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  1. I've been on 20mg Paroxetine for over a decade. Regular cannabis user. Trying to taper off since 2019. Many mistakes along the way. My 2019 journey was too fast. I decreased 5mg steps every month, by splitting a 20mg tablet. I made it relatively stable into 5mg (although fighting some symptoms) and then quit. Symptoms were too overwhealming so I desperately and naively reinstated into 18mg. Then I started a slower taper on liquid. Went up and down a few times and parked at 16mg for over 6 months, seeking stabilization. Coudln't stay away from cannabis in that meanwhile. Then I had to relocate to Brazil (I'm Brazilian) because of the pandemic. Here there's no Liquid Paroxetine available on the market, so I was forced to adapt my strategy. Started compounding Paroxetine and went for the Fluoxetine Bridge in January. Longer half-life, etc. Got as low as 4mg Paroxetine plus 12mg Fluoxetine. Cannabis on and off. Until last month (June). I had to take a dose of antibiotics (Azithromycin). Had an instant reaction with Thunderclap migraines. So I started going up with the dosages, which helps only temporarily. After a few days, the migraines come back, along with insomnia. Not touching Cannabis. Now I'm at 6mg Paroxetine + 20mg Fluoxetine and I fear I'm spiraling out of control, since reinstating doesn't seem to solve the issue. Upping Fluoxetine doesn't seem to make much difference. Also trying some Magnesium supplements, no success. Maybe I should kick it up in larger steps? Go up to 10mg Paroxetine? I have 2 very hard problems to solve: What's the best short term strategy? How do I get rid of migraines, get some sleep and stabilize? What's the best long term strategy? Did I mess up my Fluoxetine bridge? I fear that my Fluoxetine bridge was too slow and now I'm stuck with 2 SSRIs instead of one. Plus the long-term synergistic effects of both are even less known, which makes things even scarier. Any help is appreciated 🙏
  2. 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.
  3. Hi all, i'll try to describe my problems and my situation and maybe I can get some advice? I'm 28 y/o, have had depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts 24/7 (my mind is never silent) attention problems, and executive dysfunction notably since at least 16-18 years old, and i've had OCD like features since I was like 7 as far as I can remember, particularly strong since at least 16 years old. Refused to try any medication up until 2018. Had a scary first bout of what was arguably psychotic thinking in 2016. Here's a brief history: March-ish 2018: Took Wellbutrin about a handful of times, can't remember doseMarch-ish 2018: Took Seroquel a handful of times, can't remember doseMarch-ish 2018- November 2019: Took Sertraline, went from 25 mg to 125 mgs. Foolishly cold turkeyed February 2021: Took Buspar a handful of times, can't remember dose February 2021: Took Luvox maybe like 6 times, nearly killed me and devastated me for months beyond belief March-June 2021: Reinstated Sertraline in an attempt to stop the horrible effects of Luvox (tapered over 2 weeks I think, i'm a little surprised at how my memory seems a bit shot atm) I cold turkeyed Sertraline foolishly out of ignorance and due to life circumstances, and I think I remember not taking it as prescribed daily all too well in the first place. Over the last 2.5 years since then, I have noticeably declined and I believe it is likely protracted withdrawal. I now suffer from everything I mentioned previously but it's all generally worse than a few years ago. Since mid 2020 I have really gone down hill and now suffer from the following daily/regularly: - A considerably more panicked and anxious base level of consciousness - Constant racing thoughts, my mind is never clear/scary intrusive thoughts - Recurrent terrifying "depression attacks/bouts" where i feel depression/anxiety that is so intense in their particular windows that they feel like panic attacks but more "depression-like" if that makes sense. - Body temperature disturbances where I feel regular hot flashes/heat sensations running down my body - The Luvox I tried last year gave me the worst panic and depression of my life, I felt like I was in a 2 - 3 month prolonged panic attack and I got burning skin sensations that felt like being burned alive that thankfully have dissipated now but lasted from about February to July 2021. - Chronic fatigue and a constant feeling that someone is pulling me down from my back, making me want to just lay down on a bed. When I feel the fatigue + hot flashes + depression attacks + some confusion at the same time it feels like i'm in hell. - Severe executive dysfunction coupled with OCD, makes it so I feel like i'm paralyzed and at the same time I feel like the only thing i can keep doing and keep my attention on is watching youtube. I'm a school teacher and the school year just ended, I could never get anything done because of my executive dysfunction and it is an absolute miracle that I lasted the whole year. I do feel though that when i'm totally into what i'm doing at school there are times where I, dare i say, feel "normal" and "fine," with the exception of lingering social anxiety and severe executive dysfunction that is always there." Now that vacation has started it, i've gotten worse, same thing happened every school weekend. I go crazy when just at home. I'm currently trying to fight through my executive dysfunction in order to set up a new PCP and finally make a doctor's appointment to see if I can get a "full work up," whatever that means, in order to gauge my health and rule out auto immune diseases or other things. It's a miracle I can even hold my attention long enough to write this atm, what tips can you give me in regards to things I can do to naturally heal, things I can ask my doctor, tests that I should request my doctor, etc? Honestly a few weeks ago I kept daydreaming about trying stimulants (bare in mind that I am very skeptical towards psychiatry now) because of how bad my executive dysfunction is but now I feel more mentally damaged in general now and I have no idea what to do.
  4. Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to start with a quick synopsis of my medical background below. I took SSRI antidepressants for 17+ years. I started with Prozac for 5 years from 15-21. Then I took Escitalopram from 22-32. Along the way I was put on Trazodone, Buspar, Ambien and Wellbutrin as well. All in an attempts to control my anxiety/depression and inability to sleep. Also a little mental history - I was bullied from about the age of 9 to the age of 16. It's pretty obvious in hindsight why I was depressed/anxious. I thought the people in this world were mean. I thought everywhere I went was an unsafe place because at this time it was. In response to this I took up boxing and working out so I could become stronger than my bullies. In all honesty it worked. As soon as I became strong and in shape I became popular out of nowhere, which was an interesting transition. Anyways, that's another story for another time. At 15 I visited the doctor because I always held things to myself because I never told my parents I was being bullied or that life outside of my bedroom sucked. They just thought I was sad/depressed. Depression also runs deep in my family. My mother has been on an extreme cocktail of antidepressants since she was about 20. Although this cocktail has been quite a rollercoaster for her as well. She thought this was the only way to help. I had no one to talk to and I felt like the world was an unsafe and scary place so when the doctor prescribed anti depressants and the anxiety disappeared I thought it was a miracle. At this time the extreme side effects didn't matter to me. The fact I lost my ability to feel empathy because I was numb didn't matter because I didn't like people enough to care to empathize with them. I thought I was going to make it in this world on my own come hell or high water. This idea set me off on a path of perfectionism, egocentrism, hedonism and drug abuse. This life is not meant to be lived alone. To make sure this story doesn't become a novel I'm going to go ahead and summarize it here. For 16 years I went on a binger of sorts. Chasing all the highs this world has to offer. Whether this be dating multiple women, chasing drugs and festival culture, chasing adrenaline highs in the form of mountain biking, power lifting or cliff diving. I kept chasing thrills to fill the emotional void left by the SSRI. I also had to be perfect at this point. I had to have a straight A's in college. A quick aside (I had a long period of alcohol addiction that ran in parallel with my SSRI usage from about 16-21). This caused me to fall behind in life so I felt like I had to catch-up quick, mixed with the perfectionism created from early bullying it caused an immense amount of anxiety in my day to day life. I wasn't allowed to rest, make a mistake or simply apologize when I was wrong. This caused insane amounts of chaos in my relationships throughout these years. Finally when I hit about 31 I decided I had enough of this chaos. A 6-year relationship and all of my life long friendships finally collapsed on me. They were built on a false human. They were built on a man that didn't exist. I see myself as two people honestly. The person that was on anti-depressants is not the same human I am off them. Honestly in my mind half the withdrawal is realizing you built a life not suitable to the person you are off the medicine. I moved to a new area and started a new life. I also quit my anti-depressants. I began hiking and looking inward. It took about 6 months from the insomnia, brain zaps, panic attacks and extreme social anxiety to subside. I managed these symptoms with extreme self inquiry. I also started walking daily. I'm running out of time to write this so let me summarize this pretty quickly here. I'm not perfectly better now. I think anxiety/depression are a part of existence now. I accept there will be days I'm tired/scared and will have panic attacks, but I've learned to sit with these emotions and understand this too shall pass. Getting of my anti-depressant also gave me my empathy back. I built closer connections with people than I've had in the past 17 years. It was extremely hard to rebuild a social support system and a new life while quitting the SSRI though. I would say overall life feels deeper now though. In summary: 1) Took SSRI's for 17+ years. Felt like a zombie. I won't say it was all bad. If you are suicidal and have no other options I would say these are better than that alternative. If you believe you have any other options though I would urge you to try them all out. 2) Quit SSRI's at 32. Created a new life. 3) Anxiety/depression still exists but I now just believe these to be a part of life as opposed to something to get rid of. 4) Found a social support system that saved me, built around the real me. Sorry for jumping around so much on this post. I was trying to work from home at the same time. So I kept jumping back into it. If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know!
  5. Day 600 (March 11th 2017) 4 months shy of my two year mark. My Introduction: - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10847-%E2%98%BC-rockingchaircat-recovery-from-psychotropic-drugs-that-were-prescribed-willy-nilly/page-1 I’m a male in my early 50’s, and I’ve been on several antidepressants: Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Paxil, and other psychotropics (as prescribed by the pill pushing Docs): Benzos- Xanax and Ativan, and other crap. These pills do not ‘balance your neurotransmitters”, that is a lie- for there is no balance. Instead it’s more akin to a Symphony: Every neurotransmitter has its own part to play at it’s own time and place. My taper strategy was something I came up with in desperation after trying out some boneheaded strategies involving either: A) going cold turkey and then following the advice of a medical doctor. The Route: Cold Turkey- Freak Out. Go on Benzos. Reinstate Antidepressants. Taper off Benzos. Taper off Antidepressants. Lose what’s left of my mind. Try to regain it in recovery. The Cold Turkey route resulted in my freaking out, which segued me into trying out the Benzos on the advice of a medical doctor- which worked GREAT, but only for a short time. Then they stopped working completely. After a while with more of the same useless advice of “give it a few weeks” Or “increase the dose”- I got fed up with the docs and found the website: Benzo Buddies. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=122050.0 There- I learned of the Pharmaceutical Blasphemy- of the necessity of not taking pills. Then I got better advice about how to go about weaning myself off of Benzodiazepines properly. It took a few months but I managed to wean myself off of the Benzos that I was on. Then after a couple of stable months- I decided to taper off of my antidepressant ‘slowly’, as recommended by a different doctor. But, even that was faster than I should’ve tapered-. I thought at the time that my antidepressant withdrawal would take about the same time as it took me to wean myself off of the Benzos. Boy was I wrong. It took me much longer. Which doesn’t come as a surprise now- after all I’d been on more of them for longer than I was on the Benzos. My Coping mechanisms/Strategies during my withdrawal- included the following: 1) Amino acids, 2) Beans, 3) Exercise, 4) A Full Spectrum Light, 5) Hobbies, 6) The Internet, 7) Meditation, 8) Motivation 9) Music, 10) Nature, 11) (Orgasms), 12) & Sunlight. I also found it helpful to cut out chocolate, coffee, and eventually dairy products. Chocolate left me with a severe heartburn. Coffee left me an increased level of anxiousness- cutting it out decreased my anxiety by a measurable amount. And dairy foods made me sleepy- to the point that it was a miniature nasty fatigue day. My Withdrawal Problems: 1) Anxiety 2) Depression 3) Nasty Fatigue Days 4) General Fatigue 5) Cortisol Spikes 6) Mood Swings So- what was it like for me? Hell. I cannot put it any other way- It was Hell- it was the absolute WORST thing I’ve ever had to endure. Anxiety- A general fear that dogged me constantly- from the numerous times I woke up in the middle of the night, dealing with it’s intensity during the day- and then trying to cope with my existence after work and not being too terrible an Ogre to my wife, daughter, friends, and house cats. The fear had grown, to where everything wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t even read a novel- because of fear that the fictional characters were going to encounter hardship. And the boredom, despite the almost constant anxiety waves, I was bored out of my mind. Every hour felt like a day. Every night when I couldn’t fall asleep long enough to catch rest- I stared at the ceiling and tried to get my racing heart to calm down- for hours. Ironically enough- the first few hours of most nights I could sleep- until I started to dream. And when I started to dream- the Cortisol Spikes started up. But dreams are the time when you need the rest the most. Depression- will come back with a vengeance since you don’t have a pill to push it away anymore. So you must fight it. Depression is the Enemy. Depression- Lies. It will do its utmost to deny you reality. It will tell you that it’s not worth trying. But it’s all lies. Because it IS worth it, life is worth it. It’s all worth the trouble. During the early withdrawal phase- I often thought of steering my car into a tree, but I had to fight those thoughts, what I came up with: That driving into a tree was no guarantee of the release I sought. That in fact (knowing my luck) I’d be horribly injured, out of a truck, left with a massive amount of bills to pay with no way of paying for them- and lose my house, my job, and most importantly- the medical insurance my daughter needs to survive on. I refused to let myself end that way – that would’ve been a coward’s way out. In fact- just about anything and everything depression tells you isn’t ‘worth it’: IS. Try to remember this: If depression tells you it ain’t worth it- then you know it is. Nasty Fatigue- That was something I used to get on a regular basis- every two weeks or so during my early days. A depression so extreme that it was torture to get out of bed, and all I could manage was to lie around utterly depressed with existence and stare at the wall in complete and utter despair- for hours, often days. It was an effort to get up and go to the bathroom. I would eat- but only at the behest of my wife, and even then I could only manage a half sandwich- a day. Like so many other symptoms- it’s gone, but it took a while for it to go away. It didn’t so much stop as it melted away. In the depths of it- I would sleep. But it wasn’t in the least restful sleep. And the only way out of it that I could find- was to fight it. I forced myself to get up and stay awake. Words fail me- I simply do not have the words necessary to convey how difficult it was. It was stubborn- I had to out stubborn it. General Fatigue- everything was hard. I had no energy. I went so far as to have my Thyroid hormones checked. ALL of them, not just the usual ones the docs usually pawn off onto you as being ‘comprehensive’ when it’s not. But even that checked out fine. So in the end- no matter how awful I felt about it- I just forced myself to do things. Eventually, my body stopped fighting me so vigorously – and gave in. It was an uphill battle. Cortisol Spikes- During my Benzo withdrawal- I got to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night at FULL ALERT! Often- many times a night. Every time I dreamed- I woke up in a panic. Naturally- this ended up with me not having a decent night’s sleep- so I tried to compensate by increasing my napping. That didn’t work- because invariably I’d wake up after a second or two with still MORE anxiety from another Cortisol Spike. It took me over a year before I could nap again. Alas, I still have a bit of a phobia against naps now. Eventually the Cortisol Spikes increased to the point that I simply wasn’t getting sufficient rest. And in fact I broke down several times at work in hysterics- from sleep deprivation. Most, yet not all, were when no one else was around. Mood Swings- Self Pity- was the biggest one. Which often segued into Furious Rage at the seemingly endless hours of unending mental and physical torture. So how did I endure all of this withdrawal crap? By getting my Neurotransmitter Symphony working again; and how did I do that? Read on. Windows/Waves. I too got the Waves and Windows that just about everyone gets. But along the way I learned of ways to extend the Windows, and shorten the Waves. Full Spectrum Light/Sunlight- I got a window or two even during the beginning. But they didn’t occur often enough- or for that matter long enough- I’d get a few hours once a month- maybe. But there was one thing that initiated my first several day long window: A Verilux Full Spectrum light. It helped pull me out of the winter blahs and the crippling depression that came from decreased sunlight. Now though I never had another several day window start up because of it-even so it has helped in the subsequent recovery process. I’d recommend one for your own use- but I’d also recommend following the instructions- no more than a few minutes a day at first. Why? Because we’re all photo-phobic during our early withdrawal, and you might end up with a sunburn if you’re not careful. Because you need sunlight to help you get better. Our bodies- crave it. Sunlight sets our Circadian Rhythm- that same rhythm that was thrown out of whack by the pills. It helps us release Serotonin (to wake up) and Melatonin (to fall asleep), both neurotransmitters that help us. And I use mine every day. I’ve got the tan to match. Exercise- During all of my withdrawal- I exercised. For me, in earlier days (prior to my withdrawal) I had obtained and used a small work out gym set that I placed in my garage for weight training. I’m hardly buff, let alone ripped, but it has helped keep me fairly strong. And it made for a nice routine 3x a week. Additionally I had a bicycle I used for aerobic activity 3x a week. 1x a week I just didn’t do either- but even then I did something. Usually I did yard work or went for a walk. The point is- do something, anything. Even if all you can manage is one set of pushups- DO IT! Even that little bit will do you good. Walking- Walking is Good. I preferred to do that every day (weather permitting). Walking in a natural setting- it helps. I’m lucky in that I have a pine forest in which I can skirt. And the body needs that. You NEED to get out of the house. You MUST get out and get some fresh air. You’ll hate it at first, I guarantee it. But nonetheless You NEED to do that, Every-Single-Day. (And exercise is excellent dealing with the excess energy that comes with constant anxiety attacks.) Exercise comes with it’s own built in Happy Ending: The Endorphin rush. You’ll eventually get it, and crave it enough to keep going at it. Why? Because the Endorphins are another form of Neurotransmitters that you need. Amino Acids- Along about the time I started getting hysterical due to lack of sleep I was getting desperate. I was grasping at straws- and that’s when I discovered Taurine. It, along with some magnesium- was as close to a god send for my sleep as the Happy Light was for my depression and fatigue. The first couple of weeks taking Taurine/Magnesium- I was able to turn a corner and started getting something akin to a decent night’s sleep. Not much, but even that little was better than none. Nowadays- I still get the occasional middle of the night wakefulness from a Cortisol Spike- but it’s usually after a long stretch of dreaming. And with that success- I started researching into other aminos and eventually settled upon: Tyrosine, Taurine, and Theonine. They all had one thing in common. They were/are Neurotransmitter Pre-cursors. And what is a Neurotransmitter Precursor? It’s something the body can take and create a Neurotransmitter with. Now backing up a bit- what I learned at Benzobuddies- was that our brains and bodies- are inherently Lazy. Our bodies produce a Neurotransmitter called GABA. It’s used by the brain to calm things down. When we use a Benzo- the body adapts to it and stops producing GABA. That would be one thing. But our bodies are fiendish in that after we’ve gotten used to the pill- we develop ‘tolerance’- which is to say- that the pills stop working. The tolerance is when our bodies chose to stop producing the neurotransmitter we were augmenting/replacing with by using a pill. Thus if we stop using the benzo - what little defense we have against overstimulation- isn’t there in the quantities that it was prior to the pill use. This end result creates the waves and windows we all get to ‘enjoy’ during withdrawal. Our bodies still produce the needed neurotransmitters- just not often enough or in large enough quantities. And every now and again- for I’ve no idea reasons why- for a few hours or days our bodies produce just what level of them we need to feel OK. Those are the windows. But they don’t last- and the Waves of symptoms start up again. It’s the same thing with anti-depressants. The pills cause us to stop producing enough Serotonin or Dopamine (depending on what you’ve been prescribed). So what the hell are we supposed to do when we go off the pills? We need those neurotransmitters- yet we don’t produce enough of them anymore. Taking straight neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, or GABA, is counter-productive, when what we need is to get our bodies to produce them again. So after a suitable amount of self-research- I settled on the Amino Acids that are neurotransmitter precursors. Tyrosine is used by the body to create: Dopamine. Theanine is used by the body to create: Serotonin. And Taurine is used by the body to create GABA. And the nice thing is that you won’t overdose on them. Your body will use them to make ‘just enough’. The aminos helped me immensely. They didn’t cure the problem, but they took a LOT off of the rough edges and made my recovery- tolerable. It’s gotten to the point that my body does produce the necessary neurotransmitters on it’s own- that I’ve started tapering off of the aminos I’ve been taking. And on a couple of days- I’ve forgotten to take them without noticing that I hadn’t. Meditation- During all of this- I meditated when I could. Invariably during such meditations- I fell asleep. But even that helped in its own way. It helped me learn how to suppress in a small way the anxiety that did occur- a bit of biofeedback that helped me learn to calm down and distract myself. The suppression techniques still come in handy even now on day 600, and I imagine that they’ll still be doing me good for years to come. Though in the early days I often just wrapped myself in a heavy comforter, turned on the room fan, and stared off into space for hours while sitting on the bed in the middle of the night, and I’d do the same on the weekends both during the day and night. Hobbies- Do something you enjoy- or did. Go back to it. Even if it’s a mighty burden, sit yourself down and work on your hobby. Even if it takes you an hour- to do something that you have done in seconds before- do it. Eventually- you’ll remember the fun that you had with it before. You’ll notice that by immersing yourself into it- you can ignore the pain for a bit. Naturally you’ll look forward to doing it again. Me? I work on spaceship models. And from what I’ve learned- by taking the time to do even 5 minutes a day, and doing it slow- I do a much better job on them now. See- I learned something. Internet- I spent many an hour researching these conditions that fell into my lap. Such research led me to Benzo Buddies and Surviving Antidepressants. But it also made me appreciate how wonderful that the internet can be when it comes to distracting myself from my pain. I read somewhere that we all get a dose of Dopamine when we open another interesting page on the net. Hey- whatever works. Online games- such as Lumosity- give me something to gauge my progress in such things as fine motor skills, memory skills, and Hand/Eye coordination- all of which has suffered during the worst of my withdrawal. Of late- I’ve been trying the stuff I had to cut out: Chocolate, Coffee, Dairy foods. I’m back to eating those things again, and in fact it does make feel better to be able to do so. Chocolate makes me feel good after eating a bit. Coffee makes me feel good after drinking it. I had my first slice of pizza just the other day- it felt good after eating it. (I imagine that if I eat too much of the above I won’t be feeling quite so good- after seeing what my bathroom scale has to say!) Motivation- It’s what kept me going. What kept me going? My Wife, My Daughter- they are what kept me going. (And my Mom- she made me promise to keep going too). (No Dad though- that’s another story) I was needed - my family needed me. It wasn’t much. But sometimes that was the only thing that kept me going- was the thought that they needed me. I cannot remember how many times I woke up just as it was time to get up- and simply didn’t want to keep going anymore. I didn’t want to face yet another day of constant anxiety or fear. But I got up and did it anyways. Snuggles with the wife- helped me, the physical touch was something I needed. And Snuggles releases a neurotransmitter- Oxytocin. And there were some phrases that helped motivate me through many a hard day- and they’re still something I occasionally have to fall back on when things get tough mentally: 1) Be Here Now 2) Accept 3) Pain is Mandatory- Suffering is Optional These three phrases tie in with each other. #1 Be Here Now; is the motivation that you are only in the now- and for you to not fixate upon the timeline of your withdrawal. The past is done, the future will come, but it’s best to focus on the immediate now and what you can do with it. #2 is about the immediate now- refusing to accept what’s going on in withdrawal will just make it worse. By Accepting that this is the way things are- you actually gain a sort of control over it all # 3- There is the Pain of Withdrawal- you can find ways to cope with the pain. Suffering is what comes about when you refuse to accept what is. You can choose to not be the person subjected to an endless misery of withdrawal. Yes I was in Withdrawal- but I choose to be more than a person in withdrawal- I chose instead to try and enjoy life as much as I could in between the wave crests. In both my benzo and antidepressant withdrawal blogs- I griped something fierce about it all. For that I make no apology. For I also chose to try and grab onto whatever little pleasures and triumphs I could garner when I was able to. Nature- There’s something about the forest, or even alone time next to a lake that helped me to calm down after a particularly grueling week or day. I got a few spiritual moments from the interplay of light in the clouds along with the wind in the leaves. Those few moments came at a time that I needed them. Music- I remember reading in a Science Magazine- that Music gets just about every area in the brain running. And that’s something that you need. The pills make our brains ‘soft’, music helps reboot it, it’ll evoke memories both good and bad. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh. And that’s what you need to do to get your neurotransmitters kicking in again. Beans- So what’s the big to do about beans? Gastrointestinal Health is paramount. Even though all of the other stuff I’ve listed above helped- I’ve also still had a number of problems involving Cortisol Spikes, the one thing that helped me well with that (after the Taurine) were Beans. I’ve found that the addition of a couple of tablespoons worth of Black Beans with dinner- seemed to lessen the number and frequency of Cortisol Spikes. I’m not exactly sure why this happens- though I have my suspicions. From what I understand- they’re a good source of something called Oligosaccharides. I learned about them after watching a documentary about Human Breast Milk. Apparently- Human Breast Milks’ primary ingredients include: 1) Water, 2) Fats, 3) Proteins, and 4) Oligosaccharides. So what are they? They’re a form of sugar that humans cannot digest. Now why on earth would humans produce something that babies cannot digest? Apparently the oligosaccharides are digested by a form of bacteria in the human gut- Beneficial Bacteria. The kind of bacteria that not only promotes our health in our guts but also helps us from - amongst other things- getting depressed. Long story short- Beans help you calm down and helps to prevent you from getting depression. Weird huh? Orgasms- Orgasms make you feel better. Orgasms release several feel good neurotransmitters. If you can- go for it. Hitachi wands are helpful in that regard for some folks. What’s it like for me now? I still get depressive. I still have bad days. But I’m also having good days. I’m enjoying life again. My hobbies are fun again. I’m spending time with my wife enjoying the amenities that my house and internet has to offer. (Netflix!) I’m honestly laughing again. For the longest time I forced myself to. After a while- I was able to give an honest laugh. That was a relief. Laughing- makes me feel better. Now- I can laugh spontaneously. Laughter releases Neurotransmitters. Crying- that too was near impossible for me. Now- I cry every few days. Crying- makes me feel better. I’m not up to crying spontaneously- but I’m working on it. I appreciate the time I have with my wife. I appreciate the time I have with my daughter. These times are so precious to me now. Weight loss- I still get hungry and I’m inclined to overeat if I’m not careful. Somehow I’ve still managed to lose about three pants sizes. I’ve still a ways to go, but such is a nice feeling. On the antidepressants- even mild hunger felt like I starving to death. In fact, there were times that I kept shoving food down my throat despite being so full that I was vomiting out food- but I was still famished- I couldn't achieve satiation. Now- it’s not. It’s bearable. I feel hunger, and it’s easily satisfied. I’ve lost a lot of my health due to trusting the medical doctors. I now am short one gall bladder- due to the gastrointestinal upsets my body underwent from the initial cold turkey. It was a journey of discovery for me when I found out that so many medical doctors- just don’t give a damn about folks’ suffering. Compassion Fatigue it’s called. My antidepressants- also caused me to react to allergens even more violently- I now need a CPAP to breathe at night- due to an Emergency Room visit in which some idiot botched my intubation during a visit due to a food impaction in my esophagus caused by a food allergy. During that little escapade they also managed to pierce my esophagus and I came close to needing a transfusion. And it managed to screw up my trachea too, Joy. For some reason- I find I cannot trust the Medicos as much as I did before. Why should I? They give us pills when they know they shouldn’t. During my withdrawal- I ended up going to the ER at least 6 or 7 times for things. On 5 of those visits- they gave me a scrip for Oxycodone tablets. Only two of which I put in for at the time. The other 3 I just tore up and threw away. And of those I kept- I used maybe a half dozen tablets- the rest of the contents of the bottles- I threw away. Day 600. March 11, 2017. 4 months shy of my two year mark. That’s the two year mark after tapering off of my antidepressant. That’s not including the time I spent from going cold turkey to now. Let’s see, including that turns out to be: 1048 days. Nasty. I’ve lost nearly 2 decades of my life to this crap. Thanks for nothing there Mr. Hippocratic Oath. And I’ve found that I’ve been having an issue with a short temper quite often of late. It could be a form of PTSD, it could be part of my personality that I’ve always had but never learned to control or channel. If so- then it’s past time for me to learn some anger/frustration management techniques. Which I'm doing now. Now, I'm having to relearn how to be a mature and responsible adult. It's an interesting time.
  6. Hello, I am a 27M. In January 2022 I was prescribed generic Bupropion 150mg XL off label for ADHD. Before this I had no major mental health issues other than mild anxiety/depression and ADHD and had never taken any psychiatric medication, or any real prescription drug beyond cold medicine and antibiotics. I did have Covid 2 months prior 11/2021. I wonder if Covid could have prompted this adverse reaction somehow. While taking the medication I experienced fatigue and slight dizziness at first. On the 6th day I experienced complete euphoria that felt like some kind of psychedelic trip. Colors were brighter, things were funnier, It felt like my brain was flooded with dopamine. On the seventh day, I continued to feel euphoric but also fell emotionally flat. I also noticed that my sexdrive was non-existent and I experienced erectile dysfunction for the first time in my life. I immediately stopped the medication. I was not made aware of problematic cold turkeying and didn't think it would be necessary after just a week of medication. Since then, I have experienced all sorts of horrific symptoms that have destroyed my life including: Severe brain fog Complete emotional Anhedonia (Music, food, movies bring zero enjoyment) Loss of inner voice Loss of inner visualization Sexual Anhedonia (feel little to zero sexual pleasure). No sex drive, or feelings of attraction POTS feeling very hot or cold. inner restlessness (mild akathisia?) random "SI" thoughts headaches that last for hours visual snow DP/DR colors appear dulled and I get tunnel vision when over stimulated. waking up many times in the night. These symptoms have all remained for the last 5 months. With some minor improvements in brain fog and some days being better than others. It feels as if my dopamine system is completely broken. I have somehow managed to continue working through all of this but my performance has seriously plummeted. Everyday is a battle. I fear for my future, my career, and my relationship. I fear that I have irreversible brain damage at the age of 27 from simply trying to resolve my ADHD. Id appreciate any advice or words of encouragement. This has by far been the worst experience of my life.
  7. 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.
  8. I have been on Celexa 20 mg for 20 years. Wellbutrin 300XL for 18 years. I want to taper off as slowly as possible. Is there anyone out there that has been on this same cocktail for this long and tried weaning off? Is there any hope that I can do it? I'm thinking I should start with the Wellbutrin. 2 years ago I tried going off them extremely fast and crashed, of course. Bad BAD choice. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
  9. Hi. I've been on SSRI meds for a long time. I'm currently tapering from Zoloft. I'm at 26 mg. I'm reducing at 2.5% every 2-4 weeks. My CNS is a mess and I can feel every taper. I'm so tired all the time and have no energy. I'm taking cal-mag citrate, Barleans Omega fish oil, Vitamin D3/K2, and an iron supplement for anemia. Sometimes I take Coq10. I'd like to know what has helped others with the inability to focus and with fatigue.
  10. Hi, I have been doing research on here to be able to wean off effexor. I know it can be a nasty drug to come off of. I have read the tips but have some questions. In the thread on weaning off effexor it says you can make a liquid from the extended release venlafexine. I have tried emptying my 37.5mg capsule into 5 ml of water and let it sit over night while stirring occasionally. It doesn't appear the beads are dissolving. Am I doing something wrong? I have also tried using a jewelry scale to do my reduction. Typically the beads weigh 0.11g but I am finding some variation from capsule to capsule which I understand is an issue particularly with the generic. Am I better off switching to regular venlafexine and making a liquid to do my reduction? Regarding switching to regular from extended release, I want to makes sure I understand correctly. Since I am on 37.5 mg of extended release, I would reduce my dose to 33.75 and then divide it into two doses of 16.88mg twice a day....is that correct? I sincerely appreciate all the work that has been put into this forum.
  11. WARNING. This is very long and took me hours to write. I didnt know what to include. I figured more information was more information so.. Here it all is. If anyone has advice on what i should cut please do advise! TLDR is i accidentally went cold turkey off 2.5 1x week Escitalopram, have been treating it all wrong with propanolol, thc and cbd. Countless mood and physical symptoms. Believe I have kindled and made going back on impossible. Scared to wait this out incase of psychosis. Scared to reinstate. Terrified of everything and tired and unable to sleep. Okay, I dont know what to write here, so ill give a small summary background and history I took from my summary for applying for the board. My mental health and my lack of steady GP has made finding dates VERY hard and I went through a lot of patchy on off med periods so its a little unclear, sorry. I did my best to match referrals and old receipts for rough dating. History- Depression and suicidality 2003~2013. 2013, suddenly panic attacks and anxiety, went to psych, was prescribed Sertraline, unsure dose. 2013~ 2016 Sertraline - Felt no better & hated side effects so CT. Didn't notice WD. Tried Desvenfalaxine, then Fluoxetine. No improvement on depression within months like I wanted, side effects too horrible. CT off both. Tried Escitalopram, helped panic attacks. CT off all and no WD noticed. During these years I was bad, very depressed, barely left bed, would hold jobs for months and then drop. Mostly same since 2003. 2016~2019 Mental Health crisis around August 2016 led to being in and out of ER, decided reinstate medication. 40mg Escitalopram initially followed by addition of Wellbutrin, 75 up to 150mg. Escitalopram reduced to 20mg sometime btwn August 2016 and Feb 2017, then down to 10mg by July 2017. All unsupervised tapers, doctors saw my doses changing and were unphased. No WD experienced. Stabilized. Struggled with depression and anxiety, but no panic. No suicidality. 2019-2020 Started to be lax with occasionally not taking meds. Stopped Zyban cold turkey during 2020 or 2019 due to night sweats, feeling stable and feeling like it affected my memory. Ocasional forgetting to take escitalopram for a few days. Mostly stable Escitalopram at 10mg. 2020-2022 Minor depression but the best i had been, even before meds. Have not had suicidal feelings in 6 years, no panic attacks. I spent years slowly working up a reward system for myself to encourage myself to do things like shower daily, cook and eat real food. During this time none of that is an effort and I begin adding to things. I institute a cleaning schedule with WEEKLY house cleaning. I cook. I eat regularly. I exercise on and off. I feel stable and HAPPY for the first time ever. Even my hard days pale in comparison and instead of not leaving bed or eating for 30hrs my worst times are a week where my chores are a bit lax. I get a job by CHOICE. But I begin to notice through this two things - I went on Escitalopram to manage panic attacks and now im only having mild anxiety... But I have TERRIBLE emotional blunting. I can't laugh, I can‘t cry. Bad things will happen and I can feel it like a pressure under the surface. I even listen to sad things to TRY and cry and nothing. I begin to try and taper. To be honest I think I tried CT and the brainzaps put me off. Over 2020 maybe, but mostly 2021, I Taper unsupervised down to 5mg daily... then every other day I try and push it and only take meds when noticing brainzaps. I DO NOT KNOW that means withdrawal or that i am essentially entering withdrawal every few weeks. Noticing 5 is still producing annoying blunting I go down to taking 2.5 1-2x week by late 2021, only when I have brainzaps. I told doctors about this and nobody said anything, nobody said not to do this! During 2020~2021 I start to, in retrospect, have what was probably withdrawal symptoms. My Anxiety has waves and days or weeks of being moderately bad in a way I've never experienced. I latch on to certain almost intrusive worries and struggle with them a lot. I begin to obsess about finances, my weight, healthy food, calories etc. It only gets as bad as mild crying on some intermittent days tho. Its draining but liveable. This makes me more encouraged to try and not take Escitalopram as I have never found it helpful for my general anxiety and rumination and would like to find something not blunting. November through January I feel my best ever. I start a new job and have a week in January this year where I take 5mg because im struggling with anxiety, then went back down to 2.5 “as needed” Mild brain zaps in February, twice I have days where i feel derealized and dizzy, but hours later i have a migraine so unsure if withdrawal or symptons of migraine. Start to feel mildly depressed early March - My contract at my Job is up and its the first job I have managed 2 days a week at without burning out. The depression feels rational though, im worrying about ever having real money or holding down a full time job, since my “best” I still cant handle it. This still feels like my depression. I try and stick to the 2.5 because it wards off brainzaps, but i dont feel emotionally blunted. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WD AND CURRENT ISSUES START HERE. 17/03 2022 Sudden HARD crash. I feel.. weird.Dizzy, so dizzy i feel like im falling over. Spacey, nauseous. I take my 2.5 but it does not improve. First panic attack in 6 years on the 19th. On 20th Tried reinstate at 5mg, just in a prayer for stability, not knowing what is happening. Maybe mild help at most. I wake up having a panic attack at 4am the 21st and cant calm down. derealization, nausea.. I see the GP on the 21st, he says my dosage was so low as to be pretty much nonexistant and taking the meds again wont give relief. I feel like im going insane because I can feel calm mentally and start having panic attacks out of nowhere. I stil feel okay emotionally but this is eating at me. Put on propanolol every 4 hrs as needed, when i first take it and the physical symptoms calm down I feel INSTANT relief and cry. 21st-But, for the first time ever I have insomnia- Ive always fallen asleep at like 2-4am and awake at 10-12, but during depression usually I am a sleep for 16hrs straight type. Im having migraine headaches, i cant keep food down. Im mixing antiemetics and propnaolol. I feel SO DIZZY i lay in bed all night feeling like im falling. I take a maxalt and manage an hour and a half sleep for the first time in two days. 22ng I begin to suspect withdrawal now. Net says 3wks so I decide to try and hold. I distract myself by cleaning, I start having hot and cold flushes. Laying in bed gives me panic attacks. I get dizzy and scared of more panic attacks and not sleeping ever again, followed by heart pounding and shaking and hot and cold flushes back to back for hours. I take two temazepam i found that expired in 2019 and feel no better, sleep an hour or so. 23rd. Messaging my mum everyday, she wants me to try CBD and THC. I get an appointment. Im starting to feel less panicky per day, only random attacks rather than back to back all day, seemingly untriggered, sudden chills and heart pounding. Except if I lay down, then I always panic. I try the couch and the floor, i try breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation. I go buy Restavit. I emotionally collapse. I barely remember this so here is what I sent my mother> “ Last night was ***** at first. Hysterical crying on the floor, felt like I was dying, [partner] even went searching for valium bc i was so ***** but found none. Went to bed early and was exhausted but still could not pass out for an hour of panic(continous chills and feeling like i had been dunked in cold water and shaking and chest felt tight etc). Took the sedatives and still could not, got up and paced around for a bit which felt SO funny bc I was dizzy and struggling to walk but if I stopped I panicked so I was just stumbling back and forth around the kitchen. I went back to bed and eventually somewhere between 5am and 9am passed out and then slept until frickin 6pm. Beginning to suspect its some weird delayed onset ssri discontinuation syndrome. It kinda FEELS physically like getting brainzaps does. The fact its random out of nowhere, no trigger, cant calm myself mwntally, comes in waves, so much worse at night. I feel a lot better today. Not even taken a single beta blocker. Chest has been a bit tight all day and struggling a bit with feeling like nothing is real. Starting to have scalp crawling tingles now so hopefully not gonna be a repeat of last night.”. Prescribed THc and CBD oils. The next few days are a fog and I dont message my mum so Im unsure what happened. I know my panic attacks started to not happen I know they stopped around saturday the 26th so I stop taking propanolol. I know my insomnia sucked. I took restavit a few times during this, it helped twice and didnt twice. I started to feel okay and even good on sunday and monday. My anxiety was a 4~5 on this day from the 7~10 it had been. By 29th of March I begin my THC and CBD and am not feeling good. I take my CBD to no effect. The THC makes me feel GOOD. Not euphoric but the closest to how i felt emotionally and anxiety wise for the first time since this started. But dont even manage the 4hrs of sleep ive gotten the last few days. I think this is a BAD idea bc I start to feel BAD on the 30th and panicky again. I dont remember this week well. I have no messages during this time. I take CBD 0.125ml at 100mg per ml on 29, 30th, 31st and 0.25 on the first. Nothing, maybe minorly more anxiety. THC is a 10thc15cbd per ml mix. I take 0.25ml 29, 30th at 7:44pm AND 144 am And take a restavit and STILL can not fall asleep and feel nothing on the 30th. I try 0.5 on the first, I actually do sleep. I take 0.5 on the 02 and cant sleep at all again. I feel focused and calm and awake so I drop them both. I convince myself all the other websites are right and look to the 7th as a day all will resolve. On and off dizzyness and constant insomnia this week, falling asleep for barely 4 hrs most nights. Tummy and appetite issuesstill but no panic. My mood effects start coming in this week. I flip between total fog inability to engage with or enjoy anything zoned out on the couch for hours exhausted and existing, to crying spells of hours out of nowhere. But I can eat without nausea most days and I can do some cooking, i manage to cook two meals for mt partner. I start to notice fluey symptoms~ body aches and post nasal drip and cough. On the 6th I start thinking about giving up on holding. I cant stop sobbing hystericallt all day. take some thc at 0.25 ml and despite barely any effects on 0.5 I feel kinda high. My mood and appetite feel really good and I have mild warm and fuzzies. I crash though and cant sleep and after the come down im shaky "my nervous system is so fried. went to bed at 4, fell asleep at 1030am. slept from then till 11:40, then 12:25 to 1:30 then 1:40 to 4:30. maybe 4 and a half hours total. I feel wide awake but also tired the whole time and cant tell if im falling asleep. Im scared of benzos as a solution tho" Im beginning to be scared of how im effecting my partner and his mood and sleep as my only support. I had two good days again that week and went out one day. I am struggling emotionally more and more. I cant be alone or I spiral. I sit in my partners room on the floor while I scroll, being in a room with someone helps. I take restavit for the fifth time in two weeks on the 7th. Ive had mixed results and groggyness 12hrs later but im desperate so I take 50mg. I SLEEP. The next few days I take 25mg, I wake up every two to four hours but I manage 6 hours. Even if I take restavit at midnight I dont fall asleep till 8 am most days but SLEEP IS SWEET RELIEF. Still anhedonic and weepy. Dont manage chores this week. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Which brings us to the last few days. A fresh hell. Im struggling. Not distracting myself. Thoughts start to get worse. 10th i cry and obsess till bed time about how I will be stuck like this forever. I get stuck on the idea that even if I go back on my meds I can only work 2 days a week. I get stuck on obsessing about money. All the therapists in my area are 100~800$. How will I ever get therapy and get better. How will I ever get on disability with no proper history. 11th is my worst day yet. I cry about that some more. I cry about being stuck like this. About a two year possible taper. About why am i having WD symptoms. About fear of waiting this out and it not getting better. Fear of going back on and kindling happening bc I ***** myself up with the once a week bullsh*t. And then having to go through this anyway. About a two year taper of no emotions. About not having sleep at all without restavit no matter what I do. I take 0.25 mg of thc in the afternoon. I feel euphoric and quite high. Then I feel BAD about that. What if i have to get high every day to cope? My boyfriend has addiction history, this is wrong to do around him. Etc. I cry a LOT FOR HOURS. I finally calm down for a few hours. I have an existenstial crisis about turning 30 and only having worked part time jobs and my mental health and having not ever lived. About finally feeling like I was coping enough to keep my emotions and house i order and now this. Im inconsolable for hours and cry till mt partner falls asleep. I dont sleep. I have intrusive thoughts. I feel suicidal for the firsy time in years. I consider going to the ER, second time i consider that recently. I take THC at 1030, hoping for a nap or at least relief for a few hours. BAD BAD BAD. When it kicks in, despite being the same dose i couldnt feel two weeks ago or was happy on yesterday I start.. hallucinating, I guess? Its all the symptoms of tripping on LSD. Letters on my keyboard mildly glow, words wiggle, afterimagea when I blink. I PANIC. THC ISNT MEANT TO DO THIS. I start to shake, like intense shivering, can barely type to my partner. He comes home from work for lunch. I worry that ive induced psychosis. we talk about the hospital. Im having paranoia now, that i've induced psychosis, that if I go in theyll put me on benzos, that im never going to be okay again. I cant eat. I feel like throwing up. My stomach is bad. Hours later I calm down. I feel fragile as glass. I keep crying on and off. Im actually stable enough by 10pm to enjoy playing some games with mt partner for the first time ina week. But I cry a lot. I apply here. I read a lot. Food tastes bad still. No appetite. Feel exhausted but wired. I take half a restavit. I spend hours writing this. I argue with my mum about whether to reinstate or whether ive made things too bad for that. Ive been awake 30 hours now. Im going to take another half a restavit. I know I shouldnt. I know how much I have done wrong. I know Ill be groggy till 4pm tomorrow. I know Im in a very bad place. The panic attacks are gone, I still get mild dizzyness on and off. I still get chills. But mostly my emotions are now a mess. I have never cried this much in my life. I feel like i have no control over my thoughts and emotions. I spiral and ruminate and feel depressed the last few days. My mum wants me to go to an inpatient hospital, or talk to the ER. I am afraid of being put on benzos by someone who doesnt understand. My boyfriend wants me to hold for two more weeks, since its changing so rapidly and i have new symptoms every day and ive passed the headaches and panic attacks. I am very scared. I dont know what to do. Taking two years to taper down and having to suffer withdrawals anyway sounds like hell. The risk of kindling and the fact I didnt feel better with the 2.5 or 5 the first week scares me so much. I dont know if im more afraid of living like this for much longer in the hope it will resolve, or of trying to go on meds and that kindling and being even WORSE, or of years of suffering when i might resolve in a few more weeks when i have already made it through almost four weeks of hell. I am scared though. And this week I am suffering. And I need advice. I know I wrote a lot. Im sorry. Ive been so scared and nobody around me understands and all want me to find help from a doctor and i am so afraid the doctors will make it worse. The THC sure did and the advice to not reinstate might have.
  12. i swore i would never take an snri again after what i went through on effexor, but he suggested i try cymbalta for the chronic pain and told me that generally there are less side effects/zaps than with effexor, so i said i would give it a try. my psychologist and his super decided that i have bipolar 2 not mdd, but the pdoc waved this away and didn’t even consider mood stabilizers. when my pdoc raised my dose of cymbalta after i expressed a wish to discontinue, and wrote in my record that i display “abnormal illness behaviors” (which just means i disagree with him?), i have decided to get off the ADs once and for all.
  13. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  14. 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...
  15. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  16. Hello- as my topic title shows, I have been on anti-depressants for 24 years (20mgs Lexepro, 175 mgs Wellbutrin). It is hard to face. After the birth of my first son, I began having acute anxiety. When I told my gynecologist he told me it was common after giving birth because of hormonal changes. In such cases, he recommends about six months of medication to help with the symptoms and recommended a psychiatrist that he works with for patients such as me. I'm sure none of you are surprised to know that, as is all too common, I never got off the drugs for very long. Each time withdrawel symptoms were interpreted as my illness returning. My mother suffered from anxiety and depression all her sad life, so it wasn't hard to believe that I was ill. Yet, I still tried a few times to stop the drugs. Interestingly, once it became clear how difficult it was to get off the drugs, I knew with certainty that I needed to stop taking them. I Thought I would put if off until I was retired, so I would have less stress, etc. to deal with the WD, but when I learned about the10% taper it gave me hope that I can be AD free by my 60th birthday! I will start with the Lexepro. Getting myself a scale and using a spreadsheet to calculate the decreases. I'm getting my yoga and walking on, and continuing meditation for success! I'm so glad to have this site for reference, information and support!
  17. Hi All, I've been tentative to post here but thought I'd add my own experience in preparation to begin tapering off Gabapentin after ten years depending on it. I've been on psychiatric medications since age 14 for GAD/MDD, a diagnoses which was later specified as BP II (though I take any diagnosis with heaps of salt given the likelihood of inter-rater bias). From 14-18 was on a smorgasbord of various SSRIs, mood stabilizers, and anti-psychotics. Lots of medication churn because I was young and dumb and too impatient to give anything enough time to work. That is until the first day of college orientation, and waves of crippling anxiety led me to try gabapentin from a family member scrip. It was also around this time that I settled down with one SSRI (Celexa -> Lexapro) at 20mg (subsequently raised to 30mg at age 22). Gabapentin seemed to work, so I brought it up with my psych who agreed to prescribe it (no mention of dependence or withdrawal, obviously) and went on my merry way. Well, no so merry, as my mental health led to me leaving my hard-won spot at a liberal arts college and return home to attend CC while living with my parents. For the next 4 years my anxiety and depression were manageable, if only because I avoided any situations or experiences that I deemed too stressful or emotionally wrought, and I graduated from a state university with a degree in psychology (a major chosen due to my own struggles, and one I deeply regret). I then fell face first into the workforce six months before the coronavirus shut the country down. My tendency to self-isolate became more insidious as I could argue for it on the grounds of public health. My alcohol intake also greatly increased. Thankfully I met a friend through work who needed a new roommate, and moved in with them, though our subsequent romantic entanglement was ill-advised and devastating). Fast-forward to early 2022, and an alcohol/benzo/relationship mediated suicide attempt leads me to first take time off work for outpatient treatment, then quit my well-paying job altogether. I used the time in the outpatient facility to taper off Lexapro and switch onto Wellbutrin. I speed-ran titration, going from 30mg to 0mg in just over a month. My thinking was that since I didn't have work or responsibilities, it was the perfect time to go trough the hell of withdrawal. And honestly? It wasn't bad at all. I know I'm in the minority there, and extremely lucky. Now I'm back living with my parents at 28, working on certificates to change careers, and working retail part-time for a quarter of what I previously made while struggling to pay off debts accrued when I was sure I wouldn't live long enough to see them collected. So all that brings me to today, and my decision to taper off of gabapentin. I've read horror stories here, but I attribute their prevalence to response bias (i.e. folks who had a worse/memorable experience are far more likely to report it than those who had an easier time). That isn't to discredit the hell others have been through, but it does allow me to approach this taper with optimism. Since my last med decoupling was relatively painless, I'm hoping this will be similar. Medications currently taken: 10 years - Gabapentin 600mg 1-2x daily (was on 1200-1800 daily until December 2021) 4 months - Wellbutrin XL 300mg daily I'm planning to start tapering starting next Monday, going down by 10% every two weeks unless withdrawal symptoms become too severe. Any insights, advice, experiences, or kind words would be amazing. Thanks for reading until the end
  18. Hi I have been on Wellbutrin 150 XL for 4 years. I tried to cold turkey 2 years ago, and spent 5 days unable to get out of bed. Due to loss of insurance, and really wanting to be off meds, I am tapering again. I received Wellbutrin 75mg IR (immediate release). I was going to start off with a slow taper, however the IR pills have been a roller coaster. When I first take the pill I am irritable and agitated for about 3 hours. And then I become lethargic and tired until my next dose. Due to these ups and downs I had to reduce the dosage pretty quickly. I take 3 doses a day. 3/8 in the morning, 3/8 at lunch, and 1/4 in the evening. For a total of 75 mg a day. I started tapering 2 weeks ago, and finally now feel pretty stable. Honestly, the best time for me is when i first wake up. After I take my first dose I get irritable and agitated. I am planning on doing another reduction tomorrow, and just cannot wait to get off this medicine. I am supplementing with lots of Omega 3s, multivitamin, magnesium and vitamin B. Hope to use this as a journal, documenting my taper. Thank you for reading.
  19. 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.
  20. Here is my intro thread: ☼-armorall-ct-from-bupropion-and-risperidone Hello everyone! I will relay all the important things that I think serve people in WD (as did me, all I ever did was read the success stories part), then if you want to read more details, there’s a more detailed account following the abridged version, lol. Dosage and Tapering: I’m a 46 year old cis-female. I took 150 mg Bupropion for roughly 4 months alongside 2mg Risperidone for 3 months then switched to 10 mg Abilify for 3 weeks then 20 mg Latuda. So basically I took an SNRI plus an antipsychotic for 4 months. All were cold-turkeyed and no one I touched, not my psychiatrist, his nurse, his resident, my therapist or my GP said anything to warn me about it. I found this site two weeks after I started having symptoms. Trying to figure out how to reinstate drugs was too tricky amongst mod discussions, so we decided that nothing was probably the best solution. Symptoms: I couldn’t sing, write/listen to music, watch TV/music, read, take my son out to parks because I was either too tired/depressed, or the activity would send me into paroxysms of anxiety. At work, I slept through all my prep periods and had to leave early/show up late often because I was so beyond tired, even after sleeping for 8 to 20 hours. I couldn’t eat, I lost 70 pounds in 3 months, I lost 50% of my hair. I had heat dysregulation that would wake me up at night (heat would roll down my body), my skin peels off like a snake. I couldn’t eat sugar or carbs or else it would hyperstimulate me or make me super sluggish. I have tinnitus in my left ear, I still feel tremors at night. If I turn suddenly, either in my sleep or awake, my heart will start to race. Eating food or taking naps will also stimulate intense anxiety. I had to wear sunglasses while using the computer because the light was too bright. I will never be able to take cold medicine, drink coffee or alcohol ever again as it will bring me back to being ridden with symptoms. Hypnic jerks, waking panic attacks, fractured sleep, intense fatigue, floaters in the eyes, sound sensitivity while sleeping, expressive aphasia, inability to exercise for more than 10 minutes because it exacerbates symptoms, I often mix up homophones, and my short term memory suffers. Sore muscles if I do things that are slightly outside of the norm (reaching for a can on a higher shelf, using an unfamiliar computer mouse, twisting my body to tie something that I don’t usually tie, different shoes) will make my muscles sore. Recovery: Month 13 - I turned my first corner. I suddenly stopped having massive anxiety/rage episodes after napping, eating or upon waking in the morning. Month 18 - I then hit another benchmark of improvement. I could workout for 30 minutes without any repercussions. Month 22 - I found myself fully recovered!!! What had happened is that a friend was DJing on the beach and we decided that was a safe enough activity to try. We walked two miles to get there, danced all night, then walked the 2 miles back to car, then I got on the phone with a friend in distress and was up until 4:30am- I got up the following day at 11am and received house guests and never felt any ill effect, no waves, nothing. I realized then that I was fully recovered. At month 22, I could: sleep more or less normally and take naps with no consequence, wake up early in the morning without effect, exercise or dance as much and as long as I wanted to, eat sweets with no effect, listen and enjoy music, movies and other media. I feel like my old vivacious self again. I can work all day, plan parties, and am very active as an activist. I am fully present to my family. My husband and I are now seeing a sexologist (highly recommended) since we had lost our sex life before in withdrawal. It’s fun! At 29 months off now, I still cannot drink coffee, juice and most likely alcohol. I also can’t eat massive amounts of starch (but I will) it makes me beyond tired. It did before WD but it is brutal now, lol. If I’m out doing some activity, I don’t notice it, but if I’m home, I’m asleep from the effects. My short term memory is slightly taxed (you know when you walk into a room and then can’t remember why you’re there? I have more of those), and I have more moments when I’m not talking rapid fire (like at work) and in a more relaxed situation (like laying in bed with my husband) where I have to search for the words I mean to say (ex. So…I was at the store and I uh…trying to remember what words represent my experience at the store). Nothing big and nothing noticeable to others. If I get too hot (while I’m asleep or during the summer sitting in the heat) my heart will start beating faster, but it doesn’t do anything to me emotionally. The biggest tip I can leave here is about “turning the corner”. When I was in withdrawal, I kept scanning and scanning people’s success stories and feeling hopeless. Like, they still list symptoms they still have and it made me feel like no one “really heals”. What I found though, in that month 13 when I turned the corner, is that turning the corner is really the most important event on your healing timeline. Of course you want to heal and feel like your old self again. But, what I learned from that corner turn makes so much of a difference in relief, that once you do it, you know you can handle everything that come after it with ease. I often tell people, don’t worry so much about gauging when you have totally made it to the other side. Just hold on until you turn that corner (which will come way earlier to you than when you completely heal), because I swear, once you do, you know you can handle the rest and you are not suffering so much. That being said, when people post their success stories and they still list some lingering symptoms (like me) know that they probably felt good enough that the bulk of their suffering is over, and that’s why they felt good enough to post. I know it’s true for me, I’m so happy to be able to be happy every single day and have energy to enjoy life and get things done. I do feel resilient and capable, and if I can’t drink coffee anymore at the expense of that, well, no biggie. Only detriment is that when I feel really tired, I have to go to bed, there’s no more pushing through it to keep working with coffee, and I’ll take that exchange over what I don’t have to suffer with anymore. Life is beautiful again, and it will be for you! - ALSO thanks to the crew here at SA, aside from trying an acupuncture/herb regimen at the very beginning of withdrawal (which was completely disastrous), I never ever took anything to try to alleviate the WD state. I think that helped me a ton even though I kept asking in the forums about various things to try and noticing how risky it was. I never ended up taking/doing any of it. Just sleep, fish oil and magnesium. That lack of tinkering with supplements, drugs and weird devices probably got me here quickly and in a solid manner. So, please hold off on those for temporary relief whenever possible, it will help your receptors come back earlier in the long run! - I encourage everyone to start dropping reviews and doing what you can to get the word out about our suffering (like sharing the movie “Medicating Normal” - I have the link you can use so people can watch the 56 minute version for free! https://www.pbs.org/video/medicating-normal-kinbho/) once you are healed or feel up to it. I am available to help you write your reviews if you want. Just contact me here or via FB. Link is in my signature. Here is a breakdown that I had on a calendar of what new symptom was showing up/then later going away month by month. Month 1: Insomnia Month 2: Tinnitus Month 3: sore muscles from slight, but unfamiliar activity Month 4: fatigue/depression Month 5: nervous stomach Month 6: getting worse, turmoil Month 7: just absolutely awful Month 8: muscle twitches at night Month 9: more depression, more muscle twitches Month 10: inner tremor Month 11: expressive aphasia Month 12: dry eyes and mouth, more head pressure Month 13: Doing better! No anxiety anymore after dinner or nap. No new symptoms! Month 14: lots of muscle soreness as I try to increase my time on elliptical to 10 minutes Month 15: I can now listen to music and watch movies Month 16: my menstrual period stopped becoming erratic and is a normal cycle can workout for 16 minutes Month 17: Can eat sweets again! No cortisol from taking a nap. Month 18: Can workout for 30 minutes! Can eat A LOT of sweets and nothing happens to me. Month 19: Workout 40 minutes, sleep well even after exercising late in the day Month 20: Average heart rate lower. Up to 1.5 hours of exercise! Can listen to music and it feel the way I did before withdrawal Month 21: Doing well! Month 22: Breakthrough! Dance and walked 4 miles, stayed up all night, still felt good the next day! Month 23: Done! Functioning and feeling normal and good. When to write success story? Extra special thanks to @Shep, @Altostrata and @Undiagnosed1 for dealing with so many questions and keeping me grounded and unmedicated. Special thanks to the following SA members for their constant positive feedback and support: @Superwoman, @mustafa, @Erell, @Glosmom, @coldturkmama, @Hanna72, @ChessieCat, @manymoretodays, @Sassenach, @DrugfreeProf Here is the long and detailed version of my account if anyone wants to read it, otherwise take care and ask all the questions and requests for support that you want! As you can see from my drug history, I started out taking Bupropion and Risperidone after practically forcing (meaning I didn’t know my rights in the hospital, I thought I *had* to do what the psychiatrist told me, I found out later I was wrong. I was hospitalized on my own decision, so I didn’t have to take anything) me to take it via the hospital psychiatrist. Interestingly enough, her reviews show that polydrugging and overdrugging were definitely her thing. One complaint said that someone’s wife was on 9 medications because of her. Anyways, so after debating with the doctor on how deadly psychiatric drugs were (and my crappy therapist calling my husband to tell him to coax me into it because “it’s the only solution”) I was on both. Two months pass and even though I was spellbound from feeling better when I first took the drug, in retrospect, I was the same or worse. What was making me nuts prior to being hospitalized was probably how crazy I was while breastfeeding. I had learned before that I really don’t do well with hormonal changes- couldn’t take the pill without it driving me crazy, couldn’t take the Mirena IUD- just made me hungry and I bled for 6 straight months while others usually lose their period using Mirena. Anyways, so when I took Bupropion and Risperidone, I guess one of the side effects of the latter is that it ups your prolactin levels (related to lactating). So, even though I quit breastfeeding because I was on psychiatric drugs, I was still as jacked up or worse on them. The wellbutrin was super activating for me, too. I remember taking it and at night my eyes just dried out into raisins and I couldn’t sleep until 3am. So later, once the risperidone built up enough, I started getting suddenly sleeping at 11pm and couldn’t stay awake if I wanted to. My psychiatrist took a blood sample two months after I started and noticed that my prolactin levels were high. The next time I saw him, he said he’s switching me to Abilify, and that I should cut the Risperidone in half, take one the next day, the other half the next, then start a half of Abilify and the other half the next day. Yeah, that’s his idea of switching me out. So, 21 days pass and I’m slowly becoming more restless. I can’t lay in bed long enough to put my son down for sleep. I go get a facial and they cover my eyes with something and I freak out and rip one eye cover open. Simultaneously, I’m becoming more lethargic. I stop caring about hanging out with my adorable toddler son. I’m a teacher so I’m off for the summer, but I keep dropping my son off at daycare instead of spending time with him. The idea of having to make him breakfast seems overwhelming. I call the resident (because I can’t just get a hold of my shrink) and the resident approves me going off it. My shrink puts me on Latuda. I have crazy insomnia, then I go off of it. I continue to have insomnia. Mind you, I’m still taking Bupropion. My therapist says that bupropion is too activating for some of her clients. I go off it immediately in hopes of sleeping. After a week, I could finally sleep on my own, no melatonin or anything. Mind you, my psychiatrist knew, my GP knew, my therapist knew- I had happened to see each and every one of them within a week of quitting. NO ONE told me going off cold turkey was dangerous. No one. A month later, I start the heck that is withdrawal. And I’m so lucky I found Surviving Antidepressants at that time, or else I would have been even more kindled. I did go back to my psychiatrist to confront him about not protecting me (the psychiatrist in the hospital *also* never said anything about cold-turkeying drugs being dangerous). He said that withdrawal only lasts two weeks and when I asked him what he thinks I should do, he said he’d prescribe me Wellbutrin again and Trazadone for my insomnia. I never saw him again. So, that was my “taper plan”! And, I was scared to death. Like many of us, my symptoms changed every month, and for the WD-addled mind, it’s so scary. Looking back, some of the changes were very benign, too, like muscle twitches. You can see it all in my history. Through all this, I read success stories over and over. I also got in touch with Michael Priebe of the Lovely Grind as well as Undiagnosed1 who had posted his story here and offered to be an ear to anyone who is struggling. Both helped me, I paid for coaching from Michael (and Baylissa for a time- yes, I talked to EVERYONE- Stuart Shipko, Ann Blake Tracy, you name it!) I know you are not supposed to cling to other people’s timelines and compare yourself to them, or stick to a designated time on when you’ll think you’d be done, but I did it anyways (and yeah, got yelled at by one of my coaches- I won’t say which one). I tried to tell them, it’s just a goal, like when people say they will lose weight by a certain time- if they don’t hit it, they just make a new goal, but it at least gives me hope. So the strange thing is, my timeline was very close to Michael and Undiagnosed1. I was suffering pretty badly about 3 months in, I wasn’t asked back to my school of employment because I was struggling so much at work, my husband served me divorce papers at 7 months in because he was done with me being a wreck in front of our kid and blaming him for my medication usage. The only thing that really saved me was Covid- the courts weren’t in session so my husband *couldn’t* divorce me. We saw a therapist and she said to take advantage of this time to see if we could heal together. With Covid outside, I was able to rest a lot at home. My husband somehow trusted me to be with our son after all that and my son and I would just lay in bed and watch cartoons together and eat or go out to the forest and explore, it was actually really nice as my body continued to buzz with withdrawal. The insomnia portion had really died down after month 5 and I was really, really tired more than that, but of course deeply depressed/anxious. My husband and I still argued, mostly it would be me waking up anxious after a name, then being frustrated from the toxic nap and us getting into it. At month 11, a new symptom was expressive aphasia (it was hard for me to respond with the right words). I was so freaked out and contacted two different people who had had it on SA. Both said they recovered from it (I eventually did, too). Miraculously, at month 12, something in me settled. Like, eating and sleeping stopped triggering such a harsh response from me. I was still pretty messed up, but the fighting stopped. I stayed on that level and taught from home that year, which was also much more relaxing of course than managing behavior and teaching in person. I stayed at that level, then at month 20, I realized I could listen to music fully and it didn’t make me anxious and I could find it pleasurable in the same way that it did before WD. Month 22 we went out dancing and I realized I was probably mostly recovered. Before, I was only doing like 10 minutes on the elliptical (exercise) machine and that was enough to bring on symptoms. Here, we parked the car almost two miles away, danced all night, walked back. Nothing happened to me, it didn’t throw me into a wave or anything. Then on the way back to our house, my friend calls in turmoil. I get on the phone with her and stay up until 4:30am, yet another thing that would have taken me out in WD. Nothing happened to me. We even had guests the next day at noon and I was fine, didn’t feel wavy or even wiped from the night/early morning before! So, I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot about symptoms. I kept a journal the whole time as well as every month I would list on a sheet as it passed, I would write down any new symptoms each month, then after month 13, started writing improvements at each month. I will leave that list in another post as I’m getting tired now. One thing I did notice, expressive aphasia was probably my worst symptom, and after I experienced that one, a month later is when I finally started to get better instead of worse. I remember Undiagnosed1 had kaleidoscope vision right before he got better. So, I wonder if you do get some crazy symptom right before you start feeling better. The biggest tip I can leave here is about “turning the corner”. When I was in withdrawal, I kept scanning and scanning people’s success stories and feeling hopeless. Like, they still list symptoms they still have and it made me feel like no one “really heals”. What I found though, in that month 13 when I turned the corner, is that turning the corner is really the most important event on your healing timeline. Of course you want to heal and feel like your old self again. But, what I learned from that corner turn makes so much of a difference in relief, that once you do it, you know you can handle everything that come after it with ease. I often tell people, don’t worry so much about gauging when you have totally made it to the other side. Just hold on until you turn that corner (which will come way earlier to you than when you completely heal), because I swear, once you do, you know you can handle the rest and you are not suffering so much. That being said, when people post their success stories and they still list some lingering symptoms (like me) know that they probably felt good enough that the bulk of their suffering is over, and that’s why they felt good enough to post. I know it’s true for me, I’m so happy to be able to be happy every single day and have energy to enjoy life and get things done. I do feel resilient and capable, and if I can’t drink coffee anymore at the expense of that, well, no biggie. Only detriment is that when I feel really tired, I have to go to bed, there’s no more pushing through it to keep working with coffee, and I’ll take that exchange over what I don’t have to suffer with anymore. Life is beautiful again, and it will be for you! So, what are my lingering symptoms? At 29 months off now, I still cannot drink coffee, juice and most likely alcohol. I do try every couple of months to drink coffee, because it was my only religion before, lol. Even decaf messes me up (not terribly, but I really don’t want to feel bad at all). I have found though that I’m much, much more peaceful and less anxious than I ever was before WD, because I was a coffee fiend in that past life. I didn’t ever believe that coffee was making me anxious, but looking back, it was. It wore me out, it made me more irritable. Nothing like withdrawal, but still. I am much more peaceful than I was back then and much less irritable. I also can’t eat massive amounts of starch (but I will) it makes me beyond tired. It did before WD but it is brutal now, lol. My short term memory is slightly taxed (you know when you walk into a room and then can’t remember why you’re there? I have more of those), and I have more moments when I’m not talking rapid fire where I have to search for the words I mean to say (So…I was at the store and I uh…(trying to remember what words represent my experience at the store). Nothing big and nothing noticeable to others. I’m really bursting over with life now, constantly enthusiastic, met all the dreams I had when I was in WD, teaching my kid soccer and music, really being there for him and my husband. Gone back to being an activist and loving it. My husband and I started seeing a sexologist (yeah, I had never heard of one either, she’s a friend of mine who was licensed recently, that’s how I knew about it- I can refer you if you want! She works with a lot of people who are suffering from PSSD), and now we are embarking on improving our sex life. I’m at 29 months out. I would have written my success story around 24 months, but I wanted to wait until I was teaching in-person full time so that I could really celebrate being in the space that was destroying me when I was suffering with withdrawal fatigue. One step or one yell too many and it was like I had lost all life and energy. I wanted to come back to the space and see how much I could finally handle it again, with all the love and energy I have for the profession and my children. But…it looks like with how often schools are closing and opening because of Covid, it may be a while before I can actually go back into the classroom (I am privileged in that I can make that choice), so I thought now, while it’s the beginning of the year, is best. I am absolutely indebted to all the staff here (which reminds me I need to make my yearly donation). Without you, I would be kindled and who knows what else. I’d like to shout out Altostrata, Shep, and so many others that helped me along the way. You are incredible and save and improve so many lives. Please please ask any and all the questions you want. I also included my facebook link in my drug history signature if you need to inbox me and it is full. As those before me, I am here to support you, and remind you that you will heal soon.
  21. Jennifer78

    Jennifer78

    Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  22. I'm new to this site. My sister referred me (mod note: see sister's post here sister-of-saradee-help-needed-urgently-in-nj I'm 45 and have been on meds for bipolar, major depression, Bpd, Attention deficit, social phobia, Gad, panic disorder, dependant personality disorder, etc. I have been taking meds throughout my adult life and am have found no relief. In fact I think I believe these meds are making me sick, keeping me stuck, and making life unbearable. I've been on more antidepressants, tranquilizers, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers than I can remember and am currently taking ketamine for my treatment resistant antidepressant. I am also a "recovering" addict, although Im just as addicted to the drugs prescribed by my doctor as I ever was to street drugs. Heroin was my drug of choice, and I have been on suboxone for over 15 years now. In addition to the suboxone, I'm prescribed wellbutrin, xanax, Adderall, and Tamazapam and Ketamine. I literally take a pill to wake up, to go to sleep, to go to eat, and to go to the bathroom. Every day feels like a balancing act and I feel lucky when I get a few minutes that I feel well enough to get out of bed to get to my overwhelmingly long and over due to do list. I really am not functioning on any level and am having trouble finding hellp. I'm trying to get treatment but I can't seem to find a place who has a doctor who will work with me to get off the meds either because they aren't qualified or because I don't have a good enough support system in place for such a drastic change. So I have considered detox which scares me because 3 to 10 days does not seem adequate to get off a lifetime of meds. I would like to go to rehab as well, but would have to detox First. The other traditional option would be a psych unit, however, I'm afraid that that will just be more of the same...throwing medication at a problem that meds don't seem to be helping. Anyhow, I don't know if this is appropriate, or if I'm posting in the right place, but I just really need help. I feel like a huge burden to everyone especially my family, my daughter should be the focus and although my fiance is there for her, it's just not ok. I want this to stop but I just don't know what to do. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. Any ideas or insight would be greatly appreciated.
  23. My introduction topic: Female, 26 years old. Drugs I was on: Wellbutrin (Voxra) 300mg and Escitalopram (lexapro/cipralex) 20 mg. Valium 15-20 mg very sporadically, around once a month. Numbered in case someone wants to only read specific parts: 1: Hope 2: Backround 3: Tapering 4: Symptoms 5: Improvement 6: Experiences with doctors, nurses etc etc 7: Recovered, lessons learned Post after this one is about things that helped me. 1. The first thing I want to say, because it seems like such a common feeling for people in withdrawal, is that in my honest opinion it will get better, no matter how much doubt and hopelessness you feel. I think many here have felt that we're the exception because of how much we're suffering and it's hard to believe we can get out of it. The symptoms will lessen with time. So even if the recovery in total can take years, it doesn't mean that you will feel this bad for that whole time. The eighth month is most likely not gonna be just as bad as the first or second month (This is also why it's a good idea to keep some sort of record or journal, because we don't always see the improvement until we look back). Everyone is different, so just because our own recovery doesn't look exactly like others that's not a good reason to give up on hope. It seems like the thinking is extremely skewed for many during withdrawal. It's like we hold on to negative information a lot more than people usually do, and that's also important to remember I think. Just because we think something doesn't mean it's true. 2. Went on Escitalopram 20 mg and Wellbutrin 300 mg at 17 years old. I had severe depression and it was (I thought) my last resort. The first two years they seemed to be helping, later on I noticed I wasn't myself though and strangely numb/careless which led to questionable decisions at times. After a couple of years on them I started to feel very mentally unstable for seemingly no reason at all and read about antidepressants being a potential culprit. Second year on meds I also got benzos (valium (diazepam), 2 mg but I always had to take at least 15 mg for it to help) to calm my very sudden anxiety. I somewhat knew the risk of benzos, so I was careful about not taking them too often and managed to avoid creating a dependence on them. I decided I wanted to start tapering both antidepressants when I realised they might be the issue. My (one and only good) doctor agreed with me and thought it was a good idea to start tapering. Unfortunately this doctor retired. 3. Tapering Wellbutrin: 2015 I quit the wellbutrin completely by tapering from 300 mg straight to 150 mg. Went on 150 mg for around a month, then started taking 150 mg every other day for two weeks as instructed by doctor. From what I can remember tapering wellbutrin went relatively okay for me. Tapering Escitalopram: Started tapering beginning of 2016, 5 mg at a time with 4 weeks in between every taper. So for four weeks I'd be at 15 mg, then four weeks at 10 mg and so on. Tapering this drug gave me issues almost right away, but the more I tapered the worse it got. At 5 mg I started getting the most symptoms which got worse when I quit completely. Very important thing to mention I think, is that most of these issues I had never had in the past. In case someone not in withdrawal reads this I want that to be said because I was being presented as the issue by the doctors I met, rather than the drugs being the issue. I was not a worrying person before, and I barely knew what anxiety was despite being very depressed. Unlike many with depression I did not get anxiety with it, until I started taking the drugs. 4. Here are the symptoms I wrote down when it was happening: Tooth grinding, when awake and asleep. Often lead to headache Very severe anxiety, anger, irritation, sadness, stress, restlessness, self loathing, wanting to die Suicidal thoughts daily Very tired Weight gain Difficulties falling asleep Upset stomach Severe stomach ache from the constant worrying Ache in different parts of the body, mostly legs, stomach, neck and head A lot more timid and shy, couldn't walk out the door most days and waited until it was dark out. Difficulties breathing (anxiety symptom I assume) Heart palpitations and heart flutter Sensitive to noise Very easy to cry, often for no reason Strange yawns that would never be complete. Like feeling the need to yawn and not being able to fully do it, this could go on for long periods during the day. Bad time perception and short term memory Derealisation Severe semi voluntary motor tics, mostly in feet and hands but sometimes in other parts of body. Paranoid (thinking people want to do me harm and so on) Very easily frightened, skittish Strong and impulsive self destructive urges (this was very frightening and new to me) Strong sense of losing my personality and who I am, at times it was as if I was grieving my old self Occasional bed wetting Very depressed Burning feet syndrome Burning/warm sensation in head Later on I also felt manic some days, euphoric and over active for no reason (This would explain why the doctors suspected bipolar despite me not ever showing symptoms in the past) PGAD which went away after about a month more or less, caused pain as well. 5. I would say when it started to noticeably get a little better was in the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2019 several of these symptoms were gone, for example the tooth grinding, restlessness and self loathing, among others. 6. During all this time I got no support what so ever from any hospital. I told several different doctors, nurses and therapists what was going on and no one took me seriously. One laughed in my face. Another one asked what I was doing there if I was gonna refuse medication anyway despite me expressing concern about the new symptoms. When I once chose to mention that many people experience the same thing as I did, the first and only response I got was her questioning my credibility before moving on. Later in my medical journals I could read that most of my doctors were convinced I was bipolar and I was the reason for getting sick, not the drugs. It wasn't considered once that the drugs could have caused all of this. I also lost an old close friend because they didn't believe me or supported me, simply because they had never heard of this before. The reason I mention losing friends and not being believed is because it's a huge part of experiencing withdrawal for many, I think. It makes you feel extremely lonely, disappointed and betrayed. This lack of support and not being believed is dangerous when someone is in drug withdrawal and is already often suicidal. 7. Today the only symptom that I still have to deal with is the motor tics. I suspect I will have to live with that but that's okay. It doesn't stop me from being happy and moving forward in life and I can say for the first time in a very long time that I feel genuinely happy. I have my life mostly under control. I still have to work on my social anxiety but being happy and physically healthy makes it a lot easier to work on. I no longer experience mania or depression either. The most important thing to me was that I would someday feel like my old self again, and I do feel like that today. I also felt that all this added more depth to me as a person in a good way. It forced me to improve my ability to cope on my own and finding strategies that worked for me. Life feels more easy to take on after going through withdrawal (which probably isn't worth much to hear when in the midst of it, but so valuable afterwards). I'm so thankful for this site and everyone on it. It has been the only place where people have been willing to help and understand during the worst thing I've experienced. There is more I could say but this is already very long. I'll do a second post under this one where I'll write down specific things that has helped me.
  24. Mary66

    Mary66

    Can I just stop Effexor XR 37.5 after 7 days without tapering? incredible fatigue, throat/neck burning! 1994 Paxil prescribed for depression, looking back I was simply a young, busy, active and overwhelmed mom. I never questioned about taking it long term. 2018 started breakthrough depression 2020 September, neuroendocrine cancer surgery 2020 November, Wellbutrin added to see if it would boost the Paxil. It did not. 2021 April, psych took me off 40 Paxil 5 mgs every two weeks, terrible withdrawal. and doubled Wellbutrin to 300. at the same time added Primidone, a barbiturate for essential tremor. sick sick sick 2021 July, final Paxil pill 2021 December, 50# weight loss, depression and anxiety increased. Physical WD symptoms improved. 2022 January, began tapering Wellbutrin, dropped to 150 for 2 weeks, the 75 IR twice/day for 2 weeks, then 75 am and 37.5 pm 2022 February, basically non functioning, broke down and started Effexor 37.5, terrible fatigue and throat/neck burning. Am on day 7. Now I want to go off it!!!!
  25. Hey everyone. My name is Taylor. I’ve tried 3 different SSRIs and Wellbutrin. I’m now a month and a half off and still don’t feel right. This experience opened my mind up to so much trauma and negativity. I’ve had to move back in with my parents. Now that I can finally work, I do so all the time as a distraction. I just want to be happy and independent again. I still sometimes get intrusive thoughts or spikes of anxiety/depression. I’ve also recently been diagnosed with Covid a second time which has added a lot of stress since I feel physically awful. I’m worried this experience has ruined my life. I have no desire to reinstate so I’m trying to push through. I want to enjoy life though and not just complete tasks. Anyone else feel the same or have words of encouragement?
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