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  1. Hi there, I'm new to this site but need help! Have had 15 years of AD use, which include a couple of changes due to 'poop outs'. My last change was 9 weeks ago when the 15mg paroxetine that I'd been on for 7 years pooped out. Ended up under crisis team and physchiatrist switched me to 15mg Mirtazapine (straight switch from one day to the next). I had done a similar switch back in 2007 when my lexapro pooped out (tapered down over 2 weeks then switched straight over to the paroxetine). Over the last 6 weeks on Mirtazapine, the physchiatrist titrated me up to 45mg as I was in a bad state. 45mg WAY too high for me and caused akathisia, so he dropped me back to 30mg (after 3 weeks on 45mg). Akathisia better, but still lingering, so he wants to drop me down to 22.5mg. What do I do... I need this akathisia to stop ASAP, so a drawn out taper seems like far too long to wait! But I'm sure my body is in crisis from the med switch and titrating up then quick drop back down. Also used benzos over 4 weeks during switch, and titrated off them. Am I better to put up with the akathisia and do a slow taper? He thinks that drop percentage is fine (25%), but after reading this site combined with the weird experiences I'm having I'm too scared (so I'll need to enlist the help of a chemical compounding pharmacy) . Am I better to do that drop (25%) to stop the akathisia quickly, or just let my body settle down? Do 10% in another 2 weeks time (so that will be 4 weeks after my drop from 45mg to 30mg). I don't know what to do... I have been under the care of the crisis team and been going along with the plan, but can't help but feel these side effects are worse than having no treatment! I'm only 43 with a beautiful husband and son, but I'm scared that I've screwed my poor body up for life. I need advice, and stories of hope (and of easy withdrawls, not just horror stories, to give me hope). P. S Could my akathisia actually be paroxetine withdrawls even though I went straight onto another med?
  2. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  3. Hi I started with anxiety and panic attacks almost a month ago, I had been under stress at work and had lost my appetite and considerable amount of weight, and was not sleeping. My GP prescribed Citalopram 20mg, and within a few hours of taking this I was almost crazy, pacing up and down the house, feeling I needed to get out of my own body and on day 3 started with horrible dark thoughts and images of me killing myself. Mainly the images were around knives. I must stress that prior to taking this medication I had never had a dark or suicidal thought.On day 7 of taking this drug I stopped due to the awful side affects which I now believe was Akathisia. I seen a private pysicatrist who put this down to a bad reaction with the citalopram and recommended sertraline, I waited almost two weeks before taking the sertraline as the dark thoughts still persisted, the majority of the other symptoms seems to subside. Earlier this week I started on the sertraline 25mg, once again the same symptoms have returned as in the beginning when taking the citalopram, this is only on day 2 of the sertraline. I have only recently learned about this condition but I am now going to discontinue with the sertraline given that Akathisia can last longer than the time the medication was taken. Has anyone experienced this due to the combination of these SSRI's? My GP is absolutely no help at the minute hence me having to seek help privately.
  4. Hi everyone, So glad to have found this forum in my journey weaning off Paxil. Because of severe withdrawal symptoms during my doctor's recommended tapering schedule, I'm weaning off Paxil painstakingly slowly (liquid prescription, with a syringe). I have a question about tapering at smaller doses. I accidentally missed a dose (just 1.2 mg.) on January 17. Anyone who has taken Paxil knows that you do. not. skip. a dose. I don't know how it happened, but I forgot to take it one night (for the first time in about ten years). For the next TWO WEEKS, I was nauseous, had trouble eating, had mood swings, and worst of all, had some very scary depersonalization (feeling like I was in a dream or on LSD). Very scary. So, this can really happen from just missing a tiny 1.2 mg. dose? I called my doctor and they said this "isn't because of Paxil." Lol. Thanks so much! (This is why I'm so grateful for this forum--people actually dealing with the reality of tapering off these medicines.) Wouldn't tapering get easier as I get down to lower doses? ? What am I going to do at lower doses? The 10% method sounds good in theory, but yikes -- it will take forever just to get off 1.2 mg. My eventual goal is to get off Paxil and Zoloft, but my primary goal is to stay alive. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions! Thanks! I ran out of room in my signature for my quite-lengthy history, so I am expanding it here since this is my intro post: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety and depression. It worked for a while, but had to keep increasing it. 20 mg --> 40 mg --> 60 mg. For years I've wanted to get off it -- it wasn't working anymore, but very difficult to come off. Early 2013--Getting treated for sleep apnea (with CPAP) eliminated about 75% of my anxiety. Who knew?!?!? How long had I had sleep apnea, but treated anxiety with meds? March 2013: Feeling so good with CPAP treatment that I started weaning off Paxil about 10 mg/month: 60mg to 50 mg to 40 mg (NO negative effects whatsoever--if anything, I just felt better and better.) July 2013-- went from 40 mg to 30 mg. Some dizziness; nothing major. Starting a new job; paused taper. June 2014, began Paxil taper again, going from 30 to 20 in one week. (I can't believe that a medical professional actually advised me to do this.) This was very, very bad (dizziness and suicidality--the first time in my life--very scary), so went back to 25mg. Stayed at 25 mg. for another year. Not looking forward to going back down and continuing taper! In June 2015 started a cross-taper while adding Zoloft--went from 25 mg. Paxil to 20, to 10, to [this was the most difficult one] 5.) The cut from 10 to 5 mg gave me akathisia; nausea; suicidal thoughts; rage; and severe anxiety. Most of my time was consumed in dealing with Paxil tapering effects. August 2015 -- obtained a prescription for liquid Paxil. September: 4 mg Paxil October 2015: Suicidality -- doctor advised me to go up on Zoloft; I did so to save my life. Now at 100 mg Zoloft. (But it's not working -- my exercise, eating, meditation, acupuncture, and supplements are.) October to December 2015: 4 mg Paxil --> 3 mg --> 2 mg --> 1.6 mg. Symptoms are tolerable at this rate; the worst is a feeling of being intoxicated for several hours a day. But going this slow makes me feel like it will take forever to get off! ! ! Currently: 1.2 mg Paxil. Also: Vitamin D; Vitamin B complex; magnesium; plenty of protein; exercise; acupuncture; meditation/mindfulness; working with a naturopathic doctor.
  5. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  6. ADMIN NOTE Also see Weighted blankets & Bed Tents for restlessness, akathisia, insomnia and anxiety Blog: My Akathisia Experience by akathisiainfo contains many reports of drug-induced akathisia and recovery from it Akathisia survivors? There's an interesting discussion of akathisia buried in this May 25, 2011 post by psychiatrist Steve Balt http://carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/05/horizant-second-coming-of-gabapentin.html ".... However, the symptoms of RLS (restless leg syndrome) are rather nonspecific: "an urge to move the limbs, which improves with activity and worsens with rest." That's about it. Which leads to yet another problem (a problem that GSK and Xenoport don't see as a problem, that's for sure): with such vague and common symptoms (who among us hasn't felt somewhat restless at times, with interrupted sleep?), a lot of people might get diagnosed with RLS when their symptoms are actually due to something else. A while back, a fellow blogger directed me to the RLS "patient page" on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) web site, where RLS was—and still is—referred to as "akathisia." However, these may be two entirely different things. Akathisia (from the Greek for "not sitting still") has long been recognized as a side effect of some—perhaps most—psychiatric medications, from antipsychotics to antidepressants. It is often described as an "inner restlessness," a "need to keep moving." Sometimes it's associated with extreme emotional distress. In terms of severity, it can range from a mild nuisance to—in some cases—aggressive tendencies. (Indeed, the psychiatrist David Healy has even linked psychotropic-induced akathisia to suicide attempts and violent behavior.) Psychiatrists really don't know exactly what causes akathisia, and disagree on how to treat it. It may have something to do with dopamine blockade, or something completely independent. Treatment might consist of benzodiazepines (like Ativan or Valium), beta blockers (like propranolol), or discontinuing the drug that caused it in the first place. Unlike RLS, which seems to bother people most when they are lying down (hence its tendency to disrupt sleep), drug-induced akathisia is worse when people are awake and moving around. Sounds like a simple distinction. But nothing is quite this simple, particularly when psychiatric drugs—and real people—are involved. In fact, many psychiatric meds can cause other motor side effects, too, involving (theoretically) yet other neural pathways, such as "parkinsonian" side effects like rigidity and tremor. In fact, some antipsychotic drug trials show "restlessness" and "akathisia" as entirely separate side effects (and when I've tried to ask experts to explain the difference, I have never received a straightforward answer.) ...."
  7. Hi, I’ve been a long time reader of this site, but tonight I finally decided to join. I have a really scary situation that occurred tonight. I went off Zoloft 200mg about 22 months ago with a fast taper over a couple of months. Needless to say, it has been hell. I started to get to a steady state, but then this week i had a stressful situation which required me to make a choice about reinstating the Zoloft. I reinstated at 12.5mg for 2 days and then up to 25mg on day 3. I am having terrible Tardive akasthisia. Does anyone have any advice? The only think keeping me from going crazy is Klonopin which I’m trying not to take a lot of. I’m going to stop the zoloft tomorrow since it’s only been 3 days, but does anyone have any advice, empathy etc. I’m petrified. Thanks
  8. Hello everyone, Short history: I have a long history of On/Off misc. antidepressant use for various periods, icluding SSRIs & SNRIs and atypicals. In previous times, when I went off medication I didn't experience withdrawal but I guess that this bombardment of my brain with various chemicals left it scarred and vulnerable. My first withdrawal occured when I went off 150mg of Effexor XR (Venlafaxine). I took it for only 2 months (July-August 2015) and I experienced withdrawal over the course of 6 months (September 2015 - February 2016), in which I was pretty much disabled and all I did was wait until things will get better. Current state: After a reoccurence of severe depression, I felt desperate and went back on antidepressants. The psychiatrist suggested Vortioxetine (Brintellix/Trintellix), a "brand new" drug. I started from a dose of 5mg which I took for 1 week, then went up to 10mg which I took for 2 weeks, after that I went up to 15mg, severe itching ensued so I dropped back to 10mg. I stopped taking it after 1 week without tapering because Vortioxetine has a long half life. All in all, I took it for 4-5 weeks, and have been off it since August 2016. About a week after discontinuing, a myriad of symptoms appeared: Tight muscles in head/traps/shoulders/stomach, hot flashes, extreme irritability and agitation, impaired cognition (no concentration, focus, memory etc...), anhedonia, no motivation, akathisia, jaw pain. In general, I feel like my brain has been fried. Currently, I feel very confused and discouraged. Sometimes it seems that it's getting slightly better, sometimes I feel that no change occured and I'm still experiencing the symptoms in the same strength. I haven't tried any other medications apart from Propranolol in an effort to reduce the akathisia but it didn't help. I'm extremely hopeless, I cannot continue my life in this manner. I will meet the psychiatrist in the next week to discuss reinstatement, although I feel it will be the final nail in my brain's coffin. If anyone has any suggestions or can share his/her Vortioxetine experience I would be happy to hear. Thanks
  9. Once upon a time , in a land far, far away lived a little girl called Fresh. She lived with her mummy and daddy and big sister and their dog. She was bright , sensitive , creative , a gymnast. Her parents were well meaning (if not a little dysfunctional) and Fresh had a stable life and opportunities to try many different things. Her teen years were challenging , but Fresh finished high school and went on to complete a university degree. At the end of university , Fresh felt lost. She had broken up with her long-term boyfriend , had no permanent employment or income , was applying for jobs and living in a friend's spare room. Her doctor suggested she had a depressive illness and should try an antidepressant. This was a terrific solution! Fresh felt a lot better very quickly , and continued her career path and her journey as a young woman. Fast forward twenty-five years , and Fresh was a mess (see my sig.) (yes , I am Fresh ). In September 2012 , I decided to start tapering from 120mg of Cymbalta. I intended to go from 120mg to 90mg , i.e. one 60mg tab. and one 30mg tab. After a week or so at 90mg , I accidentally forgot to put the 60mg tabs out for a few weeks , and realized later I had been taking only 30mg. I wasn't in a good space at all. But I figured I had been through the worst of it , so I'd just stay on 30mg. Bad idea. I started seeing Dr. Lucire in March 2014. I followed her advice and continued tapering at 2mg per week over 12 weeks. My last dose of Cymbalta was July 21 , 2014. This first video was taken six months after my last dose , the first time the akathisia hit me like a mack truck. http://youtu.be/0_1e0BIQVyc The second video was taken around seven weeks after the first. I like to call it "Akathisia 101". http://youtu.be/4H-oYvsjA1A I stuck it out until May at home. I had been housebound and terrified for months , and believed I could never get better from this , this is how I would be for the rest of my life. These days I'm happy to say I survived that experience , and am doing pretty well.
  10. GracieAnn

    GracieAnn: Akathisia

    Hi Everyone. I’m new here and just realized that my severe akathisia has a name and a cause-Prozac. For years I just thought I had severe anxiety and a lot of adrenaline. It is ruining my life. Now that I have connected the dots I’d like to slowly wean and find a med to help my symptoms(clonidine?). i pray I can heal my brain and am hoping to hear some success stories. I’m very grateful for this group.
  11. LellieH

    LellieH: Lexapro

    I am new to this group. Boy how I wish I knew tapering information before I came off Lexapro. Only 6 weeks after my last dose, I am experiencing the kind of akathisia of extreme anxiety, agitation, fear.... I dread going to sleep, as it means I will be awakened by fits of anxiety and fear-filled dreams. The reason to get off of antidepressants in the first place was to far into my PTSD, the reason why I took AD in the first place. Reading the information on how long WD might take, I am really trying to wrap my head around how I need to change my attitude towards all of this. It is a very lonely feeling to go through this. I have family and friends who are willing to listen to me thank goodness. There is a side of me that feels I should go to live in an emotional rehab/living community
  12. Hi everybody. I never joined a forum before but now it's time. I've been on AD's for about 20 years now. Always resistant to staying on them, because of flat affect and just a lot of fear of side effects. Started on maprotiline (yeah, nobody's heard of it) a tetracyclic, then tried St John's Wort, SAMe, TCM, before getting prescribed Celexa. My pattern was to stay on until I felt OK, than go off, probabl;y way too fast for my sensitive system, and crash. Aside from sadness and lack of energy/motivation, my main symptom was horrible insomnia -- I have atypical PTSD symptoms from a major trauma that included pretty much not sleeping for three weeks. Sleep is a big deal, not sleeping gives me really bad anxiety. So I went up and down on Celexa at the advice of my GP, pretty much staying below 20mg, and at one point on 5mg for quite a while and doing well. Used lorazepam periodically for sleep, and went off that really slowly without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, when I decided to go off Celexa (at the advice of a TCM doc who was supposed to be brilliant and said I didn't need it) I ran into a major stressful life event (my 19 yr old learning disabled daughter got pregnant and decided to have her baby) and crashed. In addition to the stress, it was again probably a mistake to stop 5mg cold. I didn't know. After a few weeks of hell and lots of acupuncture, I went back on but it took too long to start having an effect and... I eventually went to the ER, and was advised by the doc who advised not to go to the psych ward, and prescribed more lorazepam. Two days later I saw a PDoc for the first time. She prescribed a small dose od Zyprexa to "augment" the Celexa, and help me sleep. Which it did -- three days later I felt better and could function again. 20mg Celexa and 1.25 Zyprexa. A couple of months later when I was still up and down she added 50mg of lamictal to help me with "stability". So now on three drugs, sleeping, relatively stable. Over the next couple of years, I was able to bring the Zyprexa down to about .35mg, but couldn't get off without crashing. My PDoc called it a "homeopathic dose" and didn't try to get me off. REALLY sensitive to this stuff. Three years into this, a year ago, I had another stressful stretch, and incrreased to 1mg Zyprexa. Then I developed a tremor in my right hand. I freaked -- my dad had Parkinson's. After being in denial for 4-5 months, I finally went to a neurologist and after several tests told me it could be Parkinson's or it could be the Zyprexa. She suggested I try to switch to Seroquel that is supposedly less likely to have this side effect. Oh my, here comes the really bad part -- my PDoc said I could just do a switch of Zyprexa for Seroquel at "equivalent" doses. She knows how sensitive I am and this was a BIG mistake. I switched, and totally crashed. I was supposed to then increase the Seroquel until I felt better. That lasted about two weeks when I developed akathisia. Was given Cogentin and UGH, I couldn't think, my hands trembled, I couldn't have a normal conversation and my memory went downhill. PDoc said switch back to Zyprexa so I did but now at a higher "equivalent" dose (2.5mg). Akathisia didn't go away. Tried to drop Zyprexa to 2mg and BOOM, more depression. Back up, more akathisia. My PDoc then gave up and passed me on to another PDoc (not a bad thing at this point, but I felt abandoned). Since then, I'm titrating down on Zyprexa by .05mg per week. At 2mg now and akathisia is somewhat better but I still can't relax at all, and I still don't know if the tremor is drug induced or Parkinson's. I get the 10% per month and I plan to follow that as closely as I can. I've had enough of these meds. It makes me really sad that I know it's a long road ahead to get back to a semblance of normal. I wake up every morning trembling and depressed. I eat really healthy and walk 6-9 miles a day. By mid-day I feel a bit better but can't stop obsessing about the tremor. Can't concentrate much or I get really tired. Afraid to go outside my routine because it's more stressful and the symptoms get worse. I'm looking into TMS as a way to support this process. Whoever reads this thanks for listening, it gets really lonely sometimes, I'f you're here, I'm sure you know.
  13. Anybody had any experience with this controversial therapy, good or bad?
  14. I came across this. It is wonderful. http://psychrights.org/articles/newdrugsnewproblems.htm
  15. It has been 3 months since i quit using sertraline 50mg and mirtazapine 15mg. I have used mirtazapine 15mg for 4 months with sucess and had a bad adverse reaction to prozac after using it for 3 weeks before this. But i have been going downhill ever since. It started with being slightly unfocused but now i can't remember what happened few hours ago! I lost every ounce of personality i ever had. I have no problem solving skills and i am not intelligent anymore. I am losing all my acquired skills too. I lost my musical ear and i am not as good as i used to be with speaking English (not my native language.) It feels like i never even started playing piano 3 years ago and it drives me nuts! I lost everything in my life because of my need to ease anxiety. No one thinks this could be true. Psychiatrist thinks this is good ole anxiety and threatens me to put on antipsychotics. My family refuses to believe me and prefer to listen to ''professionals'' instead of me. I have a few friends to listen to but none to truly understand (or want to understand) what i am going through. I can feel the stress literally burning my mind 24/7 non stop. I really do feel my mind burning and it does not look like it will go away soon. I have lost everything yet it still destroys me nonstop. I just want this to end. If this goes on like this i don't think i will want to live much longer. I am just a whiny depressed person in other peoples' eyes and i refuse to recover by not taking pills. They won't acknowledge anything i say about losing myself with the introduction of the drugs or the stress-like burning mind sensation that started with the drugs. Anything i say and do is being used against me to show how depressed or anxious i am and how much i need meds. I have lost all hope and i am expected to attend university in 2 years with the mind of an 8 year old. So if i don't show any prowess after 2 years i will end it all without a single doubt. I don't want to live a life i am not happy in. Please share anything that you can relate to this issue. Have you ever experienced something like this? When did you start to recover? How much did you lose and how much did you manage to recover? Even the tiniest bit of hope is enough to make my day and push me forward. Right now all i can do is crying.
  16. If you have a movement disorder (Tardive Dyskinesia , Dystonia, Akathisia, Myoclonus etc.), that you believe was caused by Effexor XR (or made worse by this drug), you are eligible to join a multi plaintiff lawsuit now forming. To join this lawsuit, please message me on this forum, or email me at effexortd@gmail.com. For US residents only. Posted by permission of Group Admin for informational purposes. Posting does not necessarily signify Group endorsement.
  17. I was put on buspar last year. Was on 5mg for 2 months, then 10mg for a month before I stopped it cold turkey on January 16th due to side effects.. The panic attacks and anxiety that hit after stopping were wickedness. Was calling my dad at all hours begging him not to die cos I was terrified of losing him. There was gradual improvement, if you can call it that, but then a week ago, well, I don't know if it was the magnesium (unlikely, I'm sure?) or the buspar withdrawal, but I started having issues with akathisia to the point I can't sleep at night. I took too much magnesium, the recommended dose on the bottle which was 800mg. I had a calm for an hour and a half, then it faded and an aching started in my kidney area. I googled and found the recommended daily dose should be no more than 350mg. The akathisia started a day or 2 after that, hence why I don't know if it's connected, but figure the timing is just coincidental. I've been going thru this hell for 2 months now. The anxiety and panic seemed to worsen a bit when the akathisia started. My question is for those of you who've gotten the akathisia as the result of withdrawal from a medication ...how long before it stopped? I don't know how I can hold up, but having a potential time line would sure be helpful, it would put a light at the end of my tunnel again, even if my symptoms do end up lasting longer. This is the scariest and hardest thing I've ever been thru.
  18. Reading back over my neuro problems document I wrote earlier when everything started; it seems like pretty much everything can be traced back to established problems associated with tapering and withdrawal of SSRI’s. I began tapering down from 100 mg earlier this year (2015), in the spring. I went from 100 to 75 to 50 to 25, at which point I ceased taking the Zoloft. I went very slowly with the taper, with the knowledge that a fast taper could lead to withdrawal problems. I went perhaps a month between each reduction. I completely finished at the very beginning of July, I want to say July 2nd. For the month of July, I didn’t notice any problems. In the beginning of August however I started feeling an intensifying of the symptoms I already had written down in the neuro problems doc, including a depressed mood. I also had my first migraine of my life on August 8th. I had the visual aura preceding the migraine. I went to the E.R. where I got a CT scan, and was told that everything checked out fine. When my mood didn’t seem to be getting any better, I attempted to reinstate the Zoloft at 25 mg for three days on August 12-15th. I seemed to get a serotonin syndrome response from this, so I stopped taking it in the hopes that perhaps the withdrawal symptoms would clear on their own. From August 15th to October 2nd I was traveling in Europe. I was supposed to stay longer, but by October 2nd the withdrawal symptoms were getting worse and I knew I needed to go home. On October 3rd I attempted another reinstatement of the Zoloft, this time at 12.5 mg for two days and had the same problems I had earlier in August with the reinstatement. I stopped taking it again and the serotonin syndrome seemed to clear up, but by this point the withdrawal symptoms had started full force. For the entire month of October and now the beginning of November, I’ve had horrible cognitive symptoms that have kept me from being able to function normally. I have a hard time planning future events, including structuring a day plan. I have a hard time reading, writing, and speaking to people (I just can’t think of things to say, to continue conversations). Even listening to music or watching t.v. is overwhelming. Overwhelming is the best word I can think of to describe any kind of stimulus to me right now. My cognitive and physical functioning is just overwhelmed with everything, and I get tired very easily. Despite being tired, it’s hard for me to shut off. I’ve spent a few nights just laying in bed for hours without being able to sleep. One thing I’ve noticed this last month is that my heart just pounds all day long. I have ringing in my ears as well, which irritates me when I’m trying to fall asleep. I get dizzy easily when I stand up too fast, which makes me feel nauseous. For the first month of this, (October) I had intense thirst all the time. The intense thirst seems to have dissipated this last week. Now however I am getting nauseous where I wasn’t before. Also food seems to have lost all appeal to me. Nothing sounds good to me to eat, and nothing tastes good. It’s hard to describe, but my taste just seems to have numbed. Other things I’ve noticed: Face hot and flushing all the time Feeling of fast heart rate Can’t concentrate or think very well Severe memory problems Sore back of the neck Headaches all the time Feeling of electricity running along my spine & arms, especially in response to music. Mentally exhausted easily when trying to read, follow conversation, watch t.v. Incredibly hard to look in people’s eyes when having a conversation, almost physically incapable sometimes, I feel like I need to close my eyes and look away. It’s physically difficult to make myself smile, or make any facial expression. Reduced affect display. Unable to remember words, sometimes unable to recognize written words Aphasia Zero interest in anything at all Living in a fog, daze, feeling drunk all the time Feeling of being frozen; i.e. not being able to plan next thing to do Utter and complete lack of confidence in ability to do anything Intense thirst has disappeared One of the best things that has happened in this last week is that my feeling of restlessness seems to have dissipated for the most part. For the better part of October 2015 I had what can only be described as intense mental restlessness. I was not content anywhere in any context, and felt that the only way to feel better was to keep moving (going from location to location, upstairs, downstairs, outside) and everywhere I felt this intense unease. I looked this up and apparently it’s called akathisia. Horrible upper back pain that radiates into my shoulder blades, chest, throat. Usually lasts for around 20 minutes to an hour of excruciating pain. Feels almost as if my throat is clenching or tightening. Constant buzzing in my ears, especially my left ear. Especially writing this and stressing myself out thinking about what a hell my life has become. Ear popping as well, they always feel like they are full, and I need to pop them, as if I’ve been in an airplane. Inability to plan even the simplest tasks in my day, where I used to make lists and successfully plan a full productive day. Now it takes weeks and months to accomplish tasks simply because I can’t plan a way to make myself do it. Every task seems insurmountable and scary. When I started stressing out, it feels like I shut down. So: January 2015: 100 mg February: 100 mg March: 75 mg April: 50 mg May: 25 mg June: 25 mg July: 0 mg, totally fine August: Just beginning of the withdrawal September: Feeling worse and worse, more of the physical side effects of withdrawal October: Mental side effects of withdrawal officially and horribly begun Akathisia Intense thirst Insomnia Ringing in ears November: Withdrawal as before December: Withdrawal symptoms diminishing January - October 2016: Increasing cognitive difficulties, apathy, October: Beginning of difficulty with facial expressions, maintaining eye contact with person I’m talking with, aphasia (difficulty understanding speech, creating speech, continuing a conversation, feels as if my brain just stops mid conversation, the only thing that feels easier is writing, although I can tell that my word choice is becoming limited and especially use of prepositions is becoming difficult, choosing the wrong word). One thing that bothers me the most is dyschronometria. I have a severely limited ability to perceive time passing, that’s become increasingly impaired. I am fairly certain that from the limited research I’ve been able to do, that I might be experiencing Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI) http://www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Breggin2011_ChronicBrainImpairment-Ref-for-ECT-post-140.pdf Going forward; options: Continue without SSRI’s While exercising, eating healthy, taking supplements Or start taking either fluoxetine or citalopram After which point I can attempt another taper after stabilizing December 2015: I don’t have any obligations that I need to do before January, so at this point the best option seems to be sticking it out without SSRI’s. I feel that I’ve made progress (at least emotionally, cognitively I don’t feel the same progress), and that this progress will continue. Reasons why: I only took Sertraline for 2 years, albeit at 100 mg. This is still not the highest dose given. I did a relatively slow taper (although from continuing research I’ve noticed that many people attempt even slower tapers) I am young, 24. And with younger patients, Dr. Healy has noted that recovery is more likely (within 1 to 4 years). I am already seeing progress (thirst has disappeared, intense akathisia (mental as opposed to physical) has dissipated, depressed mood has for the most part disappeared (time between episodes of intense despair longer and longer), as for intense anxiety (heart rate seems to be more regular, morning anxiety not as bad). I am cautiously optimistic at this point. Now, October 2016: Before this all started, I was quite competent. I can get references from friends / family, I was doing well in school (finishing a Psychology degree until this started, was even able to get A’s in two classes in Spring of this year while I was going through withdrawal). I was very socially aware as well, never had any problem with social cues, creating meaningful relationships. Now perhaps due in part to a lack of confidence, I’m having a very difficult time maintaining meaningful relationships. I'm sorry for the disjointed introduction, I'm having a harder and harder time writing a coherent message, and I just wanted to start involving myself in the discussions here. I thought might as well share this document that I've begun to trace the development of this horror this last year.
  19. Hey so I got aka from latuda.i was on 20 mg for 2 weeks then 40 for another week and a half.Stopped it because of aka and it's been almost 3 weeks and the aka is killing me not letting up.Please give me hope this will go.I don't understand why it's still here when I stopped the meds 3 weeks ago it isn't in my body anymore and I wasn't on the med long.When will this end I can't see a light at the end of my tunnel.This is like inner restless torture.
  20. Hi, Following a rapid (lesson learned) taper from Mirtazapine approx 5 months ago, I have been suffering from persistent Akathisia. This has been by far the most horrendous and distressing of a long line of side effects. It appeared 5 weeks after coming off meds and appeared to subside and become less intense, thus some quality of life returned. Over the last couple of weeks it has intensified and I am once again in its awful grip, constantly pacing, crying, feeling agitated with a return of those terrible feelings of grief and despair. I have seen three different doctors, none of whom have ever heard of Akathisia, so I have had to do my own research (thank heavens for forums like this one). I have managed to get an appointment with a neuropsychiatrist in a couple of weeks, so really hoping to at least have a conversation with someone who actually understands what this is! The downside of doing your own research is that I have been left feeling scared to death about the various stories of different types of Akathisia (acute, chronic, withdrawal and tardive) and whether it is likely to resolve. I'm hoping fellow sufferers out there can offer some support and share their knowledge and experiences with me, as there doesn't seem to be that many treatments available for withdrawal Akathisia. I am currently not taking any meds for this (tried Propranalol but it gave me heartburn). I've also been prescribed benzodiazapines for agitation but I'm now so reluctant to take any meds that may aggravate or prolong this side effect. I am also reluctant to take anything that will lead to a further withdrawal process in the future. On the plus side, all other withdrawal symptoms have gradually faded away (high anxiety, extreme claustrophobia, panic attacks, hot flashes, stomach upsets and insomnia). Thank you for your support
  21. Hello everybody! And thank you for this forum I have just discovered. I am reading it through but in the meantime I explain my story to you. So, I am Italian leaving in Spain, I am almost 33 and during one of the treatments I I followed to cure my vulvodynia I unfortunately had to take antidepressants (1 year and a half of Laroxyl up to 15 drops I think) and another year and a half of Cymbalta (up to 90mg). None of these antidepressants cured me, they only relieved some symptoms and moreover I began to have side effects, so I decided to quit them at the end of 2014. My neurologist told me to drop from 90 mg to 0 mg of Cymbalta in approx. 6 weeks. I experienced at the beginning a sort of vertigo which slowly went away, together with low mood. I also began having ringing which never went away. After about one month from the suspension, in February 2015 I began feeling inner tremors and shakes, I was feeling always tense and nervous, from when I woke up to when I went to bed. I went to another neurologist explaining my symptons and she referred it as chemical imbalances due to this suspension and she put me on a month on bromazepam, and I was back to normal. I suspended it and I felt the same symptoms again, so we decided to start Lyrica which could help both my anxiety and my chronic pain. Lyrica helped, as the inner tremor and shakes went away, but they returned at the end of November 2015. Desperate I went back to bromazepam and I was a little better, but then I decided I want to get rid of both Lyrica and anxyolitics, so I began to take them away little by little. At some point I felt normal meds free but only for a week as I began to have jaw problems because of my bruxism, and few weeks ago I was diagnosed with disc luxation because of stress/anxiety, so my system activated again with shakes and inner tremors and ever since never deactivated. I began feeling again from the morning to the night inner tremors and shakes, together with ringings and sense of huge tension and stress and this still occurs until now. I know I won't kill or hurt myself but there are times I have thoughts I want my life to be over as I suffer too much and don't have a pause or ever feel relaxed. I forgot to tell i have mutation of Factor V of Leiden and mutation of gene MHTFR. All my doctors (neurologist, psychiatrist, family doctor, cardioligist) refer my symptons as anxiety and that this is my personality and when questioned why I began to felt that way I never felt before, they say that I probably always had anxiety but until that moment my anxiety was blocked by those drugs. They said that antidepressants don't harm the brain ( I did a MRI and that was ok) and that it's not WD as my body already deintoxicated from these substances long ago. I have to say, I am an anxious person and tend to worry about things but I never felt this way. I went on therapy for some years and did improve in many things so I can't explain how I feel now. I don't refer it as something psychological - of course there are some stressors which trigger me and of course I feel stress and anxiety from time to time but not that long and that high- but rather as something physical. Almost nothing except anxyolitics help me, I tried meditation, yoga, mindfulness, relaxing herbs, 5htp, relaxation techniques but I have no relieve. What do you think I suffer from your experience? Anxiety or WD? What is your advice? Is it bad to resist again these symptoms and should i go back to meds or should I give time for my body to heal? And how? It's been 1 year and a half already and it's been a hell... Do you know doctors I can refer to? What should I do? Are there supplements that help our body healing? Thanks a lot for your help, Regards, xxx
  22. Hey Guys, I found some info online about a law firm that is looking for people to come forward who have incurred movement disorders from psych meds. I called the number and spoke to the law firm, and I can vouch that they are serious. They spoke with me for an hour and I am also sending them my medical paperwork. Be assured that steps forward ARE being taken. I was so pleasantly surprised at how seriously the law firm took me, and how kind they were. Here is the information for others who want to call. This is what I copied and pasted from online, and it includes the phone number to call: "Have you come down with a movement disorder from psych meds, whether they were prescribed to you on-label OR off-label? Did you come down with permanent or temporary dystonia or dyskinesia or akathisia or myoclonus from psych meds? Please join me and others who are working with a law firm to hold the pharma companies accountable. Call Grisham and Barnhardt at 434-293-2939. Ask to speak with partner attorneys Tyler or Addison, or with their assistant/paralegal Bethany. Please, we need ALL the victims to come forward, no matter how long ago this happened to you!"
  23. http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/legal-journal-says-antidepressants-can-cause-violence-and-suicide/ Legal Journal Says Antidepressants Can Cause Violence and Suicide April 18, 2016 Antidepressants have been reported to cause a state called “akathisia,” where people feel extremely agitated and restless and may become preoccupied with thoughts of violence. In a new article, to be published in the latest issue of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, researchers investigate the role of antidepressants in three recent murders. The researchers, a medical specialist and a forensic psychiatrist and pharmacogeneticist, suggest that tests may be done to assess the role of antidepressant toxicity in violent events that may affect legal determinations, potentially even absolving people charged with homicide. The “new generation” antidepressants, SSRIs and SNRIs, appeared in the 1980s but, according to the reviewers, “their adverse effects and clinical trial data have not been fully disclosed.” In 2004, the FDA published a public health advisory warning of worsening depression and suicidality in some patients being treated with antidepressants. In 2007, a Black Box suicide warning was extended from just teenagers and suggested monitoring all patients up to age 24 for anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, hostility, impulsivity, and akathisia. Recent findings show an increased risk for violent crime in young adults taking antidepressants and a groundbreaking reanalysis of the infamous Study 329 on the effects of Paxil on teens found a heightened risk for suicide that was not initially disclosed by the drug companies. The authors report that genetic variations in metabolism affect how individuals react to antidepressants and that research indicated that “ultra-rapid metabolizers” may be at an increased risk for changes in behavior. More at above link...
  24. Congress Proposes Research on the Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Suicide By Chuck Ruby, PhD Featured Blogs March 30, 2016 Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has recently introduced the Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 4640). The bill calls for the VA to study veteran suicides over the past five years and to determine what extent psychiatric drugs are implicated in those suicides. The International Society of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) has long been concerned about this issue, and more broadly, how our veterans and military members suffering from the horrors of war and other traumatic experiences are being treated. I sent letters of support to Mr. Jolly’s office, offering ISEPP’s assistance in any way possible. In 2012, ISEPP launched “Operation Speak Up” (OSU) as a response to the alarmingly high suicide rate of veterans. The name signifies our desire to help veterans speak up, rather than being shut up with psychiatric drugs. Although it started as an effort to encourage Congress to consider a non-medical model approach to helping those suffering from trauma, it quickly turned into a grassroots and consumer focused endeavor from the ground up under the leadership of our OSU Director, Mary Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP, U.S. Naval Reserve Commander. Mary has since made great strides in partnering with Melwood, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities in the greater Washington DC area. Together with Melwood’s support and funding, Mary has created a program called TOHIDU (a Cherokee word meaning “peace of mind, body, and spirit”) as a wonderful alternative to conventional treatment. You can see more about TOHIDU here. Mr. Jolly’s bill will be the first to establish congressional oversight of this alarming problem of using psychiatric drugs shotgun style to quiet the screams of trauma. Despite the increasing concerns of the deleterious effects of psychiatric drugs, they continue to be the mainstay form of treatment within the VA and Defense Department, as they are on the outside. This has to change.The extant research makes it abundantly clear that psychiatric drugs do not correct chemical imbalances. It would be better said that they cause chemical imbalances. They artificially alter brain chemistry in ways that are not clearly understood, and that numb important emotions that signal meaningful issues in our lives. The brain tries to counteract their effect by making changes in how neurotransmitters are used. The person experiences these changes in very agonizing ways, the most worrisome is called “akathisia,” or a state of agitation, restlessness, and a terrible sense of not feeling welcome in one’s own skin. This can lead to unpredictable irritability and violent behavior, including violence toward oneself. To read more on this, see ISEPP’s White Paper. More here: http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/03/congress-proposes-research-on-the-link-between-psychiatric-drugs-and-suicide/ Also on that page is information about how to contact Congress to express your support for this bill. It would be a great idea to also encourage them to investigate the suicide-drug link in other populations too!
  25. Hello everyone, New here, terrified, desperate and doing everything in my power to fend off suicide. I just exchanged several emails with Dr Shipko who first agreed to consult with me, but then said my polypharmacy history was too complicated for him to help me. The pattern, as i have experienced it, is quite straightforward though: I have been on Lexapro, the drug that destroyed my brain, for approx 13 years. 80-90% of that time I was on 10 mg. I have stopped the drug three times, and each of those times a very similar pattern occurred: Mar. 2006 rapid wean-1.5 months post-WD severe melancholic depression with insomnia, appetite loss and dysautonomic symptoms emerged--1 month later reinstated 10 mg--symptoms rapidly resolved but became impulsive and manic, made some very self-destructive decisions and took 2 years to regain balance. I was not fully functional until 2009. Jun 2012 rapid wean-again, 1.5 months post-WD severe melancholic depression, same dysautonomic symptoms. Waited again to reinstate until a little past 2.5 months post W/D. Right around the 2.5 month mark (before reinstatement), I developed EXTREME akathisia, insomnia, dyskinesia and other bizarre symptoms. I had recently weaned off of a benzo and opioids, but this was definitely not the cause of this syndrome as reinstating them even at much higher doses did not help (I had been on benzos and painkillers a couple times before while ON Lexapro, and it was quite easy to wean off); also, this akathisia syndrome felt very continuous with the "Lexapro depression"--it was a smooth and inexorable degeneration down from the depression into the neurological syndrome. Unfortunately I had not yet known that SSRI withdrawal could cause such extreme symptoms so I was on a merry-go-round of neurologists, infectious disease specialists etc, wondering if I had a prion disease or a rare brain infection. Bashed my head into a wall several times, episodes of weakness, twitching, screaming, nearly constant violent shaking. I had to give up my life and move back in with an ex-boyfriend I didn't like because it was the only way I could get the 24/7 care I needed to survive. (Jun 2012 cont'd) After reinstating the Lexapro 10 mg approx 2.5 months post-WD, I did not notice any particular change (there was so much going on I don't recall; my memory is damaged and there may have been a change I don't remember) However, by 3 months post-reinstatement (late 2012) the severe symptoms were completely gone (whew!) and I was able to start on the long road back to finding a "life" again, albeit with some disabling symptoms which seemed quite tolerable in comparison: GERD, hot and cold flashes, hypersomnia, intermittent depression, memory loss. In summer 2013 I started treatment with Xyrem (a strong sleep medication, for my hypersomnia) and Klonopin. This rid me of all of my residual health problems but I felt the combo of 3 drugs was dulling my mind so I began to wean down Lexapro slowly, by 1 mg every 2 months. I was OK during this time; in Dec. 2014 I stopped Xyrem. I was on a low dose of 3 mg Lexapro at this time, and my only other psych med was 1.5 mg Klonopin. I felt great, clear, better than ever. A rapid taper of Klonopin (to 0.25 mg within 3 weeks) made me very ill. Reinstating Klonopin at 1 mg worked and I was feeling good again by Feb. 2015. I very gradually tapered Klonopin to 0.75 mg, held the dosage, and continued weaning Lexapro. I discontinued my last 1 mg of Lexapro on May 18. I was doing well until that same 1.5 month point when depression emerged, but it was not as severe as in 2012. I also noticed some mild autonomic instability--HR and BP went high easily. But it was all manageable until that dreaded 2.5 month mark which I have just now passed. 1.5 weeks ago a mild surgery sent me into a severe episode of hypertension and ever since, I've been on the fast track back to the worst parts of 2012. I've had attacks of severe akathisia, screaming, twisting and uncontrollable violent behavior. My BP and HR go through the roof at the slightest notice, I can't eat or sleep. The scariest part is that I have become INSENSITIVE to all sedatives--the Ambien that helped me sleep in 2012 barely gives me 2 hours now, my tolerance to any sedative med goes up instantly. So while I am super-sensitive to anything stimulating, and super-sensitive to any delay in getting my Klonopin, I am not at all sensitive to sedative meds, it's like my nervous system is on fire. In 2012 I was in a similar state but a couple months after reinstating 10 mg Lexapro, the benzos and Ambien became much more effective. The best times of my life were when I was on a LOWER dose of Lexapro, say 3-5 mg, not the 10 mg I reinstated to before...and of course, the times before I started the $#@&ing drug! But I know I can't even live through another week of this if it becomes chronic, so it seems like my best chance is to reinstate the Lexapro. Since I have only one prior experience to go on and even then I don't know whether the akathisia would have been better or worse had I reinstated lower (or higher? Dr. Shipko mentioned sometimes having to increase from the original dose), I am terrified that this time reinstatement won't work, especially if I pick the wrong dose. It is also different than before in that I weaned slowly and was very stable and happy on a 3 mg dose last winter. So what do people think? What dose should I try to reinstate at, and how soon should I increase it if symptoms do not improve? It's so scary thinking that if I make the wrong move I could be condemned to an agonizing death, because that's what will happen if anything worse than 2012 happens (or for that matter, even if 2012 were to start again and become permanent). Sorry the message is so long. I'm having a very hard time controlling/calming my thoughts and it is hard to think calmly so this is the best I can do. I really appreciate your help!!
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