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  1. Hi Thank you for this forum! I am in a mess right now and need some advice. In february I decided to give lexapro 10 mg a try as I struggled more and more with ocd. That decision took everything away from me! Drug history prior to this: Paxil 20- 40 mg from 1991-2000 and 2003-2015. Prozac 5 mg 2015 to february 2021 (plus 5 mg valium as needed for anxiety, 2 to 4 times a week ) Back to lexapro and 2021: I experienced adverse effects after 4 weeks: motor dysfunction in teeth/jaw. But I hoped it was initial side effects that would go away. So I continued. After lowering my dose to 5 mg, then 2,5 then 1,25 with problems still there, I quit on May 7th. I am now in WD worse than ever! I am in anxiety-terror 24/7 and have terrible insomnia. The physical symptoms are many and terrible, I never had physical symptoms in WD before. I got so sick I eventually wanted to end everything - and my family couldnt cope. I was then voluntarely commited to a psyciatric hospital. Both the hospital and my family wanted me to start medication again. I refused, which was unpopular. Then they wanted me to get ECT treatment in stead. So, being desperate to do something, I started a small dose of paxil. I started with 0,2 mg, went up to 1,7 mg in hope of a positive effect. (Why paxil? Not daring to reinstate lexapro(adverse effect) , and the prozac never helped my anxiety, and I was desperate for something to work) I almost immediatly regretted it. But now I was terrified to quit. What if things got worse? Also my family kept begging me to be on medication, as I behave in a crazy way. Its been close to five weeks on Paxil now. (Yesterday I learnt on your forum that I may could have just quit it if I i did it sooner. My regret ocd is terrible, so I have to try to forgive myself). So now my question is: how do I taper from here? Or is it unsafe to change anything now? I think I have gotten back a side effect from Paxil, (the irony - no benefits, just downsides). So I really want to get off it. Thanks for being here for us! (I didnt figure out how I put my Drug history in the footer? Only have an iPhone available right now. )
  2. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  3. 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
  4. Hi All May I first thank whoever started and maintains this excellent forum, without it I would still be under the misconception that without SSRIs I have serious and disabling mental illness I was prescribed Prozac at 56 with no prior history of mental illness. It was only about a year or two ago that I realised that the 'mental illness' I later suffered was SSRI Withdrawal With the help of this forum I have started a 5% taper of 20mgs Prozac, using mini scales. Here is my brief and approximate history of SSRIs 2007 (at age 56) Prozac 20mg. For chronic fatigue syndrome. 2010/11 Stopped taking Prozac and suffered severe withdrawal 2010 Prescribed Citalopram 10mg ? For ‘ Anxiety and depression and panic attacks 2014 Discontinued Citalopram over a month 2014/15 Suffered severe withdrawal and was prescribed Prozac 20mg 2017/18 After research I decided that I have never had mental illness, only withdrawal 2017/20 Various failed attempts to ‘taper’ (missing doses) 2020 Sept Took advice from this Excellent forum and started a 5% taper using mini scales Withdrawal symptoms. Took to my bed. Flu-like symptoms, Thought I had all forms of cancer, Zaps, Inexplicable fear, Limbs shaking, Insomnia, Constant ‘stress’ Headache, Panic attacks
  5. hello, this is my first time posting. I have read some of the forums on here but I still am having difficulty on how to proceed. I was on Paxil 40mg for 7 years. I hate it. I cross tapered onto prozac 40 over 9 days. I was stupid and tried to reduce the Prozac’s dose a couple days as well. The withdrawal is so bad now I can barely get up and I haven’t eaten much of anything in days. These are the same symptoms I felt from stopped Paxil before; intense nausea, headache, vertigo, lethargy, brain zaps, depressed. I can’t function at all. today and yesterday I’ve taken 40mg prozac. I’m going to call the psychiatrist on Monday but honestly they have no clue about anything related to withdrawal and never give me guidance. I have very little faith in them being able to help me. Does anyone know if this is just from stopping Paxil? Or starting prozac? Does being on another ssri not stop the withdrawal from another? I’ve tried withdrawal from Paxil on its own and it’s just impossible. I have no idea what to do at this point. If the United States had free healthcare I would go to the hospital but it doesn’t so I’m not doing that. I’m not sure how much they could even do.
  6. does paroxetine / Paxil withdrawals get you extreme anger? (and about narcissistic mother) Hello, I am 24 year old male with panic disorder. I was on various anti-depressants for panic disorder from 2017, after my dad passed away on 2016 but from past 4 years (19-22) I am on Paroxetine CR 25mg, But I feel like sometimes it stops working and everything becomes irritating and you see I have a narcissistic mother who will don't let a single opportunity to waste to anger me. I tried many time to get off it by going to lower dose 12.5mg but the withdrawals were worst. Even if I take anything like vitamins or eat have a lemon for C in morning it really get worse. I currently taper myself to 12.5 from 25mg again (I thought I could handle it this time) by doing meditation and it was bit helpful at start but now the things getting now bit tough. and I am kind of worried that withdrawal will stay longer. Questions: should I keep taking the lower dose and suffer for a bit if the withdrawals are not gonna last longer or should I revert to the original dose of 25mg? & Are the extreme anger and irritation a withdrawal symptoms or is it me? (I can't even stay in the same room as my mother) I am literally scared to my core with the anger and irritated I feel with all the taunts and manipulation by my narcissistic mother I had suffer every single day for 24 years. It breaks my heart to see how much I have suffer from her and continuing so, I am 24 and good in programming but currently have no job and until I get my own place which is extremely hard I have to stay with her. Contact me anytime, We could support each other Instagram: onix_fellar Thanks
  7. Summary prior to Lexapro: I was diagnosed with depression when I was 16 in 1999. It's hard to remember what I was going through then, but I know I would have major mood swings and get very emotional and sad. I started seeing a therapist. I was prescribed Zoloft, I think it was 10mg. I don't remember my full prescription history, but I believe I stayed on Zoloft until at least 2006. I moved from New Hampshire to San Francisco in 2005 and started seeing a therapist there. I didn't think I needed anti-depressants anymore and went off of Zoloft. I don't remember any kind of tapering, or guidance/warnings about going off Zoloft. I didn't have any issues quitting. I remember having depression symptoms during my period and my therapist recommended taking Prozac only during my period. I believe this was in 2006 or 2007. It helped, but I felt emotionally numb. Lexapro: I decided to try anti-depressants again but I wanted to try something different. My doctor recommended Lexapro. I believe this was in 2007 or 2008. Lexapro was an easy drug to take. I didn't have any side effects. Once, Kaiser tried to push me to generic escitalopram and I experienced issues with mood swings. I don't remember the exact symptoms but I know I contacted my doctor within a few days and demanded brand name Lexapro again. Other than that, I stayed on 20mg Lexapro with little thought to what/how it was treating my depression. There was one point where I visited my family in New Hampshire and didn't pack enough Lexapro. I skipped one day and figured I would do every other day to stretch the pills. I got dizzy and had brain zaps within a day. I looked this up online and learned that you can't just go off Lexapro. I kept that in mind and planned my refills better from that point on. Tapering off: In August 2020 Kaiser's pharmacy informed me that they would no longer carry Lexapro brand name starting in September, and they would only offer generic Escitalopram. I don't think this is a problem for most people but I had a bad reaction when I tried generic before and didn't want to go down that path again. I had also been questioning how long I should stay on anti-depressants. I was 38 and was a completely different person than when I was first prescribed at 16. I have a supportive partner who encourages me to seek alternative methods to managing my depression. I was particularly interested in supplements like fish oil because they have other health benefits. It felt hopeful to know that through mindfulness techniques and supplements I could manage my depression naturally and add additional health benefits. I emailed my doctor and asked for a tapering recommendation. Her assistant said to go from 20mg to 10mg for 2 weeks and then go off. That sounded entirely naive to me knowing what I experienced when I skipped one day by accident years earlier. I did research and most articles were vague. I subscribed to Harvard Health Review and they had a more thorough article with gradual tapering guidelines. I choose to go from 20 to 15, 10, 5 with 4 weeks in between. I started the taper in September and completed just after Christmas 2020. With about 4 weeks in between dosage changes I felt some brain zaps and dizziness, but nothing that impacted my day to day activities and work. Full stop: In January 2021 I felt pretty good about stopping the pills (I was on 5mg at that point). I read that you could experience more extreme symptoms after 5 days if you didn’t taper long enough. At day 5 all the withdrawal symptoms started and continued for roughly 4 months. I won’t get into full details because I think the symptoms are easier to find online now, but the brain zaps were frequent throughout the day. I was dizzy, and most days I worked on my couch because I couldn’t handle being vertical. My balance wasn’t so bad that I would fall, but I would kind of lean side to side going down hallways. Other physical symptoms were headaches, completely random indigestion that didn’t coincide with my very consistent diet, shaky hands, insomnia, and very random and quick flu/cold like symptoms like congestion. The brain zaps and dizziness made work very challenging. I manage a software development firm and am on client calls most of the day. What was far worse were waves of anxiety. I’ve never felt anxiety before, this was completely new to me. My mind was racing and I was constantly worried about my partner dying (he has perfect health) and other nonsense. I felt like I was on then verge of mania because I couldn’t handle even the smallest amount of stress. A stressful work event would have me clenching my teeth, holding back a scream, and pounding my fists. I’m the cool and calm one at work so this was so foreign to me and I was always scared I would lose my temper during a meeting. I had panic attacks, which I’ve never experienced before. They were prompted by seemingly nothing. I had a very hard time socializing. If someone asked how I was I thought I would burst into tears. I stopped drinking because I read that it could help. I told my closest friends so they would understand why I was withdrawing. I had a hard time talking about myself because I was really just trying to hang on. I didn’t have any other news. I couldn’t help out around the house because of the dizziness, and trying to cook would stress me out and make me agitated. My partner picked up the chores and I was usually lying on the couch. I don’t remember when the symptoms stopped because they kind of morphed instead of really going away, but I think the physical symptoms like brain zaps and dizziness started to lift in April and probably stopped in May 2021. I believe the initial withdrawal period was 4-5 months. I spoke with a Kaiser psychiatrist towards the end of this period and told him that my symptoms felt different. He cut me off and told me that you will not experience new symptoms when you go off SSRI’s. He told me that my depression could have evolved over the years and I didn’t know because I was on anti-depressants. I asked him when this will end and he said it is so rare that they don’t know, but it should really only be a few weeks (I was already into 4 months). Out of desperation I asked him to just tell me if it isn’t possible to go off Lexapro, do I just need to accept that and go back on. I told him that I’ve read countless forums where people describe this problem and I never see a follow up that they successfully finished the withdrawal. He downplayed forums and suggested that people probably needed to be on the SSRI’s and ultimately went back on because of their depression, but not because of the drug. I told him it was a crime that they don’t educate people about this before prescribing these medications. Post-acute withdrawal: As the physical withdrawal symptoms went away in May 2021 I was prepared to face my old depression symptoms, and I was armed with reading materials about mindfulness techniques and supplements like vitamins and fish oil. I definitely had some low days where I was sad and it was challenging to find motivation. But I also felt different because the anxiety was still around. It wasn’t as extreme as before (I didn’t have to worry about panic attacks), but I had lots of worrying and my mind was racing in addition to the feelings of sadness and inadequacy. I started taking fish oil supplements (1200mg EPA + 900mg DHA)in June/July 2021. My anxiety got worse and I wasn’t sleeping well. It was affecting work so I decided to just take it during my period when my symptoms are stronger. But it was still too much and I tried another brand with a lower dose. Same issues. I give up and try SAM-e, a supplement that should also help depression. I take 400mg a day and I just have light anxiety symptoms. I increased to 2 pills a day/800mg during my period and I got indigestion so I backed down to 400mg. Big mistake - I had insomnia for 2 days. Why am I so sensitive to these supplements when it seems like everyone else takes them easily? During a sleepless night I am doing online research and find Adele Framer’s research article: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2045125320980573?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub 0pubmed I cry while reading it because it’s the first time I see in writing that people are experiencing new symptoms after discontinuing a SSRI. That’s exactly what is going on with me right now. At the time of writing this it has been 11 months since I stopped Lexapro and I don’t know if I am treating depression or anxiety. I’m staying on SAM-e 400mg a day because I’m petrified to make any changes without a professional guiding me. I’m taking a B complex/folate/magnesium vitamin luckily without issue. I have a couple good days and then a breakdown that is mixed with depression and anxiety. My mind races and I don’t sleep as deeply now. I’ve stopped drinking, except for a couple drinks a month, and I eat as many veggies as I can. I have irrational fears like my partner is going to die still and I’m guaranteed to have some kind of emotional breakdown before my period. I can’t handle the level of stress that I used to, and have a hard time multi tasking at work because I get agitated and experience brain fog. Suicidal thoughts make their way into my consciousness routinely, and on bad days I don’t think I can go on any further. On good days I worry about when the next bad day will be. I read this article by Adele and cried again because I’m 11 months in and she went 11 years: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2045125321991274. It feels hopeless, but my only motivation is to find a doctor that will guide me through this. I’m here on this forum to find a doctor that will treat the withdrawal symptoms for however long this is going to take. I can’t do this by myself.
  8. Hi all. Since my history with SSRIs is relatively brief (3 years), I felt that tapering would be a piece of cake for me. I started on citalopram 20mg for severe depression in 2019. About a year and a half later I switched to fluoxetine 20mg. In early 2021 I started high dose Vitamin D3 (read—REAL high, no 2000iu child’s play) which did wonders for my mood. It actually did what I expected SSRIs to do. I wanted to wean off almost as soon as I started SSRIs but was terrified to until this April. I weaned over 60 days and boy, oh boy, withdrawal hit me hard. I’m talking insomnia, visual hallucinations, dizziness/balance/coordination issues, confusion and problems focusing, shock and zap sensations in my body and brain, and many others more intermittently. Mostly CNS stuff but if it’s not too much information I had severe diarrhea multiple times every day during the entire tapering process and for weeks afterward. I’m still facing the CNS symptoms daily. All of this caught me off guard and much of what I could find online gave me no validating information that what I was feeling can be normal. After reading many different threads here I feel like I’m not crazy, which is such a relief after feeling isolated from everyone for months. I am curious to ask the group—something odd that I’ve been experiencing in the last few days is paranoia over things that I know are totally outlandish—have any of you experienced paranoia as one of your symptoms? Im also wondering how long your withdrawal symptoms lasted (bonus points if you were on 20mg fluoxetine), months? Years? Just trying to feel out what I’m up against. Good to be here. Callie
  9. Hello, My English is not that good but I will try my best. I’ve been taking Escitalopram for over a month now after a very hard benzo and Pregabalin withdrawal. It seems like now my anxiety is getting better and I no longer have derealization. My doctor put me on 10mg and after 3 weeks he upped to 20mg. The first symptoms when I started Escitalopram (nausea and increased anxiety) eventually subsided. The only thing that I still experience is little depression, very low energy and sleepiness. I don’t know if this will subside too because I’m 23 years old and currently studying in Russia. I really miss my energy and motivation. Thank you very much for any information. I am very happy with this website.
  10. Hi everyone, I stopped my 200 mg Zoloft basically cold turkey that I had been on for 4+ years (one of my dumbest ideas yet) and I didn't start getting withdrawal symptoms for almost a month. After about 3 weeks of withdrawals, I've now been back on 100 mg (at the advice of my doctor) for two weeks because the symptoms were so bad, and I've been incredibly nauseous the whole time. Is this normal? I've been bedridden from the nausea (and dizziness, insomnia, etc, but the nausea is the most debilitating) If anyone else has experience with this, how long did the side effects from coming back on it last? I'm so terrified that this is going to be permanent.
  11. Hello everyone. I'll try to organize this as best as I can. There is a lot going on. I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36. Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare. Absolute pure hell. I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel. Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve. I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac. I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago. I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago. I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse. My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness. I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7. I am so depressed and fearful all of the time. I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me. It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. My doctor wants to take me off the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro. The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in. I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case. I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta. My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together. It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill. There were so many. I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come. If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen. I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare. If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again. If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain. The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac. I don't want to go through this again! Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar. Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well. I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated. It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed. Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't. I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope. I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get! I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then.
  12. Hi, I've been on SSRI's now for about 20 years except for a few years in the middle. First it was Prozac with BuSpar, and over the last 10 years Paxil with Klonopin. I'm in search of who I am off of these meds, and I'm sick of the side-effects (mainly sexual side effects of Paxil for me). I successfully tapered off of Klonopin over 1 year from 0.5 mg (finished that in May of '16), and I've been tapering off of Paxil for the last year and a half from 30 mg. to my current dose of 10 mg. This is my second deliberate attempt to get off of SSRI's. The first attempt was done very quickly in 2012 (over about a month) and it was a disastrous fall into extreme anxiety resulting in voluntary hospitalization for five nights in a locked unit. In 2014 I was switched from Paxil to a different drug altogether (Lamictal), and that was also a terrible event because the doctor had me go off of the Paxil too quickly, resulting in a quick descent into anxiety, then the worst soul-crushing depression I've ever experienced. I was out of work for 5 weeks. I'm happy to share more details later, but for now I'll focus on the here and now. So back to the current withdrawal attempt. I was down to 10 mg of Paxil in November, 2017, and I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to continue the slow taper. He prescribed liquid Paxil at the equivalent of 9 mg for 2 weeks, then 8 mg, but when I went to pick it up I was told it would be over $150. Yikes! The pharmacist recommended I look into having it compounded elsewhere to save money. After searching for a compounding facility, calling my doc and writing him a letter, I finally got the prescription for a compounded version of Paroxetine for $70 / month, plus $5 shipping. A couple weeks later it arrived, and I was very happy to continue my slow, controlled taper. That was around Dec. 22, 2017. That's when things went wrong. After a couple days I started feeling a bit cantankerous, fidgety, and my appetite increased. I had just re-started working out, and this adrenaline rush fueled my anger and appetite. You know that feeling when you've run out of fuel and you've got that hungry, angry feeling inside? I was feeling like this almost all the time. About five days after starting the compounded Paxil I had an incident at work where I lost my temper. I apologized and things smoothed over, but I'm pretty convinced that something wasn't right with the compounded medication. Maybe it was measured wrong; maybe the bitter cold affected it in shipping. I don't know, but I strongly doubt it was 9 mg. Paxil. So I went back to the 10 mg., and that's when I've been on for the last 5 nights. But my mind and body are both very much off-kilter. My anxiety's increased and the insatiable hunger continues. I have a high-metabolism which is even higher under this stress, so I can't seem to satiate my appetite. I'm hoping that after a few more days things will even out, and I plan on staying at 10 mg. for at least a couple weeks before I start a taper again. I've since picked up the prescription for the liquid Paxil; I decided that when I continue the taper, I want to make sure I'm very confident of the accuracy of the medication. I don't trust the compounded version now. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement would be much appreciated as I re-stabilize.
  13. 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.
  14. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  15. Hi all, I've been off antidepressants for about three months now after 14 months on them. See end of post for full tapering schedule (if you can call it that). Note that I didn't find this resource/community until today, so unfortunately the only guidance I had on tapering was my general practitioner, which didn't work out too well... In the first 1.5 months, I experienced nausea and intrusive thoughts as well as increased general irritability. Then, those symptoms went away but I started getting new symptoms. Intermittent numbness and cold in feet which started spreading to my calves and hands/forearms. Body pain all over when waking up in the morning. One severe panic attack (first ever in my life). General feelings of panic (again, first ever despite a lifetime of anxiety). I've tracked these symptoms and am finding that the strength of these symptoms cycles; every 2-4 days, there is a strong (5x) increase in these symptoms, to the point that it can become debilitating. Have seen the doctor 3 times on this and they've run blood tests, but didn't find any other underlying causes, so he attributes it to me being too sensitive, dismissing antidepressant discontinuation given that I've been off them for more than 1 month and "symptoms don't last that long". So, after lots of frustration there, I saw an osteopath for some alternative diagnostics, and she was able to reduce some of the symptoms through cranial osteopathy. Will continue this to see if it provides lasting relief. I also did some searching on my own, and that's what brought me here. Looking forward to reading around on the forum and engaging. If anyone has any recommendations based on these issues, let me know. Thanks! Sertraline: 0mg->30mg (immediate) Held 30mg for about a month Experienced significant side effects and doctor recommended switch to citalopram 30mg->0mg (immediate; -100%) Citalopram: 0mg->10mg (held for 1 month) 10mg->20mg (+100%; held 3 months) 20mg->30mg (+50%; held 2 months) Experienced side effects so doctor recommended drop to 20mg 30mg->20mg (-33%; held 3 months) Started getting better so doctor recommended drop to 15mg 20mg->15mg (-25%; held 2.25 months) 15mg->12.5mg (-17%; held 4 days) 12.5mg->12mg (-4%; held 13 days) 12mg->11.5mg (-4%; held 1 day) 11.5mg->10mg(-13%; held 2 days) 10mg->9mg(-10%; held 2 days) 9mg->8.5mg(-6%; held 2 days) 8.5mg->8mg(-6%; held 1 day) 8mg->7.5mg(-6%; held 2 days) 7.5mg->7mg(-7%; held 2 days) Started experiencing more severe side effects so went up again 7mg->8.5mg(+21%; held 6 days) Feeling okay so started tapering again 8.5mg->7.5mg(-12%; held 5 days) Met with doctor and he told me that if I'm already under 10mg, may as well just drop to zero because I'm "prolonging the discontinuation symptoms by tapering".......... 7.5mg->0mg(-100%)
  16. Original full topic title before condensing: coming off low-dose Amitriptyline after 8 years, the under-informed way - deeply awful.... not sure what to do now... Hello, I came across this forum thankfully, after looking for info and advice/support for withdrawal from Ami. The rough timeline and history etc are in the signature. It is 4 weeks since my last dose of Ami. I was under-informed by the GP when I first went on it 8 tears ago. He told me something like "it's no big deal, you're on such a low dose (10mg or on occasion 20mg per night for anxiety induced insomnia after a triggered latent trauma episode), you can take it as needed - no worries"...... NO mention of having to stick to a regular every day dose, or the horrific withdrawal effects, or tapering, or long term effects etc... nothing. So, to try to cut a long story as short as I can, without compromising context, here goes: Please use the signature timeline to get the picture of how things have passed. I came off Ami "unconsciously" and only really clocked it when I suddenly had a **** yourself horrendous headache, and a "wave of despair" and "rotten-ness" experience one day, and because I kind of recognised the headache, in particular, as feeling somewhat "chemical" in nature, I thought about it, and then realised that I had not had any Ami in about a week. I had been cutting back on the Ami since end of Dec 2021 into Jan and Feb 2022, as I was concerned about a few "low blood pressure/hypo" type experiences I had been having, and wondered if they may be caused by the Ami. I still don;t know whether this was the case or not, but regardless, I started to cut back on Ami, and miss doses here and there, sometimes taking herbal sleep aids to help with sleep.... I was not paying too much attention to what I was doing with the Ami, as I had the story that it was "no big deal" as mentioned above, from the GP. Of course, I realise now, after having done some research after the event, that this was a disaster waiting to happen. I had "accidentally" gone cold turkey, and also spent 2 months on some kind of hap-hazard detox/retox behaviour. I had been suffering from constant diarrhoea for most of Jan Feb 2022, but put this down to a prolonged bout of IBS, which is something I have had, on and off over the years anyway. Notably though, previously I had always had IBS on the constipation side, rather than the other side. Once I realised that it was likely the Ami, I reinstated at half doses (5mg) straight away, and sure enough the "chemical" savage headache reduced in intensity the next day, by about 60%. I continued like this for about a week. The following week, I reduced the dose to about 2.5mg every other night for about a week. Then I took my last dose on March 5th. Obviously I know now that this was way too quick a taper. I am having a deeply awful experience with severe symptoms. The headaches have been getting a little better over this last month, but are still there daily. I have high anixiety and my guts are absolutely trashed. I have had random weird bruising on my arms, not caused by impacts. These have been fading in the last 2 weeks though. Chronic dry skin and rash on the tops of the shoulders and upper back, maddening itching all over. Chronic fatigue, chest tightness, dry mouth, muscle aches and pains, tingling sensations, restless legs at night sometimes, insomnia, early morning wakefulness, nausea, feeling faint, coughing in the morning, runny nose all day. I'm listing these for completeness, not for a sympathy vote! Just so we have the details and scope. I am trying a few supplements: Zinc NAC and Milk Thistle Activated charcoal Digestive enzymes at mealtimes, plus peppermint oil capsules And a few days ago, I started L-tryptophan 500-750mg with valerian root, at night - don't know whether this is making things worse on the physical side, and the anxiety.... So, I have, at least, a couple of questions please? The pharma companies state "up to 3 weeks" for the withdrawal process to be over? (not that I trust big pharma one bit of course), but it appears lots of us are experiencing effects way beyond 3 weeks? What is the explanation for this discrepancy, and what is a more realistic timeframe for my case? I read about reinstatement, but have not done this, as I was already at 4 weeks with no Ami, once I began educating myself about it. I am reticent to go back on the drugs at this stage, but at the same time, I can;t see myself being able to cope with this level of ill health for weeks more on end..... Should I be considering re-instatement, given what is said about it being "too late" to try this, in that it may not work or even make things worse? I would say the most distressing and intolerable symptoms I am dealing with right now are the body pains/tension/anxiety, and the totally screwed digestion - I have a lot of intense pain in my guts, and this affects sleep also. i dread mealtimes, as I just don;t know whether, in an hour's time I'm going to be totally screwed and in pain. Any advice or comments would be truly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening, Kev
  17. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Ryder: Clonazepam Hi guys, This question has to do with SSRI's and supplements. I was diagnosed with Chronic OCD in January 2015. I have been on and off medication between 2009-2015. Since 2015 I was prescribed 200mg (Sertraline/Zoloft) Daytime and 2mg Clonazepam for night time sleep. At the back-end-of 2016 I felt that I was well enough to come of all medications as I just felt able enough to cope on 100mg after a while. I did Cold Turkey for most of it before admittingly and slowly going on the lower dose of 100mg Sertraline. I was afterward sent to a Dr who specialised in withdrawing people from medications. She prescribed: - L-Carneitine (300 mg) - CoQ10 (200 mg) - N-Acetylcysteine - Vitamin C - Selenium - Magnesium. - A Gluten Free Diet. With Gluten diet, I did not stick to this religiously as some of the books advocated here on this forum. Mainly Elaine Gotschall's Breaking the Viscious Cycle. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS Diet advocated by Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. I am very skeptical when i read over these diets but since my Dad was on the diet, whatever was in the Pantry, I ate. I wasn't religious about it though if I ordered takeout. Back on topic, I reduced the supplements to L-Carneteine and CoQ10 in combination with SSRI Zoloft/Sertraline (100mg). I found that during the time taken them, I had trouble with Cognition and motor skills, driving, runnng and excercise. I also noticed that I couldn't stop feeling dizzy although they are supposed to aide mitochondria in the brain which the Zoloft dulls down. I also noticed real bad insomnia during the time taken these aided supplements. Has anyone else had success with L-Carneteine and CoQ10 prescribed with Zoloft? It seems that people are having great success with these two supplements to rave review, I am just wondering if Carneteine or CoQ10 has worked for anyone to either reduce withdrawal symptoms off SSRIs & Zoloft or taper off completely. **Note. I have looked through the other posts here, but most vary in opinion, so I just want this question answered. Many thanks. Ryder.
  18. Hey all, first post here. I am so glad to have discovered this site. For 3.5 years I’m sitting here wondering what’s wrong with me and why doctors keep telling me it’s all in my head (I KNOW I’m not fabricating this stuff) only to discover my symptoms are legitimate, validated and real. And shared by many other fellow survivors. I spent many years feeling alone and hopeless. Not anymore. So yeah, I was on very high doses of a hormone that has anti-depressant effects for 6-7 years. After coming off 3.5 years ago, my cognition/ concentration/ brain function and memory were destroyed. No energy, have severe insomnia, tinnitus, anxiety. Live in constant brain fog, derealization/depersonalization, had to quit school, work, lost friends and relationships… basically stopped living. Don’t recognize myself or my life anymore, let alone friends and family. My naturally outgoing, extrovert, colorful and comedic personality became dry, flat, apathetic, anhedonic, agoraphobic, introverted, recluse. I feel brain dead. And dead, in general. Also noticed extreme sensitivities to foods (usually high histamine/fermented/high fodmap) which could send my brain on a trip equivalent to LSD. I have tried everything but nothing really works. What worked last month doesn’t this month. There’s 0 stability. I find I’m sensitive to most supplements. Currently on a decent regime- including fish oil and magnesium. I went to so many doctors (to no avail). They put me on various ADs (which I think made everything worse.) Couldn’t stay on more than a few months. But I find myself torn. Seems that when I’m on them, I want to be off. And when I’m not on them, I want to be on. It’s like I have 0 capacity for decision making and executing functioning. I’m currently tapering off Zoloft. I don’t know what else to do anymore… So 3+ years like this with very little improvement. I need help. I don’t know what to do, where to go, where to turn. I feel completely lost. I had goals for my life and now I consider it a success if I get out of bed and make food. Tell me. Does it ever get any better? Or is this just my life now? Is there hope for me? Should I go back on ADs or try and heal without them? Please help me. I need to hear a success story. Thanks for reading and for your advice. I value it so much. Blessings.
  19. Stopped and started Zoloft twice this year after taking it 9 years. First time I stopped for 2 months because a naturopath told me to and take Sam-e instead. I didn’t feel better and restarted it around March. In withdrawals now and bad insomnia plus fatigue and lots others. I have a history of pots, Epstein Barr and RMSF. Was being treated heavily with antibiotics this past year and tons of supplements and in Aug I had a seratonin syndrome like episode. Took megadose cbd for sleep and it started that. So dr said to stay off everything except Valium and I did but 2.5 months off the second time I started not sleeping, tremors, adrenaline rushes, chills, weakness, muscle spasms, muscle tightness and more. My dr suggested reinstating Zoloft so I did. Been on half dose 3 weeks then full dose 12 days now. So far my sleep still not returning unless I take ambien and I’m so fatigued with muscle aches and tightness. Can’t get out of bed for a month now Having a few better days but still exhausted and scared I won’t sleep on my own again. My psychiatrist gave me hydroxyzine to sleep but it barely gives me sleep so he wants me on Mirtazapine and I don’t want to. I didn’t know how severe stopping an antidepressant could be. Will I continue to get better with reinstating? My hopes are to get stabilized then later slow taper. Any experiences with reinstating anyone? Please help. Drs do not help with this
  20. Hi, Im 52 years old & from the U.K. I’ve been taking Paxil/Paroxetine for 20 years and in Feb 2022 I begin reducing my intake as I need to regain control of my weight which is so bad it’s affecting my health. Im hoping that coming off of Paxil will make it easier to lose weight. Ive been reducing by 5mg every 6 weeks but I’ve had (and still have) some awful physical and mental withdrawal symptoms that the medical professionals I deal with seem to find hard to believe. Im very unsupported and currently I feel really unwell and tempted to start taking 30mg daily again. This forum has been recommended by someone in a Facebook group.
  21. 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.
  22. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  23. 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?
  24. First off I just want to say I don’t recommend to anyone to quit CT from any psychiatric medications. I did so out of sheer ignorance regarding these medications and to the amount of pain and suffering that it would cause by abruptly quitting them. Knowing what I have learned now I definitely would have tapered, and unfortunately for me being 8 1/2 months removed I don’t think reinstatement for a slow taper is a good idea. I quit lexapro CT about 8 1/2 months ago after being on it over a year and 3 months. (20 mg). I started on lexapro at 24 years old after suffering from consecutive panic attacks after coming back from a music festival where I took a very high dose of molly. At first it really helped with the anxiety and worked well for about 4 months but I eventually began feeling very numb and apathetic to everything, until eventually feeling like an absolute mindless zombie while taking it. I couldn’t critically think about anything anymore and could barely feel any emotions other than a deep smoldering anger that was welling up inside and causing a lot of problems with friends and family. I lost the ability to feel really connected with myself or with anyone around me anymore and I didn’t even know what was causing it until I stumbled upon this site searching for answers. I have had bouts with depression before taking lexapro but was always known to be very passionate, driven, and loved doing things with friends and other people so I felt like lexapro had to be what was causing me to feel so dead inside. My irrational logic was that I’d rather quit CT and feel anxious but still have my emotions and feel like me rather than go any longer feeling lifeless. The first 5-6 months of withdrawal were pure physical and psychological torture. I was bedridden with Akithisia; ruminating thoughts; pure dread and horror about everything; rage; restlessness; irritability; anhedonia; THICK brain fog/cognitive problems; fear of people; intense feelings of shame, guilt and worthlessness; depersonalization; derealization; tinnitus; vision problems; paranoia; heart palpitations; ice pick headaches; muscle fatigue; delusions; joint pain; brain zaps; insomnia; suicidal ideation; mental exhaustion; intense fear of dying; etc. The last 2 months are where things have very slowly been improving to a waves and windows pattern of recovery. I still have most of the symptoms I listed and it’s mostly waves right now that are bad but nowhere near as bad as what they were in the beginning thank god. The windows are not great, I’d say they are just a period where the symptoms aren’t as bad rather than feeling good. The things that are the most devastating to me right now is the massive brain fog, anhedonia, anger and irritability, insomnia, fear of people, and the guilt, shame and worthlessness that’s comes with being in this situation but they are all improving very slowly. I have had moments where I’ve laughed, felt emotional and cried, slightly motivated, and had good talks on the phone with friends and family, and other signs of improvement that were nowhere to be found early on but it’s so easy to get swept up in the waves of despair making me feel like I’ll never be okay again or ever feel like myself again. I wish I could go back and never have taken any psychiatric drugs but here we are. Just looking for people out there who understand what this feels like or want to share their experiences and how they are doing as well. I want to encourage others to keep going and hopefully find some encouragement in return. These last 8 months have been a terribly lonesome and brutal ride that I’m sure only you guys can understand. Also any guidance or encouraging words would be greatly appreciated. ✌🏻❤️
  25. I have been lurking here since June. I had been having a really hard time with anxiety building as the pandemic escalated. My anxiety wasn’t all from the pandemic itself, I have had anxiety and depression for years and it was exacerbated when I had my babies. With my third and fourth, in 2014 and 2017, I took sertraline. It gave me about a week of heightened anxiety and a few blips here and there, but it did help overall with my depression. I was on 25mg for most of the time I took it - about 18 months with one baby and about six months with another. But invariably got anxiety flare ups, especially when I would try to go up to 50mg. I never had a problem going off of it. The last time I took sertraline consistently was probably 2018. Starting in mid-May 2020, my anxiety and depression, but moreso my anxiety, was just becoming worse and worse and I felt like I couldn’t function as a person, parent, etc. I talked to a telehealth doctor who prescribed me buspirone, 7.5mg twice a day. My anxiety got worse and I was trembling and felt almost drunk. Sort of unsteady when I walked, little twitches in my toes, really shaky. I stopped within a couple weeks. I felt really scared. I have had health anxiety since I was a teenager and was so worried about my brain. Talked to telehealth again a couple weeks later and went on 5mg escitalopram in the second week of June. I had an immediate adverse reaction. Sickest I have EVER felt and I had four awful pregnancies so I know sick. I was basically bedbound. I read everywhere that it could make me feel worse before it made me feel better, and that had been my experience with sertraline, but this was so much worse. I was nauseated, shaking inside (I felt like I was vibrating), had a bad tremor in my thumb (which I also had with the buspar), a tingle in my lip and chin and my ear felt twitchy. I would get waves of panic and hot flashes. Diarrhea, zero appetite. I finally had to quit. I called telehealth back and they advised me to stop immediately. And I did. I took 5mg of escitalopram for six days total. My constant nausea eased and the diarrhea stopped. For about a month after, my legs felt like they were buzzing inside. My torso felt like it was shaking inside. I had waves of panic and night sweats. Insomnia. My calves would twitch. It was terrifying. My chin felt tingly for at least a month. The most alarming problem was that I would feel shaky and sweaty and sick to my stomach if I stood up for more than a couple minutes. If I moved around it wasn’t as bad, but I would get really sweaty either way. It started to ease up and I got some real windows starting around 4-6 weeks. But when my twitchiness and anxiety were at their worst, I was afraid to sit down or be still because I knew I would focus too much on my physical sensations. It has now been almost five months and it is not dominating my life anymore, but I get waves which seem to correlate largely with increased stress as well as my menstrual cycle. My remaining symptoms are very faint muscle twitches in my legs, mildly shaky hands, and a tingle in the corner of my mouth that seems to be related to a very mild ear twitch that I experience only in certain positions. I have severe health anxiety and likely OCD and sensory processing issues, so I tend to feel and fixate on these sensations. I believe I have come a very long way since June, but I still worry that I actually have some other issue that caused everything I went through and all those symptoms will come back someday. From reading here, it does sound like I experienced an adverse reaction and my nervous system became hypersensitized, so I am “hopeful” it really was “just” that. I always read people’s posts on here who have adverse reactions because it helps me realize that my experience was real.
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