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  1. Hi- I am new here and have been on SSRI's since around 1990! Diagnosed with unipolar depression. Diagnosis Depression: Prozac from 1990-1999, Prozac stopped working, then various SSRI's through 2001, several hospitalizations and ECT. Older tricyclics and depakote 2001-2003; Effexor, Cymbalta, Zoloft, Zyprexa, Luvox and others the past 20 years, another few hospitalizations, then back to Prozac, Wellbutrin and Zyprexa, not working very well. Recently was self-medicating with kratom, low doses but quit Aug. 2020. I don't want to be addicted to anything. Never tried to get off these meds, but now (soon) is the time. I fear their long-term damage and am not benefitting from them. I've developed a swallowing disorder the dysphagia specialist suggests (cannot be proven) could be the result of long-term use of psych meds causing neurological damage. I'm 62 and I want to get back to a more functioning self. I exercise daily and have begun meditating, diet and physical fitness are good. I am here to learn from others about tapering and other ways to manage depression besides meds. I am scared to get off the meds, scared I will always be depressed. It's hard to be optimistic and hopeful. Also, how do I get my meds history as part of my signature/profile? Thanks! Rich in Ga.
  2. Hi everyone, I'm so glad to have found this community. My drug history should be in my signature, but in short I've been on antidepressants and other drugs to augment them from the age of 18 to today, when I'm 32. I'm down to just Zyban 150mg twice daily now, which I'm very proud of as coming off Duloxetine was awful. I'd like to come off the Zyban as I'm feeling well and I have been for about eight years now, but I'm very scared of what drug-free life might be like. In the past psychiatrists have told me that because I didn't find most drugs helpful I have "treatment resistant depression" and if I try to come off the drugs, find it difficult and then go back on them, they may no longer work for me. I know from a recent report released by Public Health England that the severity of antidepressant withdrawal effects are now being recognised for the first time, so maybe doctors might become more informed/helpful. But I haven't found them to be good so far. The irony is I'm a mental health professional myself. I'm confused by the idea of reducing by 10pc when the pills come in one 150mg dose - I have a pill splitter that could potentially quarter them, but going any lower sounds like it would be difficult to do accurately. I think I'll have to figure it out though, as reducing faster is just too risky. I work in a very demanding, meaningful, responsible role supporting children who have experienced trauma, and i don't want to risk my work being compromised or having to take time off work. I'm still in an ambivalent, deciding stage. I may start my journey now, or in a few months' time. I'll post updates as I go.
  3. 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.
  4. I started using Lustral 50 mg & Abilify 5 mg when it was 2012.I stopped taking my medicines for many times and I have never had any withdrawal effects on my body.But when it was 2016 Summer, after I stopped using them again (I didn't even know what tapering was in that time) I got a mania attack.It was like after 3-4 months of stopping my medicines cold turkey.After my first mania attack, my doctor thought that it was bipolar disorder and he wanted me to use Depakine.I refused using that medicine and i continued using Abilify + Lustral at same dosages.But when it was 2017 Summer, I did the same thing as I did when it was 2016 and I got a mania attack one more time.It was much more bad than the first one and I was feeling so anxious and even if I was feeling like there was no problem, I had to continue using my medicines because of my massive anxiety.My dose was always the same.I refused getting higher all the time.I was feeling like it was okay to stop using them abruptly because of the doses of my medicines.But I was completely wrong. After my second mania attack, my doctor asked me to use Depakine one more time because of my second attack.I guess he thought me that I was bipolar but I didn't have any mania history before I started using these medicines. Anyways, when it was 2018 January, after I used them for a while again, I stopped them abruptly one more time and I got withdrawal symptoms for the first time and I didn't even know it was withdrawal.I tried to go on like this for 2 months but I was feeling dizzy.I had to do something and that's why I decided to go to another psychiatrist.I tried to explain the thing I was suffering from but she couldn't understand what I was trying to say.She thought that I was anxious and depressed and she gave me Wellbutrin + Abilify 5 mg.I can't remember dose of Wellbutrin but I guess it was the lowest dose.After Wellbutrin made me angry and furious, she decided to change it to Prozac and I started to use Prozac + Abilify. It has been for 2 months like this and I started to have some jerky movements in my fingers and arms and I realized that there was a problem with my vision.(like blurred vision) I have high myopia and I've been using contact lenses for years maybe it was about it I don't know but my dizziness and light-headedness were gone.I can see now that it was about withdrawal and after she put me on these medicines I was feeling better even if these minor problems.But after 2 months I started to feel uncomfortable again and I stopped my medicines abruptly one more time. Unfortunately, I started to get the withdrawal effects again but I decided to continue like this even if I was suffering.(It was the biggest mistake which I made. ). There was no one who understood what was happening to me and I couldn't understand too.When I realized it was about withdrawal it was too late. I stopped using them when it was July 2018 and now it's April 2020.I couldn't get healed at all.I don't have anxiety or bipolar problems but I have problems with my muscles and my coordination.Jerky movements on my fingers are still on and got worse.My vision got worse too and they got worse gradually. I started to lose my hope about my healing process.What do you think about it? Is there a chance for me to get healed or is it a brain damage which is serious to get rid off? Your opinions are so important for me please let me know what you think about my situation. Thanks.
  5. 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?
  6. Alti e bassi dai 18 anni poi dal 1994 ho intrapreso un lungo percorso tra psicote_ rapia e cura farmacologica.Quando ho sospeso autonomamente le cure,ho accusato sempre le ricadute con gli stessi sintomi depressivi e ipo-maniacali.Dal 2009 al 2016, io e i miei medici abbiamo tentato di liberarmi dalle medicine:DEPAKIN,WELLBUTRIN,XANAX al bisogno..Risultato a tutt'oggi:80-60-40 mg. da settembre a marzo.Vorrei conoscere un vs. punto di vista. Google translation: Ups and downs from the age of 18 then from 1994 I embarked on a long journey between psychote_ rapia and drug treatment.When I stopped the treatments autonomously, I always suffered relapses with the same depressive and hypo-manic symptoms.From 2009 to 2016, my doctors and I tried to free myself from medicines: DEPAKIN, WELLBUTRIN, XANAX as needed ..Result to date: 80-60-40 mg. from September to March I would like to know a vs. point of view.
  7. Hi all, First off, thank you for reading this if you are! Second- nice to meet you, I really feel like I am at a dead end. So many doctors have failed me in so many ways and I'm so tired of dealing with this. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this website. Going to try to sum up my experience with my depression and treatment journey. To start, I've been anxious since I was a kid but only began to realize the weight of my debilitating depression in my late teens/early 20's. In December 2016 I began seeking treatment- therapy for a few months and eventually found a psychiatrist. He prescribed me Lexapro 10mg, since my mom is on it/has been for 10 years; but Lexapro made me feel crazy - like I couldn't be alone and I was scared to do anything and everything. Psychiatrist had me go off cold turkey after almost a full month, until my next appointment a week from then. I was the most depressed I had ever felt and it was scary but I knew it was all chemically induced from stopping the pill. A week later, first week of January 2017 he put me on 50mg of Zoloft which was soon upped to 100mg after a week of taking it. It brought me back to a neutral point emotionally, no longer wanted to die, etc. My sex drive was so low though, and i brought that up 3 more visits, when he put me on 150mg of bupropion/Welbutrin. This solved that problem and this medicine combination had me feeling myself for the first time in a very long time. But it really didn't last too long. A few months in I began getting almost daily headaches so my doctor raised my Zoloft to 150mg in July 2017. That would be lowered back to 100mg in September 2017. Much time has passed and I've been simply getting by on my meds, not paying too much mind but constantly wondering if I'm only on them because I'm physiologically dependent on them. In November 2018, I sought out therapy again, but no longer had a psychiatrist to manage my meds (I saw a few psychiatrists in the interim but they wanted to up my dosages and I felt they weren't taking into consideration any side effects I was mentioning that were now making my antidepressant experience quite miserable). In January 2019, I began experiencing absolutely debilitating migraines many times a month, and after monitoring it for over a year now I can't identify the exact triggers. In October 2019, I saw a primary care doctor for the feelings of dullness and emotional blunting I was thinking was from my meds. She upped my Bupropion to 300mg and I got a little more motivated for life again, but it was so short lived and felt very chemically induced. Like a manic constantly needing to be occupied by something, I'll be watching TV while playing a video game WHILE on instagram or something on my phone. It's wild how hard it is for my brain to just be calm since the dose has been upped. Problem is, she went out of practice literally months into seeing her. Every time I lock in a new doctor, they seem to no longer be at the healthcare facility anymore and it's so exhausting having to find a new doctor to explain all of this to every. single. time. especially when I don't even know if they're actually listening to what I have to say or if they just want to write me a script and send me on my way. In the last 2 years, I have dropped so many friends because i've lost all interest in them as people and I was kind of easily able to move on with my life and be okay with being by my lonesome. I feel less emotionally drained and less worried about social situations in general. I fight with myself about these feelings though, in my head, almost all day every day because I have never been like this. This isn't me. I don't know what I like to do anymore. I am so physically fatigued and I'm 24 and relatively a healthy individual with the exception of what I eat lol. Anyway, I hope this group can help me find some peace with this journey. Thank you if you've read this far.
  8. Hello friends! My name is Mads, and I am currently on 225mg Effexor, 150mg Wellbutrin, and 20mg of Ritalin 3x/day. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. After a suicide attempt at 15 I was diagnosed and put on Prozac in the hospital. It was a few months before I got settled with a therapist and a psychiatric nurse practitioner (who will be referred to as Susan from now on). Over a year or so, my dose was increased. When I (at the pushing of my mother) expressed concern over the weight gain I was experiencing that we attributed to the medication, Susan put me on Effexor and took me off Prozac (I don't remember this process - it might have been stopping Prozac CT and immediately starting Effexor). Over a couple years, my dose was increased eventually to the max: 225mg. At one point, Susan diagnosed me with Inattentive ADHD (aka ADD) and put me on Ritalin. This dose over time was increased to the max: 20mg 3x/day. This April, I slipped into a depressive state due to Covid (losing my job, withdrawing from college classes, isolation from friends and partner, etc). My mom suggested I talk to Susan about adjusting my medication. At this point I had also started DBT therapy. Susan put me on 150mg of Wellbutrin. Since starting the Effexor, I have struggled with sexual dysfunction. Because I started ADs at such a young age and initially while I wasn't sexually active, it didn't occur to me to express my concern over the issues I was having. I was very aware that they were likely caused by my medication, which I felt and still feel is doing its job otherwise, so I didn't want to mess with what I felt was working for me. As of starting the Wellbutrin, the sexual dysfunction has increased in severity and has become unbearable. It has caused issues in my relationship that we can no longer ignore. I expressed my concerns to Susan last week. She said that the Wellbutrin was not likely to be the cause of the side effects. She suggested that I skip my Friday and Saturday doses since I see my partner on Saturdays usually, and that might help curb these symptoms. She said that I would likely experience brain zaps as a result of these drug holidays. Friday I forgot to skip my dose, so I skipped it Saturday morning. By the afternoon I had a splitting headache, and by the evening had chills and aches like I was coming down with something. All night long I had nightmares. I would wake up from one just to fall asleep and into another. I woke up with a headache and feeling like I hadn't slept at all. That morning I took my regular dose because I could not drive myself to work in the state I was in. Experiencing the effects of this drug holiday, and realizing how much my relationship is hurting because of these side effects, I am itching to get off of the Effexor but in a way that won't cause such debilitating WD symptoms. I have an appointment with Susan tomorrow to talk about tapering the Effexor and if needed increasing the Wellbutrin (if I find my depressive symptoms returning). I am not one to dismiss the advice of a professional, but it makes me nervous that Susan would advise me to stop cold turkey for a couple days a week when I am on the highest dose allowed to be prescribed... it also makes me nervous that I am on the highest dose of both Ritalin and Effexor at all. I can't help but imagine she would tell me to taper way too quickly or even advise me against stopping the Effexor at all. My medications have definitely done what they were prescribed to do, so I am reluctant to make changes, but I just can't keep going on they way I have been. I am hoping that by joining this group, I will find some support and guidance in adjusting my medications, navigating the psychiatric healthcare world, and dealing with the fallout of such. Thank you for reading my very personal and in depth intro post, I hope no one fell asleep out of boredom 😊
  9. 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.
  10. I started Prozac in 1989 for depression--several life events and working rotating shifts caught up with me. Took off and on, then solidly after adoption of our first daughter in 1999...my doctor told me to when I went in for strep throat and at his inquiry, told him I was tired. Gradually became more tired and developed muscle pains..diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2003. In 2006, became depressed (still functioning). 3/2006 Exchanged Prozac for Cymbalta. 3 months later had what the pdoc called "mania, hypomania or whatever." So not sleeping. Stopped Cymbalta, added oxazepam, had reactions to Seroquel and Abilify. Started Zyprexa. Became progressively more depressed and anxious...supposedly the downswing of mania. Added Lithium in Nov. 2006 and started to improve, added Wellbutrin for depression about 1/2007. Better, but still so tired. Added Adderall...it made me a little manic, so changed to alternating Adderall and Nuvigil (you can tell I had good insurance, huh). So at my height of polypharmacy was taking Zyprexa, Lithium, Wellbutrin, oxazepam, Adderall, and Nuvigil. Still working, mom to 2 girls and bitchy wife. Heard radio program about how hard it is to detect obstructive sleep apnea. (I strongly recommend you research this if you snore) My longest breathing pause in the sleep study was 90 seconds! Got CPAP machine...felt like a new person. With minimal ado, stopped oxazepam, Adderall and Nuvigil. Asked pdoc if I could try to wean off Zyprexa due to cost (new insurance) and how well I was feeling. Probably started in Sept., finished 12/29/12. Lots of symptoms with each dose reduction...pdoc said it doesn't have withdrawal symptoms, so started surfing, and here I am. My question: I restarted oxazepam 30 mg at bedtime on 12/10/12 (had to come through for Christmas, you know, despite the symptoms). Since I've been on the oxazepam such a short time, should I wean off it or the Wellbutrin next? I have minor anxiety in the evenings after the dose completely wears off. My other meds are lithium 600mg twice daily and Wellbutrin XL 300 mg. Thank you for such an amazing site! Meimeiquest
  11. Hi, I was on Effexor for 2.5 years (the last year only on 37.5 mg ) and also combined with Wellbutrin 150mg. I went off both in February 2019 with no taper because I was unaware at all that we could just not stop. There its been been a year of worsening conditions then the ones I even wanted to get off the medication for. I took some Effexor and Wellb a few times during the year, but usually just for a day or two (which I also know now is bad). I really don’t want to go back on meds, but I have sever dry eye, very lethargic, and worst of all a very flat and sad melancholy baseline. For those who were not aware of tapering and have been withdrawing for almost a year, does anyone have recommendations? I have already been eating pretty clean, exercise, and supplement with D, Mag, and Omega, but I basically feel awful every day. Anyone been thru this as well?
  12. 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.
  13. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get off medication. I've been on it longer than I have been off. I was prescribed Doxepin (Sinequan, Silenor, Zonalon, Prudoxin) after the birth of my second child 32 years ago, for postpartum depression. The truth was I just couldn't sleep and it was debilitating. Doxepin was a miracle drug for me at the time, but I was never able to get off it. Every time I tried, I would feel like I had the flue - extremely achy, nausea, headache, insomnia. I always wound up going back on. I remember my doctor telling me it was withdrawal, and I was so upset because, when I was prescribed it I was told it was not habit forming. That's when I learned that their definition of an addictive substance was different than I thought. Addiction involves increased tolerance they said. You abuse the drug if you are addicted because you need more and more to get the same effect. I don't believe that. If you can't live without something, you're addicted to it. I've cut down the amount over time (I keep trying). I got down to 100 mg, but that's as far as I've been able to get. I truly hate this drug and I wish I could get off it, but after so many years, and so many tries, I've given up. I'm hoping to gain some insight here. I do feel like a bit of a lost cause. Over time other drugs were added. Tranxene (clorazepate) for anxiety. That I take as needed. 3.75 mg, and Wellbutrin (Buproprion) to combat the side effects of Doxepin. I take 100 mg each morning. So for me it's downers in the evening and uppers during the day. My psychiatrist is due to retire soon. I wonder what will happen to me when he is gone. Doxepin 100 mg nightly since 1987 Tranxzene as needed, 3.75 mg since 1994 Wellbutrin 100 mg in the morning since 2004
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. Hi all. Found this site a few months ago. I am beginning to attempt getting off ADs and Benzo. I have been taking antidepressants for 17 years. I am 44. I do not work outside the home. My goal is to incorporate healthy activities (suggestions please) to help lessen the withdrawal symptoms. I am realistic about the amount of time it will take and hope everyone here can be a support system. I am married. Hubby is supportive, but doesn't really understand what is going with my body. I have really bad health anxiety currently. I was diagnosed with bipolar about 5 years ago and was put on lamictal 200mg. Wellbutrin was added shortly after. I tapered of Zoloft over about 18 months. I had my first anxiety attack exactly 2 weeks after the last dose. So we decided to stay in 25 mg. which held off the anxiety attacks since then. About 8 months ago I started having increased anxiety along with some peri menopausal symptoms. Then the health anxiety followed, probably because of all the weird symptoms I was having. I went up to 50mg on the Zoloft and taking Ativan to help me sleep. I realized I was building a tolerance to it, so I weaned myself back off and was doing fine. Then the cycle started again. New symptom (breast pain this time), then the health anxiety and back on Ativan. I only take .125mg at a time. If I don't feel much relief in about 30 minutes, I will take another one. That usually does it. Then I stop when I feel better. However a couple of weeks ago, I noticed I was having muscle twitches and jerks. Don't google that!! Now looking back I think they may be related to stopping the Ativan after taking it for several days. I really don't know. So I decided today to take a dose to see if it settles down over the next few days and go from there. 3 days ago I started a taper on the Wellbutrin 150 mg xl. My doctor wrote prescription for 100mg sr tabs...and I started taking 75 in the morning and 50 in the afternoon. I am hoping this won't be too fast, but I am going to try it. I also started having stomach upset a couple of days ago with some diarrhea today. Very unusual for me. Is that possibly Ativan w/d? Thank everyone. Not sure how to add signature. Attach a file maybe?
  18. I’m 65 years old and have been on antidepressants since 1992. I don’t have a record of the dates of my medication history. I took Prozac for many years, but after it seemed to become ineffective, I was prescribed Cymbalta, which increased in dosage over the years. At some point, when it appeared that the Cymbalta was not as effective, I was prescribed Lamictal. Up until I began withdrawing from Cymbalta I was taking 120mg of Cymbalta and 200mg of Lamictal. I am still taking the 200 mg of Lamictal. I’ve joined this forum in search of help and support in withdrawing from Cymbalta and perhaps eventually, the Lamictal as well. Beginning at the end of January, I started withdrawing and under the guidance of a psychiatrist, dropped from 120mg to 0mg by about the 1st of March. After feeling very sick, I started doing research on the web and found a lot of resources regarding antidepressant discontinuation syndrome and am now seeking help and resources to help me cope. in February, my psychiatrist prescribed 150mg of Wellbutrin at the point when I was taking 30mg of Cymbalta. I was also prescribed Seroquel and Olanzapine during this time, each of which I only took a few times because I was feeling so sick. With the Wellbutrin, I had a short period of being very hyper. Then I lost my appetite and couldn’t eat, had extreme fatigue, insomnia and nausea. I thought it was a reaction to the Wellbutrin. The dr then prescribed a lower dose of Wellbutrin and I was still experiencing the same symptoms. After stopping taking the Wellbutrin for a week, I started taking 10mg of Prozac for a week, and then 20mg for about 5 days, and continued having the same symptoms. I stopped taking the Prozac about 2 weeks ago. I thought that the new antidepressants were what was making me sick....until I started doing research on the internet and learned about antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Now it’s obvious to me that my dr knew nothing about the discontinuation issues either. He kept insisting my symptoms were a result of the new medications. I am trying to cope the best I can by walking 45 minutes a day, eating as well as I can, even though I have no appetite and am nauseous, and doing guided medications to sleep at night. Even with the meditation, I don’t sleep very many hours and I’ve lost 20+ pounds. This process is very hard on my husband. He is as understanding as he can be without experiencing it but I know he feels like he has lost his wife. I feel like I’ve lost me too and that maybe I’ll never recover. I have questions about taking magnesium and about working with a functional medicine dr during this time. I feel like I need to work with a dr during my recovery, but I’m not sure where to turn. I will not be using the previous psychiatrist. I am willing to learn all I can to help in my recovery. I have joined the Cymbalta Hurts Worse Facebook group and am joining the Withdrawal Project Support group as well. I would like to have as many resources as possible. I understand that this post will be reviewed before it is posted. I’m not certain about what should be written in the Introduction post. Will you be able to make suggestions on making any changes that could be made.
  19. heedinghealth

    heedinghealth: introduction

    Hello, I’m glad to have found a forum for AD tapering/wd support. I was misdiagnosed and poly-drugged for years. I was on 4 psychotropic drugs for at least 15 years. I tapered off Trileptal in 1/19. Long taper off a Benzo. Started 6/19, took last dose on 6/6/20. Taking it one day at a time. Currently on Wellbutrin and Vibryd...uggh. I don’t even want to consider tapering off these right now, as the Benzo taper has done a number on me. I’m frustrated because I recently learned one should taper ADs before a Benzo. There’s no purpose in ruminating about this, I’m just glad to be off 2 out of 4! I joined the forum so I can be as educated as possible (obviously, experience is the best teacher and people who have taken these prescribed drugs know far more than the medical community...at least that’s what I’ve found with Benzos) I also want to be able to be an encourager and offer support to others.
  20. I am in my mid-thirties, and I've been on some form of antidepressant since adolescence. As a socially awkward, bullied young person in the throes of puberty, I hit a wall of apathy and sadness sometime in my sophomore year of high school. I no longer had the drive to make the Dean's List or pursue the activities I once enjoyed. This is when a pivotal conversation with my primary care provider occurred. He rolled toward me on a medical stool, pointing at printed charts illustrating neurotransmitters and a faulty brain chemistry. I think I was prescribed Zoloft, but I don't recall the details. I do remember that my parents remarked on the difference the medication made in my mood, and truth be told I was thankful at that time that I'd found the help I needed. Throughout college and into my twenties, my doctor adjusted my medication(s) several times. These adjustments usually corresponded with various hardships and bumps in the road inherent to living a human life. But I was fully bought into the idea that my brain was unbalanced, and feeling "okay" was just a matter of finding the right med or mix of meds to temper the discomfort. In my late twenties, I fought hard to get sober, recognizing that alcohol was causing far more harm than good in my life. Around the same time, I was prescribed Ambien for sleep (as needed). In the true fashion of an alcoholic, "as needed" soon became "every night." A couple years later, for reasons unknown to me or unremembered, my doctor prescribed Temazepam for my nightly sleep regimen to replace the Ambien. I had no understanding of benzodiazepines, their risks, or the withdrawals often associated with quitting them. I remained on a cocktail of Pristiq/Wellbutrin for depression paired with Temazepam to slow my brain at night for nearly five years. Honestly, I didn't think much of it. I trusted my doctor, and had no reason not to. I moved to a new city in 2016, started a new career, and felt in many ways that I was hitting my stride. In 2019, my then girlfriend suggested that I try and see what things might be like if I tapered off of the medication. Herself a trained therapist, she was particularly concerned that I relied on something to sleep every night. I agreed, and thought I'd like to see if these drugs were really necessary anymore. I was sober, I certainly wasn't depressed, and I had a good support system in place. In partnership with a new doctor and with my therapist on board, I made a plan to taper off of the medication. First the Wellbutrin, which we dropped over the course of a month or so. Then the Pristiq, which we tapered down over the course of a couple months. Then, snowed in on a November day and down to my last 30mg dose of Temazepam I thought, "I'll just stop taking this and be done with these meds completely." During the antidepressant tapering process, I was a bit more irritable and had some trouble focusing, but I was mostly functional. The symptoms were mild to moderate. Even in the immediate days and weeks after dropping the Temazepam, I felt okay. I slept fine, and I was mostly just excited to no longer be chained to a monthly sack of prescription refills to fix my "broken" brain. Fast forward to just after Christmas 2019. Some challenges in my relationship were giving me anxiety, but it was anxiety like I'd never felt before. And the strength of the anxiety was entirely disproportionate to the reality of the situation. It wan't long before I wasn't sleeping. Soon, I felt unsafe spending nights alone, fearing for my own safety. Thoughts of suicide cycled through my brain with regularity. A couple of weeks passed, and even basic tasks became insurmountable. I was in a near constant state of fight-or-flight. One Sunday evening I opened up my laptop to try and catch up on some things at work that I'd fallen behind on, and I couldn't focus my eyes to read an email. Panic began to set in, and I dialed my physician and then my therapist to try and make sense of what was happening. At the time, I placed much of the blame on my relationship, but I see now that I was in acute drug withdrawal. I fought my way through a haze of psychiatric evaluations, doctor's visits, emergency therapy appointments, the dissolution of my relationship, and a car accident (in which thankfully nobody was hurt). Eventually, at my own insistence, I found my way back to the original three medications I'd been taking, thinking that would be my best shot at finding some sense of stability. It's only been in the last month or so that I've felt some degree of what I would call stability, and I'm operating at about 75% of the mental capacity I once was, trying to pick up the pieces of my life and make sense of everything that happened. That search to make sense of everything is what led me here. I know that I do not want to be on a cocktail of medication for the rest of my life. I don't want to medicate my feelings or rely on a drug to fall asleep or live detached from my emotional experience. But I also know that right now, the right thing to do is to wait. I have to wait until my nervous system stabilizes and I can set up the proper plan and support system (the latter of which is made more complicated by the global pandemic we're all experiencing). If you have any advice for how I should go about tapering these medications based on my history, current dosage, and the experience described above, I am all ears. I look forward to actively participating in this withdrawal process alongside all of you, even if I need to wait a bit before I set out again. Much love.
  21. I'm a 25 year old female. I began taking Wellbutrin 75 mg in February 2019. I realized that my anxiety increased significantly, so my doctor suggested adding on another medication. I began Pristiq 25 mg at the end of November 2019. It made me calm down, but lowered sex drive. Could get turned on but not masturbate. In late December 2019 I developed Serotonin Syndrome, because I used St. Johns Wort along with these medications and accidentally took two Pristiq one day. I couldn't feel or think. I was almost catatonic. I was numb from my face to my feet. My ****** included and I didn't even find anyone attractive. No interest in sex. Emotionally, I couldn't feel much, but cry sometimes out of fear. I couldn't remember things or focus. I couldn't feel when I had to pee or poop. My doctor wanted me to wean off the Pristiq. She told me to take my pill every three days for two weeks. I began doing that Tuesday January 6th. I saw minor improvements throughout the week and the Sunday January 12th, it seemed as though it all lifted. I felt like me again. I could laugh and cry. I felt desire for love and a relationship again. I could masturbate and orgasm and they were intense. I was so relieved and happy that I only had one more week of taking Pristiq. I was happy that I felt like a person again. I took my Pristiq the next day, Monday, January 13th. I was weary about it, but figured I should wean myself off it one more week like the doctor instructed. I heard the withdrawals were brutal anyways. I felt great Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday it slowly went downhill. I could still masturbate and orgasm until Wednesday evening. My ****** became dry. I couldn't get turned on. My head felt heavy and my forehead became numb. I didn't feel like myself. Again. I can display very few emotions, except to cry sometimes. I don't care about anything and feel detached. Today, I could *****************, but I don't feel anything. I felt a little more like myself in the morning, was able to cry during a tv show and feel slight sensation when someone kissed. I But now going into the evening, I am losing these feelings again. I spoke with the doctor and she told me to stop taking the Pristiq. So the last one I took was on the 13th. Is this normal? The beginning of PSSD? (I know it's early, but this is odd) Anyone experience anything similar? Any support while I go through this would be wonderful. I will keep everyone updated on my progress if they are interested. I have a comprehensive list of my symptoms and medications I was taking up to this point included. Untitled 3.pdf
  22. 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.
  23. min95 hello, i’ve come to SA to help me eventually get off of wellbutrin. at the recommendation of two doctors and my therapist i tapered off of my lamictal and wellbutrin XL too quickly, leading to a depressive episode, night terrors, sleep disturbance, and just freaking the **** out about how im supposed to live my life like this (oct 2019-present). i’ve ceased the lamicta completely and had to go back up on the wellbutrin XL. I was on 300mg wellbutrin XL, went down to 150, and am back on 300. The symptoms are slowly evening out. i never felt that these meds helped my trauma-induced depression in my teenage years very much, but i was kept on everything (particularly after a depressive bout in college after quitting wellbutrin for a few months and starting zoloft) because they didnt know what else to do with me. i dont want to be on wellbutrin for the rest of my life, and after reading thru this forum im terrified for the long tapering process and what i’ll meet at each stage in the process and what i’ll find at the other end. im terrified of what all these drugs have done to my developing brain as i started them all as a minor and into my early 20s. i’m feeling hopeless and trapped but i know everyone here is in the same situation. i originally began to taper off wellbutrin last oct because of chronic fatigue. i was adviced to reduce the wellbutrin as it raises my heartrate very high. this is another concern and reason i want to eventually taper off of wellbutrin. i dont want to develop permanent tachycardia for a drug that really doesnt do anything. i stayed on wellbutrin for so long because it is what i “tolerated” best and i was just constantly depressed so doctors didnt want to mess with it. it’s been more of an afterthought, but it doesnt do my body good. on it, i generally feel like myself but i am still prone to depression and low energy (maybe it’s helped with self harm a bit). i see now that my issues are causes primarily by a traumatic upbringing, and traumatic events through college. of course i would develop mental health issues. i was never given the chance to rest and heal from trauma, only given drugs and told to finish school or ***** over by everyone i reached out to. and believe ne i reached out to everyone possible only to be burned repeatedly. and now im here still feeling like ****. i thought my depressive episode from tapering was triggered by my therapist (who has been fired) and trauma bubbling up, but is probably a combination of everything. definitely not made better by tapering too fast even though i was told this was the slowest i could go lol i am not currently in any therapy and may have to take a long break because psychiatrists and therapists have contributed to my trauma. i also have a 3-4 month seasonal depression per year (oct-jan) which also coincides with a trauma anniversary. my living and life situation isnt exactly stable (unemployed since grad, will be leaving my support system to live with my parents in a few months). i just feel like im stuck but my situation will never really be stable until i heal fully. in terms of trauma, i experience some flashbacks when directly triggered but they are managable based on what i am reading on this forum, i’ll likely stay on the 300mg wellbutrin XL and try to stabilize for another month (for total of 3 months) and taper off at 10%/4-6 weeks, and keeping the same dose thru the winter months. im not sure if im prepared mentally yet to go the long haul and be committed to the dosing but i can worry about that once im more stable. would love to know what the mods think. i’ll be bringing up this slow taper plan with a psychiatrist soon who will probably try to talk me out of it and im terrified. i dont want to lose more time to wd. i just want to be okay
  24. ADMIN NOTE To answer the questions in the topic title, see the Success Stories in this forum. Also see reports of progress in the Introductions forum. Use search there if you're looking for a particular drug. Related topics in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization "Is it always going to be like this?" The importance of feeling good Creating a new self after withdrawal Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement Neuro-emotions Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms  Dealing With Emotional Spirals For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal Why this topic has been closed to comments. The rate the success stories are cranking out just goes to show how long it takes to heal . I hope it's due to people healing and never looking back.
  25. jsiegel

    Is this possible

    Have been on antidepressants since 1990s. I would go to my PCP and tell them what I wanted to try next. Over the years I have been on prozac, paxil, and now the cocktail I want to taper from. Tried to taper in past but gave up quickly thinking there would be a better time. And May 2019 was it. Started to taper from wellbutrin and lexapro ‘cocktail’ under guidance of PCP. She put me on a 2 year taper. In March was down to 150 mg wellbutrin every 4 days. Crashed with current homebound routine. So she suggested I go to every 3 days and wait for the pandemic to ease up before resuming taper. Is it possible after all these years to actually be drug free? Are there any psychiatrists who know about tapering? Ive read allot about the tapering strips. Any psychiatrists willing to prescribe? I want off these meds...but the road sure is daunting at times. Any words of encouragement welcomed.
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