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  1. Hi everyone, I am learning a lot from this site. Thank you. I quit Paxil CT almost 3 yrs ago (after 10 yrs on) and quit benzos 10 months ago (also after 10 yrs on then, following a 19 months taper). I am mostly functional, but still suffering several issues, the most persistent ones: poor balance, tinnitus, poor vision and floaters. Seems like these are all related to the vestibular region (brain and inner ears). I know it may take a long time to heal and that 100% healing is difficult, but would love to know if someone had these same persistent symptoms and if they eventually got better. I am working mostly on-line due to the pandemics, but may soon face my job in a ship at sea. I am afraid that I may suffer terrible sea sickness due to my current state. Still feel privileged for being alive and mostly functional after so many years using these pills from hell, as prescribed by my doctors... Wish a fast healing for all!
  2. Original topic title before reducing the length: FosterTheCritters: after 19 years on antidepressants, I discontinued, reinstated, tapered up and down, and discontinued again, and I'm a mess. Looking for helpful advice. _______________________________ Hi. I'm so grateful to have found this amazing group; it has given me hope which I badly needed. I have a very complex situation and don't know, even after reading a lot on this site, what my next move should be to help myself. Here is my story. In fall 2004 I started on 20mg of citalopram for GAD and panic disorder. I had typical side effects for a week or so and charge through because the improvement of my symptoms was fast and drastic. I increased to 40mg after one or two weeks with no trouble and I felt amazing. My anxiety was so diminished and my life got some much easier. Fast-forward to 2015. I had many stressful years leading up to 2015 and 2015 was particularly bad. I thought maybe I could use something different to help with my increased anxiety and situational depression, so I switched to 60mg duloxetine. The psychiatrist had me switch with no taper at all and fortunately the switch went smoothly. I didn't notice any change on the duloxetine, but my husband was also on it, so it seemed convenient to stay on it. After a few years I started to feel apathetic and lost motivation for doing a lot of things I enjoyed. I wasn't really depressed and my anxiety was managed fine, so I hit the pause button on switching meds even though I figured the medication might be causing the apathy. In May 2021 my husband was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer (he's cured now via surgery). Even on meds, I'm terrible with uncertainty, and I had a really rough patch of anxiety as there was a lot of waiting involved in diagnosing and staging and my brain got away from me. Sometime in early June my duloxetine refills ran out; I needed to reach out to my doctor to submit a new prescription and I forgot. I take so many supplements and medications each day, and fill containers weekly; combine that with my worry about my husband and I didn't even notice that I wasn't putting duloxetine in the tubs. So, I stopped the duloxetine cold turkey and I don't really know when. I do know that at the end of June I recognized that I was having abnormally bad anxiety and panic along with some eye movement abnormalities and realized my mistake. I wish I could go back to just those withdrawal symptoms as that was easy mode compared to my life since then! I contacted my psychiatrist to correct the issue and he prescribed 30mg duloxetine, which I started on July 2nd, 2021. I used to take my duloxetine at night and did that again; I didn't sleep at all the first night and the very first day after restarting I had terrible eye pain, neck pain, stomach cramps, diarrhea, felt like I was on stimulants 24/7, and severe facial and neck flushing in addition to emotional fluctuation and intense anxiety. Since I had never tapered up on Cymbalta before, and didn't know my reaction to that process, I assumed all the symptoms I was having were that, and stuck with it a week. My symptoms did not improve at all throughout that week even as I switched to taking it in the morning instead of at night. My psychiatrist told me that I must be in withdrawal and prescribed going up to 60mg duloxetine after that first week at 30mg. I had the same symptoms but more intense even after some time at 60mg. I continued at 60mg at least a week, but things were so bad I asked my psychiatrist for a change. He prescribed 10mg citalopram. I stopped having the stimulated feeling I was having on the duloxetine, but all my other symptoms persisted. My psychiatrist was still convinced that a higher dose was going to ease what he was still sure were withdrawal symptoms so on August 27th, 2021 he had me to go to 20mg after two weeks on 10mg. Again my symptoms seemed to worsen, so I dropped back to 10mg after about 2 weeks on 20mg. I'm not sure if my symptoms were improved after dropping back to 10mg because they were still very bad. When I saw the psychiatrist again, he told me that the physical symptoms I was having were clearly not related to the medication both because they weren't improving on the meds, and he'd never heard of anyone having eye pain or flushing due to antidepressants. So, I decided not to see him again and went to get my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist. She couldn't find anything, so assumed eye inflammation and prescribed steroid drops that didn't help. I also asked my excellent primary care doctor to take over managing my antidepressant journey and he agreed. At this point I was taking so little medication in comparison to what I had been before June 2021, and my googling had me convinced that I was having some sort of serotonin toxicity with the flushing and diarrhea, so my irrational conclusion was that I must have a carcinoid tumor. That fear consumed me and I had my doctor run the urine test for carcinoid tumors which came back negative. At this point, my husband, who has been very supportive, started searching for other answers and found survivingantidepressants.org. He suggested I try doing a very slow taper and see if I could get off the medication and see if my body would reset. I talked to my primary care provider about this, and I got discouraged when my doctor found out the local compounding pharmacy would need at least two weeks before they could provide my first taper dose. I didn't want to continue with the current situation any longer, so I discontinued the citalopram at the end of September after being back at 10mg for about 3 weeks. My symptoms are still awful, but they have improved a bit after being off the medication a week and seem so be in a positive trend. I have slightly fewer crying bouts/meltdowns. My flushing is fainter and the facial telangiectasias that developed have faded considerably. My eye pain happens in shorter segments throughout the day. I still have stomach cramping at times of the day and night, but the diarrhea has become less frequent and less severe. My sleep is still terrible, and I forgot to mention that during this four month journey I've tried clonazepam, trazadone, Lunesta, Ambien, and Xanax for sleep, and I'm still on the Ambien and Xanax. Even with those drugs I struggle to fall asleep, wake up one or more times per night, and often feel pretty hung over in the morning. Thankfully, after spending time on this site, I have at least realized that whatever is going on is likely a nervous system reaction to the antidepressant changes that have occurred and it has given me hope that I will recover. My questions are these: 1. What does it sound like happened when I tried to go back on the meds and developed physiological and mental symptoms and couldn't tolerate the medication? Does that sound like a sensitized nervous system that didn't want to readjust? Does it sound like I was in withdrawal the whole time? Is this likely just because of the speed and flip-floppy nature of all the changes? 2. Has anyone out there had eye burning and pain and neck and facial flushing as side effects/symptoms going on or off antidepressants? 3. Now that I've been off the medications over a week and have had some improvement, does it make sense to try to go back on to something and slowly taper or just continue to try to heal from withdrawal? 4. I have no idea what to do about the sleep meds. This is the first time in my life I've had trouble sleeping aside from one week in 2004 when I was starting citalopram. This poor sleep has been going on for four months and I'm scared. Should I stay on them until I hopefully have some improvement in sleeping on my own or try to wean off now? 5. I've been taking LDN for autoimmune disease for a few years now and it has been amazing for me. However, in trying to rebalance my nervous system, it seems like anything that affects neurotransmitters might be a problem right now? Plus there is a little bit of evidence that suggests naltrexone might affect serotonin and norepinephrine, in addition to, dopamine. Should I discontinue it, reduce it, or leave it alone? Thank you so much for reading and for any advice/experience you can offer!
  3. After 2 weeks on escitalopram and then 4 weeks on sertrilene, I can't say I've ever stabilized. I decreased the sertrilene 10 days ago and symptoms seem overall slightly better. I'm trying to decide whether to stay at my current dose or continue to taper.
  4. Dear all, I took Sertraline 50 (French name for Zoloft). for only a month and I have developped PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) following a too fast withdrawal. I read the story of some of your members who had PGAD when they withdrew from an antidepressant and their stories looked like mine and gave me hope and I hope they can confort me and assist me because I am in a very dark place. I read the stories of Hopefull anf Broken. Are they still on the forum ? How are they doing ? Until December 2016, I had never taken any antidepressant or a benzo in my entire life. I was leading an happy life with my husband and son in the West of France. We had a chemical accident in december. I mixed 2 products while cleaning my house, bleach and a cleaning product with acid and stupidly burnt my lungs and got a toxic choc on the 27th of december. My doctor thought I was anxious afer the accident and put me on Xanax 0.25, half a pill at night. I took it for a month in January 2017 and was sent to a psychiatrist who put me on Lisanxia 10, a pill a day. I felt suicidal because i didnt understand I was suffering from the Xanax withdrawal the doctors kept changing the pill without any tappering, I stayed on Lysanxia 10, a pill a day the whole February , then another psychiatrist decided to put me on Bromazepan 6 (4 quarter a day). I stayed on Bromazepan the entire March and he put me back on Xanax, all of that cold turkey. And that how I met my worse nightmare, the Sertraline AD: I was feeling very agitated on benzos, my lungs and entire skin were burning and everybody told me it was in my head. I didn't agree so I was hospitalised againt my wish in a psychiatrist hospital. There, they made me stop my Xanax 0.25 cold turkey and put me on Sertraline 50. This happened on Easter monday 2017 (April 17 th). After 2 weeks, I was sent home and started feeling very ill, I had tremors, agitation, fatigue, shakes, flu like symptoms and suicidal thoughts. I went to see a GP who told me I could drop the Sertraline to 25 because I had only been on it for 2 weeks and I could slowly stop it. I went on the 25 pill and then I started having violent withdrawal side effects (I don't know which ones came from Xanax or from Sertraline) : My symptoms : Sensitivity to light and smells, burning skin, hyperacusis, agitation, akathisia, tinnitus and when I thought it couldn't get worse, I started peeing every 10 minutes, got a hyperactive bladder, terrible pains in my genitalias, bladder and pelvic area and the worse of it permanent arousal. Since I have kept the tinnitus in my left ear, the akatisia and PGAD. I was sent to another mental hospital at the beginning of June because I thought they could help me with PGAD. They put me on Risperidone for a week while they made me stop the Sertraline very fast (they made me take it every 2 days for a week then they replaced it with Anafranil 25 that I kept for a week. My tinnitus got worse and my PGAD stayed the same. I was getting sicker and sicker so the psychiatrist stopped the Anafranil and the Risperidone and I was put back on Xanax. I am now back at home, my PGAD symptoms are terrible and I am considered manic and hypocondriac. My doctor wants to put me back in a mental hospital. I can't look after my family and Iam in a very dark place with suicidal thoughts My 3 main withdrawal symptoms : high pitched tinnitus, agitation and PGAD. Pins and needles in my lower back, legs and arms when the PGAD crisis start. . MY PGAD symptoms : Overactive bladder, ongoing arousal sensations in and around the genitals, having to go to the toilets every 10 minutes, pelvic pains, Pins and needle, shaking. It is atrocious and it makes me suicidal. I take 3 Xanax 0.25 a day and a Zopiclone 7 to sleep. I cannot sit because the symptoms get worse and I can barely walk because my bladder hurts. I spend my days crying on my bed with an ice pack on my lower parts. At night I cannot sleep well because of the tinnitus. I went to see an urologist, I had a cystoscopy done and they told me it is not an interstitial cysticis and gave me Lyrica (I am scared of taking it because I fear it will make my tinnitus worse). Nobody knows this symptom in France and people think i am crazy. Thank you for reading my story. Please can you reassure me ? I am terrified and I am suffering greatly. Would it go away ? Is it a withdrawal symptom ? Thank you so much for having this site on the internet. It gave me a lot of confort. Cathyfrench (I am french so I hope my English is not too bad, my apologies for my grammatical errors)
  5. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  6. Hi all, my name is Bart, I've been on Sertraline (zoloft) only for 3 months or so, including a bout with Alprazolam as well -- and I discovered this place after a pretty harsh day when I stopped abruptly. Being the engineer that I am, I've browsed in deep detail the the tapering-related discussions and specifically the ones about calculating the curve based on the "famous 2019 Lancet Horowitz paper". I'm 80% of the way in building an excel spreadsheet that models their recommended approach, slows it down some, and applies it to Sertraline thanks to other papers' SERT occupancy curves. The Lancet paper suggests a linear decrease of the target occupancy ratio; which I'm adapting so that this decrease would further slown down with each step down the curve (in line with the general reco "go slower when you get lower") -- basically I want to be more prudent than them. In this model, the actual dosage ends up following a power-law that is much slower than "-10% based on initial dose", but quite a bit faster than "-10% based on previous dose", resulting in a 5-to-6-month tapering duration for a starting point (prescription) of 50mg Sertaline. I still have a few knacks to iron out, and it will be ready for sharing (and can easily be adapted for other molecules and/or other desired tapering speed). Any advice or thoughts are welcome!
  7. Hi, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have slowly been starting to wonder if what I’ve been going through the past 18 months is related to SSRI withdrawal. I managed to successfully withdraw from Lexapro at the end of 2010, after over 13 years of AD use. I had various fluctuating symptoms for a couple of months, but then apart from constant ringing in my ears and a return of occasional anxiety, I seemed to be ok. I was studying to be a chi-ball instructor, was exercising regularly, was eating healthy and was generally quite happy. After getting off Lexapro, I had been diagnosed with adult ADD and been put on medication for that. It worked well for a couple of weeks and seemed to completely cure what remained of my anxiety, but then I started to get extreme restlessness, OCD like symptoms, irritability and an increase in my sensitivity, to sounds and lights. I assumed it was a bad reaction to the stimulant medication. My life has been a confusing nightmare since the end of 2010 really, but until I found this site a couple of weeks ago, it really didn’t occur to me that my ongoing problems were being caused by a medication I stopped taking over 2 years ago. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life starting from an early age and have always been sensitive and anxious. There has been some violent crime and sexual abuse, but I seemed to be ok until I got myself into a psychologically abusive marriage. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and started on Zoloft. For a couple of years it took the edge off my anxiety, but I never thought I had depression, but the Zoloft just made me feel generally numb, so I endured my marriage, for several more years until it became unbearable, tried to communicate with my ex-husband so that things would improve, but he wasn’t interested in change, he was already in his next relationship and had been for a while, I didn’t know that at the time though. Then I went through about 4 years of extremely frightening separation/divorce and ongoing court proceedings. . There were other extremely stressful things I’ve had to deal with over the last 10 years, but I’m not going to go into details. I have been thinking that what I’m going through is a combination of long term stress, anxiety/depression, a ‘dark night of the soul’, menopause and/or some kind of spiritual transformation like kundalini, because I have engaged in various spiritual practises through my life. At times its felt like my CNS is completely burned out or that I have some kind of serious hormonal imbalance, but I gave up trusting the medical profession, including psychologists after years of not being able to get any help from any of them and only ending up feeling worse and that its all my fault for not trying hard enough. I’ve had lots therapy, counselling and done various support groups over the last 15 years, nothing has been any significant help. I went back to college to study psychology and started a business, but that all fell apart when the marital abuse became worse and the divorce proceedings began. Since finding this site, I’ve stopped taking all psychotropic medication, realizing that anything which effects my brain is having an exaggerated negative effect on my recovery. For a long time I’ve noticed that even small amounts of caffeine, half a glass of wine or even an anti-histamine will have a very bad effect on me, but I was thinking it was my imagination. I can’t even eat chocolate any more without suffering the next day. I’m exhausted all the time, but it’s a weird kind of fatigue, its like a combination mental/emotional tiredness, not like anything I’ve ever felt before. I spend most of my time at home, on the internet on my bed, just doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. Its very difficult just getting out to buy a few groceries, but when I do go out, I function perfectly in a kind of dissociated way, like I’m not even in my own body, I’m watching myself like from a distance, wondering who it is that’s behaving so ‘normally’ when I’m feeling so awful. Waves of negative emotions seem to get triggered by almost everything around me and almost every thought, I try not to think about things or do much of anything so I can avoid the emotional pain that thoughts or experiences bring, its like a kind of forced meditation. This symptom was at its worst from November 2011 – August 2012, but its not as bad now, seems to be settling down, I think its improved by about 50%. Please would someone take a look at the details in my signature and give me an opinion if protracted anti-depressant withdrawal might be a factor in my current health problems which include: Waking at 5am with racing thoughts Feeling like I haven’t slept at all Nausea, shaking, dizziness, body pressure, muscle twitches Waves of negative emotion Hot/cold flashes, sweating Constant ringing in my ears Sensitive to sound, light and smells Can’t watch TV or listen to the radio because its too stimulating Most things are too stimulating now, including being around other people too long Loss of appetite and loss of weight Hair falling out Agoraphobia, mostly during the day, I’m able to go out easier late afternoon towards evening Memory problems and mental confusion Loss of confidence. Loss of interest in doing anything or going anywhere Can’t get any pleasure out of things any more Loss of hope I needed to put more detail in my signature, but that’s all that would fit. From about 2006 – 2008 I was also taking duramine (a prescription stimulant weight loss med) to try and lose all the weight I’d put on from being on SSRI meds. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try and provide a clear picture of my situation. Thank you Petu
  8. Thank you all so much for all your hard work here! I am a 46 year old male. I was diagnosed with depression in 2005. I was prescribed Zoloft. A manic episode then ensued lasting about 6 months. I also developed insomnia and hyperhydrosis. I went to another doctor in 2006 who diagnosed me with Bipolar II. I was then preescribed Lamictal, Depakote and Effexor. I do not recall the dosages this far back, except the Lamictal (200mg) Around 2009 I began seeing another doctor after I moved. I remained on the Lamictal (200mg) discontinued the Effexor, and added Abilify (5mg). Around this time the insomnia worsened. I then was prescribed 2mg of Xanax and 25mg benadryl each evening for the insomnia. I was relatively stable (except for a string of toxic relationships) over the next several years and reduced the Abilify to 2.5mg. However the insomnia and hyperhydrosis still remained very problematic throughout this period. In an effort to find relief from the insomnia (At that time I believed that it was just a side effect of the Lamictal) I tapered myself (without a doctor) off of the Lamictal over a few months in 2017. I did not notice any withdrawal symptoms. However the insomnia persisted leading me to believe that the Abilify was also causing the insomnia. At this time I was taking 2.5mg of Abilify but only 2x per week, and still needed to take 2mg Xanax and 25mg benadryl. In 2018 I attempted to discontinue the Abilify and taper off the Xanax over a period of about 2-3 weeks. I suffered from moderate panic attacks and anxiety (presumably Xanax withdrawal symptoms) Those withdrawal symptoms dissipated. About 2 weeks after discontinuing the Abilify my sleep was restored to normal for the first time in nearly 13 years! However the hyperhydrosis persisted. Unfortunately I soon began to feel extremely unstable mentally and was forced to reinstate the 2.5mg of Abilify. The insomnia returned and I then started the 2mg of Xanax and 25mg of benadryl again. Throughout 2019 my insomnia seemed to progressively get worse. I did not want to take more Xanax so I went to another doctor who prescribed Olanzapine. I discontinued the Abilify and started taking 1.25mg of Olanzapine. At first I only needed 1mg of Xanax at night and discontinued the benadryl. Then after about only one month the insomnia progressively got worse. I reinstated 25mg of benadryl. Then had to increase to 1.5 mg of Xanax. I was getting really worried about the progressive insomnia so I decided to stop the Olanzapine (without a doctor) cold turkey and taper off the Xanax. This is when things started to get really scary. Symptoms of panic, anxiety and hypomania ensued after 3 or 4 days of withdrawal. And the insomnia was worse then it ever had been in my entire life! I was really getting scared. I reinstated 1mg of Xanax. Also increased to 50mg of benadryl and added 15mg of cbd oil orally for sleep. Also, It was around this time that I was doing research and discovered this website. After 10 days of being off the Olanzapine my sleep was still horrible. Dealing with withdrawal and almost no sleep suicidal ideations returned. I reinstated Olanzapine at 1.25mg. I have now been back on the Olanzapine for 3 weeks. My sleep has slightly improved. I am currently taking 1.25mg Olanzapine, 1mg Xanax, 25mg benadryl and 15mg cbd as needed when I awake in the middle of the night. I absolutely do not want to increase the Xanax. My desire is to safely taper off of all medications. The progressive nature of my insomnia on the antipsychotics has convinced me that remaining on them is unsustainable for the long term. Additionally the hyperhydrosis limits my ability to exercise. Strenuous daily exercise has proven to be one of the most effective ways to manage my mood. If I stand any chance of remaining stable without medication I must try to reverse both the insomnia and hyperhydrosis. Obviously I am sensitive to even the smallest doses of antipsychotics. From my research I am convinced the tapering strips from taperingstrip.org in the Netherlands is my best option for tapering off Olanzapine. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a doctor willing to order them. Can you recommend a doctor anywhere (preferably in the Western or Northwest United States who is cooperative with efforts to taper off antipsychotics?) I am a perpetual travel and have to ability to some extent to go to where the doctor is at. Thank you again for your help. Your work with this website may have already saved my sleep and even my life.
  9. Hello, I am in a partially similar situation like Haven once was. I started having sleeping problems in march, at the end of this months I just slept one hour a day. I was prescribed tradozone and alprazolam, after which I only had a very shallow sleep, I did not even felt I had slept, just time had passed fast. After that I was given escitalopram, which made me not to sleep 5 days. Tradozone and escitalopram made me extremly anxious. I stopped using them and took nothing, but unfortunatelly only for two days. Now I am on Mirtazapine 15 mg, taking it for 12 days, before 7,5 mg for 13 days. This makes me sleep about 4,5 - 6 hours. What would you recommend? I had probably tried too much in a short time, a big mistake was taking the first pill of tradozone, but the doctor did not warn me what the risks are and I could imagine it could only me my situation worse. Should I stabilise on Mirtazapine and slowly taper down for a year? How long would the stabilization last? I dont sleep much even with this drug, what if it stops working in two month like it did to Haven the first time he was taking it?
  10. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  11. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Frogie: W/D from Xanax am new here as you can see. I need help!! I'm hoping someone can help me get off 10 mg Lexapro. Every time I try to drop to even 9mg, I end up sick to my stomach. I go back up to 10mg and am still sick to my stomach. I have no other symptoms. In my profile is all my information, I don't know how to get it to the bottom of this page. I'm not very good on the computer. Sorry
  12. I'm new to this site. My sister referred me (mod note: see sister's post here sister-of-saradee-help-needed-urgently-in-nj I'm 45 and have been on meds for bipolar, major depression, Bpd, Attention deficit, social phobia, Gad, panic disorder, dependant personality disorder, etc. I have been taking meds throughout my adult life and am have found no relief. In fact I think I believe these meds are making me sick, keeping me stuck, and making life unbearable. I've been on more antidepressants, tranquilizers, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers than I can remember and am currently taking ketamine for my treatment resistant antidepressant. I am also a "recovering" addict, although Im just as addicted to the drugs prescribed by my doctor as I ever was to street drugs. Heroin was my drug of choice, and I have been on suboxone for over 15 years now. In addition to the suboxone, I'm prescribed wellbutrin, xanax, Adderall, and Tamazapam and Ketamine. I literally take a pill to wake up, to go to sleep, to go to eat, and to go to the bathroom. Every day feels like a balancing act and I feel lucky when I get a few minutes that I feel well enough to get out of bed to get to my overwhelmingly long and over due to do list. I really am not functioning on any level and am having trouble finding hellp. I'm trying to get treatment but I can't seem to find a place who has a doctor who will work with me to get off the meds either because they aren't qualified or because I don't have a good enough support system in place for such a drastic change. So I have considered detox which scares me because 3 to 10 days does not seem adequate to get off a lifetime of meds. I would like to go to rehab as well, but would have to detox First. The other traditional option would be a psych unit, however, I'm afraid that that will just be more of the same...throwing medication at a problem that meds don't seem to be helping. Anyhow, I don't know if this is appropriate, or if I'm posting in the right place, but I just really need help. I feel like a huge burden to everyone especially my family, my daughter should be the focus and although my fiance is there for her, it's just not ok. I want this to stop but I just don't know what to do. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. Any ideas or insight would be greatly appreciated.
  13. Before describing my situation, I want to start by thanking all those who have posted here, particularly those few who keep it updated and try to organize it. Even though today I'm in at a really low point, the information I've found here has been extremely valuable. I hope that I can not only continue getting good information, but that maybe my story might help somebody else sometime. Apologies in advance if I am too long-winded or detailed. CASE HISTORY AND WD SYMPTOMS: I'll skip the ancient history. In short I started taking citalopram in my twenties for depression., and I'm now 46, so it has been around 20 years. I can't recall dosages, but for the last few years I've been on only 10mg. Finally feeling like I was in a fairly stable place in my life, I thought I'd see if I could go off them. I knew this had to be done "slowly", but what this meant exactly was pretty vague. I dropped down to 5mg, and stayed like that for a long time (6 mo?), with no ill effect. I had the impression that this was the lowest medically effective dose, so I could do no more tapering. I may have done a couple weeks of every-other-day, but in February 2020 I stopped altogether. I thought (wrongly, it seems) that was tapering enough. I recall having a couple of weird initial weeks, but I'd describe the withdrawal symptoms as manageable (no depression, just dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and what I now know to be "brain zaps"). My doctor had given me 0.25mg tablets of Alprazolam (Xanax, "benzo") and I was instructed to take 1/2 a tablet only when feeling sufficiently bad, but I tried to take that as little as possible. These symptoms mostly lifted, and, if I recall correctly, I proceeded to have a couple of quite decent months. It was a lovely spring in spite of Covid, I was focused on my work and quite happy overall. But there were some odd things: I was irrationally irritable and easy to anger. Idiotic things (the sound of food being chewed, etc.) were extremely irritating to me. Then, at the end of April, I had a really horribly depressed day out of nowhere, and my sleep started to fall apart. I would wake up every night at almost exactly the same time, around 5am, and I'd be extremely hot (night sweats). I also started experiencing serious pain in the back of my neck, which I attributed to sleeping funny and a fall I had while skiing several months prior. At this point I had made no connection between these symptoms and coming off the SSRI, as I had never heard of SSRI withdrawal syndrome. But something wasn't right, and even the zopiclone I was given for temporary help sleeping didn't prevent the 5am wake up. I started keeping a journal, charting my sleep, exercise, sleeping-pill intake and so on. My strong feeling was that I didn't have a "mental" problem (not depression, not anxiety), I had a hormone problem causing sleeplessness. My mind might race a bit, but my symptoms all felt more physical than emotional. I recall forcing myself to get exercise (short runs) and eat healthy (lots of smoothies, etc). At this point I googled something about irritability and SSRIs, and made my way to this site. Here I learned (from "Altostrata" - thanks) that my nervous system was likely hypersensitized, and the 5am wake-up was caused by an over-reaction to the hormone cortisol, which is naturally released around dawn to start the wake-up process. This made a lot of sense, and explained my situation perfectly. (Thank you again!) THE IMPORTANT PART FOR ME NOW: I experienced several "windows" (term used on this site and elsewhere to indicate a period of mostly clear, good days, in contrast with "waves" of heavy symptoms), but by the end of July I began to think I needed to go back on something. My goal, then and now, is quality of life, and if that meant I did indeed need some small quantity of drug, so be it. (Just MY point of view, not a judgement of anyone else!). I read on this site about the dangers of going back on at a "normal" dose, like the 5mg recommended by the doctor. My particular situation was at high risk for "kindling", since by this point I'd been off the citalopram for around 6 months, and citalopram has a short half-life. (All this learned from this site!). I tried a 5mg tablet cut in 4 (about 1.25mg), but on day two felt like I was freaking out. After a few days, I tried again, an 1/8th of a pill, smaller than a grain of rice. I ordered a scale to weigh the dose, as suggested. By the second day I was experiencing GREATLY REDUCED WD SYMPTOMS, and felt like I was out of the woods. I wanted to create an account and tell everybody about my success story, to help others. But by a few days later, things started going downhill again. Was that just a window? The hot flashes and brain zaps were gone, but a general lethargy combined somehow with nervousness persisted. I thought perhaps I had adapted to the miniscule dose, and went up to 1/4 tablet. To cut this long story a bit shorter, I slowly progressed over the course of a few weeks up to 1/2 a tablet. I felt I was in the extremely difficult situation (for which I'm seeking the community's help) - Is my situation caused by too much drug (kindling) or not enough?? How to distinguish WD symptoms and symptoms caused by going back on the drug? I saw my doctor, who feels that anything less than 5mg is just not going to help. She suggested taking 5mg and warned me that the first two weeks were likely going to be difficult, so I should take .25mg of xanax as well for the first two weeks. I've tried this for the last few days, and indeed they have been difficult. But I'm not convinced that they'll get better in two weeks! Now, seeing all this in black and white, I think likely I've increased my dosage too quickly, and I'll do better to go back down to maybe 1/4 tab. I'm just so disappointed that there doesn't seem to be an obvious right answer that makes me feel better more quickly! So many other sites say "SSRI withdrawal syndrome can be cured in a couple days by going back on the drug" - but this doesn't seem to be the case. I feel totally lost and unsure of how to proceed. I'm so exhausted by trying to figure this all out, I just want to get checked into some magic rehab hospital where they knock me out and I wake up four months later feeling fine. Looking back I can also see that my symptoms have shifted very much from "purely physical" (like hot flashes) to the emotional. I've had whole days lost in front of the TV, or, like this morning, terrified to get out of bed or check my email. The insomnia is AWFUL - after 4am I can neither wake up nor fall asleep. If I try to wake I'm exhausted, when I try to sleep I can only seem to get to the brink, when some sort of nervous reaction zaps me awake again. Feelings of total despair, a strong sense that there is no way out of this (I seem to be damned if I take the stuff or not), and recently, hints of some very dark thoughts indeed, as I cannot imagine having to face mornings like this one for the rest of my life! On the plus side, I do have a very loving wife who is very supportive and understanding. I'm totally ashamed of all this, of who I am right now, and would give anything, everything to simply go back to that day when I decided to go off. Things were fine, or as fine as can be expected for me. But regret gets one nowhere, and we all have to remember that there ARE good days ahead, somehow. CONCRETE QUESTIONS for anyone who is able to chip in: 1) On the one hand it seems pretty clearly I've tried to reinstate too fast. Likely best to go back down, but not to zero? Try to stay at 1.25mg for at least two weeks? 2) How does the Alprazolam (xanax) fit into this? I read something about how it helps temporarily, but then you can go into a "benzo hangover", which is worse? 3) Am I just bailing out of the full 5mg dose too soon? My doctor said it would be a hard two weeks, maybe I should just try to tough it out? She's lovely, but I don't think this sort of thing is her specialization. 4) Should I find a psychiatrist (even though where I live it will likely be a month or more before I can get in)? Or will they just start saying I'm bipolar and pumping me full of other things? Anyway this is getting pretty rambly now so I'll stop. Thanks to anybody who reads this and has any thoughts. Anyone else going through hard times right now, just keep hanging in there - the only thing that is sure is that things will change.
  14. Amira

    ☼ Amira

    Hi all, P.s english is not my first language I started taking 30 mg cymbalta back in june 2016 due to having panic attacks, OCD and depression. During the past 2.4 years things have been really amazing and i got so much better. in june 2018, i broke up with my fiancee, and in october i decided that i will stop the Medicine. I stopped in october 2018. And at the same time i left my job and become unemployed since then. I did not slow taper, took a 30 mg pill each two days for two weeks and then stopped completely under the supervision of my phsyicatrist. I have experienced brain zaps and dizziness which stayed for only 2 weeks and then went away, however, i have been living in hell since then, i have suicidal thoughts, severe depression, panick attacks, feeling of hoplessness and what really concerns me is heart pounding and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light. i need your advice, it has been now exaclty 3 months sine i stopped taking cymbalta. Should i return to it again and taper slowly and in a safe way? If yes, please advice me how to taper given that in mu country the minimum dosage we have in pharmacies is 30 mg. Thanks, Amira
  15. Hi all, I've just signed up, have been a member of benzo buddies for last few months as I thought my problems were from benzos, but as I'm improving I've realized it's more antidepressants. Long story short I've been on and off Citalopram for past 15 years, each time reached tolerance and came off, only to have what I now know to be withdrawal and reinstated. I can't believe nobody tells you this. Got diagnosed with fibromyalgia (withdrawal), tried Valium, Xanax, ativan, cymbalta, Prozac all stopped CT. Final wammy was stopping Valium for the 3rd time and trying to up my Citalopram which by this point was only 5mg. (I was on 40mg at 1 point a few years ago and couldn't work out why I couldn't take it anymore.) Had to go to the ER, now unable to tolerate any medication as kindled on both benzos and AD. I've found even eating ginger puts me into a wave as it affects serotonin. I've been in hell for 6 months and desperate for anything that may help. Have tried to reinstate twice, but even 0.5mg is too much and takes a month to return to baseline Anyone else as damaged as me, and found any relief?
  16. This maybe long and confusing since I'm typing from my phone but I feel like I'm living in pure hell. Backstory- I'm a 30 year old single mother of two. I had my first anxiety attack when I was 11. Doctor prescribed me xanax as needed and I attended counseling on and off. I remember having panic attacks on and off my whole life. I honestly can't remember when I was first prescribed an antidepressant. Last year in july I decided I was done with the pills and the side effects so I did a taper and stopped, I was on lexapro. I remember coming on here when I was having a bad day and reading the success stories, things were getting better and I don't think I ever had a panic attack just a little anxiety here and there until about a month ago. I decided to try some fish egg supplements which sent me into a 3 day panic attack and I haven't been the same since, I even called the ambulance because I thought I was dying and I've been to the er once. I have no idea how fish eggs could possible screw up my entire progress and send my body into panic. So I had to call off work for a week because I couldn't even function the anxiety was too bad. I called my doctor and she put me on prozac 25 mg, took that for 8 days and I had enough, the anxiety, insomnia, sweating, feeling wired. I just couldn't do it. So she switched me to zoloft 25 mg I took one pill and threw them all away. So it's been 2 or 3 days without taking anything and I'm a mess. How can taking those pills for such a short amount of time cause this much of a mess. I can't live like this anymore, the constant panic, intrusive thoughts, feeling like I'm chocking. I have no support system. My mom tells me to get back on my medication ( which she's been on meds since she was 18) she keeps telling me this has to stop. I just don't know what to do, what happened to me, and where to go from here.
  17. PLEASE NOTE: Member also has a Benzo topic here. ________________________________________________________________ This is a simplified list of this member's drug history: http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/13732-maizenblue81-tapering-zoloft-during-severe-acute-xanax-wd/?do=findComment&comment=264799 ________________________________________________________________ I have now been off Xanax from a CT detox in the hospital for 2 1/2 months and having severe acute symptoms still from that that is a complete nightmare and has destroyed my life! Bad thing is I keep trying to tell the doctors I'm the hospital and my family that what I was going through was Xanax WD and they keep looking at me like I was crazy and blamed my symptoms on anxiety and OCD. So they put me on .5mg of resperdal and 75mg of Zoloft out of the hospital then at my one month checkup I got completely off the resperdal and they bumped me up to 100mg on the Zoloft which I have now been on 2 months. I don't think it's helping as nothing like I told them would help Xanax WD other than another benzo and now I'm stuck with the Zoloft! I want to get off but after 2 months I know I can't quit it Cold turkey so I looked it up online and it shows two ways to either cut down a dose or 25mg every 2-6 weeks or so and even slower taper of 12.5 % once a week too get off in 8 weeks and for me with how bad the Xanax symptoms still are I know slow is probably the best for me in this situation but I actually ran out of my 100mg tablets last night and I have enough of the 50mg tablets to start the taper tonight breaking two pills down to where it's only a 12.5% reduced dose. But I only have enough to do that for about 4 days then I'm out! The 100mg and 50mg tablets are different and I don't know how that's gonna screw me up cause when I get my refill it will be 100mg so I don't know? This is crazy my current symptoms are horrible intense head pressure burning and numbness in my head, confusion, dizziness, DP/DR and horrible evil intrusive thoughts are all the worst! Most of which I think is still acute Xanax WD but I want to get off the Zoloft as safely as possible! Help and advice please
  18. MOD NOTE: contains content which may be triggering for some members Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community. Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history; I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly. Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars." I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss) But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. It was such a shock. I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. No side effects. No nothing. Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use. again, no side effects, I was blessed. I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August. It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell. I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess.. I have been though enough. Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.
  19. Currently 70 yr old On psychiatric meds most of my adult life ie.benzos and antidepressants. Started weaning off ER .5 mg 2x day in June 2018. Finished taper Sept 2 2019. Started weaning Lexapro 20mg 1x day in July 2020. Took last one Aug 18,2020. Took both Meds for Appx 15 Yrs. currently on NO psychiatric meds. Hoping my age doesn’t make withdrawal more difficult. Insomnia most nights. Everything irritates me. Digestive issues, Depersonalization. Developed a psoriasis type very itchy rash on scalp, and collarbone area. 2 months after my last Xanax. Have no clue if skin and digestive issues are indicative of withdrawal. Hoping this sight gives me more insight. Will it all eventually stop?
  20. Hi everyone here is my history and current problems! Any advice would be much welcomed. Paxil 5 years, cold turkey in January 2019 - reinstate Paxil January 2020 adverse reactions have pssd anhedonia until July 2020.April 2020 begin 50 mg seroquel and 1 mg Xanax June 2020 doc cold turkeyed me off Xanax August 2020 take 2 cephalexin 500 mg. Horrific reaction. Akathisia for two months. Have symptoms similar to post finasterise syndrome. Regained emotions and sleep, stopped pacing around October 20,2020. Major mood swings and anger. Things are looking better but still feel very depressed. November 10, 2020, doctor cold turkeyed me off of my seroquel 50 mg. Less mood swings but also noticing cognitive impairment, anhedonia, sleep quality and emotional numbing worsen over time since dropping. Once I hit the two week mark of withdrawal everything started to decline rapidly. finally December 2, 2020 able to get a refill for seroquel. Do I reinstate or is the damage done? My head feels like it’s going to explode and I have had horrible forhead headaches and feel numb. My sleep is poor and fragmented and I feel very little emotion. I fear reinstatement could make it worse but I don’t know. thsnks Diane
  21. 2011: I was prescribed the following: Cymbalta 60 mg (arthritis). Zoloft 100 mg (anxiety). Buprenorphine 8 mg (off label for treatment resistant depression). Over a couple of years the doctor increased it to 24 mg. September 2018: Decided I wanted to try and reduce the meds. I began a rapid taper of the Bupe and was down to 12 mg by the end of November 2018. Mid December 2018: Started having severe panic attacks daily. Each morning they started at wake and lasted between 2-6 hrs. Assuming it was because of my recent Bupe reduction I increased my dose for a while. It didn’t help so I went back down again. October 2020: I've been suffering horrid, daily panic attacks for 22 months. They start each morning before I even open my eyes (severe nausea and strong sense of doom). They quickly worsen from there and last for hours before slowly lessening. Then I go through a 1-2 hour period extremely fatigued and lethargy. My doctors have been unable to diagnose me but they have treated my symptoms with various medications (listed below). They don't help much during an episode, however it does help with later anxiety and to sleep at night. There is little fight left in me I'm so tired and losing hope. I have fallen down from exhaustion and muscle deterioration many times (once I broke off two front teeth) and am too scared to leave the house (only go to the doctor each month). I stopped eating more than fruit due to severe nausea and have lost 60 lbs. In the last six months I've gotten worse with severe leg weakness and just lately started having pain up and down my left arm (spoke with doctor). Other than that I endure horrible racing thoughts, a racing heart, heart palpitations, headaches; severe nausea, a sense of doom/worry, and a numbness and tingling of extremities. I believe that I may have finally figured out what is wrong: Serotonin/Norepinephrine overload because of the Cymbalta and Zoloft mix (perhaps brought on by stress because of menopause or my quick Bupe reduction in late 2018....I recent read that opiates block re-uptake transport or something). My doctor eliminated the cause of my illness as anti-Depressant related since I had been on them for such a long time without incident. There were many other tests to no avail. So I've researched and am attempting to reduce the Cymbalta from 60 to 30 mg on my own. I started three days ago. As of now my withdrawal symptoms are tolerable (it's difficult to discern between panic and withdrawal, so I evaluate my symptoms after the daily attack). I have headaches, nausea, cognitive difficulty, muscle weakness, and depression. It is key for me that I have had some relief from my panic syndrome though. My racing heart and palpitations were practically non existent. Unfortunately yesterday I took additional Zoloft to take the edge off and it turned out to be a big mistake. Although I still didn't panic this morning, along with some other general symptoms I became extremely fatigued and lethargic (which normally doesn't happen until after the CNS attack). Side note: I am unsure where I am headed with this Cymbalta reduction. My first goal is to stop my panic attacks and stabilize myself. However if my episodes worsen or if withdrawal becomes intolerable I will reinstate the 60 mg. Something tells me that IF I am suffering panic attacks because of neurotransmitter overloads that my withdrawal symptoms might not be as serious. Is that possible? When do the symptoms of Cymbalta reduction generally peak and how long does it last? Reminder: the 11th, 12th, and 13th I took the reduced dose. Lastly, it may be that some of the recent differing symptoms are due to a recent reduction of my Estrogen patch (I have no choice. The doctor is cutting me off). I could probably go back up but could only do so for about two weeks before I'd have to start a reduction again. Any advice or encouragement will be graciously accepted. Current Prescriptions Cymbalta: 30 mg (on October 10, 2020 I reduced it from 60 mg) Zoloft: 100 mg Buprenorphine: 8 mg Atenolol 25 mg (2 times daily). Xanax: .25 mg (take half doses of .125 mg; regularly only take about two per day). Valium: 5 mg (occasional and rare; only in half doses). HRT (out of necessity I am reducing my Estrogen patch slowly). I also take have a combo patch. OTC Mag Glycinate Mag Citrate Vit D3 Chia Seed Oil
  22. I have been on some combination of benzodiazepines and antidepressants for most of my life. I’m tired of the medications, I am still very much in the throughs of anxiety and periodic depression. I am on two different antidepressants and benzodiazepines and have been on this specific regiment for about 4 years. I am a single mom, just went through a very ugly divorce and live in an expensive city. My psychiatrist told me about this site. Sorry if I am using this wrong, but I am starting the scary journey of tapering off. I have tried before and became severely depressed. Had tremors and headaches and insomnia. Also lost a bunch of weight cause stress effects my digestion. I’m scared and excited to get off this crap. It’s changed my brain chemistry, I can only hope not past the point of return. Depression and anxiety have plagued my life as long as I can remember, I need a change. The medications I am on are pristiq 25mg, Wellbutrin 150mg and clonazepam 1mg daily with Xanax 1mg prn. Pristiq has been the game changer for my depression and especially helpful with my stomach issues related to stress. It is also the hardest to kick, not to mention I don’t know how to get off the benzodiazepines. My hands shake without them and I am in the medical field so, that doesn’t work well for me. Just sharing where I am, hope to find and give support here. Thanks! I guess I’m looking for advice for those like me who are just starting the journey.
  23. LINK bubble-life-without-xanax-after-14-years Hello everybody, I found this site through google search after I entered 'escitalopram withdrawal' and I liked what I found here so much that I decided to create an account. What you are saying is very close to my experience compared to what doctors are saying which could basically be summed up as: you see you can't do without anti-depressants. I was in a rush so didn't write down my whole history with anti-depressants but mosty focussed on my current problem. To sum up I have been almost continuously on anti-depressants since 2000. I could say that after I stopped taking each of these my depression would return worse than before combined with other very painful and unbearable sensations which led me to start taking anti-depressants again just to put me out of my misery. First it was Prozac, then Zoloft. My doctor just told me: anti-depressants don't make you dependant and you can stop taking them just like that! Discontinuing Prozac didn't cause any problems: I was depressed all the time basically, even while taking it. But with Zoloft I was in a great period of my life, feeling very stable and after 2 weeks following discontinuoation in 2 steps (as advised by my doctor) I was suddenly and completely out of the blue hit by the worst depression ever which led my doctor to put me on Escitalopram (at that time I would eat crocodiles just to get some relief! My brain was thrown off the cliff as somebody here said. Then I started doubting my docor and started reading about anti-depressants from the perspective of users so I learnt that such abrupt discontinuation could actually explain my depression. I realised discountinuation had to be much more gradual but didn't know about the 10 % rule ;( So after taking Escitalopram 10 mg for 2 years I cut 10 mg into half and was on that half (5mg) for 6 months doing OK. After that I cut the half of the pill to get 1/4 and was taking it for 2 weeks when the pharmacist said there was shortage of Escitalopram so I was forced to discontinue. After a few days I started experiencing extreme irritability and out of body sensations. These symptoms gradually dissipated but the general sense of emotional instability and vulnerability deepened. Around 45 days later I experienced a strong panic attack and went back to 1/4. All along I've been on Xanax which I recently brought down to 2 times 0.25 mg. I'm not from UK and in my country they don't even have 5 mg tablets on the market, let alone liquid solution ;( But i saw somebody here wrote I could make the liquid from tablets myself. Since my doctor has no clue, I would very much appreciate your opinion: what to do now? 2 months after complete discontinuation. I went back to 1/4 5 days ago and already feel a certain relief. My plan is to see if I will stabilise on this and if not, go back to half that is 5 mg and then after I stabilise try 10 % discontinuation as you advise here. Thank you very much for being around and sharing your experiences because left to doctors and pharmacists, we are worse than being alone ;(
  24. Hello everyone. I'll tell you my problem. Last July 15 I had a heat stroke while I was in a wood. After that day I was a little anxious and I was prescribed xanax 0.75 in drops by the doctor. I took it for 4 months 7 8 drops in the morning and 7 8 drops in the evening, but always at different times and not always the same doses, sometimes even 10 drops in the morning, sometimes I took it 3 times a day. I stopped it suddenly since November 29, after which I took Zolopect 10mg for 12 days, that is until December 15 last, after which I also stopped that. Since 1 December I have had terrible symptoms, nausea, dizziness, pain, sensitivity to noise and light, tremors, sudden shocks, crying spells, depression, violent gastric symptoms, a feeling of tightness in the chest with very strong anxiety. I held on. Today I am still here, I have periods of 1 2 or 3 days that all seems ok, but then strong anxiety returns, soft legs, weakness and swollen belly symptoms with noises and headaches. Then it disappears in the afternoon and in the evening it gets better. Only the headache remains. Then again I'm maybe 1 3 days well, then they come back. In your experience, can I still be suffering from withdrawal symptoms? If so, how long can all this last? Sorry for bad english, it's not my language. Thank you
  25. Hello all, I am a 60 y/o woman and after beeing on psych meds since my twenties I decided to get off of them as I have been stable for over a year, and also as a person who is always concerned with the health of my mind/body/spirit, and soul, I had too many concerns about the harm these psychotropic meds could be doing to me. I am currently off all of my medications since 30 days. I was taking Lexapro, Gabapentin, Mirtazapine, Lamitrogine, and occasionally Xanax. Getting off the Lexapro was so positive for me. I started to have more emotions of all kinds, which made me feel more alive and whole. The negative aspects of getting off all of my meds started to kick in once I got off of everything else, with the worst of it beginning, and still going strong, when I got off the Lamitrogene. My current symptoms, in order of horribleness, are insomnia, wailing for 15mins straight, no appetite, exhaustion, rages, panic, and a myriad of sensorial sensitivities to smells, sounds, touch, and sights. If I see a bug in the house it makes me burst into tears. At times I want to rip my skin off or jump out of it, and other times I feel completely dead inside. Basically, it's Hell, and if I thought there was no end to this I wouldn't be able to take it. I am really lucky to have a loving partner, and to live in beautiful North Carolina where I can take a walk in nature alone. I am working with a psychiatrist who is wholistically oriented, and thinks I may have issues with hormone levels, and/or my endocrine system. I also am part of a medical practice that has a yoga teacher who I feel hopeful will be teaching me some restorative excercises. I studied food and healing, and know the importance that it plays my own mental stability. I haven't had sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy, or refined foods in a month, which I am 100%certain has kept me from being hospitalized! I also stopped using industrialized "heart healthy" oils like canola and sesame, and use only virgin olive oil, ghee, and coconut oils.I briefly tried a Paleo diet because of the leaky gut theory of depression, but felt horrendous, so now I reintroduced around 1 serving daily of a non glutinous grain such as amaranth, quinoa, or millet, and feel better. I want to incorporate daily walks and yoga into my routine, which is a struggle for me as I often veg out for hours watching Netflix, etc. I don't judge myself for it, but I just don't think it helps one bit, and in fact think it makes me feel worse. It's like something that promises to help me to feel better, but actually has the opposite effect. So that's all for now. Thank for letting me join your group.
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