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  1. Hi friends! I am a 24 year old male. I had been using Venlafaxine XR 225mg capsules for around a year and a half ( July 2017- April 2019). I'd started Venlafaxine for my chronic fatigue which was thought to be depression (it most probably was). Other drugs I used: -Pre Workouts(PW): Mix of Caffeine, PEAs, and a variety of nootropics. I used these almost daily to try to stay awake. They helped me enormously with school and social life; to the point that I got psychologically addicted. -Modafinil(rarely): Best antidepressant I've ever felt in my life when it was combined with the Venlafaxine. Not stimulating like the PWs, just made me feel completely normal. - 4 LSD trips over 1 year In March of this year I had decided that the Venlafaxine had not been having any major positive effects and that I was better off stopping it. Together with my psychiatrist we decided to taper off of it. At the time I didn't know about the importance of proper tapering and neither does my psyhiatrist. Her plan consisted of reducing to 150mg for 2 weeks and then 75mg for another two, after which I went down to 0. I had the classical 1-2 weeks of acute withdrawal with the brain zaps, nausea, depersonalisation, derealisation, extreme depression and anxiety etc. Followed by this I went through about 2 weeks of what I would consider complete normality and I thought I was out of the woods. Following those 2 weeks it got really bad. I got severe parestethias, numbness, extreme fatigue, anxiety, lack of concentration. Over a period of 1 month I failed 3 exams in med school. I was trying to keep myself focused and alert with the PWs and Modafinil but I seemed to be hyper-reactive to them. Sometimes they worked really well but sometimes they gave me this intense head pressure where I could theoretically see but it was more like a brain and "eye" fog. Before the withdrawal, and before every taking Venlafaxine, my tiredness, or low mood, or anxiety could be temporarily fixed by taking PW. I was not getting any of the functional use anymore. Since then, I've been getting waves of this sort of state, with waves of feeling "better", but I haven't felt close to how I used to feel on Venlafaxine since, or even before starting Venlafaxine. In other words I'm doing worse now than before starting the VF. In the worst parts of the wave I can't even take caffeine anymore without getting head pressure and a sense of overstimulation. Before all this it was like I didn't even have a threshold for how high I could go with stimulants without adverse effects, but now I take 1/4-1/8 of what I used to, and even that's risky. I'm not looking for the "rush" again, I'm just trying to be as transparent as possible with how my body reacts. For my last exam in July, I had a 3 week period where I took Wellbutrin IR 150mg so I wouldn't fail again. It seemed to help bring me a bit closer to stability, but again nothing like before. On Jul 5th I quit Wellbutrin cold turkey. As far as I can tell I've had no withdrawal symptoms at all. Nowadays I try maintaining stability by Meditating, taking Mg Glycinate( 400 - 800 mg ) and Fish Oil. I've also had another 2 LSD trips and one Mushroom trip. All of these have helped me with accepting my symptoms and powering through the day. I'm still taking low doses of PW to get any sort of semblance of energy and focus through the day. However, I'd ideally like to reinstate VF so I can taper properly and be stable. These symptoms are very disruptive and I'd love to go back to any semblance of my old stable self. Would it still make sense for me to try reinstating something like 37.5mg or 75mg Venlafaxine now and starting tapering? Is my only other option waiting it out? Sorry for the long block of text. Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Hi there, I have been reading quite a few topics on this website, and would like to see if anyone has suggestions for my situation. I was put on effexor and wellbutrin over 5 years ago. I am not exactly sure of the exact time length I have been on it, and what doses I have tried, but the past few years I have been on 150mg of effexor and 150 mg of wellbutrin. My dr and I decided I can come off the effexor on a tapered schedule. Basically I was tapered from 150 to 75 to 37.5 to nothing in just over a month or there abouts. I didnt keep a track of the dates, which I probably should have. The tapering was ok, I didnt really notice anything happening. Then when I went from 37.5 to nothing, it really hit me. I had all the discussed symptoms and was a mess. I think July 25 was my last day on effexor. In August I think I had two or three good days, and I use the term good loosely here. September I had about 10 good days, October, is only at 8 good days so far. These day are not all in a row, they are very sporadic. I recently started a new job, but it only goes for another month. That has me really stressed out, as I have no savings to fall back on and no job lined up yet. My job I am currently at is good though, it has me outside in the forest, getting lots of exercise and lots of fresh air. Since about October 11, I have been having these crazy crying fits. I just cry, and cry. When I am not crying, I feel ok, but then I start crying hours later. I did go to the walk in clinic, as I cannot get into see my fam dr with my work schedule, and the dr at the walk in suggested I try doubling my wellbutrin either every day, or I could double it up every second day. He said this will still take a month before I start feeling any better, if I do. This morning, out of desperation, I took a second pill and I will continue with this, unless someone has another suggestion... Does anyone have any experience with this? When I have a good day, I still have a tightness in my chest, and I know I am so close to tears, but I am able to ward them off. I find I have to keep myself super busy to not cry, or think, as htinking leads to tears. Today is another rough day, lots of crying already. I do not want to go back on effexor, as my mind has never felt so crisp and clear. I feel unfogged and alert, I do not remember ever feeling like this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  3. Hey all, 36 year old here – trying to sort out withdrawal effects, med side effects and potential underlying medical issues. Current meds: Bupropion (Wellbutrin) IR – 75mg w/breakfast, 37.5 w/ lunch, 37.5 with dinner (150 mg total) Amphetamine salts (Adderall) – 2.5 mg morning, 2.5 mg afternoon (5 mg total) Caffeine – 100 mg late morning Loratadine (Claritin) – 10 mg w/ breakfast Cefuroxime (antibiotic) – 250 mg morning, 250 mg evening Doxylamine Succinate (OTC sleep aid) – 17.5 mg before bed Current / past health issues: Depression – on and off since about 2000, started Bupropion in 2009 Anxiety – has always been low level, much worse since WD started IBS – dx around 2000 Chronic bladder inflammation (interstitial cystitis) – dx in 2010 Prostatitis – sort of chronic, reason for current antibiotics WD history, short version: Started Bupropion (SR) about 10 years ago. 2018 tapered 50 mg at a time from 300 down to 150. 2/2019 tried to taper from 150 to 100 and stopped due to withdrawal effects. Effects returned 4/2019 despite no dose change. Ended up switching from 150 SR to 150 IR on April 26th, and made large cut to my Adderall and Caffeine doses April 29th. Still recovering from symptoms and trying to stabilize fully. WD history, long version: In 2018, I started tapering the Bupropion down 50 mg at a time (at the advice of my doctor) starting at 300 mg. At the time I was taking the SR formulation. Sept/Oct 2018 - I taped from 200 mg to 150 mg around and got fairly sick for a week in October. Upset stomach, fever, flu-like symptoms. At the time I thought it was just a stomach bug, but after having similar symptoms during WD I’ve been wondering if it was WD. Feb 2019 - Tried to taper from 150 mg to 100 mg and experienced severe dizziness, nausea, fever/chills and sinus symptoms. I went back up to 150 mg after 5 days and felt better within a day or two . April 14th - Picked up my Rx refill, and on April 15th I started to feel lightheaded, dizzy and tired. I got worse over the next few days with headache, congestion, fever/chills, nausea and chest pain. I went to an emergency dentist on 4/21 thinking it might be an abscessed tooth (they said tooth looked fine) and went to urgent care due to pain while urinating. Urine culture was normal, and I tested negative for flu. I went to my PCP on 4/23 with very bad shakes in addition to the other symptoms. At this point, I started wondering if my new refill had somehow been a “bad batch” of the generic meds, so I got an Rx for the same meds from a different manufacturer. I tried that for two days with no improvement. 4/26, I switched from Bupropion SR (taken once a day at this point) to Bupropion IR (taken 3 times a day). The total dose didn’t change. Also had blood work done (CBC w/ diff, comp metabolic panel) – results normal. 4/29, following a morning with very rapid heartbeat, I cut my ADD meds (generic Adderall) from 15 mg to 5 mg. I also cut my daily caffeine from 200 mg to 100 mg. I’d reduced both the ADD meds and the caffeine in the past without any apparent ill effects, so I didn’t think it would have any effect this time around. 5/6 – 5/13 - Symptoms mainly resolved, except for some GI issues. 5/14 I had a rash, fever and shaking. Bad anxiety due to symptoms – went to Urgent Care b/c of rash. Over the next week I also started getting nauseous. 5/22 – Had blood work done again - (CBC w/ diff, comp metabolic panel plus ESR-Wes+CRP to check for inflammation). Also had Urine Analysis. All results normal. 5/29 – 6/6 again felt mostly better save for some lasting GI issues including mild belly pain. 6/6 had fever, chills, fatigue, added dizziness and shakiness over the next few days Most of June: occasional dizziness and stomach pains. 6/17 - Tried to taper from 150 to 131. Reinstated after a few days dizziness and nausea. Early July: Feverish, pains in stomach and chest. Occasional tightness in chest and heart palpitations. Lots of anxiety about symptoms. Started antibiotic July 17th. Current (past few days): some pain in stomach and chest, more frequent heart palpitations. Stomach a bit upset (probably due to antibiotics). I’m seeing a therapist every other week, mostly about anxiety. I’d been planning (hoping) to try tapering the Bupropion again this coming week because I have a few weeks off work, but I’ve having second thoughts since I just started the antibiotic. Also wondering if it would be better to taper the caffeine first, since I should be able to get off that more easily. Glad I found this site, very good to know I’m not the only one 😊
  4. Hello, I ve been attempting to discontinue ssri's for quite some time with mixed results. Currently reduced my celaxa from 2.6 to 2.4. My brain isnt really liking it. Judging from past experience its not that severe. But severe is relative. It doesnt really feel good and can be quite frightening at times, increased depression, apathy and a little/lot of fear. I expected it to be a little easier judging from my last cut in Oct. 2013. Its frustrating that such a small reduction can have such a pronounced effect. My current meds are listed in my sig. Hopefully, with some help I ll be able to be med free one of these days. I already know its a long process. Me...
  5. Want2Want2

    Want2Want2: hello

    Hi yall, So much to say, but little time now. Will be back w/more info soon. Glad to be here. Currently struggling with ongoing apathy, indifference, just-not-caring, from initial (and fairly immediate) introduction of Zoloft in 2013. It has persisted since then whether on or off medication, although it IS dose dependent w/Prozac. Reading this forum has been instrumental in my previous tapering but only now have I created an account. So thanks to all, especially Altostrata. I know there are much more difficult symptoms, as I've had many of them in the past, but this indifference seems to have completely (permanently?) changed my personality. Preparing to discontinue current doses of 10mg Prozac and 150mg Wellbutrin, beginning in April.
  6. Hello, I really appreciate seeing everyone's stories and strategies, and it helps to know that I'm not alone. I am in my late 20s and have been on and off many meds since a hospitalization for depression in 2005. By fall of 2016, when I started the “taper”, I was on 4 medications: Cipralex 20mg, Adderall 30-40 mg, Abilify 2mg and Wellbutrin SR 200 mg. The first 3, I think I was taking for around 2 years after numerous failed treatments including various meds and rTMS; however, I have been taking the Wellbutrin for 12 years. On that regimen of 4, from something like 2014-2016, my mood was generally in-check but my life was beginning to fall apart. I graduated and got a full time job in the summer of 2016, but I was having horrible energy crashes randomly during the day. Sometimes I couldn't keep my eyes open or stay seated. I struggled socially. My memory and attention were affected, and I would cry randomly. I had trouble believing it could be from the meds because they were supposed to do the opposite. In Sept 2016, I was off work and on disability. It was an incredibly confusing situation, and everyone, including myself, blamed my brain. Soon after that I began having a gradual and profound shift in perspective as I realised that meds may have been more of a problem for me than a solution. At some point in the fall of 2016, I started my withdrawal journey. First, I stopped the Cipralex over a few weeks, and became incredibly anxious. It was really horrible; I would get spells of pacing and yelling at myself. I couldn't meditate or do anything to calm down anymore. After a few months of that, I then tapered the adderall over around a month. At that point, I became really exhausted, was getting frequent (but not ER level) suicidal thoughts, and had trouble doing anything. I eventually got accepted for a volunteer job to which I had previously applied, and reinstated half of the adderall to function. However, I was scared that the tolerance crashes might come back, so my doc switched me to Vyvanse 20-30 mg. It was smoother but I was still concerned that it was not a long-term solution. I finished the volunteer job, then I read about things that other people had tried and decided to do some lifestyle changes. I stopped sugar and gluten and got outside a lot. Then I tapered both the vyvanse and the abilify at the same time over around 2 months. It was not as bad this time, and after a few more months off of them, I was mostly able to concentrate and wasn't getting very many dark thoughts. My emotional depth and variety, as well as cognition, were even beginning to improve. Once I could sort of focus again, I decided to try the paleo/keto diet and taper the wellbutrin. The problem with wellbutrin is that I have unsuccessfully tried to stop it numerous times over the past decade by following the traditional taper advice. Each time ended with me falling into an awful depression a few weeks later, and eventually back onto the med. I had been convinced that this was evidence of a chronic underlying depression, but now reading other people's stories, I'm going to be optimistic and assume that it was delayed withdrawal. So, I felt a little better on the paleo diet and dropped the WB dose from 200 mg to 100 mg on Oct 25, 2017 (right before I found this forum). I then became very sluggish with low motivation, but after a few weeks I was able to get out of bed in the morning again and do a few things. It's been 5 weeks now and no terrible-delayed-withdrawal-depression yet. I'm mostly just tired with trouble getting started on tasks. I asked for an extension on my leave from work to finish sorting this out. Surprisingly though, my difficulty connecting with people and obsessive thinking are improving in intermittently - I'm not sure yet if that's from going off the meds or from the changes in diet, but I greatly welcome it. By reading other people's success stories here, I learned that my best chance at becoming free from the Wellbutrin is to do the rest of my taper extremely slowly. I have an appointment with my doc next week to make a plan. This doc is good so it should go okay. I would be interested to hear anything from you!
  7. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  8. scarletknight3

    scarletknight3: 20 plus years

    Hello. I have been a prescribed patient on Lorazepam, Wellbutrin & Cymbalta for the better part of 20 years. Lorazepam 4 mg Wellbutrin 150 mg XL Cymbalta 60 mg I was diagnosed in 1996 with depression and generalized anxiety. I believe graduating from college and all the stressors of new jobs etc. caused a situational anxiety for me. Early morning wakenings, dread, muscle tightness in chest, etc. I have only experienced withdrawal, or interdose withdrawal when accidentally running out of mail orderpharmacy scrips. Akathasia, denationalization tremors, and on. In approximately 2015 I had started to increase my evening dose by 2 or 3 pills for a couple of months, thinking it would help me sleep better, as getting to sleep is EXTREMELY difficult for me. It has led to nighttime eating and probably 30-40 pounds. After downdosing back to my regular amount I began to feel parasthesia and burning and tingling in my right ear which has been pretty much daily but intermittent and differing in how strong. My Dr. says it is an affect of the screwing around with doses and may last for a long time (which it has already). That, and I am probably at tolerance as well. Add in some severe hypochondria as well, but this may be an effect of hitting a milestone age, and losing some firneds and my father, although Ive heard hypochondria is a symptom of the med and withdrawal obviously. After discussing tapering with my Dr. off of the benzo, she seems to think that since I am functioning at a high level at work and with family, that maybe I should continue on them and taper at a time in my life where raising a family and holding down my job aren't my daily functions, like later when the kids are grown (I have a teenager and soon to be teen) and a wife. Besides my parashtesia, I am wondering what next steps I should take.
  9. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  10. I'm a 27 year old female and I was prescribed to Wellbutrin a year and a half ago. I had never taken any type of psychiatric medication previous to this, and was prescribed to Wellbutrin by a physician that insisted it would help with the depressive symptoms that I was experiencing due to a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). My primary disorder at the time was GAD, and the only reason that I was experiencing depressive symptoms, is because of the change in my demeanor since becoming constantly worried about the possibility of having an anxiety attack in any social situation. The first time that I went to see a general practitioner about my general anxiety disorder, she immediately wrote me a prescription for Prozac, I took the medication a grand total of three days before having a pretty bad car accident while driving my brother to school. I went back to the doctor and she decided that it would be better if I tried going the antidepressant route. At the time I started Wellbutrin I was in my first semester of graduate school and the effects of Wellbutrin were welcome. I was able to concentrate better than ever before, and was getting all A's in school. It went this way for a little over a year, until 3 months ago when I started seeing a return of my panic attacks. I went back to the doctor and she told me that it sounded like I was building up a resistance to the dosage of medication that I was taking. I was taking a once daily immediate release dosage of 75 mg of Wellbutrin at the time and she decided it would be a good idea to up my dosage to 100 mg of sustained release in order to get me back to a base line. I went home with the medication and thought about what the up dosage meant. I had a lot to consider... I didn't want to be dependent on the medication for the rest of my life. Especially since I was taking an antidepressant medication when I didn't even actually have depression. That day I decided that I was going to quit the medication altogether.. without my doctor’s consent… I had NO IDEA how bad of an idea that would turn out to be. Fast forward to a week and a half after trying to quit wellbutrin cold turkey and I was a COMPLETE DISASTER. I was experiencing suicidal ideation (the first time I’d ever had ANY thoughts like this), MAJOR anhedonia, memory issues and extreme fatigue. I went back to my doctor to get help, because I was scared of what I was going to do. Long story short, she ended up putting me on the Wellbutrin SR 100 mg anyways so that I could level out before I started my taper process. I took the 100 mg SR every day for about 2 weeks and was having some really uncomfortable side effects. So I decided it was time for me to start weening myself off of it. I took the 100 mg SR every other day for two weeks and then every two days for another two weeks, so all in all I tapered off of the medication over a month. I know now that this was WAY too fast, but it’s too late for me to try to go back on it for a slower taper. I’m just wondering if anyone else has a similar story to mine, that can tell me what kind of recovery timeline I’m looking at. I’m experiencing some pretty sever anhedonia and memory/concentration issues that present themselves in waves.
  11. Topic title: Welbutrin use for 10 years have done with tapering but awful things happening almost 2 months still My daughter has been in and out of er spent a week in the mental ward. Since getting off these meds we are at a dead end she is a awful mess. She was put on buspar 2 weeks ago to help cope , any insight any help would be so welcome at this point.
  12. Wow! First of all I would like to say how relieved I was to have found this forum. For the years I've been struggling with this I have gotten so tired of other people (including doctors and therapists!) telling me that what I've experienced isn't possible and that I'm either making it all up or still sick. Everything started in my junior year of college. I had struggled with varying levels of depression and anxiety for most of my life, even resorting to SI when I was younger, but had finally hit a point where I thought that I needed some professional help. Looking back, I'm sure that the sudden drop was situational as much as anything. Most of my friends had moved away or graduated, my family was going through some money trouble, and I was working more hours to be able to be more self-sufficient. I started to become more withdrawn and my academics started to drop. I was an A and B student so this was very stressful to me. Thinking I was being proactive and doing the right thing, I went to my school's counseling center who then referred me to the campus clinic. The psychiatric nurse practitioner prescribed Prozac (20mg). About two weeks later I was hit with the worse anxiety I had ever had. I barely left my house unless I had to for class or work, would start shaking at random times, and had near constant chest pain. I tried to wait it out but eventually gave up and went back. She switched me to lexapro(20mg). This seemed to do the trick so I stayed on it though the end of the semester and over the summer. Unfortunately, when I started back up at school I started to struggle again. I'd tried to make positive changes in my life: made some new friends, got in contact with old ones, and started trying to date. Then, as it happens all too often in college, the guy I was seeing got me drunk and took advantage. This led to me having a bit of a breakdown and my friends urged me to go to the hospital. While there they switched me to zoloft(50mg), remeron(15mg), and lorazapam(2mg as needed). This is where things start to get really wonky. At first I thought it was helping but about a month after I got out of the hospital I started having these intense intrusive self-harm thoughts. Violent and strong enough to scare me. I had a medication review and those three were dropped and I was put on WellbutrinXL(150mg). Again things were better for a little while but about a month later started to go south. The intrusive thoughts were back and I had started to feel very unlike myself. Impulsive and disconnected. I later learned that this was probably a kind of dissociation. One night all of the stress and darkness got to me and I impulsively decided to chase the rest of my pills with half a bottle of vodka. It was strange because I wasn't trying to kill myself, the mindset was more: "I wonder what this will do. It can't be worse that what I'm already feeling." It didn't feel real, like it was happening to someone else. That put me back in the hospital where I then dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. I had to be on a wait list but eventually I started seeing a new psychiatrist who decided to diagnose me with Bipolar based on the impulsiveness and out of character behavior I had while taking Wellbutrin. She called it agitated depression or mixed mania. At the time I believed her. I was scared, desperate, and seriously doubting my sanity, and I felt like I couldn't trust myself. She started out by prescribing me Abilify(15mg) and Effexor (75mg). This was my second nightmare. A few days later I started having akathisia and had similar feelings of impulsiveness and feeling out of control. When I told my doctor she urged me to wait it out which led to me relapsing into SI for the first time in over 6 years to cope. That combination was obviously stopped and I had the most physical withdrawal symptoms that I had so far. I couldn't leave my bed for two days I was so nauseous and dizzy. I feel like I should point out at this point that I was on most of these medications for max of a few months and didn't taper at all. Cold turkey then right on to another. Next on the list was Latuda(40mg - 60mg). My insurance ended up not really covering that one so what I ended up on as my final medication was Lithium. This was a blessing in a way because it didn't really do anything, which turns out, is what I needed. At one point I was up to 1600mg a day to control my "symptoms" which I'm now convinced was almost entirely side effects mixed with withdrawal. That dose completely destroyed my short term memory. After finally stabilizing, I had gone back to school and this was making classwork almost impossible, so after much debating the dosage was stepped down to 800mg. Finally, in the summer of 2017, I took a summer job working at a research station in the forest. After a lot of solo time hiking in nature I had an epiphany. This was the best I had felt in years and that all of my serious problems started after I sought "help." When I got back to see my doctor I told her my plan to stop taking medication. She was extremely judgemental and basically told me I'd be back when I had a relapse and just told me to tapper off with the what I had left (about a weeks worth). I'm very happy to say that she was wrong. All I've done since then is get better. I still struggle with some depression and anxiety but if that is the trade off I will gladly live with that. After a year and a half of being free of psychiatric drugs I'm surprised at the difference. On medication I was dissociating, having panic attacks, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. I felt like a complete basket case. It's terrifying to me how easy it is to get stuck in a downward spiral like that. Not ONE of the doctors or therapists that I'd seen even considered that the medication could be what was causing me to get worse and worse. They just saw worsening "symptoms" that they had to "get ahead of" and I believed it too. Now, even that the worst is over, the experience still haunts me. I feel so guilty about the way that I behaved and I have no idea how much was my fault versus the medication. I know that it was a factor but I remember making the decisions to hurt myself and destroy my life and I'm not really sure how to live with that. I have nightmares where I'm back in the worst of it feeling like I'm slowly losing my mind and I have permanent scars from the SI. I saw a new primary care doctor recently and the first thing she tried to do was get me back on mood stabilizers after seeing "bipolar" on my chart. I don't know how to get that removed or if I even can. The only people who believe me are my friends and family who saw me go from a somewhat stressed young adult to nonfunctional almost overnight. I know that this hasn't ruined my life... but it certainly feels like it sometimes. I'm sorry that anyone else had to go through this hell but I'm so, so glad that I'm not alone in this. Even now I'm not sure that I'm completely recovered. I guess time will tell.
  13. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  14. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  15. 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.
  16. I have been taking Wellbutrin XL 150mg along with 50mg of Ultram/Tramdol for the past six years after surviving a ruptured cerebral aneurysm with no issues but had a recent supplement interaction that landed me in the ER. I was terrified to take anything after that interaction and my doctor indicated that I would have no problem quitting both medications cold turkey (Wellbutrin and Ultram). Note I mention the Tramadol because of the serotonin and norepinephrine affects. I also have a prescription for .25mg of Xanax but literally only used half a pill a few times a year. First week of withdrawal was ok...second week/third week was terrible. No appetite, extreme anxiety coupled with several panic attacks, extreme body aches, numbness/tingling sensations on right side, headaches, feeling out of body, basically every possible withdrawal symptom. I felt good the 25th day and thought I was moving past the worst issues. Then out of the blue I had the worst panic attack of my life. I thought I was dying for sure since my pulse was so high and half a tab of .25 Xanax did not lower my heart rate/pulse. My blood pressure increased again and I was taken to the ER via an ambulance. Shocking diagnosis...panic attack. I started taking my Wellbutrin XL 150mg again the day after the panic attack and the side effects have been a nightmare. I have been on the medication for the past four days. No appetite, nauseous, EAR RINGING, waves of panic with increased heart rate, headaches, tingling sensations thru body, and insomnia. The past two nights I have taken .25mg Xanax because my panic waves are more intense at night and have no relief. Talked with my doctor today and she said to continue with the Wellbutrin XL 150 since I had no problems in the past and up my Xanax to .50mg. This does not seem like a great idea based on the ringing in my ears and other issues. I have read thru several posts but am getting confused. Should I try to taper at this point or just stop again cold turkey since I made it three weeks? Along with the Wellbutrin XL 150 mg....I have a prescription filled for Wellbutrin IR 75mg and Wellbutrin SL 100mg since I pushed my doctor for a taper option. Note she did not seem confident in the tapering method. I have not taken any medicine today because I am scared. Any help would be most appreciated.
  17. Frankgrimes

    Frankgrimes: Paxil withdrawal and reinstatment

    For the past 16 years, I had been on a super random combination - 10mg lexapro and 150 Wellbutrin xl in the morning, 2.5 paxil and 25 Zoloft at night. For OCD and depression. I started getting breakthrough depression and my Dr. thought the Paxil was doing more harm than good and we should get me off that and increase the Zoloft. So we did - from 2.5 paxil to 1.25 and 25 zoloft to 50 zoloft. That night I had the most intense sex and it was unreal. Like I had never felt before. Then I fell asleep and woke up early and with energy. My pupils were huge though - I was high and I felt sexually like a 16 year old. I told my doc and a day or two later we dropped the Zoloft down to 37.5. What a productive week of work and gym and dating. The next week I couldn’t tolerate the increased Zoloft so we went down to 25 zoloft and he said sure go off the Paxil. So I went from 2.5 paxil to 1.25 to 0 in 2 weeks. And 25 to 50 to 37.5 to 25 zoloft in 2 weeks. This all happened between February 18 and March 4. On I believe Wednesday the 6th I called the dr. crying and he said to take 1.25 paxil cuz I was in withdrawal. Eventually I went back to 2.5 but the hell was done. I didn’t sleep. I would wake up screaming. I paced for hours straight. Advil PM every night. I went to a urologist and he gave me Levaquin and naproxen and said I had a prostate infection. I didn’t eat the next 10 days. I started having pains. My left left foot went numb. I had pins and needles. My left hand was numb. Pushups hurt my left elbow. Could the Levaquin have caused my pains? Was it the withdrawal? I don’t know. I think it was the withdrawal because now it comes and goes. I had electric shocks. Acupuncture was brutal - so much electricity. Paxil withdrawal - I need hope!! During this, one time after sex i felt an electric volt up and down my entire left side - the worst pain I have ever felt. My left hand was numb. My left foot was numb (my left leg still hurts). I thought I was floxed from the Levaquin. It’s still possible - everything hurt - joints, trigger points. But can be from the withdrawal. At one point my new doc tried to add deplin. It got me high. And then deplin with 12.5 zoloft. 5 days later horrible crying and pain on my left side and withdrawals. I had the chills again. Like the flu. That went away when I restarted the Zoloft. Now 3 months later - I am feeling withdrawal again (or startup effects). I have switched brands of generics thinking maybe that was the issue that caused the depression and I switched from generic lexapro to brand name. Since then I’ve been sweating profusely - first night i was waking up with the sweats. Now I’ll just start sweating like crazy anywhere. I don’t sleep and I can’t sit still. I have a new doc who wants me to take l-methylfolate and lamictal. He wants me off the SSRIs. ’m scared. I can’t take this much more. My doc said I’ll get better. He said I’m not on what I should be on based on my genetics. But I feel it’s too late to change now that I went through and felt withdrawal. Surprisingly I feel pretty good every day from 6 pm - 10 pm. But then sleep happens. Whenever I think about the stress and permanent damage my leg hurts. Please give me hope!!
  18. Lollypops

    Lollypops

    Hi, I was on cymbalta for 7 years and previous to that I was taking Effexor for 3 years. It was very hard to withdrawal from Effexor (at 21 years old), it 6 took months of rest and klonipin to stop panic attack, brain zaps, irritability, anxiety, agoraphobia, anger, abnormal sensation in my body, dizziness, nausea.. the list goes on. I don’t remember the exact dose I was on because it was so long ago but my new psychiatrist at the time mentioned it was too high for someone with my body weight and severity of depression. The doctor said I needed to establish my routine and force myself to follow through with getting through work each day while I withdrew. Needless to say, I got passed the withdrawal but by far that was the worst I ever felt in my life. I was 29 when I came off of cymbalta( 90mg), it only took 2 months to withdrawal. I had severe mood swings and excessive hunger... I did not have any sensation issues or brain zaps. I was taking a prenatal vitamin because my husband and I were planning to have another baby (one baby came out being twins btw) I think that what made it easier to withdrawal from cymbalta was the vitamins I was on. I still remember 2 days after being off cymbalta, I was having really bad temper problems! I also suffered from memory issues and slight paranoia but it was fairly quick to get rid of those symptoms. I don’t think I mentioned this already but I suffer from major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia, and really terrible panic and anxiety disorder. I was able to successfully withdrawal from the cymbalta and Effexor with routine, vitamins, plenty of rest, and a lot of encouragement from family. I am now 35 and have been on Prozac for about 5 years. About 3 weeks ago, my psychiatrist took me off of the Prozac (60mg) cold turkey and put me on Wellbutrin. I have to say, I was feeling really good until about a week ago when I started experiencing the brain zaps, dizziness, sleepiness, frequent body pain, headaches, and vertigo. Today I started having irritability issues and feel like I am going to snap at anyone who talks to me in any sort of way that I feel is aggressive, almost like someone else is taking over!! I really hope that I am successful getting off of prozac because I almost feel like I could go off the deep end when I start to feel the irritability coming on. Personally, I think cold turkey is the wrong move for me coming off Prozac.
  19. hello i was on prozac for 6.5 years with addition of effexor, welbutrin and geodon for breif times. i am 2.5 years off and still in withdrawal. i was prescribed the meds for physical illness after getting epstein bar virus. the prozac, effexor and welbutrin were used for stimulant effects. the geodon was used to combat the side effects of the other meds.( like taking a downer to take edge oof of the uppers).i did not have mental illness before this i now dont know how much of the way i feel is from epsten bar virus? or if i recovered from the virus? is what i am feeling from med withdrawals. the only thing i do know is i have extreme anxiety, insomnia and akathesia now and i NEVER had this problem before the meds. i just dont know how much of my flu like symptoms/ feeling like i have a hang over is from the med withdrawal? anyone with expierence please let me know? i also get a lot of joint cracking and popping sounds. anyone else get this? does anyone feel flu like symptoms get worse after exercise. thanks for any info
  20. I have had huge health problems starting at age 17 when got Lyme disease and also fell with an 85-lb backpack on which resulted in lifelong pain due to post-traumatic dystonia. I first tried antidepressants while in medical school and immediately flunked my classes because of the memory problems due to the anticholinergic action if the old style antidepressants. I forget what I was on.sonethung similar to amitryptaline. Many yests later i was stsryed on a serotonertic antidepressant. I stayed on it for at least 20 years. Then I read Peter Bteggin’s book “Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry”. i realized that the amotivational syndrome he described was what I had. I tapered off my drugzand woke up. I can barely describe tge horror of realizing that you have missed half your life and that it is too late. For anything. i am still on Wellbutrin. That drugs was a miracle for me when I started it. So I don’t know whether I should taper off of it or not. I am also on opiates and have been for 20 years. I am not sure if they are preventing me from fully living as well. As part if my history there was also a month of resperidol which resulted in sevete lifelong akathisia. . Which is why I am on opiates. So my main questions are regarding Wellbutrin and opiates. Do they cause horrible problems like the serotonergic antidepressants?
  21. Hi everyone, I am new and super happy to be here. I have been on Prozac 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300 for twenty five years. I have tried to get off a few times but was not successful. I started to taper in Jan and was down to half doses on May first. The withdraw, specifically anger and self hate became too intense and I went back to old doses two weeks ago. Now I feel like crap. Side effects are harsh and benefit little. I feel like I have let an angry tiger out of the cage and can't get it back in. I am thinking of going back to the half doses and just dealing with the emotional stuff by working out. I started yoga in Jan but maybe harder cardio is the way to get the anger out. Problem is that I am also very tired. I work and come home and go to bed. I journal, go to AA meetings been sober over 15 years. I feel like I am a mess. I am wondering about some of the natural antidepressants like SamE or 5HTP? I just feel like my brain is raw and hurts. Any ideas on how to supplement and sooth my brain? thanks, and I also will stop the taper and work with my doctor but can't see him for another month so that is why I am thinking of going back to the Prozac 10 and Wellbutrin 150 that I have been taking for the past couple of months.
  22. I came across this forum in the recent New Yorker article and I’m excited to connect with others going through similar experiences. I’ve been dealing with this in isolation for far too long. JAN 2019 Over the years, I’ve been put on an increasingly complex regime - see signature. At the start of the year as I understand it, the mainstays were Wellbutrin + Pristiq, augmented by Latuda. Plus Adderall to combat daytime lethargy. I wasn’t satisfied: 1) I don’t like being on so many meds. I felt a personal stigma, plus I’m scientifically trained. Surely this was too many variables in terms of optimizing further. 2) I was still suffering from evening lethargy, basically crashing out around 8-9pm which was impacting my relationship and family. 5mg Adderall and a coffee at 7pm, and I could still pass out an hour later. WHERE I AM NOW: STREAMLINING MY REGIME This year, I’m working to simplify the regime with my psych. Immediate goals - taper Pristiq, stop Latuda. 2019 goal - reduce to two or three meds. To taper the Pristiq, we added 10mg Prozac. We also added Abilify to replace the Latuda, which I hope to discontinue soon. So I went from 4 meds to 6, hoping this makes sense. The Pristiq tapering has been a real journey - The hardest phase was when I was taking 50mg every 2 days, then every 3 days. - Thanks to this forum, I read that that was a bad idea (the rollercoaster certainly felt like one), and we switched to 25mg daily. Thats where I am now. - The switch from 50 mg every 3 days -> 25mg daily surprised me by being the hardest transition in terms of depressive symptoms. This was combined with a foot injury which meant I couldn’t exercise much. When it rains, it pours! Would love to hear your thoughts on any of the above. Stay strong.
  23. I recently got pregnant and went from 10mg paxil to 5mg in one week and then completely stopped. I then had a miscarriage (about 2 months ago) and am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Would it be safe to go back on a low dose of paxil and try to taper off properly, or is it too late? I am miserable! Thanks in advance. Update as of March 29, 2017: Link to post below
  24. Hey everyone, I’m 27 years old and have had a really hard time since having an adverse reaction to several drugs last year. I started 300 mg Wellbutrin SR in October 2016 and stopped in December 2016 since I was going home for winter break for grad school. I had some chest pain for that month, but other than that, I was fine and I resumed in January 2017. Still finding it incredibly hard to concentrate, I went home to my primary care doc and he prescribed me Adderall (forgot the dosage, but was relatively low). I took Adderall for about 9 days in March 2017 until I found it wasn’t working so I stopped until I could see my primary care doctor again. I went home again in April 2017 to see my doctor again and he then gave me Ritalin. I took Ritalin for about a week until I started having serious sucidal thoughts, so my doctor advised me to stop it. I was then drug-free for about 6 weeks until I took Wellbutrin again in June, but this time it was a different formulation (2 150 mg pills instead of 1 300 mg pill, and I believe it changed from SR to XL). I became really nervous being outside, which wasn’t uncommon for me since I hate the summer heat and the bugs that come with it. But it gave me such intense anxiety that I couldn’t even walk outside for most of the week and was sent into a panic when I had to go outside. The following week is when disaster struck. Previously my doctor had suggested to take both Adderall/Ritalin and Wellbutrin at the same time, since he didn’t want to change more than one variable at the same time. But my provider at school said it would be fine to just take the stimulants prescribed so I went with the school provider since he had been overseeing my psych med care anyways. The morning before I took all 3 meds together, I had the worst back/neck pain I’d ever had and attributed it to falling off my pillow. I later took Wellbutrin, Adderall, and Hydrochlorothiazide (for high blood pressure) together and a few hours later, my hands and feet became numb. Just thinking it was a temporary side-effect, I took the same drugs the next day, where the numbness and tingling got worse and after speaking with a pharmacist, decided to go the ER. At the ER, they didn’t think it was really anything serious and told me to just stop taking the medications and that the effects would stop in a few days. Except that they didn’t. Over the next 6-7 weeks, from mid-June to early August 2017, I had numbness, tingling, internal shakes, tremors, eye problems like floaters, and was so uncoordinated that I continued bumping into and dropping things. I had to go to the ER 3 more times within that same period, and each time the doctors didn’t do anything. At about 6 weeks, I started to clear up and eventually all my symptoms disappeared in time for school to start. But that would also be short-lived. During the first week of September, I got sick again, thinking it was a cold and was put on allergy medication, which I took for two days and all the symptoms from the summer returned, and I eventually got so sick that I had diarrhea and felt like I was going to faint, so I was placed on propranolol until I stopped CT in January. From September to October 2017, I had all the symptoms from before, plus sleeping issues, rashes, and soreness. I was so sick that I left school for this period of time and went home to see countless doctors, none of whom believed it was medication-related. At home, I developed hypnic jerks that woke me from my sleep as well. In October 2017, right before I returned to school, I started getting muscle twitching and burning, which has honestly been the most concerning symptom in this whole thing. The twitching persisted for about a month, then stopped in November. But then it came back again in mid-December 2017 and got progressively worse until the end of March 2018. When it started again in December, an ER doctor put me on Ativan for a few days and then I was put on Zoloft which I took for about a month until the end of January 2018. The twitching reached its peak and then stopped completely by the end of March 2018. It then came back in May 2018 but instead of having its more predictable pattern, it has been more severe some days and much less severe on other days. I’ve also started to get some of the symptoms I thought I was over back again, like the numbness when I wake up or the eye problems like seeing sparkles of light, eye floaters, and eye twitching. I’m just so worried about this twitching thing because it makes it so hard to sit down, meaning I won’t be able to continue pursuing my dreams. I also thought it’d be gone by now since I’ve had periods where this has completely disappeared. What can I do to treat this?
  25. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
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