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  1. December 15 started lexapro 5mg for panic attacks and anxiety. One week after notice mild hamstring soreness two weeks after severe hamstring soreness, (maybe restless leg)?, and full body joint pain. I was basically bedridden and went to a clinic where they tested me for the flu, I tested negative. I quit taking the pills after two days of this. The symptoms subsided a bit over the next week then suddenly got bad again a week after discontinuation. I had Burning skin sensation, severe restless legs or hamstring pain, and joint pain that feels like theflu. Currently I'm a few days from three weeks after stopping and can barely sleep because the pain is so great. I'm terrified this is something else because no Dr will admit that this **** drug is poison and "there is no documented case of this happening" WELL ITS HAPPENING TO ME SO DOCUMENT IT! The pain I would describe is me, a 27 year old male, feels like I just turned 99 years old. I'm calling my mom daily crying about not being able to sleep and being in constant pain. Has anyone had anything like this after a short and low dose? I'm really afraid I have some other terminal illness. Besides anxiety about this pain, I haven't actually had a panic attack in a while.
  2. 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?
  3. Nevertoolate

    ☼ Nevertoolate: Lexapro

    I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. Hello everyone, I took my first anti-depressant at 21. I am now 43. In the years in between, I have had multiple psychiatric admissions, taken many many different medications, some at high doses, some inappropriate for my diagnosis, and for long periods of time, and had 8 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I am posting here now because I believe I may be experiencing a withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. My life has been razed to the ground and I am reaching out, to foster hope, make connection, and see if I can educate and empower myself and find guidance and support to get into healing and recovery. My difficulties began 9 years ago. The only drug I was taking at the time was Citalopram, and I was reducing it. The first thing I noticed was increased sensitivity to sound (e.g. hearing the radiators throughout the house I was staying in). I was working as a counsellor at the time, and I began to have feelings of falling through my chair when working with clients, a sensation of falling downwards and backwards suddenly. I then started to feel strange in the car, as if something toxic was coming through the ventilation system, leading me to feel a bit like I wasn't fully there; slightly afraid I would pass out (I never have) or "disappear". I would pinch my cheeks to try and "come back". I couldn't understand it. For 18 months, I followed the initial thinking from my GP, that I had labyrinthitis, and had various auditory system tests. This revealed nothing. I then went to the London Balance and Hearing Centre and had a thorough check there. They found nothing wrong and said that 40 % of people presenting there they referred on to psychiatry. By this stage, I had stopped driving, stopped working, had considerable difficulties walking - I walked using 2 sticks, and continued to have extreme sensitivity to sound (found the sound of the dishwasher on the floor below almost unbearable). The psychiatrist diagnosed "total serotonin depletion of the vestibular nucleus" with utter conviction (no sample/scan of anything has ever been taken by a psychiatrist in 22 years of treatment), and admitted me urgently to hospital. I was not depressed at the time. I was bombarded with medications. 3 weeks later, I went into depression, but the somatic symptoms I had been admitted for continued. More and more medications were administered. Eventually, I discharged myself and went to another psychiatric hospital. They were shocked at the levels of medication I was on (this was 2013) and proceeded to reduce and change the drugs. I left this hospital in 2014 but my somatic symptoms persisted (difficulty walking, unable to tolerate the sound of the fridges in the supermarket, clinging on to the shelves, tremors in my legs, unable to stand in line....). By this time, I had a diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) - which I identify with to this day. This was September 2015. Because, despite high levels of medication, the symptoms were still present and limiting my functionality (e.g. unable to tolerate short attending a short evening course on social media at my gardening group: I couldn’t cope with looking at the screen, sitting on a chair without sides, or the sounds – and had to leave), I decided to change tack and try a different approach. That was when I sought out a trauma therapist and a more holistic path. At this time I was on Quetiapine (250mg at night, 50mg breakfast and 50mg lunchtime), 3g L-Tryptophan, 15mg Diazepam, 60mg Citalopram. Over the course of 3 years, I brought myself down off the meds in a very measured way, one at a time, titrating at what I thought was a slow pace. I managed to come off the Quetiapine, L-Tryptophan and Diazepam. I continued to experience severe somatic symptoms but could walk about a little, go into a bookshop briefly - not able to work or go out for a meal, or the cinema or anything like that. When I began reducing the Citalopram, my symptoms became seriously bad. They emerged approx. 2 – 3 months after reductions e.g. 60 > 50 > 40 beginning May 2017, resulted in severe, disabling symptoms by August: severe tremors, terrifying hyperarousal, unable to tolerate sounds at all, using alcohol when necessary literally to be able to tolerate them or walk when necessary. I made another reduction 40 > 35 > 30 > 25 > 20 from December to April 2018, at which point I became housebound and called the paramedics as I was experiencing states of terror, feeling as if I was about to die, unable to regulate my nervous system at all. I now know, how terribly and tragically misguided my reduction pacing was. I wish I could turn the clocks back. But I can't. Hence my presence here, and prayers that there is still hope that I might recover my health. The emergency services suggested I increase the Citalopram back up to 30mg, which I did - and then up to 35mg, 3 weeks later. By this stage, I was housebound, having violent seizure patterning (not seizures - I never lose consciousness), unable to tolerate the sound of using a telephone, unable to stand to wash up or make food. My therapist began visiting me in my home. At the time, she and I had been understanding what was happening as partly being a releasing of the trapped energy of the trauma of the ECT which I had when I was 29. Indeed, the seizure patterning/muscle spasms look very like this. And my therapist described what she believed was going on in Somatic Experiencing language of "overcoupling": effects of psychological trauma/stress from earlier life + ECT shock trauma + long term use of meds.....all contributing to a dysregulated nervous system. I still believe this to be the case. However, very sadly, my therapist reached the point where she felt unable to continue to support me and pointed me back towards psychiatry. This was utterly devastating to me. I had derived considerable strength and hope from believing I understood what was happening in my body, that I had agency over its process, and was resourced and motivated by this. Being advised that all that was left was to go back to psychiatry, felt like the final straw. I went into severe, suicidal depression. Since then, I have seen several more psychiatrists, 2 neurologists, one neuropsychiatrist. None of them acknowledge that there is any possibility that psychiatric medications are implicated in my somatic symptoms. They put them under "medically unexplained" or "functional neurological disorder". I had 5 weeks in another psychiatric hospital in December 2018 which was largely pointless as I could not bring myself to take further medications, except for the introduction of one, Pregabalin, but at a low dose (because I was looking ahead to having to withdraw off this too eventually, and cautious accordingly.) I am now staying with my parents, in Luxembourg because I am unable to manage on my own in my own home without carers. I am at the lowest point of my life. The depression is severe but largely "reactive", ie an understandable response to losing my world - my work, my community, my functionality and all that that now deprives me of. I am just surviving at the moment. I hope I can find a way ahead. I am new to this website. I wonder how I might best use it to seek support and guidance? I will list the medications I am currently taking: Citalopram 40mg Pregabalin 50mg @ 09.00, 25 mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 22.00 Diazepam 2mg @ 09.00, 25mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 19.00, 25 mg @ 22.00 Zopiclone 3.75mg: began tapering under advice of GP 10 days ago, reducing by 1/4 = cutting the pill in half and half again and taking 3/4. He suggested I taper by 1/4 every 2-3 weeks. I feel trapped in a Catch22: I am unable to function in the world as I am. My symptoms are prohibitive of most activities and restrict where I can be, even within my parents' home, as my sensitivity to sound is so great and I am unable to be standing for very long due to the tremors. I am due to see the GP again tomorrow to ask his advice. I do not have a psychiatrist here. I am not keen to see yet another psychiatrist unless this person understands the fight/flight/freeze response, believes in withdrawal syndromes and tapering. My despair lies in the fact that I am sadly not in a position to be tapering really until I have adequate functionality restored. But I don't know how to restore that, how to address the tremoring and sensitivity to sound. The advice I have had from psychiatrists is to increase the dose of Pregabalin to quell the tremors. I am currently on a sub-therapeutic dose. I am reluctant to do this as this will be yet another drug to come off (which holds risks of seizures through withdrawal). Does anybody here have anything they could suggest to help? I am only just beginning to try to understand what the effects might be, on my nervous system, of extensive use of the drugs I have been on in the past, and am currently on. In particular, Quetiapine (I was on 800mg in 2005 and reduced over a couple of years - I never had any psychosis; and again 2013 - 2016 at 300mg), Diazepam (30mg in 2013, now 8mg) and Citalopram (60 for many years, now 40mg). I don't know if everything my body is manifesting is an expression of a depletion of receptors throughout my body? I am doing an online course on the nervous system and understand the intricacy of it, and how every cell in our bodies is affected by nervous system dysregulation. What is the next step? How do I address the somatic symptoms, in particular sensitivity to sound and to gravity: my sympathetic nervous system is "turned up way too high" in response to my standing up = tremors How/where can I find a clinician to guide me? I am due to see a Functional Medicine practitioner next Thursday with a view to try trying to do something myself to help heal my system. Any thoughts on this? I am also acutely aware that my life situation is such that I feel insecure and at sea. So, I need to find a way to create a secure base for myself, professionals I trust, decide which country to live in to do this (I will probably be unable to live alone until/unless I can heal this)..... I understand now that my nervous system is picking up cues about safety all the time. And if my life situation is unstable, it will keep going into fight/flight/freeze in reaction to that too. So, I need to also do some internal work on finding safety in the midst of uncertainty. This is so challenging. I feel very grateful to have this space in which to share and hopefully help each other. Thank you.
  7. Hi All, I am new to the group--my name is Jennifer. I have had quite the journey post-partum with my 16 month old son. I was originally put on Zoloft 50mg about 3 weeks after my son was born and stayed on it until mid-March (so about 9 months). I was feeling great that I wanted to come off of the medication. I tapered off of it over a month...it was a difficult taper which makes me wonder if I should have stayed on it longer. But then 5 months after that I went on an intensive yoga retreat and came back with crying jags, anxiety, and insomnia. I went on some herbs for a while to help with adrenal function prescribed by a chiropractor and felt a little better energy wise but was not getting anywhere with the insomnia or crying jags. I discontinued the herbs. Then on the very next day, I went on a nasty ride with psychotropics again with my regular doctor. I wanted relief so I went back on Zoloft but it was so agitating, they needed to give me Lexapro (it's supposedly a little less activating) and Trazadone to sleep. Trazadone worked for one night but I still was so agitated. Then, they ordered me Xanax. After taking one, I felt I wanted to jump out of my skin. I called a psychiatrist and was put on Remeron and Klonopin right away and told to stop everything else. The Remeron helps me sleep but I still feel so overwhelmed at times since coming back from that intensive yoga retreat. The Klonopin helps at times too but I do not want to take it everyday. I am in therapy which is EMDR-based. It has helped but I find it focuses on the negative aspects too much. So we have done some CBT to keep me in the moment. What I am looking for is advice from anyone out there that has had a similar experience with antidepressants and what you did to help yourself. I will be taking saliva tests for cortisol and female hormones tomorrow. Thank God I can send them out on Monday. Other things : 1) I would like to know if anyone knows of a good doctor who understands conventional and holistic care that can help me to slowly get off the Klonopin. I only take 0.25mg twice a day but I am so sensitive to any movement in drugs right now. 2) I would like a doctor's viewpoint/knowledge person on this forum on how Remeron works with the adrenal glands. Could the Remeron be making things worse, better (because I am getting sleep), or is there no difference to the adrenal glands while taking it. 3) If the saliva tests come back with issues with both cortisol levels and female hormonal imbalances, how do I use herbs such Ashwagandha (adrenals) and/or Shatavri (balance female hormones) with Remeron? Or are there other suggestions out there? My biggest concern is adding these new herbs, if needed, while taking Remeron and Klonopin. I know I need my sleep but I also want to be as proactive as possible in finding the best solutions out there. And I have a feeling that there are some veteran people on the forum that could really help me. Thanks, Jennifer
  8. 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
  9. "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??????????
  10. 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.
  11. Hello Everybody! In December 2010 (I just turned 21) I started taking Paxil because I was having severe anxiety (Agoraphobia / Emetophobia). After intensive therapy I made a good recovery which allowed me to pick up daily life (the Anxiety is never completely gone, but it no longer has a big impact on my life). I tried to stop twice and twice this failed extremely hard. By then me and my psych/GP thought it was easy and with todays knowledge I can say that the failures were probably due to way to fast withdrawal schedules (first time I halved to 10mg and stopped the week after.. second time I reduced by 2mg each week). Early summer 2016 I was feeling better than ever on every aspect of my life, but in the second half of the summer suddenly I started feeling worse. Fatigued, unmotivated, tingling sensations and a somewhat drugged/absent feeling. Even though I did feel familiar (to Paxil symptoms, which I had a lot the first ~2-3 months when starting Paxil each time) I did not immediately link it to my medication due to no increase in anxiety. However after a thorough checkup (both physically and mentally) without any other possible finding the only remaining hypothesis was the sudden change in how my body responded to the medication. I decided to start tapering of paxil, but this time I would be prepared: I found out about the 5-10% in 3-6 weeks schedules and found a psychiatrist to help me with my tapering. I also switched to liquid Seroxat to make tapering easier. My plan was to start with tapering 10% each 4 weeks and only reduce dosage once I felt mainly stable/good during the last week. The first taper step went good with only minor/innocent side effect. The second step already became a bit heavier especially with the addition of headaches and eye floaters both of which reduced my daily productivity/concentration. However after 5 weeks I felt stable/better and decided to taper again. The first week on my new dosage (14.4mg) went surprisingly well. But after that suddenly everything changed: The anxiety came back in full force. In addition I felt hunted/restless, nauseous, vague/absent (like I'm a spectator in my own life), still had headaches, almost no energy, heart palpitations and sometimes hyperventilating. We are now three months further and I slowly/steadily start feeling better each week but still feel far from stable (more like a house without foundation which could collapse any moment). Besides all I remain positive and hope to feel better in a couple of weeks, but I am uncertain of what to do next: - I could continue tapering Paxil as if nothing happened, but given the insane symptoms I just recovered from I might consider a smaller step of 5%. - An alternative could be, due to the heavy symptoms in a this early stage of tapering to switch to an AD which is famous for being still-horrible-but-slightly-less-horrible-than-parox with regards to tapering and withdrawal symptoms. I found this topic on this site which states this and that Prozac is often used for this. I can not decide what to do.. hopefully this and other topics on this site will help me make this decision..
  12. LSS, I have been on some form of antidepressant/anti-anxiety med for 20 years. I was in a massive car accident with severe head trauma back then, and have had inexplicable panic attacks since. Without meds, I tend to randomly pass out 4-5x/week from a classic hyperventilation/anxiety attack. Only difference is that mine tends to come out of nowhere, without any trigger. They are super hard and fast, so I don't even see it coming sometimes. That's resulted in an additional 6 diagnosed concussions... For the last 15 years, I have been on Effexor XR, 150mg (name brand only). For the last 2 years, they added Celexa (generic), 20mg. The Effexor is killing me... I can't sleep. No more than 4 hours/night, interrupted, in the last few weeks. I literally have to pee at least every hour if not more often. I have had night sweats for 8 years. And my lymph nodes in my neck are so incredibly large (roughly 2 golf balls in size), that I've had some surgically removed. (obv. not cancerous). So, I've contacted my doctor, asking to ween off using Prozac as a bridge based on what I've read. I'd be happy to quit the Celexa too, I don't get withdrawal symptoms much from the Celexa, nor does it seem to help much. However, instead of doing that, she increased Celexa to 30mg/day, and cut the Effexor in half to 75mg for 2 weeks.... continuing to cut in half every two weeks until complete. I really don't see Celexa proven to be a good bridge. Experiences? Thoughts?? The withdrawal is pure hell, as I'm sure anyone reading this knows. I will, of course, try this... I just worry so much about the withdrawal.
  13. Hi everyone, just wanted to share my story (and hopefully my eventual recovery). I am 20 years old, and was 19 when I started on 50mg of Sertraline I was prescribed it in Feb 2015 for social anxiety and took it for a month. Quit cold turkey because I felt pretty depersonalised, and cause of the sexual side effects. All of my symptoms came on during my time on the drug or shortly afterwards. They are: Dulling of emotion/Anhedonia - Have felt sadness a few times, and anger a few times. No joy, no passion, maybe some flashes of love but that's it. Unable to relate to characters in books/TV. Dimunition of visual imagination - I used to daydream constantly prior to taking the drug. Since cold turkeying the pictures in my mind are very blurred and I am no longer able to daydream. Loss of creativity - Before the drug I used to read a lot, and when I read I always felt like ideas were constantly popping into my brain. Since I stopped medication this no longer happens. I feel like I am reading the words on the page very superficially.. Physical numbness in brain - Feels like there's a great pressure in the frontal lobe of my head, almost like it is torn (but there is no pain) PSSD - No libido, anorgasmia, difficulty getting and maintaining erections (too much information but I want to be thorough here) No fatigue behind eyes - this one isn't necessarily negative, but since stopping the drug my eyes never get tired regardless of how much time I spend using screens or reading. Possible other symptoms that could be unrelated: Muscle twinges (very mild), worsening of eyesight (20/20 vision pre medication), urine delay (is considerably better now) Improvements - I saw very positive changes when it came to anorgasmia and erections around 6 months into my withdrawal. Unfortunately it seems like in the past 2 months things have gone back to square one. The physical pressure in my head varies a lot, and is definitely much better than it was at the start of my withdrawal (though it still gets very bad). I couldn't read for the first 6 months of this withdrawal because I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it and that was depressing because I used to love reading prior to the drug. Now I read a bit, and it feels nicer than doing nothing I guess, but seriously if that's an improvement in my anhedonia then it's 0% to 1%, because I still have zero positive emotion. General - I feel hopeless about recovery a lot of the time. I have suicidal thoughts but would never commit suicide because of the effect that would have on my mum. I browse through the forums looking for recovery stories, but it seems like most people who recover haven't had this constant anhedonia, and were in a more turbulent emotional withdrawal. If anyone who is in my position, or anyone who was in my position but recovered, could reply I'd be very grateful. Many thanks, Raven
  14. 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!
  15. Hello dear fellas! I am in the same boat like you and I was thinking a lot about creating a topic here. I am a male, 30 years old. My story began in 2010 with a depression I had, which faded away by itself, and was caused by my traveling and settling in a new city in order to study law. It was all good until summer 2012 when I went through a panick attack. It happened to me after a very very intense exam session. This threw me off balance and gave a start to a 4 year struggle with panic, anxiety and I guess a depression, which was caused by all that. After that much time I decided to pay a psychiatrist a visit, who is a close family friend. She prescribed me a drug called Atarax, which helps with sleep. After a few weeks, and feeling drained and drowsy as hell I decided to quit. No problems whatsoever. I told myself I don't need that, I am not sick and that I have enough power to beat a condition like this. And it happened. In the time between January 2017 and June 2018 I was happy and enjoyed life. A stressful event - an argument with my parents and girlfriend, all at the same time, plus the stress from my job, I went back to the pit I was in. On 3 June 2018 while I deriving my car to work I suddenly had a flashback, remembering the time I felt anxious and sick. This was the exact moment when I felt anxiety, fear and thinking I am sick in my head. All was back - the panick, anxiety, fear, sleeping troubles sometimes. Then, on 27 August 2018 I went to see another psychiatrist who put me on Parix (Paroxetine) and Fluanxol (Flupentixol) which is allowed to be sold here in Bulgaria. At the begging of taking the drugs I felt agitated, had vivid dreams, sweating at night, but it all went away. I was gradually getting better. The thing that bothered me the most was the feeling of being constantly sleepy and tired. I had problems with memorizing and I felt somehow detached from the world. I wasn't that bad, I was working at the capital city of Sofia by that time and all was good overall. After a year I quit the Fluanxol under my psychiatrist guidance. Another six months after I quit the Parix as well, of which last 3 months were meant for tapering off the drug. I felt some discomfort during that time not knowning it was signs of withdrawal. On January 2019 I went down to 15 mg Parix, 2 or 3 weeks later I was on 10. It was here where I felt something happening with me but kept going as I was told to. 6 weeks I was on 10 mg, then 2 weeks on 5 mg, and last two weeks 5 mg, skipping a day, plus Magnesium, which was prescribed from my doctor. I felt kind of OK until 25 April 2019, after a cup of coffee. Then suddenly I felt agitated, got scared of what was happening and this marked the begging of my withdrawal. I began shaking, like I was in a hypoglycemia (happend sometimes to me in the past, before drugs). I lost my appetite, fear ran trough my head. In the time before and after that I was feeling detached from the surrounding world but I wasn't aware of that till last few months where I felt more and more alive. The feeling was as if I was living in a cocoon. I felt jittery all the time, my sleep got bad. I was sleeping 5 or 6 hours, with adrenalin waking me up at 5-5:30 am., feeling dreadful. I could feel the fear inside my gut. Which prompted me to go to the toilet immediately. I was having diarrhea. Strange sensations in my head appeared and stayed until May or June. Can't refer to them as brain zaps, but felt pretty similar. I felt that with my head as well as with my body. At different points in the following months it was getting even worst - tinnitus, nausea, consonant anxiety and fear, depersonalisation, total loss of doing activities, including working, despite the fact of doing so.In July I felt pain in my back which was never there before. My head felt in a way you feel that when you were get there flu. I was thinking I had fever but actually never had. At that time stomach acids emerged out of the blue. I wasn't eating something different or I have never eaten for the acids to appear. They stayed for a week, then went away. They got back for a few days in August and then dissappeared. Another thing that hit me difficulty speaking sometimes because my jaw muscles were super stiff. As well as my legs and arms. Crying spells were bad. I even cried once in front of my girlfriend after seeing a scene in a movie. I was having a ball stuck inside my throat. Sometimes I had difficult times reading. It was as my eyes were jumping across a word rather then following it instead. I had no sex drive at all. I had neuro emotions which was very frustrating. I was not able to feel happy, I guess it was anhedonia. I guess I don't remember all symptoms but the feeling was constant misery. At the time September 2019 passed I began feeling a bit better. Nausea, tinnitus, muscle jitters were gone. I slept better. Crying spells faded away with time, as well as the ball inside my throat. But feeling the recovery was slow and definitely in waves and windows. The thing that was there all the time was bad derealisation, the feeling "there is something in my head making it feel like having fever", blurred vision sometimes occurred. In the months after I got better until February 2020. What happened felt like someone smashed me in the ground. I was feeling like relapsing. It was unbelievable that I was feeling kind of OK for being in a withdrawal and then, a day after it was all back - anxiety, bad derealisation, fear, bad sleeping. I was aware of the community here, I have read a lot about withdrawal and this is what was and is still keeping me going. Apparently I skipped the part about the 10 month wave. I was so relieved when I got to know about it that I immediately felt better and reassured myself it is not a relapse. It passed after 2 weeks. I felt better afterwards. In the begging of May 2020 I felt a bit strange feeling in my nose, as if I wasn't able to feel air, you know you kind of feel it when it goes trough your nose. It passed in a few days. After that I got rinnitis out of nothing. Stuffy and runny nose, as if I got allergy from pollens. This kept going for about 10 days and made me feel irritated as i never had it. It was like that until 15th of May when I received a phone call from my dad. He said he is now feeling well, and has fever. He reckoned it may be the coronavirus. I felt bad, really bad. Scared and fearful. The same night was bad, I couldn't sleep. In the morning the anxiety feeling in my head was back. I was very worried about my dad. He passed a test, which was negative. In a few days we already knew he just had inflammation on the bladder. But my constant anxiety stayed. My muscles began getting stiff again. My sleep got disrupted. I am awaking in 5 am every morning. I feel terror after waking up from the adrenalin rush (or cortisol, I am not sure). I am having diarrhea again. Sweaty palms and feet. I am overthinking all the time. I lost appetite, interest in involving into any activity. I feel almost like in the early stages of withdrawal, only without the dereaIisation, which makes it even scarier to me. I was hoping to find support here and help me distinguish whether it is a relapse or a wave , because till now I knew it is a wave, but this time it feels pretty real. I am constantly asking myself whether is it possible to get such a massive set back after going trough waves that were not that bad followed by a nice window. Any advise would be highly appreciated. Thank you! P. S Sorry for the long post!
  16. Hello! Here’s my psychosis and medication history; so.. i had psychosis which was caused by extremely heavy drinking. i had meds (latest risperdal) for.. 10months and they made me a zombie 😕 i quit risperdal about 4 months ago and i started feeling great little by little, until someday i felt totally back to myself! (Normally i’m talkative, say jokes and laugh alot) uh oh so lately (2weeks) i’ve been feeling myself little bit ”too good” like i’m in a super good mood of love and happiness and i’m super confident! (Nothing euphoric) but *zap* my mood can be killed so easily to super pissed off (like workmate not greeting me) but in these 2 weeks i have learned to drink coffee and smoking cigarettes so.. every day i drink about 5-10cups of coffee (i get usually too energenic) so it (coffe/cig) cause me this kind of energyboosts. I’m not psychically energic, but mentally too energic, my mind is racing like crazy! i’ll try to avoid coffee and cigs and alcohol from now on and i can already see that my mind is alot calmer.. (uh oh coffe/cig withdrawals are going to be hellish!) like i said i’hv been only mentally/emotionally energic (my mood is changing all the time!) but pychically (you know my bodyfunction) i am really LAZY! (Like i normally am) but when i’m alone, i’m super lazy! Even when in my head can make up great ideas and such but i have been reading about mania, i dont waste money or do all the rime something? Like i said, i’m lazy I have read the topic ”dealing with emotional spiral” and thats just the ways my mind is racing! I tried that sleeping habit about listening meditation music and it really helped and i slept within 10minutes! In these 2 weeks i have slept normally only once i didnt sleep at all (drank 10cups of coffee before going to sleep) but i’m still concerned if THIS IS BIPO/MANIA?? 😕
  17. Hi Everyone, My name is Daniel, I'm 19, and I'm new to this site. I'd like to hear other people's experience with SSRI withdrawal and what they've done to help alleviate it/speed the process. A little bit about my background to start. I'd like to apologize in advance for the long, long post but if you have the time please hear me out, or at least look at the main points listed at the end. As a young child, I always felt different from and alienated from my family. My parents are very religious people, so I was raised in a really strict, sheltered environment. From a young age I was always hyper and impulsive, which didn't go will with my father's dictatorial parenting style, and looking back was more a result of the way he treated me. I was put on my first SSRI, luvox (fluvoxamine) at age 6, because of anxiety (which was partially caused by my relationship with my dad). I took it for a few years. Ritalin was added to my cocktail when I was 7 due to "ADHD", and I was on it until 14. I experienced crashes at the end of the day and could not function at all if I missed a dose. I know that these two meds at such a young age caused irreversible changes to my brain structure, although I don't recall any serious negative withdrawal effects (I was tapered off of it). I was put on numerous other non SSRI medications between 7-14, including abilify, other stimulants, and non stimulant ADHD meds. I never really knew what "normal" felt like because I was always being medicated. I was also diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 11, and have been gluten free since then. I had stopped growing for a few years, which led to the diagnosis. I'm sure eating gluten for all those years also had a detrimental effect on my anxiety and ability to focus. At 14, I came out to my parents as gay. Things in my life devolved from here. I wasn't accepted for who I was and began to experience depression. My behavior became more erratic as the feedback loop of being yelled at and punished led me to continue to act out. At 15, I was admitted to a psych hospital where I developed depersonalization from the stress. I was given 20mg celexa, 300mg wellbutrin, 1mg tenex (guanfacine) twice a day, and 50mg seroquel for depression, "ADHD", and anxiety. I have a wonderful memory, but my time on SSRIs is definitely more blurry in my mind. I was (wronfully) in a residential psych facility for six month (my parents didn't know what to do with their "trouble child". My father announced that I was being sent to a Christian boarding school in Texas, ans at this point I called CPS on my parents. The state determined that they were not fit to take care of me and were emotionally abusive. Through my first 3 years in foster care, I stayed on the Celexa/Wellbutrin/Tenex/Seroquel cocktail, but decided to taper off because I didn't want to be on meds anymore (June 2014, age 18). My sorry excuse for a psychiatrist that was employed by the foster care agency I was placed under refused to let me get off them, so I decided to do it myself. Looking back at this blurry time of my life, I can tell that I was an emotionless euphoric zombie the whole time, and emotionally did not grow at all as a result. Not knowing what I was in for, I tapered off all my meds in two weeks. I also started smoking weed regularly around this time because I was not feeling as good as I used to (meds completely destroyed my ability to regulate my mood, which would be bad enough without traumatic memories of emotional abuse, false imprisonment, etc.) It provided me relief from my withdrawal symptoms, but I was smoking too much so I've slowed down considerably because it doesn't solve any problems. I don't think that my depersonalization ever really went away when I was started on meds, but I got used to the new normal of chemical euphoria. After a few months of no meds, I got rebound depression, anxiety, and depersonalization like I've never had it before. I never had out of body experiences, but my dissociation was very severe. Anyone who's experienced this terrible symptom knows how hellish it can be. My mind could longer smoothly synthesizes my sense of perception and consciousness like it used to. Every waking moment since I've stopped these meds has been a perceptual mind****. I am in a full scholarship college program and I work 2 nights a week in order to have money to get by, so my life is ridiculously busy and stressful. I wonder sometimes how I manage all of it without breaking down. Since getting off my meds, I feel maybe 20% of the range of emotions I used to. I feel almost numb. The worst part is that I can never sit still, have a much harder time focusing than ever before, have trouble falling asleep but then sleep for way too long and have a hard time getting up. I'm dysphoric almost all the time, and my anxiety has been terrible. I overthink everything in ways I never used to and feel trapped in my body and mind. I sweat way more than I should, and my muscles got so tense about 6 months ago (beginning of 2015) that I started to develop small biceps. It's been 16 months or so since I got off my meds, and I've noticed about a 30 % reduction in my withdrawal symptoms including depersonalization, but I still feel trapped and terrible most of the time. I eat pretty well, follow my GF diet, and take 5-HTP to supplement my brain with serotonin as well as vitamins and minerals. When I'm awake, I feel dissociated (sometimes I feel like I'm just a sum of what's around me in the present moment), worn out with little energy and motivation, and pretty emotionless. By the time evening comes, it feels like my brain has used up all available serotonin and I feel like an anxious, dysphoric zombie. My way of perceiving the world is not smoothly integrated and my mind jumps around. I forget where I put things 5 seconds ago, and it feels like I'm only 30% here. I'm a very intelligent person and I know that if I'm able to feel better and have a more concrete sense of self and feel focused and in a decent mood like I used to feel before I was ever started on the pills from hell, I can do a lot for this world. About 2 weeks ago, I started on 10mg Prozac (against the advice of my psychiatrist, who wants me to wait the withdrawals out but doesn't really understand how terrible I feel) because I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown with school starting. Within 2 days, my brain felt like it could finally breathe and I have been functioning much better. I've stopped sweating, my body is relaxed, and my brain is thankful for the serotonin, but emotions have disappeared and I still feel like a zombie, just a more relaxed one, completely numb and it feels very fake. I don't really feel alive. I missed my dose today and the depression I felt this evening before loading with a high dose of 5-HTP was much worse than the usual withdrawal, and I've decided that it's not worth it, I'm done with meds for good!!! But I'm tired of being in this hell. I'm tired of life being a perceptual mind****. I'm tired of being on edge and anxious and depressed and dissociated. I've been in psychotherapy for almost 2 years and have made remarkable psychological progress, but the physiological/mental symptoms of my withdrawal are a living hell and it's often hard to distinguish withdrawal symptoms from symptoms of underlying problems. THANK YOU FOR READING!!! In summary: -Stopped SSRI and SNRI (doses were way too high), with way too fast tapering, about 16 months ago -Symptoms have reduced by about 30% but are still hard to bear. Depersonalization, bad anxiety, sweating, trouble falling asleep/waking, lack of concentration, altered perception, emotional blunting up to 80%, dysphoria, lack of energy -Taking high dose of 5-HTP/vitamins Any additional supplement/herb recommendations, personal withdrawal timelines, or any other suggestions will be highly appreciated!! Thank you so much! -Daniel
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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