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  1. My history with medication started when I took a leave of absense from college in 2001, after my first semester. I moved back across the country, lived in a friend's dorm room, got a job, got an apartment, and decided to seek help for depression and trouble focusing. I was prescribed Ritalin. Over the years (see signature for meds), I was given meds for depression, sleep problems, ADHD, and eventually Bipolar II. In October of 2013, I left a job both over ethical concerns and because I wanted to work for myself. I lost access to the medications I was on at the time, though, because of an insurance SNAFU. By mid-2014, I was practically non-functional, though I was also trying new meds and working with a therapist. In 2015, I ended up unable to work, moving to my parent's home, and getting SSDI. Many of the meds I've tried since then (and before) gave me immediate adverse effects, or soon after I started taking them. In 2021, Lexapro was added, and that gave me constant nausea, but I was determined to stick it out. I had to use cannabis constantly in order to not feel like throwing up. Then, when I learned about laws in a couple states passing that explicitly allowed medical providers to deny care for "religious or ethical reasons," targeting queer people (I'm a trans* guy and gay), I threw temper tantrums like a two-year-old at both my therapist and mother for two days, and became extremely activated. At first I was ranting out of terror, and then angry at their lack of empathy. It was both called-for and out-of-line. Then began a flurry of activity. I felt like myself, and like I was developing good boundaries. I told people about many painful things from the past. I was also, in retrospect, not well, but when my APRN told me to stop taking Lexapro because "people say you've been acting out of character," I was livid, because I finally felt like myself again, and it was traumatizing to hear about those laws being passed and have people to tell me to calm down because it wasn't an immediate threat. I told her that sometimes when someone experiences something new, they act in a new way; it's objectively true. I don't know. I developed panic attack symptoms, had trouble regulating my body temperature, had more than the usual variations in energy level, and had a lot of sleep disturbances. My proprioception was often way off. I compulsively spent money, but in a way that made half-sense. A few months into the Lexapro, I developed some movement disorder symptoms, sort of only half-controllable unwinding stretching, triggered also by physical therapy for severe pain and stiffness in the right side of my neck. The stretching felt good, but then I got tight again. That was particularly weird. I often had very firm boundaries over the spring and summer, getting to the point of yelling when my concerns about my safety as a queer person were being thrown back in my face. Some people told me I was hard to follow, but others could follow me fine. All of my emotions were amplified. At one point I hit a wall with my fist in my mother's house, and dented it. I offered to fix it or pay to have it fixed, but that offer was rejected. In the fall, without prior warning, my family changed the locks on my place, and threw away whatever they thought was trash, and I lived in long-term Airbnbs until March. I somehow managed to close on a house in February, and started living in it in March. The place was indeed horrible, in terms of cleanlinees, but advance notice and dealing with it more directly would've been better. Of course, they don't know what my living spaces always look like. Throughout the winter and spring, I had migraines a lot of the time. In March of 2022, things got psychedelic. I've never done hallucinogens, actually. I've also never had any hallucinations or delusions... until maybe this stuff. I was in part wrapped up in fantasies about finding a way back to having my family in my life, and in part seeing patterns and thinking I had outsized influence on the world if I interacted with them right. I saw problems and became fixated on them. I was sometimes, in my thinking, straight-up delusional. I went for lots of drives, exploring patterns - real ones having to do with the development of the highway system - but why? I became very tuned-in to my emotional intelligence, and spent a lot of time dancing and acting to music, and feeling through the layers of meanings in the lyrics. I can't remember if I'd decided to stop/cut back the Xanax before or after this. In late March, I ran out of gas on the highway, without my phone, really only needed a tow truck, but since I didn't have anyone to call for help and was very amped up, I ended up involuntarily hospitalized in another state, with no way to reach anyone. First, I was in an emergency room, and got the bends very bad from something. I was lucid dreaming, and spinning around in the bed. They injected me with something, I don't know what. When I got to the hospital, I half-thought it was all a mistake and someone might come get me. I opted to be there for three days under my own power. Since I had no access to my meds, this lead to my going cold-turkey off of Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Adderall, Xanax, and Lexapro. No one evaluated me there, but they tried to get me to take something (wouldn't tell me what). I felt pretty much fine, but half-believed it must be some kind of elaborate prank, under the influence of drugs, trauma, or both. From then on, things got even weirder. I started to forget to pay bills, I became convinced there was something seriously wrong with the electricity in my home, and no consequences mattered. I had total blindness to how my actions affected others. In May, I again ended up needing a tow truck (the gearshift became disengaged), without my phone. I got extremely sick in the car, got a tow truck instead of a hospital this time, but got kicked out by the driver of the tow truck because of the smell. I had auditory and mild visual hallucinations, very "creative" thoughts, and ended up taking two weeks to get back home. I simply let the car go, bought another car (but got a ticket for driving without insurance and driving an unregistered vehicle, and now have a warrant out for me in another state), worked on it a little but lost focus and bought an even more messed-up vehicle, worked on that, and then stopped caring. I developed bad chemical sensitivity for a month or a few (even my skin barrier was weird), and had movement disorder symptoms spring up after exposure to chlorine, followed by lotion and CBD oil. Could also be psychological, in part. I got a big lump on my scalp, a rash on first the left and then the right side of my neck, ingrown hairs on my knees. I had to re-wash everything I'd washed at a laundromat. I'd have to make movements in response to sounds, or feel prickling or burning in my toes response to seeing certain people, or other unknown causes. It's still happening a bit. I trashed the office space I was renting, because I had increased sensitivity in my nerves, and thought there was something corrosive going on I needed to clean up with salt, baking soda, some natural cleaning supplies, and clean cat litter, but also couldn't focus, and ended up leaving behind a massive mess and giving the owner no notice, after being two weeks late with rent, after the guy I'd hired decided he wasn't going to stick around. I've had a lot of scary physical symptoms that felt like they could become blood clots or heart attacks, but those haven't happened for months. For a while I had so much tension in my trunk area, it felt like my pelvic bones were eating themselves, all prickly. I have more feeling on my left side than my right. Usually when I wake up, some part of one or both of my hands is numb. I had a lot of strong anxiety, on and off. There's a lot I've left out. These days, I'm dissociated and flat, but also have extreme avoidance behaviors, a different kind of anxiety. My frustration/obstacle tolerance is almost nothing. I don't have a temper about it, my brain just short-circuits. Pretty much I sit around smoking hand-rolled cigarettes, and drinking filtered water with ginger in it, thoughts about my family or others swirling around, wishing I could trust new people and/or had local friends. I wish I could hand power of attorney to someone and tell them what to take care of. If I can get started on something, I manage to change my address somewhere, or make a payment plan on a credit card, or do some small thing, like pre-rinse clothes in the sink. The stuff I paid to have packed and stored, whatever was at the apartment that wasn't thrown away, I haven't been able to face and has probably been thrown out for non-payment by now. I've been to a primary care doctor twice, and have an appointment with a neurologist in October. I got basic bloodwork done and was fine; tried to get a toxin or heavy metal panel done but couldn't. Probably what I thought was toxin exposure was in fact withdrawal stuff, though. I've been trying to find a therapist who I can get to without a car and who takes my Medicare plan, but no luck so far. As far as I can tell, what's happening is CPTSD, PTSD, and polypharmacy withdrawal interacting. As weird and bad as things are, it's not like they weren't often like this even before I was ever prescribed anything. For example, I've almost never been able to care about "self-care," unless it's to make sure I'm not judged or otherwise for another's benefit. I can see a lot of "self-sabotage" in many of the things I've done, pathological narcissistic acting-out, some victim/savior/persecutor dynamics, but it all seems a bit extreme for it to be "just" trauma.
  2. unblocktheplanet

    unblocktheplanet

    It is possible to taper & wean. What I'm not sure about is whether it's possible to actually feel normal! Mirtazapine worked for depression & sleep for 15 years & then it didn't. A compounding pharmacy made me 3mg Mirtazapine capsules & I dropped 10% a month for ten months. I'm now planning on the same tapering timetable for Trazodone, 10% a month. My sleeps are still awful. I'm 72. I doubt I'll ever be able to wean Alprazolam. 86% relapse. Perhaps cognitive decline or even dementia. I don't blame my docs. It might have been easier to taper & wean earlier on but, then again, it might not. Frankly, I blame it on pharma...& on capitalism. Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-2022 Trazodone 50mg 2003-present Alprazolam 1mg 2019-present
  3. Hello everybody, First, I aprpeciate this resource! I started with panic disorder 5 years ago. I was started on Zanax in the hospital, and I am still angry about it, or at least about having zero information about what I was getting myself into. Thankfully I quit after a few months on it. The insomnia was terrible but my sleep recovered to a tolerable pattern after a couple of weeks. I also started Lexapro at 10 mg while I was still taking Zanax. And I started running and exercising three times a day for an hour each. I am still convinced that the exercise made it possible for the panic attacks to completely resolve after a few months. but then I had a new panic attack after months of not having any. My doctor increased my Lexapro dose to 20 mg and stayed there. I have also been getting very good treatment for my C-PTSD/developmental trauma (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems/parts work) and a I am doing much much better. I want to quit Lexapro because I think I no longer need it since my anxiety/panic has resolved, and because it has the side effect of giving me GERD which I also have to manage with medication. And also because my sleep patterns could never recover to a fully normal pattern. I now learned that SSRIs interact with the circadian rhythm, and Lexapro in particular does so negatively. So, I blame my sleep problems on Lexapro. I started using the sleep app RISE, and realized that my circadian rhythm, isn't much of a rythm at all. I feel like I will only get back my normal sleep after quitting Lexapro. All the more reason to get off of it. I am super upset at the doctors for increasing my dose to such a high amount, now that I read that lexapro is so much more potent than other drugs at similar dosages. 20 mg is called "hefty"! a 5 mg increase would have been much more prudent and I am not even a doctor! I started by shaving off a small amount from the 20 mg a few months ago. I used a roughened glass nail file, that I could be very precise and gradual with. I finally reached a 25% reduction, and since I started having insomnia symptoms, I started looking for more information and found this forum. I read some of the posts and just asked my doctor today to switch me to the liquid version, so I can continue a more smooth and precise tapering process. I referred her to this website so she can also benefit from this information. I plan to increase my dosage a little bit again to see if the insomnia resolves and then I will stay there for a couple of months. I also started having stomach pain, and now I wonder if it is caused by the taper. That is hard to tell given my food sensitivities. I have gone back to exercising more again, since it was so helpful a few years ago. I am following the RISE app which makes working with the circadian rhythm very easy. I plan on being very patient with myself otherwise, and this website resource is incredibly encouraging and reassuring. I also take Melatonin for that. What I learned from this website so far that is an eye opener is the 3KIS principle, and is how incredibly important it is to be stable in all aspects of health. I didn't realize that before. So, I will make sure that my exercise and supplement and med schedules as well as sleep (or time in dark and in bed, at least) are totally consistent. Which is hard when sleep is hard to come by, but now I am that much more motivated to actually lean into it with trust and patience. Given that I am struggling with sleep, I wonder about CBD. I have never tried any form of cannabis before. It may be a bad idea to combine a tapering with CBD which is new to my system and it violates the 3KIS principles, but I thought I'd ask to see what experience people have, if any. Thank you all!!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ηello everyone. I have severe anhedonia, emotional anesthesia, severe PSSD, extremelly fatique and dizziness due to cold turkey of paxil(60mg!!). I tοοκ it for 6 weeks and I am free 8 months now. The issue is that I am on benzo (xanax) 3 years(!) in doses 1 - 1,5 mg and now I am on hell in other words :( because I have dependence and tolerance (maybe) to xanax. Ι was never warned that ssri will cause me so terrible side effects such as anhedonia and PSSD. Therefore, I was concentrated to cut the xanax gradually this year. Now I have so many nightmares and nobody doctor believes me, because, as you Know very well, all these situations aren't recognizable. Also I am very confused because I don't Know if it is W/D or adverse reaction. Although I got a huge dose, I Think 6 weeks is a short exposure to develop W/D. I don't have waves and windows. Every day is the same.I keep thinking that is permanent and I have intense suicidal thoughts. It' so unbearable ... I feel so EMPTY. I can't feel love even for my parents and I haven't substantial support because they ALL think that I am simply depressed. Ιt's a sick joce....Do you think that I must taper the xanax now? My brain is in chaos and I am afraid for W/D from xanax now, but maybe I have not other choice. Keep in mind that I had not these effects (anhedonia, emotional blunting,PSSD) 2.5 years while I was ONLY on xanax. Any advise would be highly appreciated! Sorry for my bad English. Greetings
  7. 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
  8. 2017 started 15mg mirtazapine 10/2021 increased to 30mg mirtazapine 9/2022 going to attempt starting my taper at 27mg mirtazapine Mirtazapine doesn't seem to do anything for me anymore. Initially I had it prescribed after a period of daily panic attacks for about 2 weeks which I had stopped with Xanax then used mirtazapine for long term stabilization. It was very effective at helping me sleep initially at 15mg. About a year ago constant panic attacks started again and my baseline anxiety was high, after trying various medications to calm down, I settled on upping my mirtazapine to 30mg and using hydroxyzine as needed. In the past I also used propranolol to reduce anxiety symptoms but I have quit using this medication after a few years. My baseline anxiety is still fairly high and I sometimes get panic attacks when doing certain things that have been repeated strong triggers for me. Therefore I have decided to stop using mirtazapine with the hopes of my emotions not being so dull anymore and to be able to lose weight finally as I have gained at least 15 pounds with it. I have had a lot of success with dealing with my anxiety through therapy and alternative methods and stopping any peaks with hydroxyzine which sometimes I don't take for months.
  9. Hello, I am posting for my husband and I am new to the site and I am not too god at figuring out websites. If I am posting this wrong or in the wrong spot please let me know. My husband has dealt with depression for many years and went on antidepressants about 17 years ago. He started tapering off of Sertraline 100 mg 2 years ago he did it slowly we thought but just found out not slowly enough. It took him over a year to get off of it and he was off for 6 months completely when he couldn’t take the anxiety symptoms anymore. He can barely eat, sleep, or work. He’s lost 30 pounds and he is thin to begin with. This June he started taking Xanax 0.5 mg 3 times a day and Hydroxine 50 mg at night for sleep. This did not help much. As of July he has started ketamine treatments (3 so far but 2 of them seemed to intensify the anxiety) and he just returned to the Sertraline at 50 mg about a week ago. He’s never been very anxious before only depressed. We couldn’t understand why he was having these new symptoms. I just learned from a worker at a local natural health store when I was shopping for cbd oil that these symptoms are likely from being on the antidepressants for so many years and coming off too quickly. He told me the ketamine and going back on the medicine won’t work. I literally left the store in tears. At this point I just want him to find relief. My husband is suffering so much and has been for two years since he started tapering. It’s only gotten worse over time and I don’t know how to help him. It is so difficult to watch someone you love suffer. I am grateful for this site and would appreciate any advice on how to proceed. I honestly don’t know what we should do next. Do we keep going with the Ketamine? What does should he be on for the Sertraline? I don’t know where to begin to get him back to a normal life. Thank you in advance.
  10. I tapered from 10mg to 5mg in 4 weeks. Was doing ok. 4 weeks later I got hit with 2 weeks of bad anxiety. I got better. 8 weeks after that I got hit again and it hasn’t let up. After 2 weeks of suffering I went up to 7.5mg. That was 8 days again and I’m still suffering badly. My appointment with the psychiatrist is next week. I wish I could talk to her sooner. Not sure if I should stay at 7.5mg or go to 10mg.
  11. I'm weaning off cymbalta I've only been on it for about a month as it gave me a cough and severe chest tightness as well as neuropathy in my feet. Due to these effects I've weaned rather quickly about 2 months and today is my first day off completely after a week at 10ml I would've gone longer but the chest tightness was too much to bear. Anxiety is for sure picking up and I'm using .25 Xanax as needed which is less than 1 time a day since I try to fight my anxiety as much as possible. Any advice?
  12. 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
  13. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  14. Rhi's Introduction topic I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area. Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is. As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages. Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble. After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself. Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much. Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious. Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice. Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again! And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun! It's GREAT. So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses. The lower the doses go, the better I feel. There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening. For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs. I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it. I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health. And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!
  15. Hi everyone I'm 22 years old now. I suffered from bulimia, depression and generalized anxiety since the age of 17 and my family got me help when I was 18 after I failed my medical school exams due to my condition. I was put on several medications ( Alprazolam, Valproate, Lamotrigine, Fluoxetine) during the course of treatment. I come from a lower economic class country where psychiatric treatment is still considered a taboo and people hide it from others, the facilities available are not the best but its a work in progress. Most of the drugs I had to take, they helped me immensely and I had not much trouble tapering valproate, lamotrigine and alprazolam within a year since start of treatment. They helped me get through the second-sit of exams and after I passed I quit the first two within 2 weeks using ( 50-25-0%). Since I am in medical school I was well aware of addictive potential of benzodiazepine's, so I decided to taper alprazolam as well even though it helped my anxiety symptoms. I had panic attacks and palpitations again but I started working myself through therapy and regular exercise and sleep to ease my symptoms. For a regular person these things are a luxury of time, but if you suffer from a mental health problem you must consider a good sleep and exercise a necessity for the rest of your life and fit in other parts of your life with it, not the other way around. Around 19, I was only taking fluoxetine (20 mg ) and my symptoms got worse, as I often tried to taper it on my own ( I wanted to be off drugs asap). The doctors upped my dose instead of my concern of getting them off, and told me to take valproate, which I could take if I felt my symptoms weren't manageable as I told him I don't want to be back on meds. For four months I was on 40 mg dosage of fluoxetine and some days were quite bad and 2 years back I would've seen the doctor and he would have most likely upped my dosage again but this time I decided to be patient with myself on bad days, accepting them as part of recovery because on the good days, I didn't need any aid and slowly the ratio of good to bad days was improving. I found this blog and I started the brass monkey taper schedule with 4 weeks hold for fluoxetine, and I was done in 6 months. I had some side effects but with this method they were too mild to be cause a nuisance. I had dizziness, insomnia and weight gain (around 10 kgs) during the process. I am now drug-free for almost a year, and its lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, rest, filling my bucket before I pour from it to others, adequate rest ) that keep me going fresh and happy. I had failed attempts at tapering fluoxetine and every time I tried my symptoms became unbearable till I found this forum. I am incredibly grateful to this community and the stories that gave me strength to continue on my journey. To everyone reading this, be patient with yourself and don't compare your journey to others. Listen to your heart when it tells you NO, trust yourself to get through it and you will only see your strength in the hindsight. Love and Prayers.xx
  16. 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.
  17. Hi Guys, Its been a long time since I posted on this forum, however I am due to celebrate my 4 year anniversary from Lexapro withdrawal and I thought I should give you all an update on my recovery. I haven't been active on the forum for some time as I needed to distance myself. I felt that everytime I read about other people's symptoms/stories although helpful at the time, it also triggered a lot of fear...fear of the unknown and fear of what would happen to me if I got more symptoms, or if my symptoms did not disappear. In saying that I also gained a lot of hope from other people' stories and I even re-read certain ones over and over in the hope that I too would make a full recovery. Well ladies and gents, I can happily say that I too have made a full recovery after a "severe" withdrawal from the poison Lexapro. It did take a long time, however my recovery did happen. It was slow and gradual and did occur in waves as everyone knows. I personally felt my big turning point was around the 2 year mark, with big improvements happening after that time. I do also want to point out that some symptoms I had weren't actual symptoms of Lexapro withdrawal - well they may have been somewhat a part, but not wholly Lexapro. I think this is important to know as when your in the depth of withdrawal you tend to blame everything on your withdrawal (well I at least did). A good example of this was the pins and needles I experienced in my left shoulder blade. I found out this was actually from muscle tension, which was exacerbated by my job. I had a couple of sessions of dry needling as well as some magnesium oil and it was gone. So do I still get anxiety? Yes of course I do..I'm human and as a human I feel emotions, one of them being anxiety. Is it as bad as what it was on Lexapro - definitely not, 100% not. My anxiety at first while on Lexapro completely diminished to a point where I did not care about anything (very sad I know). However this changed and turned into severe anxiety, with OCD type repetitive thoughts which I have never experienced in my life up until Lexapro. As for my symptoms now, I have none, none that are worth while mentioning....do I have crappy days where I don't feel 100%...sure. Everybody does! But I have I got rid of the horrible thoughts, the tingling, the zaps, the weakness, the heart palpitations, the nausea, the bad dreams, feelings of aggression, suicidal thoughts, memory loss, depersonalisation and the many more I have listed in my diary. I still have triggers...that make me remember the hell I went through and I think it will still stay with me for a long time, however life is good now, actually life is awesome!! I have a wonderful family, a great job and best of all I am completely med free!! Living life and trying to be as healthy as I can be. So for all of you out there, who are wondering 'will I recover?'. Yes you will!!! Your recovery is imminent. Take all the good days and enjoy them. When the bad ones come along, focus on the good days you have had and how many more are coming your way. Withdrawal really made me appreciate feeling good - I think that's something we all take for granted. I would also like to mention that I found the book "Recovery & Renewal" by Bayilssa Frederick amazing and it was my bible for many days/nights when I felt like giving up. That alongside this forum of course. I wish you all the best on your journey and your road to recovery x
  18. Hi. So, I had been having some health anxiety over 2021. It resulted in me getting a colonoscopy in November 2021. Leading up to it I had intense anxiety, a few panic attacks and perhaps even a nervous breakdown. The night before I woke at 3 am and had a panic attack. I really thought I was dying this time, so we called 911, and I luckily, not dying. During the procedure they did take a biopsy, and while waiting for the results (2weeks) I had very intense anxiety. It was benign. I'd had intense panic and anxiety for almost a whole month at this point. Around Dec 17, 2021 I contracted covid. It was pretty uneventful, but near the end of it I was waking around 5 am with adrenaline and diarrhea and I couldn't go back to sleep, this was creating anxiety in me that was getting harder and harder to control. So I went to a Dr on December 30 2021 who prescribed me Zoloft 50mg and Xanax 0.25mg. They were filled pretty fast and I took one of each as soon as I got home (around 1-2pm) I felt ok at first, but a few hours later all the side effects started. Irritable/uncomfortable, anxiety, nauseous, no appetite, chills, diarrhea, invasive thoughts that started pretty quick and intensely, and soon to find out - insomnia. I'd lay there with invasive thoughts and if I happened to drift off I'd be jerked awake and there was no sleeping for at least a week. I lived in a panic for around 2 weeks. I never took another dose of Zoloft. But I did take around 9 doses (some halved) of Xanax over the next 2-3 months. Sometimes to help sleep, but it was never worth it as I'd only get a 2-3 hours and then have intense anxiety the next day. It worked ok for panic during the day, but then I feel it intensified my anxiety for the next few days. I found some old Valium 5mg from a dental procedure, there were only 2 doses. They helped sleep some, but they left me feeling so sluggish, it didn't feel good. And it wasn't helping me sleep enough to want to try to get more, I was prescribed Restoril 15mg in April by a sleep Dr. I only took half doses 3 times. Again, it didn't help my sleep enough to ever make it worth it and just gave me bad rebound anxiety. Then I was prescribed hydroxyzine May 2021 (forgot about that when I wrote my signature, will add later). I've taken it around 5 times. It helped me sleep the first night, then not so much the next. Waited a week and tried again, it helped a little for sleep and calming, but not that much. It was mostly disappointing. Luckily it didn't seem to cause any rebound anxiety. But it doesn't help with much so I really don't take it. So, I did take my last Xanax around 1 month ago for a bad panic attack. And that was last time I took a benzo. My last hydroxyzine was around 1 week ago. My current symptoms are anxiety, depression, anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization (I'm never sure on the terms, it's the one where I feel like I'm in a dream, I can react to everyone normally and everything seems normal, but I just feel ... off, like I'm not connected to it all). Agoraphobia, I can push past it but it's hard and only if it's close to home or my husband and children are with me. Which really sucks because I used to love going out by myself or with my children, go on vacations etc... now I feel like I can't leave the house without forcing myself. This fear feeling is so horrible and there really is no reason, I just feel it. And intense insomnia, I can't fall asleep, can't nap, I get adrenaline rushes continuously as I'm trying to fall asleep, or less common are the hypnic jerks, and I wake early around 3-6am and can't fall back to sleep even if I've only slept for 1-2 hours. I like to think my sleep is getting better, as there some rare nights when I will get 5-7 hours. But those are followed the next night by not being able to fall asleep because of adrenaline surges. So, I'm probably only getting those nights from severe sleep deprivation, not that I'm actually getting better =( At one point I thought it was just anxiety keeping awake, but there have been plenty of nights I go to sleep with NO worries at all. I'm not over thinking or thinking of anything provoking and I still get the adrenaline surges at the point of falling asleep. It's seriously so maddening. It's going into 6 months since that day and my sleep is still not good. I thought it would last a few days, then weeks, then got my hopes for a few months. Now it's going into half a year. It started with panic and anxiety, but now depression is setting in and I just don't know what to do. I try to keep my hopes up, but it's so hard. I also have anhedonia and agoraphobia although I can push past it as long as it's close to home, but it takes a lot of effort. I do get some windows I stay home with my 3 small children and am not able to be the mother I want to be for them by feeling this way. Which again adds to the depression. So that's where I am. I hate that I took that zoloft and xanax. And for a long time now i was just blaming the zoloft. And now I've been wondering if the benzos have been negatively affecting me as well? I know I can't beat myself up over it. I try and accept my situation and believe that I will heal. But it's so hard and it all feels so dark sometimes.
  19. My story begins about eleven years ago. In 2011 my best friend died, and I began to have debilitating anxiety and a horrible fear of death. A family doctor made it worse by giving me xanax and lexapro, but I knew nothing about either one. I started having interdose withdrawal with the xanax, so they gave me ativan. Praise the Lord though, I found a good doctor that placed me on Zoloft, which worked well. After 5 years though, with my wife and I losing another great friend, then a stillborn, both grandparents, and two miscarriages all in a year and half the zoloft stopped working. I continually had ruminating thoughts that would not stop, so a psychiatrists placed my on Prozac, and eventually moved it up to 60mgs, along with valium to help ease the transition. I eventually weaned off of the vailum (which went really well), and stayed on Prozac ever since. After taking a year off from work, I slowly tapered off of prozac over that year, and now have been off of prozac roughly two months. I seemed to be doing well but two weeks ago the anxiety started to appear, and then stopped for about a week and a half. Today though, my anxiety and fear returned with a vengeance for most of the day. I start a new job in July, and I am working on my dissertation for my doctorate. I am seriously considering starting back on my prozac, and my pyschiatrist told me if I needed to, just start taking the prozac at 20mg again. The smallest dose I have is 20mg capsules, so I'm not sure how to start with a smaller dose, which seems to be wiser than starting right back on 20mg. My anxiety was so bad last night that I did not sleep. I had to take 5mg of valium to get just a little relief. This morning I reinstated 5mg of prozac by separating the 20mg capsules into 20ml of water. Any help or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
  20. Hello, I was put on abilify this past summer and it helped my depression A LOT. I started noticing side effects and went fom 2mg to 1mg then from 1mg to 0.5mg. Abilify was causing low blood pressure, palpitations, and also interacting with the fluvoxamine I take. I really thought the drug was helping my head but destroying my body. I knew I had to stop taking it so I went from 0.5mg to 0. Immediately something was very wrong. My psychiatrist said it couldnt be from the abilify because I was on such a low dose. After my own google search I showed him that it was in fact the withdrawal causing my issues. This is te worst panic and anxiety I have ever felt, I am nauseas and have lost 10lbs, depressed isnt even the word, I am so disconnected from reality and dont even know who I am or what is going on, I can't focus, and feel completely alone. I have been researching every supplement out there and every psychiatrist who might have a magic answer. I am taking tiny pieces of xanax to survive but I am very afraid of using it long term. Its been almost 2 months since I stopped the abilify and I dont know how much longer I can live like this. The doctors want me to up my fluvoxamine intake largely because they dont undersstand that the hell I'm in is likely from abilify. Do I go back on abilify and taper off? I stopped at 0.5 which isnt even a lot. I really cant imagine taking that drug now knowing what it can do to someone. Do I just wait and pray to feel better? Do I go to the hospital? It feelts like I am holding on by a thread. I don't know when it will get better and life is passing me by. Looking forward to hearing from you all. 2002-2022 Fluvoxamine 2018-2022 Cymbalta 2018-2022 Vyvanse 2021-2022 Abilify 2022 Xanax, Klonopin -- Currently (May 2022): Stopped Abilify 0.5mg on 03/15/2022 Fluvoxamine 125mg and Xanax or Klonopin 0.5mg
  21. 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!
  22. Hello I used to take 0.25G of Alprazolam for 2 weeks in 2020 going to 2021. I did cold turkey without knowing the side effects because the insomnia and head symptoms were too strong to bear. I had sharp head cut pain for some time. I reinstated to 1.5g on Dec 10 2021. The head symptoms are fading out but feel 65% better but still not functional. I am not on the bed anymore, i can stay on the sofa and do get broken sleep. I wanna taper now, I feel I can start even though I have not stabilize yet. Can I start to taper now from Xanas ( AL) or do I need to be stable first? I am doing 1.5 three times a day now. Major issue now is insomnia, head sensations and fatigue. I am on the sofas during the day but can not do much. Can I taper now? How much do you recommend to cut down by and how ( I am doing 1.5g three times a day). I want to do 10% cut so I will do 1.5 mormning , 1.0 afternoon and 1.5 in the evening. Before this I was doing 4.5g a day. Would it make a difference if I start now?
  23. Community of Healing, hello. In December of 2014, just a bit more than 6 years ago, I came to this site after already weathering two years of nearly life-terminating withdrawal. I'd been on psychotropic medications for most of my life and in my estimation, my nervous system had decided it'd had enough. From February 2012 to approximately March of 2014, I felt I was literally living in hell. I was hospitalized twice, lost long-running friendships and new career opportunities, tried a plethora of medications, supplements, and herbs in an attempt to "fix" withdrawal, and ultimately came to the realization that pharmaceutical medications would not be the answer to my suffering. Pharmaceutical medications had been the cause of my suffering. And what my brain and body needed was support, tenderness, forgiveness, care and time... TIME... to heal. Benzodiazepines had been the first drugs I withdrew from. That was a brutal, nightmarish withdrawal, but relatively short-lived (acute @ 8 months). Tapering from Mirtazapine proved a longer journey, a much longer journey that I shared here. So this is my success story, my chapter-turning post. This is my declaration that I have been successful in tapering from medications that had deranged my nervous system to such a degree that I was scarcely able to operate in the world anymore. I took much time to make this declaration of success as I am by nature skeptical, and wanted to be sure that healing had indeed come - and come to stay. I feel that it has. I discontinued Mirtazapine, my last psychotropic medication, on June 15, 2019. There are still some echos of it that I deal with in day to day life. My issues with histamine intolerance I believe are directly attributable to Mirtazapine's affinity for histamine receptor occupancy. I manage this issue with dietary and exercise modifications as well as use of select vitamins and herbs. It is not life-deterring. It can be inconvenient and sometimes unpleasant, but it is nowhere near as debilitating as withdrawal itself had been. Despite posting this success story, I'm not going anywhere really. I am always happy to answer questions about my journey. When I was in the worst of my own withdrawal, the feedback from moderators and members of this community and elsewhere were absolute lifelines. Not that anyone could necessarily fix my problems - but I could walk away with sound, compassionate advice and if nothing else, the knowledge that my suffering had been heard, and that someone ultimately cared about me. Your suffering is heard, and someone ultimately cares about you. I want to thank @Altostrata and every moderator past and present for their kind forbearance, compassion, and dedication. I want to thank every member for their strength, endurance, bravery, and perseverance towards a healthy life free of the chemicals that have caused them harm. You all have something, many things, to be proud of. I believe in every human's potential to heal. Take your time, taper well, make the most sound choices you can, and know that healing is absolutely within your power to achieve. Hang in there, Dave
  24. Hi! This is IgotMyselfIntoMess. I started Xanax in September, and citalopram (20 mg) and Mirtazapine (15 mg) in the beginning of the October due to a mix of insomnia and anxiety. In October, I started tapering Xanax, and quit it completely in the end of December. I quit citalopram last week, and now currently tapering Mirtazapine. By trusting the judgement of my psychiatrist, I never once read the prospectus of the medications I was prescribed. And ever since October, I've been having a cocktail of symptoms: tremors, twitches, muscle rigidity in my jaw area. I never thought the antidepressants would be the culprit of these symptoms, and now I blame myself for being so gullible and putting myself into such mess. I came to this forum to have some hope about the recovery from my symptoms, cuz I have been about to lose that lately...
  25. 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
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