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  1. Hi, I will try to keep it brief, but I am in desperate need of advice. I am a 34YO Male, my 1st bout of anxiety happened 10 years ago when I experienced a very stressful time in my life. I had my 1st child, started MBA school, and opened my own business all within a 3 month span. Had a panic attack one night, and what followed was a year of high general anxiety, with some intrusive OCDish thoughts sprinkled in. After a year I decided I would give meds a try. Tried Buspar...did nothing except make me dizzy. Tried Zoloft, and this was the magic bullet for me. Felt my anxiety lesson (after a brief increase) after about 3-4 weeks and after a few months I was back to myself. During this time I would have blips (one to two week periods when my anxiety would resurface, usually requiring a dose tweak and then would go back to normal. These would usually happen when I was eating bad, not exercising ect). At the start of my Zoloft experience I at one point got up to 150mgs, but in the last 4-5 years was on the minimum dose of 50mgs after I got generally healthier and added a multivitamin and fish oil supplement. Because of these blips, and the fact I was afraid to go back to the year of anxiety, I stayed on the Zoloft probably longer than I should have. It was 8 years later (October 2016) when I finally said, "heck I don't need these anymore". My prescription ran out and I just decided not to refill it. I went through most of the withdrawl symptoms, some brain-zaps, lots of light-headedness and dizziness, ect. That went away after about 3 weeks and for 3 months I felt great, totally off meds and totally back to normal. At the end of January this year, I started to have another "blip." I wasn't eating healthy and not exercising as much and decided I would be "proactive" and resume the Zoloft at my previous dose of 50mgs to nip it in the bud. This sent my anxiety through the roof but thought my body would adjust so I continued taking them. I was so scared of the increased anxiety though I didn't give it a fair shot and kept increasing and decreasing the dosage from 25 to 50mgs every week or so. Finally got into a p-doc and he gave me Lexapro, 5mgs for the 1st week and 10mgs after that...long story short, it did the same thing as the Zoloft and wasn't much better after 7 weeks. At this point I figured, "wow I wasn't this bad before, I will just go off of these!" Well unfortunately my month of no meds did not return me to my January self, in fact it was probably worse than on the meds! So then the doctor gave me pregabalin, which helped a little, but is crazy expensive and not covered by insurance. So on June 1st I started Paxil, 10 mgs for the 1st week and 20mgs after that, hoping the pregabalin can help me to get on them. I really want to be off meds, but don't think I am mentally able to at this point. It seems quitting the Zoloft cold turkey, then reinstating, I am much more sensitive to these drugs, does that make any sense? So I am hopeful I can eventually give a med (Paxil) enough time that my body will desensitize to it, and I can be on it for a bit to get stable again, then get off. Anybody experienced anything like this? Will my body desensitize? I am so desperate to feel normal again, I am a father of 3 (10YO Boy, 7YO Boy, 3YO Girl), a husband to an amazing wife, and they need their Dad and Husband back! What should I do? Give Paxil the time to desensitize, then get off after a few months? Is the fish-oil supplement that I still take that helped me reduce my dose of Zoloft causing me to be more sensitive? Quit everything and see what happens? Thanks in advance for reading my story and giving any advice or encouragement.
  2. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  3. Hi everyone, I wish we wouldn't have to meet under these unfortunate circumstances, but here we are. I want to give a full introduction of myself and my situation in hopes that someone can please shine some light on me or atleast tell me I will be fine again, one day. I am a 24 year old female that has found herself nearly disabled by SSRIs. This is going to be long and i apologize. When i was 17-18 I smoked marijuana almost every day for 1-2 years. When I moved away to college I decided to "get my act together" and focus on school. I quit smoking cold turkey and this set the stage for a very frightening panic disorder leading me to quit school and move home becoming nearly agoraphobic for a few months. Obviously was depressed as well and spent my days sleeping to escape. After 3 months I went to the Doctor and started on Zoloft and within 2 months was back on my feet working full-time. Still had some anxiety but kept living. I stayed on Zoloft for 4 years from ages 18-22 and everything was fine. I felt emotionally cut-off but figured that was the price i had to pay to not have panic attacks. Also, I completely lost my sex drive. Because of these reasons (and my boyfriend calling me a zombie) I slowly tapered down to 25 mg and stayed on that for many months before quitting. For a few weeks after quitting a had annoying 'brain zaps' but nothing major, kept working full time and doing online college. I quit Zoloft in February 2015. Everything was fine until a year later when i started feeling 'not right'. It was during a very stressful time in my life. Working 65 hours a week and keeping good grades in very challenging nursing classes. I started feeling dizzy, off balance, pressure headaches, fatigued and a LOT of derealization (which I didn't even know was a thing at the time so I didn't know how to explain it. All i could say was massive brain fog). Not knowing what the heck was going on with me I went to the doctor after weeks and weeks of my symptoms persisting. I was told I had vertigo and tried motion sickness medicine (didn't help), I did physical therapy on my neck for months to relieve the headaches. They got better but i still felt so 'off'. Like something was missing, it almost felt like when i needed a cigarette after not smoking for 12+ hours but when i smoked it wouldn't help. Like my brain was just stuck in this weird dreamy fog. This feeling after 6 months was giving me anxiety related to my health. I knew something wasn't right but had NO idea. I mean, i thought it could be a brain tumor or something. It really started taking a toll on me. Finally, 6 months after these symptoms started my Doctor told me it was stress and seeing that I had a past history of Panic attacks he told me I needed my zoloft again or it could get out of control. Well, i certainly didn't want to relive my 'breakdown' of 2010 so I listened thinking, what the heck, if this doesn't help, then it isn't stress and its just one thing to cross of the list. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! This started a HORRIBLE HELLISH experience that I don't know if I can come back from. July 2016- Re-enstated zoloft after being off for 1.5 years. One dose of 25 mg sent me into constant panic within hours. I was pacing the house and out of nowhere I get intrusive mental suicidal images. Scared the pants off me and off to the ER i went the next day. The ER doctor told me to keep taking it. I told him there was NO way in hell I would ever take that pill again, It was that terrifying of an experience. I had to call off work and had major insomnia for a week. My body felt like it was physically vibrating on the inside. So after that experience I go back to my doctor and he puts me on Paxil. August 2016- Took paxil for 19 days. Each day I got worse and worse. I went from working and being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter to feeling no emotions except fear, despair and panic. I became horribly horribly depressed with akathisia. I had to quit my job. The intrusive thoughts were back and i was told to 'hang in there' by my doctor and that sometimes anxiety gets worse in the beginning. I was so confused because my first time on zoloft I had no start up effects that i remember. On paxil i lost my appetite, severe stomach pains, constant diarrhea, insomnia, akathisia, constant panic, intrusive thoughts, derealization, depersonalization, depression, crying, literally could not function. At this point my doctor wanted to UP the dose and I said no way! He then asked me if i wanted to go to a psych ward because my anxiety was getting out of hand. He told me to stop the paxil and gave me 90 pills of xanax. I tried the xanax 1 time. At this point i was so screwed up that 1/4 of a 0.25mg knocked me out and made me feel so depressed and like I didn't have it in me to even talk! Very sensitive. September 2016- got a referral to see a p-doc (symptoms got a little better for 2 weeks off paxil but came back with a vengance) intrusive thoughts and diarrhea went away. but was left with so many debilitating symptoms the worst was the derealization that i still didn't know how to explain. October 2016- Still having horrible symptoms, but now getting some vision changes as well (small sparkles of light in vision) saw p-doc who told me i could be bi-polar type 3. (what is that?! Anxiety runs strong in my family but not bi-polar and i wasn't having mood swings, I was catapulted into severe 24/7 anxiety HELL) November 2016- p-doc decided to start me on a low dose of celexa and buspar. I only made it 11 days on celexa before the akathisia and intrusive thoughts made me literally want to die. I added buspar on the 11th day and had a serotonin syndrome reaction with confusion, shivering, muscle jerking, goosebumps, severe anxiety, severe restlessness, zero sleep and felt like I was going to die at any given second. I have never felt so close to death in my life. My p-doc told me to quit taking everything and gave me Ativan. December 2016- p-doc doesn't know what to diagnose me with but wants to try an anticonvulsant (lamictal). I start lamictal and within 4 days my skin and eyes were burning, i had chills and a low grade fever and I freaked out because this drug can cause a deadly rash. This med also made my intrusive thoughts constant. I quit this drug and cried my eyes out for days not knowing what the hell has happened to me. I go back to the p-doc and she wants to try a liquid medication at a very low dose because I am so sensitive to everything. She said Prozac or Tegretol (another anticonvulsant) I told her i was too scared to start another SSRI, so i got Tegretol. Tegretol can also cause a LOT of deadly side effects such as a deadly skin rash, liver failure, aplastic anemia etc... I have NOT started taking the tegretol even though i was supposed to 2 weeks ago. However, i am STILL very sick from the lamictal. Holy Crap! In july i was a little dizzy with derealization and now i can't function! What i am guessing is that i was going through a protracted withdrawal from Zoloft and putting me back on it (and all these other things) just added to the fire. I feel like i am never going to get better. I just got engaged 2 days ago and cried because of how bad i've become and can't enjoy anything. My p-doc never even diagnosed me. She said i have some bi-polar traits because the SSRIs made me worse but she said it looks like severe anxiety and told me to take up to 4 ativan a day. I stay away from those because i don't need any further damage. I have been off any SSRI for about 6 weeks and the lamictal for 2 weeks. My symptoms are: Intrusive thoughts (never had before restarting zoloft) This is probably my absolute worst symptom. it is like my brain keeps trying to tell me there is danger but rationally i know there isn't any. unbelievable anxiety that isn't connected to anything. It is just here (my panic disorder of 2010 wasn't anywhere near this bad because the anxiety would end after the panic attack, this feels like constant) insomnia (never had before) cant focus on Anything/ poor concentration ( can't watch TV or lose myself in anything to distract myself) no appetite & GI problems that this creates Lost 20 pounds in the past 6 months, I have been drinking ensure plus to get in calories muscle tremors and twitches dizziness feeling disconnected seeing sparkles in vision every now and then derealization loss of pleasure, joy, contentment or any positive emotions depersonalization depression and crying (because of how drastically my life has changed) ruminations about what is happening to me not interested in anything feeling of doom terrible memory sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, commotion etc. my heart rate takes off whenever it feels like it fatigue zero sex drive ringing in ears sweaty & cold hands and feet and last but not least a fear that i am completely losing my mind. I know a lot of you have been through a lot. I don't know where else to turn. The doctors just made everything 1000x worse. I am currently not working and had to quit college. I don't feel like myself, i know i am in there deep down but all my symptoms debilitate me. Does this sound like an adverse reaction or have I all of a sudden developed a worse mental illness? I do not intend to go back to my p-doc or take any medications. I want my body to heal and go back to who i was 6 months ago. Does anyone please have any advice? I feel so alone and scared that i permanently screwed up my brain. If you are reading all of this thank you and bless you. I never even knew someone could feel so bad mentally and physically. I wish i would have never restarted zoloft in july. I don't know what to do. I need hope that this will get better.
  4. I would like to say hello and thank this website for giving me hope. I have spent the last few days reading a lot of the posts and have found them to be full of information and great advice. The success stories are wonderful to read. I have never been in a medical situation like this and I was feeling lost and alone until I found Surviving Antidepressants. I was put on Zoloft (50 mg then upped to 100mg) in February 2016 due to depression over a long-term illness that at that time was still un-diagnosed. I got a diagnosis for my illness in April of 2016. I was hospitalized for that illness both in April and March and it was eventually brought under control. Once I got home from the hospital (both times) I was very weak and I had very confused thinking. I had multiple at-home treatments and medications to keep track of. Somewhere in there I messed up my Zoloft and either went cold turkey or was only taking it intermittently, but did not realize it at the time. Starting in May and ramping up in June I had all sorts of symptoms, which nobody in the medical field could figure out, including me. I was put on Gabapentin (600mg then upped to 900mg) to help with the symptoms. My symptoms included headaches, nausea, feeling hot and sweating but having a low body temperature, as well as the feeling of internal tremors in arms and legs, and actual external tremors. I also had jerky arm movements. I had what I call “vertigo light”, the whole room didn’t spin, just the floor moved when I tried to walk; I felt like I was drunk. I had brain zaps, motion sickness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and pressure in the ears like when flying on a plane. My memory was also bad. After endless nights of searching the Internet with my symptoms I realized I had withdrawal. Counting the actual amount of pills in the bottle and looking at the day it was prescribed confirmed that I had not been taking my medication. Once I realized what was going on I contacted my psychiatrist and I went back on at 50mg, which was twelve days ago. A dosage that high might be a mistake after reading about “reinstating” here on this sight, I don’t know yet. Since reinstating the brain zaps and vertigo have disappeared, and the other symptoms have gone down in intensity, however I am getting them more frequently. I’m now getting them every day, for at least a few hours and sometimes all day. Before going back on Zoloft they were really brutal but only for a few hours at a time, none of this all day stuff. Klonopin seems to help however my psychiatrist has suggested that I use it sparingly, he said that the Gabapentin should be helping with the symptoms. By the way, I feel I have an excellent psychiatrist. He did warn me when he put me on Zoloft not to go off of it without talking to him first and that there was tapering involved. He also responds to my frequent and desperate e-mails on a timely basis. I do recognize though that I need to be proactive when it comes to my health. This is my first time with a drug in the SSRI class. At this moment my goal is to stabilize. Eventually I would like to get off, but right now I just want the physical symptoms to go away. By the way, the depression, which was acute in February, seems to have disappeared, both while on and off the Zoloft. I am open to opinions, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  5. This site is a go-to to reassure myself that others are traveling and have traveled this road. The discussions about emotional spirals (check) and anxiety, rumination and dread on waking up (check) and depression even worse than before medication (check) have been helpful. I am being extra mindful now of taking Mag powder in the morning and before bed. I started AA and kundalini yoga in mid-May which have both been helpful. Although I really didn't drink much, it was enough (and mostly alone, not social) and any depressant when you are coming off an antidepressant can't be helpful. Also, I changed from hatha/vinyasa yoga to kundalini yoga which is more focused on the spiritual component of yoga. I won't lie: at 4 months, I still fall daily into waves of depression and loneliness. But I do find that there are glimmers of happier times and I am getting clearer -- I hope -- about how to handle the tough times (for instance, I just now think that my beloved dog has a fever and am trying not to emotionally spiral -- ugh). I will be reading this site like mad just to remind myself that I am not alone. Farm Girl Works Tapered 75mg Sertraline March 2017 in 4weeks after 6 years mostly on with a few unsuccessful WD Stopped Sertraline April 1, 2017
  6. Hi. I'm new here. Here are the basics of my story. I had been on 150mg of Zoloft for 17 years for dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder. I decided to taper off, with the blessing of my pdoc. My depression and anxiety returned, and I had to not only increase the Zoloft to 200mg but add 1mg of Abilify (plus Konopin as needed). It's been a year and a half since the episode began and a year since starting Abilify. I'm feeling quite a bit better--I hardly ever take the Klonopin, and my pdoc said I can try doing without the Abilify. I just went 16 days at only 0.5mg of Abilify, but I'm feeling anxious and depressed again and bumped back up to 1mg. I'm so frustrated with the whole situation. I'm working hard to recover: I'm in weekly therapy, I run just about every day (3-6 miles), and I meditate almost daily. I don't want to come off the Zoloft, just the Abilify. Maybe I won't be able to, in which case I need to come to terms with that. Any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated.
  7. I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years. Previous 4 years or so I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this. I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged. I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't. One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.
  8. I've been on antipsychotics for nearly 20 years after I had a psychotic breakdown whilst I was taking an antedepressant and experiencing several major life stressors. I've tried to withdraw numerous times but have always become psychotic very quickly. My memory has been affected, I now have diabetes and my weight soared as I put on 10 stone. I'm here because several people recommended this site. I currently take 300mg amisulpride plus medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  9. Yes, it will feel like a miracle when it happens for you; and it will happen for you, it is just a matter of time. I want to get that out there first thing; it is my belief that we will all heal in time; it has happened for me and is continuing to happen and it will happen for you. Am I completely 100% done healing? No. Am I so, so much better? Oh yes! Now for some basics: Male, mid 50s, took zoloft for over 20 year, quit cold turkey 3.5 years ago, was off 5 months, thought I was relapsing, so started prozac for 3.5 months and then quit that cold turkey. Then I found S.A. and discovered what I was dealing with was not a relapse but withdrawal (and recovery). So yes, I did everything completely wrong and more than once! I am proof that given time we can heal. I currently just celebrated 30 months of being drug free. Now, how to begin to describe the inhumane torture that I have endured until very recently; not sure but I will try. I have gone through both the windows and waves pattern and the continuous misery pattern. I was one of those that suffered a great deal after quitting, but really got slammed at about 6 months off. At 1 year I was barely functioning; at 1.5 years I was still miserable, and at 2 years off I was wondering if I was doomed to endless suffering with no end. But now as I have hit the 2.5 year mark I feel as if I have turned the corner. Windows and waves general comprised the first year and then it became continuous misery for pretty much the next 6 to 12 months or more; and then back to windows and waves. My last serious wave was in months 25-26 and now finally what feels like solid progress the last month or so. I am hesitant to list symptoms because I know how much it use to scare me to read what others were going through; but on the other hand it really helped when a new symptom would start, because I knew it was part of the recovery process and not some disease or sickness, and most of these are gone or have become minimal although they lasted for months or years. And just because I experienced them does not mean that you will, we all have a very individual road to recovery; so here they are in no specific order: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, tremors and pain in the back of my legs and calves, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, extreme bloating and stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, feeling like a bomb had gone off in my head, floating head feeling, super-hot face, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite and weight loss, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, I could not read, listen to music, or meditate, heart palpitations, random traveling aching and stabbing pain throughout my body, headaches, and so many other symptoms that I can’t remember. The torture, pain, misery, suffering and utter despair was never ending…until it did finally start to end for me and it will for you too. Did anything help me along the way? I tried many things; acupuncture, vitamins and supplements, alpha-stim, gluten free diet, no sugar diet, no caffeine, no alcohol, and anything else I could do to try and feel better. Did it work? In a sense it all worked because it kept me focused on recovery and gave me hope when I had none, and the possibility that I might feel better. But time passing has been the real healing agent; although that was the last thing I wanted to hear when I was suffering so intensely. I did find that mindfulness, breathing exercises and physical exercise helped when all else failed and I was so truly desperate. Many hours were spent just trying to pay attention to my breath going in and out; and I still use this practice as a relaxation method. It also helped me greatly to visit this website daily as well as Benzo-Buddies. I read success stories for hours at a time, read the Bloom in Wellness facebook page each day and anything by Baylissa Frederick and also Don Killian. So, what remains for me? I still have tinnitus (although it has gotten much better over the last month), stomach bloating and pain on occassion, nerve pain, some brain zaps at night, fatigue and tiredness, and sleep issues. If I had to put some percentages on where I am at now I would say physically I am at about 85-90% healed and mentally/emotionally at 90-95% healed. I now eat anything that I choose although I eat as healthily as possible because I value life so much now and I want to live as long as possible; I exercise regularly and it feels wonderful; I enjoy caffeinated drinks including regular tea and coffee which I had given up for many months; I also drink wine and beer a couple times a week if I choose to and enjoy it. I am in the best shape since high school, and have lost 75 pounds (on purpose). Life is good again and just the simple things are more than enough to bring joy and happiness. So that is my story and I hope it will encourage you as you read it that you will recover and become yourself again. I remember reading similar statements in success stories and thinking, “Yea, right, that is easy for you to say, you are not suffering through this terrible hell right now!” And maybe you are thinking the same thing as I did, but please listen to my words; you will make it, you will recover, you will feel better, and you will join me in loving life once again; just please don’t give up or give in and keep going! As I sit here with a cup of coffee and contemplate what I have been through the last several years, it all seems so strange and foreign. Success stories promised that I would make it to recovery, and they were right, so now it is my turn to tell you that you will make it, “You will make it!”. Wishing everyone here all the best and a quick recovery. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to try and help. All my love. Pug
  10. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Hello, I’m new and I’m drowning. My husband of nearly 20 years told me a month ago that his love for me has faded away and he wants to separate (still loves and respects me but doesn’t love me ‘like that’). It was a huge huge shock. I didn’t see it coming (and neither did any of our friends or our 2 beautiful daughters, 18 and 20). I feel shattered into a million pieces and more heartbroken than I thought it was possible to be. I’ve thought of nothing else for the past month. He’s been on 100mg Sertraline for general anxiety for about 3 years and it was only after he told me that I went looking for answers and discovered the insidious relationship/attachment destroying nature of SSRIs. I’m now clinging to this as it ticks all the boxes for being the major cause of his loss of feelings. He definitely suffered from the sexual side effects (loss of desire/libido, inability to ejaculate) and it was this that both started my search and lead me down the rabbit hole of discovery about the other effects, and also convinced him that it was worth considering and tapering to see if that made a difference to his feelings. He’s not convinced it will. But he’s not convinced it won’t either (as evidenced by his easy willingness to taper). I showed him him all the evidence and he’s agreed to taper off the medication. Unfortunately before we found the detailed information on this site about tapering very very slowly (and the reasons why this is so important) he self-tapered from 100 to 75mg about 3 weeks ago. He says he hasn’t had any WD symptoms so far but also doesn’t feel any different. Our situation is complicated because a week or two before he told me he wanted out he met another woman. So far he tells me this is just an emotional connection because they’ve agreed they can’t ‘do anything’ until he’s sorted his marriage out. Even though he’s agreed to taper and see if that makes a difference to his feelings for me, he refuses to stop talking to and seeing her on the weekends he comes ‘home’ (he works and stays 3 hours away during the week and is usually ‘home’ most weekends). This is very odd behaviour and especially odd for him. He genuinely doesn’t see anything inappropriate about seeing her because in his mind ‘we’re separated’... even though our finances are still combined, his toothbrush is still in our bathroom, his clothes are still in our wardrobe etc etc and he has still slept in our bed when he returns. This is incredibly out of character for him and another reason I think the medication is effecting his ability to think rationally. So, I am here to seek support. I feel like I’m in a small boat in huge seas and my only course of action is to batten down the hatches and ride out this storm. It is truly truly terrifying. But I truly love this man. We have a GOOD marriage and I know he loves me (he still says so). I just want my husband and my marriage and my life back. Not sure that’s possible. And I know it will be different. But I must fight for it. No other option for me.
  12. Hello all, long time reader first time poster. Firstly I just wanted to say how awesome it is to have such a place to go and receive help for what can only be described as a nightmare that thousands of people seem to go through. So here is my story which I will end with a few questions I have. As you can see from my signature, I was placed on 50mg of Sertraline (Zoloft) in September 2009. This is when my life was turned upside down. I was originally placed on this drug because I visited my local doctor comlaining about some anxiety that I was getting after I drank alcohol. I must say that for a period of about 8 years I was a heavy binge drinker. I was a typical 18 year old who went out every weekend and got blind drunk with his mates. This was obviously starting to take its toll on me once I hit 25 years of age and that is why I visited my doctor. Well I was in there for a total of about 10 minutes before he prescribed me 50mg of Zoloft telling me this would help with taking the edge off of my anxiety. I did what he suggested and this was the worst mistake of my life. I returned to the doctor within 10 days of starting 50mg complaining of the worst symptoms (severe agitation, anxiety and now depression). Unfortunatley I could not see the original doctor so I saw another doctor there at the time. He said I must need a higher dose and that 100mg was the normal dose he puts his patients on. He also prescribed valium to me (which I took a couple of times). The next 3 months of my life was like a horror film. I became suicidal with severe symptoms that I had never experienced before going on the drug. I seem to settle after about 3 months, but it must be said I never was without symptoms, but they were less severe. Around 12 months after starting the drug, I began to get more severe symtoms. I returned to the doctor and he once again up'd my dosage to 150mg. The next 3 months were a nightmare again, severe agitation etc. For the next 6 years I floated between 100mg and 150mg. I spent thousands of dollars on therapy to treat an apparent panic disorder; although I didn't mind the therapist, the information we went through just didn't seem to apply to me i.e. I wasn't thinking any of the ways he was suggesting was causing my symptoms. It wasn't until I started looking into more natural ways and researching antidepressants that I realised that maybe the drug could be the problem! Lightbulb moment! I have read a lot of books from authors like Peter Breggin, Joseph Glenmullen, etc. which I am sure most of you have read. I also have been doing a lot of work with a nutritionist. I had a 23andme test done and found out a couple of interesting points. I have a COMT gene mutation which means I break down adrenaline and dopamine slower and I also have a mutation in another gene which I can't remember the name of which means I break down serotonin slower. What this actually suggests to me and my nutritionist agrees is that I may have been quite toxic with levels of serotonin which was causing serotonin syndrome. Alot of my symptoms were a mirror image of serotonin syndrome (agitation etc.). So as you can see from my signature, I began tapering in February 2016. My problem now is that I seem to have hit a huge brick wall. I may have tapered a little fast and was hit with severe withdrawal symptoms which have not gone away. I have been holding at my current dose of 60mg for almost 4 months now. This past 4 months has been the worst 4 months of my life. It started with severe symptoms like pounding headaches, vomitting, insomnia, not being able to sit still (severe agitation) as well as some depression. It has progressed from there to now being just severe depression. I am not depressed about anything in particular other than the way I feel. It is like I am completely numb with emotions aside from being really upset. I have no appetite and really struggle to get through each day. I am very fatigued and lack motivation to do the most basic of things. I am pushing through it as best I can still working fulltime and excercising a couple of times a week plus playing golf on the weekend. I must say that I have a great life. I love my job, I have a beautiful wife and young son (8 months) and honestly have everything to live for. It is just these horrendous symptoms are ruining it all. So finally to my questions and looking for advice from some veterans on here. What should I do next? Should I continue to hold at 60mg until things get better, or should I continue at a 10% taper and see if things get worse or perhaps better? From previous drops, I seem to have a period of improvement on symptoms for about 2-4 weeks, and then it begins to decline until I drop again. I am not sure whether that means I should keep reducing or slow down. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
  13. Hello everyone, first of all, I wanna thank everyone in this forum for giving me hope and for making me feel less alone. After being AD free for exactly 3 weeks today, I decided to create my own profile so I could tell my story and update you on my journey towards recovery. Let's start with the basics: female, mid-twenties, working and studying at the same time. I've suffered from anxiety and panic issues my whole life, so I guess it wasn't a surprise when I finally developed OCD when I was a teenager (health related obsessions are my the most persisting obsessions, so I guess you could say I suffer from hypochondria as well). Specialists have 'officially' diagnosed me with OCD, anxiety disorder (not specified which one apart from OCD) and, as of late, depression (but we'll get to that in a minute). July 2015 I was prescribed Seroxat 20 mg (Paxil) because I was severely impaired due to my anxiety disorder and OCD. It seemed to work like magic! Life was so much better for a year or so: my obsessions returned to being just thoughts that I could easily ignore, I hung out with friends and family a lot more, I could get outside of my house without feeling panicky, my work life was SO much better, I didn't feel as anxious... I didn't suffer from any major side effects, apart from weight gain. My psychiatrist never warned me that coming off the meds would be so hard. He never mentioned withdrawal, or discontinuation syndrome. I expressed him my concerns about being on the drug for a long time (my common sense told me you aren't supposed to be on this medication for a long period of time). He asked me if I was having any major side effects from taking it, I said no, he said: "then why the hurry? you will be able to come off of it once you're feeling better." *sigh* So I took it for 3 years... I went to him one other time to tell him that, whenever I missed my dose for one day, I'd get really weird head sensations that I'd never experienced before (now I know it's the famous BRAIN ZAPS!), alongside nausea. He said that this was a normal thing that happens when you stop taking the medication, but he said I was probably very sensitive to Seroxat and that's why it happened after only one day of not taking it. Since my symptoms went away once I took my normal dose again, I never thought much of it. So, fast forward to February 2018: I was sick and tired of taking meds. Yes, I wasn't feeling especially bad while being on them, but I just had the feeling that I'd been taking them for long enough and I genuinely thought it wouldn't make a difference on my mental health to stop taking them, since I felt stable (albeit a bit anxious, that's why i thought meds weren't doing anything anymore). I wasn't living in the same country anymore, so seeing my psychiatrist wasn't possible. Now, this is the part where I understand I messed up: I started tapering, but I did it as I pleased, basically. I know now that this was EXTREMELY irresponsible. I wish I had informed myself better, and I also wish my doctor hadn't given me the impression that SSRI's are not difficult to get off. I didn't follow a schedule, I just tried listening to my body: I went from taking 20mg each day, to taking 20 mg one day, 10 mg the next, then 20 mg. the next (I don't know if I'm explaining myself: for example; Monday 20 mg, Tuesday 10 mg, Wed. 20 mg, Thursday, 10 mg... and so on). Once I was done doing it (I did indeed feel a bit more anxious and suffered from brain zaps and nausea for a while, but it went away), I reduced the meds again and took 20 mg. every other day. I followed this last routine for at least 3/4 months and, even though I felt worse, it was still manageable. I suffered from nausea, derealization and brain zaps for a while, but they eventually went away. July 2018 (5/6 months after 'tapering') I decided to take it to the next level: I'd take 10 mg. every day. After 2 weeks of following that routine, I took 10 mg. every other day. Now, that was the point when withdrawal showed its ugly head: derealization, panic attacks, anxiety for no reason, obsessions, brain zaps, nausea and nightmares begun. This was end july-beginning of august. I went back on them (10 mg. a day), and symptoms definitely alleviated. A month later, I tried again - I tried stopping taking them completely at a point in my life where I had a lot of changes coming up (moving countries, change in job, last year of uni, quitting birth control meds...), and that's when hell broke loose. I now feel so bad about it, I wish I had made things differently I don't understand how I could act so irresponsibly. What happened was, I suffered a major OCD relapse, anxiety was present 24/7. I tried going on Seroxat again, 20 mg. for a month, following my psychiatrists orders (I was back in my country, so I contacted him immediately). It didn't seem to work (although my nightmares stopped). This relapse was so bad I started suffering from really bad depression. My psychiatrist told me to be patient. He said Seroxat would start working at some point. After a month of taking Seroxat and seeing no improvement, my new therapist suggested I started treatment with this other psychiatrist. I was so desperate, I went to see him. After hearing my whole story, this new psych. told me that Seroxat wasn't working for me anymore. He prescribed Sertraline/Zoloft (100 mg.). I followed his instructions, and so I went from 20 mg. of Seroxat daily, to 10 mg. daily for a week, then stopping it completely the next. I started Zoloft 50 mg. while tapering off Seroxat. After one week, I went from 50 mg. Zoloft to 100. IT WAS HELL: agitation, panic attacks (yes, even more panic attacks!), vivid dreams (I had never experienced something like that before, EVER), suicidal ideation (sorry)... those were the most prominent symptoms. I waited a month to see if it improved: it never did, even though I tried everything - changing the time I took the meds, taking a lower dose (all of this by doctor's orders). He finally told me that Zoloft wasn't working for me either, and told me to taper off of it (quickly...). He then said to wait for a week without any meds to see how I was feeling. After I week I'd start taking Fluvoxamine / Luvox (yet another med!). This was 4 weeks ago. 3 weeks ago I completely went off the meds, as instructed, and never dared to try fluvoxamine. I've already gone through enough. I feel so upset because no doctor actually thinks this is real. Yes, he told me AD discontinuation happens, and yes, he said Paxil is one of the harder drugs to quit, but he said the discontinuation syndrome would only last for 3 or 4 days! How delusional can they be? I told my doctor about this, expressed him my concerns about still being in withdrawal and he said that I should try going back to Seroxat, 5 mg. I still haven't followed his advice. What do you think I should do? I'm already 3 weeks in recovery from AD... So, how do I feel now? Here's a list of my main symptoms: When I stopped taking Seroxat and I begun taking Sertraline, daily vivid dreams started. My doctor thought it was a side effect of taking Zoloft, but I believe it's a side effect from Seroxat withdrawal, since I already had a taste of them when I tried tapering off of Seroxat a few months prior to this. Also, I did cross taper, so I started taking Sertraline when I was weaning myself off Seroxat. I still suffer from them almost every day. I wake up with an emotional hungover that lasts for hours. I sometimes hear loud sounds that aren't really there while drifting off to sleep or when I wake up. Sounds like bangs, alarm clocks... Doctor says it's stress, I say it's withdrawal. Nocturnal panic attacks / panic in dreams: I wake up with my heart racing and a feeling of impending doom (I take a small dose of a benzodiazepine most nights to help me sleep at least a little. I know it's not the best thing to do, but I had no other choice, believe me.) This had never happened to me before all of this withdrawal process. Fewer hours of sleep. It's not drastic, but I do sleep fewer hours. 6 hours a day more or less. Brain zaps. These were most intense during the first week and a half of quitting Sertraline. I still have them, but they aren't as intense and the frequency has also decreased A LOT (like 70%). Feeling dizzy. This symptom is the one that bothers me the least. It happens rarely and the intensity is low. It started happening to me on week 2. Hyperarousal. This, alongside vivid dreaming, is the worst symptom for me. This manifests itself in the form of agitation, suddenly feeling panicky, feeling the adrenaline inside my body all of a sudden. Increased obsessions. This is basically my OCD coming back, full force. Irritability. I become aggresive for absolutely NO reason! I don't act on those feelings, of course, but I sometimes scream at people or give them a bad attitude because of stupid reasons. I immediately apologize like a minute later, because I know I overreacted. Mood swings - including crying spells, intense feelings of depression and hopelessness. I am experiencing windows and waves at this point, to be honest. I didn't think it was really a thing until I started experiencing it for myself. This gives me hope... What am I doing to help myself? I'm starting meditation. I'm also starting EFT tapping. I'm trying to slowly eat healthier. I'm moving my body for at least 45 min. a day (gentle exercising, such as swimming slowly or walking). I've tried acupuncture... I'm unsure of its efficacy. Thank you so much for reading my story. I'm so grateful for this site. If you have any questions, I'm here for you
  14. Hi there, these are some of the details, and I promise it has a good ending: I have a prolactinoma (period stopped, hormones were off) so the endocrinologist gave me bromocriptine to shrink the tumor so I could get the period back and get pregnant. I took it for about 10 months and he said once I got pregnant to just go cold turkey with the meds. So I did and experienced a very mild withdrawl (though I didn't know that's what it was at the time) and about a year and a half after I gave birth I had my gall bladder removed. Gall bladders have a lot to do with breaking down things you ingest. Well, I took one pill, one tiny little bromocriptine pill because the doctor said I should just take bromocriptine forever, and I think it was the fact that I no longer had a gall bladder or that I had had a previous reaction to an SSRI, but I here are the details: Reaction/Withdrawl to Zoloft (sertraline) July 2016 was onset - palpitations, sinus issues, constant panic, paranoia, vertigo, fatigue, the shocks in the head - lasted full-strength for about 6 weeks and then started to calm down slowly - 3 month after onset I was kind of emotionally and psychologically tired but the symptoms were gone and I was able to drink alcohol and coffee again Reaction/Withdrawl to Bromocriptine (dopamine agonist) January 2017 was onset - sinus issues, constant panic, paranoia, vertigo, fatigue, depersonalizationm, extreme tinitus, loss of concentration, burning scalp, major brain fog - these symptoms all lasted full force for about 6 months. Then it began to get better and slowly got better for about a year and a bit. Then finally, at about 20 months after onset the horrific brain fog finally went away - exactly 2 years after onset I still have tinitus now and then and I have some residual anxiety-related issues, as well as PTSD from the whole situation, but I can enjoy my life again. I still can't drink more than a glass of wine with dinner, or have any caffeine, but I'm myself again. I came back on here because I want all of you to know that it's a waiting game. I'll admit there were a couple of months during the cold, harsh, dark Canadian winter (at 12 months after onset) where I wondered whether I had it in me to keep fighting, but I did keep fighting, and it got better. I can look at the sun again, feel sunshine and like it, I can feel happiness without really focusing on trying to feel it, the horrible brain fog and insomnia that plagued my life are basically gone. I can drive around again. If I lose sleep, it's no big deal. I can only describe those 2 years, the worst 2 years of my life, as the feeling of all of the bad things that have ever happened to me, but instead of them happening over 30-something years, being multiplied by 2 and rolled into 2 years. But it gets better. Things I did to help me cope: - I got as much fresh air as I could - I went out and did stuff even if it hurt. Now, I can't remember the pain of it all, but I do have nice memories of things I did with people. Nearly drove me insane but I did it - guzzled night time tea every two hours to keep the panic down - along with the tea took Holy Basil caps - along with those took L-Theanine tablets, those were amazing. I used to down them like mentos. Truly helpful. - when the night-time tea started making me feel bad I switched to Chamomille - got as much excersize as I could; you have to sweat - read success stories; you have to keep your hope alive - stay active; the withdrawl is going to be there no matter what you do Something that helped me a lot was that I wrote a novel. I got some serious flow out of that, so my suggestion is to find something you love that is work but is also enjoyable, because at some point you're going to crawl out of the haze and I can tell you that it feels good to have something to show for all the pain you went through. It will feel like a lifetime will go by before you are through this, but you will get through it, and it will feel amazing. All the posts that talked about bromocriptine withdrawl said it was 2 years from onset to full recovery, and that has been the case with me too. Not 100% recovered yet, at 24 months, but pretty dang close. So, if that's what you took, then yah, at 20/21 months I was feeling like it was never going to end but then all of a sudden the fog finally lifted and I could experience happiness the way I used to and it was an incredible feeling. I even went to a concert and was totally fine with the noise. Anyways, all the best to any readers out there, and don't lose hope.
  15. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  16. Hello: I am new to this forum. I am tapering zyprexa. I was put on 10 mg in the hospital at the beginning of December. In the first week of January, I cut down to 8.50, then 7.5. for 10 days. Right now I am at 6.25 mg, and have been at that level for 1 week. They decided to put me on zoloft in the hospital as it "works fast" the doctors said, and is being used "until the zoloft kicks in". I am very impatient to get off zyprexa, and figured if I join your group, I would get support from people to help me be patient and wait enough time between cuts. Still figuring out how to do the signature. Will add it when I do. I am also on a whopping dose of 200 mg Zoloft, also given in the hospital. Before that, I had been 6 months free of Zoloft after tapering it for at least 3 years or even more. It was a huge disappointment to end up in the hospital and to have to go on it again.
  17. Hi everyone, beware! My story is very long, I’m mostly just sharing my experience in hopes that anyone else this has happened to knows they’re not alone or crazy despite what they’re doctor says and it’s reassuring to know people have experienced this and recovered. i am new to this site so i am still getting the hang of how things work! i am a 21 year old female, a mother of two beautiful babies and married to a very amazing supportive and kind husband. Approximately two and a half weeks ago both of my children (2 yrs old and 10 months old) came down with croup, a common illness in children that causes inflammation and restricts the airways sometimes making it difficult for them to breathe. So naturally, like any mother, i became very anxious and when my son was struggling to catch a breath i began having a panic attack. i have had panic attacks in the past (maybe once a year if that?) and they never lasted longer than a few minutes at a time. Well in the middle of this panic attack i remembered that my OB had prescribed me 50 mg Zoloft after id had my daughter just Incase i were to have post partum depression because I’d had it after having my son. (It had been a very dark two months of crying spells and feeling hopeless. I’d taken Prozac for the PPD and found it odd but also great that only a few doses brought me right out of the ppd so quickly when they said it’d take a few weeks to even work, so i never took any again after that week and was fine ever since!) Typically i only take medication as a last resort, even Tylenol. i will not take it unless i absolutely need it, but in the middle of this panic attack i told myself i could take it for a few days to help me the way the Prozac did. 😑 So i took it, determined it would help me. I had just finished a z pack the day before that (I’d been sick with my children) and i now know that z pack and Zoloft have a moderate reaction together. Anyways, i awoke the next morning with my heart racing and i sweating and i could not sit still to save my life. Just pacing around the entire house standing up and then sitting back down but no matter what i did nothing could calm me down or relax me. I felt like i had just smoked a ton of crack or something! My mind was racing and there was this burning sensation beginning in my chest and just spreading and shooting through my extremities. It was constant but would intensify in waves, the panic attacks were constant too, I’ve seen alot of people who say they thought they were having a heart attack while feeling this way but i knew this wasn’t that, i knew immediately that this was from the Zoloft. But i was sure this was it, i had destroyed my brain, i was on the verge of losing it completely. But at this point I️ got horrible pains in my stomach and (TMI) i began having diarrhea followed by complete loss of appetite. My mom had come over and ended up taking me and my two kids to work with her because i was terrified to stay home alone with the kids while my husband was at work. This continued for the next three days. I became a zombie just completely consumed by my own thoughts, like there was a war going on in my own head. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, the ONLY emotions i had were dread, fear and hopelessness. I broke down when my son was looking for my approval when he did something funny and i couldn’t even force a smile. I couldn’t feel a single bit of happiness, excitement or anything towards other people even my freaking children. My mom took me to my doctor, my HR was 162 and i don’t remember my blood pressure but it was higher than normal but not dangerous and i explained everything going on and watched as he wrote down that i had general anxiety disorder and panic disorder (which is not true at all) and told me that one dose could not effect me. I began crying and told him that this WAS NOT ME. Ive never been so unstable and i told him three days ago i was completely functional and perfectly fine!!!!!! Of course I’ve struggled in the past with some depression and anxiety when things happened like a family member dying or after having a babyAfter explaining this he said maybe i am a low cyp2 producer or something like that and wrote me a prescription for Xanax to stop the panic attacks and to come back in one month. And we could look into other SSRIs 😂 yeah SURE. I didn’t even need them in the first place!! i left feeling a little better about having something that should calm me down but freaked out again when the Xanax did nothing. My heart was STILL racing, my mind wasn’t slowing down, the burning was still there in my chest but physically my body felt heavier and slower. I ended up going to the ER the next day when nothing changed where the doctor denied blood work at first and asked if I’d like to see a psychiatrist. I was mostly calm while explaining everything to her but I could just see in her face she didn’t believe a word i was saying. She told me Zoloft couldn’t do something like this and that it was just me. She was, and i quote, “98%, actually 99% sure that this is not the medication doing this.” Then proceeded to tell me maybe i am just now beginning to exhibit symptoms of panic disorder because some people don’t exhibit any symptoms until they’re in their twenties and then used PSYCHIZOPHRENIA as a freaking example 😡 and then that’s what began the intrusive thoughts. I left the hospital feeling more hopeless (aside from the random nurse who came and told me that Jesus loves me on my way out, that was encouraging) than before. I started convincing myself i was just losing my mind and it terrified me, what if i snap and hurt my kids? What if i black out and try to kill myself? What if i hurt my husband? Y’all, my family is everything to me and these thoughts were KILLING ME. The worst things i could think of just kept running through my mind over and over. Just as i was about to have my mom take me to a facility where i could be monitored or get some help or anything because i was so afraid i would just lose my mind, i got my first window. It was the first bit of hope i had felt since it all happened! And then i knew, what is happening, is not me. I finally had the ability to get out of my damn head for a little bit and i began googling and googling every single thing i was experiencing. By discovering that this exact same thing has happened to so many other people gave me great comfort, not that anyone else having to go through this is comforting but that IM NOT ALONE AND I AM NOT GOING CRAZY!!! So currently it has been 2 weeks and 4 days. The only remaining side effects are loss of appetite and waves of anxiety which trigger intrusive thoughts followed by depression. I still get some windows and distractions help a lot. But mornings are extremely hard, i wake up anxious and depressed and it takes a while to calm myself down, reading a lot of other people’s stories helps me to relax some. Driving around helps a lot too and sun light makes me feel much better. I’m hoping since it was only a single dose that i will fully be back to my regular self soon since thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and I’d love to have my appetite back so i can enjoy the food!! I guess the only plus side I’ve found to all of this is i will have a much greater appreciation for life after overcoming this and i lost 12 pounds lol i just really hope to enjoy my baby girls first Christmas with her too. Three weeks ago i loved mornings, waking up before the kids and having my coffee and enjoying tv waiting for them to get up and come play. Now i dread mornings and have constant mom guilt because i feel as though i have been failing them. I think the hardest thing has been the intrusive thoughts, it absolutely terrifies me when i have them. It just blows my mind how carelessly they prescribe this medication to people. I feel so stupid for not feeling the need to research or check what I’m actually taking and what it can do to me. I just always trusted that doctors wouldn’t prescribe anything to you that could hurt you, i know there are a lot of good doctors out there but i feel like they should be more careful with this stuff. I mean both the doctors i saw gave me a list of benzos to choose from and i just looked at them like they were crazy both times. Im not touching any of that crap again. I’ve even looked into anti biotics and those are even dangerous too!!!!
  18. David182

    David182: hello all

    Hello everyone, I’d like to start off by saying thank you. The people of this forum have inspired much hope and understanding in the ways of antidepressant medication. I am grateful. I’ve been on Zoloft since the spring of 2015. Things had been going wonderfully well. I felt like myself but disconnected/ unplugged just enough to cope far better. Better mood, alertness and mental focus were a nice change of pace. Around the end of May 2017 I’d been taking BCAAs for working out for around 2 months. One Sunday, after lifting weights and mowing the yard I took a nap and woke up feeling off. I had low blood sugar issues for about a day, I couldn’t handle warm temperatures, couldn’t sleep well, and suffered hot flashes for the next few days. For a while I though I was sick. I took an lorazepam one evening (3 days later) and an extra zoloft because of horrible anxiety. I countinued to take my now double dose with my doctor’s permission. The next 6 weeks were h*ll. I had no idea Zoloft could do such things since I had no negative effects when I started. I could write a novel (as I’m sure we all could) but I’ll try and hit the main points. About week 6 I stabilized. I hadn’t found this site yet so many mistakes were made. i only stayed at 100mg for a week or so before I jumped to 75mg (I felt too apathetic about things, needed to lower). By this point I realized it was the Zoloft causing my problems. The next few weeks were quite uncomfortable but things went really bad when working out on the 3rd week caused me to crash...hard!! I switched doctors as I couldn’t seem to get anywhere with my other one. My new P.A diagnosed me with serotonin syndrome (a short 3 day stint of trazadone while doubling my dose no doubt contributed, different doctor) she dropped me from 75mg to 25mg of Zoloft. I felt so much better and for the next two weeks got to the point of feeling amazing. Then week three came and some light cardio pushed me over the edge and I crashed again. I also noticed I would have horrible low blood sugar issues for a day or two after crashing. after a week of misery. I bumped my dose to 50mg (I found this site by then). I felt immediate improvement. I began to heal but also began feeing strong sensations of numbness/ pins and needles in my hands and feet, weakness also. I am currently 7 weeks at 50mg. I’ve been struggling with tight & weak calves / ankles since, sporadic internal tremors and fatigue. Had back spasms for a bit about a week ago but not since. I’ve begun to sleep better in the past few weeks (7 hours on a good night but not consistently). I typically wake up around 5-6 hours after falling asleep but I don’t NEED medicine to help me fall asleep anymore (a few months of needing it). I would rather keep this short but I want you all to know my history. I saw a psychiatrist tonight at the recommendation of my PA (she was surprised when my reinstatement actually helped, she was convinced I hadn’t dropped too low too fast. She is a wonderful PA and God worked through her, saved my life when I had serotonin syndrome.) The psychiatrist on the other hand... I have mixed feelings. I flat out refused any other medication. She believes my first incident was serotonin syndrome. Maybe so? BCCA actually inhibit triptophan uptake but then again my workout protein powder did have triptophan in it (I have quit taking all workout supplements months ago). The psychiatrist also thinks I’m suffering from serotonin syndrome now. (Currently weakness in legs, pins and needles in hands and feet, stiff feeling calves and maybe hands, hands and feet more susceptible to being cold) what do do you all think? Do I continue to continue to tough it out at 50mg? Is this a sign my body is too sensitized for this dose? (I was at 25mg for one month before reinstating to 50mg) I will work on my signature as soon as I figure out how to do it. Thank you for your time. I trust you all more than the medical “professionals”
  19. Hey! I recently switched from pills to liquid form Sertraline. I took 1ml (20mg) liquid today and 1-2 hours later i get hard to controll to anxiety, almost went in to a anxiety attack. Should hold on to do this switch since it easier to taper liquid or should i switch back to pills? Im very sensitive to meds. Regards L
  20. 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
  21. Hello! Im suspecting that antidepressant (or maybe any substance) is less potent in liquid than pill form. When i was on Lexapro (Escitalopram) i tried liquid form, the exact same dose, even though this I experienced more anxiety, and my cognitive ability began to increase (that's when I know the dose is lowered, because they screw up my mental ability). Fast forward. Half year ago i wanted to switch to a less potent ssri, so i went for Zoloft. Eventually i tried liquid form. I went from the same manufacturer, from pill to liquid. And also this time i experienced anxiety, panic attacks, increased mental ability. Which tells me that it somehow is less effective, so I went back to pill form Zoloft, then I was alright. Both time, if I recall correctly I mixed these liquids with water, stirred around and then drank it. I would love to have liquid instead of pill form, so i dont have to weigh it, because it is less time consuming with liquid, and less messy. Anyone know if im doing something wrong, or why it is like this?
  22. Scotty

    Scotty

    Drug History 2002 - Started Zoloft 100mg. Gradually reduced to 50mg, intending to come right off. 2009 - Went back up to 100mg - no ill effects. 2011 - Began slowly reducing again. 2017- Down to 25mg. October 2017- Dose increased to 50mg. I started taking Sertraline 100mg in 2002 because I’d developed panic disorder after a stressful mature-age college course. The medication worked immediately and continued to help me - I was well for 7 years with no anxiety. I gradually reduced to 50mg, but in 2009 went back up to 100mg with no ill effects during a life crisis. In 2011 I determined to come off again and began reducing very slowly with no ill effects. By October 2017 I was down to 25mg. I went to my GP to get a counselling referral. I was quite well with no anxiety, but she advised me to go back up to 50mg to mop up any underlying depression I might have. So I did - one of the worst decisions of my life! Within 24 hours I developed horrible symptoms... terrifying anxiety/dysphoria, palpitations, severe insomnia. I was certain they were caused by the increased dose of sertraline but my GP denied that this was possible ‘on such a small dose’. She said I woud soon adjust. So I stupidly continued to take it for 2 more weeks before another doctor in the practice told me to go back to my normal dose immediately. I was expecting that I would then return to ‘normal’ but I did not - instead I continued to suffer bouts of toxic anxiety as well as the other symptoms. I consulted other GPs and a psychiatrist - all reluctant to link my symptoms to the increased meds and instead going with the ‘pure anxiety’ diagnosis. Recently I found a GP who was willing to listen and referred me to a psychiatrist who tested me positive for clonus and hyperreflexia. He said that on the basis of these together with my other symptoms I definitely have non-acute sertraline syndrome. Although it is unusual, he thought it was triggered by the increased dose of medication in my system. He told me to titrate down fortnightly in 5mg increments using a solution. However when I got down to 15mg last week I soon developed withdrawal symptoms including ataxia, burning, nausea. But then yesterday I started to feel much better - almost normal! So this is my dilemma. I’m told that serotonin syndrome disappears soon after the medication is withdrawn. If that’s the right diagnosis then I should follow the 5mg taper and get off as soon as possible. But if this quicker rate gives me severe withdrawal then I should stick to the much slower 10% monthly regime - thereby possibly prolonging the agony. What to do? Can’t go forward, can’t go back! I’m so confused. I’d appreciate any help the forum can give me.
  23. I am a 27 years old man. I was on sertraline 100mg for about 8 years. While being on the medication I could not attain penile erection. Tried to have sex with my girlfriend multiple times but failed everytime. My penis felt unresponsive to any sexual stimulus. This was very distressing and hence I stopped taking the medicine by slowly tapering it off. It has been 10 months since I last ingested the medicine but the sexual dysfunction is persistent. I still cannot attain erection and in an addition I have been facing the problem of severe premature ejaculation since I stopped taking the SSRI.Moreover, my memory has been highly affected by the drug. I struggle to remember everyday things. I cannot concentrate. I don't feel emotions. It feels like I am dead from inside. And I almost always feel a burning sensation in my brain. The drug has profoundly impacted my brain functions. I am very helpless right now. My life has become an unbearable tragedy. I don't know what I should do now. I am in a long distance relationship with a girl who wants to marry me. I am desperate to have a family. But I am afraid to go further given my condition. I am completely helpless and somehow surviving the distress caused by PSSD. I am eagerly waiting to hear from my peers in this forum.
  24. Slartibartfastlost

    Slartibartfastlost: 10 Years of ADs

    Hey everyone. 10 years ago in 2008 I was diagnosed with depression and put on 40mg of Celexa while I was in the army. 6 years ago after I had left the army for 2 years I was diagnosed with depression again and was switched to 150mg of Zoloft. I've tried tapering off of my medications in the past, but either the withdrawal symptoms were too strong or I assumed that I was having a relapse. I started tapering March of this year (2018). I saw my doctor for support on dealing with the symptoms of tapering in September. They put me on 1g of folic acid and 500mg of tryptophan and had me alternate my doses when going to a new dose. In november they had me alternating one day of 12.5mg of Zoloft and one day of nothing for a week before telling me to stop Zoloft. As y'all can imagine it didn't go well and my head was spinning for a week. They had me go back to one day on one day off of 12.5mg, but by this point my body was consistently agitated in the mornings, I had become hypersensitive to caffeine and anxiety had crawled itself all over me. After reading all of the information in the site I've decided to heed the advice here and assume that my doctor knows literally nothing about getting off of antidepressants. I am currently taking 8.75mg of Zoloft dissolved in water, 2g of omega 3 and 800mg of ashwagandha. I will be tapering the Zoloft by 1.25mg each time as I've diluted the drug 2:1 and my oral syringe's smallest measurement is 2.5ml. Since I stopped the tryptophan and folic acid and started taking the drug daily again my body seems to have stabilized and my physical symptoms abated, though the general anxiety is still present. I am currently seeing a therapist whom has given me a lot of tools to work with and help stabilize myself when my brain is trying to feed me the anxiety. During my tapering journey I have also experienced: dizziness, brain zaps, mood swings, flu like symptoms, depression, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and paranoia. I hadn't ever thought that it could be the drugs but before I went into the army learning and reading were some of my favorite past times. After I left the army both of the activities were much more difficult for me to do. I had assumed it was a result of me getting older, but after my taper was down to 50-25mg suddenly I was able to think much more clearly. I started experiencing the full breadth of emotions instead of what I had thought was normal for the past ten years which turned out to be the equivalent of black and white tv. I'm really happy that I finally decided to push through the withdrawal symptoms and come back to reality (or at least what feels like it). I want to thank everyone on the site for being essentially the only place to have actual information for getting of of these drugs. Without it I'd still be struggling while my doctor waits for me to "relapse" and tell me they told me so. My hope is that by adding my story here it may help someone going through a similar situation find this place and get the information they need.
  25. Hi everyone. I've been browsing this site for a couple of years and thought I'd finally join. I'd love to be able to talk with others about what I'm going through. I'm only 22 but I've pretty much been through every hell imaginable in terms of SSRI use (I started when I was 5--not by choice, obviously). It really frustrates me because I never even chose myself to go on these medications, I had very bad tantrums and anxiety as a small child and a psychiatrist put me on them. As I got older, instead of being told to get therapy and try getting off them, she just kept raising the dosage. By age 12 I was on the maximum dose even though my problems weren't that severe. I remember being in middle school gaining weight, feeling tired CONSTANTLY, just not feeling like a kid at a ll, and at the time no one thought that the medication could be the reason for it. It's so upsetting because I feel as though my entire life up until this point has been taken from me and Ill never experience what it's like to be young and happy. Like I said I never showed depressive symptoms before the medication but as the dose was raised I would occasionally get depression symptoms. When I was 15/16 I was switched to celexa which actually "worked" quite a bit better for me, I lost a lot of weight and felt energetic and motivated, but by the time I was 18 I really wanted off of these drugs that weren't even my choice to go on. However, as I learned the hard way psychiatrists don't have a good understanding of what's required for a successful taper. I was then on 40mg, and she lowered it all the way to 30, and then quickly after that to 20. This all happened right before I went away to university for the first time, so it was just horrible timing. My first month of college I noticed I began to feel severe chest pain. I didn't know what was happening and it was very scary. My entire freshman year I essneitllay spent in severe burning pain all across my chest and upper back. I would be doubled over crying for much of the day because of the pain. I went to see SO many doctors about it but they all said I was perfectly healthy and it must be from anxiety or just 'in my head'. I had to leave college after my first year because of the pain. By this point I was completely off of the celexa because I didn't know what was happening and I thought the pain was being caused solely by the drug itself. But the pain didn't get any better, it got worse. I basically spent the next 3 years (not an exaggeration) bedridden crying in pain. I cannot even describe in words how severe the pain was. And the problem was no one even considered that it was due to withdrawal because every doctor I went to said no, withdrawal wouldn't cause pain like that. So it was just a constant 'search' to figure out why I was having this mysterious pain. Even when I went back on the celexa to see if it would help, it wouldn't get rid of the pain, but I believe that's because (as I later found), the only way to get rid of it is by going on the HIGHEST possible dose because that's the highest dose my body was accustomed to. Finally last year I tried Zoloft out of desperation (I was missing my whole youth...I feel like my situation is a lot different because I spent 18-21 bedridden in pain. I know I could "wait it out" a few more years...but I'm missing my entire youth, a period fo my life I won't get back, and I don't know how much longer my college is going to let me take time off. I should have already graduated by now :(. It's so painful to be in so much pain while other people your age are having the time of your lives.) So even though I hate these medications, I tried Zoloft in a desperate attempt to just be out of pain and be able to move forward with my life. By the time I reached 150mg my pain went away completely (after 4 months on it), but of course I have other side effects on it I do not like like loss of creativity (I want to be a musician, and I love art), not feeling emotions as deeply, and almost feeling like your'e living life in a fog. To be blunt I don't feel "myself" on it. My individual spark is gone. But, I was just so desperate to get rid fo the physical pain. Anyway I made a freaking stupid decision in May to go off of it. At this point me and my doctors still didn't 100% make the connection between the pain and withdrawal, it was just a 'theory'. I thought my pain could have lessened because I had a boyfriend and friends now, was in school, feeling better, was out of pain to the point I was exercising consistently, etc. Well, nope lol. All of my pain returned this month. I'm back to being in bed with pain I'm in a huge dilemma because I know from past experience the pain DOES NOT go away. It's weird because I don't have any mental symptoms from going off the medication. I don't feel any more anxious/depressed/etc. The symptoms are all physical for me. It's just the most severe pain imaginable. I'm sure it's some type of nerve damage because it feels like burning knives stabbing into me..no words can describe the pain. I just want the pain gone as soon as possible, but I know if I go back on the medication I have to say goodbye to who I am as a person and my musical talent. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Like I said, I have already missed so much of my life. I don't want to be bedridden from pain anymore 😞 It just hurts so much. And it's not even my fault because I never chose to go on this medication!! I feel like I'm screwed for life, and will never have a full life devoid of both pain and of the medication. What if I just never adjust to being off of it because I started so young? I just hope some people here can offer me advice on how to eliminate it without having pain like this. I just cannot stand the pain... I'm sorry this is so long but like all of you, my story is long! To make it easier if someone is just skimming, withdrawal symptoms include - severe burning / stabbing pain in upper back, chest, shoulders - occasional hip pain and inability to walk because of it - digestive problems (extreme bloating, heartburn) - lightheadedness when standing up at times - basically feel like all my nerves are on fire - chest tightness 24/7
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