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  1. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  2. Hi all I’ve tapered diazepam over three years now 5weeks off, towards the end baclofen was added at 30 mg per day now 8 months ago. I cannot Find much except 5mg per week reduction? To taper ? any knowledge here on tapering baclofen at all
  3. Hi all. I’m thankful I came across this group. Wow - where to begin... well, at age 7 I was given Paxil and 20 years later I am still on it. Throughout the 20 years I have tried ever SSRI and SNRI on the planet. I was given Valium and after five years by the grace of God somehow tapered off it myself. In the past 2 years I was put on effexor, pristiq, viibryd, lexapro, celexa, prozac, and landed back on 20mg Paxil. Four months ago I lowered by dosage to 15mg and it has been pure hell. Suicidal thoughts which I have never had, super strange thoughts, terror like I cannot explain. Reading your success stories on here gives me hope. How long should I hold at 15mg before continuing to do a 5-10% taper? How did you all manage to work during this time? With being put on these drugs at such a young age — is it possible to heal, or am I permanently damaged? How do you let go of your anger regarding this situation. I didn’t choose to take these meds. Much love, Sunflower414
  4. Long story short, I have anxiety and panic disorder. My doctor stopped my Prozac CT in April 2022 after 14 years stable on antidepressants. Said would be no issue due to the long half-life. Started getting physical symptoms and severe depression 6 weeks later, so he started Effexor 75mg cause it worked in the past. Since the have had days I feel okayish but the past week has been hospital visits due to SI and severe panic. They just keep giving me benzos but it’s making me worse. I had clonaz once and fainted and still don’t feel right. They want me to wean my Effexor onto Zoloft. What do I do? I can’t go on much longer like this…
  5. Hi there. I am female, 41 years old, married with an almost 18 year old. I was diagnosed in 2018 with anxiety, depression and BP2. After my diagnosis I started to see a Therapist and Psychiatrist regularly. I realized I have dealt with these mental health issues my whole life and figured medication would be my saving grace. I was wrong. They made me a zombie and I was constantly sleeping. I had a suicide attempt in late 2017 and that is what started my experience with medication. I was in-patient for 9 days and came home with an abundance of new medication (please see signature for meds). I thought this would be the right step in the right direction for me. I had another close call with suicide in late 2019 and was subsequently hospitalized for that as well. Fluctuating between depression, BP2, hypo mania and anxiety was exhausting. Husband and I decided we wanted to try for another baby so my OBGYN suggested certain drugs be out of my system, hence coming off of them. I had been wanting to stop my meds anyways because I was tired of feeling numb. Psychiatrist took me off of my Depakote cold Turkey on May 19, 2022 and I decided on June 22, 2022 to come off the rest except my Buspar. June 22, 2022 was the day my IUD came out so it was the best time to end my meds as well, against my Psychiatrists wishes. So far the withdrawals have been probably run-of-the-mill (i.e. insomnia, nightmares, headaches, irritability, sweating, dizziness, body aches). I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to rest as much as possible when I’m feeling awful (like right now, while I’m typing this).
  6. Rhi's Introduction topic I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area. Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is. As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages. Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble. After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself. Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much. Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious. Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice. Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again! And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun! It's GREAT. So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses. The lower the doses go, the better I feel. There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening. For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs. I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it. I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health. And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!
  7. I decided last spring that I wanted to stop taking my lexapro. I was 29 and had been prescribed 10mg since a suicide attempt at 20. I did not do a ton of research into tapering beforehand, or tell my doctor about my plans. I went down to 5mg rather quickly, around easter (I didn't keep track so the dates are all approximate). I stayed at 5mg for a few months. In June I saw my doctor, told her what I was doing and proceeded to lower my dose to 2.5mg every day, then every other day, coming off some time in July. I felt like a veil had lifted, I had more energy and motivation than I had in years, colors were brighter, I was in touch with all of my emotions. Towards the end of September, I started to feel low mood creeping back in. I live alone and do not have many friends in my city, largely due to quitting drinking in 2020, so I chalked up a lot of the mood to that. This is where I should also mention that for about 6 years, I've been taking benzos in one form or another almost daily, and for the past 3 I have taken Valium every day. I never had a prescription. I noticed that I had been increasing my dosage in step with my low mood, and for this reason and a variety of others, I resolved to begin a taper. With benzos I was more aware of the long and arduous process. I started tapering down from 20mg daily valium in October and I am currently at 11mg a day. I finally made an account on this website because the intense depression and ahnedonia, and the sexual dysfunction I've been experiencing, are getting to be excruciating, to the point that I do not always want to be alive. I have a counselor who specializes in benzo withdrawal and a psychiatrist who is able to prescribe now, but I am looking for any help I can get. Is it normal to not be hit with SSRI-discontinuation symptoms for a few months after going off? I have a hard time sorting through what can be attributed to SSRIs and what is benzos. Today I am extremely concerned about PSSD. When I first came off of Lexapro I did not experience sexual issues at all, but starting in November, I began to notice alarming changes; decreased pleasure in orgasms, less forceful and less "fruitful" ejaculations, premature ejaculations. As a 30 year old guy who wants to have a family one day, these symptoms are very concerning. I am hoping to find other people here who can offer their experiences, and, fingers crossed, give me some hope that what I am going through is not permanent. I apologize for the rambling nature of this post. I am grateful that this community exists.
  8. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  9. Hi, thank you for having me. I began taking Ativan in 2018 for panic. I took it for 3 months PRN. Once I stopped the terror started. I wound up the in the ER where I was sent on my merry way with a bag full of Zopiclone and told that they would make me feel better. They did not. I got increasingly worse, over the Zopiclone period. I then saw a new doctor who diagnosed me with benzo withdrawal. He put me on 5mgs of Valium. I tapered this very slowly over the course of 10 months. It was a great success and I felt very good. I got down to 0.25mgs and stayed at that dose for 18 months as i was scared of the jump, and just needed to be able to take care of my kids. Nov 12 2021 I had a huge setback to my recovery and was basically thrown into acute. It was awful and so scary for me given I had done that before. I wasn’t sleeping or eating. I was becoming obsessed with my withdrawal. I had never up-dosed once in my taper and it was promise I made to myself when I started this journey. I did end up updosing a few times (this is in my signature). When I CT’d in 2018 my worst symptom was this horrible fear that I would hurt my family, I’ve never felt that before, I would never act on it but it was always there. I also did not feel like myself and spent days and weeks trying to find her. These feelings started in November again. Updosing made no difference and the terror continued for me. I am now trying to hold at 1mg of Valium to see if it helps at all (so far it feels like nothing). My doctor has prescribed pregabalin to try to help me cope. I will say it did work at 300mgs but I felt totally drunk and sleepy. I took this dose twice - so total usage 600mgs. I don’t want to be on such high of a dose, but now because of the above experience I am terrified I will withdrawal if I don’t taper correctly, so I need to taper after 2 times? I haven’t decided yet if I am ready to commit to another drug, but I am scared. Thank you for reading
  10. My introduction topic: Female, 26 years old. Drugs I was on: Wellbutrin (Voxra) 300mg and Escitalopram (lexapro/cipralex) 20 mg. Valium 15-20 mg very sporadically, around once a month. Numbered in case someone wants to only read specific parts: 1: Hope 2: Backround 3: Tapering 4: Symptoms 5: Improvement 6: Experiences with doctors, nurses etc etc 7: Recovered, lessons learned Post after this one is about things that helped me. 1. The first thing I want to say, because it seems like such a common feeling for people in withdrawal, is that in my honest opinion it will get better, no matter how much doubt and hopelessness you feel. I think many here have felt that we're the exception because of how much we're suffering and it's hard to believe we can get out of it. The symptoms will lessen with time. So even if the recovery in total can take years, it doesn't mean that you will feel this bad for that whole time. The eighth month is most likely not gonna be just as bad as the first or second month (This is also why it's a good idea to keep some sort of record or journal, because we don't always see the improvement until we look back). Everyone is different, so just because our own recovery doesn't look exactly like others that's not a good reason to give up on hope. It seems like the thinking is extremely skewed for many during withdrawal. It's like we hold on to negative information a lot more than people usually do, and that's also important to remember I think. Just because we think something doesn't mean it's true. 2. Went on Escitalopram 20 mg and Wellbutrin 300 mg at 17 years old. I had severe depression and it was (I thought) my last resort. The first two years they seemed to be helping, later on I noticed I wasn't myself though and strangely numb/careless which led to questionable decisions at times. After a couple of years on them I started to feel very mentally unstable for seemingly no reason at all and read about antidepressants being a potential culprit. Second year on meds I also got benzos (valium (diazepam), 2 mg but I always had to take at least 15 mg for it to help) to calm my very sudden anxiety. I somewhat knew the risk of benzos, so I was careful about not taking them too often and managed to avoid creating a dependence on them. I decided I wanted to start tapering both antidepressants when I realised they might be the issue. My (one and only good) doctor agreed with me and thought it was a good idea to start tapering. Unfortunately this doctor retired. 3. Tapering Wellbutrin: 2015 I quit the wellbutrin completely by tapering from 300 mg straight to 150 mg. Went on 150 mg for around a month, then started taking 150 mg every other day for two weeks as instructed by doctor. From what I can remember tapering wellbutrin went relatively okay for me. Tapering Escitalopram: Started tapering beginning of 2016, 5 mg at a time with 4 weeks in between every taper. So for four weeks I'd be at 15 mg, then four weeks at 10 mg and so on. Tapering this drug gave me issues almost right away, but the more I tapered the worse it got. At 5 mg I started getting the most symptoms which got worse when I quit completely. Very important thing to mention I think, is that most of these issues I had never had in the past. In case someone not in withdrawal reads this I want that to be said because I was being presented as the issue by the doctors I met, rather than the drugs being the issue. I was not a worrying person before, and I barely knew what anxiety was despite being very depressed. Unlike many with depression I did not get anxiety with it, until I started taking the drugs. 4. Here are the symptoms I wrote down when it was happening: Tooth grinding, when awake and asleep. Often lead to headache Very severe anxiety, anger, irritation, sadness, stress, restlessness, self loathing, wanting to die Suicidal thoughts daily Very tired Weight gain Difficulties falling asleep Upset stomach Severe stomach ache from the constant worrying Ache in different parts of the body, mostly legs, stomach, neck and head A lot more timid and shy, couldn't walk out the door most days and waited until it was dark out. Difficulties breathing (anxiety symptom I assume) Heart palpitations and heart flutter Sensitive to noise Very easy to cry, often for no reason Strange yawns that would never be complete. Like feeling the need to yawn and not being able to fully do it, this could go on for long periods during the day. Bad time perception and short term memory Derealisation Severe semi voluntary motor tics, mostly in feet and hands but sometimes in other parts of body. Paranoid (thinking people want to do me harm and so on) Very easily frightened, skittish Strong and impulsive self destructive urges (this was very frightening and new to me) Strong sense of losing my personality and who I am, at times it was as if I was grieving my old self Occasional bed wetting Very depressed Burning feet syndrome Burning/warm sensation in head Later on I also felt manic some days, euphoric and over active for no reason (This would explain why the doctors suspected bipolar despite me not ever showing symptoms in the past) PGAD which went away after about a month more or less, caused pain as well. 5. I would say when it started to noticeably get a little better was in the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2019 several of these symptoms were gone, for example the tooth grinding, restlessness and self loathing, among others. 6. During all this time I got no support what so ever from any hospital. I told several different doctors, nurses and therapists what was going on and no one took me seriously. One laughed in my face. Another one asked what I was doing there if I was gonna refuse medication anyway despite me expressing concern about the new symptoms. When I once chose to mention that many people experience the same thing as I did, the first and only response I got was her questioning my credibility before moving on. Later in my medical journals I could read that most of my doctors were convinced I was bipolar and I was the reason for getting sick, not the drugs. It wasn't considered once that the drugs could have caused all of this. I also lost an old close friend because they didn't believe me or supported me, simply because they had never heard of this before. The reason I mention losing friends and not being believed is because it's a huge part of experiencing withdrawal for many, I think. It makes you feel extremely lonely, disappointed and betrayed. This lack of support and not being believed is dangerous when someone is in drug withdrawal and is already often suicidal. 7. Today the only symptom that I still have to deal with is the motor tics. I suspect I will have to live with that but that's okay. It doesn't stop me from being happy and moving forward in life and I can say for the first time in a very long time that I feel genuinely happy. I have my life mostly under control. I still have to work on my social anxiety but being happy and physically healthy makes it a lot easier to work on. I no longer experience mania or depression either. The most important thing to me was that I would someday feel like my old self again, and I do feel like that today. I also felt that all this added more depth to me as a person in a good way. It forced me to improve my ability to cope on my own and finding strategies that worked for me. Life feels more easy to take on after going through withdrawal (which probably isn't worth much to hear when in the midst of it, but so valuable afterwards). I'm so thankful for this site and everyone on it. It has been the only place where people have been willing to help and understand during the worst thing I've experienced. There is more I could say but this is already very long. I'll do a second post under this one where I'll write down specific things that has helped me.
  11. Hi. So, I had been having some health anxiety over 2021. It resulted in me getting a colonoscopy in November 2021. Leading up to it I had intense anxiety, a few panic attacks and perhaps even a nervous breakdown. The night before I woke at 3 am and had a panic attack. I really thought I was dying this time, so we called 911, and I luckily, not dying. During the procedure they did take a biopsy, and while waiting for the results (2weeks) I had very intense anxiety. It was benign. I'd had intense panic and anxiety for almost a whole month at this point. Around Dec 17, 2021 I contracted covid. It was pretty uneventful, but near the end of it I was waking around 5 am with adrenaline and diarrhea and I couldn't go back to sleep, this was creating anxiety in me that was getting harder and harder to control. So I went to a Dr on December 30 2021 who prescribed me Zoloft 50mg and Xanax 0.25mg. They were filled pretty fast and I took one of each as soon as I got home (around 1-2pm) I felt ok at first, but a few hours later all the side effects started. Irritable/uncomfortable, anxiety, nauseous, no appetite, chills, diarrhea, invasive thoughts that started pretty quick and intensely, and soon to find out - insomnia. I'd lay there with invasive thoughts and if I happened to drift off I'd be jerked awake and there was no sleeping for at least a week. I lived in a panic for around 2 weeks. I never took another dose of Zoloft. But I did take around 9 doses (some halved) of Xanax over the next 2-3 months. Sometimes to help sleep, but it was never worth it as I'd only get a 2-3 hours and then have intense anxiety the next day. It worked ok for panic during the day, but then I feel it intensified my anxiety for the next few days. I found some old Valium 5mg from a dental procedure, there were only 2 doses. They helped sleep some, but they left me feeling so sluggish, it didn't feel good. And it wasn't helping me sleep enough to want to try to get more, I was prescribed Restoril 15mg in April by a sleep Dr. I only took half doses 3 times. Again, it didn't help my sleep enough to ever make it worth it and just gave me bad rebound anxiety. Then I was prescribed hydroxyzine May 2021 (forgot about that when I wrote my signature, will add later). I've taken it around 5 times. It helped me sleep the first night, then not so much the next. Waited a week and tried again, it helped a little for sleep and calming, but not that much. It was mostly disappointing. Luckily it didn't seem to cause any rebound anxiety. But it doesn't help with much so I really don't take it. So, I did take my last Xanax around 1 month ago for a bad panic attack. And that was last time I took a benzo. My last hydroxyzine was around 1 week ago. My current symptoms are anxiety, depression, anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization (I'm never sure on the terms, it's the one where I feel like I'm in a dream, I can react to everyone normally and everything seems normal, but I just feel ... off, like I'm not connected to it all). Agoraphobia, I can push past it but it's hard and only if it's close to home or my husband and children are with me. Which really sucks because I used to love going out by myself or with my children, go on vacations etc... now I feel like I can't leave the house without forcing myself. This fear feeling is so horrible and there really is no reason, I just feel it. And intense insomnia, I can't fall asleep, can't nap, I get adrenaline rushes continuously as I'm trying to fall asleep, or less common are the hypnic jerks, and I wake early around 3-6am and can't fall back to sleep even if I've only slept for 1-2 hours. I like to think my sleep is getting better, as there some rare nights when I will get 5-7 hours. But those are followed the next night by not being able to fall asleep because of adrenaline surges. So, I'm probably only getting those nights from severe sleep deprivation, not that I'm actually getting better =( At one point I thought it was just anxiety keeping awake, but there have been plenty of nights I go to sleep with NO worries at all. I'm not over thinking or thinking of anything provoking and I still get the adrenaline surges at the point of falling asleep. It's seriously so maddening. It's going into 6 months since that day and my sleep is still not good. I thought it would last a few days, then weeks, then got my hopes for a few months. Now it's going into half a year. It started with panic and anxiety, but now depression is setting in and I just don't know what to do. I try to keep my hopes up, but it's so hard. I also have anhedonia and agoraphobia although I can push past it as long as it's close to home, but it takes a lot of effort. I do get some windows I stay home with my 3 small children and am not able to be the mother I want to be for them by feeling this way. Which again adds to the depression. So that's where I am. I hate that I took that zoloft and xanax. And for a long time now i was just blaming the zoloft. And now I've been wondering if the benzos have been negatively affecting me as well? I know I can't beat myself up over it. I try and accept my situation and believe that I will heal. But it's so hard and it all feels so dark sometimes.
  12. My story begins about eleven years ago. In 2011 my best friend died, and I began to have debilitating anxiety and a horrible fear of death. A family doctor made it worse by giving me xanax and lexapro, but I knew nothing about either one. I started having interdose withdrawal with the xanax, so they gave me ativan. Praise the Lord though, I found a good doctor that placed me on Zoloft, which worked well. After 5 years though, with my wife and I losing another great friend, then a stillborn, both grandparents, and two miscarriages all in a year and half the zoloft stopped working. I continually had ruminating thoughts that would not stop, so a psychiatrists placed my on Prozac, and eventually moved it up to 60mgs, along with valium to help ease the transition. I eventually weaned off of the vailum (which went really well), and stayed on Prozac ever since. After taking a year off from work, I slowly tapered off of prozac over that year, and now have been off of prozac roughly two months. I seemed to be doing well but two weeks ago the anxiety started to appear, and then stopped for about a week and a half. Today though, my anxiety and fear returned with a vengeance for most of the day. I start a new job in July, and I am working on my dissertation for my doctorate. I am seriously considering starting back on my prozac, and my pyschiatrist told me if I needed to, just start taking the prozac at 20mg again. The smallest dose I have is 20mg capsules, so I'm not sure how to start with a smaller dose, which seems to be wiser than starting right back on 20mg. My anxiety was so bad last night that I did not sleep. I had to take 5mg of valium to get just a little relief. This morning I reinstated 5mg of prozac by separating the 20mg capsules into 20ml of water. Any help or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
  13. gardenlady


    Moderator's note: Link to gardenlady's benzo thread I would like to taper off of 60 mg Cymbalta. However, I am in the middle of a taper off of Valium and am now at 11 mg/day. The horror stories I have heard about Cymbalta withdrawal terrify me. Should I cross over from Cymbalta to another AD and then taper off? And, should I wait until I finish my Valium taper? I cross tapered from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium and am now down to 11 mg. It's going to be a long time until I'm off of it. I am horribly depressed since switching to Valium, but the anxiety from interdose withdrawals on the Ativan were unbearable. I want off of ALL of these psychotropic drugs but realize I have to go slowly. I just want my life back. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  14. Stopped and started Zoloft twice this year after taking it 9 years. First time I stopped for 2 months because a naturopath told me to and take Sam-e instead. I didn’t feel better and restarted it around March. In withdrawals now and bad insomnia plus fatigue and lots others. I have a history of pots, Epstein Barr and RMSF. Was being treated heavily with antibiotics this past year and tons of supplements and in Aug I had a seratonin syndrome like episode. Took megadose cbd for sleep and it started that. So dr said to stay off everything except Valium and I did but 2.5 months off the second time I started not sleeping, tremors, adrenaline rushes, chills, weakness, muscle spasms, muscle tightness and more. My dr suggested reinstating Zoloft so I did. Been on half dose 3 weeks then full dose 12 days now. So far my sleep still not returning unless I take ambien and I’m so fatigued with muscle aches and tightness. Can’t get out of bed for a month now Having a few better days but still exhausted and scared I won’t sleep on my own again. My psychiatrist gave me hydroxyzine to sleep but it barely gives me sleep so he wants me on Mirtazapine and I don’t want to. I didn’t know how severe stopping an antidepressant could be. Will I continue to get better with reinstating? My hopes are to get stabilized then later slow taper. Any experiences with reinstating anyone? Please help. Drs do not help with this
  15. Hello everyone, Im new to this forum and I would like to introduce myself to you all with some of my history. 2010: Put on zyprexa after repeated psychotic episodes induced by marijuana. 2013: Changed Psychiatric drugs ( a variety of them)after psychotic episode without use of marijuana ( ended up one night in hospital). Finally put on Akineton due to moving leg syndrom, Trifluroperazine, Escitalopram, Mirtazapine. Cant remember dosages. Was reducing for the next 6 years with resistance from my psychiatrist. I was paranoid and have been having minor psychotic episodes throughout the years. I also developed synchronicity due to marijuana. 2019: Cold turkeyed of all drugs previously mention and developed withdrawals. By the third month off them i developed deja vecu or constant deja vu. Went to emergency at the hospital and was given Valium. Took valium for three months still experiencing withdrawals, valium also made me more anxious which I increased dosage until I decided to Cold Turkey of valium ( was taking 5-20mg a day for three to four months). A week later I ended up sectioned in a psychiatric ward for 1 month after a psychotic episode. I was put on 10mg of Valium, 10mg of Zyprexa and an epileptic drug I dont remember which. 2019-2020: Went to see a psychiatrist and was taken off the epileptic drug. Dr. wanted me to change to abilify and take escitalopram which I refused, however I did try escitalopram for a week and stopped as I had racing thoughts. 2020-2021: Reduced from 10mg to 5mg of olanzapine without withdrawals. Stopped at 5mg olanzapine and decided to withrawal valium which I had been increacing to the point of 60mg and therfore thought that this was getting out of hand. I used the Ashton Manual and reduced from 20mg to 0mg in 6 months, 10%reduction from 20mg to 10mg of the original dose, then 10% from 10mg to 5mg from original dose and finally 10% from 5mg to 0mg from original dose. Throughout this time I have been experiencing Pure OCD due to a religious book that scared me and had a strong impression on me. 2021-present moment: I went to a facility for help due to intrusive thoughts Pure OCD, fear, despair, impending doom, no emotion- locked chest, couldnt feel empathy, thought i lost my soul and going to hell and all hopeful words woud turn negative and against me, scared to even think. Wake up with fear every morning. Im on 3mg zyprexa( which im reducing at the moment), 15mg escitalopram for Pure OCD which has helped, 10 mg valium, melatonin mixed with herbs for sleep and magnesium citrate. I have been taking psychiatric drugs for almost 12 years and want to get off as I feel it hasnt truely helped and taken my humanity away. I hope I can do it with caution and prudence and with your help and support. I would also like to note that i have not taken alcohol or narcotics in 10 years.
  16. Benzo topic: pinkfairy-in-ad-withdrawal-possibly-zopiclone-and-now-benzo Hi everybody am new around here....right here goes!i need some advice an help.am a single mum to a nine year old with no family or support.in janurary I was taken off Paxil which I was taking at 40mg...I had no clue about tapering,they took me off in 4 weeks I was on it for 3 an half years.they then gave me diazepam to stop the with drawals...so now am also in the process of weaning off this at 10% a month.have now educated myself on this one!!am in a right state an I feel like am in a deep dark hole!have got real bad depression but they can't get another AD into me,probably because my CNS is in a mess....am I too late to reinstate Paxil?or would you guys keep on going.any help would be amazing!!am really struggling xx
  17. I am going through same bad times. I was started ( 4/21) on Zoloft, Lunesta and Diazepam for my anxiety, after a health scare. Not my first episode. Usually on Effexor, Valium and some Z drugs. Always been able to taper to zero once the crisis is over. This episode I and took Lunesta and Diazepam for a couple weeks, and sertraline, after my surgery (for a few days). Due to increased jitteriness and sleep issues, my doc switch me to mirtazapine, increasing to 45. Sayed there for 6 weeks or so...no improvement. Cut the mirtazapine down to 30 in a month (I know, too fast...). Switched to Ambien, then to Ambien CR, since I was sleeping 3-4 hrs a night. Switched to Ativan, since Diazepam was making me sleepy during the day. Even tried Risperidone for a couple weeks. Used to have windows in the evening. After cutting to 30 mir and adding/discontinuing risperidone, no windows. Until last evening. Got a good 5 hr window. As of today (8/22/21) I am on 2 or 3 mg Ativan (depending on the day), Ambien CR and Mirtazapine 30mg. No more risperidone. I am torn between doing nothing, tapering something (mirt , I guess) and cross-tapering. The cross tapering would be to Zoloft, since my last episode (5 year ago) Effexor stopped working and I was put on Zoloft (which helped, I assume, since I recovered). I need some advise. I can't say I am stable. What should I do : hold and do nothing, keep tapering mirt, cross taper to Zoloft. I would also need a mentor, ideally someone who was on mirt and get off of it. For now, I don't want to touch the benzos and Z drug. My understanding is that you taper the sedatives last. I really appreciate you reading this and giving it some thought. Thank you, Mario
  18. Hello everyone, I have been reading many posts regarding Remeron/ Mirtazapine in the last few weeks. I found the information very helpful. I wish I had found this site earlier... I started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, felt terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started a crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed a slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. I believe I am currently feeling strong side effects from the Remeron. I started feeling this way a few days after stopping the Valium. I am feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach. I find it difficult to function in this condition. I thought I had accomplished the hard work when I finished my benzo taper. I began reading about the Remeron on Surviving Antidepressants. I was really surprised by what I read: “When you remove the Benzo, the AD’s adverse effects come to the forefront.” and “ Mirt likely to be stimulating and might be uncomfortable without the Benzo.” The recommendations on which drug to taper first goes against what you would find in the Ashton Manual or a site like Benzo Buddies. “Benzo withdrawal before Antidepressant withdrawal increases the risk of a difficult antidepressant withdrawal.” All these ideas are news for me. I have read many comments on the forum which reflect the symptoms I have been feeling from the Remeron. I believe I need to taper the Remeron. I am questioning wether I can taper Remeron successfully in my present condition or in order to do this properly would I need to reinstate a low dose of Valium, possibly 2mg. I should add that where I am currently living I do not have access to liquid remeron or special pharmacies. I will need to create my own liquid mirt by using the Remeron Soltab 30mg. From reading the recommendations, 10% cut every 4 weeks is the way to go. A first cut would be by 3mg to 27 mg. Had a doctor (that helped me with my Benzo taper) suggest a Remeron taper by taking : 30 mg 1st night then 15mg 2nd night, back to 30mg 3rd night, then down to 15mg on 4th night, and so on for 3 weeks. If ok then stay at 15mg. Sounds risky to me… I am trying to figure out the best way forward. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks Karlos
  19. Hello everyone. I had been on this forum many times before reading all the posts, usually in the dead of night when feeling so desperate and alone with insomnia but did not sign up until now as hoping I would be feeling a bit better by now. I don't. I came off Duloxetine/Cymbalta, 60mg,in June 2016 cold turkey, probably a huge mistake to do it this way but I had been in touch with my doctor and he suggested to change antidepressant to Citalopram 20mg which I tried for a week and felt strange so ended up ditching both. I went through a terrible time of adjustment for the first 100 days but then seemed to manage slightly better, although it was tough I had hope for a while apart from the no sleep. After another few weeks all kinds of symptoms came at me like an express train and these now remain. I feel generally unwell all the time, depressed, no interest, no zest for life and just not functioning very well. I do have Citalopram tablets, 20mg, here in the house and feel tempted to take them but unsure of what to do. I also have Diazepam which I have taken on and off for 8/9 years 2mg. The Diazepam does not help me sleep at all but does calm me down a little but I feel it is not helpful to my withdrawal off the anti depressents and may be making symptoms worse. Would like to ask advice as to whether or not to reinstate antidepressents for a while as struggling so badly with suicidal thoughts and of little hope in recovering. 8 months of feeling so ill everyday is such hard work and is like living less than half a life. All hope I had in feeling better has gone, I cant believe I can feel this bad and still continue to try and get on with the days activities. I keep thinking that I should be in a hospital being looked after but of course any doctor would just dose me up, seems appealing today. Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.
  20. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - xyz: valium questions Hi, i am new on here. (english is not my first language so pardon the gramma) i was on various benzo for 9 months and stopped taking them once i read about depency. 10 months later i had a health scare and went onto a panic attack and had severe insomnia (5 days of 0 sleep), and akathisia- i was put on remeron for 10 weeks but it gave me tinnitus so i went into a really bad panic attack and was suicidal. at the hospital, they reinstated me on a low dose of valium (4mg) and put me on lexapro 10mg. my panic attack was so bad and my insomnia so severe that i had to take xanax 0.25mg to calm down with lunesta at night for sleep for 3 months. over several months, i was able able to ditch the xanax and lunesta and reduce my valium down to 2mg and i am still on 10mg of lexapro. i still have severe anxiety and insomnia. i have been holding my dose for 3 months now. i was reading on benzobuddies a thread on long long and that gave me hope that if i hold i can give my CNS time to stabilize. i have good days now but on bad days, i wonder how i can even lower my meds and i keep thinking that i have paradoxical effect on them. a term i kept reading on benzobuddies. will it get better if i hold longer? i also have 2 kids (6 and 2 years old) and i am going through early perimenopause- my panic attack, and insomnia get worse around my periods.
  21. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  22. Had been on Zoloft for 12 years and felt great. Didn’t know anything about tapering off them and just decided to stop one day as I was feeling great with life. A week later I had a very stressful event at work happen and all of a sudden I started having massive panic attacks. Went to my Doctor and told him I thought i was going crazy as I’d never really had a panic attack like these. He said I should get back on the Zoloft and wrote me a couple of scripts for Valium to help. Was only suppose to have the Valium once a day for a week. Never had Valium before and after the first full tablet, slept like a baby and felt good. So I started drinking alcohol heavily every afternoon and then having Valium every night so I could pass out. Did this every night for about a month and started to notice that I needed more Valium to get the same result and sleep right though. Googled why i would need to up the dose and found a lot of articles on the dangers of abusing Benzo’s. Scared me so I stop straight away. About 24hrs later I was having Crippling panic attacks far worse then the initial ones and they were constant for days and days... Didn’t sleep for 10 days straight. Torture.. Ive never really been super depressed in the past just had a bit of anxiety and would lose my temper from it, but since I went cold turkey from the Zoloft then the Valium (forgot to add I stopped Alcohol straight up as well and I’ve been drinking heavily for 20years) I have become super depressed, had very depressing thoughts and just in general **** thoughts all day since I went cold turkey 3months ago. Feeling like **** 24/7 isn’t fun. Been back on Zoloft now at 100mg for roughly 3 months since the break down and still not feeling better. Constantly depressed and even have suicidal thoughts sometimes and struggle everyday at work with just hating life. I now know that abusing the Valium and alcohol was the worst thing I could’ve done, as adding that to the Cold Turkey of Zoloft has just made things a lot worse then they all ready were.
  23. Hey guys! After almost 5 months of feeling like this, I’m glad I found a community that explains what I’m going through. Everybody thought I was going crazy, including myself. Short story about myself: I was always anxious growing up. I had fears, OCD, attachment issues, but all With good reason. I was raised in a household that wasn’t the best. fast forward to me being 15 years old, I smoked weed and had a horrible panic attack which send me down the road of anxiety and agoraphobia. I was prescribed celexa 20mg and stayed on it for about 8-10 years (can’t remember exactly when I started it, I just turned 27). About halfway through I had sexual side effects and was given buspar 5 mg twice a day to help. Everything was going pretty well, until recently. After my first Covid shot I woke up To a panic attack a few days later. I had panic attacks pretty much everyday (minor to medium) and thought I was done. Took the second shot, felt my throat kind of closing up and had pretty bad anxiety. ever since then my life has been hell. I went to the psychiatrist and he recommended I get off celexa and try fluvox. He doubled the buspar, and did a quick taper while giving me fluvox. It was hell and I eventually got off all medications. I have had what a lot of people describe here with mood swings, feeling detached (body and mind don’t work well together?), breathing issues and throat pain, missing my old self and pretty depressed. I saw a psychiatrist who did an QEEG on me and recommended Valium every night. i really didn’t want to do it but I got desperate and have taken 1.25MG at night and it has seemed to help somewhat. anybody have had similar experiences? Looking for advice, hope, or really anything out there.
  24. Hi all, I've just signed up, have been a member of benzo buddies for last few months as I thought my problems were from benzos, but as I'm improving I've realized it's more antidepressants. Long story short I've been on and off Citalopram for past 15 years, each time reached tolerance and came off, only to have what I now know to be withdrawal and reinstated. I can't believe nobody tells you this. Got diagnosed with fibromyalgia (withdrawal), tried Valium, Xanax, ativan, cymbalta, Prozac all stopped CT. Final wammy was stopping Valium for the 3rd time and trying to up my Citalopram which by this point was only 5mg. (I was on 40mg at 1 point a few years ago and couldn't work out why I couldn't take it anymore.) Had to go to the ER, now unable to tolerate any medication as kindled on both benzos and AD. I've found even eating ginger puts me into a wave as it affects serotonin. I've been in hell for 6 months and desperate for anything that may help. Have tried to reinstate twice, but even 0.5mg is too much and takes a month to return to baseline Anyone else as damaged as me, and found any relief?
  25. Hello. Getting started here with an intro as I prepare to start to taper from paroxetine after far too many years stuck on it. Grateful for this site / forum and write this in solidarity with everyone who's been on / going through this kind of journey. 1996/7 first tried fluoxetine and citalopram for depression/anxiety in my teens but stopped very quickly. I don't recall exactly why, though I know one of them gave me a skin rash and I don't think I stayed on either for long enough to notice any benefits. 1999 finally went on paroxetine, I think 20mg at first. Going on was awful (many physical effects such as upset stomach and pretty much everything listed on the leaflet at the time - which I had deliberately not read but ended up reading while bed-ridden) but felt I had no better options at the time, and there's no denying that it helped reduce my anxiety and allowed me to progress with my life. Having said that, I was never keen to stay on and the side effects sucked (skin itching, sexual dysfunction, crazy nightmares, chest pain) but my early withdrawal attempts all crashed and burned. Longest taper over 5 months back in 2005 was scariest experience of my life once I got really low and went from a tiny amount of powder to nothing for 3 days. I had intense crying spells, light/shade effects, dizziness, brain zaps, trouble even speaking, tiredness, stomach upsets, high anxiety and anhedonia. Reinstated after reading a Paxil Progress thread and realising I could end up with protracted withdrawal syndrome otherwise. Had to get on with my life and pretty much resigned to being stuck on it forever. As a 'compromise', have tried to keep the dose as low as possible. For about a year I got by on 5mg every other day, but this was not good: felt like I was barely saving off withdrawal syndrome and my old anxiety returned. Managed on 5mg daily for another few years till the same thing happened. Been on 10mg /day since 2013 but since 2018 I've been noticing numerous signs that I'm now becoming tolerant to this dose: experiencing diminished 'benefit', but more side effects (including new ones such as tinnitus and insane night sweats), plus WD effects starting if I'm ever more than about 8 hours late. Staying on 10mg doesn't seem like a sustainable solution as the tolerance will just get worse over time, so the options seem to be two extremes: stay on this treadmill of ever-increasing doses or try and taper off. Both are terrifying but I know it has to be the latter. If I don't try now while I'm still relatively young and healthy, I'll just be storing up problems for later in life when I'll be less able to cope: the idea of being old and frail, on a max dose that's worn off is just unthinkable. My GP is ok with me tapering now: has said to take as-needs valium (Diazepam) during slow taper but am scared of adding a benzodiazepine to the mix, especially after hearing some of the Mad in America podcasts from World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day. Also very scared that normal life will become impossible so stalling at this point and just reading as much as possible in the hope of preparing myself for success this time, even if it takes years.
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