried if this will be enough to combat the sertraline withdrawal.
  11. aclb Hi, I've taken sertraline 50mg for approx 1,5 years due to a severe depression (suicidal), and with doctor's prescription started to withdraw a month ago. At the time being I was not fully aware of the tapering symptoms one might have, as I've never done it before and my doctor did not inform me. However, she prescribed 25mg for me to start with the next day (and therefore going from 50mg to 25 mg in one day) something I had 'physical' symptoms straight away from during the first week (head ache, dizziness, lack of balance etc). The mental symptoms have been sneaking up during these 4 weeks, now being emotionally labile, with great anxiety and depression-vibes combined with sudden high tops. According to by doctor's prescription I'm supposed to be at 0 mg tomorrow that does not feel very well. My question is how to go next - my aim still being to one day be fully free from my AD: should I go back to 50mg and withdraw the medicine controlled and by 10%? Or should I accept this altered mood at 25mg and step-by-step go from here down to 0mg? Sorry if I'm writing in the wrong forum, I'm just eager for information and advice in my situation...
  12. 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
  13. Scotty

    Scotty

    Drug History 2002 - Started Zoloft 100mg. Gradually reduced to 50mg, intending to come right off. 2009 - Went back up to 100mg - no ill effects. 2011 - Began slowly reducing again. 2017- Down to 25mg. October 2017- Dose increased to 50mg. I started taking Sertraline 100mg in 2002 because I’d developed panic disorder after a stressful mature-age college course. The medication worked immediately and continued to help me - I was well for 7 years with no anxiety. I gradually reduced to 50mg, but in 2009 went back up to 100mg with no ill effects during a life crisis. In 2011 I determined to come off again and began reducing very slowly with no ill effects. By October 2017 I was down to 25mg. I went to my GP to get a counselling referral. I was quite well with no anxiety, but she advised me to go back up to 50mg to mop up any underlying depression I might have. So I did - one of the worst decisions of my life! Within 24 hours I developed horrible symptoms... terrifying anxiety/dysphoria, palpitations, severe insomnia. I was certain they were caused by the increased dose of sertraline but my GP denied that this was possible ‘on such a small dose’. She said I woud soon adjust. So I stupidly continued to take it for 2 more weeks before another doctor in the practice told me to go back to my normal dose immediately. I was expecting that I would then return to ‘normal’ but I did not - instead I continued to suffer bouts of toxic anxiety as well as the other symptoms. I consulted other GPs and a psychiatrist - all reluctant to link my symptoms to the increased meds and instead going with the ‘pure anxiety’ diagnosis. Recently I found a GP who was willing to listen and referred me to a psychiatrist who tested me positive for clonus and hyperreflexia. He said that on the basis of these together with my other symptoms I definitely have non-acute sertraline syndrome. Although it is unusual, he thought it was triggered by the increased dose of medication in my system. He told me to titrate down fortnightly in 5mg increments using a solution. However when I got down to 15mg last week I soon developed withdrawal symptoms including ataxia, burning, nausea. But then yesterday I started to feel much better - almost normal! So this is my dilemma. I’m told that serotonin syndrome disappears soon after the medication is withdrawn. If that’s the right diagnosis then I should follow the 5mg taper and get off as soon as possible. But if this quicker rate gives me severe withdrawal then I should stick to the much slower 10% monthly regime - thereby possibly prolonging the agony. What to do? Can’t go forward, can’t go back! I’m so confused. I’d appreciate any help the forum can give me.
  14. 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.
  15. Hello community, So glad to have found this site!! I've been reading, reading, reading for almost two months. Unfortunately I did not find y'all and Dr. Glenmullen's book until after eight months of thinking I was doing a gradual taper per my GP's advice. Without proper information I tapered too fast, alternated doses, and failed to recognize that the difficult symptoms I was having could be coming from antidepressant withdrawal. I'm currently trying to stabilize before embarking on the 10% taper, starting with sertraline. The symptoms I currently have are: rapid heartbeat and resulting fatigue, anxiety and agitation, including:dizziness and fainting upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension) inability to alter heart rate with exercise (exercise intolerance) ears ringing morning depression heat intolerance (like hot flashes only longer) intense dreams and nightmares head tremor Once I realized I was tapering too fast, I stabilized/increased to 25 mg sertraline and 0.75 mg lorazepam. In the two months since then, some other symptoms I had went away and the above symptoms have seemed to improve, except for heartbeat and head tremor. I had a normal EKG. All blood tests normal except cholesterol (and I consider high cholesterol a good thing for me as a post-menopausal woman). Starting in 2013 or 2014, my antidepressant was increased and I started regularly taking lorazepam due to several years of extreme emotional stress (caring for my physically and mentally declining spouse). I also experienced severe disrupton of my sleep cycle and used alcohol at night. During and before this time, I had many years of blood sugar fluctuations. So I imagine my HPA axis was already severely out of whack even before my mis-guided fast taper. I stopped alcohol 15 months ago, after my husband died. (My symptoms are complicated by the effects of my grief process.) I've been gradually removing stressors from my life. I have recently addressed my blood sugar via a low-carb unprocessed way-of-eating. Am also phasing out caffeine. I am addressing my sleep cycle by using amber glasses to counter the effects of evening screen time. (Hope to reduce the screen time too). Anyway, I am frustrated that my heart palpitations make me unable to exercise, but I understand that all the nervous system problems can be slow to resolve. Trying to be super patient. Appreciate hearing everyone else's stories, questions, and answers. This site is a wonderful resource.
  16. 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.
  17. Sycamore Hi there everyone! First of all, I want to thank the ones who made this forum, and all those who have posted – this is basically the only platform where those of us who want to quit these pills can get some understanding, information and knowledge, and this is so very important as the official information from doctors and medical sites are downright denying the truth of what it means to come off these pills. In my case I discovered it a bit too late, five and a half years into withdrawal having suffered tremendously and I really wish I knew about it sooner- it could have made it easier to understand that these reactions was not me, but reactions from a wrecked nervous system. Oh well. I will attempt to tell my story: I was taken to a doctor after a suicide attempt at age 15. I had been severely depressed for more than a year, lost 10 kilos, lost my period and generally living in a heavy darkness that never seemed to lift. After I started, 60mg of Zoloft, I remember feeling a bit better, for about 8-10 months. However, after that I got worse. I developed severe anxiety; I had anxiety to begin with, mostly panic attacks but after starting the pill I believe it got worse I got agitated, fidgety, and very nervous, and my depression also came back so the doctor increased the Zoloft up to 200 mg. Then I started getting hallucinations. The doctor put me on antipsychotics: 800 mg of Seroquel and 100 mg of Solian, as well as reducing the Zoloft to 100 mg. She did tell me, before I left her office, that my symptoms could be a reaction to Zoloft. In hindsight, I think that is exactly what it was. However, I was already deep in medication, and trusting of the therapists’ methods, so I did not see it at the time – also, I was 17 and desperate. Anyway, after begging to quit the antipsychotics – I was drowsy and sluggish, couldn’t understand what people were saying to me, couldn’t concentrate on reading and I had to quit school because of this – and gained 30 kg as well. I stopped taking them after two years of being on them. Quitting cold turkey was not smart, but no doctor or therapist supported it – actually they threatened me with not getting any treatment if I refused to take them - so that’s what I had to do. I continued Zoloft, after some years I asked to switch to a different one, Fontex (fluoxetine). This one I tapered down extremely slowly – I think I spent about two years of cutting down little by little. I had previously tried to cut them and not managed because of the debilitating symptoms, so I understood that I had to ignore my doctor’s advice and go very slowly. In November 2015, after 10 years on antidepressants I took my final dose. I was, however not aware of the withdrawal phenomenon – I interpreted everything coming as my “real” condition surfacing. I suffered bone pain, electric jolts through my body, intense headaches, pain in the collarbone, anger, mood swings, pressure on the eyeballs and an anxiety worse than I could ever have imagined – I was constantly on the edge. Akathisia, rumination (I was spinning around past mistakes that kept me paralyzed and at the same time extremely agitated and unable to do anything – at one point I didn’t leave my house for 8 months), couldn’t sit down to concentrate on anything, deep, heavy depressions that never lifted (one lasted almost two years without windows) anhedonia, depersonalization, derealization and two years after quitting, I got hypomania, and then again two years after. At the time I thought I had bipolar disorder, but after having read that mania is a symptom of withdrawal, I am thinking that maybe that was it. I don’t know. I have been working with meditation for three years which has helped a great deal. Only now, after five years, have the intense debilitating anxiety somewhat lifted, and I can at least do simple things like take walks and do shopping etc. Becoming aware of withdrawal gave me a new perspective on myself and my condition, and made it easier to treat myself with some patience and love, and of course, get some bloody hope. So a big thank you to everyone on this forum!
  18. Hi there. Im new to this and am posting cause im worries that im never going to get better.... Had chronic headaches star from out of the blue c3.5 years ago and have had lots of drugs and every therapy, holistic, Physco treatment going. Now, headaches are less of a problem, still there 95% of time, but have anxiety, depression, anger, extra sensitivity to sounds and movement, disassociation, hopelessness etc. This has / is ruining my life, and I pray it will go back to normal - soon! For chronic headaches - amitriptyline - Started 10 Nov 2019 - 10mg up to 30mg. On that dose for 6 months, up until 10 days ago. Helped a bit with head pain, but bad and constant anxiety, depression, disassociation, (particularly awful). At the same time, for above symptoms, Escoltalpram 5mg - 10mg. Was on that from 1 Dec 2019 - mid Feb 2020 as it didn't help with anything. Since start March, on Sertoline (100mg) and Quetiapine 25mg daily). In the past I have been on Topirimate (had very bad side effects), Pregablin (helped a bit but stopped working) - all for chronic headaches. Ive decided, alongside a new psychiatrists (all of which i think are pretty useless tbh, im on my 4th), to stop the amitriptyline because i think its that which has increased any anxiety, moods and denationalization. Although its very difficult to know as all the symptoms and side effects are the same! Over the last 10 days, ive gone from 30mg, to 20mg, to 15mg and last night stopped altogether. I am now very worried about withdrawal, which seems to be all the same things i have already! So how is anyone supposed to get better, when no one can say whats what! I appreciate the complexities in all this. I think im looking for some advice if ive tappered off too quickly, what to expect and how long it might last. Also, if there is any hope of going back to "normal", how i spent the first 39 of 42 years! The only real time i feel sort of ok is when i drink a lot of alcohol - which i know isnt a great thing to be doing. any thoughts or comments welcomed. Rob
  19. FayM

    FayM: PGAD

    Hi Everybody, I registrated because i have been sufferig from PGAD. I tried a couple of ssri’s, first was Lexapro but i was doing oke at that time and it wasn’t worth the side affects because i could function without Lexapro. So i stopped that (only took it for 2 weeks) after about 3 months i tried Zoloft because i was functioning but i still had a lot of anxiety problemen. When i started taking zoloft i noticed symptoms of PGAD, after 2 weeks i stopped with this ssri as well. But since then the PGAD stayed and it is really wrecking my life, i am sorry. I only took this for 2 weeks and now i have had PGAD for almost 5 months and there is not a lot to do about is. I was wondering what other people are doing for the symptoms. If you take medication what kind of medication. Does anybody think that starting with an ssri again can make a difference? I take clonazepam (rivotril) 0,5 Mg but it doesn’t do much. Also my anxiety is through the rough right now so i think i do need to go on some medication again (especially for social anxiety). Please let me know what your experiences are. Xxx Fay
  20. 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.
  21. Hi all. I have been on a combo of Risperdal and Zoloft since 2012. I reached 3mg risperdal and 200mg zoloft in early 2016, tried to taper off both starting in June of that year, and had a bout of insomnia in November, at which time I reinstated along with an additional 15mg remeron. Adding the remeron, I've learned, was a huge mistake and most likely unnecessary. Since then I've slept at most 6 hours instead of my usual 8. For the first 2 months on remeron I avoided caffeine and tobacco. Then, after picking up both again, my sleep suffered, and I eventually had nights with 2-3 hours. I've since learned that caffeine and tobacco induce the enzyme CYP1A2, which metabolizes remeron, explaining this. By abstaining from both, my sleep has returned. I have also tried shaving a sliver off my 15mg pill with no luck...getting a full night without sleep. I would like to be able to drink coffee and smoke again. That leaves me with 2 options, get off the remeron (seemingly impossible) or tolerate the lack of sleep. If I do the latter, will my sleep eventually not recover even when abstinent due to repeated withdrawals? I had been planning to use coffee and cigs only sporadically, letting my sleep return before using them again, or using only on the weekends. If I that is not sustainable, then how do you recommend I get off the remeron, given my sensitivity to even a small dose decrease? My doc has suggested trazodone as a replacement, but that med interacts with my other meds and a post about it here scared me away. Thank you so much for your help.
  22. Hi, I am 35 years old - nearly 36 and been on Sertraline since age 22. I tried to stop once and had a complete meltdown. I am very scared of that happening again so am only tapering by 10% since Monday. I am cutting the tablets so exact amounts are difficult. I bought a mg scale, which hasn't arrived yet but don't know if it will be sensitive enough. Anyway - I am going to stay on 45mg for a few months at the moment as I have a very stressful job, stopped smoking a year ago (but still using Nicorette!!) and I am trying to cut down on my alcohol consumption, which has become steadily worse over the last few years as it makes me feel very anxious about my health etc etc. I have developed an eye condition (called Azoor) and I blame Sertraline, though I could be wrong. I am finding many posts on here very inspiring because I am so afraid that I will never be 'normal' if I stop taking Sertraline. I also feel a huge sense of resentment towards the psychiatrist who put me on the drug (I know this isn't helpful). My mother is convinced I have to stay on this drug for the rest of my life and last time I tried to taper I told her, which in retrospect, was a big mistake. She kept saying things like "I can see a difference, are you sure you are doing the right thing … etc." which served to make me quite paranoid about the process. My fiancé says I was much better off the drug (until I went a little nuts for a while).
  23. chemicallyImbalanced

    chemicallyimbalanced: An introduction

    Hello, I am a 32 year old male from the UK. I live with my girlfriend and don't really have a support network - I don't have friends as such. I never told my girlfriend (of 2 years) about my mental health issues, I was pretty carefree on sertraline and in a position of relative strength. I suppose I lied to her in a way, led her to believe she was with somebody stable and strong. That illusion has now crumbled. Thank you in advance to anyone who continues to read this post, I understand it's quite lengthy. So, I have been on SSRI's since I was 17 after a suicide attempt, predominantly Sertraline. My life was relatively stable last year and in December I decided to taper from 100mg down to 50mg for a couple of weeks, then 25mg then gradually over approximately a month I quit altogether. I didn't bother to consult a doctor because I don't have a doctor as such, it's a different doctor every time I go - and none of them really know anything about my medical history, they just prescribed them as I asked - usually on a monthly or 3 monthly basis. In all honestly, sertraline 'works' for me, I definitely felt happier on it, but it still feels like it was nothing more than a drug addiction. I suffered less, but I feel like I was essentially numbing my pain through drugs. In fact, I feel like my whole adult life has been one big drug consumed lie. I feel like it's been wasted, I have never made any progress on one thing. Anyway, I had some reasonably horrible withdrawl symptoms: electric shock feelings, tardive dyskinesia and many more that I'm sure people on here are unfortunately familiar with. The one side effect that has never went away though - I'm unsure if it's a side effect or something compeltely unrelated, but I am so cold regardless of the external temperature. Particularly my hands and feet, but in general I am always cold. I managed to pull through though and the side effects somewhat subsided. I started to change some habits in my life that I simply didn't see as problems when I was on sertraline. I quit smoking weed regularly, I quit sugar, cut down on coffee and tried to achieve a more stable sleep schedule. None of these things really seemed a problem when I was on the sertraline, probably because I was happy - although I was addicted to them all for years. Things were going relatively well, I was achieving decent grades at uni - better than I had been prior to quitting - and I had a decent routine and was developing healthier habits; writing, exercising etc. The corona virus really knocked me off my feet. I have a somewhat paranoid disposition and covid 19 is understandably very stressful and confusing for everyone, but for someone with mental health conditions, it's the kind of triggering event that can really escalate into a full blown crisis. That's essentially what happened. Uni closed, my studies came to an end, the gyms closed, all the latent fears started to reappear that the world was ending and all my weaknesses of mind and body came back to the forefront of my attention. I realised how my studies (sport) aren't really necessary for society to function and I haven't learned any uses or skills to actually contribute to society because I've been so hindered my mental illness. I feel very weak and undeserving of my girlfriend who I'm considering leaving for her own sake - I really think it's unfair on her to be with someone like me, I am damaging her care free optimism and limiting her opportunities to enjoy life. I should never really have seduced her in the first place, it was selfish and cruel to lie. Anyway, I'm now at the stage where I'm crying regularly. No one wants to see an adult male weep like a child, but my despair is so pervasive. Everything is making me sad, I am ridiculously sensitive and really in a lot of pain. I think most people would just say 'you need to get help' which essentially means, you should go to the doctor and go back on anti-depressants. That's really been the only 'solution' to my problem since a young age and I feel like it's a regression, I feel like it would be akin to going back to an addiction. I think everything in my life has been an attempt to try and escape the overwhelming sense of pain I feel rather than an enjoyment of anything in and of itself. Writing (journals), exercising, travelling, drugs, meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis, medications....the list is endless essentially, all just coping mechanisms to try and deal with my misery. The truth is, I am a self-obsessed weak person, perhaps not through anybody or anythings fault. I suppose I'll finish here. I never really made a specific point.
  24. HI, here santking, 34y "manic" diagnosed episode in 2004. treated w lithium, benzos and prozac. 1000 mg of depakote+benzos+prozac jun-ago 2004. ago-dec 750. + prozac Dec: just 500 depakote (treatment produced strong acne. treated with roaccutan between nov 2004 to oct 2006) 2005: depakote 500 (some months w 750) + prozac and benzos- (lorazepam) dec 2005 - aug 2007: depakote 500 mg aug 2007 - 2009 alternated depakote 500 mg to 250 mg jan 2010 i started with a new psychiatrist: depakote 500 mg until sep 2012 sep 2012 started depakote + antidepressants: depakote 500 + etifoxina / paroxetine and propanodol (?) (until jun 2013) jun 2013: depakote 500mg with paroxetine and propanodol. oct 2013: change paroxetine for trazadone. until Jan 2014. jan 2014: depakote 500mg and leave trazadone jan 2014-oct 2015: depakote 500 mg oct 2015: psychiatrist introduces sertraline. suicidal attempt with sertraline overdose in jan 2016. psychiatrists increases depakote to 750 mg and introduces wellburtin. jan 2016 - dec 2017: 750mg depakote + wellburtin dec 2017 consulting another psychiatrist changed wellburtin to seroquel 25 mg dec 2017 . until jun 2018: 750mg depakote and seroquel 25 mg in jul 2018 I meet the Peter BReggin's books and SA forum and start the withdrawal process. this included consuting with psycotherapist and intense researching meeting content like Icarus project, mad in america, Rachel Aviv articles and Laura Delano's Withdrawal Project (a daily reference) ago 2018: start tapering: depakote 500 mg and seroquel in 12mg dosages (cutting to half) until nov. in dec 2018 I felt the withdrawl synthoms of seroquel leaving (insomnia, vertigo, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, anxiety, fear) Jan 2019: changed depakote dosage -tablets o sprinkles- (125 mg) taking 4 pills daily. May 2019: tried tapering without scale (reducing "half" of sprinkle aprox 437 mg) causing a week of insomnia and panic. returned with 500 mg in June. Aug 2019: started tapering with scale. sep 2019: 450 mg Oct 400 mg. Nov: 375 mg (3 pills daily) DUring November I have been taking 375 mg I have been feeling intense laziness, lack of motivation and fatigue. I tried changing diet: avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and ultraprocessed foods. I had a week w insomnia and next week felt sleepness and lack of motivation (after Dec 1) RIght now I'm worried because I still feeling down and need increase energy due to personal compromises. I'm doubting if back to 400 mg or still reducing the dosage. THis based on how I'm feeling and listening the body sensations. I'm doing the tapering based on the 10% standard seeing in Breggin books, TWP and here. This is my history w psychiatry treatments and I would appreciate your help and recommendations for my case. If you need some explanations I will do it. Thank you.
  25. 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 . . .
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