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  1. Hi there everyone, Im really hoping to get some perspective on my situation as it feels as though Im a bit of a loss. My story: In May 2016 I suffered a mental break due to high situational stress which resurfaced trauma. I experienced panic attacks, depression, paranoia (induced by an acne medication started in the days prior) instrusive thoughts, etc. Not knowing what was happening I saw an MD that prescribed me Zoloft. After 2 days on it I became desperate and ended up in hospital where I was switched onto Lexapro 15mg and Risperidone 0.5 for my racing thoughts and sleeping pills. I was released after 2 weeks and soon after I quickly gave up the sleeping pills. I underwent psychotherapy and in February 2017 I gave up the dose of Risperidone and reduced my Lexapro to 10 mg. In spring of 2018 I talked to my MD about feeling strong enough to begin my taper as I felt like I'd been functioning well. The side effects of reduced emotions, 30lb weight gain and low libido were nagging me so he said I was approved to go. I did some research and began reducing at what I thought was a slow taper; in retrospect I can see it wasn't. I did my best to cut the pills and did this: -10mg to 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 7.5mg to 6mg for 3 weeks - 6mg to 5mg for 2 weeks And so forth... As I tapered I experienced WD symptoms like anxiety, panic, dizziness, crying spells etc. As a result I started seeing a therapist who was supportive of what I was trying to do. When I got to smaller doses I switched to a liquid form of lexapro and managed to wean myself to 1.2mg and then it was TOO MUCH. I reinstated to 1.3mg and recovered for months as my work life became so complicated and I needed time to help myself. That last taper was in Sept 2018 and here I am nearly 10 months later. I have been changing my lifestyle and working through again resurfaced traumas with a new therapist, and Im feeling more like that mild to moderate depression is lifting. I have been struggling again with a lack in range of emotions and wondering if this is a me problem or a medication issue. The therapist seems to think that my anxiety and mild/moderate depression are back and new meds is the key solution. With all the progress I've made and how I've grown in over 3 years makes me think otherwise, so I feel stuck. Being on such a low dose how should I go about continuing my taper? Is it possible Im experiencing a poop-out that I've read about? Just looking for advice! On the day to day my mood is stable not much anxiety except around my cycle. Just again those flattened emotions which is frustrating. This website has been a guide post for me in educating myself, thank you so much!
  2. Hi everyone. I've been reading this site for the past few months ever since I gratefully stumbled upon it and finally made an account. In early 2018 I successfully tapered from 30mg citalopram down to 20mg by cutting a 10mg tablet. I went down about 2.5mg/month. I tried a couple of times to go down to 17.5mg but the symptoms were intense and I realized it was too difficult to get a consistent amount with cutting the tablets so I decided to stick with 20mg until I found a more consistent way to taper. I read about the dissolve method working successfully on a post on this site and decided that would be my route. I bought some 10cc syringes with .2mL gradations. Last night I tried my first dose at an 8% taper - 18.4mg. I'm feeling worse than i'd expected/hoped considering it was such a small difference, but I have historically had a rather sensitive system. I'm starting to question whether I'm really meant to go down, if this is a sign I should keep my current dose. My life certainly isn't in a particularly solid place (though it's relatively stable). But I know it will only become more difficult the longer I'm on it, and I've seen only marginal if any benefit from taking it. Looking to document my process and experience here and contribute to this supportive community as well as find guidance about how to approach my own path.
  3. Hey everyone, so I decided I'm not going to take my monthly antipsychotic injections anymore. I had it with the side effects and my psychiatrist wasn't supportive to taper me off slowly (he thought I should be on them forever). I know it's not the best decision considering the risks, but I have faith in God and my capability to overcome any side effects. I'm thankful that I didn't face any major withdrawal effects so far (except for whole body soreness for a day or two which was acceptable) and I hope it continues that way. It's almost 2 months from my last injection and the half-life of Invega Sustenna is 25 - 49 days so I definitely crossed it. I don't know if it helped, but I am taking Ratfish liver oil 15 drops twice daily. Now, I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to start taking a natural dopamine/serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Catuaba) to down-regulate my already up-regulated dopamine/serotonin receptors. The reason I suspect they up-regulated is because the Invega I was taking acts as an antagonist at both dopamine and serotonin receptors. I would like to start healing my brain to return to my former intellectual/cognitive state before starting the medication (I suspect I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar to begin with). The extra dopamine could possibly help with the motivation/focus issues as well. Do you think I'd be overloading my brain at this stage? Would the Catuaba cause me to go manic? Any thoughts are welcome (including how to overcome/bounce back/heal after stopping antipsychotics)...
  4. Topic title: 20 to 18mg duloxetine is harder than 30 to 20mg Hi there I spent most of last year on 30mg of duloxetine (20 years of depression generally pretty well managed by medication - lots of different ones). Having started meditating regularly in the summer which I've kept up along with regular exercise - I was feeling pretty good so went down to 20mg around November. I had no problems at all. Even with christmas and an operation to deal with! 2 weeks ago, I started following the guidance on this site on tapering duloxetine and used ball counting and gelatine capsules to taper to 18mg. It's been very hard. Tears and irritability. I haven't been like this in a long time. Why would it be harder to go from 20mg to 18 that it was from 90 to 60 , 60 to 30 or 30 to 20?? It doesn't seem right. I've booked to the see the psychiatrist next week because my family are a bit alarmed and worried. But he is very pro medication. I don't think he'll be happy about my plans. But now I know duloxetine is so hard to come off, I want off it more than ever! I would not be completely against starting something else additionally to see me through but I know Prozac is often preferred and it has a bad effect on me s isn't an option. I so grateful if you've taken the time to read this!
  5. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  6. Wellbutrin – Bupropion Tapering Journey – My Goal and Future Plans A few days ago, I signed up. I want to introduce myself to everyone and say, I'm thankful for the existence of this site, its creators and my fellow subscribers. I want to encourage and help others dealing with antidepressants. Consider me a friend! If there's anything I could do for anyone, please let me know! I want to add the following information to my history but, I’m not familiar with this site and do not know how to change my initial profile history so I thought I would enter my history as a topic. April 1990 Started Xanax after complaining to the doctor about insomnia. Dr., at the time, justified his treatment plan by stating that transient situational stress caused my anxiety. The initial dose was 3 mg/day given two times a day. The results were, it took the edge off my anxiety, my feelings numbed, it suppressed my appetite and desire for water, the sleep I got was not restful and, I lost my libido. I developed GERD and constipation so severe I became impacted, Prevacid and mineral oil were prescribed to alleviate these ailments. 1995 Started noticing that I could not remember or recall music in my head. Dr. said the symptom was psychosomatic and advised me to continue taking my meds. Did research on benzodiazepines and discovered they were for short term use only and very, very dangerous. I started tapering off Xanax secretly because I did not trust Dr.’s judgment. 1998 Notified my Dr that I was entirely off of Xanax and wanted to stay off it or any other benzodiazepine. I showed him my research which he dismissed. At no time, did said Dr. attempt to educate me or at the least suggest a treatment plan nor did he urge me to go into therapy for the prolonged withdrawal symptoms I was suffering: I could not focus and had to work extremely hard to concentrate. My emotions were mostly flat except for the underlining anger always smoldering under the surface, I couldn’t find pleasure in anything, and I felt unmotivated most, if not all the time. Out of my ignorance, confusion, and frustration, the only thing fueling my drive to continue was the self-loathing I felt because I thought I was just ‘lazy.’ 1999 Finally stopped completely taking the Xanax. My insomnia came back, I could not focus or concentrate, and debilitating fatigue that would not go away plagued me almost all the time. I felt I had no choice but to go back to the same Doctor and he prescribed Wellbutrin 75 mg IR (immediate release) mg/day given two times a day and justified himself by saying, ‘the drug acts like Speed, it will make your tiredness go away.’ The drug did INDEED stop my fatigue, and it felt like Wellbutrin “placed glasses on my myopic brain because I could once again focus’. As a result, I had more energy to function and get on with my life, but I always had that underlining anger, along with now craving sweets. I stopped taking any stool softeners or laxatives because I felt I didn’t need them anymore. 2002 Dr. increased the drug from 75 mg to 100 mg (sustained release) SR because most of my old symptoms were back including the fatigue. 2005 Dr. increased Wellbutrin from 100 mg to 150 mg SR mg/day given two times a day because most of my old symptoms were back again including the fatigue. Because my thyroid function was borderline low, I showed signs of hypothyroidism, and I was placed on 12 mcg Levothyroxine once a day for good measures. My fatigue finally went away for good. 2012 Severe diverticulitis attack and put on potent antibiotics. 2013 Another severe diverticulitis attack and again placed on potent antibiotics. Now diagnosed with IBS in addition to diverticulosis. 2013 to 2017 Took a course of high-powered antibiotics every three months for diverticulitis and IBS attacks. Started to experience unexplained hand tremors. I could no longer handle any form of stress. Started researching holistic approaches to treating my health issues. Discovered the existence of the (brain-to-gut axis) and I began to believe the medications were causing my digestive problems. Did research and used the Parkinson Disease model to explain my tremors and other symptoms I was experiencing caused by the Wellbutrin altering my dopamine levels and function. Dec 2018 My goal was to taper entirely off of the Wellbutrin and Levothyroxine, starting first with the Wellbutrin. I was on 300 mg SR Wellbutrin once per day. Started tapering process by replacing the 300 mg SR dosage with 150 mg SR, taken twice a day, having a 12-hour window between dosages. Initial holding period was 30 days. Initially, I had a period of sadness and crying spells which diminished. I started a regiment of supplements to prepare my body for the withdrawal process. Jan 2019 The next step in my tapering process was to replace the sustain release form of Wellbutrin with immediate release. To accomplish this, I took 1 and ½ IR Wellbutrin twice a day with a 12-hour window between dosages. Holding period was ten days. Next, from the evening dose, I started cutting pills, removing 1/8 from a whole 100 mg (IR) tablet which is removing around 13 mg. Initial daily drug intake amount became 150 mg SR in the morning and 138 mg, at night, keeping a 12-hour window between the dosages, as best as I can. Again, the holding window. My next tapering decrease will occur in a few days and will be 138 mg in the morning and 125 mg at night for ten days.
  7. Hello everyone, I've been lurking on this site for a while now, gathering knowledge on how to come off psychotropics. I'm 37 year old female with a long history of depressive episodes and have been taking SSRI's of some sort (must have gone through most of them by now!) since 1998, when I was 17. Around 4 years ago (it's hard to tell, as my memory is utterly atrocious) I had a bad time again with depression and had psychotic symptoms. I was put under a psychiatrist who prescribed me 75mg quetiapine, and upped my sertraline from 100mg to 150mg. I've been on sertraline around 12 years and I haven't had much of an issue with it. The quetiapine, on the other hand, I am not prepared to live on indefinitely. I have put weight on (although not a huge amount), my blood sugar levels are causing concern (I exercise regularly, eat sensibly, have no diabetes in my family), I am like a zombie until lunchtime and I don't think there's been a night in 4 years where I haven't woken stuck to the sheets from profuse sweating. At night, especially if I've exercised in the day, my body is like a furnace. Makes not much difference if the room I'm in is cool; my body's thermostat is on the blink. If I miss a dose, I just don't sleep. The next day I'm a wreck. The last time I saw the psychiatrist (about 2 years ago) I asked him about coming off quetiapine - I've been on the lowest dose of 25mg since then. He was really cavalier in his attitude and said "it's fine - just come off it when you want to". So around a year ago, after I'd been stable for a good while, I did. And I didn't sleep for a week. So I caved in and started taking the 25mg again. 6 months later, I wanted to try again, so I went to my GP and asked for a short course of zopiclone so I could sleep whilst coming off the smallest dose. She would only give me 5 day's worth of Zopiclone (UK guidelines) - and even then, I still couldn't sleep without Quetiapine. In addition, I developed INTENSE itching all over my body, in really localised areas. I know now this is a histamine reaction and a common withdrawal symptom for quetiapine. At the time I thought I had some sort of weird invisible skin infestation! So I went back on the Q again after a week. THIS TIME, I'm even better armed. Despite being told that stopping 25mg quetiapine would not cause any problems, as it's such a low dose, I know better. The tablets are tiny, but I'm cutting them in half and then half again. My plan is to reduce in stages, taking once month for each stage. 25mg - > 18.75mg - > 12.5mg -> 6.25mg -> 0mg. If I manage this, I could be off it in three months. I'm currently 2 weeks into stage one (reduced by 25%). The first few days I had a little trouble getting to sleep, but that soon rectified itself. My mood over the last week has been steadily getting lower and I've been feeling more "mental" and unable to cope with stuff. I know the Q can augment the Sertraline. I haven't told my GP yet that I'm doing this, because every time I've brought it up there has been resistance and he tries to persuade me to stay on it. Probably because another hospital admission is far more costly than continuing the drug! (cynical..? Moi..?!) I'm being the most sensible I've ever been as regards self-care. No alcohol, eating well, exercising regularly, good sleep habits, etc etc. Anyways. Here I am. Hope my mood improves over the next two weeks in time for stage 2, though I am prepared to stick longer between reductions if needs be. Lunar
  8. Hello guys, I'm Giuseppe from Italy. I've stumbled upon your website when looking for some help with the withdrwal sindrome that I'm experiencing in this period. I've finished tapering the Citalopram last week and now I feel some side effects (mostly dizziness). Just wonder if somebody is experiencing the same and how he/she is coping with that. Thanks to anybody who would like to give me some advices. best to all, Giuseppe
  9. ADMIN NOTE 17 March 2019 A scientific paper has been published based on the hypothesis put forward in this topic, see Horowitz, 2019 Tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How t Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say To search for whether there is a serotonin transporter occupancy study for your medication, google the generic name of the drug with this other search terms: 5HTT occupancy If you find a paper, please post the both the name of the medication and a link to the paper, such as 2016-July-01, Cymbalta (duloxetine) MMarie Found this paper on dose and 5HTT occupancy of duloxetine. Takano, 2005 A dose-finding study of duloxetine based on serotonin transporter occupancy The site, academia.edu, requires login: Link to screen shot of dose-occupancy and dose-plasma concentration curves 2016-November-12, Anafranil (clomipramine) and Luvox (fluvoxamine) Suhara, 2003 High levels of serotonin transporter occupancy with low-dose clomipramine in comparative occupancy study with fluvoxamine using positron emission tomography. Link to study on occupancy vs. dose Link to chart of occupancy-dose relationship A simple explanation: The Last Psychiatrist has an amusing essay on SERT saturation with this illustration for citalopram: Hi, I thought I'd share this as it's quite relevant, not 100% sure if this is the right subforum, will post in both this and research. PDF of American Journal of Psychiatry article or Summary and excerpts from study in the Journals forum of survivingantidepressants The pretty pictures are from page 4 onwards in the PDF. (Admin note: Pretty pictures here. See this post for graph of "perfect" 10% taper of previous dose with 4 week holds) What these fellows did here, was attempt to measure serotonin transporter occupancy at various doses for 5 different drugs. (Zoloft, celexa paxil, effxor and Prozac, not in that order). They fit curves for both the oral doses and blood concentrations. Long story short for anyone who doesn't know, SSRI’s ‘work’ by binding to the serotonin transporter protein (SERT) and stopping it doing it’s normal thing (reuptake of post-synaptic serotonin), resulting in serotonin hanging around for longer. Now a couple of interesting things: -at minimum therapeutic doses in every case, there was about 80% SERT occupancy. That shocked me personally. Even the minimum doses are locking down 80% of your brains reuptake ‘capacity’. Higher doses do more but it’s obviously not linear – they actually have plotted curves, and they’re quite a good fit statistically, particularly for the blood concentrations. Really good in fact. Point here though is that there’s a long way between 0% at no drug and 80% at the minimum dose. -the curves man, look at the curves. This gives a fairly good indication of why some people find tapering necessary. You NEED a percentage taper just to get a linear decrease in SERT occupancy. Linear decreases in dose will actually hit you with exponentially increasing drops in SERT occupancy, particularly drops between the minimum therapeutic dose and 0 Basically, this paper provides a real basis for percentage reductions in dose when discontinuing SSRI’s. I realize I'm kinda preaching to the converted and telling people what they already know, but it seems there may actually be a real reason why some people find it necessary to do these percentage tapers to get off SSRI's. Caveat: I have no idea what the relationship between SERT occupancy and post synaptic serotonin is, it’s probably not linear since if it was higher doses would have basically no effect, but this is nevertheless very interesting to look at. They were only looking at one part of the brain but pointed out it correlated strongly to elsewhere.
  10. My introductory post. I have a sleep disorder associated with Fibromyalgia. Fibro also is associated with anxiety and depression and inability to relax the muscles. So, Venlafaxine has been a real help for me to live a normal life for 20 years. But I'm 68 and want to get off. Today is the 6th day following a failed tapering, my second. My first tapering was a year ago. I have a terrible sleep disturbance: I have a panic attack while falling asleep. My husband is helping me find a better psychiatrist, one who is experienced with both a sleep disorder and tapering. But this time around as I tried to fall asleep a loud buzzing sound and vibrating sensation occurred inside my right nasal passage. As I type this I am aware it sounds unbelievable. It's so embarrassing. "Doctor, I have a bee in my nose." Well, I googled "my own snoring wakes me up" and found Sleep-Doctor http://sleep-doctor.com/blog/does-your-own-snoring-wake-you-up-from-sleep/ . Anyone have a similar weird sleep disorder? I bet it was due to tapering - some kind of neurological trauma. I'm exhausted. Last night I finally slept through the night.
  11. Anyone tapering off experience rush of severe anxiety that is overwhelming because of it’s intensity and persistence? I haven’t made any recent reductions or changes in my meds for a full month and my anxiety has taken on a new life. I feel uncomfortable talking to my parents, my brother. I just went back to work after vacation and I am starting to feel like I did last year where I left in an ambulance due to severe anxiety. I have more to post... but need to get back to my job. I have had Akathisia the last month and it has been really bad. I try to hide it when I play catch with my daughter because I move back and forth and make strange movements. I feel like my problems are affecting my wife and children negatively.
  12. Hi All, I am new here, and I hope that the collective experience across the forum is helpful for my situation. I am currently 27 years old and have been on medication since I was 18 years old for depression, OCD, and IBS-Constipation (directly tied to when I feel more depressed). I have mostly been on SSRIs, which have been helpful with depression, OCD, and regulating my peristalsis.. Medication summary below: 2009-2012: Celexa (up to 40 mg) 2012-2013- Lexapro / Abilify 2014 - Clomipramine. Clomipramine + Abilify. Result: Realized higher doses of clomipramine caused too many side effects for me and could not tolerate it, even though it was helpful.Became tachycardic and other anticholinergic effects of combination led me and physician to revert back to SSRIs. 2015: Zoloft; Verdict: Made my IBS symptoms worse; depression and OCD better. However, due to increased diarrhea had to go off Zoloft. 2016: Due to gut that was made worse by Zoloft and doing very short-term trials of other SSRIs which also made my gut worse, I tried EMSAM (MAOI) for three months. Verdict: Did not help at all 2016 - 2017: Went back to Celexa (40 mg). Helped but felt it was not effective as back in 2009, even at maximal dosage. Eventually had relapse of depression in Summer 2017. Summer 2017: Tried course of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation after Celexa stopped working. Verdict: Did not help at all 2017-Present: 200 mg Luvox Verdict: In summer 2018, Luvox also stopped working and had relapse of depression. Summer 2018: I ended up going to homeopath in mid, which has been the most helpful thing to me so far. I have adopted the SCD diet, which has greatly helped my gut, and the remedies she has prescribed actually pulled me out of the depression I was in and made my OCD better, all while still on 200 mg The current situation is that I am still on 200 mg Luvox and with the homeopathy, my symptoms have greatly improved. Back in January 2019, I tried to go down on the Luvox, first to 175 mg (wait 2-3 weeks), then to 162.5 (wait 3 weeks), then to 150 mg (for about 5 weeks). It appears, that although I did not realize it at the time, my symptoms were getting worse, with more mood swings again, and my constipation was becoming more frequent. Most recently, I became completely non-functional and could barely get through one day. Just a few days ago I increased back up to 175 mg to see if I would feel better. So now I am in a predicament, as I really don't think the SSRIs are helping me much because 2 different ones have now pooped out on me in less than a year, but the homeopathy has allowed me to return to normalcy gradually. I am certainly still not far along in the homeopathy (only about a year), but I have definitely felt a difference. I thought I was ready to taper off the Luvox gradually, but clearly, given my relapse of depression and constipation, I maybe went too fast. I have read about the 10% rule, which I largely stuck to, but maybe I will have to go slower. Maybe I will use compounding next time around, maybe weighing out the pills. I do have some questions for the community. -Anybody have any thoughts on my experience or anything they experienced with Luvox? -Over the years of going up and down on SSRIs, I developed muscle twitching and a weird pain in the back left of my head, which I feel especially when my mood gets worse (as was the case recently when I lowered the dose of Luvox). Anyone experienced this / any tips on how to deal with these or what this could be? -I've only been on Luvox for about 16 months. However, I have been on SSRIs for a long time (about 10 years). Does that mean it can still take me forever to get off Luvox?
  13. Hi guys, sorry this may be a long post, I think it is okay to share my story on this. I am 21 years old, a college student about to graduate, and I have been on an SSRI for about 5 years now. I was diagnosed with ADHD and GAD when I was about 12, I have always been somewhat anxious and had issues with regulating my emotions. In 2013 my girlfriend broke up with me and I was really sad and feeling hopeless. After a few months of being down and also anxious, my doctor (pediatrician) decided to put me on 5mg of Lexapro. The Lexapro seemed to help (I think?) and I recovered somewhat quickly. Over the next few years, however, my doctor fluctuated my dosage quite a bit. I would get anxious, he would up my dosage, and then I would become a zombie and he would lower it. It did seem to blunt my emotions on a high dose. Other than that it was fine. However, the summer after my freshman college, I became extremely anxious and had an existential crisis, prompting my doctor to change me over to Zoloft and Trazodone. When starting Zoloft, I took 50mg and worked up to 100mg. It possibly helped my anxiety but my emotions became blunted again (or maybe it was depression?). I did not feel hopeless or sad, but I kind of lost the ability to have pleasure over simple things. After going through a hard time on Zoloft and Trazodone feeling empty and dull, my doctor and I decided to taper off to see if that would help. Every time I tapered, we would allow three weeks to go by to see if it helped. I went from 100mg to 75mg to 50mg to 25mg and eventually to nothing. Every time I lowered, I felt a little more in touch with my emotions. With the Trazodone, I stopped cold turkey on a dose of 50mg. When I went completely off of the Zoloft and Trazodone, I started having crying episodes, brain zaps, insomnia, anxiety, occasional anhedonia/brain fog, and severe social anxiety. After a month or two, all of these symptoms went completely away (except sometimes the anhedonia/brain fog). I was doing good and feeling very in touch with my emotions. After a few months off of the Zoloft though, the school year was coming back around, and the girl I had been dating for 2 years broke up with me unexpectedly. It devastated me and left me feeling sad and hopeless. I was crying all of the time, I was thinking about her all of the time, losing the ability to feel pleasure, and had anxiety because I still saw her every day. This continued on through the semester and I went home for winter break feeling depressed and anxious. I was feeling brain fog/anhedonia, and lost overall enthusiasm for life. It got bad enough that I knew I needed help, so I started talking to a therapist (I had seen a few before this one) and it was helping. I still was depressed, but was slowly improving. I started taking Adderall again to study for a certification exam over the break and this helped boost my mood tremendously. It cleared my mind, helped with the brain fog/anhedonia, and made me feel a little more peaceful inside (less racing thoughts). My psychiatrist decided he wanted me to take Trintellix and put me on a 5mg dose. I went back to school feeling down and anhedonic again. All the progress I made during seemed to start disappearing. I stopped taking the Adderall, and once the Trintellix seemed to start working I started becoming extremely anxious. I felt extreme depersonalization, started having weird sensory problems (visual snow, eye floaters, tinnitus, and my body started fluctuating between feeling tingly and numb) and was scared. My doctor upped my dose of Trintellix to see if that would help. I ended up taking Ativan to help with the anxiety. I was feeling less anxious but still had the sensory/depersonalization problems. Not to mention, my emotions went away again. The Ativan lowered my anxiety but made me feel completely dull and emotionless. I ended up tapering off of it and feeling better after a few months, but having a lot more anxiety/sensory issues. Since this (which was earlier in the summer), I started taking Adderall because I read a lot and it seemed my problems were kind of related to Adult ADHD. I always feel internally restless and have a hard time focusing, and taking therapeutic doses (20 mg or lower) seem to calm me down and clear my mind. Not to mention, it helps with my emotional regulation problem. Overall my academics and state of mind are improving. I have lowered the Trintellix from 20mg to 10mg over two months. I have had more sensory problems and anxiety since lowering the medicine, but it seems my emotions are slowly coming back. Every now and then, I get a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of what life used to feel like. It gives me hope. But I have been so up and down for the past 5 years, I am sick of feeling so unstable. I want to have emotions again and not deal with brain fog/anhedonia and anxiety for the rest of my life. I didn't have the former problem until taking medicine. I want the sensory problems to be gone. They only started after I started taking Trintellix. I need help with tapering off I think. Does anyone have any advice for me? I want to learn to treat my depression and anxiety in natural ways, and learn to regulate my emotions better. I want to believe I can live without taking medicine for these issues, because they only seem to exacerbate them. Do I have any hope of being stable again? I always feel uneasy inside and am constantly trying to distract my mind from this. I am sick of being anxious about these weird symptoms, everyone thinks I am crazy and writes me off. Will slowly tapering help this? I long for a day that I am not constantly thinking about being better, and can handle life's ups and downs. I am not wanting to be perfect, just to be able to not always think and worry about my mental health. I am always worrying about exercising enough, meditating enough, sleeping enough, eating well enough, and lowering stress enough. I think my issues could be related to tons of different things, but it is so hard to tell when you are put on medicines that only seem to compound the issue. School has been a big source of stress/anxiety and I am almost done, so I really want to take the time to improve my physical/mental/emotional/spiritual state of mind so life is not always this rocky. Thanks for listening, sorry this was so long.
  14. I found my way here from the New Yorker article published online last week. Very thought-provoking and not exactly encouraging about this process. I started taking Effexor probably 18 or so years ago; it was my first antidepressant and worked well from the get-go. After 8 or so years I was feeling well enough that I wanted to quit taking it, so my medical person (nurse practitioner) advised me to taper VERY slowly. I was only taking 75 mg XR at the time, and she had me taper over 4 months. I was very impatient with the process but followed instructions exactly and never had a single withdrawal symptom. It went perfectly. A few years later, I was struggling with depression again and once more started Effexor. It worked as well, but I required a higher dosage (150 mg). Last year, my husband died and my depression deepened considerably. I gradually increased the dosage to 300 mg, which seemed to be working more or less. Recently, my therapist and I decided that it would be a good idea to get off Effexor and try Wellbutrin, as Effexor no longer seemed to be helping. My most recent attempt to taper off was a miserable failure; I had several nasty withdrawal problems and stopped almost immediately. One problem I have is that the dose I take now consists of a solid pill, not a capsule filled with tiny pills that I can divide into several doses. The directions say not to cut, chew, or otherwise damage the pill before taking it, so really gradual tapering is not possible. I have to use various sizes of pills to try and work around this problem, and it doesn't seem to be gradual enough. I'm hoping to get some practical help from others who have been through this themselves. Thanks for listening.
  15. Hello Everyone, Let me introduce myself. You can call me Sebas (38), i'm from Amsterdam. Hope my English is okay. I was diagnosed with anxiety issues around 2004 and then started using Seroxat, I believe it's called Paxil in the US. I'm aware by now of all the problems this medicine is causing. In other words, i've read a lot, and i mean A LOT about it. I can almost graduate about the subject After several attempts to stop, I found out in 2015 or 2016 about the 5-10% reduction rule. That helped me from 20 mg (10 ml) tot 12 mg (6 ml) in about 1,5 years (estimated). I'm using the fluid suspension and some squirts for accurate dosage. From 6 ml down to 5,8 took me 5 weeks to feel allright, then i stabilized for a week and went back down from 5,8 tot 5,6. All the usual withdrawal symptoms occur during tapering periods such as illness, nerve system problems, visual, fatigue, stomache cramps and also i'm countering eye circles. Since the last dosage (from 5,8 tot 5,6) i've been feeling bad for 9 weeks already. Especially my stomache and my energy. So i'm now wondering what to do, wait (and wait...), go back to 5,8, go back to 6,0 of try to switch to another AD. Cause this one is really @#$%&* mainly cause of the fast half-life period. I've read about a cross tapering method. I asked my doktor for a psychiatric consult about it. Or...could it be my body (and mind) is telling me this dose is beneath the minimum that i just need for my personal wellbeing. I'm familiair with magnesium, omega 3/fish oil and multi vitamin for support. I'm looking forward fto exchanging some knowledge. Bye Sebas
  16. Hi everyone, I just joined this site. I am tapering from 200 mg of Zoloft. I've been taking Zoloft for about 20 years now, and a better amount of that time has been 200 mg. I started tapering by 25 mg every 2 weeks on February 7, 2019. I just started 100 mg today. I had a bit of a hiccup and had to take 125 mg for a bit longer than expected. The reason for my taper is that I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I was originally diagnosed with depression, and used alcohol as a crutch. I quit drinking early November of 2018 and am enrolled in DBT classes. My psychiatrist seems to think that my issues are mainly BPD and alcohol so I may be able to get off the Zoloft. I'm having a multitude of symptoms and I would love to be welcomed in your group so that I can share my experiences and learn from others.
  17. Hello forum! Female, 33, Sweden. Have been on Paroxetine, 20mg, for more than 5 years. In April 2017 I had my first major panic attack and ended up in the ER. My life completely changed and I developed panic disorder along with some GAD. Though the GAD may have been the underlying cause of panic, I don't really know. Since September 2017 I have been reducing my dose of Paroxetine, and am now on 10mg. Somewhere in December I got down to 10mg and thought I'd wait until I'm stable at this dose before continuing my taper. I have been using the Claire Weekes-method of trying to completely relax in the face of panic, and I seem to only have smaller attacks now. Palpitations have lessened, and I am less startled by my nervous system signaling panic. I have lately been feeling very off-balance/dizzy and sometimes theres an intense feeling of anxiety and dread in my body. Feels like there are bugs crawling around inside. Weird buzzing nerves? Dizziness is so bad I have to lie down sometimes. Last night I was holding on to the walls when moving around in my house. Feels like I'm losing my balance all the time, even when sitting on the toilet, but I can stand on one leg and walk in a straight line. So it seems to be some sort of misinterpretation happening in my brain, rather than an actual problem with my balance. Now to my question: When I wake up in the morning I usually feel perfectly fine. It is after taking Paroxetine that all of the horrible sensations start, and they seem to calm down slightly in the evening. Is this normal during withdrawal? Or does it sound more like I'm having actual adverse reactions to Paroxetine? They sort of worked until I developed panic disorder. But I clearly remember growing increasingly fearful and illogical during several months before I had that massive panic attack. Thank you in advance.
  18. Hi everyone, I am taking Effexor for chronic pain not depression. On Effexor for 10 years, half of those years on 112.5mg the other half 150mg Started reducing a year ago February 2012 - 150mg March 2012 - 131mg April 2012 - 112.5mg July 2nd 2012 - 92mg July 23rd - chronic pain got worse October 21st - started 75mg (chronic pain flare up subsided and has been stable ever since) November 16th - 56mg December 11th - 37.5mg January 5th, 2013 - 19mg January 22nd, 2013 - 22.5mg January 23rd, 2013 - 37.5mg January 24th, 2013 - 30mg From November 16th when I dropped to 56mg up to January 22nd the withdrawal effects gradually got worse. Prior to this I experienced no withdrawal effects. On January 22nd when I increased the dosage to 22.5mg I was trying to decrease the withdrawal effects because they were getting too strong. The small increase had no effect. On the following day when I increased to 37.5mg after an hour and 45 minutes the withdrawal effects got significantly worse. I went to my family Doctor (who was much more knowlegeable than I thought) and he recommended taking 30mg. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday but still not as good as when I was on 19mg. I'm wondering if I should stay at 30mg or should I decrease to maybe 25mg since I felt better at 19mg and I was on 19mg for 2 and half weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of health to everyone! Thank you!
  19. I’ve been on Wellbutrin for 20 years. Since November 2018, I've started tapering from my initial dosage (300-mg per day). I'm down to 200-mg per day. If I could sum up what Wellbutrin has done for me, I would say this. The monsters that Wellbutrin imprisoned for 20-years are slowly escaping now that the prison itself is slowly breaking down. And I’m once again left with dealing with issues, old relics which caused my depression in the first place. I suffered much abuse as a child and as a result, I had a lot of anger. As a teen, my controlling parents abandoned me and then in my twenties, when I was too lost, angry and hopeless, and I didn't have life skills developed enough to function in this world, they threw me to the wolves because I wouldn't cooperate with them because I was tired of their s**t. After a shrink experimented on me, I was finally placed on a benzodiazepine. After suffering from weird side effects, fearing permanent damage to my body, without my doctor’s knowledge, I slowly tapered off the stuff. My doctor was useless and had the deer in the headlights look when I showed him the damning research I did on benzodiazepines. After months of perpetual fatigue, I finally went back to my witch doctor and I allowed him to place me on Wellbutrin. I was that desperate. Along with curing the chronic fatigue, Wellbutrin took away all my anger and anxiety, so I could function and work at getting myself out of the terrible situation I found myself in. Fast forward twenty years. My current situation, suffering from withdrawal, has caused me to experience flashbacks in the form of vivid dreams. I believe these flashbacks and the extreme anger I feel are symptoms telling me that I need to work on myself. I married in my 50’s to a man who had two daughters ages 11 and 14. His ex-wife, if I had to guess, suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and is a Narcissistic Queen Mother. My husband’s ex is intrusive, loud, inpatient, and flamboyant. She is easily frustrated, often bursting into rages than can terrify her children. She can be disingenuous and lies in order to get what she wants. The Queen relates to others with superficiality and an air of detachment. My husband’s ex perceived others, including her girls, as a threat to her own survival unless we all relinquish their needs for hers. Queen mothers compete with their children for a time, attention, love, and money. Superficial interest and a lack of attunement to the child's emotional needs are typical of Queen mothers. I don’t think I need to continue with the description because I think you get the point. Her daughters - I get along very well with the youngest girl. However, the older one is going to be just like or worse than her mother when she matures. If I had to guess, the oldest child is an introverted covert narcissist and she is a very cold-hearted individual who gives me the creeps. I have known the girls for two years. From day one, the oldest girl has been distant, secretive and entitled. Being the people pleaser that I am, I tried to bend over backward to please someone who can never be pleased. Here's the situation that triggered my flashbacks. Case in point, two nights ago, the temperature fell below freezing. The oldest girl was going to a party and had nothing on but a slip dress and stiletto heels. Her father and I attempted to force her to wear a coat or jacket, but she outright refused. If I had to guess, she did not want anything covering up her beautiful body – or so she thought . I finally gave her my fancy sweater to wear. After coming home, the next day, she proceeds to prance around the house with not much on and obsessively complained that she is cold and demands that the house be warmer, and she wants a heater for her bedroom. Me, like the people pleaser that I am, I gave her my heater. That night both I and my husband were very cold. He didn’t appreciate me giving up our heater and he pointed out the fact that she was willing to go almost butt naked to a party on an extremely cold night but then she came home and b*tch** about the house being cold and she wanted it warmer. That’s the reason he didn’t cater to her demands to increase the temperature. At the dinner table the next day. I joked with the girls that I would clean their rooms for $20 per week. These two girls are so entitled and lazy that their grandmother tries to bribe them to motivate the girls to ‘consider’ keeping their rooms clean and organized. They both said no. I then jokingly told them that they should ask their grandmother for $30 a week. They could keep $10 and I’ll clean their rooms for $20. After long silent consideration, the youngest daughter said she would split the money 50/50 with me. However, the oldest said that she would have me clean her room in addition to me washing her bed sheets and making up her bed. She said I should be thankful if she gives me $5 out of the $30 for my efforts. This is a fine example showing the characters of the two girls. The youngest one endears me to her – the oldest repels me. That night, after getting to sleep, I had a series of dreams. The theme running through the dreams was – my inability to take care of myself. Here’s the dream series: I’m at my childhood home. Its morning, I went into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast. I wanted to change my habit of not taking care of myself. My mother, in lightning speed, like a wolf spider exiting its den, opened her bedroom door and rushed into the kitchen to attack me for making noise. I had to abandon making breakfast and go to school. During elementary, junior high and high school, I suffered long periods of time starving. My mother was a hateful woman who used every opportunity she could to destroy me. The dream changed and there was another scene. I was a twenty-something woman. After spending a few hours with a man, my intuition told me this man was a heartless uncaring person. I told my father my thoughts in hopes of figuring out everything I had experienced while on the date. My conclusion was I wanted nothing to do with him. But my father talked me out of trusting my intuition and told me to give him a chance. As a result, I spent years being abused by this man because I tried to make it work with him. He turned out to be a psychopath and hurt me so bad, in one regard, I will never recover from. The dream changed again, and I was a teenager. My self-absorbed, sister and hateful mother were very controlling. I had little money, working as a part-time nanny. I decided I wanted to learn to cook. I always wanted to learn how to make cheesecake, so I purchase the ingredients. No sooner than I had placed them on the kitchen table then my mother and sister came running, like two hyenas into the kitchen to see what they could rip off me. They proceeded to chase me away from my ingredients and push me out of the house. They made the cheesecake and ate it themselves. I didn’t even get a crumb. I woke up angry. I told my husband about the dream and then related it to his oldest daughter. Now, I believe he thinks I have mental issues. No…not his daughter, the one who has somatic narcissist traits and treats everyone, including him very, very poorly. I wasn’t going to wait a week or so to get my sweater or my heater back. The oldest girl never gives anything back unless I beg and beg and beg her. Cold as ice, acting put out, she grudgingly gave me my heater and sweater back. I believe my current situation reminds me of my past. I believe my anger is telling me I’m dealing with the oldest girl incorrectly. I believe I need to stop people pleasing and have nothing to do with the oldest girl. I’m in a difficult situation because the father already told me he loves his children more than me. I believe that an informal given that a parent loves their children the most in this world. But he didn’t have to say it. So, I have not interfered with how the girls treat their father. I didn’t remind them to call him nor did I suggest they get him a gift. Case in point, they did not remember to call him for his birthday, nor did they get him a birthday or Christmas present. The oldest and to a certain extent the youngest treat their father like their mother does – he’s just an ATM money machine. God help him. I believe I need a support group while I’m healing so that I don’t talk to my husband about my recovery and to get some support so I don’t fall into any trap his oldest child might set for me. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone gone through what I have gone through or are going through now? Thanks!
  20. Does anyone have ideas on a tapering schedule for those that have been using Phenergan more than 6 months. It comes in 10 and 25 mg oral tablets. It has moderate anticholinegic effects and is a mild dopamine antagonist alongside strong H1 histamine action. Given that I assume tapering is important.
  21. Hi all. I've been tapering off escitalopram/lexapro for the last six weeks, gradually reducing the dose every two weeks. I'm down from 20mg to 12.5mg and not going any further for now. the last two weeks I've been feeling a few old symptoms creeping back - vivid dreams, reduced concentration, low energy and unhelpful thought patterns. My doctor's great and has advised me to slow down, which I'm doing. Anyone else been in a similar place? Pep talks and cheer leading is all very welcome!
  22. Hi, Currently taking 150mg of sertraline a day and looking to ween myself off it. How would i go about doing this? I did some digging and it seems to go by 10% a month of lower dosage. Is this correct? Also, could someone explain why liquidising the dosage is better? Is there no other method of safely tapering? I was going to reduce it by 25mg a week consecutively. Would this be non advisable? Thanks.
  23. Most, if not all, of us on here keep notes or track symptoms, progress and tapering schedules. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could combine them all in one big AI database and have it spew out the statistically significant data? Until that comes to fruition, I wanted to share some patterns that I have tracked with my daughter’s anti-psychotic tapering progress over the last two years. Maybe others have seen similar patterns? Or can share their noticeable patterns on the specific days or weeks when they occur from a drop in dose/ taper time frame. So often in the throes of withdrawal agony we look for a way to ‘fix’ our current situation. We ruminate whether we should up dose, taper down, throw a supplement at it, add a different med …. In the hopes of making the current “pain”, better. Pretty much I have thought of all those things except throwing in the kitchen sink in an attempt to ‘make it stop’ for her. As it is often cited and discussed here on Survivingantidepressants.com, learning how to cope using non-drug techniques during these times is the best strategy. Can knowing when you are in the middle of something awful, that what you are experiencing is actually a typical pattern others have gone through and will eventually subside…be of benefit to help ‘ride the wave?' I vote, "yes it can." The pattern that I have noticed for my daughter, Glo, is what I call the “Week Three Phenomenon.” This phenomenon became more apparent as her dose became lower. Probably because she was pretty much ‘zombified’ on the higher doses and it was only when her level of alertness improved and just overall feeling better occurred that the ‘down patterns’ emerged more clearly. Week Three Phenomenon occurs between day 15 and 22 after a taper. It shows up as Emotional Spirals, (typically Anger Spirals), Crying Spells, Agitation and increased Insomnia. Week one and Week two have their share of symptoms but typically not these. Actually those weeks have more physical symptoms and less emotional symptoms. Additionally there is more “calm” in week 2. So one might think, “Ahh I made it through the rough parts of that taper” and then boom….not so much. But then by week 4…pretty much on cue for day 22 or 23…the calm returns. Maybe this is Windows and Waves but maybe it is actually repair work going on from the drop in dose. Maybe there is really a methodical way the brain heals and it impacts certain areas of the brain in succession (the amygdala, hippocampus, frontal lobe perhaps)? Similar to the old fashioned arcade Pinball Game only the “ball” pings the same areas of the brain in a repeatable fashion after a taper? I am certainly only a mother observing my daughters behaviors and actions through this process so, no expert am I. Nor do I really know what she is feeling as she does not talk much any more. However, I can count on these emotional spirals showing up on week 3 like clockwork. The other pattern I see relates to Menstruating Females. This pattern is most discernible when one is having regular periods. Glo went from amenorrhea in the beginning to irregular periods then to regular but shortened periods. But every month when she is regular her symptoms go ‘off the charts’ during ovulation. They last about 24 to 36 hours and occur mostly 14 days before the start of her next period. She has ramped up pacing (I am assuming akathisia), chewing/jaw tension, agitation, insomnia and decreased level of alertness/communication. This same pattern emerges 24 to 48 hours before she starts her period. So what happens if my sweet beautiful daughter is in Week Three of a taper and ovulation or her menstrual cycle arrives? Well, if the general public, doctors or psychiatrists were around they would lock her up in a psych ward and “med her up” (to refer to words by @puthappinessfirst) Fortunately, I will not let that happen. It is comforting to me to know these are patterns and that there is always calm after these storms; usually in the form of increased healing. She is better now than she has been at any time on this medication. She still has much healing to do. I still have patience to learn. But we are getting through to the other side of being on this poison. Peace to all who taper, Glosmom
  24. Hi all, This is my first post here and my first real attempt at tapering off of all psychiatric medications. A very brief background, I have been on 20+ medications since I was 12, ranging from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and sleep drugs. I am 22 now and finally, (sober this time) investigating some of the core issues that caused me to self medicate-via doctor and drug dealer-and I'm ready to really sit with my emotions and feel them fully. Currently I am on Lithium-1050mg, Gabapentin-600mg, Celexa-5mg I have been reading as much as I can on comingoff.org and SA and would like to prepare myself and set myself up for success. From what I understand 10% taper is ideal. I am not in any hurry, I just want this to be as positive experience as possible so this is fine. I met with my psychiatrist today and she had some smaller dosages prescribed for me and is on board and on my team for which I am thankful. I am wondering if there are other things I can do smartly prepare. I read briefly about remineralization but am not sure what that entails. Any foods, supplements, behaviors that would ease me into this journey? Ideas? Thoughts? I start this process April 1st and will post updates. Thank you!
  25. Hey guys, I wanted to come back here and just pass on a few things that may help someone. My full story is in the introductions section, but I weaned off Prozac over last year (did the last bit a little too quickly) and due to a variety of factors had a few episodes of intense withdrawal symptoms over Christmas and the start of January. I reinstated at 2mg recently and am glad to report I'm doing absolutely fantastic. However, I noticed a few patterns which caused me to go into symptom mode. Number 1 was reading too many posts on the forum - I used to be a moderator on an OCD support forum and am aware of the dangers of excessive forum use! In fact it was one of the first things we'd advise newbies to the site. In the week before I reinstated, I went into a mode that I hadn't done for a long time. I was checking for success stories, reading other people's symptoms, and was preoccupied with my health for most of the day. I developed new symptoms and old patterns began to emerge. I've been practicing meditation for 2 years now. I stopped temporarily (funnily enough, just before withdrawal symptoms emerged) for a number of reasons. I forgot how wild an unobserved mind can get, and how we continually create our reality moment by moment. Thankfully I was seeing an amazing Reiki therapist once a week over the past month. He pretty much helped me drag myself out of a potentially long term situation, and helped me take responsibility for the symptoms in order to diffuse them incredibly quickly. I also became disheartened by the horror stories and the lack of success stories, but I knew on some level there was more to it. I've seen incredible recoveries over recent years from a variety of illnesses including severe mental illness, chronic pain, cancer. But as soon as I began getting too involved in the world of 'withdrawal', all of that was thrown into doubt. So I did a test. I know intellectually that my mind is a constant flux of thoughts created from my own awareness, nothing is really external or separate from us, it's all the creation and response of mind. When we know that on an experiential level, there is no reason to suffer, because you are aware that you are creating everything that appears to your consciousness. You can create anything. I mentally put out a request for real life success stories. Within about 6 hours an old friend got in touch. I havent seen her in years since we were in a psychiatric hospital, she was a bit older than me and was like a mother figure. She had been one a severe case of clinical depression, in hospital many times. Her doctors told her she was a lost cause and would be dead within the next few years. Turns out she stopped her meds three years ago, refused any medical help, found a great therapist who understood her desire not to be medicated, and she is happier than she's ever been. She is in a new relationship, has gone back to college, and has absolutely no symptoms in regards to withdrawal (she said there was at first but they didn't last intensely after she started therapy). The following day I bumped into a lady who owns a shop near me who I haven't spoke to in months. She confided that she is also medication free since last summer, after years of being on antidepressants. While things have been up and down, she was still positive, running her business, and very positive. From that day I stopped researching anything to do with illness or withdrawal, I got strict with myself in terms of observing thoughts, and detaching from as many as possible throughout the day. Letting them be there without making a 'story' out of them. Of course, the 2mg reinstatement took the edge off almost immediately, but the transformation between now and the horror I experienced a few weeks ago is unimaginable. In the midst of a crisis the smallest of things can mean the difference between a temporary episode and a wave of days or weeks of awfulness. My main withdrawal episodes lasted no more than a day or two at a time, whereas years ago they would have knocked me for six for weeks. I credit that in part to an ongoing understanding of the how the mind works and not exposing myself to negativity as much as possible, especially in such vulnerable states. Forums and the internet are a great resource, but that's just it, they are a tool and as much as it feels like it's the last thing we want to do, it's essential to spend the majority of our time in 'the world' so we get a fuller picture of it. So I guess what I mean is, don't spend time exposing your mind to anything that reaffirms sickness. People, media, tv, situations. In the psychiatric hospitals I was in in the past they had a term for it (I forget what it was), where patients who were around other patients for too long would develop similar symptoms. They would try and get people out quickly and not encourage them to become too close because the statistics for them later being diagnosed with further disorders was much higher the longer you were in there. I guess it's the same in life, we become what we fill our consciousness with. I was very aware that I was spending most of my time reading about withdrawal and thinking about what my symptoms were like day to day, rather than actually healing. Suffering is inevitable, for everyone, that is the nature of being human. But we have so, so much more power to react to it differently, and even be comfortable with it, than we ever imagine. Glimpses of this astonishing power have saved me many times, although we do need to be still enough for it to be revealed. This may or may not be of use to anyone, but I wanted to share it anyway in the hope that it may help. Love and courage to all of you who are struggling.
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