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  1. Hi. Was taking 4 mg of risperidone for two months. Suddenly stopped taking it for a week (didn't notice any withdrawal). Then took 2 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Then took 1 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms. Asked psychiatrist if it was okay for me to suddenly go from 4 mg to 2 mg, and then 2 mg to 1 mg. She said it was okay since I hadn't been showing any symptoms. I have read that withdrawal symptoms can surface after months or even a year after you stop taking it. I am not sure what that person's credibility was. I have also read, from a .org website that the withdrawal symptoms are mild and rare. I have stopped taking the 1 mg for almost a week, and I am wondering if I will be alright. I have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms, and I feel like I will still be seeing my psychiatrist for a little while at least. I am also wondering if it is true that withdrawal symptoms can surface months or even a year after you stop taking the medication. That just seems far-fetched to me. Any help is appreciated!
  2. Hi All, Been away for a while. Got into a very bad place where i could not be alone anymore and felt like my life was worthless. Got suicidal thoughts. Went to a psychiatrist. Who told me this was not only caused by withdrawal (withdrawal paroxetine 2,5 mg at that time). It was a relapse of my depression. So she convinced me to start with Fluoxetine (prozac) and to taper off the paroxetine when the prozac works. On Prozac now for 5 weeks. With 1,5 weeks on 10 mg and then upped 3,5 weeks to 20 mg. Stayed on on paroxetine 2,2 mg (1,1 ml of the liquid form) all these 5 weeks. I noticed less fear and most off my withdrawal effects improved. I sleep good but the depression is still heavy, lack of energy and not wanting to socialize or answer my phone. I am numb and have a restless feeling in my chest and extreme jaw clacking. I seriously am doubting if adding the prozac has been the right move. I feel so stupid that i agreed to give it a try. Please if anyone has a good advice let me know. Should i best come off the prozac and give the paroxetine more time ? And how to do this? Or should i give the prozac a try to kick in before tapering off paroxetine and then slowly tapering off the prozac later? thanks greetings Julia
  3. NOSEXscitalopram I am a 23 years old male and I was prescribed antidepressants 2 years ago, which permanently damaged my sexuality. It was Spring 2017, after a stressful period of time caused by anemia, I began experiencing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. I started having depersonalization, a state in which a person feels "detached" from their mind, thoughts, and emotions. I tried psychotherapy for 2 months, but it was not beneficial for me at all, therefore my next decision was to make an appointment with a private psychiatrist. He prescribed me an antidepressant called ‘Escitalopram’ (also known under the brand names of Cipralex and Lexapro) and said that these medications were well tolerated and the ‘only side effects’ that most of his patients experienced was a dry mouth. A couple of days after starting the antidepressant, my genitals became numb and my sexual functioning decreased by around 50%. I literally felt like I was 90 years old! During my second appointment, I reported this side effect to the psychiatrist, and he reacted by prescribing a different antidepressant. Unfortunately, it was causing the same problem. We then tried a third one which caused more sexual side effects. I kept taking it for about 3 weeks and decided to quit as I had had enough. My psychiatrist informed me, that I might get withdrawal symptoms which are mild and last around a week. When I discontinued the medications, I went through hell! I experienced horrible brain zaps, anxiety, sadness, shaking, insomnia, sweating, and severe problems with concentration - it all lasted about 7 weeks. Additionally, the sexual side effects still persisted at that time - I thought that it could not be possible, so I visited my GP. I had all sorts of medical tests that revealed no abnormalities. Furthermore, I got back to my psychiatrist with the issue, who said that in some cases antidepressants cause permanent sexual dysfunctions. I was terrified. Then I got referred to a urologist, who confirmed that my problem was caused by the antidepressant and unfortunately there was no treatment for it. I am now stuck with permanent damage from these medications and there is no help for me and many sufferers at all. This issue was first reported to regulators in 1991 and the first time any regulator actually confirmed the problem and requested updates of all SSRI/SNRI leaflets was the European Medication Agency in May 2019. Still, there is no research into it and many GPs say that PSSD does not exist. How horrible life can be when you have a condition, which existence is denied by pharmaceutical companies and even medical professionals. I am in an anhedonia state, which negatively affected my progress at university, and destroyed my relationship. I do not think that I will ever be able to have my own family that I have always dreamt of. Antidepressants permanently damaged my sexuality and left me suicidal. But of course, these medications are still recognized as safe and there are more and more people who are prescribed and take them worldwide.
  4. Brooke Hi everyone! I'm thrilled to finally be posting here. I've been lurking here and there since 2016, when I first found Surviving Antidepressants when I was considering getting off of the Effexor XR and Wellbutrin XL I'd been taking from age 15-30. Like so may of you, withdrawal was hell on Earth. I experienced everything from homicidal visions to extreme noise sensitivity to rage to a bizarre blood vessel disorder called nodular vasculitis. Combined with the tsunami of pain and trauma that came gushing out after I removed my antidepressant band aid, and I was a barely functioning, terrified mess with no psychiatric support. I was lucky, though, to have some resources outside the traditional mental health system that helped me work through my experience, and today I am proud to say that I consider myself cured of chronic depression haven't taken a prescription drug since 2016. It's taken me until now to actually participate in the forum because I needed to know that I was in a solid place. So much of the internet (I'm looking at you Twitter...) can be a triggering environment, and had to make sure that I could mentally handle it. But I trust in the work I've put in, and I'm ready! I say all this not to boast, but to wave from the distance and do my best to act as an example of success. I know that when I was in withdrawal and working through all the trauma, I would have done anything to know that there were people out there who were thriving after spending half their life on antidepressants. Instead, it felt like I was in uncharted waters. I wrote about this for the Washington Post earlier this year, and the flood of support and stories I got in response was overwhelming and heartbreaking. Anyway, happy to answer any questions, and much love to you all. Brooke
  5. Hello, I am new to this site. I have come here to hear of success stories and\or advice regarding recovery from Antipsychotics and SSRI's. At the beginning of July I took Risperidone 0.5mg and Prozac 20mg for 10 days and ceased it's use due to side effects such as Tachycardia, Emotional Blunting, Anxiety, blankouts and lowered cognition. The withdrawal was not extreme, if I remember correctly, I had a period of severe depression which resolved itself over a few days. Followed by a slightly manic phase which stabilized itself. For the next 2 weeks after the initial withdrawal I had periods of anger and agitation. But now, at present times. There appears to be no withdrawal symptoms. But lasting damage and effects. I now have hyperprolactinemia with no sign of a prolactinoma gathered from my MRI results. This is causing gynecomastia and other effects such aa fatigue and a lowered sex drive. This was not present prior to the drug combination. Ever since taking those two drugs, I now have these effects. I have read that Risperidone can cause hyperprolactinemia for 54 weeks which is 1 year and a month 1\2. Do you I truly have to wait that long to recover? Can I actually recover at all? My GP sent a referral to an Endocrinologist and I am awaiting an appointment. Through the endo I can be treated with Cabergoline and Clomid to lower the Prolactin but I have my doubts that it will work.
  6. Hello everybody, I am new and I want to tell my little story about escitalopram (cipralex)and to share some thoughts. I have been using it for about 1,5 years back in 2013/2014 and I am now "clean" from that moment on. So, about 3, 3 years. I want to share some withdrawal symptoms I had and how I treated them ( still treating some of them) and I would love to have some feedback on it. Let's start from the first signals I got once I stopped ( I stopped really gradually and I haven't experience nothing strange at first, I mean in the first months I would say): 1)In about 5 months I gained 10 kg ( 22lbs) without changing any eating or sport habits. I haven't lost them up untill I did some food intolerance tests and I discovered many of them. I stopped eating gluten for a while ( 1,5 years) and I Iost them in the first 3 months of diet. Now ,paradoxically, I'm struggling with the opposite problem, I cannot put weight on anymore, I believe I eat 5 times the calories a normal person eat but nothing change. I am an ex- professional football player and I believe that my body now has problem to put muscles on, I would say I need about 4/5 kg of muscles to be back to normal but there is no way to achieve that. So first consideration for me, beyond the weight gain problem that is well knows, I have the impression that this drug makes it harder to put muscles on again. 2) I have some kind of permanent chronic telogen effluvium, I lost tons of hairs since I stopped that drug, but I'm not going bald. Just hairs everywhere, sometime more, sometime less. I am not able to deal with this problem and I won't go into other drugs at all. Usually hair loss occurs during medication, but for me it started right after the discontinuation... any other with same problem? 3)I have almost all the time a constant feeling of not being comfortable with my body, I mean it is difficult to explain... after that diet it improved a lot, but I still have some "signals" that my body sends to warn me that something isn't going in the right direction.... I find a lot of relief with mindfulness and sports, but still I am feeling strange physically speaking...my skin is drier and other stuff... Just to be clear, I like myself, I still like my body and I do fully accept it as it is, but there is something wrong, I know it better than anyone, it is not responding in the best way. 4) Libido stuff : a light loss of libido, and missing or weak mornig erection...During sex everything is kind of normal, I believe in a scale from 0 - to 10 I would say I feel 8,5 normal down there, but still something is going wrong. I am supplementing with ashwuaganda and I am doing 1 day water fast per week since couple of months, I feel great after it in terms of body sensations, but I am not sure it is helping with libido... 5) Alchool makes me feel a bit weird too... It is a strange effect, like I am poisoned( not drunk !!) after a glass of wine or a beer. I mean, it's not a big deal I am basically not touching alchool anymore, but I used to love wine and alchool in general, with moderation, and now there is this problem. 6) I feel I have lost a lot of motivation in life in general, to better say I need to motivate my self 300% times more than before ssri to do stuff... I am dealing with this problem again with mediatation, sport and with a second job... The sensation is that I am ok whilel I am doing stuff, but when I stop or I rest I do not feel great, I do not enjoy rest anymore as it used to be. To conclude, I would like to say that for me the first year after SSRI has been a nightmare for me.... a proper body shock, I am not sure how I managed not to take them again.... but slowly everything is going in the right direction, I still need to figure out some small problems and deal with them, but I would NEVER take them again for any reasons. I think I want to consider the fasting method more seriously, I would like to do it for 3 or 4 days in a raw in the near future, I read that many people recovering for post-SSRI syndrome found it very usefull. In these years I have taken a lot of supplements too... like curcumin, inositol, various herbs, cbd oil... a lot believe me... but I am quitting them all... I will leave the body free Maybe the post was a bit too long and boring, sorry for that... I appreciate any comments and suggestion.
  7. Bolouis Hi everyone - Firstly I'm so grateful for having found this forum through the podcast Let's talk withdrawal. I thought I was going mad as no one would believe the withdrawal symptoms I've been experiencing. Had I found these pages before I would have tapered much more slowly! I have suffered with depression since I was a child but no one has ever asked me about my life or explored why I might be feeling this way. Along with most people, I was told that I had a chemical imbalance in my brain that could be fixed with antidepressants. Over the last few years and with the knowledge that all these meds do is numb me but I remained depressed, I started researching the topic and was gobsmacked by some of the research and information I found. So, I have been trying to get off them since 2017. I am hoping that someone can help or advise me through the awful symptoms I have been experiencing every time I try to withdraw. My symptoms are: Crippling insomnia - I have been prescribed Zopiclone short term but without this I can only manage an hour or two dozing at best Foul metallic taste in my mouth Feeling flu like - hot/cold, shivery, achy, nauseous Headaches almost permanently, pain in my face and neck Tinnitus and brain zaps Anxiety/palpitations Gastric problems, constipation/diarrhea My first proper attempt in 2017 lasted about 8 months but I became so ill that I gave up. At that time I didn't know what was wrong with me and had various blood tests and investigations only to be told there was nothing wrong. I wasn't at first depressed though (not that anyone would believe me). I think I probably became depressed through the illness so hence, I gave in and went back on the meds. I do believe I know the difference between feeling ill and depression but when you've been labelled for so many years, not even your loved ones believe you. So this is my 2nd serious attempt and I've been off now for about 5 months. Again, the symptoms have returned exactly the same as the last time but more seriously this time I became extremely anxious and agitated and ended up in A&E in March this year having planned my suicide. I was put under the Acute mental health team and a psychiatrist but of course they said I had to go back on my meds and prescribed Mirtazapine 30mg. I tried to argue my case but felt I had to give in and took it for 3 days before stopping. I have still not told them that I'm not taking it because I'm scared that they will withdraw their support. I have been signed off sick from work for 2 months now and can't imagine how I will be able to return if this continues. I am aware that I probably tapered far too quickly but I can't go back now. I have great support from my brother and sister and they've helped me research this and claim benefits. I've also been doing daily meditations and yoga for the last couple of months. I think this helps a little especially with the insomnia. I've honestly been feeling so ill and exhausted that before finding this I was seriously thinking of just going back on the meds and admitting defeat once and for all. It's just so horrible when no one believes you or takes you seriously when you're trying your best to drag yourself through each day. So, any advice would be very welcome, so sorry if went on a bit...TIA
  8. JamesV85 I’m looking for some help please. I was put on venlafaxine and over the course of a year, I went up to 225mg but it didn’t help so I decided to withdraw. I went from 225-150-75-37.5-25-0mg over 2 years. The last time I took a pill of 25mg was November last year. It’s been 5 months and I think I’m still in withdrawal. I did have very bad anger and rage and vertigo but that has all passed now. I now have spells of sudden exhaustion with heart palpitations and brain fog and brain zaps, cold hands and feet, poor memory and concentration just to name a few. Could I still be in withdrawal after 5 months? im due to see a doctor on Monday to have a full blood check as naturally my mind is starting to wonder if there is something else going on. i would like to hear other people’s stories of coming off this drug please and any help. Thanks
  9. Hi guys! Its been almost 7 months since I ct Lexapro, having only used it in 1 month om 5 mg. Its only now for the last weeks that the zaps, vertigo, flu-sympthoms and burning are starting, and becoming more severe by each day.. And I have a constant low fever since one month. (No virus.) Im burning all over my body, not sensitive to touch really.. Just feels like im on fire. And feels like breathing.. Sulfur. Not a refluxprob. (Also kinda blushing in face) All worse in my belly. Having attacks where it kinda knocks me with burning nerves all over and then goes back to constant medium-burning.. My cold sheets in bed is a blessing to naked skin! Also, notice aches and getting weaker in all my muscles.. 😕 Im so afraid! Whats going on! Have someone felt like this?
  10. Theswedking Hi, my name is Theswedking. I have dealt with depression and other mental illnesses for 32 years. It started quite young for me. I have been through multiple professionals, tests, and diagnoses. I am going through the worst SNRI withdrawal since I started medications 22 years ago. It has lasted 2 weeks thus far. The Dr. tried tapering me down off of Duloxetine (Cymbalta). I have quit cold turkey on other medications and been done with symptoms within a week. Been tampered down I wasn't expecting much withdrawals. Was I wrong and when I did research about with that medication causing havoc, I knew I was in for some hard times.
  11. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  12. I was on Celexa for 3 years. I started it in high school. Now I am 20 years old. It wasn't helping me anymore. I gave up on life. Quit my job and dropped out of college. I isolated myself and smoked marijuana. Didn't want to socialize with my roommates. I didn't want to go out in public because I felt mentally unstable and embarrass myself. My mood is so unpredictable that I just want to stay home alone. I became very destructive. I guess the Celexa wasn't working. My Mom thinks that Celexa was causing horrible side effects while I was on it and it was making everything worse. I tapered off 3 weeks ago. I feel the same as when I was on it but even worse now. I feel really weak mentally and totally hopeless. I don't feel like doing anything. I'm severely depressed, feel like a burden on everyone because I am. Everything is very stressful for me. I can barely feed myself. I have suicidal thoughts. I'm thinking about all the problems in my life all at once and can't stop. My brain is really slow. I have bad anxiety every morning, every day. I can't help myself get better. I'm just really stupid. I don't really enjoy anything. It's very hard to relax. Very lazy. My memory is awful. My confidence in myself is completely gone. Feel impending doom, waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I am so confused. How long before the side effects from Celexa wear off? I was told it would only be 2 weeks. I don't know how much more I can take.
  13. It has been nearly 4 months since I quit Lexapro cold turkey. Before that I had been on Zoloft for a few months, and before that I had been on Celexa for about 10 years. Nothing seemed to be working anymore, and I felt like I had been in a coma of sorts for more than a decade. I pulled the plug, and shortly after, all hell broke loose. Though my username might suggest otherwise, I am a 43-year-old woman. I feel I should mention that, though I still have many symptoms, I am currently coping with these at the moment. I am most concerned about the mental/emotional issues currently, but I will list the physical first. My physical symptoms were/are: insomnia for about 3 wks (sleep is better now but far from ideal); numbness in my legs and arms for about 6-7 wks; electricity-like vibrations or tremors all over my body (still have these in varying intensity); tinnitus (on and off for 2 mnths, occasional now); it was very difficult to eat ( I lost about 30lbs in 2.5 mnths); intense head pressure (2.5 mnths, occasional now); pain in my ears (fairly constant still); body twitches for about 3wks; vivid dreams that wake me up several times a night (constant since the initial insomnia lessened); feeling like something was lightly crawling all over my face and the top of my head for almost 3 months; no energy for 2 months (slightly improved now); intense heat particularly in my chest (still happens 3-4 times/wk at night); confusion and difficulty concentrating (has improved quite a bit in the last month); problems with my eyes (blurry, tired) is ongoing; diarrhea (still fairly constant); dizziness (still happens but only occasional now);and I became extremely sensitive to sound; light; smells; taste; other people’s emotions and stress (still dealing with these). I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but typing this has been a bit exhausting. Okay, now for the mental and emotional stuff. I became intensely afraid of the dark for several weeks. Thankfully that passed. I was terrified to be alone, and I am still afraid to be left on my own for too long. I experienced terror like I had never felt before. I learned to sit with it and accept it without giving a narrative to it. At first I felt at its mercy, but in January, I decided to sit with it, feel it physically while not giving it a narrative, and accept it. I kind of spoke to it. I said that I accepted that it was there but that it could feel free to leave at any time. I would ride out those waves in this way. That terror hasn’t visited me in a few weeks. Anxiety has been a constant companion. I talk to it too and treat it like I did the terror. I can settle it down eventually, but I know it’s not done with me yet. I also wake up with panic in the middle of the night. I decided a couple of weeks ago to not entertain any suicidal thoughts anymore. It is not an option, and I will not do it. I have become a bit claustrophobic, and early on, I had to keep running out of rooms or running outside. I’m getting tired, so I think I’ll jump to some of my concerns and questions. Since November, I lost my ability to daydream, and I miss that escape desperately. Will it come back? Will any spark of creativity come back? I find it hard to enjoy things, but I make myself do things to keep me occupied, like crochet. I used to be obsessed with music, but I can barely listen to it now. I can’t really watch most tv, but I have, thankfully, been able to watch gentle anime in the evenings to settle me down for sleep. When I get through this, I think I will have to write some sort of love letter about the genre keeping me going. British panel shows and British painting and pottery shows I can also handle. Will I be able to enjoy tv, music, and fiction again? I feel like I don’t remember how to be a person. Why am I afraid to be alone with my thoughts? Why do I worry from the morning how I will distract myself enough to get through another day? Where is any feeling of fun or enthusiasm? I focus on gratitude and am making every effort to be kind to myself. I also make an effort to be kind to others. I feel love for my parents and brother, and I tell them so often. I’ve journaled about past pains and traumas and chosen to forgive those involved. So I’m trying to lay the groundwork for positivity in my brain. But I feel like I’m in an unending existential crisis. I have trouble making much of an effort to do things, and I often feel like there is no point. Sadness I can feel, but happiness is elusive. It all just takes time, right? I guess I’m looking for hope. Sorry if this is a bit of a disorganized mess. Thank you, SurvivingOnAnime Lexapro 5mg for 3 months (quit November 2019) Lexapro 10mg for 14 months (July 2018 - Sept 2019) Zoloft 50mg for 5 months (March 2018 - July 2018) Celexa for 10 years (2008- March 2018)
  14. Hi, I’m currently on 150mg of Effexor-XR and 30mg of Mirtazapine. I’ve been on Effexor for 10 years, and the Mirtazapine was added around 2 and a half years ago. I spoke to my doctor about tapering off the Effexor. He suggested that I taper 37.5mg at a time. I started about 7 weeks ago. I’ve got down from 225mg in the last 7 weeks. My last 37.5 taper started 17 days ago. But the last week I have been experiencing delayed depression, irritability and heightened anxiety. I coped better during my first taper. I’m worried that I’ve slipped back into depression again. But at this stage is it normal to feel like this? It’s very confusing to know if it’s withdrawal or depression coming back. I thought the withdrawals may have been over after 17 days? I’m new to this forum, and it sounds like I have tapered Off to big of a dose. Once I have stabilised I will only taper 10% by weighing with scales. Hopefully I level out soon because I’m starting to question the process!
  15. Ok so 10 weeks ago i halved my dose of citalopram from 20mg (which i was taking for 1 year) to 10mg after a fast taper for about 4 weeks alternating doses each day from 20mg to 10mg. Which after reading the info on here i now know was a bad idea. At first i felt a bit off but nothing too serious for about 6 weeks. Since then I've gradually felt worse. Syptoms are headache, fatigue, tired, anxiety, irritable, depressed and feeling a bit better for say an hour then feeling like crap again! I have been through a stressful time in my personal life lately and wondoring if it could be that. Im wondering if i should reinstate to my previous dose or hold on 10mg. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  16. HI, here santking, 34y "manic" diagnosed episode in 2004. treated w lithium, benzos and prozac. 1000 mg of depakote+benzos+prozac jun-ago 2004. ago-dec 750. + prozac Dec: just 500 depakote (treatment produced strong acne. treated with roaccutan between nov 2004 to oct 2006) 2005: depakote 500 (some months w 750) + prozac and benzos- (lorazepam) dec 2005 - aug 2007: depakote 500 mg aug 2007 - 2009 alternated depakote 500 mg to 250 mg jan 2010 i started with a new psychiatrist: depakote 500 mg until sep 2012 sep 2012 started depakote + antidepressants: depakote 500 + etifoxina / paroxetine and propanodol (?) (until jun 2013) jun 2013: depakote 500mg with paroxetine and propanodol. oct 2013: change paroxetine for trazadone. until Jan 2014. jan 2014: depakote 500mg and leave trazadone jan 2014-oct 2015: depakote 500 mg oct 2015: psychiatrist introduces sertraline. suicidal attempt with sertraline overdose in jan 2016. psychiatrists increases depakote to 750 mg and introduces wellburtin. jan 2016 - dec 2017: 750mg depakote + wellburtin dec 2017 consulting another psychiatrist changed wellburtin to seroquel 25 mg dec 2017 . until jun 2018: 750mg depakote and seroquel 25 mg in jul 2018 I meet the Peter BReggin's books and SA forum and start the withdrawal process. this included consuting with psycotherapist and intense researching meeting content like Icarus project, mad in america, Rachel Aviv articles and Laura Delano's Withdrawal Project (a daily reference) ago 2018: start tapering: depakote 500 mg and seroquel in 12mg dosages (cutting to half) until nov. in dec 2018 I felt the withdrawl synthoms of seroquel leaving (insomnia, vertigo, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, anxiety, fear) Jan 2019: changed depakote dosage -tablets o sprinkles- (125 mg) taking 4 pills daily. May 2019: tried tapering without scale (reducing "half" of sprinkle aprox 437 mg) causing a week of insomnia and panic. returned with 500 mg in June. Aug 2019: started tapering with scale. sep 2019: 450 mg Oct 400 mg. Nov: 375 mg (3 pills daily) DUring November I have been taking 375 mg I have been feeling intense laziness, lack of motivation and fatigue. I tried changing diet: avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and ultraprocessed foods. I had a week w insomnia and next week felt sleepness and lack of motivation (after Dec 1) RIght now I'm worried because I still feeling down and need increase energy due to personal compromises. I'm doubting if back to 400 mg or still reducing the dosage. THis based on how I'm feeling and listening the body sensations. I'm doing the tapering based on the 10% standard seeing in Breggin books, TWP and here. This is my history w psychiatry treatments and I would appreciate your help and recommendations for my case. If you need some explanations I will do it. Thank you.
  17. Hi, I’ve been on lexapro, Citalopram, escitalopram (same thing?) for around 20 years, with a couple of gaps where I came off the drugs successfully through tapering. The only way I can taper in my country is through cutting pills in half then quarters. No liquid forms or doses smaller than 10mg in pill form seem to be available. i was on 10mg and have always resisted all suggestions I should be on more. I suffered depression, obsession, and low mood all through my teens, got a bit better. Then I suffered panic attacks in my mid twenties that got so bad I was struggling to work or function. I went to the doctor and was put on these drugs straight away. At first they gave me a huge sense of relief, they blunted all my feelings and moods- including joy- but that was a price I was prepared to pay. I assumed the doctors knew what they were talking about and believed the stories about these new gen drugs having no major issues etc. Over time it just became part of my routine, I didn’t consider stopping, why would I? in my thirties I stopped for a bit as I was in a new relationship and I felt good. About a year passed, some bad stuff happened, and I went to the doctor with anxiety, she put me back on the drugs. i stayed on them until late last year. I have always had a drink problem. Some life stuff happened and I decided to go to AA and deal with that. I got clean but nearly lost my relationship in the process. I started seeing an anxiety specialist and decided to taper my pills. I realised I had been asking the doc about this for yeArs and she would say, let’s just get through Christmas, then let’s just get through winter. This was a cycle that took the whole year and I never got off it. I would get anxious, think how hard life was and then decide not now. When I told her I was just going to do it, as if not now, then when? I almost had to have a argument about it. i pointed out it killed my libido, it robs me of all happy sensations as well as sad, it seems to make me fat, it flatlines my creativity (I used to be a writer) etc. her response was well let’s try a different pill. My instinct is no, why would I buy more problems. In the end I just did it without discussion. I told her this week and she is just anxious I have a supply ready to go in case I need them again, on the assumption I will. Makes me more determined to not take them! I have just discovered a different doctor has put my 15 year old stepdaughter on the same drug. Of course we didn’t know patient confidentiality. She assumes she will be on them forever and they will change her life. She is a creative spirited highly strung young woman, now flat as a pan cake and she assures me 1000 times better. Deja vu anyone? I have been very anxious about withdrawals, so I have done it over 5 months. When I shifted from half to quarter pill I noticed a few days of sadness and sleep disruption. I have just tapered to nothing have not been ok. It crept in a few days ago, crying at nothing, intrusive persistent thoughts, dizziness, resentment, hopelessness, and worst of all horrible nightmares and blasting awake with my heart beating fast in complete terror out of deep sleep. It feels manageable, but I want it to pass. And want assurance it will. Especially during this lock down, I can’t afford to go nuts. It might have been a stupid time to stop, but it felt like the right time. I’m just done with it. I don’t want to talk to the doctor about it. I am convinced it’s like a cult of psych drugs and they know nothing. I’m angry about all the wasted years. Fran
  18. Hi All , I need your help ! I was on low dose of Amitriptyline ( 10 mg ) from Sept 29 th to Nov 9th , approx for 1 month. Was given this for low grade vascular headache Now I am 2 months off the drug , but still have issues. Approx 2 weeks post stopping the drug i started having severe tinnitus in both ears and still have it now , light sensitivity , brain fog , difficulty in concentration I had anxiety which I feel has been reduced since beginning of January. I got my tests done for MRI and all health tests everything came out clean , visual tests and macula degeneration tests also done Opthamologist message : Amitriptyline is neuro and ototoxic : your body will wean it eventually , he said it will take a month and I was actually getting better but BAM ! Jan 3rd week I was down in dumps again November Post stopping the drug : No Changes , just little bit of fogginess , headache Dec 1st week to 2nd Week : Muscle pain /drowsiness dec 3rd week to Dec 4 th week ( worst ) : i had grainy vision ( visual snow ) only on walls may be and then night vision was pathetic , brain zaps I was miserable was in dumps . Jan 1st week to 2nd week : On Jan 2nd when I work up my anxiety was gone ( its been better ) and getting better and my grainy vision I felt had subsided , I continued to move on ahead with the tinnitus and less snow Jan 3rd week to now : Suddenly I felt my vision dimness has got better ( I could feel this ) , the places i thought was previously dim was bright , and along with this the snow also became more , for example I an see sparse dots in day light and also when I look at my computer screen , and the walls have gone bad, not sure why this happened, shoulder pain , eye fatigue , dizziness , like when I close my eyes I see patterns and circle , when I m in REM braiz zaps after images ( both negative and positive)[ the symptoms I faced in Jan was not faced before in my life ] All the above symptoms Never had them in months of Oct, Nov Tinnitus : More Muscle Pain More Due to which : I'm nervous and anxious Issues I have now : Tinnitus more on left now , previously more on right , afterimages , vision snow ( bothers me the most ) and I know its not more than many of ul here , lil bit anxiety due to all this issues Disclaimer : I didn't know amitriptyline was an antidepressants until the 7th day of me taking it , I forgot to check it up online . Never done drugs in past , not smoked , no alcohol , I was a independent girl doing things on my own but now I'm so dependant on my family for everything I hope I get over this , I'm only 29 never had issues like this .
  19. Hello Everyone, Let me introduce myself. You can call me Sebas (38), i'm from Amsterdam. Hope my English is okay. I was diagnosed with anxiety issues around 2004 and then started using Seroxat, I believe it's called Paxil in the US. I'm aware by now of all the problems this medicine is causing. In other words, i've read a lot, and i mean A LOT about it. I can almost graduate about the subject After several attempts to stop, I found out in 2015 or 2016 about the 5-10% reduction rule. That helped me from 20 mg (10 ml) tot 12 mg (6 ml) in about 1,5 years (estimated). I'm using the fluid suspension and some squirts for accurate dosage. From 6 ml down to 5,8 took me 5 weeks to feel allright, then i stabilized for a week and went back down from 5,8 tot 5,6. All the usual withdrawal symptoms occur during tapering periods such as illness, nerve system problems, visual, fatigue, stomache cramps and also i'm countering eye circles. Since the last dosage (from 5,8 tot 5,6) i've been feeling bad for 9 weeks already. Especially my stomache and my energy. So i'm now wondering what to do, wait (and wait...), go back to 5,8, go back to 6,0 of try to switch to another AD. Cause this one is really @#$%&* mainly cause of the fast half-life period. I've read about a cross tapering method. I asked my doktor for a psychiatric consult about it. Or...could it be my body (and mind) is telling me this dose is beneath the minimum that i just need for my personal wellbeing. I'm familiair with magnesium, omega 3/fish oil and multi vitamin for support. I'm looking forward fto exchanging some knowledge. Bye Sebas
  20. Hello, this is my first post, it’s nice not to just float out in space with this very difficult experience. My story is that I had been on 250 mg of Seroquel in combination with Lithium for about 8 years which kept my bipolar II in pretty good control since 2012. I then had a hypomanic episode in November 2019 (after one of the toughest years of my life, finally cutting contact with my abusive family of origin and the related trauma) that lead to my psychiatrist raising my Seroquel from 250 to 350 mg to help me sleep as I was not sleeping for 3 nights (not to control the hypomania itself). It’s an understatement to say that turned out to be a terrible misjudgment as after about 2 weeks on the significantly higher dose, I started to have severe vertigo as an adverse reaction. This same psychiatrist would not believe my adverse reaction/toxicity was due to the sudden jump in Seroquel, so I ended up switching psychiatrists after feeling talked down to and essentially abandoned. The new psychiatrist believed me and is a reasonable, compassionate person. He and I agreed I must come off Seroquel and quickly due to the vertigo toxicity which had me basically immobilized. In 3 days, I came down from 250 mg to 50 mg. The vertigo disappeared but within days after, I started to have insomnia (I am now sleeping with sleep meds), nausea and acid reflux, headaches and now about 6 weeks in to the withdrawal, the headaches are replaced by terrible dizziness and even more severe nausea, reflux has abated with help of meds. It’s really frightening and painful going through this to say the least, especially not knowing when it will improve. I work full time and have a family to take care of and my husband and I are frozen in a state of perpetual anxiety and a deep sense of crisis. Anyone experienced anything like this with Seroquel/Quetiapine or other atypical antipsychotics? Psychiatrists seem to know next to nothing about this issue. As a side note, I feel unable to raise the Seroquel level due to the severe vertigo issues I had while on it at the higher dose. Thanks in advance for pretty much any guidance or rays of hope, this is hell and I feel I’m on my own.
  21. Hello everyone, Before I begin, I want to apologize for the length of my first post. While some of the information may seem irrelevant at first, I'm trying to provide context and useful details to be as helpful as possible. I have tried to follow the forum guidlines as much as possible, but there is a lot to read up on, so if I am missing anything or anything needs adjusted please let me know. I am a male student in my early thirties who was first prescribed Lexapro/Escitalopram when I was nineteen for situational anxiety. Following the doctor's taper advice, I went on and off it twice in my twenties. The reason I returned to the drug both times was, again, situational anxiety that became debilitating to daily life. I did not have any problems with these tapers, which were completed over a few weeks. My latest period on the drug started in late 2013. I was on this dose, Lexapro/Escitalopram 20mg, for approximately six years. Last fall, I decided I wanted to taper off for good. I was experiencing some effects such as sleeping long periods, morning anxiety, and a feeling of a constricted nasal passage in the morning that I thought might be related to the drug. More generally, being on the drug made me feel ashamed and I was coming upon a turning point in my life that had made me committed to living healthier. Given my experience with past tapers, I conceived a taper that, at the time, seemed cautious since it was a longer plan. I would alternate days and divide the dose in half every two weeks. When the dose became too small to prepare with a pill cutter, I used a pill crusher and made a water/drug solution that I administered with an oral syringe. This taper was completed from August to December 2019, over approximately four months. The negative effects I remember when tapering was some occasional irritability/emotional oversensitivity. I now realize that, given my situation, this taper was foolish and too fast. In my mind, I was just trying to do what I thought was a more careful version of the method I used in the past. In the middle of January 2020, I noticed one of my testicles was swollen. My PCP had me get an ultrasound, which indicated that I had developed a small hydrocele. A hydrocele is an accumulation of fluid that is generally harmless, but sometimes requires surgery to remove. Accompanying the hydrocele was some penile pain/burning. Although a urine test indicated that this was not from a urinary infection or STD, my doctor prescribed an antibiotic. I presume he was suspecting an infection of another kind. I began the antibiotic on February 13, and after about five to six days, I began noticing some very distressing symptoms: confusion, bad mind fog, short-term memory issues, anxiety, strange vertigo-like sensation behind the eyes, inability to feel emotions. I woke up in the middle of the night on day seven with a panic attack like none I'd ever had before. It was relatively short, but my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, which isn't a symptom associated with my past panic attacks. The symptoms I described would come in waves of a few hours and then attentuate. Around days seven and eight I also was going in out of something I would describe as a dissociative state combined with intense anxiety. It was very bizarre and unlike anything I had ever experienced berfore. I just felt disconnected from everything, the world felt corrupted, and combined with the aforementioned symptoms was very terrifying. At the time the first symptoms (mind fog, anxiety) appeared, I thought they might be connected to coming off the SSRI. This seemed logical considering that they were primarily psychological symptoms. I went online and learned for the first time about the possibility of protracted withdrawal from SSRIs. My understanding prior to this was that talk of "discontinuation/withdrawal syndrome" referred to the brain zaps/flu-like symptoms that sometimes accompany tapering. Nevertheless, on day eight of the antibiotic (February 20), it occurred to me that the antibiotic was the only new factor to be introduced during the preceding week and these symptoms were so qualitatively different than anything I had ever felt before. After looking it up online, I found reports of this particular antibiotic causing the previously mentioned side effects - anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, etc. (see https://www.medications.com/doxycycline-hyclate/39445). After learning this on the evening of day eight, I decided to quit taking the antibiotic, and within two to three days the side effects mostly subsided. The following week (February 23), the penile pain/numbness/occasional paresthesia returned. I had daily anxiety for a couple weeks worrying about this issue until the urologist did a physical examination (March 5) and assured me that everything was normal, but that the symptoms could possibly be coming from an issue with my pelvic floor muscles. She recommended that I look into pelvic floor therapy, which I have yet to look into. Since the urologist appointment, the penile symptoms have largely disappeared, which leads me to believe that they may have been psychosomatic effects combined with lingering antibiotic side effects. Most recently, over the last week (March 9-15), I've noticed a return of some of the psychological symptoms I was experiencing before while on the antibiotic, only not quite as intense: hours-long waves of anxiety, mind fog, heart pounding, memory issues. I'm just generally feeling "out of it" and not "like myself," kind of like a hangover. The last two nights I have had problems sleeping because of anxiety and heart palpitations. I am concerned with what is causing these issues. Some people who took the antibiotic I did said the side effects lasted weeks or months afterwards. This seems possible given that antibiotics can kill a lot of the "good" gut bacteria that have some relation to mood regulation. What is confusing is that some of the side effects of the antibiotic seem to overlap with those of SSRI withdrawal. So could it be that one triggered or exacerbated the other or that it is a combination of both? The last two months have been some of the hardest of my life. From being in the emergency room worried about the antibiotic damaging my brain, to worrying about having a debilitating genital issue that would ruin my ability to form a relationship or have kids, to worrying about the possibility of SSRI withdrawal, it's been one thing after the other. Currently, I'm dealing with trying to finish my semester remotely while holed up with my family because of the coronavirus situation. One family member was recently discharged from the hospital and requires a lot of constant assistance with certain medical procedures and therapies, so that has been stressing everyone out. So it is also possible that I'm just feeling burned out. In the meantime, I have started seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist who is sympathetic to people weaning of antidepressants and transitioning to more wholistic therapy. She thinks it is conceivable that the issue is any or all of the things I described above, and has advised me to live as healthy as possible in the meantime. I have adjusted my diet (including adding probiotic foods), spent time walking daily, cut out caffeine, and started on fish oil, a multivitamin, and gingko biloba. Overall, my purpose for posting here is to get any kind of guidance or perspective that may be helpful. I understand this is a complex situation that doesn't have a clear response. At this point it seems my options are to wait it out or to try to reinstate the Lexapro/Escitalopram at a lower dose which seems successful for some, although from reading here it seems that at three months since the last dose I am approaching the end of the window of opportunity where that seems effective. I found a psychiatrist from the forum's "recommended doctors" section who lives close to me and seems to recognize withdrawal, so scheduling an appointment is a possibility. Finally, I want to thank the administrators and moderators of the forum for their work in selflessly providing a space for those of us in need to receive advice.
  22. After three misguided (via doctors) attempts at Effexor tapering, I found out the truth in the summer of 2017 and began a very slow taper from 75mg to my most recent taper of August 1st, 2019 when I reached about 50mg. Primarily I experienced fatigue and insomnia but after the August taper I started experiencing a weird anxiety-dread-panicky feeling that came and went. Since December, it's gotten worse. Despite occasional short windows (a couple of hours now and then), it seems I can't get comfortable. My large muscle groups in my upper body are always filled with "tension ache". It's maddening. Trying to take a nap is so hard, because after 15 minutes I get an intense fearful feeling in my chest (cortisol?). I want to think that this is will pass and the pain is just part of the healing process. I'm confused as to why I'm getting this reaction since I've been tapering so slowly. Any suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kingson
  23. Hi all, I am writing from the BBC. The Victoria Derbyshire show in the UK are producing a short film about anti-depressant withdrawals and are looking to speak to individuals who have used local street drug dependency services for support throughout this process. If you are someone who has used the support services of street drug charities in the UK for antidepressant withdrawal and are interested in taking part, please do reach out to me via the personal messaging system . We appreciate the very sensitive nature of this difficult experience and anything spoken about will remain confidential unless otherwise agreed. Many thanks.
  24. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  25. Dear all, I have done all the research possible and contact all persons in the Netherlands who could help me find the answers for coping with this rollercoaster ride of tapering my last 2,5 mg of paroxetine (paxil). I managed to get in touch with a researcher in the area of tapering and withdrawal effects of anti-depressants. He was really helpful with my questions about tapering of and was so kind to share his latest upcoming publication about withdrawal effects and the importance of good guidance from our doctors. I found this article very inspirational and heart warming to know we are not alone in this battle of coming of our medications. I wanted to share this with you, thought it could be helpfull for others as well. Here is the link to the manuscript. It is still under review but already publiced at https://iipdw.org/user-knowledge-psychotropic-drug-withdrawal/ greetings Julia
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