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  1. unblocktheplanet

    unblocktheplanet

    It is possible to taper & wean. What I'm not sure about is whether it's possible to actually feel normal! Mirtazapine worked for depression & sleep for 15 years & then it didn't. A compounding pharmacy made me 3mg Mirtazapine capsules & I dropped 10% a month for ten months. I'm now planning on the same tapering timetable for Trazodone, 10% a month. My sleeps are still awful. I'm 72. I doubt I'll ever be able to wean Alprazolam. 86% relapse. Perhaps cognitive decline or even dementia. I don't blame my docs. It might have been easier to taper & wean earlier on but, then again, it might not. Frankly, I blame it on pharma...& on capitalism. Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-2022 Trazodone 50mg 2003-present Alprazolam 1mg 2019-present
  2. Hello, I am posting for my husband and I am new to the site and I am not too god at figuring out websites. If I am posting this wrong or in the wrong spot please let me know. My husband has dealt with depression for many years and went on antidepressants about 17 years ago. He started tapering off of Sertraline 100 mg 2 years ago he did it slowly we thought but just found out not slowly enough. It took him over a year to get off of it and he was off for 6 months completely when he couldn’t take the anxiety symptoms anymore. He can barely eat, sleep, or work. He’s lost 30 pounds and he is thin to begin with. This June he started taking Xanax 0.5 mg 3 times a day and Hydroxine 50 mg at night for sleep. This did not help much. As of July he has started ketamine treatments (3 so far but 2 of them seemed to intensify the anxiety) and he just returned to the Sertraline at 50 mg about a week ago. He’s never been very anxious before only depressed. We couldn’t understand why he was having these new symptoms. I just learned from a worker at a local natural health store when I was shopping for cbd oil that these symptoms are likely from being on the antidepressants for so many years and coming off too quickly. He told me the ketamine and going back on the medicine won’t work. I literally left the store in tears. At this point I just want him to find relief. My husband is suffering so much and has been for two years since he started tapering. It’s only gotten worse over time and I don’t know how to help him. It is so difficult to watch someone you love suffer. I am grateful for this site and would appreciate any advice on how to proceed. I honestly don’t know what we should do next. Do we keep going with the Ketamine? What does should he be on for the Sertraline? I don’t know where to begin to get him back to a normal life. Thank you in advance.
  3. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Frogie: W/D from Xanax am new here as you can see. I need help!! I'm hoping someone can help me get off 10 mg Lexapro. Every time I try to drop to even 9mg, I end up sick to my stomach. I go back up to 10mg and am still sick to my stomach. I have no other symptoms. In my profile is all my information, I don't know how to get it to the bottom of this page. I'm not very good on the computer. Sorry
  4. Excuse me if I'm being vague / chaotic, it's too hard to focus or think about anything, also I apologize for not researching much on the site, it takes a lot of effort just to type this and I'm too desperate, however I'll take as much as time as needed to follow through any reply / references I get, thanks in advance. It's been years and I didn't know the cause was antidepressants, I only remember a few names (Clonszipam, Fluxtonin[I think], Seroxat, Alprazolam..) I've been through 10 different doctors and each gave me a different pack of 4 meds, I don't remember many of the names since it was more than 4 years ago and I spent 3-6 months on each pack, I just remember suffering from 24/7 seizure symptoms, endless fear, and stomach complications, they're still with me till now, calmed down a little after 3 years of fighting, but I made a mistake an started Amitriptyline, and I'm getting complications each time I try to lower the dose (it's only 10 mg, and I get seizures whenever I go off it for half a day) Somehow my migraine med (Zomitriptan) eases most of the symptoms, doctors keep brushing off my pain saying I'm fine. Basically it was: 3 years of chaotic 4 pack prescriptions by 10 different doctors >> cold turkey withdrawal (because they refused to tell me how to go off the meds and I screwed up) >> withdrawal effects for 3 years, slight recovery after the long fight >> getting stuck with 10 MG Amitriptyline (reduced to 5 now) and getting seizures if I go off I'll add in any details when I remember them, My symptoms before Amytriptyline were: - Nausea (too heavy) - chronic fatigue (too heavy, hardly can stand up) - dizziness, lack of coordination, - full time panic - twitching in muscles, uncontrollable - mouth shivers like it's cold and it becomes hard to talk or stop it - seizures trigger after eating, along with psychological complications like extreme fear, anxiety and loss of coordination, I still have no idea why this happens, and it mostly happens if the food is dense / oily (even drinks trigger that) - too hard to think, focus or even read messages - full time fear - too hard to identify my pain type, source or symptoms (including the ones I mentioned, took me months to detect them) - unidentifiable heavy pain I hardly managed to overcome the seizures before I started Amytriptyline, but they were back as soon as I tried to withdraw Symptoms on Amitriptyline : same except: - extreme fatigue - sickness (as much as Sinus / Vertigo, I mistook it for them at the beginning, I'm using their med to relieve the symptoms - increased fogginess / separation from reality - loss of taste, and increased craving for all sorts of organic / liquid materials (including the most disgusting ones, I can't distinguish in terms of feeling) - decreased energy from the already low levels On Amytriptyline withdrawal : - Seizures, mild to heavy I guess - Suicidal behavior on extreme seizures, because I lose all awareness / emotions and only pain remains, feels like I'll only live pain for the rest of my life A few notes: - The symptoms I mentioned are based on my own research and I could be describing them wrong, for example I though I my "seizures" were simply "panic attacks" until I checked how panic attacks are and checked the first search result of "seizures" in Google, I still don't know enough about seizure types but I know that it's more than a panic / fear, you're welcome to ask me or correct me about any symptoms and / or their meaning - Doctors never told me any diagnosis, they simply threw me meds after a short interview, I was 18-ish back then and didn't know the risks of what they were doing, you're welcome to ask me about that part too since I'm not in the best country to get diagnosed
  5. Rhi's Introduction topic I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area. Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is. As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages. Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble. After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself. Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much. Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious. Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice. Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again! And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun! It's GREAT. So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses. The lower the doses go, the better I feel. There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening. For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs. I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it. I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health. And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!
  6. Hi everyone I'm 22 years old now. I suffered from bulimia, depression and generalized anxiety since the age of 17 and my family got me help when I was 18 after I failed my medical school exams due to my condition. I was put on several medications ( Alprazolam, Valproate, Lamotrigine, Fluoxetine) during the course of treatment. I come from a lower economic class country where psychiatric treatment is still considered a taboo and people hide it from others, the facilities available are not the best but its a work in progress. Most of the drugs I had to take, they helped me immensely and I had not much trouble tapering valproate, lamotrigine and alprazolam within a year since start of treatment. They helped me get through the second-sit of exams and after I passed I quit the first two within 2 weeks using ( 50-25-0%). Since I am in medical school I was well aware of addictive potential of benzodiazepine's, so I decided to taper alprazolam as well even though it helped my anxiety symptoms. I had panic attacks and palpitations again but I started working myself through therapy and regular exercise and sleep to ease my symptoms. For a regular person these things are a luxury of time, but if you suffer from a mental health problem you must consider a good sleep and exercise a necessity for the rest of your life and fit in other parts of your life with it, not the other way around. Around 19, I was only taking fluoxetine (20 mg ) and my symptoms got worse, as I often tried to taper it on my own ( I wanted to be off drugs asap). The doctors upped my dose instead of my concern of getting them off, and told me to take valproate, which I could take if I felt my symptoms weren't manageable as I told him I don't want to be back on meds. For four months I was on 40 mg dosage of fluoxetine and some days were quite bad and 2 years back I would've seen the doctor and he would have most likely upped my dosage again but this time I decided to be patient with myself on bad days, accepting them as part of recovery because on the good days, I didn't need any aid and slowly the ratio of good to bad days was improving. I found this blog and I started the brass monkey taper schedule with 4 weeks hold for fluoxetine, and I was done in 6 months. I had some side effects but with this method they were too mild to be cause a nuisance. I had dizziness, insomnia and weight gain (around 10 kgs) during the process. I am now drug-free for almost a year, and its lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, rest, filling my bucket before I pour from it to others, adequate rest ) that keep me going fresh and happy. I had failed attempts at tapering fluoxetine and every time I tried my symptoms became unbearable till I found this forum. I am incredibly grateful to this community and the stories that gave me strength to continue on my journey. To everyone reading this, be patient with yourself and don't compare your journey to others. Listen to your heart when it tells you NO, trust yourself to get through it and you will only see your strength in the hindsight. Love and Prayers.xx
  7. Hi Guys, Its been a long time since I posted on this forum, however I am due to celebrate my 4 year anniversary from Lexapro withdrawal and I thought I should give you all an update on my recovery. I haven't been active on the forum for some time as I needed to distance myself. I felt that everytime I read about other people's symptoms/stories although helpful at the time, it also triggered a lot of fear...fear of the unknown and fear of what would happen to me if I got more symptoms, or if my symptoms did not disappear. In saying that I also gained a lot of hope from other people' stories and I even re-read certain ones over and over in the hope that I too would make a full recovery. Well ladies and gents, I can happily say that I too have made a full recovery after a "severe" withdrawal from the poison Lexapro. It did take a long time, however my recovery did happen. It was slow and gradual and did occur in waves as everyone knows. I personally felt my big turning point was around the 2 year mark, with big improvements happening after that time. I do also want to point out that some symptoms I had weren't actual symptoms of Lexapro withdrawal - well they may have been somewhat a part, but not wholly Lexapro. I think this is important to know as when your in the depth of withdrawal you tend to blame everything on your withdrawal (well I at least did). A good example of this was the pins and needles I experienced in my left shoulder blade. I found out this was actually from muscle tension, which was exacerbated by my job. I had a couple of sessions of dry needling as well as some magnesium oil and it was gone. So do I still get anxiety? Yes of course I do..I'm human and as a human I feel emotions, one of them being anxiety. Is it as bad as what it was on Lexapro - definitely not, 100% not. My anxiety at first while on Lexapro completely diminished to a point where I did not care about anything (very sad I know). However this changed and turned into severe anxiety, with OCD type repetitive thoughts which I have never experienced in my life up until Lexapro. As for my symptoms now, I have none, none that are worth while mentioning....do I have crappy days where I don't feel 100%...sure. Everybody does! But I have I got rid of the horrible thoughts, the tingling, the zaps, the weakness, the heart palpitations, the nausea, the bad dreams, feelings of aggression, suicidal thoughts, memory loss, depersonalisation and the many more I have listed in my diary. I still have triggers...that make me remember the hell I went through and I think it will still stay with me for a long time, however life is good now, actually life is awesome!! I have a wonderful family, a great job and best of all I am completely med free!! Living life and trying to be as healthy as I can be. So for all of you out there, who are wondering 'will I recover?'. Yes you will!!! Your recovery is imminent. Take all the good days and enjoy them. When the bad ones come along, focus on the good days you have had and how many more are coming your way. Withdrawal really made me appreciate feeling good - I think that's something we all take for granted. I would also like to mention that I found the book "Recovery & Renewal" by Bayilssa Frederick amazing and it was my bible for many days/nights when I felt like giving up. That alongside this forum of course. I wish you all the best on your journey and your road to recovery x
  8. Hi. So, I had been having some health anxiety over 2021. It resulted in me getting a colonoscopy in November 2021. Leading up to it I had intense anxiety, a few panic attacks and perhaps even a nervous breakdown. The night before I woke at 3 am and had a panic attack. I really thought I was dying this time, so we called 911, and I luckily, not dying. During the procedure they did take a biopsy, and while waiting for the results (2weeks) I had very intense anxiety. It was benign. I'd had intense panic and anxiety for almost a whole month at this point. Around Dec 17, 2021 I contracted covid. It was pretty uneventful, but near the end of it I was waking around 5 am with adrenaline and diarrhea and I couldn't go back to sleep, this was creating anxiety in me that was getting harder and harder to control. So I went to a Dr on December 30 2021 who prescribed me Zoloft 50mg and Xanax 0.25mg. They were filled pretty fast and I took one of each as soon as I got home (around 1-2pm) I felt ok at first, but a few hours later all the side effects started. Irritable/uncomfortable, anxiety, nauseous, no appetite, chills, diarrhea, invasive thoughts that started pretty quick and intensely, and soon to find out - insomnia. I'd lay there with invasive thoughts and if I happened to drift off I'd be jerked awake and there was no sleeping for at least a week. I lived in a panic for around 2 weeks. I never took another dose of Zoloft. But I did take around 9 doses (some halved) of Xanax over the next 2-3 months. Sometimes to help sleep, but it was never worth it as I'd only get a 2-3 hours and then have intense anxiety the next day. It worked ok for panic during the day, but then I feel it intensified my anxiety for the next few days. I found some old Valium 5mg from a dental procedure, there were only 2 doses. They helped sleep some, but they left me feeling so sluggish, it didn't feel good. And it wasn't helping me sleep enough to want to try to get more, I was prescribed Restoril 15mg in April by a sleep Dr. I only took half doses 3 times. Again, it didn't help my sleep enough to ever make it worth it and just gave me bad rebound anxiety. Then I was prescribed hydroxyzine May 2021 (forgot about that when I wrote my signature, will add later). I've taken it around 5 times. It helped me sleep the first night, then not so much the next. Waited a week and tried again, it helped a little for sleep and calming, but not that much. It was mostly disappointing. Luckily it didn't seem to cause any rebound anxiety. But it doesn't help with much so I really don't take it. So, I did take my last Xanax around 1 month ago for a bad panic attack. And that was last time I took a benzo. My last hydroxyzine was around 1 week ago. My current symptoms are anxiety, depression, anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization (I'm never sure on the terms, it's the one where I feel like I'm in a dream, I can react to everyone normally and everything seems normal, but I just feel ... off, like I'm not connected to it all). Agoraphobia, I can push past it but it's hard and only if it's close to home or my husband and children are with me. Which really sucks because I used to love going out by myself or with my children, go on vacations etc... now I feel like I can't leave the house without forcing myself. This fear feeling is so horrible and there really is no reason, I just feel it. And intense insomnia, I can't fall asleep, can't nap, I get adrenaline rushes continuously as I'm trying to fall asleep, or less common are the hypnic jerks, and I wake early around 3-6am and can't fall back to sleep even if I've only slept for 1-2 hours. I like to think my sleep is getting better, as there some rare nights when I will get 5-7 hours. But those are followed the next night by not being able to fall asleep because of adrenaline surges. So, I'm probably only getting those nights from severe sleep deprivation, not that I'm actually getting better =( At one point I thought it was just anxiety keeping awake, but there have been plenty of nights I go to sleep with NO worries at all. I'm not over thinking or thinking of anything provoking and I still get the adrenaline surges at the point of falling asleep. It's seriously so maddening. It's going into 6 months since that day and my sleep is still not good. I thought it would last a few days, then weeks, then got my hopes for a few months. Now it's going into half a year. It started with panic and anxiety, but now depression is setting in and I just don't know what to do. I try to keep my hopes up, but it's so hard. I also have anhedonia and agoraphobia although I can push past it as long as it's close to home, but it takes a lot of effort. I do get some windows I stay home with my 3 small children and am not able to be the mother I want to be for them by feeling this way. Which again adds to the depression. So that's where I am. I hate that I took that zoloft and xanax. And for a long time now i was just blaming the zoloft. And now I've been wondering if the benzos have been negatively affecting me as well? I know I can't beat myself up over it. I try and accept my situation and believe that I will heal. But it's so hard and it all feels so dark sometimes.
  9. My story begins about eleven years ago. In 2011 my best friend died, and I began to have debilitating anxiety and a horrible fear of death. A family doctor made it worse by giving me xanax and lexapro, but I knew nothing about either one. I started having interdose withdrawal with the xanax, so they gave me ativan. Praise the Lord though, I found a good doctor that placed me on Zoloft, which worked well. After 5 years though, with my wife and I losing another great friend, then a stillborn, both grandparents, and two miscarriages all in a year and half the zoloft stopped working. I continually had ruminating thoughts that would not stop, so a psychiatrists placed my on Prozac, and eventually moved it up to 60mgs, along with valium to help ease the transition. I eventually weaned off of the vailum (which went really well), and stayed on Prozac ever since. After taking a year off from work, I slowly tapered off of prozac over that year, and now have been off of prozac roughly two months. I seemed to be doing well but two weeks ago the anxiety started to appear, and then stopped for about a week and a half. Today though, my anxiety and fear returned with a vengeance for most of the day. I start a new job in July, and I am working on my dissertation for my doctorate. I am seriously considering starting back on my prozac, and my pyschiatrist told me if I needed to, just start taking the prozac at 20mg again. The smallest dose I have is 20mg capsules, so I'm not sure how to start with a smaller dose, which seems to be wiser than starting right back on 20mg. My anxiety was so bad last night that I did not sleep. I had to take 5mg of valium to get just a little relief. This morning I reinstated 5mg of prozac by separating the 20mg capsules into 20ml of water. Any help or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
  10. Hi, Ive been taking Antidepressants since January 2016(I was 22 then, 25 now), when i had hard time focussing at work & broke down in office in front of everyone, out of nowhere. The symptoms although had been showing up since 2013, when I started feeling vague, blank & angry,frustrated. I also started having panic attacks (2 times) in august & october, 2015. Most bad thing about depression is lack of confidence, ability to make firm decisions about academics ,job. Constant body aches have also worsened my mood, function. My limbs ache a lot; Ive gradually given up on physical activities, jogging, playing soccer,cricket,etc..these days i force myself to gym thrice a week, cause i had put on a lot last year. I grew up in a clumsy, difficult family , I grew up watching quarrels,skirmishes between my parents & was always very sensitive..Kind of people pleaser, not offending but also very harsh on myself kind of person. My first psychiatrist(Jan,2016-June,2018 ) : He started me with sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline), and later added on escitalopram in the mornings. There were other drugs too, for brief periods like miratazapine,etc.. Mood would improve/boost, i would function well for about a few weeks, & then would crash down. sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline) is something that was constant throughout that period. I soon realized it's something more than antidepressants that i should be looking for, something holistic to solve the problrems that i had in personal family life, my nature, my worklife, etc...Medicines seemed to hit a plateau, but my doctor wouldnt listen to my continual requests to wean off. Only when i developed serious constipation, weight gain(12 kgs in 8 months..also abruptly gave up my job due to fatigue,lack of direction ) that i decided to switch my doctor. My second psychiatrist (June 2018 - present ) : Constipation did ease, my new doctor is more willing to lend an ear..Alprazolam 0.25 in the morning &{ Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)} is something that ive been taking since... But confidence, work issues still persist, I also started to work with my dad around the same period to present day. it's very stressful, demanding on my dad's part, but this atleast is keeping me moving, pass my life, however miserable, painful it is. I also cocooned at home for 3 months before reluctantly joining him at work. It's a blue collar job at a paint shop, wherein im required to match paints, deal with diff customers(throat dries up in fear,anxiety). in stark contrast to the desk job that i had prior to this, im now standing for 7-8 hours a day, experiencing wrenching fatigue when i get back home. My life feels very poor, miserable. Ive never seriously contemplated suicide, despite wanting to when in ruins(wincing bodily pain, scolded upon)! I get to work with iso-cyanide containing accelerators at my shop, that could painlessly kill me in milliseconds (As lab people claim.), but ive always collected myself into believing that my life could turnaround for the better. Fast forward, feb 2019, i decided to also take up homeopathy treatment for my problems, slowly my homeopath asked me to give up(cold turkey, 4-5 weeks on, now) alprazolam 0.25 in the morning, as my mood improved. I witnessed increase in pain, twitching, weight loss(something i like), upon giving up alprazolam 0.25, psychytrist says i must put up with this pain, & ill soon get used to it(Good & frank on his part, most psychiatrists never want you to wean off)... Meanwhile, with my homeopath it's work in progress, & down the line, when my cold turkey symptoms normalize, Ill also think about giving up my evening dose of { Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)}, slowly tapering this time... My increased sleep, due to fatigue is something that i must overcome to become a regular at work. This forum, has given me immense hope & ideas about how people like me are dealing with their stuff. Like 10 % tapering rule, success stories by hope2heal, etc.. are heartening to read. I wish to thrive and function normally in life, rather than just miserably slogging,surviving that i have been doing now. Thank & Cheers, entcian24 Mumbai, India.
  11. Community of Healing, hello. In December of 2014, just a bit more than 6 years ago, I came to this site after already weathering two years of nearly life-terminating withdrawal. I'd been on psychotropic medications for most of my life and in my estimation, my nervous system had decided it'd had enough. From February 2012 to approximately March of 2014, I felt I was literally living in hell. I was hospitalized twice, lost long-running friendships and new career opportunities, tried a plethora of medications, supplements, and herbs in an attempt to "fix" withdrawal, and ultimately came to the realization that pharmaceutical medications would not be the answer to my suffering. Pharmaceutical medications had been the cause of my suffering. And what my brain and body needed was support, tenderness, forgiveness, care and time... TIME... to heal. Benzodiazepines had been the first drugs I withdrew from. That was a brutal, nightmarish withdrawal, but relatively short-lived (acute @ 8 months). Tapering from Mirtazapine proved a longer journey, a much longer journey that I shared here. So this is my success story, my chapter-turning post. This is my declaration that I have been successful in tapering from medications that had deranged my nervous system to such a degree that I was scarcely able to operate in the world anymore. I took much time to make this declaration of success as I am by nature skeptical, and wanted to be sure that healing had indeed come - and come to stay. I feel that it has. I discontinued Mirtazapine, my last psychotropic medication, on June 15, 2019. There are still some echos of it that I deal with in day to day life. My issues with histamine intolerance I believe are directly attributable to Mirtazapine's affinity for histamine receptor occupancy. I manage this issue with dietary and exercise modifications as well as use of select vitamins and herbs. It is not life-deterring. It can be inconvenient and sometimes unpleasant, but it is nowhere near as debilitating as withdrawal itself had been. Despite posting this success story, I'm not going anywhere really. I am always happy to answer questions about my journey. When I was in the worst of my own withdrawal, the feedback from moderators and members of this community and elsewhere were absolute lifelines. Not that anyone could necessarily fix my problems - but I could walk away with sound, compassionate advice and if nothing else, the knowledge that my suffering had been heard, and that someone ultimately cared about me. Your suffering is heard, and someone ultimately cares about you. I want to thank @Altostrata and every moderator past and present for their kind forbearance, compassion, and dedication. I want to thank every member for their strength, endurance, bravery, and perseverance towards a healthy life free of the chemicals that have caused them harm. You all have something, many things, to be proud of. I believe in every human's potential to heal. Take your time, taper well, make the most sound choices you can, and know that healing is absolutely within your power to achieve. Hang in there, Dave
  12. Amira

    ☼ Amira

    Hi all, P.s english is not my first language I started taking 30 mg cymbalta back in june 2016 due to having panic attacks, OCD and depression. During the past 2.4 years things have been really amazing and i got so much better. in june 2018, i broke up with my fiancee, and in october i decided that i will stop the Medicine. I stopped in october 2018. And at the same time i left my job and become unemployed since then. I did not slow taper, took a 30 mg pill each two days for two weeks and then stopped completely under the supervision of my phsyicatrist. I have experienced brain zaps and dizziness which stayed for only 2 weeks and then went away, however, i have been living in hell since then, i have suicidal thoughts, severe depression, panick attacks, feeling of hoplessness and what really concerns me is heart pounding and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light. i need your advice, it has been now exaclty 3 months sine i stopped taking cymbalta. Should i return to it again and taper slowly and in a safe way? If yes, please advice me how to taper given that in mu country the minimum dosage we have in pharmacies is 30 mg. Thanks, Amira
  13. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  14. I feel fortunate to have found SA and look forward to reading and sharing experiences with others in this shared boat. I have taken antidepressants for the majority of the last 40 years, quitting everything completely in 2008, it seems that less than a year later I was taking citalprolam again, then bupoprion, and the generic Xanax. The meds seemed to keep me motivated while working and during retirement. The last few years it felt like the antidepressants were not working. Over the years I've been in an out of CBT, the last was in 2006-2008 when I withdrew from using all medication by tapering in that two year period. Just months later, a return of anxiety/anger/depression and consultation with a doctor resulted in my renewing my use of the antidepressants. Thirteen years later and I'm off most of the medication (I still take .25mg of the generic Xanax in the morning and at night.) I have been talking with a psychiatrist but for medication evaluation and not talk therapy. About two years ago when the citalopram seemed to quit working I switched to sertraline which initially seemed better. In September 2021, I had a miserable month trying paxil and then tapering it out of my system. Recently we tried increasing the Wellbutrin from 150 to 300 mg, this started feeling as bad as the paxil so I stopped taking the extra 150mg. Talking with my psychiatrist, he seemed to have run out of options. I suggested reinstating citalopram since it had been two years since it 'quit' working. The psychiatrist liked the idea and told me to go ahead and quit the all of the Wellbutrin and to begin Celexa. After analyzing where I was at I decided to quit all the Wellbutrin but to not start the Celexa. I see this as an opportunity to stay off the antidepressants and slowly taper out the Xanax. Since coming off the sertraline I've been experiencing many of the typical withdrawal symptoms most of the time. Every second or third day is 'good,' and I've been looking for resources that help me through the bumpy days. I've tried meditating before but this time it seems to have clicked and become a valuable resource. I see depression as a place, a black pond. My quest is for non-medication methods of staying away from the pond. Thanks for taking the time to read my introduction. May we all be held in compassion.
  15. I have taken Paxil 20mg for 8 years for panic disorder and depression. I started skipping doses a few years ago with the usual trouble of brain zaps and vertigo and the past few years had been taking it every 3-4 days. I suffer from severe health anxiety and many medical issues and began to wonder if I was experiencing mild serotonin syndrome. I tapered to 10mgs over a week and then stopped cold turkey a month ago. I am in pure hell. Every day I wake up with a heart rate of 130ish and extreme terror that forces me to take 0.25mg alprazolam the past few days. I can’t sleep, my mind is racing and I feel like I’m going to die. The first few weeks were cold and flu symptoms and anxiety, but this heart racing and terror is new. I don’t know what to do. Do I reinstate? Do I try another medication? I have lost my mind and my nervous system is out of control. my doctor knows nothing about it and doesn’t know what to do either. I know I did something so incredibly stupid by stopping and I am terrified of what is going to happen to me.
  16. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  17. Hi all, my name is Bart, I've been on Sertraline (zoloft) only for 3 months or so, including a bout with Alprazolam as well -- and I discovered this place after a pretty harsh day when I stopped abruptly. Being the engineer that I am, I've browsed in deep detail the the tapering-related discussions and specifically the ones about calculating the curve based on the "famous 2019 Lancet Horowitz paper". I'm 80% of the way in building an excel spreadsheet that models their recommended approach, slows it down some, and applies it to Sertraline thanks to other papers' SERT occupancy curves. The Lancet paper suggests a linear decrease of the target occupancy ratio; which I'm adapting so that this decrease would further slown down with each step down the curve (in line with the general reco "go slower when you get lower") -- basically I want to be more prudent than them. In this model, the actual dosage ends up following a power-law that is much slower than "-10% based on initial dose", but quite a bit faster than "-10% based on previous dose", resulting in a 5-to-6-month tapering duration for a starting point (prescription) of 50mg Sertaline. I still have a few knacks to iron out, and it will be ready for sharing (and can easily be adapted for other molecules and/or other desired tapering speed). Any advice or thoughts are welcome!
  18. Hello, I am in a partially similar situation like Haven once was. I started having sleeping problems in march, at the end of this months I just slept one hour a day. I was prescribed tradozone and alprazolam, after which I only had a very shallow sleep, I did not even felt I had slept, just time had passed fast. After that I was given escitalopram, which made me not to sleep 5 days. Tradozone and escitalopram made me extremly anxious. I stopped using them and took nothing, but unfortunatelly only for two days. Now I am on Mirtazapine 15 mg, taking it for 12 days, before 7,5 mg for 13 days. This makes me sleep about 4,5 - 6 hours. What would you recommend? I had probably tried too much in a short time, a big mistake was taking the first pill of tradozone, but the doctor did not warn me what the risks are and I could imagine it could only me my situation worse. Should I stabilise on Mirtazapine and slowly taper down for a year? How long would the stabilization last? I dont sleep much even with this drug, what if it stops working in two month like it did to Haven the first time he was taking it?
  19. I am new to this website, and am interested in gathering information regarding a safe taper from Nortriptyline. My history of antidepressants began with a benzodiazepine (0.25mg alprazolam). I had issues from the first pill, and took me a couple years before I realized it was the drug. I had to do a water-titrated slow taper off the 0.25mg over the course of two years, and jumped off on November 13, 2014. I'm very glad to be off it. I have been on 20mg nortriptyline at bedtime for almost 8 years (started it when I was in tolerance-withdrawal from the benzo but didn't know it at the time). I honestly haven't had troubles with the nortriptyline, as it helped stabilize me in coming off the benzo (which I REALLY had troubles with). About 1.5 years ago, my pharmacy switched manufacturers of my nortriptyline (from Watson to Taro). I was on the Taro version for 4-5 months and was not doing well (I was having lots of withdrawal-type symptoms again). I mentioned it to my doctor, and she scripted me for the Watson-specific version from then on. Once back on the Watson, I returned to my pre-Taro "normal". Almost 3 months ago, my Watson manufacturer version of nortriptyline went on "backorder" status, so I was forced back onto the Taro version. I am now 3 months into taking it, and am struggling and unstable at current. My symptoms include: elevated heartrate, panic attacks, increased anxiety, irrational fears, nausea, loose stools, internal "vibrations" (stomach-intestines area), and a decreased ability to handle "life". I am on propranolol (20mg in divided doses) daily now to help control the heartrate (more for my mental sanity than anything else), and have come to the realization that I don't want something like this to "control my destiny". I am scared to taper because coming off the benzo was horrific for me, and I don't want to duplicate that process again. But I recognize that it's probably time to approach the conversation of tapering so I don't run into this issue again. I am wondering...has anyone noticed differences in how they feel with manufacturer changes? I am also curious to find out if nortriptyline can be water (or juice?) titrated? It tastes AWFUL so being able to put it into something with flavor would be ideal, but I'm open to suggestion. Gauging how sensitive I've been to the switch in manufacturer, I'm concerned with switching to the liquid version in concern that I may tolerate it worse than the Taro version. Anyone with success regarding either water-titration with nortriptyline, or with using the liquid version of nortriptyline, would be appreciated greatly! I was on benzobuddies.org as "mrsalw" for most of 2012-2015, in case anyone hear may remember me! Thanks in advance, Mrs.
  20. dowdaller

    dowdaller: Hello

    Hi everyone my name is pete I am from Ireland, I am currently med free for the last 8 months I was on a cocktail of meds before that including zanex, olanzaipine, and Effexor I weaned off these meds over a two year period under supervision. I found this tough but I made it, I am currently finding it tough at the moment hence I joined the forum. I suffer from anxiety ocd and depression.
  21. I'm 20 y/o, male, here's my story. Throughout my high school, i took sertraline, alprazolam, propranolol and others, never with any side effects, tho not on a regular use, only the sertraline was for 2 months and i didn't feel like it did any ****. Alprazolam was taken when needed, so was propranolol. I never stayed on a drug for years. My mom bought phenobarbital for herself, so she could deal with stressful events in our life. She was taking it when needed to sleep better. I asked her to give me too, she then game me drops of phenobarbital with water that equate to roughly 15 mg of phenobarbital. This was around September 6 to 8, don't remember the actual day. She didn't give me anymore, till September 14, when she offered to give me again. I took this along a valerian herb. The same 15 mg of phenobarbital. The next day, September 15, i noticed minor visual difficulty focusing on text and on September 16 i acknowledged that i see an increased visual snow in my vision, palinopsia, trails, more static. Just for you to understand, i took phenobarbital 2 times in total across a week and a half with the minimal dosage. I've had visual snow before, but after that night on September 14, i was perceiving way more static and visual disturbances that i never had before, and this is still here, October 2. Now, i'm asking, is this withdrawal and i should take it again on that small dose of 15 mg, or just leave it and hope it will go back to the state it was before? I know phenobarbital has a long half life, but it should've been gone from my system now. Please help.
  22. I'll introduce myself as Yabba, I'm a 22 year old male who has been diagnosed with many things over the past 10 years, but in the past 4 everyone has agreed It's BPD & Anxiety. I've been on various medications from prozac to olanzapine to alprazolam, It all started when I was 12, I was put on psychiatric drugs at this age, this is where it all started really - I'm feeling xyz so they prescribe what they think is right, The symptoms of one medication caused side-effects so they would prescribe another to counter. At one point I was on six medications at one time (16 y/o). So now for current day events: My psychiatrist has informed me that Zeldox causes side effects that are irreversible and I should consider moving to a newer anti-psychotic which he gave me a choice, Latuda & Saphris. I've had history with one but not the other. I was on 160 mg of Zeldox (Max daily dose) and I was informed by him I should come off slowly, since being on such a high dose for multiple years (3+) it may or may not be difficult. I've tapered down to 40 mg and wow, this is what emotions are like? My question is to others who have tapered off anti-psychotics: Is this like "wall" of emotions normal? I'm so happy throughout the day, I have lots of energy , but sometimes I'll see something on youtube that will just hit my heart some kind of way and I'll just start to cry, I'm not sad or depressed, I'm just in tears. My goal is to stop anti-psychotics all together, the past 2 months of being tapered off my life has only got better since being on a reduced dose, I'm enrolled back in school to get my diploma (3 credits) I've already made plans for collage, I went and got my licence back, applied and accepted for new bank account and credit card. For the first time in so long things feel good . I don't feel the same 2 emotions anymore & it gives me hope that I can finally do something with my life , that this illness beat me for a decade but In the end I won. Current Medications: Zeldox 40mg Adderall XR 10 mg Alprazolam 2 mg PRN Trazodone 300 mg PRN (for the rare night I can't sleep and I have an appointment the next day ect) p.s Too anyone else with BPD: This **** sucks, but you're a good person. We don't get told that enough but we are. Don't let the stigma get you down.
  23. I have been on and off celexa, paxil, zoloft, lexapro, xanax and metroplol (beta blocker). It all started my mom passed away May 2014 then 2 weeks later my dad went unresponsive in front of me (thought he had passed - he ended passing 4 weeks later). I panicked and ended up in the hospital with a bunch of tests being done which came back fine. A week later I had a follow up with my Dr from my hospital visit. I told him I was feeling a little sad (probably was normal after what I had just gone through). That's when the medicines started. I was on them from June 2014-December 2014. Had side effects with all of them. 2 1/2 months after I went off I started feeling down and stomach issues, Dr put me on Xanax. After a week of that my heart started racing. Then back on lexapro. That's when my sleep got all messed up! I was literally not sleeping for days. I stopped lexapro after a week. Had to take a leave from work. In May 2015 went on ambien and back on antidepressant. That's when inner shakiness/vibrations started (still have to this day). Stopped medicine in July 2015. Sleep was on and off still. Almost 3 months (Oct 2015) later started having stomach issues and back on zoloft. Took that until Dec 2015. Was feeling OK for almost 3 months (tolerable) then 3 months later March 2016 started having panic, panic attacks bad, head and vision issues, jaw clenching. On leave again from work. It's been hard to leave the house. Was panicking at the store, shower, talking to people. Didn't want to be by myself. My Dr. Keeps telling me it's my anxiety coming back. Why is it each time I have come off around the same time about 2 1/2 months off I get worse. Is it a relapse or withdrawal? My chiropractor is saying it's adrenal fatigue she is more holistic. I don't know what to do..
  24. Hi all, I am posting on behalf of an elderly relative who is 88 years old. I do think that some medications are not suitable for her to be on, especially Alprazolam. What the general physician gave her after a bp spike recently is in the signature. Bp was then 180/100 4 days ago now is stable at 140/83. Waking pulse after 2 days was 60 after Alprazolam. I think the drugs are too sedating and bp could go lower if all doses are not adjusted. She is frail and I am concerned this might be too much for her system. Previously was only on current hyperglycaemia meds and Prazosin 10mg x3, Verapamil x3. We were going through a lot of stress at the time from a bad flu. Now after antibiotics it has cleared up, though she still recovering. Bp is checked 3 x times a day since high bp. I am not sure if the prescribing gp knows what they are doing, they are not qualified in Cardiology or seem to care much about the medications given. Since the worst symptom is bp I asked other relatives to get a second opinion sooner, but they are not convinced. I think the doses should be be lowered paying attention to side effects since there a few new ones prescribed. She has gone to the doc for a long while, I think it is better to switch to a qualified caring doctor who does not give too many meds and is available to communicate with other caregivers since current one does not do these things It is only now that we have begun to check side effects and some meds don’t seem to even treat her conditions at all only giving side effects. She has had high bp for years and probably should be on some but prescribed are not the safest ones, dosages too high, too many drug changes etc. according to research online. It might be tolerated in someone stronger, younger perhaps. People blame solely advanced age for her declining health, but before all these meds I have noticed she was healthier and physically active than she is now. I am concerned that the newest meds might make her feel even worse than she is at the moment if taken in this way. She has not had the care she deserves IMHO. Lesser symptoms are insomnia, dizziness which I’m guessing could have been side effects from Prazosin. All are prescribed for a month till next doc visit. Medicating side effects with more meds don’t make sense. We were going to do the 10% taper before this crises. We were also going to discontinue the said physician and find a better qualified doctor to treat her bp and was overprescribing innapropriately, but in the stress of flu they were not thinking clearly I guess, and rushed too soon forgetting what we agreed upon earlier. They could get better help, yet are not convinced from what online research I show them. Maybe later they will understand and she will get the support she needs. I researched the Beers list and resources for older adults and they do not recommend most of these drugs to be given including antihistamines, dizziness meds when symptom is improved, too many bp meds like Nifedipine which has more side effects than Verapamil which she seems to tolerate better. Is there anyway some of the unnecessary meds can be lowered starting with the benzodiazepine? I am concerned about anticholinergic symptoms and the consequences to her health by the overall drug burden at her age. I would be grateful for your advice. Thank you for reading. Take care.
  25. Ηello everyone. I have severe anhedonia, emotional anesthesia, severe PSSD, extremelly fatique and dizziness due to cold turkey of paxil(60mg!!). I tοοκ it for 6 weeks and I am free 8 months now. The issue is that I am on benzo (xanax) 3 years(!) in doses 1 - 1,5 mg and now I am on hell in other words :( because I have dependence and tolerance (maybe) to xanax. Ι was never warned that ssri will cause me so terrible side effects such as anhedonia and PSSD. Therefore, I was concentrated to cut the xanax gradually this year. Now I have so many nightmares and nobody doctor believes me, because, as you Know very well, all these situations aren't recognizable. Also I am very confused because I don't Know if it is W/D or adverse reaction. Although I got a huge dose, I Think 6 weeks is a short exposure to develop W/D. I don't have waves and windows. Every day is the same.I keep thinking that is permanent and I have intense suicidal thoughts. It' so unbearable ... I feel so EMPTY. I can't feel love even for my parents and I haven't substantial support because they ALL think that I am simply depressed. Ιt's a sick joce....Do you think that I must taper the xanax now? My brain is in chaos and I am afraid for W/D from xanax now, but maybe I have not other choice. Keep in mind that I had not these effects (anhedonia, emotional blunting,PSSD) 2.5 years while I was ONLY on xanax. Any advise would be highly appreciated! Sorry for my bad English. Greetings
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